Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Musings

This weekend was awesomely beautiful and included an afternoon in the park and a terrific hike. So most of my musings were about the natural beauty of the state of California, hence the picture. I thought that the woman looked like she might be me, musing about the beauty of the ocean.

Other musings are on the topic of letting go:

There is an old list recirculating right now (probably because most of my friends are around this age) about things that you are supposed to have done, owned, or accomplished by the time you're thirty. I have accomplished a lot of things on that list (although I do not own my own personal set of tools OR a black lace bra...where did that thing get to?), but certainly not all. And there are some that I definitely haven't accomplished, and they make me wonder if I missed out something. (Number 6: A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.) My well-behaved youth is going to make for some pretty tepid imagination fodder in my older years. (Number 1: One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.) I have no old boyfriends rattling around in my closet that I might consider going back to. Actually just no old boyfriends. Had one, liked him, married him, case closed.

But, what does resonate on that list is that some of what is supposed to make this phase of life great is that you start letting go of things; childhood is over, whether you liked it or not (liked mine although I was a decisively strange child--I guess the good part was that I was not really aware of this fact until I was older), your parents are who they are (mine are great, so thanks for that Mom and Dad), and your body is the way it is. As far as the last one is concerned, I am decades away from making that kind of peace; peace in the middle east and me making peace with my body might be happening at approximately the same rate. I love the idea that 30 means letting go of old hangups, old preoccupations, old neuroses, and embracing a more self-assured phase of life...but, can all that really happen in the next 10 months? Here's hoping.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Yesterday was the first day I haven't posted something since my blogging project began. I felt terrible about it, and I was scrambling to try to find content, to make a collage of some sort, or to think of something witty to say. But, nothing appeared in my mind or on the screen. I was trying to work with some images, but, as I was reminded, I am a Luddite, and I generally have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to computers; my computer was trying to thwart my plans as computers do when you are most pressed for time or anxious. I was beating myself up about not being able to finish something (and about the fact that I completely spaced on Tuesday Beauty this week!!), and someone near and dear reminded me that this is just the beginning of something, that when it starts to become a burden instead of an outlet, it loses its purpose, that I am not a professional blogger, and that I am just learning about placing photos, generating content, and organizing a blog. So true. I am letting myself off the hook for yesterday and getting back at it bigger and better next week.

In terms of this week's fabulousity quotient, it was dangerously low. The great thing about naming Fabulous Friday is that it forces me to think about what was fabulous about this week regardless of how remarkably unfabulous it felt while I was living it. Here is what I have come up with:

1. My dear, dear friend gave birth to a truly beautiful baby girl. (Doesn't get much more fabulous than that!)
2. I went on a terrific date that provided me with good eats and some much needed alone time with my hubs.
3. My hair looks good today.

Okay, so it's not much, but it's something.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

J.Crew Love

Any of you readers who actually know me in person know that I am a J.Crew addict. I really mean it, too. I have tried to "leave" my J.Crew card places where I can't get to it. I have tried to cut it up. But then I secretly wrote the card number on a little scrap of paper and hid it in my wallet. I actually presented that to many cashiers. Finally, I broke down and ordered a new card because I looked so foolish with my scrap every time I was in the store trying to buy something I shouldn't have been. And I do get a nice little discount there as well, which just makes the addiction more "justifiable." I can't hold back. And, I am in a terrible cycle because using my card means getting rewards, which you can only use when you pay with your card. Damn credit card companies are so friggen smart.

I have a few spring events coming up, and I am thinking about what I would wear to them while studying the J.Crew website because I am quite convinced that a person need not shop anywhere else. So, I have put together two springtime looks based on products entirely from the site. Now you can get your make-up, accessories, jewelry, and your clothes at the world's most fabulous store. 

All the items chosen could mix and match for a number of great spring outfits!

P.S. My summer rewards card came today. They get me every time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pink Palaces

I love pink. Strangely, I did not love it as a little girl because I had a very feminist mother and grandmother who did not dress me in pink and supply me with all things girly when I was growing up. Unfortunately, that backfired, and the older I got the more I loved everything quintessentially feminine While I now have a husband and try to find a design aesthetic that doesn't feel too alienating to him, I do dream of an amazing pink sanctuary. 

I am literally OBSESSED with this living room. I am going to move in IMMEDIATELY.

Kathryn M. Ireland

Mary McDonald

Betsy Johnson's Home

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musings

Ah! I am stressed. You may notice that this post is coming to you late this morning. I had a very busy weekend, which was punctuated by not achieving most of what I needed to get done for my actual job (boring). So, trying to finish what I was supposed to do, but doing this instead because it is what I want to do (and what I want to do tends to win out these days)!

But, you came here for a musing, so here it is. I noticed this weekend that I tend to be a person who always looks up instead of looking down or around. By this I mean that my perspective is often clouded by those who have more, look better, seem happier, or generally have it going on, in my humble opinion. I tend to pay less attention to those who live lives that are similar to mine, and I pay the least attention to those who might see my life and look at it with envy. In fact, I tend to believe that those people don't exist. That is kind of warped, right? I absolutely hate reading blogs about people who have RIDICULOUS houses, designer clothes, insane sports cars, and oodles of fame and fortune who lament their Viking range that has one burner that is out, or their leather leggings that cost $1,000 and got torn while dancing at NYC's hottest new club with Kanye. Puh-lease. Gag.

I am not going to be that type of blogger, writer, or person. So, this Monday I am going to look around every once in a while because, even though I get distracted from this at times, I have it pretty darn good. Does saying that make me conceited?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Kismet. Fate. Chance. Luck. Fortune. Destiny. Karma. Today, I am celebrating the sometimes fabulous timing of the universe.

When it comes to making decisions, I am prone to mulling over something forever, becoming overwhelmed and sometimes impetuous, and then just going back to mulling. I often find myself frozen with indecision. Then there have been a few times in my life where I have very clearly seen what I like to think of as kismet at work. In those moments, a decision I was trying to make somehow got made for me...

Now, I want to preface this anecdote with the sometimes unromantic notion that I don't believe in soul-mates. I think that there is probably more than one person in the world to whom I could be happily married. That being said, I am glad that I found and married the person I did, and I attribute the blessings of my relationship heavily to good old kismet. A few months after my "boyfriend" and I started dating, we got into a terrible fight. I remember opening my mouth to say something potentially hurtful, something that would have certainly ended our relationship (we were only teenagers afterall and just figuring out how relationships were supposed to work, and I certainly was not very adept), and the words that came out of my mouth were not the words that were running through my mind. To this day, I can't explain why I said what I did say instead of what I planned to, but I look back and realize that that was the moment my life changed.

And then it happened again. I will be vague on purpose, but I was in the desert this past weekend and the desert is a place where it seems that self-reflection just assaults you, hits you over the head, and insists on staying with you until you leave and go someplace cooler. So, I was in equal parts contemplating and worrying about dying of heat stroke, and I came to the conclusion that everything I am and have been doing is wrong. I have made weak decisions. I have been fearful. I have always played it safe. And, in a moment of extreme anxiety manifested by extreme gastro-intestinal pain, I decided that that had to change. I had to change. And if that meant that I would leave my current profession, live (at least temporarily) on the verge of poverty (yes, in my more lucid moments I am fully aware that the financial existence I bemoan is actually FINE), and take a chance, Goddamnit. Cue: Many tears. Dire stomach ache. Extreme feeling of loneliness. (See the above description of pondering, impetuousness, and back to pondering.)

And then there was kismet. Someone I had tried to contact a few times earlier in the year about making one of these aforementioned changes wrote me back. That afternoon. After not receiving a response for six months.

Now nothing has come of this contact as of yet, but I was able to resume breathing at a normal rate. In that moment, I wondered at the timing of life. Timing gets a bad rap. We blame all those elusive "its" on the timing: "No, this isn't a good time for me." "Oh, if only our timing were better." "It's not you, it's just bad timing." But, timing deserves a little credit because sometimes it gets it so right.

I do believe that sometimes the plans we make for ourselves are interrupted by some larger, perhaps more significant plans. Right now I'm going to wait and see if this time is the right time (for what, you'll have to wait and see--as will I.)

But sometimes timing, life, fate, and all those forces beyond our own flawed and frantic minds are pretty fabulous.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hot Pants

I am loving some silk printed pants. Besides being on trend, they look comfortable and chic. I am particularly IN LOVE with Devon Baer's silk pants. Gorgeous prints, luxe fabrics, and elegant draping fight. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lust List

Since these days I am dreaming more than buying, I thought I would start a Lust List so that you all might see what I think would be a nice addition to my overstuffed closet.

I love gold! Who doesn't? These pants could take me from a work event to a night out. I know someone who has them and they are a terrific color in person. I have been lusting for a crisp, white, non-iron Brooks Brothers' shirt for ages now. It's timeless. In fact, this all makes quite a nice outfit together.

P.S. Since putting this together, I bought the earrings. Kate Spade was having a "Friends and Family" sale. I am no friend or family of Kate, but I got the coupon via email and couldn't resist. "No Shopping April" was thwarted. It was kind of worth it as I've had these pretties on every day since my purchase. But, like any diet, I am back on the wagon. Let the abstinence re-commence. 

Coral Trousers / White Blouse / Aviators / Watch / Earrings

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday's Beauty

I am obsessed. I have been scouring every drug store in the area looking for this magical gloss, but apparently everyone else is as obsessed as I am because it has been extremely hard to find. I was introduced to Baby Lips by Maybelline by some fashion forward seventh and eighth grade girls who were using it at a school where they are not allowed to use lipstick. The colors are subtle, but build when layered, and the formula makes your lips feel silky smooth. I LOVE this stuff. And it will run you about $3 a tube. Lip gloss addiction satisfied.

Image: Mwah!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Musings

I have been thinking a lot lately about alcohol. Why, you might ask. What a strange thing to be thinking about on a regular basis. Yes, it is. I was raised in a household where I never saw my parents drunk. Never. Ever. I don't really remember my parents drinking regularly during the week. On the weekends, everyone would have a glass of wine at Sunday dinner at my grandparents. We were never a family that had social events that revolved around drinking. Then I got older and discovered alcohol myself. Yum.

Now, I barely drank in high school, and I did drink too much during my first year of college (who didn't)! However, that didn't really last as I preferred dinner and movie to a kegger. But, despite my penchant for artsy films and rice crispy treats instead of Jack and Coke, my mom always had one rule. No shots. Never. Ever. (Like I was really so interested.) She would send me and each of my siblings off to college with this resounding advice. "I love you. Don't do shots." This became a mantra. And we were all terribly amused when we got my mom to do a shot at my brother's college graduation.

My father traveled a lot as I was growing up, and my mother also had another rule that she made in his absence: no drinking alone. Drinking alone meant you were an alcoholic. Period. Full stop. Then I got my first job out of college where I realized that some well-adjusted single people actually drank alone! Like they might have a glass of wine with dinner or the news. BY THEMSELVES! The idea! I was flabbergasted. Who knew this was happening right under my nose!

So, when my husband and I spent a year apart here and there, I tried it. The first time I poured myself a glass of wine alone to enjoy with a movie I was watching, I took one sip and poured it down the sink. I didn't want to become an alcoholic, which was surely the slippery slope I was embarking on! I did manage, albeit a few years later, to drink a glass of wine by myself.

Now that my husband and I have finally managed to situate ourselves on the same coast, we often drink wine with dinner. I can't help but think of all the empty calories, but it is a nice end to the day, helps me wind down and relax. Somehow, though, I hear my mother's nagging voice that one needn't drink during the week.  (Even though she and I love a good chardonnay when we are together--right, Mom?)

So, yesterday, my husband and I set about one of our weekend walks where we just walk until we can't walk any more and see where the path might lead us. We stopped after about an hour or so to get a sandwich at a very crowded lunch spot down by Ocean Beach. There was only one seat available in the place and it happened to be at the bar next to a group of three men who were sharing a few pitchers of beer. PITCHERS. My mother would not have approved. My husband and I shared one stool and one sandwich (with the free tap water so generously provides) and continued on our merry way. On the walk, we passed a number of dive bars. It was a beautiful day out: sunny with breeze and really glorious, the kind of day that is not a regular occurrence in SF. All of these nasty, divey bars were filled with people drinking in the dark. Hmmm.

Recently, I have also had the pleasure of going out for drinks with some individuals I am just getting to know to notice that they might throw back three or four beers and then get in a car. Say what? I am on my back after three drinks. I did mention to these people that my mother thought drinking alone made people alcoholics. They practically laughed me out of the place.

Yes, I am highly neurotic. That is a fact. Anyone who knows me will confirm this without hesitation. But, I had this massive epiphany yesterday. No, I am not and probably never could be an alcoholic. I am not sure if my mother did me a service or a disservice with her "advice" (and, of course, I listened without the consideration that she might be a little on the conservative side), but thanks a lot mom for making me more of a freak than I already am.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fabulous Friday

How is it Friday again already? This week has been a whirlwind, and not really in the most positive way. But, it has made me think about some things that are positive and fabulous in my life. The most fabulous thing I have is my family. They are truly amazing. Amazing in the way that it makes me a little hesitant to have kids because I am not really sure how my parents did it so well.

About two weeks ago, my grandfather had an emergency surgery and is now in the rehab facility that I mentioned earlier this week. Spending the week there was difficult, stressful, sad, and illuminating. It was illuminating because I saw the way that my family can come together and love one another, take care of one another, and support one another. I saw the extent of my mother's selflessness, my grandmother's devotion. I saw that love really can last a lifetime, and that even in the darkest hours of a person's life, family can be the light.

I have always known how much I love my family. I have always preferred being with my family to being with friends, but it is in moments like this that I am able to see how fabulous my family really is. So while this week wasn't fun per se, it was full of fabulous love.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Want to be a socialite?

Perhaps I am late to the party, but after having recently discovered Society Social, I am completely head over heels for their colorful, cheerful home design items. I have been lusting for a bar cart for my apartment and found the website because they have amazing bar carts, and the site even has a feature on how to style your bar cart! Their couches and chairs come in a variety of colors that are all equally fun and eye-catching. I would love to use some of these pieces to style a living room.

I would layer the pillows with both a navy and a pink on each arm of the couch. The light blue lamps add another shade of blue to the primarily navy and pink scheme. And, of course, check out that fabulous bar cart!

Images: Zig-zag Pillow , Fuscia Spotted Pillow ,  Sassy Ceramic Table Lamp
Panthea Rug , Jayden Ottoman , Madison Mixer Bar Cart , Marilyn Sofa

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday's Beauty

I am interested in Beauty Balm which seems to be flooding the cosmetics market lately. It is a "do it all" product that is supposed to improve your skin tone while covering and hydrating; it also should have an SPF. If it does half of what it says, I am in.

Have you ever used Beauty Balm? What do you think? Worth the hype?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Musings

Feeling like a pick me up and rock me out this Monday morning?

Listen to Ellie Goulding. Lights!

First things first: sorry for the delay! I know it is officially afternoon, but somewhere in the world, it is morning, so we will pretend it is the morning. That being said, I have spent the last few days chilling in a nursing home. Is this the proper technical term ? I am not sure. Elder care facility? The common euphemism is, of course, rehabilitation center. Whatever it is called, we all know what it is. Despression-ville. Blank faced old people sit in their wheelchairs looking at you like “Get me the hell out of here.” But, as with all things in life, you either laugh or cry. And there have been a few funny moments.

My sister is a serious proponent of tight pants; she loves them, lives in them, and totally thinks the smaller, the better. I am consistently amazed at her ability to shimmy herself into pants that look like they were designed to fit a toddler. I have talked to her about this a number of times (as I am a proponent of one-size-bigger-is better approach to dressing—but then again, I have the thigh issues…), but to no avail. However, some old broads who station themselves at the entrance to the nursing home (the “Fashion Police” of the unit, if you will) engaged in a loud commentary about my sis’s pants. It went something like this:
Lady One (playing the role of Kelly Osborne): “How does she get herself into those things?”
Lady Two (She was being nice, so I think she would be Giuliana Rancic): “I think that’s the style these days.”
Lady Three (Definitely Joan Rivers): “Even if it is the style, I think she needs to go one size bigger!”

Love it. Just because something is a trend doesn’t mean it works for you. 

(To be fair—my sister looks terrif in skinny jeans. I just like to razz her.)

The highlight of this morning was a trip to “Chintz-and-Printz” fabric store. That was almost as inspiring as a day in the nursing home.

This is proving to be an interesting (ah-hem—euphemism) spring vacation. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Every Friday is fabulous indeed, so perhaps Fridays should be a tribute to something fab in my life. This Friday, I would like to recognize the fabulous man to whom I am married. Today is his birthday, which makes it an even more fabulous Friday than usual.

Today is also the beginning of my vacation week, and I will be on a plane to JFK while my husband is at home, alone, working. Not so fabulous.

But, in light of recent family events, my husband gave me our one free (frequent flier) plane ticket so that I might be able to make the trip back east to be with my family. He is a generous, loving man, and he knew how much this would mean to me (even though we had mutually decided to stay put in order to make a dent in number one on my "things to do" list--pay off credit card debt).

If I had the ability to give him anything for his birthday, this is what I would give him:

Success of the kind that fulfills financially, intellectually, and emotionally.
Love today, tomorrow, and always.
Peace of mind.
Expensive bourbon.
A plane ticket to come with me.
The knowledge that next year will be his year. 

He is fabulous indeed.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Egg Fashion

It's the time of year for pretty pastels and baskets of eggs. If you are celebrating this weekend, why not let the colors of that quintessential childhood egg dye be your inspiration?

Love peplums. Anthropologie

Accessorize with a scarf for the inevitable spring chill. Use it as a wrap! Bindya
Classic pencil skirt. J.Crew

Statement necklace. Loren Hope
Glamor glasses. Oliver Peoples

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why is it so hard?

Ugh. Blogging means that I am looking at things on the internet and reading copious amounts of successful blogs for inspiration. This naturally means that I am being exposed to products that I want. This subsequently means that I am having to fight even harder not to shop!

Random Aside: Who knew that Walgreens would become my crack den?! I had to force myself not to stop there on my way in to work.

Anyway, came across this Etsy shop (Zolie Designs) with beautiful, handmade necklaces all for under $100. I would like a number of these.

And, while I'm at it, I have been lusting for this Emerson Fry necklace for at least a year (formerly, Emerson Made). It reads, in Latin, "Change your state of mind, not the sky." I would benefit from a daily reminder of that motto. Does that justify the purchase?


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday's Beauty

 What I'm digging in the world of beauty:

Clarisonic Mia: I was told to hold on during the three week "purging" period while this brush cleaned out my pores and all the gunk lurking under my skin. Let's add an additional three weeks to that purge, and I will say that I am in the throes of a very passionate romance with this brush. My skin was a hot mess during the first few weeks, but as the red mountain range on my skin settles back into a lovely smooth plain, I am beginning to believe all the hype. My skin is smooth and my make-up goes on and stays on better than it every has. Let's hope it stays that way!

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel: Smells great. Feels great. Works with the aforementioned brush. The Mario Badescu website is excellent and has recommendations for any kind of skin and any kind of skin ailment. I actually got a wax at this place once when I lived in Manhattan. Would have probably made more sense to get a facial, but I am sure that that wax was the cheapest thing they did. Tres chic.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Pencil in Smoke: When they say this is long wear, they mean it. I have perma-eye liner. Literally. You have to apply this once, and you can be lined and ready for the rest of your life. I learned a trick, too: lift up your lid and apply the pencil to the area directly under your lashes to thicken and define the lash line. It makes your eyes pop without looking too dark or too done up for daytime.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Rose Gold: Great everyday color. Soft, but polished.

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Bright Pink: It claims not to be sticky. It is. I love it anyway.

Bobbi Brown Eye Brightener: Want to look awake for approximately $10 less than the famous Yves St. Laurent Eye Brightener? This is the answer. Really works better than any drug store products to lighten under-eye circles, and I have tried many.

Nature's Gate Itchy Scalp Tea-Tree Oil Shampoo and Conditioner: I have had an itchy head since the seasons started to change. It is probably a product of washing my hair so frequently (I am trying to cut back) because of going to the gym, or not washing my hair because of going to the gym and having it be sweaty. Anyway, I picked this up at Whole Foods, and I generally think that organic shampoos don't work well, but this soothed the itch and made my hair silky smooth. And it was fairly inexpensive as well.

Moroccan Oil: Expensive and magical. Worth every penny. If you are going to spend money on one hair product, this is it. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Musings

How did I manage to get through the weekend without figuring out how to put images on this thing?

Yesterday consisted of a marathon of the show Game of Thrones. To say that this show is not really my genre is an understatement. There are dragon eggs, wolves with special powers, and lots of horse jerky. (Have you ever seen a pregnant woman eat a raw horse heart? I have.) J. and K. sold it to me by telling me there was a lot of sex. "You like sex, right?"was the persuasive argument used to lure me into watching. I acquiesced.

After about seven episodes I was finally starting to care...sort of. But, the best part of the viewing experience was that K. sang the theme song every time there was a lull in the show. I went to bed with the sound of his beautiful voice ringing through the apartment and conjuring up images of three eyed crows and scantily clad buxom ladies. I had weird dreams.

I literally will now only play Pandora stations that have songs he doesn't know the words to (which pretty much limits us to Irish ballads-he does not know those) so that I don't have to listen to his singing. 

In excellent TV news, we now have The Killing, Mad Men, and The Voice to watch every week. Good TV is back! And, of course, the new season of Game of Thrones. Cue the music.