Monday, October 20, 2014

Back in Black

Since my wardrobe is spread all throughout the house (some in boxes, some in the other master closet we're not worrying about at the moment, some in the spare bedroom closet--I don't have that many clothes; I'm just not organized about it at the moment) while we paint our master bedroom and design my closet, I am not so creative in the outfit creating process. I guess I keep choosing black-oriented outfits because they're easier?

This leather jacket from thredUP might be the best $25 purchase of my life. I keep finding lookalikes for hundreds of dollars! (Apparently, lookalike is one word; I had to check. Fun fact of the day? I think so.)

This sweater is also a thredUP purchase. Hmm, how interesting. Mom bought me these Simply Vera boots from Kohl's, and I love them. That woman knows her black boots (and her Kohl's deals) better than anyone else. 

I thought wearing a long-sleeved shirt under this sweater made me a genius avoiding a light jacket on a 50 degree day. Instead, it made me a sweaty, hot mess in Target. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Watch Out for Shower Paraphernalia

Tuesday morning started off pretty well. I woke up. Waking up always makes for a great start to the day. Things started to deteriorate quickly after that. To prevent the impending grease on my head from starting a fire, I decided to take a shower.

The previous owners decided that a thick, heavy tension rod would make for a suitable arrangement for a shower curtain. I proved them wrong. I took the towel off the towel rack and went to throw it over the curtain rod, well, I pulled the shower curtain, its rod, and the accompanying (and large) hooks down onto the right side of my head. There I wobbly stand in the shower holding all of the shower apparatus in my arms when I realize, "crap, the door is locked." I take a tiny step forward to unlock the door and call for Jeff who comes barreling up the stairs.

He barges into the bathroom to find me standing there quite awkwardly, holding everything in my arms. Of course, in this situation, I cannot see any other way of standing. I meekly utter, "help." He asks if it hurts; I say, "yes, it really hurts. It smashed me in the head. My head hurts." My ego felt the largest brunt at this point.

At work, things started off okay despite the nagging headache. After third period, I started grading three sets of scantrons. Apparently, staring at all of those little bubbles provoked my brain. When I went to a meeting, I started to see doubles of people and felt like I might upchuck the lunch I hadn't yet eaten. I left the meeting and visited the nurse next door (how convenient) to ask if she did concussion testing. She said my pupils looked dilated and I looked pale (more than usual?) and suggested I take a visit to Patient First.

While two of my kind colleagues packed me up, carried my bags, and escorted me to the front office, Jeff flew over from work. (My weepy voice on the phone was all he needed to hear.)

Long story short: the doctor diagnosed me with a concussion, made me take off of work for two days, and reminded me it would take a week for the headaches and dizziness to clear. I am not winning at life right now, but I did convince Jeff to take my pictures today...despite my uncooperative hair. (In its defense, I had not brushed it before he took pictures. It was sort of a rough day; my hair took a hard hit. Pun intended.)

The Look:
Cardigan: Target
Sweater: Target (Whitney, it's our matching sweater!)
Pants: American Eagle
Boots: Etienne Aigner via Macy's several years ago

(Yes, these pictures were taken in our new backyard!)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Miss me?

I promise I haven't left you intentionally. At this moment, if I actually use the bathroom within three hours of my bladder's first evacuation warning, then I consider it a good day. A third of our belongings still reside in the apartment because our lease isn't up until October 31st and taking our sweet time to move seemed like a wonderful idea. In hindsight, I see the terribleness.

Half of my clothes live in boxes because the previous owners decided bright blue walls, ceilings, doors, and baseboards would make for a serene bedroom and closet. Instead, every morning feels as if I've woken up in an aquarium. Half of my shoes still live at the apartment. My clothes pins (how do I close the chip bags!?) reside in a bowl at the apartment. My couch still sits in the apartment. Our guest bed? Apartment. All of my warm winter coats? Apartment. Sewing machine? Apartment. In the house? Nearly everything sits in a box. The only room that's mostly unpacked is the kitchen, so that's where I spend my time until my face hits the sheets. We do finally have a table and chairs in here, which is great because sitting on the floor and eating off of a blue Rubbermaid container was getting really old.

For the record, the apartment is about ten minutes from our house, so it's not even a big hike from one place to the next.  Monday night, I had to stay at school until 8 because I sponsor the freshman class, and it's Homecoming week. Tuesday night, I sat in grad class until 8:30. Wednesday night, we took a trip to Home Depot for 8 gallons of paint and then I painted for two and a half hours when we arrived home. Last night and tonight, I have been painting our kitchen in a desperate attempt to make something ours and something not manila. Or bright blue. Tomorrow morning, I meet with my grad group at 9, then my college roommate comes into town, then I go out to dinner with a colleague and her boyfriend. Sunday, we tackle the bedroom walls because I can't keep looking at blue everything. I just can't.

The moral of this poorly told story is that time management has become a struggle these days and my life is scattered about in too many places for me to keep track of anything effectively. Something must be forfeited in the name of sleep, so the blog has taken a hit. (Clearly, Criminal Minds, Law and Order: SVU, American Horror Story, Once Upon a Time, Big Bang Theory, Stalker, and Scorpion. Fall TV gets me every year. EVERY year.) Don't worry; I'm still silently stalking many of you on your blogs but I do so looking at my phone as I get ready in the morning, which means I cannot (figure out how to) comment.

Anyway, we went to a wedding at the Naval Academy in Annapolis last weekend, and I rented a dress from Rent the Runway. Best decision ever. They even send you a second size for free! I couldn't find anything else in my closet. SCORE. It was pretty chilly that day, so I wore my leather jacket over top (edgy meets classy? who cares.) because I couldn't find any of my other jackets. I think it worked. No, I have no pictures of that for you.

(Exact dress -- it's $25 off your first rental!) 
Note: I thought it'd have pockets, but mine most definitely did not. I was majorly disappointed.

I am so pasty. And my eyes are so tired. 

I might just frame this picture. 
(He got his suit from Express, the only place with decent prices and suit sizes that actually fit him!)

Isn't this church gorgeous? He's so goofy. 

They LOVE the new house! 

The kitchen wall color doesn't come across exactly as it is because my phone's camera leaves something to be desired. Thanks, phone. Close enough. 

Anyway, when my life is up and running, this blog will be, too. 
I miss writing and you guys, but duty (haha, dOO-ty) calls. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Just a quick hello today because I took the day off in order to write college letters of recommendation. In total, I have 44, which is a significant amount, and I have no idea how the number grew so large. I just think these kids are so great and they ask so nicely that I cannot say no. So, here I am, curled up in my soft blanket and warm sweatshirt, perched on my desk chair, cranking out as many super personalized letters as my fingers can type.  Wish me luck?

Until then, look at me being all bad to the bone in the first outfit and very prim and proper in the second one. I always ask my students to compare and contrast things. Look at the contrasts here, people.

The Look:
Crumb Catcher (scarf): Made by my momma
Shirt: J.Crew Factory 
Jacket: got this bad boy for $25 on thredUP, can't remember the brand
Jeans: High-rise American Eagle 
Boots: Simply Vera (Mom got them for me from Kohl's) 

The Look:
Top: New York & Co. 
Jeans: The Limited
Heels: J.Crew Factory

That's all I have for you today. Time to write more letters of recommendation now. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Welcome Home

On Friday, my parents, their two Yorkies, and I left for a trip in the RV. As my parents sat in the parking lot of my apartment complex waiting for me, a stray neighbor walked up to my non-smoker of a dad and tried bumming cigarettes off of him. Last night, my parents and I returned from our trip. Mom hadn't seen the new house (in real life) yet, so they stopped by there before swinging by the apartment where all of our stuff resides until the new house gets cleaned (ducts, carpets, chimney, and general cleaning done by someone other than me because I'm not cleaning someone else's filth). While we stood outside, one of my neighbors (who happens to be an original owner of his house built in the early 70s!) came by to introduce himself and tell me that Sundays, we put out "recycles" and Tuesdays, we put out trash. I do believe we will enjoy this change in scenery and people.

I stood in every room and tried to conjure up a vision for each one. The kitchen, my friends, perplexed me. The counters are a dark green with flecks of black and bits of white. The cabinets are some tan/brown/cognac color. And the walls are a terrible manila. The only manila I like comes in folder form. Anyway, the four of us stood there contemplating what color to paint the walls of this kitchen. We decided most colors that look good with dark green--navy, maroon, coral, yellow--would not be suitable for walls of a kitchen. When we returned to the apartment, I consulted my Pinterest clothing boards. I thought, "I wear a bunch of hunter green. What colors usually complement it?" I settled on gray. To test out my theory, I wore an outfit today comprised of hunter green, gray, black, and white (the color we think we'll paint the cabinets). It sold me on the color scheme. Is this method crazy or brilliant? I cannot determine which.

Let's begin with the outfit:

The Look:
Top: LOFT Outlet (got it this weekend during our trip)
Pants: Exact Stretch pants from The Limited (best pants ever)
Heels: J.Crew Factory (most comfortable heels ever)

The kitchen is...enormous. The previous owners converted the garage space into kitchen space, leaving us with a gargantuan kitchen.

(Ugh. The wall color disgusts me.)

This is the view of the kitchen from the breakfast nook area.
We think the cabinets will really pop if we paint them white (not sure what shade yet) with black pulls on them. 

Yes, there's a full desk in the kitchen/breakfast nook area. I don't understand it either, but I'll use it as office space until we determine what exactly we want to do with the main level.  (It's attached to the wall and floor, so it won't be an easy removal.)

The ceilings are vaulted.

There's even a mural of pastoral Ireland. How quaint. 
It won't be staying. Sorry, Ireland lovers.

This is the dining/living(?) area. The windows overlook the backyard.

Big, pretty windows. I am at a loss for decorating this area. Reading area? Sitting area? Office-like area? What goes here?!

This ENTIRE master bedroom is blue. The baseboards, the closet doors, the INSIDES of the closets, and even the ceiling. I imagine someone spun a Smurf in a million circles, smacked it on the back, and watched it puke all over the place. The bedroom is enormous. I couldn't figure out how to photograph it. 

Master bath has a window above the sink, not a mirror. Don't worry. I've got some ideas. 

So, the floor is tan/white, the shower is gray/white, and the countertop is black/white/tan. I do not understand the colors, but I don't plan to re-tile everything, so we have to get creative about how we make it all work together. We'll paint the cabinet white to pull in the color of the beadboard on the wall/white flecks in the counter/white in the gray and tan tiles. The beadboard as well as the rope-like tile between the beadboard/tiling gives the bathroom a bit of a nautical feel, so we're going to pull that theme together in the master bath and master bedroom. It's all about working with what we've got and just creating cohesiveness as best we can. 

This is one of the other two bathrooms. This whole thing will need to be redone. Clearly, it's original to the house. Or, they went as hog wild with the blue in here as they did in the master bedroom. I love blue, but even I have my limitations. 

I couldn't take any other pictures because it was dark, and we don't have lights in every room. I did the best I could. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bye, Hair.

I didn't chicken out! I actually got my hairs cut. Do you ever feel like, month after month, despite regular trims, your hair refuses to cooperate? Well, my hair has been uncooperative for like six months, so I decided chopping it all off would be a great way to push the restart button. Plus, the house is finally OURS, so new house, new 'do. One enormous fresh start. (Note: our apartment lease expires at the end of October, so we are taking our time moving in since we have the time. Why stress if we don't have to?)

I should have taken a better before and after of my hair, but I think you get the point.

Yeah, my iPhone 4s took the first picture, and Jeff's Galaxy S5 took the last three. Okay, Jeff, your phone wins; in fact, it crushes my phone. Be ashamed of yourself, iPhone. Very ashamed.

The Look:
Cardigan: Target, Mossimo brand (recent but the website is currently down, so I can't link it for you--I got it for $12 thanks to a sale and Cartwheel coupon!)
Pants: Old Navy (as far as I'm concerned, these are the same pants.)
Boots: via Macy's
Belt: Express
Scarf: via DSW

See? I found a new make-up, and it's glorious. No crazy face peeling (yet)! After I've used it for another week or so, I'll write up a review of it in case you're at all curious. 

Thanks to this haircut, I now know how long my neck is. Giraffe. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Itchy gitchi yaya dada

I went to the allergist today. In order to get tested for allergies, you have to stop all anti-histamines for five days prior. I entered a fresh Hell last night as a result of going off my Allegra. Dizziness, nausea, tripping up stairs, itchiness, fatigue, all of that lovely jazz. When my allergies flare up, so does my Sjogrens. Yeah, so, I had to take off work today on account of a full system shut down.

Anyway, after staring at itchy spots I couldn't scratch, I think I received good news. Currently, I no longer have all-year-'round allergies, just seasonal ones! However, as the allergist said, I came "at the worst possible time" because my worst allergy of all, ragweed, is raging outside right now. (That's why going off of Allegra caused so much harm.)  In fact, we even have to wipe down the dogs when we bring them inside because they carry the allergy in on their coats. October 20th, he tests me for contact allergies like gold, nickel, fragrance, and titanium dioxide, which means I should know for sure what caused a poison-ivy-like rash all over my face. Sure, I still have food allergies, but I think those are much more manageable.

Can I just tell you how nice it feels to hear answers instead of more questions? I think knowing is half the battle, really. After 15 years of tirelessly hunting down doctors who wouldn't tell me "it's all in your head," I have more answers than questions. It's nice to know that my doggedness is paying off.  

I missed Trendy Tuesday at work, but I dressed for it anyway and wore my Love Conquers Hate shirt in order to "Support Someone Else."

Oh, tomorrow, I will share some pictures of the new house with you! And my new hair style. And a joke that the seller told us at the settlement table :)

The Look:
Shirt: My colleagues and I gave money to a staff member who got the shirts for us, but you can buy them online.
Jeans: American Eagle, high-rise
Shoes: Gift from my sister-in-law