Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ONCE YOU ARE REAL


I was reading one of my favorite blogs recently (Thoughts by Natalie) and got caught up in the archives and this post, in particular, really hit me.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Just recently D and I had a big talk.  Partially because of what I was talking about last week and partially because my hectic schedule (surprise) doesn't only take a toll on me.

It takes a toll on him, too.

Anyway, we had a big talk.

I asked him, point blank, if he still wants to choose me.  I'm a lot to sign up for.  This madness, this hectic schedule, this propensity to collapse in tears when I am feeling overwhelmed... this isn't easy.

I know it isn't easy.

And, after a year, he knows it isn't easy, too.

So I wanted to be sure he was still happy.  He has a tendency towards... inertial behavior.  He likes to keep on doing what he's already doing because it's easier than disrupting the pattern and making waves.

I am a wave machine.

So by now, I am very real.  And so is he.

His hair has literally been loved off (my love is mostly bald, and I wouldn't have him any other way).  My eyes feel like they're dropping out every.single.day. by the time I peel out my contacts and crawl into bed.

He is blessed with a fit physique with a terrible diet and no exercise (I keep reminding him that, eventually, these bad habits will catch up), and I eat clean and exercise regularly to avoid getting "loose in the joints"...

You see my point, though.

We are very shabby at this point to one another.

Here's where I forgot the important part, though:

But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

He, by some miracle, does understand.

My boyfriend, my younger boyfriend with no prior relationship experience, understands.

He gets it more than I do.

He knows how to love so well and he was sweet enough to remind me of how to trust in that love.

I am real now, but it's okay because he understands.

Do you ever catch yourself not understanding this fundamental tenet to loving and being loved?  How do you remind yourself that it's okay to be real?  I have a feeling that I'm not alone on this and that this isn't the first time I'll need this reminder...

Monday, July 15, 2013

SATURDAY DO-OVER

Forget Monday.  I'm so over Mondays.

Let's just do Saturday again.

Since I don't think my boss (or your boss) will go for that, though, let's just pretend.

By looking at some really cute dresses by Kate Spade Saturday:

Love this one for a picnic or day-date.

Love this one (probably sans belt) with some cute nude wedges for a summer wedding.

At around $150 each these aren't exactly cheap, but they're more budget-friendly than the "real" Kate Spade brand and you could probably expect the same quality construction.  Plus, the classic design would be great for years to come.

Am I throwing down my hard-earned money for these?

No.

But I wish I could.

Just like I wish today were Saturday.

P.S. If you think Kate Spade pays me to put these images here, you're very wrong.  This little blog is (how shall I put it?)... still awaiting its big break ;)

Friday, July 12, 2013

SOMETHING SWEET


Today is my half-birthday.

Kind of a big deal.  Even more so than usual (yes, I always take note of my half-birthday and, no, I don't actually celebrate or expect presents).

As of today I'm closer to 30 than 25.

As of this moment I regret typing that.

Whatever.

Anyway, in the spirit of my Food & Fitness Fridays and being self-absorbed, ridiculous, and celebratory, here's one of my favorite healthy and easy dessert recipes.  Top it with a candle for that special half-birthday girl/boy.

Great for one, great for a crowd... and it goes like this:


Paleo Apple Pie Compote

1 medium apple (your favorite variety)
dash (or two) of cinnamon
grass-fed butter (1 tbsp, if that)
coconut milk (full fat from a can, refrigerated)
teeny splash o' vanilla extract
optional: nuts or seeds (I have tried pecans, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds and they were all a great addition)

1. place butter in a saute pan over medium heat
2. chop apple into bite-sized pieces as pan warms up
3. toss apple into pan, dash some cinnamon over it, and stir intermittently (not constantly)
4. after a couple minutes, drizzle a very scant amount of vanilla and optional sprinkle nuts/seeds in
5. once the apple begins to soften (and your kitchen smells heavenly), serve in a bowl
6. top with some of the (separated, top layer) coconut cream
7. ENJOY!!

note: If you have a major sweet tooth and can't bear to eat something without added sugar, I'd recommend a very conservative drizzle of pure maple syrup (either in the pan while it cooks or as a final garnish for serving).

also note: This could easily go in the oven, too: 375* in individual ramekins or a baking dish.  Make sure you melt the butter first to coat the apples (& toss with other ingredients) before going in the (greased) dish.  Take it out when the compote has slightly softened and looks golden & bubbly.

I would share a picture but A) it isn't very photogenic and B) I eat it too quickly every time I make it.

Let me know if you try it.  You could also use pears or peaches or nectarines... whatever strikes your fancy.

This is a fantastic, sweet way to top off a meal without sacrificing your health.

Have a great weekend!!

**UPDATE: I made this Sunday evening with a plum (no cinnamon, just a dash of vanilla) and it was SO good.  I threw in some sunflower and chia seeds for serving and my-oh-my was it tasty.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

THE PRESENT MOMENT


I'm not going to lie... I had a little bit of a rough day on Sunday following the wedding.

And, no, it had nothing to do with the wine (and champage, okay fine, and Corona) I drank on Saturday night.

It had to do with me feeling a little bit left out.

Of the cool kids' married kids' club.

Not because I'm trying to rush D to the altar.

Not because I'm eager to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding.

But because all of my best friends are experiencing something that I know nothing about and I can't relate to where they are right now.

They don't have any cool secret married handshakes or married kid meetings I'm not invited to, but I know that on some level... they are in a totally different phase in life than I am.

And, unfortunately, this post isn't going to end in a huge Oprah-esque A-HA!! moment of clarity in which it all comes together and I find peace within myself.

Look at the picture at the top of this post.

That couple is loving the present moment.  That couple doesn't care about anything going on around them.  They are in love and in the moment.

They are D and I at the September wedding I mentioned on Monday.

I need to get back to that.  To not feeling lonely because I don't own a house or have a husband.  To feeling loved and loving because that is what is happening right now.  To not worrying about where we're headed because if I do I'll miss out on where we are.

I know all of this to be true.

I just need to get there.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I'M RETIRING


This weekend marked a pretty momentous occasion for me.

I am officially retiring...

As a bridesmaid.

In December 2010 I was a bridesmaid for one of my best friends from high school.  It was a Christmas-time wedding at a gorgeous golf course in our home town.  She and her husband are now parents to an adorable son and even though they've been living out of the country almost since their wedding day... I get to see them in a few weeks!!

In June 2011 I got to be my sister's Maid of Honor.  It was a small church wedding and very no-fuss.  So simple, beautiful, and very them.  I don't think she's ever looked happier.  She and my brother-in-law are now fantastic parents to my adorable niece.  I love them all to pieces.

In September 2012 I got to be a co-MOH for one of my best friends (and college roomie!!) when she married her high school sweetheart at a storybook perfect venue in the North Bay.  The wedding was probably the most joyful I've ever attended.  Everyone was just so happy to be there celebrating the perfect couple.  They are honing their parenting skills with the cutest little puppy I've ever seen.

In May 2013 I got to be the Maid of Honor for another best friend (and college roomie) at an indescribably perfect Maui wedding.  She and her husband have the most flawless looking wedding album I've ever seen.  They are both radiating with love and happiness in every.single.picture.  Even the candid ones.  I need to work on that skill.

And on Saturday I got to be a bridesmaid for another high school best friend (and college roomie) at an elegant, gorgeous church wedding in San Jose.  They are such a joy to be around and the girl has to be one of the most beautiful brides to ever walk the earth.  It was so sweet to watch the two families officially become one (her best friend from kindergarten is the groom's cousin - small world).  They are in Aruba on their honeymoon and get to come back to their first new home.  Congratulations are definitely in order.

And, with that, I think I'm done.  I definitely have more weddings to attend in my future (ahem, August and February), but I actually have to figure out what I'm going to wear to those and, aside from the honor of being asked to sing at both... I'm just a guest!!

If I had a dollar for every comment I've received about 27 Dresses or "always a bridesmaid..." (seriously, people?  that's rude), I would have a solid start to my own someday wedding fund.

So, to all who asked me to be a part of the biggest day of your life (so far)... thank you.  From the bottom of my heart it means more than you could know.  The pros far outweigh any "cons" you felt guilty about.  I love you all so much and am so flattered you wanted me there by your side.

The absolute best part about being a 'maid (or MOH)?  Looking your best friend in the eye as she glows with bridal joy and love and saying goodbye and good luck as you head down the aisle to watch her get married.

And now I'm crying (again).

Congratulations to everyone and happy wedding season!!

P.S.  I do, eventually, plan on doing a bridesmaid series here... it's just that I'm a little worn out.  I promise it's coming, though!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

FREEDOM


It is Independence Day (if you live in the United States) today.

Whether or not you're a hugely patriotic or nationalistic person, you're probably at least excited to have the day off work.

If you don't have the day off, let me say "Thank you!!" for working on a holiday
and I hope you get time-and-a-half ;)

At church this past weekend (side note: I'm not about to get preachy, so please read on) the priest brought up a fantastic point regarding freedom.

He said (I'm paraphrasing here), "We spend so much focusing on what we're free from (slavery, oppression, etc.), but often fail to ask the question, 'what am I free for?'"

What am I free for?

What use is freedom if we don't use it?

In the context of his message on Sunday, (this part is going to get a little more religious, but if you can appreciate a big-picture message, read on) Jesus was explaining to his disciples that the old (Hebrew) laws didn't hold power anymore.  There was a new covenant and a new (much simpler) message:

Love.

That's it.

Freedom from all the laws and restrictions and do's and do-not's for the purpose of loving one another.

To bring this full circle (and truly take the opportunity to offend everyone), whatever judgments people hold in the name of the "laws" of the Bible should be cast aside in favor of love.

In California last week, gay marriage was reinstated.

To anyone who thinks this is an insult to "holy matrimony", I'd point to the greater message:

Love.

That's it.

We are free from judgment for the purpose of loving one another.

And this Independence Day, I am so proud to be part of a country that (at least for one moment on one day) chose love as law.

Hope everyone has a safe, beautiful, love-filled holiday.

Friday, June 28, 2013

DON'T YOU WANT TO BE KALE?


I'm going to try something.

I might fail.

But I'm going to try anyway.

I am very passionate about, well, a lot of things... but personal health & fitness is one of them.  And I haven't really shared any of that here because, let's be honest, usually I have something I'm frustrated with that I want to rant about.

Anyway... I'm going to try and share something healthy (be it exercise or food related, or just inspirational) on Fridays.

I've started making smoothies at home and, not gonna lie, they're pretty freakin delicious.  I even got a thumbs up from D, who pretty much only eats the foods I try to stay away from (aka processed foods, fast foods, etc.).

I don't really get the whole you are what you eat, phrase (I mean, in theory I do, but it just doesn't really inspire me)... but in case it really speaks to you... don't you want to be kale?

I thought so.

In that spirit of kale-ification, go make a smoothie like this:

BERRY KALE SMOOTHIE

7oz unsweetened coconut water
1oz lemon or lime juice
nice handful of raw kale
3/4 cup frozen berries (I totally eyeball this, so that sounds about right)
maybe 2-4 ice cubes if the texture isn't jamba-y enough for you

Dump it all in a blender and blend till it's smooth.

Enjoy.

That's it.  I can hardly call it a recipe.  I just threw some stuff in my blender and it happened to be delicious.  You can mix it up (omg blender pun) with other fruits... but I recommend freezing it so it stays cold and gets the right texture.

I buy the frozen berries, coconut water, and kale (pre-washed because I'm lazy) at Trader Joe's.

Let me know if you try it.  Fair warning - I like my smoothies on the tart side.

Oh, and one more thing...

HAPPY FRIDAY!!

p.s. I really like the sentiment of the image above, but it kills me that it doesn't read, "Skinny isn't sexy.  Healthy is."  Don't let its crappy syntax distract you from the message, okay?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DREAM SPECIFIC


I've spoken (written?) before about the concept of the universal law of attraction.  The secret.  Whatever you want to call it.

I recently experienced the power of this concept at work.

I have been overloaded lately at my day job.  Since I don't love it to begin with, you can imagine how I felt about it when drowning in to-do lists.  I decided I needed to ask for a raise.  A big one.

We just had our annual reviews in March and I had already received my annual bonus and raise.

But since then I felt that the increased workload and responsibility justified another step.

I planned it out, decided how much I would ask for (and subsequently how much I would settle for) and mentally prepared myself to fight for my worth.

And then on Monday my boss called me into his office and told me that he and our EVP had noticed how much I've had to step it up recently... and that because of my hard work and because they value me and see big things for my future... I would be getting a raise...

... to the amount I had predetermined I would settle for during my planned negotiation.

You can imagine my shock.  Nice work, universal law of attraction!!

Anyway, this drives home the point that when we are planning/scheming/dreaming of our next steps in work, in love, in life... we need to dream big specific.

My friend and I are going apartment hunting in a few weeks for our new home come October.  You can bet we have a specific list of wants, needs, and must-haves.  I'll definitely share how the universe responds to these perfect apartment vibes.

And, to tie it all in with the image above... I love birch trees.  D just so happens to love birch trees.  I recently read an article about how people who live in greener areas (think lots of trees) actually exhibit lower stress levels.  Who doesn't love that?

My future home dreams are now full of beautiful leafy birch trees to make sure the universe knows exactly what I want ;)

Have you ever experienced the law of attraction delivering exactly that for which you were searching?  I'd love to hear about it.

**side note: this raise does not affect my plans to pursue a happier, more fulfilling career in the future.  it just helps set me up for future financial security/success as I make those (specific) dreams a reality.**


Friday, June 21, 2013

THE JOURNEY IS GOOD


I frequently mention that I have a lot going on in my life right now.  I'm working a ton and trying to stay in close contact with my best friends (near and far!!) and trying to make time with my niece a priority and love having quality time with my wonderful boyfriend...

And I'm trying really hard to set myself up for future success outside of my current career and that means a lot of hustling to build a strong savings account... which makes for less time for all those important things.

I get a serious case of the Sunday blues every week because I'm exhausted.

And I'm pushing so so so hard to get to there.  To the end... or at least the end of this crazy phase.

But this is part of it.  This is the journey.  The journey is absolutely necessary.  It prepares us for the destination.

In the same way that dating the one is the journey towards marriage.

The journey is SO important.  It is vital.

And yet sometimes we get so driven towards the destination we lose sight that where we are is part of our story, too.

The photo above is from the anniversary (one year!!? time flies...) trip D and I took up to the Mendocino County coast.  We had so much fun.  It was perfect.  The perfect addition to our story and a perfect break to the very hectic phase I'm currently suffering through working toward enjoying in my journey towards a fulfilling, joyful life.

The next time I'm feeling overwhelmed... I'm going to revisit the photos from our trip to remind myself how beautiful the journey can be.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

THAT POWER




Definitely no # here.  I am either not cool enough or not obnoxious enough... I guess it depends on who you ask :)

Anyway, do you ever have one of those days/weeks/months where you feel completely out of control?

I have been stuck in that helpless rut and am starting to feel like I'm regaining traction.

You hear me, universe?  I've got that POWER!!  For right now, at least...

My schedule may be totally insane, but I'm doing a good job of plotting it all out and I'm putting some tools in place to help me stay sane.

It looks a bit like this:

1) Google calendar, a paper desk calendar, and Outlook calendar.  Compulsive?  Yes.  Comprehensive?  Hell yes.  I don't care if it's overkill, I am loving it.

2) Meal planning.  There is no way I can stay in a healthy eating mindset while juggling one full-time job and three side jobs (throw a grad program in the mix this fall and I may spontaneously combust).  I signed up for a meal plan with one of my favorite primal (read: paleo) blogs and will do a review once I get a couple more weeks under my belt.  It does make grocery shopping easier and on nights when I don't have multiple after-work commitments I can cook up a storm.

3) Lots of spreadsheets.  Budgets, future plans, separate schedules for the side jobs, etc.  Good thing I love me some excel.

4) Hopefully this one will come into play soon: a REAL smartphone (not the free Blackberry my work gives me).  I need a device that can keep up with my lifestyle and I have my eye on a couple options.  This weekend D is going to help me pick the best phone for my needs and then I will share as I make my way into the 21st century.  Totally excited/terrified.

If you have any tips for keeping up with a busy busy schedule (or apps or whatever), I'd love to hear 'em!!  The one thing I know I need to work on is scheduling time for myself.  I tend to see white space on a calendar and fill it right up.

Maybe a bubble bath and a glass of wine should be penciled in this weekend...

p.s. I loved Judith Hill's version of #thatPOWER on this season of The Voice.  She didn't make it to the finals, but her talent is undeniable!!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

THIS IS YOUR LIFE

This is your life.

Maybe you don't need a reminder.

Some days I don't.

Some days I do.

This is it.  Right now.

I am passing moments typing these words, hoping they'll be read by my friends, let alone any strangers... hoping they'll resonate with anyone.

They're resonating with me right now, and that's probably definitely enough.

This past weekend my boyfriend and I spent some quality time in a tiny coastal town in Mendocino County.  We were at a quaint, perfect bed and breakfast (North Coast Country Inn) and had time.

We had time to wander, to talk, to laugh, to sleep, to be in love, and to hope.

We laughed (though it is more sad than funny) about the ridiculousness that is the rat race we are convinced to buy into by those making a huge profit off our toils.  We dreamed about a life in which Friday can be the worst day of the week because you just can't bear to take a break from your job (your passion).

Where the Sunday blues don't exist.  Where $70k, $80k, $150k per year doesn't mean anything because it doesn't really need to..

There is a story about a fisherman.  The fisherman went to sea, caught as many fish as he needed to feed his family for 2 weeks (a month, whatever) and then came home and spent time with his family... for another 2 weeks until he needed to go out and catch more fish.

An American businessman met said fisherman and offered his sage, corporate advice.

If the fisherman would only expand his enterprise and mass distribute the fish he could eventually become an international mogul, retire "early", and relax for the rest of his life...

...fishing and spending time with his family.

I am only 27.  I am still part of the rat race and I definitely don't have all of the answers.

But I am going after a life more like the fisherman and less like the businessman.

I'll see you there :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

SOMEDAY


First things first - HAPPY FRIDAY (oh my goodness how happy I am to say that!!).

But no time for dilly dallying today - let's get down to business.

I have a serious question to ask of you:

How do you stay focused and motivated for "someday" things when "now" things spring up?

To explain...

I want, more than anything (almost anything), to be a homeowner someday.

Obviously to purchase a home, one needs a down payment.  Therefore, one needs to save save save.

But how do you (yes YOU, dearest darlingest reader) stay focused on such a long-term goal when there are things here, there, and everywhere demanding financial attention?

Apartment things, fashion things, delicious food and drink things, fun outing and adventure things, adorable baby things to buy for your niece, stupid annoying things like car maintenance...

I'm pretty sure you get the point.

Future home purchase aside, I'm also going to be paying for a majority of my someday wedding.

That's not a price tag to scoff at, either.

And yet... these stupid now things tempt me so.

So, again, I ask:

How do you stay focused and motivated for "someday" things?

This lady needs your help :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

THE FIRST STEP


So I talked and talked and talked about it... and yesterday I took the first official step towards my dreams.

That's right...

I applied to a grad program.

p.s. is that staircase not fantastic?  I would so love that in my future dream home... until then, I'll just share it here :)


Friday, May 10, 2013

THE JOY IS MINE


**This is a rant post.  You have been warned.**

Comparison is the thief of joy.  I just keep repeating it to myself over and over.  I am so frustrated and overwhelmed with things I want to say about this that I don't even know where to start.  The phrase is on repeat in my mind.

It rings so true.  SO true that it stirs up all sorts of anger from deep within me.  Anger at "society".  Anger at the "media".

Anger at myself.  For letting my self-judgment and propensity toward... not jealousy... but feeling less than enough steal my joy.
____________________________________________________________

We live in a highly competitive society.

I know my generation is full of "participation award" winners and that supposedly messed us up and made us feel entitled... but I would argue otherwise.

No kid with a participation ribbon thinks he or she is a "winner".  Kids know that first place is the best and that anything less is... not the best.

Kids know who the smartest kid in class is.  Kids know who the funniest kid in class is.  The prettiest.

The list goes on.

I can't tell you how many of my friends are stuck with these labels (affixed to them by adolescents clambering up the ladder toward social success) permanently ingrained in their self-perception.

I bet if you took a poll, almost every single person you asked could name that person.  The person who seemed to embody perfection at a level unattainable to the rest of us.  The person whose talents and abilities outshone the rest of us.  The person who, because of their success, made the rest of us feel inadequate.

Comparison is the thief of joy.
____________________________________________________________

I think this is encouraged (and perpetuated) by the media.

Gossip magazines rank the most hated celebrities.  If that isn't bad enough all on its own...

Who "wins" (loses?)...

An infamous serial killer?  An out-of-control young star that wreaks havoc everywhere he goes?  A desperate starlette fighting addiction and setting a terrible example for young girls everywhere?

No.  Don't be silly.

Gwyneth Paltrow.

Because... she strives to eat a clean diet... she works hard to be a devoted mother... and she can afford a wardrobe the vast majority of Americans cannot...

Seriously?

If we have really gotten to the point of hating someone who SEEMS to have it all together (I'm sure Gwyneth has her frazzled moments just like the rest of us), then we are in a very sad, sad state.

Don't let Gwyneth steal your joy, people.
____________________________________________________________

When I get really honest with myself and the things that I struggle with (shopping too much, hating my body, anxiety, feeling ugly, feeling unworthy), it's pretty clear that these serious issues all stem from my mind being in a place of comparison.

I would be better and happier if I had a closet more like her.

Why can't my arms be more toned like hers?  I need to work harder to change them.

I need everything to be under control in its proper place so that some unnamed rival is defeated.

How can D be sure that I'm the right person for him?  There are so many other women who are nicer, sweeter, more giving, and might make him happier.

Comparison is the thief of joy.
____________________________________________________________

Let's look at those same thoughts from a place of gratitude and self-love.

I am so blessed to have what I have.  Regardless of what I wear, I am a good person.  I am enough.

I feel healthy.  I exercise because it makes me feel good.  I eat well because it makes me feel good.  Feeling good and healthy is more than enough.

There will be moments that I have it all together.  There will be moments when I don't.  Whether or not everyone shares them, everyone has these ups and downs, as well.  It is perfectly acceptable.

I choose D because he makes me happy, challenges me, and encourages me to be a better person for myself because he loves me.  I trust him to be doing the same in choosing me as a partner.  I am nice, sweet, giving, make him happy, and love him.  I am enough.
____________________________________________________________

Sorry, comparison.

At least for this moment, on this day, the joy is mine.

Make it yours, too.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WHERE YOUR THOUGHTS TAKE YOU


Love this.

First of all, I'm thinking about Maui right now... because I am traveling there this Thursday for my best friend's wedding!!

Can't wait.  Or, maybe I can wait... at least until I pack.

But obviously this quote isn't about globetrotting...

I am today where my thoughts have brought me.  Interesting to think about.

When I took my first job straight out of school, I hated it.  I didn't like my day-to-day tasks, but I also didn't like the person whom the company wanted me to be.

I swore off the industry (construction), but deep down I wondered if it was just the working environment I hated.  After all, I have a degree in engineering.  You can't just throw that away.

Where did my thoughts take me?

Back to construction with a company that lets me be who I am and encourages me to find my own path to success.  I have the "dream" scenario that I wondered about five years ago.

And I still don't like it.  It has nothing to do with my coworkers - they, for the most part, are fantastic.

It just doesn't make my soul sing.  And now I can officially shut down those "what if" thoughts and move on.

So these past few months my thoughts have taken me somewhere very different.  And I started filling out a grad school application last night so that I will be where my thoughts have been.

This law of universal attraction isn't just for big picture stuff.  Do you ever have a lousy start to your day and then find a million things to be irritated about?

Maybe that's just your thoughts taking you deeper into misery and annoyance.

Maybe a simple mental shift would put a rosy hue on your afternoon.

Just as I am working to proactively shift my thoughts to redirect my path... maybe I can use this same process to clean my mind of self-effacing thoughts, of judgmental thoughts, of jealous thoughts, of anxious thoughts.

Easier said than done, but let's see where it takes us, shall we?

Friday, May 3, 2013

ACCOUNTABILITY

My oh my it's May...  (and the first time I started this post it was October)

Spring is in full swing and temperatures hit the 90's this week!!

My very sweet, enthusiastic intern/roommate went home for the summer and my apartment is ALL MINE for the next month.

And between weddings, showers, bachelorette parties, college reunions, and (let's be honest) spring fashion... my bank account officially hates me right now.

So I'm going to (regret saying this, but) partake in something I saw on another blog (Modern Eve).

Monthly "what I bought" reports.

Keeps me honest.  Because addicts have to admit they have a problem.

And I love me some shopping.

So far?

I bought an iced coffee this morning at Starbucks.

And a tank of gas.

OKAY FINE AND I ALSO BOUGHT A SAUSAGE & EGG SANDWICH, but I gave the english muffin to my boyfriend a coworker.

Just kidding.

I mean I did, but I'm not going to bombard you with that much crazy detail.

Home stuffs, clothing stuffs, jewelry stuffs, maybe makeup stuffs.

That's what I'll be reporting.

Unless I go crazy (uncrazy?) and change my mind.

What do you do to keep yourself financially accountable?  Do you budget?  Save your pennies?  Stuff cash under your mattress?  I'd love to hear, because I need all the budgeting help I can get!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

THE HORIZON



Hello, Monday.

Not super happy to see you, but the above reminder will help me power through.

Some beautiful things ARE on the horizon (and are getting closer and closer by the minute).

Things like:

Intern roommate moving out.  She is a fantastic intern at work and SUCH a sweetheart, but I lived by myself for seven months and then with a 20-year-old for four.  I can't WAIT to have a month to myself again.

- Another Friday.  Yes, I look forward to them on a weekly basis.

- I get to see my niece on Saturday.  It has been way too long.  I can't wait to see how she's grown!!

- A trip to Maui to celebrate the wedding of my best friend and her amazing fiancé.

And I had a fantastic weekend San Luis Obispo.  Might make the Monday a little bit harder... but being exhausted due to three back-to-back weekends of fun and adventure isn't the worst thing in the world, now is it?

Friday, April 26, 2013

IT GETS WORSE


So much for details.

That's what my room looked like this week.

I was in the midst of a purge/clean/revamp/laundry bonanza/unpacking frenzy.

It gets worse before it gets better, though, right?

Let's all hope for a miraculous "after" photo here pretty quick.

Oh well... HAPPY FRIDAY!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DETAILS PART 1

I am realizing more and more lately that the details are really what set something apart and make it special.

Be it a room, an outfit, an experience... the big picture is important (obviously), but the details can transform the mundane to the memorable.

I feel like, in general, I'm pretty good at the big picture.  I go through my wardrobe on a regular basis and I've been better about finding mix-and-match basics to build a more usable closet.  My apartment has all the necessary things and, in general, I love them all.

But the details are lacking.

I'm working on it, though.  Bit by bit... I'm working on finding the right details AND then finding ways to incorporate them.

That may sound stupid, but it's really easy for me to pick out, say, a cute necklace I love.

It's really hard for me, since I rarely do it, to incorporate said necklace into an outfit.

So I'm going to embark upon a "series", if you will, of details that I find and then incorporate into my home, wardrobe, and life.

Here's my first find:


Yes, I'm totally cheating.  It isn't difficult to incorporate curtains into a room.

But my bedroom could use some sprucing up and this isn't the only detail I plan on incorporating.  It may take me a little while (at $50 each, which I know is a steal, but I need four and I don't scoff at $200), but these little fellas are going to work their way into my home.

I have some other ideas, some projects started, and some serious cleaning/purging to do... but I'll get there.

Eventually.

p.s. Please tell me I'm not the only person who didn't know Jonathan Adler had a line at JCPenney.  Snag the drapes (or browse the entire collection) for yourself here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A PERFECT DAY


Whoa.

I blinked and suddenly weeks have flown by.

I am alive and well - even after an amazing weekend in Vegas hosting my best friend's bachelorette party.

Not gonna lie, though... yesterday was a rough day.

Not only was it physically exhausting to make it through the day at all (and I wasn't even hungover!!), but it just felt like the reality of work and life and all the crazy things I am a part of hit me like a brick wall.

I wasn't the only one.

My boyfriend (can I just call him D from now on?  that'd be great, thanks.) didn't even have the best-ever weekend away and I could tell that "real" life was sucking the... well... life out of him.

It breaks my heart to see that happen.  And to feel it happen within myself.

I found this quote (that I had bookmarked over a month ago) and felt like it was a good reminder.  A much-needed reminder.

And if I needed to hear it and D needed to hear it... you might need to hear it, too.

Today is a perfect day to start living your dreams.

If today it doesn't happen or it can't happen, tomorrow works, too ;)