Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween, all! It's cold and rainy and miserable here, so we just kind of threw handfuls of candy in the bags of the few kids who braved the nasty Ohio weather, then hightailed it inside. I was thinking about watching a scary movie tonight, but Matt's going over to a friend's to watch some Star Trek (I know, what a nerd!) and there's no way I can handle that shiz alone. I can barely handle it when he IS around! Hope the festivities are going a bit better for you guys :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pinspiration Monday: Boo-zy drinks

Get it? Boozy drinks? For Halloween? Okay, I suck at puns. It still makes me giggle :)

Anyway, Matt and the girls upstairs and I threw a little Halloween house party on Friday. Naturally, I turned to Pinterest for some themed drink inspiration, and I used these two pins as jumping off points:

And, in true scatterbrain fashion, I completely forgot that I pinned the above recipe for Butterbeer (just click the picture to go to the original link). So I turned to trusty old Google and found one here. I remembered a little of the first recipe, though, and kind of wound up combining the two recipes in my head to come up with this:


Basically, I just stirred together two liters of cream soda, a dash of vanilla extract, a bigger dash of butter flavoring and a healthy dose (as in, maybe a cup or two?) of butterscotch schnapps. For the foamy top, I combined some heavy cream, marshmallow fluff and butter flavoring in my food processor. (Note: When your foodpro comes with a "max fill" line, you should probably heed that warning. Unless you want cream and marshmallow fluff all over your walls.) Anyway, it was really, really delicious.



Yeah, I had to do the cheesy mustache shot. Can you blame me?

I also riffed on the idea of serving drinks in a pumpkin a little. But instead of shoving a few bottles into a gourd, I made a jack-o-lantern with a giant mouth, and filled it with...Jell-O shots! Kind of my specialty.


And if you're wondering about my costume, I was dressed as Leeloo from the movie The Fifth Element. Matt, of course, went as Korben Dallas. For some reason, he preferred the movie-climax-torn-tuxedo outfit to my preference, the bright orange tank top ;)


Did you guys go to any Halloween parties this weekend? What did you dress as?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fiscal Fridays: Live like no one else

It's been a while since I did a Fiscal Fridays post, mainly because there's not much to talk about. Ever since I got my new job six months ago, money's been pretty easy. I have enough to pay my bills, have a little fun, do a little shopping, and work on my Dave Ramsay Debt Snowball. In fact, I'm on track to pay off my next debt, the loan from my dad, about 18 months ahead of schedule. (The Best Buy credit card was the first.)

But this week, I realized that I can no longer update the software on my Macbook (I know, I know...#firstworldproblems). And my first thought was to buy a new Macbook Pro. At first, I had all these reasons in my head as to why it would be okay to charge a new computer.

Oh good lord, it's glorious.

I increased the limit on my Best Buy card, to $1,600. With that, I could easily get the 13" Macbook Pro without maxing out the card. I'd have 18 months to pay it off, in payments of less than $70 a month. And then I started thinking about why I need a new computer. After all, this one is nearly six years old. It has only one gig of RAM, and I only have about 10 gigs of space left on my hard drive. Plus, there's the whole can't-update-software thing, and the computer sometimes CRAWLS. Editing blog photos in Photoshop can be a nightmare, especially when it takes a good 20 or 30 seconds just to rotate a damn image. That brand-new Macbook Pro was practically in my shopping cart.

And then, I stopped myself.

I reminded myself that I am really trying to pay down my debt. That I'm currently on track to have everything, including my car, paid off in less than a year and a half. And while $70 a month seems like nothing in exchange for a new computer, it's $70 that I won't be able to put toward paying down my debt. Or going shopping.

And then I thought, really thought, about how my computer is working. And you know something? It still works. Yes, it's a little outdated, and yes, it's a little slow. But for about $100 (less if I take the time to scour eBay/Amazon) I can buy new RAM cards and replace my two 512 MB cards with two 1 GB cards to double my memory. I don't need a new computer. I just really want one.

Dave Ramsay says that if now you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else. What he means is, if you can ignore the "instant gratification" culture that's forced on us day in and day out, later you can have everything you want and more. Putting things I can't afford on my credit card simply because "I really want them" is what got me into this mess in the first place.

So right here and now, I'm starting a new savings plan. I'll cut into my "fun" money and start saving to buy a new computer. Because let's face it, this one won't last forever. I'll be lucky to get another year or two out of it. But if I start saving now, I might have all (or at least most) of the amount ready to go by the time this old gal kicks the bucket. And the less I charge, the better :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Photographer!





sweater: Old Navy
short-sleeve Oxford, slacks: New York & Company
shoes: Target

This is the first of three photo shoots my friend Chasity did with me. I have to say, I really love how these turned out. And it was so, SO nice to have someone else taking the photos...I feel like it really let me loosen up a little. (And having someone else edit the pics wasn't too terrible either, haha!)

There are a lot of other photos, too. You can check them out on the Verbal Mélange Facebook page (and like it while you're there, maybe?). Most are just extra shots, but there is one sweet black and white photo and a couple goofy/terrible ones. If you're in to "watching other people embarrass themselves online" sorta thing. Ha.

Ok, well I gotta go finish prepping for tomorrow's Halloween party. I'm trying out a new drink recipe (come back for Pinspiration Monday if you wanna check it out) and making some spiked cider and Jell-O shots (kind of the house specialty) as well. I love hosting parties. Squee!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Worded out




shirt: old, don't remember
blazer: thrifted
slacks: New York & Company
necklace: Forever 21 or H&M? not sure.
flats: Payless

I don't usually pre-draft blog posts. I'm more of a stream-of-consciousness writer. But just now, I drafted a whole post for the (probably temporary) return of Fiscal Fridays, and let me tell you, I am all worded out. I don't even really know what that means, but it makes me giggle to say it in my head so I'm going to stick with that phrase.

I'm hoping to return to Pinspiration Mondays as well next week, with my first-ever Pinspiration recipe. Well, it's not a recipe, per se. It's a drink. Which is vaguely recipe-like, only instead of making me (and my friends) feel full, it will make us feel drunk. Because it will make us drunk. Woohoo?

Friday, October 19, 2012




shirt: old, don't remember, maybe New York & Company?
skirt: The Limited
heels: Target
necklace: InPink
cocktail ring: giveaway win, maybe from Modcloth? don't remember

Sometimes, I really appreciate a low-key evening, even if it's on the weekend. Maybe especially on the weekend, because lately I feel like we've spent so many Fridays out and about. Tonight it's just me, the cat, a bottle of wine and my iTunes getting some much-needed cleanup and updating. Does it make me a complete nerd that I'm completely content to weed through nearly 4,000 songs, deleting stuff I don't listen to anymore and fixing the album title/genre categories for my library? It does? Well, I guess I'm okay with that.

What about you guys? Do you have anything more exciting planned for you this weekend? For your sakes, I kind of hope you do :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fickle Ohio



sweater, slacks: thrifted
polo, shoes: Target
necklace: InPink
hair flower: H&M

I've complained about it before, I am now and I probably will again. But Ohio weather is just the craziest thing. When I wore this outfit last week, I was waking up to 30 degree mornings and frosty grass. Today, the high creeped up to a balmy 73 degrees. What the what? I guess it's not so bad, really, to get unexpected spurts of warm weather. But it makes it really hard to find coats (I have a couple lightweight and a two heavier coats, but nothing in between) and it's really annoying to leave the house in gloves/scarf/coat and have to carry it all home because it's too warm out. Blah.

Anyway, I really like this sweater, but I kind of wish it was just a size bigger. It's my official mission this fall to find the comfiest oversize sweater possible. Anyone have any favorites they'd like to mention? Ha :)

(BTW, if you're wondering why there are only two photos here today, it's because the rest were just awful. No lie. I looked drunk in some of them. Ick.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Returns and shoutouts




sweater: JCPenney, maybe? Not sure, it's old!
undershirt, boots: Target
pink skinnies: thrifted
earrings: The Limited
necklace: gifted from my grandma

Told you I'd be back :)

Yes, after a much-needed break, I've returned to the Internets. Sometimes, it's just nice to take a week off when I'm feeling overwhelmed, which happend every once in a while. Now, I feel refreshed and ready to keep right on bloggin'!

One of the biggest things I do to get out of my periodic funks is hit the gym. A good half-hour of cardio and another half-hour of weights is pretty much best thing in the world for me at times like that. I'm also back on what I call my "winter regime" to cope with my depression, which consists of working out three to four times a week, seven or eight minutes in a tanning bed twice a week (with actual sunscreen on, of course) and a multivitamin with tons of B and D vitamins.

And I got a ton of natural sunlight and exercise this weekend at Ohio University's Homecoming weekend. It was a gorgeous, sunny 70 degrees out and oh my gosh, a little dose of Athens was exactly what the doctor ordered. It was busy, and crazy, and I did more walking than you'd believe. But I got to see some good friends and my sister, a fellow alumna, who's having a birthday today (happy bday, seester!). Didn't get to see my brother-in-law, which was kind of a bummer, but he was off at the football game while my sis and Matt and I were at the bars. We also helped our friend propose to her girlfriend while at OU. They are just about the cutest damn couple I've ever seen, and they happen to be two of my best friends. I'm not gonna lie, I teared up a little during the big moment :P Congrats, you two!

Also, I just wanna take a sec to thank those of you who commented on my last post. I don't get super personal like this very often, so it made me smile to read that there were people out there who weren't freaked out by my honesty and who reached out with kind words. You guys rule.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I feel like I owe a little explanation for my bloggy silence since last week, which is quite likely to continue for at least another few days. I'm not shutting VM down, so no worries to those of you who read regularly. But I feel the need to back off at least for a little bit longer.

If you've read VM for any extended period of time, you'll know that I sometimes struggle with depression. It's something that I've accepted as a part of me, like an unwelcome houseguest that you just can't quite shoo away. Most of the time, and I mean like 90% of the time, it's not even a problem. I'm super self-aware, so I can almost always get myself out of those funks that occasionally pop up. Except when I can't. Like Friday, when it hit me like a train. I spent most of the weekend trying to pull myself out of it, but here it is on Tuesday and I'm still trying.

It's nothing for anyone to be concerned about by any means. It's just me, taking a step back to embrace my old "friend" so I can shove it away for another few months. That's how my depression and I work. It sneaks in, I let it, I deal with it, and then I move on.

And no, I'm not trying for any sympathy here. I appreciate it, but I don't need it. I just thought it'd be fair to let my bloggy friends know what's going on in my life. I like transparency. Also, I'm afraid that if I randomly stop posting for a week without an explanation you'll all decide to stop reading forever and that would make me really sad.

So for now, I guess I'll just say that I'll see you guys in a few days? And hopefully, in this case at least, absence will make your hearts grow fonder :)

Thanks for...idk, reading? Still?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yay photos, boo allergies



dress: H&M (thrifted)
cardi, belt, tights: Target
shoes: Payless
necklace: Banana Republic, I think?

This week, I've been going out with my friend Chasity (one of the girls who live upstairs that I've mentioned) to take outfit photos. At first, it was a little awkward, of course, but today we went down to the park at the end of our street and got some really awesome shots. I can't wait to show them to you guys! (She's even editing them for me, so I might actually have some professional-blog-quality photos on here soon. I'm a little excited.)

This outfit really makes me feel like fall is pretty much in full swing. It's been getting steadily chillier (until a weird warm day today), but it's definitely tights season. In other news, allergies are kicking my tail. Things have been a little rough the last few mornings, and as I type I have to pause every so often to sniffle a bit. Ugh. I'm just gonna curl up in my sweats and watch me some Grey's Anatomy with those upstairs girls :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding weekend: Last of the year



dress: c/o eShakti
heels: Franco Sarto via Marshall's
bracelets: handmade in Uganda (fundraiser purchase)

First, I know that this dress looks gray, but it's definitely purple, I promise. Someday, I'll photograph it proper light, I swear. It's frustrating when outfits don't show up on camera the way they do in real life, isn't it? (Where are my fellow bloggers? You know what I'm talking about.)

Anyway, I wore this last Friday to Matt's sister's wedding rehearsal dinner. Even though this dress is wool, it's surprisingly light and comfortable, which is great because dinner was a several-hour-long gathering filled with wine, good company and great conversation. (Come to think of it, I feel like those three tend to go hand in hand, don't they?)

Saturday was, of course, the wedding. It was so unbelievably gorgeous; Matt's sister, Beth, looked like she came straight from 1940s Hollywood. I didn't get a chance to get a photo with her (she and her new husband were busy socializing with the other 150 guests, of course), but after the ceremony I pulled Matt aside for a quick snap of my outfit with my phone.

dress: Lily Boutique
scarf-as-shawl, necklace, clutch: Target
shoes: DSW
bracelet: Forever 21

This dress is actually kind of the reason why I don't shop online very often. When I first saw this dress on Pinterest, I immediately fell completely in love. I waited literally four weeks for it to come back in stock, then pounced on it the second it was available. On the mannequin, the dress looks great. Classy. Elegant. On me, it looks so short as to be almost a little...wel...inappropriate. Almost.

But when I wrapped this scarf around my shoulders, shawl-like, it added some modesty to the outfit and kept it from showing too much skin. Low(er) heels helped with that, too. Maybe next time I'll try it with a pair of opaque tights, to balance out the shortness, and leave my arms bare. Hm...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pin-spiration Monday: Last-minute crafting

I don't think I mentioned this on the blog yet, but Matt and I recently bought a turntable and a sound system from our friend Scott. (Thanks Scott!) The speakers are ginormous, and the addition of the turntable and amp meant that our entertainment system had outgrown our entertainment center, so we decided to rearrange the living room and get a new unit to house our electronics. So for this week's Pin-spiration, I really wanted to repurpose a dresser into a TV stand. I have a bunch of ideas pinned to my Pin-spiration pin board, but here's the general idea:

But I couldn't seem to find an appropriate dresser at thrift stores or garage sales around here. But then, in the midst of my search, I found this glorious entertainment center at a consignment shop. I'd peg it at easily $150+ retail, but this gently used beauty was on sale, half off, for just $18. It was unbelievable. I couldn't resist. (More on that in another post.)

So instead, I happened upon this little mini-project instead:

It was perfect; I am seriously short on fridge magnets (why does that feel like a weird thing to say?) and I happen to have a pretty nice little collection of foreign coins. The only ones I've collected my self are from Canada, as it were, but the rest came from family and friends who have traveled farther than I. I have a decent representation from both Europe and Asia, and a few from Central America. Best of all, I had some duplicates and some "unknowns"—mystery coins of dubious origin—so I used those to make about two dozen magnets.



I started by heading to Lowe's and getting some small disc magnets. I bought 16, and later realized I already had seven at home, so I was good to go. I only took a photo of the first 16 coins, because I didn't realize I had more magnets until I was done with this batch. Womp womp.


The original blogger used a glue called "E-6000," but I didn't feel like buying a super adhesive, as I tend to have issues with regular old super glue. (By issues, I mean I once super-glued a phone to the side of my face. I wish I were kidding.) Anyway, I decided to go for hot glue instead. Didn't work even a little bit. So super glue it was after all. Fun fact: American coins are not magnetic, but coins from some other countries are. (I'm looking at you, Canada.) I did not know this...and it was pretty interesting to figure that out while struggling with super glue. But I'm pleased to say I escaped without incident.


They stand off the fridge a little higher than I would like, but overall I'm pretty dang satisfied with this one. It's a cute little quirk that makes our fridge fun :)


Why yes, I do hang kid art on my fridge. My little sister drew these for me when I was in college and since graduating. She's six now, and it's kind of cute to see her evolving skill level :) ...Though I have to say, I'm pretty sure my mom colored the Sesame Street one at my sister's request. She likes to delegate, haha!