Thursday, October 30, 2014

Grey is My Favorite Color - Etsy Goodies

One of my 29 before 30 goals was to get rid of anything I don't wear and acquire a new wardrobe. I can't go into my thirties without having some semblance of personal style! I know it's not the most important thing in the world, but I consider myself to be a creative person and creative people have to look creative! Plus it's fun. Well guys, I'm proud to say that I've accomplished emptying out my closet. Unfortunately this means I have almost nothing left. No joke! I have two, yes, TWO blouses that I like and all the rest are just t-shirts. A few are pretty good "casual weekend outing" tees but the rest are basically only pajama worthy. Last weekend I went to pick up a couple new pairs of jeans because I literally had no pants. I've pretty much spiraled out of control in the fashion department. Not to be dramatic or anything.

Now I'm on a quest for new clothes. The problem with shopping online and even in stores is that I always get caught up in "the brand" because I don't have a secure idea about how I like to dress. For example, I'll be in Express. I'll be looking at all the business casual clothes and the suit jackets and get all these ideas about how to dress in that style, but then the next day I'm in American Eagle thinking about living the California dream in faded jean shorts and flannel shirts. Then I go online to Modcloth and see all the adorable twee dresses and I get all excited about wearing cute tights. I have fashion multiple personality disorder.

I decided to try out browsing Etsy and saving anything I loved in my favorites so I could get a clearer picture of what kind of things I like to wear. I may not have a clear picture yet but I did notice something: I love grey. Whenever I shop for clothes I inevitably choose nothing but grey things. It's weird because this is the exact opposite of my taste in interior decor, where I love bold patterns and bright colors. Now I've got that Counting Crows song, "Mr. Jones" playing in my head... (You know grey is my favorite color, I felt so symbolic yesterday..." Am I showing my age yet?

Monday, October 27, 2014

How do you do Halloween?

If I were an excellent blogger I would have already done a photoshoot of a coordinated family costume, all made by hand of course, with thrifted items and things from my closet. I would never have gone to the Halloween store and purchased costumes from a bag or shake-and-go wig! What kind of person would I be??

I should have a display area in my home where I have stylishly placed hand painted pumpkins, Halloween related artwork and a bowl of caramels made from scratch. I should have shared hot cider recipes and pumpkin-flavored-everything recipes! What would you think of me if I told you I haven't touched a can of pumpkin puree or even considered roasting a pumpkin this year?

What I AM doing to get in the spirit is listening to a nice gothic themed playlist (lots of The Cure) and watching Halloween movies (including American Horror Story!! This season is pretty good so far, am I right?)

Last weekend we dove an hour to the closest town with a costume store and picked up some stuff. My dream Halloween costume for the family was to be characters from Labyrinth. I would be Sarah, Ellie would be Toby and Joe wanted to be Ludo (there is an awesome DIY Ludo costume on Insructables here... I just don't have the time to make it!) 

Instead of Labyrinth costumes we are going to be separate characters. I'm going as Elvira and Ellie will be my black cat. Joe is going as Buckethead, the guitarist. I would have put a lot more effort into costumes if I knew we would have a party to go to or an event to be at. The problem with moving around so much is that you never have friends who throw parties! We will be going to a skate competition and maybe a haunted ship in the town over from us. 

Halloween is one of those holidays I LOVE, but it can get so expensive and become so time consuming to do it right. Then sometimes you spend all that time on a costume and you have nowhere to go in it! I've never been a hostess type, but I would love to one day throw a Halloween party.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Home Movies

I don't think I ever posted links to Ellie's home movies! I put together some iPhone videos that I took during the past 6 months and put them together to make a little progress video. It seems like a waste to take so many little videos and not have a good way to watch them all. I put them together every three months. 
I'm not a video editing expert at all, but it makes me happy to see all the little moments we had. Anyone have any tips?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

29 Before 30

Two years ago I did "27 before 28" and I feel like I did a good job with that one, so here it is: 29 things I will do before I turn the big 3-0 (or "dirty thirty" as I prefer to call it.)
Since 29 is like, a SUPER big number and all, I divided my list up into categories so your eyes don't explode or just glaze over. I guess when I reach 30 I'll have to break out the file folders!

  1. Pay off my smaller school loan.
  2. Snowball that payment onto my car loan and pay it off early.
  3. Find a work study job to help move things along and make a dent in my bigger school loan.
  4. Looking over my list, much of it requires money! I'll have to budget carefully and make sure I still put money into savings and retirement while allocating for things that I want.
  5. Spend as little as possible on groceries while still being able to enjoy interesting food. I'm not going to eat Ramen everyday, but I'd like to spend less than we are now.

  1. Start university (again.) I've applied and hopefully I'll hear back soon!
  2. Maintain at least a 3.75 GPA
  3. Put EVERYTHING I've got into whatever math course I have to take. It's going to be tough!

  1. Purchase a nice bed set - the grown-up kind. None of this box-spring-on-the-floor business. This must include a sweet mattress.
  2. While I'm thinking about furniture, we need a dining table as well. 
  3. Build Ellie a play kitchen from our old bed side tables.
  4. Go through my closet a second time and really get rid of things I don't wear. I went through once and got rid of a lot, but of course there are still a bunch of "I might fit this later" and "I think I might wear it again" which you and I know is total BS.
  5. Grow my collection of horribly tacky cat figurines. I kinda stopped collecting after we moved out of Anchorage. Alaska had the BEST thrift stores for tacky cat stuff and Louisiana has nothing!
  6. Create a weekly shopping list that follows a weekly meal plan... Yes. I'm going there. I'm going to be one of those people! It will help with the cost of groceries more than anything as well as cut out the annoyance of having no idea what to make for dinner and then just eating pasta.
  7. On that note, I want to have a set day every month where I make a big batch of freezer meals. I do frozen pizza dough and veggie broth but I know there is so much more I can freeze for an easy dinner. I made a bunch of these before Ellie was born so we wouldn't have to eat cereal for dinner while taking care of a newborn. I want to branch out and make soups, garlic breads, waffles, pot pies and chimichangas. 
  8. Start a vegetable garden. Last time I made a list I said I would grow herbs, which I did, but they didn't really thrive indoors. Since we are moving to the country I'd like to plant some vegetables that are easy to grow. This one may not actually happen but I'll try.

  1. Start a "Beauty Fund" in a little mason jar.
  2. With this fund I'll make sure I get myself regular manicures, haircuts, and tanning. Alaska made me more pale than I care to be and I haven't recovered from it yet. 
  3. Make it a habit to have a weekly "pampering day." I'll do a cute nail design for the week, take a nice bath, have a glass of wine and use all my beauty products that sadly get left in cabinets most of the time.
  4. Do something interesting with my hair. I'm not sure what, yet, but I've got to do something different.
  5. New wardrobe! Let's face it, I need it. Most of my clothes are really old and lots don't fit anymore. I should invest in quality pieces that I love and wear all the time. In the long run it will save money.

  1. Learn to play my new ukulele. 
  2. Give Ellie a really cute and simple birthday party, Pinterest worthy. That's right, buntings made from Instagram photos are in the future!
  3. Set up a schedule for blogging. Once I'm in school and staying home with Ellie I should have a little more blogging time available (HA, yeah right...)
  4. Learn more about my cameras settings. 
  5. Get some inexpensive lighting equipment for indoor photos.
  6. Sew at least one more dress.

  1. Keep as much negativity out of my personal bubble as possible. I'm usually pretty good at separating myself from toxicity, but at the same time I'm very sensitive and even the small amount I let in can ruin my day or week. I think it will always do me well to continuously assess my situation and relationships and put a boundary on how much negativity I will take in.
  2. I want to try to be less anxious. This year is a big one and I'm constantly looking forward to what will happen in the next few days, weeks and months. The countdowns are just dragging along it seems, like they will never end and the closer the end gets the slower it goes. Unless, of course, it is something I don't want to happen and then time just speeds up! I have to remind myself more often that the time will pass and I will get where I need to be in no time. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Uncle Will

Last weekend my brother came to Louisiana meet Ellie. The last time I saw my brother was Christmas last year in California during our road trip. Has it really been almost a year since then?

Ellie was pretty happy to meet her uncle. She cried a little bit first, like she usually does with new people, but after a couple minutes she was just fine! I was hoping to take him out to get some good Cajun food or see a bayou or something, but it didn't really work out. It was so rainy and we ended up playing board games and watching Halloween movies instead. I made some creamsicle Jell-O shots for the occasion and they turned out pretty good, as far as Jell-O shots go.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Just an Existential Fashion Crisis.

I don't know about everyone else, but I never really get that "spring cleaning" itch around springtime. It happens randomly. All the sudden I wake up and think, "I NEED to clean out my closet! Like, NOW." Then I sit and think about all the stuff I never wear and what I should do with it and how to decide what to replace everything with once I empty everything out... and then I'm too mentally exhausted to actually do anything about it.

I really don't get fashion. I suppose I read as many fashion blogs as the next person, but they aren't on the top of my list. I know there are certain styles that aren't for me. I can look at someone else's outfit and love it, but as far as recreating it I'm at a loss. Anytime I try to put together a "look," as they call it, I sort of throw on a bunch of stuff and end up looking like one of those sad hobo clowns. How do you wear shorts and tights and make it cute? How do you pick a silhouette? Which one is right for me and defines MY life? Who really cares anyway?? I'm not going anywhere interesting where I feel like impressing anyone. If I lived in New York City or something I might care since most everyone there looks fashionable or at least has their own style. Rural Louisiana is pretty much a fashion desert anyway. So that's how it goes. I throw on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt and that's that.

Last years "fashion-y" boots? Who knows.

Do you know I don't even own a pair of jeans anymore?

How can a twenty something have neglected her own wardrobe for so long that she no longer owns a single pair of jeans? This isn't normal, guys. This is how you know you are getting old. This is on the cusp of "frumpy mom."

No. I refuse.

I refuse to be a frumpy Walmart-clothing mom. It doesn't help that Walmart is the only place to shop within a 60 mile radius, either.

Since I'm on the verge of going back to college I think that now is the time to make a change. I don't want to feel like the "old one" in class. I want to be the "intimidatingly experienced one" in class. Having a non-frumpy wardrobe is probably a step in the right direction, don't you think? Clothes certainly aren't the most important thing in life but they say so much about you that it's a shame to ignore it completely.

It's purging time guys!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ellie Nova Ottati - 6 Months!

Growing? She weighs about 15 pounds.

New and Exciting? She can stand up if we hold her hands for balance and she got her top two teeth in! Her uncle Will is here to visit her and he can make her laugh and smile.

Loves? Her feet and hands are extremely interesting. She loves her bananas and carrots. She also loves to scream as loud as she can when the dog or cat are playing or running around. 

Hates? She hates waking up from naps, just like her mom. 

Looking Forward to? Going back to New York so she can see the snow. 
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