Spencer's Mix CD #1 (Songs That Are Hauntingly Beautiful)

1) Safe & Sound by Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars
2) Paradise by Coldplay
3) Skinny Love by Bon Iver
4) Lonelily by Damien Rice
5) Hundred by The Fray
6) A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
7) So Long by Ingrid Michaelson
8) Harder Than Easy by Jack Savoretti
9) I Love The Rain The Most by Joe Purdy
10) Have a Little Faith In Me by John Hiatt
11) Lovely Tonight by Joshua Radin
12) First in Line by Matthew Mayfield
13) Heartbeat by The Fray
14) White Blank Page by Mumford and Sons
15) Gravity by Sara Bareilles
16) Chicago by Sufjan Stevens


What I'm listening to right now: all of the above :)


Swirly Cream Cheese Brownies

I tried to make Smitten Kitchen's cheesecake-marbled brownies, but really messed it up, so I kind of ended up making my own recipe. 

One of the most important steps to this recipe is to pose with a very sharp, very large knife. So, don't you forget it!


Get ready.
It's lip smackin' good!

Before beginning preparation, please wash your hands.
No one wants your cooties. 


1 cat (preferably fluffy)
1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Assemble & Enjoy!

Things I am Loving at the Moment

STAEDTLER fineliner colored pens

I have started to illustrate recently. I have always tried to draw what's in front of me as accurately as possible. It turns out trying to use your imagination is a tricky process. This was my first attempt today.

I love my new royal blue Free People velvet turban. That's a mouthful. Though I wouldn't know. I have never tried to actually eat it. I do enjoy wearing it on my head. It adds a bit of glamor to an outfit. Thanks SF!

These dangling emerald green beauties are Lucky (the brand). They can be casual or sophisticated, and they are so much fun to shake about. 

What Happened Last Night

LA, SF, and TF went to dinner last night.

Pretty Nature + Colored Lights


Our Little Road Trip + Fun With Cameras

As you may know if you read some of the other posts on this blog or watched any of the videoblogs or maybe just read the "about me" section, this year is my gap year before college, and Lauren started college this year. We started this blog to stay in touch as we went our separate ways, and so far, it has proved to be a successful idea.

Lauren's college is about three hours away from home, so this year, my sister, Tyler, and I decided to take a sort of road trip to pick up Lauren for Thanksgiving break. I made a mix CD and Tyler made a couple, and we had a nice drive.


Feder Adventures

This is what we did on 12/17/11! It was a fun day, and you know what makes a fun day look like an absolutely spectacular day? Videotaping it and adding upbeat music! I hope you enjoy pretending to be a Feder for two minutes and four seconds!


What I'm watching right now: Parks and Recreation




The moment I break the surface,
my breath escapes and I am
sure I will die
my legs prove
their ability to kick.

I thrash with violent motions,
and disrupt the previously calm waters.
I’m like a drunk
clamoring into a sleeping house.

Yet the unsuspecting water welcomes me
with open arms.
I accept the embrace.

My pale skin
glistens as a row of reflective scales
skitter past. Like the ancestors of New Guinea,
brought back from their sea-devoured bones,

I mystify and terrify the native Angelfish,
Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, all fish, a sub-
species. My eyes sift through the sandy
ocean bottom, and I find what I came for.

Like the Australian prospectors
who came for gold
and were mistaken for the native’s deceased
come back from the depths.
I take advantage of my powerful position
and scrape through all else
to get what I want.

Golden brown shells trustingly propped open,
their numerous blue eyes peeking out innocently,
close under my firm clutch, feebly resisting
against my palm.

Arms loaded with bounty,
I break the surface, and go about
finding a knife, while the whole lot flops

hopelessly against the unfamiliar deck floor.
A feast we have of them, or rather the tiny morsels,
beneath the shell. The guts, the eyes, we rip out.

But no, we mustn't throw the worthless bits back.
That would mean scallops filtering scallops.
No, that would be too reminiscent to cannibalism,
barbarous thing!


Migrant Workers on an Organic Farm

Migrant Workers on an Organic Farm

Among the patches of watermelon, turnips, and tomatoes, 
big talk is growing. 
The workers gather on hands and knees,
toes digging into the soft soil.

This is not a family farm.
The workers pass through
coming from different directions
only to meet temporarily.
I volunteered to be here. 

A man dangling a wet butt from his lower lip,
mutters, and waves his hands
with a conductor’s purpose
to show how he feels on the subject.

The slender pods snap from their stems, 
as the workers move down the beds,
talking about what’s troubling them.  

A student of liberal arts, at World News & Report's most
free-spirited campus, offers educational conspiracy. 
The sun beats on my back and I’m offered a new raw
recipe, which I grab with a dirt-caked right hand. 

A friendly, sexually bipartisan woman
shares worry about public water
and her baby boy. 

One patch harvested, we move to the southern end of the farm, 
and with immigration, and border control, we finish up the maiz. 

As the sun rises, we rotate east to the barren 
desserts of Iraq, and pull purple-tinted figs from their leafy hijabs. 

As I am new to their circle, they ask if I’m frightened.
I laugh away their concern, but in truth I wonder how cabbage heads 
and ears of corn,
could act on their words?

One thoughtful-wrinkled man,
joins in the conversation with starts and stops, 
and we nod in respect.

I did understand, 
when an osprey circled above, 
and he looked up and called it
our guardian spirit. 

A call for break moves us to the shade,
where a young guy in tatters splurges
on turkish figs, and shares, 
and pungent  tobacco drifts from
hand-rolled cigs, in the silent 

understanding, and the serious 
old man saunters off
a few paces, and relieves himself.



It was a lonely day when the girl sat at the windowsill, and saw a spider

come down the blue begonia. She watched its strong body weave a delicate web. Entranced by its work, she ventured outside, and approached it with a quivering hand.

She let the creature crawl up her arm, and it tickled. She let it rest in her hand, and it comforted. She made it her companion and together they spent many not-so-lonely days. They were happy. Until one lonely day, the girl sat at the windowsill looking outside for her friend, and witnessed a horror. Beneath the blue begonia, the familiar web turned into a frightening foe as its frail tendrils reached like pale sticky fingers and ensnared a beautiful butterfly. Its wings crushed under the force of its unexpected predator. The girl jumped up in fright. She ran outside with a broom, and swatted, and swatted.


Fish Bowl

Fish Bowl

My roommate has a goldfish
which she neglects.
I really should intervene,
but it is still living.
I am often alone
in the room with it.
The roommate goes out a lot.

The fish would flit
around its bowl,
trying to out-swim the lifespan
of its bubbles.
Now I watch it sit
near the bottom.
I flick the glass twice,
it shrugs a little.

Unlike the fish,
I have the whole world to pace across
but instead I bang
against these four walls.



I don't like to think of myself
as the girl you watch
on the other side of the
cafe window,
repairing her lipstick,
not seeing past her own reflection,
or the one who makes excuses
to visit the restroom to inspect
her own face
or the one who doubles back
to find herself
in that car window
or that pastry case
or catches herself
in that spoon over breakfast.
But I am that girl
at the front of class
waving her hand
in desperate need
to share her urgent thoughts.
I build a class project
out of Elmer's and popsicle sticks
and present it as a gooey cathedral,
a temple to myself.


My Love Life

My Love Life

I frequent this diner
down the street from my apartment.
I don't know what keeps me coming.

The service is haphazard at best,
and the pies are hit and miss.
I ask for the special. A pathetic pudding pie

is indifferently presented before me.
With a dull thud the dirty pond sags.
I splash into the pool of muddy tears and am left

alone and unsatisfied in this sticky polyester booth,
my appetite wanting more, than a glorified cow pie.
I try again.

Same waitress (she never looks at me directly)
slaps down a lemon meringue.
A spoonful is

deceptively sweet, finish it off, and you get
a sour mouth
like waking up first thing to a cold porcelain bowl

when the froth rises up from the acrid yellow bowels below,
what lingers from a night, dressed up in shiny possibilities
is plunged down the drain.

The waitress returns, clearly not entertained
but she says
the cook has something for me.

The ramekin she carries is out of place,
With a delicate tap, I crack the surface and submerge
into its creamy depths, like exploring

under white fluffy covers when the sun ignites the blinds
and I nestle down
into a place I long to stay forever.
Dishes clang in the back

and I wake
with the fading feeling of a dream where I was in love,
and my sink was full of dirty dishes.




Parents perch
behind the window
and marvel
at their boy's ingenuity
as he rakes the scattered
leaves into a neat pile.
They wait expectantly
for the obligatory plunge,
but the boy sits
and pulls out a pen.
He carefully plucks
a leaf from the mound,
and scribbles,
and sets it aside, and so it is
with another, and another.
The parents, perplexed,
and are alarmed to see
all the leaves, labeled "Leaf."
As to why, the boys says,
"I am making them matter
so they can't fade away."
"Well, says Dad,
 you can't label everything.”

Fun for the Whole Family (Videoblog #6)

I have some family in town and we've been having a lot of fun! This is how we spent 12/16/11. How did YOU spend 12/16/11??

Stay tuned for more videoblogs to come in the following days/weeks!


What I'm listening to right now: 6 Months by Hey Monday


Goo Goo Dolls Friday

Happy Goo Goo Dolls Friday!! We're going to make that a thing, right??

It would have worked out better if there was some alliteration at LEAST, but after a long day of accounting and cleaning and chicken salad sandwiches, I am displaying all the creativity that I can muster.

So, here I sit, on the very race car sheets featured in the video (above), with Josephine (my favorite cat) sitting, slightly angrily, in my lap. She's not angry for a particular reason. She's just a very cuddly cat whose neutral emotional state is a bit grumbly. This is why I love her.

Here are the things I should be doing right now instead of blogging:

1) cleaning my room, changing my race car sheets to the boring floral ones I just washed, etc.
2) letting Josephine outside so she can drink from the swimming pool and get a little happier before our company arrives
3) doing the dishes
4) three seems too short for a to-do list, so I added this one

My cool cousins and aunt and uncle are coming in town tonight! I'm almost too excited to see them. Just kidding. No such thing. Hopefully they'll be featured in an upcoming videoblog. I don't think videoblog is actually one word, but I figured if I keep spelling it that way, at least I'll show consistency and determination, very admirable qualities in the videoblogging (even less of a real word) community.

I better go get started on that list. I hope you liked my cover of that Goo Goo Dolls song, JUST IN TIME for Goo Goo Dolls Friday. I'm SO glad I didn't miss it! I hope you have a beautiful weekend, even if your cool cousins and aunt and uncle aren't coming in town tonight.


What I'm reading right now: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris



Someone wanted to pay me to draw for them!

I was so shocked!

I was drawing at Starbucks, when someone passing by asked me if I did portraits, and how much I charged. 

I was a little flustered, but I managed to mumble a few words. "Uhh, no, not really. I don't draw. I mean...uhh... I don't charge?" She was really cheery, and did not seem phased by my evident shortcomings at social communication. She gave me her contact number, and once I regained my composure, I called her back. 

She gave me a picture of her sister she wanted drawn for her upcoming birthday. She wanted me to draw it! I still find that detail unbelievable. 

This is what I sent her. 

I really hopes she likes it. 

P.S. I am reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo



The Feder family went all out for Thanksgiving this year! After all, here at the Lauren/Spencer Project, our motto is "Go big or go home."

It was a day filled with pumpkins and candles and alphabet noodle place cards


Gingerbread House Decorating with the Gang!

It was a holiday get together/birthday celebration!

It was very merry :)

HaPpY FRidaY!

Drawing is something I greatly enjoyed as a child (along with pretending I was a Native American, and making villages out of mud, sticks, and leaves). I was especially obsessed with horses. They would run across the many pages of my notebooks. I also had a horse, whose sugar cubes I would steal. Once in a while, I pick the drawing book back up (maybe once a year). Mainly because I am afraid one day I will only be able to draw stick figures (though still fun!).

Earlier this year I drew a portrait of Spencer and myself for her eighteenth birthday. This has become a new tradition along with the birthday cake exchange. For my 18th, she drew a tall, dark, and handsome Hugh Dancy stroking a cat. What could be better than that?

Well, I guess forcing my food and personal art projects on p


My Favorite Things in November

My first November favorite is making a wish at 11:11. I make a wish every time I check the time and it's 11:11. That said, you can only imagine how excited I was to be able to experience two 11:11s on November 11, 2011. So many elevens. So exciting. So I made a little videoblog. I hope you're excited, too!

November favorite #2 is Happy Birthday nail polish by Deborah Lippman! My sisters gave this to me for my eighteenth birthday and it is so special. It just looks like a birthday celebration. Which is probably how she picked the name.