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For the Renaissance woman in all of us

Starting Over

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Mar 14, 2016 at 10:22PM

Dear Readers, I am resurrecting this blog. I hope you enjoy it. I originally started it with the name Da Vinci Dames because it's impossible for me to pick just one interest. Much like Da Vinci, I am a creature of many passions, and I believe them to be equally important. When I think of where I want to be in twenty years, I almost always see the same thing. I want to be sharing important information with everyone I possibly can. I love learning and truly need it to survive as a human being. It's the brightest part of my day. I don't know whether it's a thirst for knowledge or variety, but either way, there's nothing I can think of that is find more fun than sharing it. You'll find everything from politics to diys to homeschooling and ootds here. I hope to make it an eclectic mix of who I am, and who many of you are, or want to be. I love a quote I came across in some college notes earlier this week. "For a man has his career; whereas a woman has twenty hobbies." So in essence, I'm writing here because I want to spend my time doing what I love, and I can't think of anything so fun I'd rather do. Regardless of how much I make, I'll be a happy woman if I write and share myself with you.

Monday Congresional Report

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Sep 12, 2011 at 12:25PM

HR 1892

Appropriations for 2012 for Intelligence passed the house.

$590,339,000, 794 personell

For retirement and disability $514,000,000

Requirements and deadlines for reports from all the agencies were requested along with a request for a detailed report on Osama Bin Laden's death.

This all seems like housekeeping, except for the budget. Who knew Intelligence was a Billion dollar business? I sure didn't. Is it justified?


HR 2876

The EPA has student programs and it wants to prevent politcal belief discrimination. Has anyone had a problem with this?

HR 2877

Congress wants to be the only one with power to extend or create national monuments in Arizona. Who else has been doing this?

HR 2875

I agree with this bill. It restrains employers from firing employees for a leave of absence to receive medical treatment for a military service related injury or illness.

Friday Congressional Report

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:33PM

Today, I checked my foreign affairs email, and this is what I found.

A petition for HR 2309 Postal Reform Act which i signed.  I was then slammed with the introduction of 32 new bills, and action on 6 others. This is my report of what I read.

H. Res 392

The summary said it was about amending the charter school program and "appropriating" funds for 2012 intelligence activities, but none of this was in the resolution. It only gave the rules they wanted for how the subject was to be debated and amended. I didn't know you needed to put that in a resolution.

HR 2189

This one asks that all law enforcement agencies report basic information about the deaths of any in their custody, to help determine how those deaths can be prevented.This seems to be common sense. Why do we need a bill for it?

H Con Res 67

This resolution says it's ok for the special Olympics to run through the capital, but again, why is this in congress instead of with, say, the secret service or local police?

HR 2832

This extended duty free status on certain items til July 31, 2013. Much of it was referring to another bill, so it wasn't clear what they were talking about.

HR 2864

This explained that congress wants to create 3 gold medals and give them to the sites of the 9-11 attacks and create bronze versions to be sold to the public to provide the funds for this request.

HR 2863

This one made no sense because it only referenced another bill. It gave no context. it said it accomplished this: PERMITTING PHYSICAL THERAPY TO BE FURNISHED UNDER THE MEDICARE PROGRAM UNDER THE CARE OF A DENTIST.

SJ Tes 26

Wow this one is going to take a little more research. The congress and the American people have declared a vote of no confidence in our Secretary of the Treasury! At the moment, I don't even know his name.

If you know anything about any of these or other interesting bills in progress, tell me about them!

I love Shop Ruche!

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Apr 25, 2011 at 12:12PM

If you've never seen this online shop and their beautiful look books, you got to go there! The pieces selected remind me so much of Anthropologie! It just has a more affordable price tag. Everything is so beautiful.

Cha Cha song

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Apr 25, 2011 at 12:12PM

Setting Forth by Eddie Vedder   Cha cha

You are Water by Hayley West  Waltz

Runaways by Yeah Yeah Yeahs  slow salsa


I know what you're thinking, but don't think! just move your feet and move!

The dream of Dancing

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Apr 4, 2011 at 9:54PM

The one thing I've been good at as long as I can remember is Dancing. I've never had any formal training, but I've taken every opportunity to learn. what I don't like is being restricted to old school music for ballroom. I hear the same steps in so many songs, and those are the ones I dance to. I heard the most amazing foxtrot today. It was "Whatever Lola Wants" by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Just remember quick, quick, slow in the box shape and trot around the room to your hearts content!

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Mar 23, 2011 at 2:55PM


It’s funny how I expected creativity to come from certain clothes and environment. I was so wrapped up in the pile of clothes I hated to see I already had what I needed. Every day, I have to put myself in the clothes and place to write. It’s saying-this is my writing shirt. This is my writing place. This is where it will happen whenever I have a moment to invest in myself.

The mountains are beautiful, but right beside the howl of semi’s rolling past? Still, they are the life blood for this little town. Without them, we would have no food, no gas, no reliatble shipments of work supplies that allow us to make a livelihood here. Without them, we can’t enjoy living at 7000 feet. The air is virgin and smacks you in your nose and throat. You can feel it going all the way down into your lungs. And yet your brain is a little fuzzy. From the blairing sunlight coming through the windows or the lack of water in your head and in the air, you don’t know, but it’s hard to avoid. It makes the rumbling trucks seem louder.

What could I really say to anyone from out here about politics? I’m nowhere near them. Maybe that’s the best place to have an analyst. I’m not a reporter, so I can observe the action from afar and make my best educated guess-timate. From here, preparation and geography insulate me from the high gas prices, food prices, market crashes and possible nuclear repercussions of anything happening around me. Because really, there’s nothing around me for hundreds of miles. I can say what I want, what I think. And I have nothing to lose. No savings, no stocks or 401 K’s. Maybe in 20 years I’ll have all that. For now, I know I’m among millions of sheltered Millenials that are just starting their adult working lives, graduating from college and starting families. It’s been a harsh shock into reality. We don’t have the money we had even as teenagers. But The Economy never let us down. We haven’t lost anything, at least nothing we’ve worked for. For us it can only get better. We can look forward to building the next big empires that will shape the next century.

So here’s to observation and contemplation. It’s bound to lead to some great ideas on this blog

Date outfit!

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Jan 24, 2011 at 1:01PM
romantic date outfit
Urban Outfitters, Asos, Victoria's Secret
I would love to wear this out tonight. The pieces just say "Free spirit"

Fluttery, Ruffle romantic

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Jan 23, 2011 at 12:59PM
Fluttery, Ruffle romantic
Old Navy, Old Navy, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters
These are so romantic! There's something in every price range

Pants are needed

Posted By Manike Pipkin on Jan 22, 2011 at 12:55PM
New York & Co., New York & Co., The Limited
I need some new ones...maybe one of these?
Filed in: shopping, Fashion | Tagged with: skinnies, khaki, gray, pants, skinny, Work, Dress