Friday, May 4, 2012

Flashback Fridays: The Best of the 90s Blogs

If you haven't checked out my blogroll,  now's the time! I've decided to share a few of my favorite 90s blog. I often look at these as a source of inspiration. Today, I am rather uninspired, so I'm just bringing the source of the inspiration right to you.

Ruined Childhood: A lovely Tumblr gem filled with pictures that cross reference the popular culture of today with that of the 1990s. It's highly inappropriate at times, but that's what makes it so great. Take a cue from the title and don't check it out if you want to still keep all those sweet childhood memories pure and innocent. 

Probably the tamest thing you'll find on the site
Photo Credit: Ruined

Childhood Nostalgia: This tumblr is basically just a collection of 90s images, screen caps, and flashbacks. It's pretty good for a "scroll" down memory lane. You'll find everything from Power Rangers to Power Puff Girls

90s Girl Problems: A hilarious twitter decidacted to all those "problems" we experienced in the 90s. Here are a few samples:

FuckYeah1990s: Everything on Tumblr is "fuckyeah something something" You can find a FuckYeah blog for basically anything. This one is like the love child of Ruined Childhood and Childhood Nostalgia. It's mostly pictures and falls somewhere between the two on the tameness scale. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Where Are They Now?" Wednesdays: Hilary Duff

Photo Credit:
I haven't watched Disney Channel for a while, but they seemed to have perfected this cookie cutter triple threat formula. Not only are their child stars expected to act in TV shows, they also need to be able to sing, dance, remain pure, and most importantly sell tickets/merchandise. Disney is a farm, and its child stars are all cash cows.

However, before Hannah Montana burst on the scene, before Selena Gomez started dating Justin Beiber, and before Demi went to rehab, there was Hilary Duff aka Lizzie McGuire.

I have fond memories of watching Lizzie McGuire. It was a funny show with a great cast. I liked the spots where we had side commentary from the animated version of Lizzie in her mind. It reminded me of my own personal snarky side. I found a lot of it relatable. The important moment of purchasing your first bra. Dealing with that middle school crush. Friendship troubles. Lizzie went through it all.

Eventually, Hilary started making some music, and thus began the cash cow forumla. I am not ashamed to admit I owned her Christmas CD and was overjoyed to find it when I was packing up to move to a new home three years ago. There was of course, the lovely Lizzie McGuire movie and a few other cinematic features.

Overall, Duff has maintained a relatively pure social image and turned out well, unlike most child stars. Really the only "scandal" of her career was that she was allegedly dating Good Charlotte Singer Joel Madden. She was 16 and he was 25. Age ain't nothin' but a number?

And Baby Makes Three
Photo Credit: Hillary Duff's Twitter
After this, she began dating some hockey star in 2007. They later tied the know in 2010. Hilary gave birth to their first child this past March. Wait...a celebrity having a legitimate child....after she was married to someone...that she first dated for three years?! That's like unheard of. Good for you Hilary. You go Hillary.

Joel moved on and married Nicole Ritchie, and Hilary moved on to bigger and better projects. She's written two Young Adult Books. I was not aware of this until I started writing this post. I bet they're not bad. They have to be better than Snookie's book right? She has also been involved with various philanthropic organizations.

Despite a few side projects and small film appearances here and there, Hilary has maintained a pretty low profile. I must saw she's probably the classiest person I've featured here.

Any other classy people I should look into? Or perhaps some more scandalous ones? Let me know below!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Memory Mondays: Terrapin Blog Hopping

This picture has nothing to do with anything.
It's me dressed as a cow.
It's precious. 
One of my fellow classmates decided that a blog hop/questionare would be a good idea. You can find the original post on Ezra's blog. Hope you enjoy my answers. This isn't quite a flashback post, but I figured this would be the most appropriate day to include this.

1. Where are you right now? (You can answer literally, or you can stop giving boring answers to every question you’re asked, and think outside the box.)
I'm currently relaxing in my on campus dorm. And by relaxing I mean avoiding doing any actual work even though I spent most of the day in bed recovering from feeling under the weather. I'll spare you the gross details. I'll do my work later...I promise. 

2. What keeps you blogging? Your pride? Your mom? Wanting someone other than your cat to tell you that you’re awesome?
I have always enjoyed writing, so I see blogging as my public place to put my thoughts out there. It would be cool to make a career of it someday. I keep my more private thoughts in my moleskine notebook, but you're not allowed to see those. No one is allowed to see those. 
3. What blogs or bloggers do you look to for inspiration, ideas, or just to get the blog side of your brain turned on?
In order to find some inspiration for the Flashback Friday posts, I often check out this Tumblr. It's just images, but that usually sparks some sort of idea for me. 
4. What is your most Terp-like quality? Is you’re not a Terp, well, I’m sorry, but you should be. Go out and get Terpy. Then report back with your newly acquired Terp quality.
Oh gosh, I'm not sure. Like the actual terrapin? Or Testudo? I love Testudo, so I will go with him. He's spirited, and I've been described at that as well. 
Testudo Hard at Work
Photo Credit: Testudo Times
5. If you could pick any celebrity or politician to give your blog a shout out via Twitter, who would it be?
It would only be appropriate to pick some sort of 90's idol. Nine year old Courtney would have loved a shout out from Aaron Carter. Said shout out would be much better than what he's tweeting now. 
6. Congrats. Wallace Loh stumbled upon your blog and wants to host an all-night party to celebrate your genius. You get to pick the campus building and the two professors who will be in charge of DJ-ing and food/drinks. Go:
My home away from home at school is Tawes, I study there, work there, and wish I could just sleep there. It's a beautiful building and the recital hall would be perfect for this all-night rager. The DJs depend on their musical taste. I'm just going to saw any professor can bring a mix CD and it will be potluck style. I can't pick favorites. 
7. And finally, a serious question. What have you learned from blogging? Did you learn about writing? Did you learn about people? Did you learn how easy it is to get distracted on the internet? (But jk on the last one; you already knew that, of course.)
I have learned a lot about creating my own voice. I've heard some of you seriously read it in my actual voice. I guess that's cool...sorry for the annoying pitch of it. I've also learned a lot about my classmates. Check out their blogs on the blogroll if you haven't already. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flashback Fridays: Disney Sing-A-Long Songs

Welcome to yet another edition of Courtney's feeling lazy today. Hey, three posts a week requires more than you think. Anyways, one of my favorite childhood pastime besides playing barbies, wishing I was Belle, and eating Kraft Mac & Cheese was watching Disney Sing-A-Longs on VHS. Let's take a stroll down good ole memory lane and enjoy a few sing a long songs. Don't forget to follow the bouncing ball!

Everybody Wants to Be a Cat: The Aristocats  

Everybody wants to be a cat! Because a cat's the only cat who knoooows where it's at. 
I'll let the dangling preposition slide. It's such a catchy tune! 
Or should I say "cat"chy tune ahahaha bad puns. Ok. Sorry. 

Be Our Guest: Beauty & The Beast
My favorite show stopping number from my favorite Disney movie. Can't get any better than that. Try to resist the urge to sing a long. I dare you. Just try my little pretties. Just try...

Hakuna Matata: The Lion King

Kids these days keep saying YOLO as their personal motto. Please, Hakuna Matata is the way to go. It means no worries for the rest of your days! 

I'll Make a Man Out of You: Mulan

LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS. TO DEFEAT THE HUNS. Classic. This one doesn't have the words to sing a long, but let's be should already know them. 
I just couldn't bear to leave it out. 

Poor Unfortunate Souls: The Little Mermaid

Just like the Mulan one, an actual sing a long version didn't exist, but I had to include. The villains often have some of the best songs. I think this one is my personal favorite. 
I just think Ursula was cool. Flaunt it Ursula. Work it girl. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Where Are They Now?" Wednesdays Tia & Tamera Mowry

Sister Sister, never knew how much I missed ya. Now that you have that snazzy theme song stuck in your head, it's time for another captivating investigation of "where are they now?" Wednesdays! Tia and Tamera were real life twins who starred in the hit TV show Sister Sister. Yes, they were actually twins, none of that Lindsay Lohan playing two twins in The Parent Trap voodoo magic.

Sister Sister aired on ABC and later The WB from 1994-1999. I'll admit I didn't start watching the show until a few years after it was canceled once it began airing on The Disney Channel. The premise was that two twin girls, Tia & Tamera, were separated at birth and adopted by different single parents. One day, they're both shopping at the mall or something and they run into each other thus realizing that they had been living without each other for fourteen years. Awww. Cute. Yay. Various 90s sitcom shenanigans then ensue. Theme song time!!

Now, both girls have enjoyed moderate and separate success. They recently starred together in their own reality show on The Style Network. The show chronicled both Tamera's engagement and Tia's recent pregnancy. 

Separately, the two continue to act in various shows and movies:

Tamera Mowry most recently starred in a TV movie called Double Wedding. Just listen to this premise from IMdb: 
Two sisters, no love lives. Both end up dating the same man, and inviting him to meet the family on December 17th. He doesn't know there are two sisters or that he committed to two different dates on the same day. 
Oh wait...two sisters? That can only mean...Tia starred in it as well. Seems they'll never break out of that twin typecasting mold. Tamera did find solo success on the short lived ABC Family series Roommates. Tamera just announced TODAY that she's pregnant with her first child. Look at me breaking big news. Top notch journalism right here.

Tia & Tamera Today
I still don't know which is which
Photo Credit:

Tia Mowry: Already entered the world of motherhood last year when she gave birth to her first child, Cree. Aside from starring in shows with her sister, Tia has found a long term success with the BET Television series The Game. It's apparently been on for five seasons. That's like forever in TV years.

You can follow both sisters on Twitter if you are so inclined to do so.

It seems these two are the most successful "Where Are They Now?" Installment yet. Who should I research next?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Memory Mondays: Children's Books

Little Courtney enjoying a story with Madeline
I've always been a reader for as long as I can remember. As a child, nothing made me more excited than the announcement that we were headed to the library. There I could find walls and walls of anything I wanted to read. I still find that same excitement today when I enter a quaint bookstore. I think this all stems from bedtime stories.

Bedtime stories are one of my favorite childhood memories. My parents understood the value of reading and instilled a love of it at an early age. I can recall snuggling into my sheets, grabbing my blankie and stuffed animal of choice, and settling down for a story. I even had a small little bookshelf in my room filled with all of my favorite childhood classics.

I'd like to take a moment to reminisce about a few of them:

1) Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom: Chicka chicka boooom booom....wiiilll there be enough room? This book was rather repetitive, but I liked it. The pictures were simple yet filled with vibrant bright colors. The whole color scheme was very late 80s early 90s. It also served educational purposes since it taught me the alphabet. Someone made a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom cake. I want one!

2) Madeline: "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines...the smallest one was Madeline." I cherished my Madeline anthology. I was filled with all the Madeline stories and the classic illustrations. I think what I really liked about this book was that everything rhymed. It severed as a nice beginning for the future poet within me. It was really cool when that Madeline movie came out in 1998. I think we saw it opening weekend.

Big Courtney still enjoying Madeline
3) Angelina Ballerina: I began dancing at the age of 2 1/2. For my first dance recital, I received an Angelina Ballerina book. I obviously don't have a vivid memory of this, but with each new recital, my collection grew. The books were cute and fun, but they also taught some important lessons.  I had a lovely Angelina stuffed animal complete with tutu and all. I still have it actually. When it's spring cleaning time year after year, I simply refuse to part with it.

4) Harold and the Purple Crayon: This picture book tells the story of a little boy with a magic crayon who could draw things in order to make them come to life. For example, he draws a boat and then sails off on it. I desperately wanted this magic crayon. It could certainly come in handy. For example, I'm really tired right now; I could draw myself a pillow.

5) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: This story serves as the perfect example of the slippery slope fallacy. Apparently, if you give a mouse a cookie, he will want to do a bunch of things like sweep the floor, color, and drink milk. Then, he will eventually want another cookie. Sorry if I just spoiled the book for you. I always thought the book was cute, and the pictures were nice. It apparently resulted in a few spin off series as well.

Now my tastes in literature have grown quite a bit, but my love of reading has remained constant. Unfortunately, as an English Major there's little time to read the books I want to read for pleasure. I now reserve my own personal reading for the summer time. Nothing beats packing a bunch of books for the beach and relaxing with them in the sun.

I was fortunate to add quite a few books to my collection this weekend at the Annapolis Book Festival. I must thank my fellow blogger, Ezra, for telling me about it. For $25, I could take a bag and fill it with as many used books as possible. I ended up walking out of there with 32 books! Quite a deal.

I think my former childhood self would be very proud that I now have a larger library and quite a few more bedtime story options.

May all your memories be meaningful,


Friday, April 20, 2012

Flashback Fridays: Neopets

Photo Credit: SyntheticStar,
Hi, I'm Courtney, and I was once a Neopet-holic. (Hiiiii Courtneyyyyy). OK so Neopets wasn't exactly "90s," but it was a big part of my childhood in the early 2000s, so you're just going to have to deal with that.

How do I even begin to describe Neopets? Neopets was (well is) an online community where children (and creepy adults?) could adopt a virtual pet, play games, collect NeoPoints, and have fun in a safe controlled environment. It was also incredibly addicting.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit how much time I spent on it between the ages of 8 and 10. Probably way more time than any kid should have spent in front of a computer, but everything was so pretty and fun! I mean I had to keep my Neopet alive right?! Actually...I don't think they die. They just get really hungry? I never fed mine. I probably shouldn't have kids one day. Um anyway...

There's so much to talk about regarding this website, but I think I will break it down into my 5 favorite things:

1. The Advent Calendar: Every December during the (politically correct) "Month of Celebrating," you could log on and receive a prize each day of the month! They ranged from various items of swagger for your Neopet to thousands of neopoints or a special avatar. It was daily dose of holiday cheer in the form of tiny pixels on a computer screen, and I loved it.
Advent Calendar!
Photo Credit: Rzmont,

2. Scratch cards: Neopets had their own form of the lottery. Every few hours or so you could purchase a scratch card in order to win rare prizes or a jackpot!!1!1!!1!!!11! I enjoyed buying these with my hard earned neopoints. I probably bought about three a day. I might have had a gambling problem.

Why do you mock me Kiosky Wocky?!
Photo Credit:

3. The Wheels: Wheel Of Excitement, Wheel of Knowledge, Wheel of Mediocrity, Etc. Neopets also featured various wheels that you could spin in order to win rare prizes or a jackpot!!1!1!!1!!!11! I recall spending lots of time watching the wheel spin round and round in hope of winning a paintbrush but usually coming out with a mere 50 neopoints. Whatever. I might have had a gambling problem.
Wheel of Excitement! Look at all the pretty colors!
Photo Credit:

4. Poogle Races: Every 15 minutes Neopets would allow you pick one of 5 "poogles" (One of Neopets many made up pet breeds) and bet on whether or not they would win. The amount you won depended on how much you bet. I always picked Poogle number two. Yes, I had a favorite number to bet on. I might have had a gambling problem.
Run Poogles Run!
Photo Credit:

5. Cheat: Neopets had a lot of different games you could play. Many were flash based adventure games or puzzles. I preferred the simple card game of cheat. I later found out it's based off of a card game called BS. Well actually it is BS but with a child friendly name. I was pretty skilled at calling the bluff of various computer characters. I might have had a gambling problem.
Bring it on Little Timmy the Tuskaninny
Photo Credit:

There you have it! Everything I loved on the internet in my later elementary school years. I am really not sure if this gave you an adequate overview of Neopets or an insight into my compulsive and addictive tendencies as a child. I think I just came to a sobering realization that I might have had a gambling problem. Well, at least I got it out of my system early.

I need to go buy a lottery ticket or something.