Monday, March 31, 2008

:- )&@!*#

Steve got the job! [Insert mixed-emoticon here. Why don't they exist?]

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Material Girl

I did, in fact, go shopping. Here's what I bought:

Sandals. Aerosoles, super comfy, perfect for work and play. TJ Maxx, $24.99


Aviator sunglasses. Perry Ellis (for men), have been on my list for some time. TJ Maxx, $12.99. I look really scary in this picture.


Watch. Anne Klein, genuine leather, working battery. Thrift store, $3.00 (proceeds go to Domestic Violence Awareness Project in Delaware County)


Purse. Kate Spade (I do believe it is a knockoff), fabulous purple durple. Plato's Closet, $15.00


Necklaces.
Left: A fun silver sparrow I once coveted at the ridiculously-priced rockstar store, MetroPark. Very Sailor Jerry, is it not? Plato's Closet, $5.00
Right: Awesome double necklace in yellow gold with flower pendant and green stone. Previously mentioned thrift store, $3.00


ALSO...a replacement for Steve's shabby hoodie! A simple gray Gap one that fits perfectly (no picture because he's out and about, wearing it). Plato's Closet, $12.00

And to think, I was only going to HomeGoods for a duvet cover. Oh well, maybe at IKEA...in Virginia!

Twisted Panties

Today is the second sunny Philadelphia day in a row! That must mean good things.

I came home sick from work on Thursday with a burning throat and a fuzzy head. Nothing was better on Friday, so I stayed home yesterday, too. (I'd like to add here just how out of character it is for me to miss work because of health reasons. I think what's making me change my trooper/masochist-like ways is the fact that the entire admin floor is so small, I know that I'm not just hurting myself by trying to stick it out.) I ventured out to the grocery store yesterday, since on Friday afternoons you pretty much have it all to yourself, but by the time I got back, I felt like I had tried to run a mile for the first time in a year. Now it's Saturday and my throat is worse, but my head is better. We'll see what I can convince myself to do today (something's telling me "shopping").

I hadn't seen Steve for more than a couple minutes since Sunday, so we went for a nice little walk before he had to drive off again yesterday. He had an audition for a pretty darn successful band (that plays mostly in Atlantic City and also has originals on Sirius) on Thursday, and told me about how well it went. I'm really happy for him and hope he gets the job, but have been feeling really homesick lately, with my sights on new digs and a new job in California. DON'T GET YOUR PANTIES IN A TWIST, MOM!-- these are semi-distant plans, but plans of mine nonetheless. Another option would be to go back to Boston (Bobbie, same to you), since both of those places seem so much more like home than this one. But I need to accept that I've only lived here for 7 months and that the people I've met are pretty awesome.

Except for my two roommates, Steve's friends Dan and Rob, that is. From having to be Rob's mom to dodging Dan's diva attacks, this is one situation I really can't wait to be out of. I just want it to be me and Steve in an adorable little (or big, really) apartment in a city where we can walk to the grocery store (not that we would, since having a car on grocery day is one of the most glorious things in the world).

Well, the good things:
~ I have two vases full of fresh flowers, mixes with daffodils and some blossomy branches from my yard and alstroemerias from the grocery store.
~ Bobbie and I are going shopping on April 12th, and my budget for that day is looking better and better.
~ Warmer weather is on its way.
~ Steve got his hair cut and also let me pick out a couple new shirts for him = he looks fabulous. Now I just need to find a replacement for that horrific hoodie he's so attached to.
~ It's Saturday!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The ones that got away

Bobbie's post today inspired me to write a similar one.

I've been thinking about a very specific pair of shoes lately. Unlike most times that I think about very specific items of clothing, this pair of shoes actually exists; I did not design it in my head. I've been thinking about them because I want them. I do not have them because I missed my chance one year ago (one year!).

The facts are these:
Steve and I were in New Jersey for Easter and a wedding. The wedding invite was kind of last minute, so we didn't have any duds. We went to the mall, hours beforehand, to find appropriate wedding-wear that we could wear again in the future (because we're economic people).

Steve's sister Danielle was accompanying us, my first time interacting with her in person. First we went to a Macy's-like department store. The difference in the dresses she picked out for me and the dresses I picked out for myself was astronomical. I was thinking "sophisticated 20-something," she was thinking, "40 year-old virgin." I ended up with a pair of fiiiine black slacks, and we were off to Marshall's to complete the ensemble.

At Marshall's, I found several tops (all in the black family) and bought a couple, despite being told that black is inappropriate for a wedding (my defense: black is never inappropriate). I was enticed by the shoe racks, as I always am at Marshall's (or anywhere else for that matter), and I found these amazing, funky, loud-but-not-too-loud, green, snakeskin platforms. I wanted them immediately. They were the perfect POW! for an all-black outfit, especially at a wedding where the statement you want to make is: "This is a joyous occasion! I mean, look at these shoes!" They even fit.

But for some reason, even though I ignored Danielle's style advice for the entire afternoon, I listened when she disapproved of the shoes. And I have thought about them for an entire year.

I ended up buying some black espadrilles. Adorable shoes, but they were closed-toed and not as summer-friendly as they would be if they were peeps. I've worn them twice.

In the past year, I have never seen a pair of shoes that is even comparable to the one I let slip through the cracks; and I have to live with myself knowing that I'm never going to step on any in them.

There are two morals to this story:

1) Always buy something that you think you'll regret not buying later. If you regret buying it, you can always return it or sell it, but you may never see that perfect piece of merchandise again.

and
2) If you're ignoring someone's style advice for the better part of the day, don't start listening to it out of boredom.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Help me, Tim Gunn!

I'm going through another financial freakout right now. I was just in Target and managed to put the $24 worth of merchandise back on the racks, and now that I'm going through this, I am SO happy I did. For $24!!! This is horrible.

So here's what I'm going to do. And I have to accept that this might take some time.

[] I will eat only the food I buy from the grocery store.
[] I will make delicious, healthy meals and take them to work every day. (I take my lunch to work now, but I'm sure I can do it better.)
[] I will eat all of my vegetables before they go bad.
[] I will not partake of Steve's trips to the corner pizza place. I will make something for myself.
[] I will not buy a cup of coffee that costs more than $2.00, and not more than once a week.

That covers a lot of the food stuff. In other places to cut back on spending...
[] I will drive as little as I possibly can.
[] I will take less trips to Goodwill.
[] I will not turn on the heat unless I absolutely have to.
[] I will stop browsing my favorite online stores out of boredom.

Now the question is what I'm going to do to bring in some more money, because when I look at my expenses, most of them are absolutely necessary and my problem actually has nothing to do with spending.

[] Work on Saturdays as a counselor at work (on the Saturdays I'm not already working as an educator)
[] Sell on ebay (in the works)
[] Keep options open

I just REALLY don't want to resort to a ramen and water diet.

PS to Bobbie: this freakout and the above reforms will in no way affect our trip on April 12th. I'll make it work.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Donations Welcome

Every Monday, the John DeBella radio show features an interview with one of the editors at Maxim Magazine. Although DeBella is a real horndog and can totally get on my nerves when the topic turns to sexy ladies, sometimes these segments actually feature some really interesting information.

Today they were talking about the richest man in the world, Carlos Slim of Mexico, and translating his fortune into terms the average person (with a yearly salary of $37,000) can comprehend, and boy, was I floored.

First of all, my money woes would be much, much smaller if I had average-person-income. But anyway, here's what they said:

$ If the average person bought a Big Mac, Slim could buy a fully-loaded Bentley for the same percentage of income.
$ If the average person bought a a MacBook (for $1100), Slim could buy a high-rise hotel in Knoxville, TN.
$ 2008 Ford Focus (about 14K); the entire National Hockey League.

I wanted to throw up.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Library PRIDE

Having just finished a book, I felt the urge to rearrange my bookshelf when I put it back. Right now I'm working with just one bookshelf, with two wide shelves, each of them two books deep, plus some piled on the top of the unit and crammed up above the short books. I have another bookshelf (a glorious tall one), but it was put in the garage without my knowledge when Dan moved in and now it's stuck there, crying for liberation and purpose.

I hopped on the good old interweb to see if there were any tips on organizing one's personal library. I got all of the expected "tips," like, "If you read it and didn't like it, throw it out!" Oh my god, that's brilliant! But I also found this picture of someone's books organized by color. As inconvenient as it might be, it's beautiful enough to inspire me to do the same.



Two problems:
1. I don't have that many books.
2. I don't have a library in my house like the one in Beauty and the Beast.

But it's nice to have a goal!

And since I'm coveting...



Teehee. Just had to throw that adorable, perfect pooch in there.

Happy Spring!

With the start of the new season (but you couldn't tell if you walked outside), I am having some serious wardrobe concerns. I'm not very bummed about the fact that I've pretty much exhausted my winter wardrobe and have resorted to a schedule of outfits, taking few risks, and accessorizing minimally because winter's almost over and I need to save my energy for warmer-weather experimentation. What does concern me is the lack of pieces I have to work with. Okay, not lack of pieces. Lack of quality pieces. This is my problem.

Just today, I stood in front my earring collection, looking for something...else. I've played dress-up in adorable skirts with the shirts that I wear to the gym, because I have nothing else. I'm constantly looking for that perfect pair of work-appropriate sandals. It's weird, because this will be my first spring and summer in a job that has a dress code. I need to step up my game.

I need accessories. I need statement pieces. I need shirts without holes, ones that haven't been stretched out or wounded in the laundry. I need to dress like the fresh, sassy, put-together woman that I am.

I need money.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Phamily in Philly

Now that I've regrouped a little from the weekend, I can post some highlights in photos.

John, Stefon (my cousin's boyfriend), Heather, me, and Matthew:


Matthew, living one of his dreams on the Rocky Steps (come on, it's an awesome action shot):


Inside the Magic Garden, a mosiac haven in the middle of the city:


At Steve's gig (the hair is fake, the chops are real):


In front of the house where my mom and aunts grew up:


And finally, my very favorite picture from the entire weekend-- CHEESESTEAKS!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Fam is here

And we are having a serious blast. I promise to post the highlights in pictures (though justice probably won't be done) after they leave.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More Cowbell!

I have spring fever.

The sun's been out more often than not, so I wear my shades all the time and have been online shopping for another pair (because everybody needs options), my feet are actually sweating in my trouser socks and patent leather, kitten heel Mary Janes, and if my tank top was appropriate for work, I'd even take off my lightweight cashmere cardigan. Temps are supposed to reach 60 tomorrow, but will eventually give way to more rain in the evening and for the rest of the weekend. I guess March drizzles bring April sizzles. Don't ask me what that means.

Along with this fever, I've determined that I'm done being unsatisfied with communicative processes at work, the disproportionate amount of duties I'm given by my boss (in comparison to my colleagues), and my modest salary. The truth is that I love my job, the position I had wanted since June 1999, and I'm going to act like it. I used to have a sweatshirt that said "Attitude is everything" (I was sixth grade, okay?) and I'm beginning to realize just how true it is.

I smell change, and it smells like cornbread.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Read All About It

Some news:
I've enrolled in a class at the community college. It's Grant Writing and Research, and it's one of six courses to get the CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) certification. The plan is to go all the way and complete all of the courses (which include Event Planning, Press Releases, and Non-Profits), but if I only get a couple courses under my belt, then that's fine too.

I have a few reasons for doing this:
1) I actually miss school.
2) I'm extremely interested in fundraising and development, and always have been.
3) I want to be more marketable for future jobs (if they involve development, of course).

Some other news:
Matthew (my brother) and Heather (my cousin) are coming to visit this weekend! Here's our rough schedule as of now:

FRIDAY
-Arrival in the afternoon
-Get some grub, if necessary
-Check out where our moms grew up (about 15 minutes away from my house)
-Meet up with John, a family friend who's like an uncle and in Philly for work.
-Go to dinner at the ever-so-popular Cuba Libre.
-Bar hop the remainder of the night.

SATURDAY
-Sleep in
-Chow down on some brunch
-Run up the "Rocky Steps" (at the Philadelphia Museum of Art)
-Head to South Street for walking, shopping, and cheesesteaks
-Regroup at home
-Trek to a dive bar in central PA to see Steve play in his new band

SUNDAY
-Sleep in
-Do whatever until it's time for them to head back to NY (sad face).

This weekend is gonna be off the chain.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Jazz It Up!

I went to the Philly Flower Show last night with Steve's mom and sister (Judy and Danielle, respectively). It was quite spectacular. I took a few pictures; the exhibits will obviously not be done justice, but check em out anyway:

























Friday, March 7, 2008

Wishlist

Things I want to do:

1. Repurpose two old sweaters. One is a dreadfully gorgeous green cashmere that unfortunately got eaten by moths. The other is a nice brown v-neck that is too big to work. I'd like to make a scarf out of their sleeves, but what shall I do with the torsos? And don't say a pillow.

2. Start an ebay store. Things at the bistro aren't looking good (long story), but I still need extra cash on my (schedule's) terms. I already have a list of items in my head that I think will be some money-makers.

3. Learn how to play the drums. Steve somehow has two drum students, and has consequently started taking lessons (how can he teach someone else if he doesn't know how to play?). He needs to buy a kit, so I'm going to chip in some green to live the dream.

4. Get a tattoo. What else is new? Steve and I were playing cards last night, and the CVS brand cards have this really intricate, pretty design on the back. I may use them as a jumping-off point for my design. Inspiration can come from the strangest places sometimes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Photomania

Alright, here are pictures of some of the things I bought yesterday:

The two mixing bowls, both of which are for fruit right now because Steve and I went grocery shopping today:


My peanut jar, (kind of) re-purposed as a flour canister:


The awesome print I found. It's hanging in the sunroom because, well, look at it!


My precious YSL scarf (I poked my foot in the picture so that you can see how HUGE it is):


The newest fedora in my collection (which I will share with Steve), and the newest clutch in my collection (which I won't share with Steve):


AND FINALLY...THE SECRET OF LAST FRIDAY THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN UNTIL TODAY...

Before:


After:


^ After the gym AND a nap. Jeez, I love short hair.

Oh yeah...

AND an adorable gray suede clutch, ringing in at 65 cents!

Now I'm done.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday, Glorious Monday

Today my friend Sara took me to thrift stores all over Philly (well, I drove, but she knew where we were going), and I've gotta say: today was my day.

I had a small shopping list in my head of things that I'd like to find, but was willing to take whatever caught my eye. The list consisted of:
+ A fruit bowl
+ A flour container (perhaps a set for sugar, coffee, and tea too)
+ A coin purse
+ Sperry Topsiders (don't laugh)

After 9 hours of shopping (breaking for an absolutely DELICIOUS lunch, of course), I came home with:
+ 2 mixing bowls, one being assigned the duty of holding fruit
+ A flour container (labeled "Peanuts," which is why I had to have it)
+ Docksiders, Topsider knockoffs
+ 2 skirts-- one paisley, one polka-dotted
+ A fedora (with feathers)
+ 2 adorable teacups
+ A freakin' awesome framed print
+ A much-needed skillet (it's teal!)
+ A humongous Yves Saint Laurent scarf. Yes, I said Yves Saint Laurent.
+ The Dr. Ruth Game of Good Sex (aaahhhh!!!)
**pictures furnished upon request (or personal boredom)**

My total? Less than $50. Less than $60 with lunch.

Best day off ever.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Phone Thievery

And now for a story:

Once a upon a yesterday morning at 4am, I woke up for work. I had everything laid out so that when I actually woke up at 4:15 or even 4:30, I'd still be out the door in time. This included putting my phone on top of my purse (and not plugged in in the bedroom).

When I arrived at the Delaware Women's Conference, I remembered that my colleague was directionally challenged, and figured she'd be calling me any second asking for help. I fumbled through my purse, and much to my surprise: no phone! I wrote it off as being too tired to remember my phone in the morning (though I could have SWORN I left it on my purse), and hoped Tiffany would find her way (she did, and was surprised to see me because she figured I was sleeping through her phone calls and the conference).

At home, I looked for my phone in the usual places: where I normally put my purse, where I charge my phone, on my dresser; and all of the unusual places: my hamper, Steve's hamper, the trash can (maybe I was more tired than I thought!). No phone. I really looked everywhere. Maybe I left it at the cafe I was in last night? No, I used it after that. So I just had to wait for Steve to get home so that he could call it and I would be able to follow the ring to a place that was so obvious I would have to kick myself.

While I waited, I busied myself by organizing the sunroom, a part of the house that has never quite been fully unpacked. I ended up with some trash, so I decided to take it out to the bin through the back door. Laying in between the back door and its corresponding screen door was my precious cellular telephone!

Then I started thinking about all the ways it could have ended up there, since I was positive I didn't open that door at all that morning. Maybe I dropped in the driveway, a neighbor found it, and decided to put it there. But why there? Why not the mailbox? Maybe it was raining a little, and since our mailbox is certainly not safe from precipitation, they were just finding a place to keep it dry. But still, what an odd place!

When Steve (finally) got home, I asked him if he knew what had happened. As it turns out, late Friday night, Dan needed to make a phone call, so he picked up my phone, thinking it was his, and did so. Then he and my phone left the house through the back door, locking it behind him. When he realized the phone wasn't his, he brought it back, but having just moved in that day, he didn't have his own key, and was locked out. He then used his phone to call Steve (who was sleeping/ignoring his phone) and tell him what happened and where my phone was.

So that's it then, right? Sure, but:
1. How could Dan think it was his phone when the background is a picture of me and Steve?
2. If Dan used his own phone to call Steve about my phone, why didn't he use his phone to make the phone call he made on mine?

I checked the call history, and Dan called his own phone with mine. Maybe he was locating it, but who walks out the door with two phones???

What. A. Day.

Sunday Evening Update

Some noteworthy happenings:

The secret thing that I was looking forward to on Friday fell through. I'm trying to use my powers to make it happen-- maybe this weekend-- anyway.

The pub crawl has also been postponed indefinitely.

Buuuut, because of the ridiculously long week I just worked, I'm taking Monday and Tuesday off! Monday will consist of thrift store shopping with my friend Sara (the vintage maven). She knows all the good ones.

Dan moved in on Friday and I've been trying to figure out the very best way to use space around here since the office has been dissolved to become his bedroom. I flipped through organization books at Borders today, but most of them consist of encouraging an unnecessary trip to The Container Store, or assume that my shelves and drawers are empty and all of my belongings are on the floor. "Keep colorul vases and throws on your bookshelves!" Sounds nice, but I happen to have books on mine.

Dan is storing this fantastic bar in our garage which would be a tremendous help, but that would require the guitars, amps, mic stands, and all other music equipment du jour to be put in the basement where they belong (instead of the corners of the dining room).