Tag Archives: Dresses

Spending My Time With Me

14 Sep

Hello, Internet. It’s been a while. I know because I had to do a password recovery before logging in to post, but truthfully, that could just be my mind, which works more like a senior citizen’s than a twenty-something’s.

I have been feeling guilty that I have not taken the time to sit down and “write it out” lately; taken some Me Time and used words to explore some of the thoughts and feelings I have had recently about the major changes happening in my life.

I have, however, taken some time to do other types of Me Time.

Shopping!

Work dress ala Mad Men

The Windows shopping monster attacked this weekend...

And they were on SALE!

Events!

It's football season!

True ballers scoff at your mosh pits (*scoff, scoff*)

Cooking!

Roasted chickpeas

Caprese Salad

Balsamic Chicken

On the subject of shopping and overall money spending… I may have gone a little wild with my student loans. I have never had student loans before – I was blessed enough to have an undergraduate degree completely funded by my parents. The deal they made with me, however, is that I had 4 years of college paid for – anything additional (extra semesters, classes I failed and needed to retake [read: none], grad school) would need to be funded by yours truly.

I decided to go back to school once I learned of the tuition assistance that would be provided by my job, and the presumption that nowadays you can’t get very far professionally with just a B.A. So back to school I go! I’m currently working 40 hours a week, going to class for 6 hours a week, studying and doing homework in the evenings, and, apparently, writing blog posts in my free time. It’s still early – only the second week in the semester – and I have plenty of time to get behind, but for now I am happily coasting along, thinking this grad school stuff ain’t so tough…

Logan's artistic rendering of me in 3 months.

Yeah, get back to me in late November.

Another major change is my newly, unwillingly, acquired singular status. I say singular because I am not single, but I am definitely alone. Boyfriend got a fancy new job and the training sent him to Middle of Nowhere, Illinois for training.

For.

Eight.

Weeks.

Eight weeks! How is that fair?

The phenomenon, let’s call it, of two people wanting to be together without physically being able to do so is very strange. I keep thinking of that majorly underrated movie, Wicker Park, with Josh Hartnett. The gist of the movie is that these two people meet and fall in love and then the girl just disappears, so he thinks she doesn’t love him anymore and is heartbroken, but what really happened is her evil friend who was jealous of their love sabotages their relationship and makes it so they can’t be together for 2 years, even though they both love each other desperately!

Steamy.

The difference between this movie and my situation is that each person thinks the other person doesn’t care about them while they are separated. This, thankfully, is not the case for me. Boyfriend and I have daily Skype dates and are still texting constantly. He has already sent me presents and I have shipped him a care package. He came home at the end of week 2 and will be returning for a weekend after week 5, which puts him home in 10 days. We’re more than halfway through it, but it still seems like an eternity.

Strangely, what I miss most is the routine of our relationship, specifically Sundays. Sundays are normally spent planning our week in food, visiting the farmer’s market, running errands, leisurely making dinner together… Very monotonous stuff, but made better when you can share it with someone. I have tried to keep the Sunday traditions alive while he is away, but that quickly became depressing. Equally depressing is making meals for one. This can have its upsides, like when I just want to eat cereal for dinner and am completely content in doing so (Boyfriend, if faced with a near-empty kitchen and the prospect of Cinnamon Toast Crunch at 8:00PM, would effortlessly whip up a three-course meal. I, unfortunately, do not have those kind of mad skillz).

While I have been ordering takeout more than I’d like to admit (thanks again, student loans!), I have been experimenting and utilizing the couple cookbooks I have acquired in the past month (although the balsamic chicken was concocted while Boyfriend was home for his first visit) as well as the bevy of blogs I follow in the hopes that some of their cooking prowess and frugal ways will eventually rub off on me. As a side note, I do find it quite ironic that I have such the affinity for spending money on certain things, like fine leather products, but still take the time to meal plan and shop the circulars. I definitely subscribe to the Casual Kitchen rules of frugality, which has made me feel way less guilty when I get my Mint statement.

Oops.

I have been trying to find a way to tie in all of these elements and leave you with a fantastic recipe that is equally cost effective, easy and delicious, but I am late for a lunch date with a Lean Cuisine. I know, I know. It was a last resort after spending last night with Neighbor Friends on the Party Patio for Monday Night Wine.

Sparkly.

Cheers!

Fashion, Smashion

6 Apr

I have read in plenty of magazines that you shouldn’t be afraid to invest in a high-quality, timeless piece of clothing, whether that be a tailored suit, wool coat, leather bag, amazing shoes, etc. I am currently investing in the idea that maybe, someday, I will be able to buy Starbucks on a regular basis without having to count the change in the cup holder of my car while the other drive-thru patrons wait not-so patiently behind me (people waiting for their daily caffeine fix are not a friendly bunch). It is safe to say I do not have money to buy what would be considered high quality. The nicest clothes I wear to work come from Banana Republic [Outlet] and the Limited (sequestered from that tiny little rack of sale items at the back of the store, or from *gasp* Marshalls). I believe I have perfected the art of buying items that I didn’t spend an entire paycheck on, but not looking like a homeless person when I am sitting at my desk.

My favorite outfits right now involve either black pants (Limited, $20) or a black pencil skirt (Forever 21, $10) paired with a simple, solid-color cotton t-shirt (Old Navy, $5) and a black cardigan (Target, $20). Simple, yes. Colorful, not really, depending on the t-shirt. But throw on some strappy heels and a stellar bag and you, my friend, are ready to head out the door in under $50. Would I want to meet the President wearing this outfit? No. But when I spend my days catering to college kids who, for the most part, can’t be bothered to put on proper pants in the morning (sweatpants should only be worn outside if you are on your way to or from the gym, kids), it gets the job done, literally. My wardrobe primarily consists of black or dark grey, solids, and with subtle pops of color in scarves, undershirts, or bags. This works for me because I am extremely simplistic and need symmetry in every aspect of my life; it also works because the top/bottom combinations are often east to come by (helpful when getting dressed in the dark, as seems to be a frequent occurrence for me), and the result is always neat and professional.

This quick-and-dirty fashion advice is brought to you by the wedding I am obliged to attend next month. I have been doing a lot of Windows shopping (or online clothes browsing on my PC) looking for a dress to wear to this wedding. I thought I hit the mother lode when I came across modcloth.com and lulus.com, both vintage-inspired online stores with oodles of fancy dresses, until I noticed that the majority of my wish list items were sold out. [SIDENOTE: online shopping websites, why do you continue to taunt me with your selection of unobtainable merchandise? Why are these items interspersed with things that are actually available; can’t they have their own section, or at least be moved to the end of the line, hidden on the last page after that horrible puke-colored bag-dress thing that no one wants?] A coworker recommended Neiman Marcus, and for my response to that please see the first paragraph of this post. There are, however, plenty of not-a-chance dresses out there, ones that don’t meet the stringent criteria I have set that will likely make it impossible to find something suitable, and I will probably end up paying to overnight the bag-dress to myself in a fit of exhaustion, desperation and insanity the night before the wedding.

There are many stars that need to be perfectly aligned before the ultimate purchase of The One. First and foremost, it needs to make every part of me look amazing. I mean, I want the insides of my wrists to look amazing in this dress. I need a dress that says, yes, I have been with Boyfriend for 4 ½ years, substantially longer than this sham marriage (hereby known as a mirage) will ever last, yet I’m ok with that because, look at me, I look fucking fabulous.

Star #2: Boyfriend must approve of dress. Boyfriend has been pestered on a nightly basis, as have my mother and Neighbor Friends, to look at row after row of fancy party dresses for The One. And it doesn’t help that Boyfriend is pickier than I am, as he maintains an opinion similar to my grandfather’s when it comes to skirt length and amount of cleavage displayed around his testosterone-riddled friends who like to give slightly-too-long hugs.

Stars #3-through-6: cost (less than $100), color (anything except white, obviously, or black; I would actually love to wear black and publicize the fact that I would rather be at a funeral than this mirage, but unfortunately black is ‘in’ now for bridesmaids dresses, and I definitely don’t want to be mistaken for one of those poor souls), cut (fabulous is the only option; oh, and my boobs can’t pop out the top when I lunge for the bouquet), and, of course, I have to actually like it and want to wear it again.

If anyone out there in cyberland has any suggestions, I am willing and able. Please, don’t let me wear a puke bag to the mirage.

The [star] search is on.

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