Friday Tidbits

Hubs and I dog sat a few weekends ago for a friend.  Miss Lucy jumps for JOY whenever I prep her doggie dish of delight.

It’s hilarious.  It’s exactly how I react when Hubs cooks for me!

Happy Labor Day weekend – just relax and avoid any work if you can!

Spring Cleaning: Hair accessories

Hooray, I’m still spring cleaning.  I’m so sorry if you were waiting for an interesting post to pop up on this blog because today is not the day.

I decided to tackle a super small but nagging Spring Cleaning To Do: organizing my hair accessories.  Mind you, I have hardly any so the fact I’ve slapped this into it’s own blog post shows just how boring my life is.

I have one of those plastic 3-drawer thingys from Target, that I bought a few years back.  I pulled out the drawers and took a gander at what I was storing in there.

It’s not much, but it was annoying me.  Especially this one, that housed all of my hair ties and such.

I dumped everything out and wiped out the drawers (eeewww, they were nasty).  Then, I grouped like items…(did you just doze off or was that just me?) and put them back.

I snagged the clear plastic bags from my button collection, since they always come in those and I’m too lazy to toss them.  The striped bag (which was a freebie from American Eagle years ago) now corrals my assortment of bobby pins. Finally,  I found a carabiner on an old set of keys and snapped together my massive collection of hair ties.

Side note: Last summer, I bought new hair ties with the rubber backing on the inside.  You should too, they are NICE.

Anyway, on to the next drawer:

Lame, I know.  I got rid of my soft headbands (since I haven’t worn them in years) and now this drawer only holds two headbands.  But, at least they are easy to find and harder to snap in half.

The last drawer is for my earring collection, which obviously doesn’t fall under hair accessories but oh well, I had to move on.  My collection is teeny tiny, I have 12 pair.  I like it that way.  I’ve gotten in the habit of saving the little cards the earrings come on so I can stash them more neatly.  And just in case you are wondering, no, the cards don’t match where the earrings are purchased from.  They are just the ones I remembered to hold onto and they rotate around.  My sterling silver hoops got plopped in another button bag with random earring backs that were rolling around in the drawer before.

ANOTHER side note: I’m planning to get a few more every day studs or hoops that are more sturdy than the cheapo ones from Forever21 (ie: the adorable anchor pairs, which turn my ears green after one shower!).  I’ve never been one to change out my earrings daily and with my coaching each afternoon, it’s most unlikely that I’ll wear anything dangly on a day to day basis.  So, I’m on the hunt for a few more pairs – I’m thinking Kohls would be good/cheap place for some?

A THIRD side note: If I were psycho, I would have considered making my own cute matching/coordinating cards with fun scrap paper and card stock.  I’m still thinking about it but haven’t done anything because I’m ridiculously lazy.

I stashed the drawers back in their home and called it a day.  I have a second little 3-drawer thingy that holds all of my bracelets and necklaces in an abhorrent tangled mess.  I’m avoiding it for now.

Cheers to progess, eh?  Any tips for organizing your goods?  For some reason, I’m insanely interested in how people stash their stuff, so please share.

Friday Tidbits

Folks, feast your eyes on the 2012 Spirit Award winner from my Ultimate Frisbee Team!

I’m super stoked.  It’s my first time ever playing Ultimate so it was insanely sweet of my team to nominate me.  We had a tournament last weekend to cap off the season (where I scored twice!) and was presented with this adorable “Spirit Award Winner” disc.  *blushes*  Awww, shucks.

Hope you  have a spirited weekend!

The Book Nook

*It’s true, I really can read!

THE BOOK: The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock


My feeble thoughts: Set in post WWII-rural West Virginia and Ohio, Pollock crafts this novel around a collection of characters that are simultaneously fascinating and completely disturbed.  Just as you “settle in” with one character, he jumps to/revisits a different one, each with their fair share of miserableness.  You get to sneak around with a broken veteran and his young son that take their prayers to God too far, a serial killer couple that targets innocent hitchhikers, a massively ignorant but faithful preacher and his crippled partner that are hiding from their past, and a deputy that uses the law for his own selfish exploits.  Of course, their stories braid together eventually.   Although superbly well written, the evilness in this book is hard to take.  The title is not deceiving whatsoever!

Grade: A

Would I recommend it to a stranger on the bus (trying to make his way home)? I did recommend it to Hubs (he’s reading it now), although I’m not sure it’s for everyone.

What I am reading now: I’m reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, so I can transform my lazy tendencies into super hero productivity.  Turns out, it’s slow going and I’m not sure I’ll finish it.  Think that’s a bad sign already?


Clothes The Front Door!

Clothes.  I love them.  And they frustrate me to NO END.  Let’s talk clothes therapy, shall we?

Here are my issues:

1. I LOVE clothes (and accessories and bags and shoes!) but I don’t like having lots of them.  It’s a “having too much stuff” issue for me and causes me more anxiety than you’d probably guess.  I consider it clutter.  I’d much rather have a super small wardrobe that has more turnover, than a closet full of tired choices that I am supposed to remix into something cute and fresh.

–By the way, there is an entire corner of blogland where ladies are *amazing* at remixing what they have.  I’m always so inspired!  Obviously, I super suck at it (we all regretfully remember my painful attempts with the Wore Zone series.  *shudder*)  The thing is, you need a fairly large “base closet” to work from for remixing to be successful.  Check out this blog and this one, if you want to inject new life into your closet by remixing. It’s seriously an awesome concept, just not for me!

2.  Back to me.  I’m cheap.  Like really, really cheap.  Being a bargain hunter should be a good thing, right?  Sometimes, though, I find myself buying lots of cheap stuff that I don’t like as much instead of investing in a few quality pieces.  Too often, my “great deals” get shipped off to Goodwill faster than you can believe and that incredible “score” was actually just money thrown down the toilet.  And now that I’m on a super tight budget, the struggle to find a good balance is even more difficult than before.  Those “mistakes” really hurt now.

3.  Along with being cheap, I shop mostly piecemeal with no further agenda in mind.  I’m always quick to buy the cute shirt on sale, but drag my feet when it comes to investing in a good pair of jeans, shoes, shorts, sweaters, etc.  You know, the expensive stuff!  I never shop for “outfits” and then I stand admist my hodgepodge collection of clothes and wonder why I have so much stuff but nothing to wear!

4.  I drool over fashion trends and think it’s important to feel stylish and put together.  I really admire fashionable people (hi, Emily!) and walk away from those encounters inspired to do better.  But, I finally admitted to myself that being fashionable is actually not a talent of mine.  I’m not good at it.  NAPPING, on the other hand, is something I do very very well.

5.  When shopping for clothes, I haven’t been good at recognizing my lifestyle needs.  When I worked in the office – I needed office appropriate attire that was also age appropriate, workout clothes, and casual weekend wear.  Due to issues #1-#3, I owned a sorely incomplete set of each and always felt frustrated and ill-prepared, no matter what the event!

So.  When I happened upon that garage sale in July – I went plumb crazy in that awkward closet of mine.  Anything I wasn’t sure what to do with or how to piece into an outfit, I priced to sell and oh boy, sell it did.  My (already small) closet dwindled to scraps!  It’s probably for the best, our closet is tiny anyway.  Mentally, it was a relief to have a fresh start.  I’m hoping that from here on out, I can work on building a closet that’s more mindful than before – all the while on tight budget.  Cross your fingers for me, because I don’t think this will be easy!

My “solutions” to Issues 1-5:

Sol1:  I realize that having a small wardrobe is a good thing – for my head, for my wallet and for our serious space limitation in this apartment.  I’m giving up on the idea of remixing and instead, concentrating on having an ultra efficient set of clothes.  I don’t mind wearing things often, as long as it’s a complete outfit that I feel comfortable in.  That’s what I’m going to *try* to do from here on out.

Sol2: This one is hard.  My budget is small.  I would *like* buy those beautiful boots that cost $250 (which  would probably end up being worth it in the end) but my annual budget would go up in smoke.  My goal is to have less stuff, but more quality pieces.  I’m going to do my best, but it’s going to be difficult to conquer my old mindset.  I’m not good at recognizing “investment pieces” versus ordinary pieces I could find somewhere else, for less money.  Have any rules-of-thumb that you go by that might help me out?

Sol3:  I have two solutions that I’m hoping will solve Issue #3.  One, I made a super specific list of basics that my closet is lacking at this moment (such as denim trousers, a 3/4 black blazer, a grey raceback tank, etc) and I’m focusing on filling those needs.  I tried to assess what items would really pull together the few pieces I have left in my closet.  And I’ve actually been sticking to this list since my budget rolled over in July!  Secondly, once the basics are filled, is to buy in OUTFITS.  The whole shebang.  I figure, it’d be way better to have only one complete outfit for each season than a mishmash of random items that don’t really work together.  Yep, you heard me.  Only ONE outfit per season!?!  You’ll see why in Sol5.

Sol4:  I’m trying to accept that, although I love the thought of skirts, blouses, heels and piles of accessories – I actually crave simplicity.  I crave flattering but comfortable layers.  I crave flats.  I crave warmth.  And I crave functionality.  If I were to characterize my style, I guess it’d be “sporty casual”.  I’m not a dress-up girl.  I’m going to try and remember that when I start mulling over that pair of mint skinny jeans, believing they are my ticket to Fashion Island.  It’s funny because my twin LOVES to get all dressed up for fancy occasions.  He would do it every day if he could!  I just find it stressful and a huge departure from my normal “style”.  And when I do have to put together an outfit, I’m going to copy someone else that knows what they are doing!

What I wish I was like:
What I actually wear:

Sol5: I run in the mornings, work from home and then head to practice each afternoon.  As for the weekends, Hubs and I do yoga, go on hikes, bike to restaurants and work in the garden.  Truth is, I spend a lot – no, a majority – of my time in workout clothes at this moment in my life.  It just doesn’t make much sense to throw on an outfit with accessories, just to peel them off a few hours later for practice or a bike ride.  In the winter, I’m less active but I just want to be cozy and warm.  I don’t go out much, get dressed up or head in to an office.  So, right now, my lifestyle needs are a more adequate set of workout clothes (especially when it comes to the winter season – I hardly have any cold weather gear) and at least ONE every day outfit (for each season) that I would wear to a casual dinner or a get together.  I know my life and wardrobe needs will probably change – but for now, this is what I am going to focus on.

So, that’s my plan.  Let’s hope mapping it all out will give me some sense of direction?

Is this the most boring post you’ve ever laid eyes on or is this an issue you struggle with too?  Any tips that work for you?

Friday Tidbits

I survived camping and turns out, enjoyed every minute with the kids.  Aren’t they so adorable?

We walked/hiked/ran away from camp with a lot of special memories.

I’m looking forward to the official start to the season on Monday!  It’s going to be such a different experience from last year – less terrifying and much more comfortable.  Can’t wait!

Until then, enjoy!

Camping with Candace

I secretly bugged out for a camping trip in the mountains with 27 high schoolers (oh my).  I’m one of three adults and we are setting up camp in right between the girls and the boys tents (a human buffer, if you will) so no funny business happens.  Little do they know, I rarely stay past 9.30pm.

Also, I’m not much for camping but I think living in Colorado has inspired me to be more rugged.  I made sure to pack all of the essentials:

*body spray

*homemade chocolate chip cookies

*6 outfit changes (we’ll be gone 2 days total)

and this classic eyeshadow palette, which screams camping to me:

Think I’ll survive?

The Book Nook

*It’s true, I really can read!

THE BOOK: Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman

My feeble thoughts: Francisco writes his own true life love story, a deeply sentimental novel detailing his marriage to Aura, cut much too short after she passes away in a tragic surfing accident while they vacationed in Mexico.  He is left to pick up his life’s pieces in New York, while trying to honor her memories and cop

Sorry, I never finished the damn thing.  I got bored!

Grade: C, but I’ll take credit for the poor score.  Goldman is a wonderful writer and his love for Aura is sincere.

Would I recommend it to a stranger on the bus (trying to make his way home)? If you are the romantic type, maybe.

What I am reading now: Hubs grabbed me another book from the library about serial killers, oh dear.


Friday tidbits

When we snuck back home to Minnesota last month, I had the joy of meeting the newest member of our family: Alex.  He is the first child for my cousin Jen and her husband Ryan.  Their journey of adoption has been a special one and it’s the first for my side of the family, which is really cool.  It gets me all teary-eyed to see the cousins I used to run around with as kids, now have kids of their own!

Alex is Korean and is adjusting great to his new nutty family in the Midwest.  He’s suspicious of anyone besides Mom and Dad, but you would be too if you came to our family gatherings.  My advice to him, stick close to Auntie Danielle – she always brings the best desserts!

Happy Friday to you and your families out there!