Friday, January 30, 2009

Mane Squeeze

I last got my hair trimmed on January 2nd-- for some shaping during the tumultuous time that is growing my hair out-- and in the past couple days, my hair has actually felt longer and cute because I can put it behind my ears!  It looks pretty close to the Mandy Moore picture from my previous Hairspiration post.

Having reached Checkpoint #1, I think it's time for some new inspiration pictures:



It's clear that this is a shot of Selma Blair while growing out her pixie, but this in between style is cute enough for someone to ask their stylist for.  While it looks like the back is more sculpted and trimmed than mine is now, all of the hair on top is longer and one length; I'm not quite there yet.



I find pictures of Mandy Moore and Ashley Scott to be really helpful because they both went through the in between stage very gracefully.



And this one could either be awesome or a disaster due to its similarity to a mullet.  I actually feel very close to this one right now, but it's hard to tell because I rarely get a profile view of myself.

And finally....

...can I just say how ADORABLE Katie Holmes' hair looks in the latest issue of InStyle?  Once I get to that length, I may just have to stay put for a few months (and also break out the curling iron).


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sick Day

Another fabulous birthday present I received this year:That's right!  Steve got me a Wii!  I've been wanting one for a while now, and I mentioned it to him as a joke, because they're so expensive-- in my (pocket)book, at least, and he got it!  It came with the Sports disc.  I may have to start investing in games (and perhaps the Wii Fit Board?) instead of more and more jewelry and shoes.  Did I just type that?!

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In other news, I've taken a very active role in planning Prom Nite 2009-- a benefit we have at work.  I've somehow become the go-to girl for budget-but-glamorous decorations.  I'm sooo excited about this, but also a little nervous that it's going to look tacky or contrived.  I guess all of the wedding blog reading I do might actually pay off!

And I already have my outfit.  I'll give you a hint: it's a purple, belted dress with some fantastic 80's-inspired pumps.






Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Quilt!

I asked my mom for Moroccan-inspired materials because jewel tones make me happy.  Here it is!




Happy Birthday to me!  Thank you, Mom, I love it!

yuck.

How can I be sick AGAIN?!

It started with a sore throat (as usual), but I thought it was just irritated from all of the yelling I had to do at a few of my classes this week.  Then, since the weather was amazing yesterday, Steve and I went for a walk.  As we were walking, I started to feel really out of it and lightheaded.  I was planning to go to his gig last night, so I thought I should take a nap from about 6-8pm.  Steve woke me up and there was NO WAY I was going to the gig.  Almost 12 hours later, I woke up ready(ish) to start my day.   Now I can barely breathe out of my nose, and my throat is so, so sore.

I have a few things to do today and tomorrow, but I'm going to have to carefully consider which of them I cancel.  Why can't this weekend be the 3-day weekend?  I neeeeeed it.

I hate to whine-- I really do-- but sometimes I just have to.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

TILFT and Ketchup

Saturday: Gay Bingo! I'm so excited for this because:
1) Bingo rocks.
2) The prizes are great (up to $1000 cash).
3) The Bingo Verifying Divas (BVDs) are drag queens on roller skates.
4) The BVDs sing and dance.
5) This month's theme is Lipstick and Leather.

Sunday: Inspiration/Vision Board making at Diana's. I'm planning to make mine to fit inside one of my many LP frames. I'm also very curious to see how my goals and hopes for the year are manifested in collage (or if I opt to just make something pretty/interesting). Also, Steve and I are going to watch last night's episode of Lost-- the premiere event!

Tuesday: Dance class and my birthday dinner! I love that Center City Restaurant Week and my birthday coincide. This year, we're heading to Tequila's.

Wednesday: My birthday! The school district has a half-day, so I'll be spending part of my 24th teaching, and part of it at the office. The rest...probably vegging out.

Next weekend: A visit from Bobbie, perhaps? Hmm???


And interesting things that happened (ITTH? Maybe just catch-up. Ooh! I should call this segment Ketchup!):
+ I'm a distant relative of that Mark Mudd guy that auditioned for American Idol (and didn't make it) in Louisville, KY. I want to track him down and see if we can piece together a family tree or something.

+ Steve and I had late-Christmas dinner at his parents'. Dinner was delicious and the presents are fantastic! Among them: an amaryllis, a matching earrings and bracelet set, an awesome necklace from Steve's sister, and some kitchen stuff.

+ I got my birthday box from my mom, and inside was the quilt she made for me! It's GORGEOUS. I'm going to have to take a picture and post it.

+ I spent last weekend with some family in Long Island and had a wonderful time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rethinking the Dinner Bill Split

After carefully considering the issue of always splitting the dinner bill with a group of people, I decided that, with that particular group of friends that always does it that way, I would be prepared for an even split, thinking: 1) it's part of their culture, how they do things; and 2) it would even out on the occasions that I am a more expensive diner.

But then Steve and I went out with these friends again, and I realized that it will never, ever, even out.  Maybe someday I'll get the lobster and they'll get the chicken, but definitely not on a basis regular enough to make me feel financially comfortable splitting the bill evenly every time.

Let me just reel off our menu choices:
Me: 3 pork tacos, water
Steve: 3 beef tacos, water
Friend 1: 3 chicken tacos, margarita
Friend2 : 7 (not a typo) enchiladas, two beers

Now, while I must admit that the restaurant was having some kind of special, these facts remain:
1) Friends 1 and 2 (who are together), still had more expensive meals, and
2) Friend 2 eats like that no matter what.  Even if there wasn't a special going, Friend 2 would have kept ordering and ordering until satisfied.
3) Friend 2 is always the one that suggests the even split.  I don't know about you, but I think it's a bit suspicious.

I have decided that when we sit down for dinner in the future-- before ordering, I will announce that I am on a budget and can only pay for the food I eat.  In a nice way, of course.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Boston Optimism

My weekend in Boston was fantastic (thanks, Bobbie!). You, dear reader, may not have known about it because it was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision to go and I was unable to put it in an edition of TILFT. But I did look forward to it immensely, and it was awesome. Poor Bobbie was quite sick, though, and I had to head out a bit earlier than anticipated, but it worked out because Boston got 3-6" of snow (definitely closer to 6) and I was nervous about the drive. It was also nice to have some time to relax at home instead of heading straight up to bed when I returned.

Some highlights:

Girltalk! This time actual girltalk, and not the DJ.

Delicious tea! I tried a tea I had never had before, and completely fell in love. It's Republic of Tea's Good Hope Vanilla Red Tea. To borrow a pun from Bobbie, it's "tea-riffic." Har har har.

Amazing shopping! Downtown Crossing was like a ghost town, which was good for me, since I hate crowds, especially when shopping. I went straight into a dressing room at H&M! And I got some amazing deals there and at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  Purchases: a pair of slingback, peep-toe espadrilles for summer; a purple shirt; an argyle v-neck sweater (flattering this time!); two pairs of tights; an ADORABLE, 50's cut, purple dress; and a sassy, all-fringe blue dress.

Chick flick! We saw Bride Wars. It was better than expected and as awful as it needed it to be.

Two words: Cartier, Prada. Ridiculous.

And, finally, "What's up with this guy?" face.


Now for a brand new TILFT:

+ Tonight: Finishing up the choreography of my tap dance for my company's annual talent show. Yeah, I said it.

+ Tomorrow: Dance class tomorrow night. I love West Coast Swing, and Steve's really starting to get the hang of it.

+ Thursday: Performing my dance at my company's talent show.  Annnnd, potentially winning a cash prize.

+ Friday-Sunday or Monday: Going to Long Island to visit family (and their new Sugar Glider?!)

+ Monday: Thank you Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for all of the amazing things you did!  (And for giving me and public schools the day off.)

+ January 27th: Out to dinner for Philadelphia Restaurant Week!

+ January 28th: My 24th! Maybe I should dye my gray hairs in honor of my birthday.  Nah, I kind of like them.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

R E S O L U T I O N S

While I am anti-New Year's resolutions, I am definitely pro-resolutions in general.  When I resolve to do something new, different, or better, I start it right away.  True, sometimes my resolutions coincide with the new year, but that doesn't make them New Year's resolutions to me. 

Anyway, some resolutions I'm currently working on:

1) Spending smarter.

2) Saving.

3) Staying healthy.  By this I don't mean losing weight and all that stuff.  I mean that I get sick way too often, and I need to seriously work on doing things (or not doing things) to keep myself healthy.  Some initiatives include:
3a. Exercise more regularly.  I feel good and have more energy when I exercise.
3b. Eat healthy, balanced, meals.  The problem with this one is #s 1 and 2 on this list.  It's really unfortunate, but in our world, eating right and saving money don't seem to live harmoniously.
3c. Wash my hands more thoroughly and more often.  I'm not saying I don't wash my hands regularly and when I'm supposed to, but I bet I could be better.  The obstacle with this one is that my skin is so sensitive that a lot of soaps irritate and dry out my skin.  I have hand sanitizer that I've been using when the soap looks not-so Nina-friendly.
3d. Stop touching my face!  Along with having cleaner hands, I'm going to make a conscious effort to stop touching my face so much.  It's hard.  Just yesterday I caught myself rubbing my eye and wondered how many times I did it without catching myself.  This resolution is also for clearer skin.

4) Being more creative.  This one works with spending and saving, as creativity is often necessary to avoid spending tons of money.  I've also noticed that I've had an ongoing creative urge lately, and none of my little projects (a Sharpie and notepad still life of the objects on the coffee table, a mini inspiration collage, and a revamp of my jewelry organization system) seem to be quenching my artistic thirst.

5) Getting "with it" more.  A lot of people would probably say that I am very much with the program, but there are times when I just let go of some things that I would like to be doing, like writing thoughtful letters to faraway friends and getting the electrical stuff checked out on my car.

There are certainly more, but those are the ones in the very front of my mind, things I consider to be works in progress.  And now that I've written them down and published them, I'm more likely to do them! (Or at least work very diligently on them.)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In 2008...

...I nurtured relationships with local people to feel more at home in the area.  I truly feel like I have an actual life here, which was not really the case by the end of 2007.  It certainly takes time to get comfortable in a new place, and, without the crutch of college culture, I learned what it's like firsthand.

...I left my job-- the job I had dreamed of and worked so hard for-- after things started to deteriorate with, ahem, the management.  It was extremely difficult to leave because I loved the work and (most of) the people, but it really felt like it needed to be done.

...And I started at my new job!  Staying with the same organization but working for a different affiliate was definitely the way to go, as I felt right at home at the new place.  I was busy and happy, and, although this is a recap, I am still very happy there (on Day 3 of 2009, haha).

...I became a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant to make some extra money.  Ha!  I actually did really well at first, but something they neglected to tell me gradually brought me down (read: into debt).  I'll tell you what it was right now, in case there are any potential consultants out there: When you place an order for more inventory, there is a $200 wholesale minimum.  So say I have tons of product on my shelves, but one of my clients wants a specific shade of lipstick that I don't have.  In order to get it from the company, I have to order an additional $190-ish dollars worth of product I think I may be able to sell.  Um...no way.  So after doing that a couple times, I was having trouble selling enough to see 1) a reasonable date on which I'd pay off my Mary Kay-specific credit card and 2) a profit.  Ouch.  [If you're interested in any skincare or makeup product you think I may have, let me know and I'll hook you up with a crazy discount.]

...I got wedding fever.  Sooo many people either got married or engaged (or both) this year, and despite the hassle and insane amount of money I spent to be a guest or bridesmaid, all events were great fun and truly joyous occasions (and I know, it's guaranteed each couple spent much more on their weddings than I did on everyone's wedding combined).  Experiencing the ceremonies, receptions, and in some cases the planning of these nuptials, I got extremely antsy to go through it all myself.  And by myself I mean with Steve.  You get it.  Which brings me to...

...I learned Steve is anti-marriage.  After doing a lot of research and soulsearch(ing), I determined that I was okay with that, but also that I will require some sort of festive occasion in which we share our commitment and love for each other with our loved ones, completely independent from "The State."  Our agreement to have a love party is by no means an announcement that one is forthcoming.

...I got fed up with having roommates to the point that my goal is to move out at the end of the current lease.  We'll see if that makes the '09 recap (fingers crossed).

...I cut my hair into a pixie.

...I decided to grow my hair out.

...I took a few nice, little trips instead of a big vacation.  In June, I traveled to L.A. for Jenna's wedding.  My mom was my date and financier for a good deal of the weekend (thanks, Mom!).  I even got to spend a day with dear old Matthew, cruisin' his hood and Venice Beach.  Steve and I made it down to Asheville, NC for my mom's side's 08/08/08 family reunion, which was spectacular, as always.  Steve's band played in Key West in October, so I spent a weekend there, enjoying island life with bike rides and seafood.  In November, I finally (FINALLY) made it up to Boston for a crazy concert, scrumptious food, and the usual unusual antics with my Hob Bobblin and the gang.  And finally, Steve and I flew to California for Christmas, visiting with inappropriate family members and friends who seem to never change a bit (in a good way).

...I had, overall, a pretty swell time.