Thank you so much for visiting A Splash of Sass! I hope you'll click through to my new blog for more style photos and posts!
See you at Closet 12!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Where I'm Going: NYC part 2

In exactly four days, I will be landing in New York City and free from my awful job.  The Writer's been doing some more exploring and finding lots of great places for us to go.  Have I said I'm excited yet? I told him last night that I'm so excited, I'm about to just start running in that direction.
One of the first things on our agenda will be the Fourth of July fireworks over the Hudson River.  I've missed out on going to fireworks the past few years and I'm looking forward to what is sure to be a great show with a fantastic view.  Apparently the fireworks show in NYC is one of the largest shows in the nation.  The Writer's dorm is about a 15 minute walk from the river, so we'll be able to trot on down for a front row view of the extravaganza.

During my last trip to Manhattan, which was a few years ago, my family and I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  While I'm definitely considering going back to see the fashion collections (especially the McQueen exhibit!) and the Egyptian wing, I'm looking forward to going to The Guggenheim.  The building itself is a work of art!  My parents are not modern or contemporary art aficionados, so The Guggenheim was definitely not up their alley, but The Writer? It's on our to-do list!
I was reading recently that nearly every New York blogger has talked about Sockerbit Sweet & Swedish candy shop.  Maybe it's becoming redundant, but seriously...a candy store! Who doesn't love a candy store? Their sweets look delicious and I'm a weakling when it comes to gummy, fruity treats.  I'm pretty sure I'll be epitomizing the "kid in a candy store" expression!
The Writer took this photo of the High Line park this past week.  What was once an abandoned railway line in Manhattan's West Side has been converted into a park. I think it's pretty cool: you get a raised view of the city while walking among greenery.  I see a lot of time being spent in parks on this trip.  They're beautiful, inexpensive, and relaxing and I plan on relaxing a lot.

I started to gather some things together last night.  Packing is going to be a challenge, since I'm not checking any luggage.  I'm not going to pay $25 each way.  It will be cheaper to cram everything into a rolling carry-on and a large canvas tote/"purse" than to check bags.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Style and the Unemployed

Yesterday, I had the unique experience of attending a job fair.  I'm actively looking for my new job and/or career, so going to a place that held over 40 perspective employers seemed like a good idea. Apparently it seemed like a good idea to thousands of other people, as well. I kid you not...thousands.  The line to get in wrapped around the building.  The people at the front of the line had gotten there over two hours ahead of time.

Once inside, I had no choice but to wander through the masses.  It was an eye opening experience.  I know that Ohio is certainly not the fashion capital of the country, but this was a whole new level of awful.  Here are these countless human beings who are trying to improve their lives by getting a better job, who have shown up to meet potential future bosses wearing jeans, t-shirts, athletic shoes, one-shoulder jumpsuits, shorts, and loads of bling.  It was almost tragic.  Had they never been told to "dress for the job you want"?

I understand that times are tough and not everyone can go out an buy a new suit.  I can't.  However, if I were an employer looking to fill any type of professional position and an applicant showed up to an interview looking ready for yard work, I wouldn't be interested in hiring them.  If they showed up in an awful, yet clean and professional, outfit, we could talk.  It wouldn't be so much about the end product, but if I could see they put effort into looking the part, it would speak volumes for how they would fare as an employee.

Professional attire isn't about fashion. *gasp!* It can be. Perhaps it should be, but that is not necessarily my angle on this post.  Dressing professionally on a small to non-existant budget is about resourcefulness.  For me, being stylish, fashionable and resourceful go hand in hand.  So, maybe it is about fashion?  As a girl on a budget who wants to look her best, I have to put thought into every piece I purchase.  A casual tank top is suddenly office acceptable when tucked into a pencil skirt with a blazer or cardigan on top.

Don't have basic professional wardrobe items?  I'm guessing a lot of these people didn't.  How you make it to adulthood without them, I don't know, but there is still hope.  Get them.  Don't use not having them as an excuse.  Go to the Goodwill stores in the area until you find what you need.  Still too expensive? No problem.  Talk to your friends.  Does Friend A have a black skirt she's not using? Borrow it. Too big? Pin it. Does Friend B have a button down shirt or a blazer? Yes? Borrow it. No? Ask if their kid has one. Seriously.  Especially for average to small sized women, the boy's clothing racks are a great place to grab an unexpected bargain.  If the sleeves are too short, cuff them and rock the 3/4 sleeve look. Find some unobtrusive shoes and you've got an outfit fit for an interview.  It's resourceful.

Maybe, just maybe, resourcefulness can turn into style, and goodness knows, what the world needs now is style...or love, sweet love.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rock Bottom

I have been dealing with such stress over the last few months.  One of my jobs, the one that provides the most significant income, has been a complicated place to work.  I've tried to stick it out because I need the income and because I hoped things would get better.  It has become glaringly obvious that things are only getting worse and I feel more and more disrespected every day.

Let me say that I have done my best here.  To most people, I don't appear to be doing much of anything, which is true at times and very frustrating to me.  I was hired in hopes that my experience in publicity would pull a drowning business out of the water, yet my hands were tied due to corporate budget issues.  The same budget issues, I fear, will result in my position eventually being filled by an undocumented worker that can be paid a wage below the federal minimum.

I lay awake at night, angry about this place.  I'm woken up by nightmares in which I am cornered and threatened by the people who imagine they have control of my building.  I hate the feeling of bitterness and resentment that I find is building up in my heart.  I don't want to feel like that.  My stomach churns with nausea nearly every time I'm spoken to, because nearly every person is rude and mean, and I've learned to constantly be on the defensive. There is an almost constant pain in my lower abdomen that begins shortly after I arrive at work and lasts the rest of the day.  I am literally sick over this job.

It is not unusual for me to cry at work these days.  I used to never be weepy, but now it is nearly impossible for me to make it through a week without tears.  I cried the whole way home yesterday and I kept crying.  I was at my wit's end.  There was no way I could continue holding on, to keep hoping that things would get better.  I have begun to fear for my safety.

Yesterday, I gave my notice.  I give up.  The people who would rather not pay me have won.

I'm hoping to move on to a brighter future.  I hope to find a career in which my skills and interests are utilized and where I don't spend my days essentially babysitting adults.  I need a job where I can look nice and not have to worry about being harassed.  I want to be proud of where I work and what I do and know that I am working towards accomplishing my goals.

I'm praying that the income from this job will be easily replaced.  I know I will find a way, even if I have to ask for help for a few weeks.  The paycheck, even after they were unceremoniously cut back, still covered bills and expenses, but even that is no longer incentive enough to stay.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: Arbonne Eyeliner

A few of my girlfriends have been bitten by the Arbonne bug.  One of them has been selling these vegan products for about two months now, and another, A, has just been signed up as a consultant.  I attended A's first Arbonne get-together, which was slightly similar to a Mary Kay party, this past week and, I admit, I'm intrigued by the products.

I won a contest for a free product from the presenter's goodie bag and chose a retractable stick of black eyeliner.  As a former Mary Kay consultant, I'm skeptical of multi-level marketing programs and the products they offer.  I was interested in Arbonne's claims to be all-natural, mineral oil-free, and environmentally responsible.  Those claims are all well and good, but if the products don't match up, I'm not interested.

I have a love/hate relationship with most eye makeup.  I think it's probably the oiliness of my skin that makes it slide right off, but I feel like I'm always wiping away raccoon eyes.  I can almost never pull off a dramatic eye look that includes liner on my bottom lashes, because it will usually be halfway down my face in a matter of minutes.
This is what my eye looked like after wearing Arbonne eyeliner in "Ebony" for a whole day. I applied it around 9 AM with Urban Decay's eye shadow primer over my upper lids to prevent the oil from my skin from pulling the pigments into my eyelid crease.  I was most interested in how it would hold up on my lower lash line. I applied a thin line, right at the base of my lashes.  I used mascara on my upper lashes only, so that I would have a better idea of where the raccoon eyes were coming from, if they popped up later.

I took this slightly creepy photo of my own eyeball after I'd gotten home from church and a shift at my retail job at the mall.  The shadow under my eye is just that, a shadow.  As far as I could tell, there was no smearing or smudging from my new eyeliner.

I've also been trying out some samples of Arbonne's face wash/toner combo product, oil-mattifying day lotion, and night cream that my consultant friends gave me.  I've notice that the products, which are formulated for combination/oily skin, have reduced my skin's natural sheen, which is a very good thing.  Overall, I am satisfied and pleased with my Arbonne experience thus far.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Can My Apartment Hug Me?

When The Roommate and I began our search for the apartment that we've recently moved into, we knew we wanted to downsize.  We were moving out of a three bedroom, three story condominium that we'd shared with another girl who moved to England two months before the end of our lease, and it was way too big.  Especially once our third roommate moved, so much of those three floors went unused.  They became neglected and shabby, eyesores that only got on my nerves.  The only thing about that condo that was too small was the kitchen.  You could barely open the fridge door without hitting the counters on the other side of the room.

Our new apartment is smaller by square footage.  It has two bedrooms, a large kitchen, and a good amount of living space.  I appreciated it's smallness, even though it is still large by apartment standards.  Lately, though, I've been craving an even smaller space.  I look around my current apartment and realize that, of the furnishings I own, I could outfit an entire apartment on my own, albeit a much smaller one.  Sometimes I'm glad to have a roommate, for example, I couldn't afford my own place and its nice having someone to split bills with.  Other times, I wish I didn't have to clean up after two people or that the other person sharing my house had interests more similar to my own.

I recently watched a movie about a woman with autism, Temple Grandin, who was unable to experience a hug from another person.  She noticed that cattle on her aunt's ranch were held in a type of clamp machine when they were being immunized and that this contraption had a calming effect on the cattle.  Temple created a device much like the one that calmed the cattle that she herself could fit in when she felt overwhelmed, as those with autism often do.  She later tested the machine's effects on other, non-autistic college students and found that, for a surprising number, the pressure of the machine was calming or comforting.

This idea got me thinking about my apartment and my desire for a smaller space.  With The Writer gone for the summer, the frequency of physical touch in my life has drastically decreased.  I hug, kiss, and cuddle so much less than I was used to when we saw each other on a regular basis.  This hasn't made me want other people to touch me, which I'm glad for and I'm sure he is, too.  Rather, it has made me want to live in a more compact space, almost so that coming home after work would be like getting a hug from my apartment, since I can't share a hug with my lover.  I don't need an improvised piece of farm equipment to make me feel secure and grounded, just walls that are a little closer together.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Where I'm Going: NYC Part 1

I've been kind of quiet on the blog-front these last few days.  I've missed hitting "Publish Post" and oo-ing and ah-ing over my blog.  Things with work, and consequently, life, have been a little more than complicated lately and I've been really down.  I don't want my blog to be a place where I whine about things that aren't going my way, so I've kept my mouth shut.

If it hasn't become obvious yet, I'm super pumped about my trip to visit The Writer in NYC.  The trip is a bright spot amongst my grey circumstances.  He'll be working six out of the ten days I'll be there, so I'm going to have some time to explore the city on my own.  I've been making a list of places I want to go, many of which we may end up at together.  Planning has had me pouring over maps of Manhattan, so I feel pretty prepared to navigate alone.

1. Rita's Water Ice 
Water Ice is pretty much an east coast thing. A very good thing, to be exact. Growing up in New Jersey, I can't remember a summer that didn't involve walking to a water ice shop for my favorite flavor: usually mango or mint chocolate chip.  When I came to Ohio to go to college, no one had ever heard of water ice. In fact, they thought I was crazy. I think it's the name that's confusing.  I was beyond excited to find a NYC location for Rita's.  I can't wait to take The Writer there so he can see how it can be water and ice at the same time ;-)

2. Topshop
When my old roommate and The Writer ventured to London last spring, they came back with such goodies from Topshop that I knew I had to go there, first chance I could.   The Writer, being the sweetie that he is, sent me a text a couple weeks ago during his free week in New York that said, "Need anything from Topshop?" My reply was, "Probably!" I'm so glad he likes shopping!

3.  Mood Fabrics 
I'm excited to go here, and to many other fabric stores in the garment district, not only because I'm a slight fan of Project Runway, but because I am so tired of JoAnn Fabrics.  There is a world beyond quilting and prom dresses, people!  Why are there seven aisles of fleece?  I have a list of outfits that I want to create for myself, but finding the right fabric around here has been difficult.  I wonder if there's anywhere in NYC to rent a sewing booth, or something like that.  If there was, I wouldn't have to pack as many clothes, since I could just make new ones once I got there!

4. Magnolia Bakery
CUP. CAKES. I might not be able to eat them, they are so gorgeous!  The Writer told me that they had Magnolia cupcakes at his internship this weekend and they looked divine.  Even though I read someplace recently that Crumb cupcakes are better, I still have to go to Magnolia.  Who knows, maybe I'll go to Crumb, too.  Stay tuned for the post in which I mourn the return of my love handles because I spent days consuming only delicious cupcakes.

5. Central Park
This is one place that I've been before, but am excited to go back to.  I may spend an afternoon at the Central Park Zoo, or just lounge in the sun with a book.  I may borrow The Writer's bicycle and ride around the whole park for a day.  I'll probably need the extra exercise after indulging in too many Magnolia cupcakes!

There are many more places on my list, but I'm saving them for another day.  If anyone's going to be in the city July 6-10 and wants to join me on my solo adventures, shoot me an email and we can meet up!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Redhead Shops: Dresses!

I couldn't stop thinking about that dress I mentioned yesterday, so I went back to the store today.  I told myself that it had to be long enough to wear to work and, obviously, had to come in my size.  I'd checked it out online and the only sizes left there were L and XL...not my cup of tea.  When I came to the rack, there were plenty in my size, even though I ended up buying a size smaller than usual--thank you, treadmill!  The dress was more of an orange-red, or "hot orange" according to the tag, than a true red.

I had to exercise restraint while strolling through the racks.  As much as I'd love, love, love to go on a spree, I'm saving for my adventures in NYC.  I just happened to need this particular dress to wear on said adventures.  I did find a slouchy sweater dress for less than $5 on the clearance rack.  It's thin, so I could wear it on a cool, late summer day or just save it for fall.  All in all, I made it out with only one extra item. Not bad!

I rushed right home, since I was due back at work.  To prove that my new orange dress was workplace appropriate, I threw it on, un-ironed save for some Downy Wrinkly-Releaser.  There will surely be an outfit post devoted to this dress, but I wanted to save it for later.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Outfit of the Day: Work Week Recovery

After slumming it all week in gym clothes, I was determined to have a fabulous outfit filled day today.  I'm glad my job at the gym is only part-time.  I've been working extra hours there this week and will be doing the same next week, which is great for my bank account, but awful for my closet.  Since I've been working out so much while at work, getting "dressed-up" has not really been an option.  I guess it could be an option, but, long story short, I get harassed less if I hide behind my workout clothes.  Plus, it's easier for people to figure out that I work at the gym when I dress the part.

Today was not a super-summery day in Ohio. It was fairly cool and not alway sunny, so bright colors weren't striking my fancy.  I opted for the classic light t-shirt and jeans look instead.

What I'm Wearing:
Dark Straight/Skinny Jeans: Express Denim
Ruched Black T-Shirt: Lucca Couture from Urban Outfitters
Black Cami: Victoria's Secret
Necklace: Forever 21
Textured D'Orsay Heels: Charlotte Russe
Clutch: New York & Co.

I had the shopping bug after running some errands this morning and found a dress that I can't stop thinking about it.  I didn't buy it, what with trying to be frugal and all, but if it's still there next weekend, I may give in.  Justification: as long as it's not too short when I try it on, it will look professional under a blazer, and I need more colorful business pieces.  I have a lot of black (today's outfit being a perfect example) since I used to be required to wear black or white for work, but since that's no longer a requirement, nor do I ever wish to work in an environment that dictates my color choices again, I'm determined to branch out. In fact, I've just convinced myself. 
Red dress, here I come!
As I mentioned, I've been kicking my own butt at the gym this past week, and somehow strained a muscle in my back. I'm old, I know. Needless to say, trotting around in heels didn't do me any favors, but after spending the week in RunTones, I didn't care!  These shoes are actually one of my most comfortable pairs of heels, shocking, considering I usually associate Charlotte Russe shoes with feeling like plantar fascilitis is in my near future.

That's all, folks!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I admit that, over the last week and a half, my attempts at fitness have not been overzealous, though persistent.  At the risk of sounding silly, I've been taking it easy because I hate sweating.  If I sweat during my workout, I'm going to want and need a shower afterwards, meaning that I have to plan time in the middle of my day to shower and put myself together.  It throws me all out of sync.

I've managed to burn some significant calories doing low-impact cardio for longer times and some weight training.  Tuesday, I decided to take the aerobics class at the gym since I was already staying later that day. I was a little nervous about exercising in a group setting (I won't use machines if I've seen someone else working on them), but I'd seen the people going into the class and, no offense, was sure I'd be fine.

Boy, was I wrong! The instructor had me jumping all over an aerobics step and doing tons of reps with a heavier dumbbell than I'd ever used at home.  I made sure I stretched, even though my classmates headed straight to the locker rooms after their last set.  I thought I'd be fine-wrong again. Several hours later, I could feel the tired achey-ness setting in.  By the next morning, I was in agony. Agony, I tell you. I felt like my legs were going to collapse out from underneath me at any given moment. Stairs were torture. My chest hurt so badly that I could hardly stretch it out.  Don't even get me started on my glutes.

I drank plenty of water, warmed my muscles up and stretched, but today I feel no different.  I haven't lost any pounds, either.  I feel a little smaller in some areas, but nothing like I was hoping. I guess I better go get on the treadmill again.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gentlemen with Class

Yesterday, I went on a simple trip to the dumpster with three Target bags of trash that needed to go out.  I used the front exit of my building, since the doorstop for the rear exit had gone missing and I didn't have my keys.  As I walked across the lawn, I heard a whistle.  I've heard this whistle before.  Last week, when I was helping a friend out by being a model for her photography class, we heard whistles and catcalls.  The source of this flattery came from a few boys-I daren't say men-who live in the apartments across the street.  They were ignored for numerous reasons.  As I was walking back from the dumpster, I heard the whistle yet again and caught a glimpse of my admirer out of the corner of my eye.   It appeared to be the same bull-shouldered individual of diminutive height as the week before, except this time he was holding a baby. A baby.

I've learned to not give males like this any attention or acknowledgment.  When I was younger, they would probably have been given a front row seat to a show starring my middle finger, but I learned quickly that this only egged them on.  Now, I just ignore them.  I always want to go up to them and ask them, "Does that ever work?" Where did the idea get started that women enjoy being "holla'd at".  What percentages of catcalls actually end in easy lays?  I assume that some must, because this behavior persists, but I believe it was Einstein who defined insanity as repeating the same action multiple times and expecting a different result, so maybe not.

The baby was a nice prop, I must say.  Some women melt over babies and might give the baby attention that the guy could vicariously feed his ego through.  However, my logic is this: by holding a baby, he has automatically indicated that he is involved with one of three types of women: a wife, a girlfriend, or a baby mama.  Even if I were single and looking, my classless friend, I do not wish to be the other woman or to tango with any baby mama drama.

In contrast, I had an ottoman to return to Target last week.  The man, I can call this one a man, handling my return and was very courteous, offering me a rain check since my item had been on sale when I bought it.  I politely declined, no middle finger necessary.  As I was leaving, this gentleman said to me, "If you don't mind my saying, you are a very pretty young lady." I didn't mind.  I thanked him and left the store.  I'm not in the business of collecting compliments, but I can accept and enjoy a polite one.  Does that make sense?

Gentlemen, the girls who's pants are worth getting into will not appreciate hoots and hollers, so please, if your only goal is to get in a girl's pants, stop wasting your breath.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Leavin' on a Jet Plane...

It's official! At 6:55am on the Fourth of July, I will be flying to New York City and by 9:30am, hopefully, The Writer and I will be doing this:
I can't actually remember whether or not we were really kissing. We were being goofy, that's for sure. 9:30am is a little early for goofiness, but after being apart for over a month, I don't think it will matter much.

I have so many ideas and things I want to do.  I got an unexpected surprise when I went to purchase my tickets this morning: if I flew there on the Fourth of July, I could have an extra two days more than I'd planned for a lower price than the deal I'd originally found.

I'm so excited!  I had a dream a few nights ago that I became BFF's with Isaac Mizrahi at Starbucks and totally became his muse.  In my dream, he gave me a handbag that looked like a Marc Jacobs design from a few years ago.  Regardless, it was beautiful and we were fabulous. I think it's a good sign.

Surviving Wedding Season

Every spring is wedding season.  You either love it or you hate it, I've decided.  Your Facebook newsfeed becomes inundated with sappy status' about how much people are in love, etc., followed by thousands of ceremony and reception pictures.  While these photos have provided endless hours of entertainment during boring work days, they've let me to several realizations.

One is that weddings are a lot of work.  I risk angering every bride or married person out there when I say, is it worth it? Not marriage, because I think marriage at the right time to the right person is an amazing thing, but the whole wedding shindig. I mean, there is an entire industry thriving on brides trying to one-up each other or fulfill their childhood fantasy.  The obsession has even trickled down into reality television with shows like Say Yes to the Dress, Bridezillas, and Four Weddings.

Speaking of childhood fantasies, some guys are freaked out to find out that their girlfriend probably has her wedding planned in her head.  Guys, don't be.  While some girls will try to rush you down the aisle, it's probably not about you.  It's probably more about having the idea of getting married pounded into her poor little head since birth, finally being the center of attention, wearing the most expensive dress she will probably ever own, or finally having found "Prince Charming," than you.  This is a problem altogether, since more time gets focused on getting married than asking important questions like, "Do we want the same things?" "Are our beliefs compatible?" "Are there any red flags that are being looked passed for the sake of infatuation?".  I thought of this while watching the first SATC movie this past week.  Now, you may be rolling your eyes, but there are some very profound ideas laced through the fashion and the romance.  Carrie and Big finally decide to get married after dating for ten years and are, at first, planning a simple City Hall ceremony until Carrie is gifted a magnificent wedding gown by Vivienne Westwood.  The dress rockets the wedding plans past the ozone and straight out of the universe.  Everything becomes about the dress: the guest list triples, the venue is opulent, and the couple becomes lost in the wedding.  Carrie later reminisces while reading her interview in Vogue that, "I didn't say 'we' once, not once.  It was 'I' this, and 'I' that."  The wedding didn't happen because Carrie let the dress and the wedding become more important than her and Big.  I personally believe that a simple wedding can be just as beautiful as a 100K debacle, if the bride and groom's relationship is really at the center.

Another thought stemming from the "childhood fantasies" file is this: it's been done before.  Once upon a time, I thought I had a unique idea for a wedding color combination.  Thanks to Facebook, I see that this year's wedding season has discovered "my" idea.  How is a color scheme even related to two people's relationship anyway?  Most parts of a wedding ceremony stem from traditions that people aren't even aware of anymore.  For example, bridesmaids and groomsmen's original roles were created to protect the couple from physical harm and evil spirits (1).  Now it seems to have turned into competition to see who the bride's best friends really are, resulting in drama and hurt feelings.  I don't deny that it is meaningful to have the people who have been important to your lives and relationship involved in the celebration of commitment, don't get me wrong, but when friends start getting ranked and starting catfights, I think the mark gets missed.

Another main glitch in Carrie and Big's wedding plans is the ballooning guest list.  I know from friends who have recently planned their own weddings that receptions are expensive and guest lists often have to be cut for the sake of budget.  There are the people you have to invite, like family, even though you may not even be close to them, then you must rank the rest of your friends and acquaintances to see who makes the cut and who doesn't.  Again, people get put into categories and invited in order of perceived importance. Result: more hurt feelings and another aspect of getting married that isn't really about the couple and their relationship with each other.

As I grow up, my own idea of my dream wedding changes.  Each wedding season serves to further convince me that "traditional" may not suit me best. Even then, it won't just be about me, should I ever get married.  At any rate, the wedding wouldn't be the end goal.  Marriage is more than a wedding, and I'd rather put off the frills and flounce to be sure that my significant other and I were in a place where marriage made sense and was beneficial to us both.  I can't say that the allure of a big wedding has never appealed to me, but thankfully I came to my senses and had the self-realization to walk away before I committed to a life that wouldn't have been a true reflection of me or my potential.

So many times I see people getting married in college or right after and wonder if they're really ready. Do they know who they are at 20 years old? If they do, I applaud them.  I surely didn't.  I may have thought I did, which scares me for these young brides, because I've totally changed since I've started, and even finished, college.  Something is contributing to the 40-60% divorce rates, highest among those who marry between the ages of 20 and 24 (2).  I definitely don't want to be a statistic and if that means being single for longer than some people find to be "normal", so be it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Outfit of the Day: The Perfect Summer Skirt

After at least two years of searching, I found what I consider to be the perfect summer skirt.  I usually like the way I look in more fitted skirts, but wanted a playful, light summer option that didn't make me feel wider than a semi-truck.  I finally found it this season at H&M.
I think the thing that makes the skirt work for me is that the hem isn't cut straight across.  It's more of a circle skirt.  It's 100% cotton, therefore, not too light and not "cheap" looking, although it was under $10!  

See? I can't wait to recreate this skirt on my own.  I often hear that if you find a piece that works for you, buy it in several colors.  I do this all the time with tanks and boyfriend T's from Target.  A lot of times, though, I want something more unique.  Good thing I know how to sew! My blue top is also of fairly simple construction, yet has on of my favorite necklines, so I may be spending some DIY time duplicating this whole outfit!

What I'm Wearing:
Sunglasses: Francesca's Collection
Blue Cap-sleeve Shirt: Garage
Cotton Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Merona
Gold Necklaces: Forever 21

I'm definitely packing this outfit for my trip to NYC next month.  It gets hot in the city--an opportune time to have the perfect summer skirt in my suitcase! 
I really can't wait for my trip. I miss The Writer and hustle and bustle of the East Coast.  In fact, I think coming back to the Midwest will be really hard.  I can't wait to move in a year, maybe to NYC.  I wouldn't have to drive an hour to the nearest H&M, that's for sure.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Outfit of the Day: Worn 6/4/11

It probably doesn't come as a shock, but the night life in Ohio isn't all that happening.  If you choose to go out, your options include a bar/club where you will probably be hit on by a married man in his 40's, a few strip clubs, IHOP, a casual downtown hipster bar, and Applebee's.

Not wanting to venture downtown, be hit on, or look at other women objectifying themselves, my old housemate and I headed to Applebee's. The thought of eating Applebee's was slightly nauseating, especially since I've been busting my butt at the gym, but it was our first official hang out since she'd gotten back from studying in London, and if that meant I was going to eat Applebee's, then Applebee's it was.

What I wore:
Yellow Tank: Old Navy 
Grey T-shirt: Marshall's
Jeggings, cuffed: Target
Wedges: Charlotte Russe
Necklace: I have no idea!

This t-shirt is so comfortable.  It's delightfully light--perfect since it's in the 80's today. I love the button detailing up the back.   
I think jeggings can be awful.  Most of the ones I've seen look like PajamaJeans and are not flattering.  This pair earned my seal of approval by having real back pockets, not painted on ones!  They also have a button at the top of the fly, which is sewn shut, and belt loops which make them look much more like skinny jeans than jeggings.

I've vowed to branch out from flip-flops this summer and wear more of the shoes in my repertoire.  I've been wanting a pair of black ankle pants, but was unsure of the trend, since it can make your legs look shirt and stumpy.  I decided to take the look for a test run by cuffing my favorite jeggings.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Redhead Shops: Accessories on the Cheap

I have an near obsession with solids. There are very few prints in my closet, which usually means my outfits usually need a little "something" extra before they look like I put effort into them.  I've had most of my jewelry for a pretty long time and rarely buy new items, since I tend to favor buying more clothes over buying more accessories.  I have one shirt in particular, a favorite, that begs for accessories:

It could work by itself, if paired with a patterned skirt or other bottom but, like I said, I mostly stick to solids.  Otherwise, it needs a necklace.  

Since I don't buy jewelry often, I didn't own any of the long, layerable necklaces that have come into style.  I've been making my outfits work by borrowing my roommates'.  The trouble with this is, I don't really like them. I like the way they look with the outfit, but I'm not wild about the actual pieces.  I have a rule for myself that gets followed 98% of the time: if it's listed in the Lucky Charms song ("Hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers and blue moons, pots of gold and rainbows, and me red balloons") I will not wear it.  The only exception that I can think of is the heart-shaped Pandora charm The Writer gave me for our first Valentine's day together, which I love and was super sweet and thoughtful on his part.

Anyhow,  my point is that I broke my shopping ban yesterday.  One of my Besties invited me to the mall with her so I made a deal with myself.  I desperately needed to get out of the house and was sick of having to wear The Roommate's jewelry, therefore, I was allowed to buy some long necklaces as long as they were inexpensive.  Thank goodness for Forever 21 when you're broke, right?!
I love the feathered jewelry trend, and was immediately drawn to the long gold necklace.  It looked a little sparse by itself, so I layered it with the shorter feather necklace.  Combined cost of this set? $6.60!

The next two are silver, though it's a little hard to tell due to the lighting in  the photos (I'm not a photographer, in the least).  The first one was only $5.80!  It's hooked on the longest link of the extender, so it can be worn about three inches shorter, as well.  I'm seeing a LBD in it's future! The second silver necklace was the most costly, at $6.80--still not bad!  The end of the tassel hangs about to my belly button.  I love that it's simple, yet still makes a statement.  I foresee it being very versatile.
Since I was experimenting with layering necklaces, I tried both silver pieces on at once.  Bestie liked the way they looked, but I'm not 100% convinced.  It would probably work with the right outfit, something a little more Bohemian than my green shirt.

All in all, I've very pleased with my new additions.  If I'd known I could get away with four pieces that I love for under $20, maybe I wouldn't have shied away from accessories for so long!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Post in Which I Cry at Random Times

If I write this post, I may cry at work.  I've been crying less and less everyday since The Writer left for NYC.  I'm embarrassed that I've been so emotional, but the schedule of his departure and other things left me a wreck.  We spend a lot of amazing time together last week...oh shoot, here come the tears again.

I miss my nook--that place just inside his shoulder that my head fits into when we cuddle.  I miss his smell. I miss having someone to talk to during meals, car rides, and shopping trips.  I miss the way he'd hold me.  I miss feeling my bed sag in his direction and the way he'd pull me close to him right as we were waking up.  I miss the eye-rolls when I start yet another episode of Sex and the City.  I miss the random interruptions to our conversations when I fancy car goes by.

I'm buying my plane ticket next week, as long as all goes well.  Then the official countdown to reunion can begin.  Four-and-a-half weeks seems like a really long time, but it will mean that his internship is halfway over, we'll be together again in an exciting new city, and I won't have to be jealous that he can go to H&M and TopShop whenever he wants.  Until then, I suppose, I should relish having the covers to myself and...other things I like to do alone?

It's been hard getting into solo activities, because so many places around here hold memories of us.  Not that I don't want to think about him, but doing things alone that we used to do together while I'm still feeling ridiculously lonely only reminds me that I'm alone and that I miss him....and I hate crying, especially in public.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 30: A Letter to Yourself--Tell Yourself Everything You Love About Yourself

Dear Red,

Stop balking at the idea of this letter. It's good to love things about yourself.  It doesn't mean that you're selfish.

I love your eyes and the way they're different colors on different days.  I love that you've discovered ways to do make-up that enhance your features but have also learned to embrace the au natural.  I love that you're aware of your body and the way the things you ingest effect you.  I'm glad your health is important to you, not only because you want to look a certain way, but because of the way you want to feel.  (P.S.--you're not fat and you know it.)

I love your style and your creativity.  You should wear more of those shoes that are sitting in your closet.

I love that you can't help but be a thinker. I know you hate that sometimes, but it's a good thing.  It will set you apart and help you succeed.  I love that you know, deep down, that the hard times are not here forever, as long as you don't give up.  I love that you won't give up.  I'm glad you're strong and self-aware, that you know when to compromise and when to stand firm.

I love your ambition.  Don't worry that you're not clear on which dream to channel that ambition into.  It's coming, just give it time.  I love that you do your best to smile and look on the bright side, even though it's certainly easier to be pessimistic and cynical.

There's so much more to love. Don't forget that you deserve it.


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