Sunday
Jul202014

On visiting homes past

I went to St. Louis last week to see friends get married. While there, I got to see some dear friends...people who were part of my everyday life for years before we moved to California. I didn't cry the whole weekend, but oh man...I came close. I realized how much I missed friends, our church, our apartment, my Saturday morning yoga class, even the heat.

It was the same in Austin. Friends I'd known for even longer...since high school and college. As that trip drew to a close, I started bawling (not exaggerating) because I knew I was going back to a harder place.

I decided that my 31st year (which already has almost 2 months down), was going to be about not feeling sorry for myself anymore. I may not feel as comfortable here as I'd hoped I would by this point, but there's a reason for us to be in California. 

So far, that's meant going on little adventures to Napa and biking through San Francisco. It's meant cocktails and snacks. It's meant inviting people over instead of assuming they won't want to visit a messy house.

The reward has been the beginnings of contentment...something I haven't felt since we've moved. Just the beginnings, mind you, but it's something. And it's a nice something. 

So, while I really miss the people of homes past, I'm making an effort to love home present. I'll keep you updated.

 

 

Monday
Jun232014

Boxes for Days

My favorite part of my days as a kid was getting to go check the mail. Before you start feeling sorry for my boring life...it's because I loved getting mail. I always hoped for a letter, an issue of Ranger Rick, one of the many freebies I wrote off for from my "Free Stuff For Kids" book, and even the local newspaper.

Not much has changed. I just started participating in a couple of these "box" programs, and am pretty pleased so far. 

First off...Influenster. I signed up for this program (it's free), which lets you apply for boxes of goodies to review. The surveys to determine your elegibility for these boxes are pretty simple, and the boxes have good stuff! My first one came in February, and was a lipstick that became my FAVORITE. I got pretty excited about completing the available "missions" associated with the lipstick (reviewing, tweeting a picture of myself wearing it, etc) because I really did love it. Because I completed every possible mission, I got another box full of Rimmel makeup goodies (with another lipstick. woot.)

The downside of Influenster is that sometimes you might get things you don't care about quite as much as I did about the lipstick...and that the missions, though non-required, could make all your friends on social media feel like you're a billboard.

My most recent Influenster box was the #GoVoxBox, and was focused on healthy lifestyle. Here's a few of the highlights:

I got some blueberry-flavored almonds (can't say I liked them), and a few other things too..like orthotic insoles and coupons for Muller yogurt, which I sadly can't find at my normal grocery stores. From this box, I liked the lotion and yogurt coupons, but everything else was a bit of a miss. The protein powder has soy (which I avoid), so I can't use the fancy bottle to shake it up and try it. The ProFoot pedi rock was cool, but I'm just not as spa-y at home as I want to be. Robert, on the other hand, has really enjoyed using it.

So overall, I'm still pleased with Influenster, and will keep using their boxes, but just can't really get behind the out of control advertising they want me to do. Influenster is a referral system, so holler if you want to be referred.

In the non-adsy realm, I finally caved and subscribed to Birchbox. I've always liked the idea, but felt like it was probably too girly for me since I'm not good at makeup. But my friend Jenny invited me, and I figured I could use a little birthday money to check it out. And...wow. I was really impressed. I did feel very fancy and girly, which are sides of me that I struggle to maintain out here where I'm always wearing layers and trying to be functional.

I love the perfume, the lipstick, the hair stuff. It's awesome. For $10, it's a pretty good deal, and the product sizes were way more substantial than I expected. So if you haven't already checked them out, I'd say go for it...a nice little box of happiness each month.

So while I'm on this mail kick...any other special delivery services you've tried and liked?

 

*All the Influenster goodies were provided to me for review purposes...you'll notice I was honest about my less than stellar thoughts on the second box of goodies. I had to pay for Birchbox, but have included a referral link. 

Monday
Jun162014

whoo hoo wedding!

It's been non-stop crazy since we went to Texas a couple of weeks ago. In the meantime, we've had a ton of people stay at our house, eaten a lot of Mexican food, and oh yes...my littlest sister got married. It was so sweet to see Kara and Myles pledge to love each other forever in front of family and friends. They're so cute. 

I was hoping to have more pictures...but these all I have so far.... I only cried a little bit. 

Tuesday
May202014

a dress for the day pause

Starting today, I'm taking a Dress for the Day hiatus. 

Dress for the Day came into my life a little over a year ago thanks to my friend, Abby.

Abby and I overlapped lives for a few months here in the Bay Area after meeting in Nashville forever ago....and I'm so glad we got to reconnect. I started reading her blog, and really liked the idea of dressing "for the day you want to have...not the day that's trying to have you." 

In April of last year, I kind of felt like the days were trying to "have me." I was in a new state, laid off from the job I'd moved for just three months prior, and was pretty dang lonely.

Dress for the Day became my way to make sure I didn't lounge around in yoga pants every day (not that there's anything wrong with that) while growing dejected about a pile of unanswered job applications. 

Once I landed a new job, I kept going with Dress for the Day because it helped me feel a little less on my own in the land of the internet. It sounds silly, but I loved hearing comments from friends and family when I posted my DFTD photos. It made me feel a little less far away from people I missed deeply. Could I also have just picked up the phone and called them? Sure...and sometimes I did that too. I took every little bit of connection I could find.

But now, I think it's time to take a little hiatus from my Wednesday postings here. It's become a little less fun to stick to the program every week, so I'm going to go rogue. I might still do an outfit post here and there, but I need a little less commitment in my life over the summer. (Don't worry, I'll be sure to post a picture of my wedding attire when my little sister gets married in just over a week!)

But keep it right here, folks. I don't plan on giving up on this space or on you.

I'm closing out the fun with a new version of one of my early Dress for the Day outfits that I wore a few days ago.

In the new version, I'm wearing a shirt from my friend Natalie (we met online though we both lived in STL at the same time). If you like what you see, I recommend hopping over to her adoption fundraising shirt site.

Last year's version (pre Makeshift Society meetup where I first met a good friend)

This year's version. Longer hair...but still not top-knot ready. And Rufus is definitely lurking somewhere.

Wednesday
May142014

Dress for the day 5.14

 

Well, everyone...it's another beautiful day here in Oakland. Temperatures are supposed to get up to the 90s, so I'm happy. It's also Rufus' birthday (and our friends Erin and Michael)...and our living room is a mess because I'm trying to clean out our closets. 
In celebration of all this, even the mess, I'm wearing no sleeves and sandals. Robert gave me this shirt on my birthday the first year we were married, and it's a good one. It's even Baylor colors!
I think I only have a couple more days of super warm weather, so I'm going to try to enjoy it...at least on my lunch breaks. Rufus wants to make sure he gets in on this action, so you get an extra bonus photo today.