Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, y'all! I'm not gonna lie, this is one of my top three favorite holidays. (The other two being Thanksgiving and New Year's, of course.) I love being scared. I love dressing up. And I really, really love candy. I have two Halloween parties this weekend, so I'm not gonna reveal my REAL costume yet. But today at work, I'm dressed like my boss, Ben. Because cross-dressing at work (which, by the way, is a state government agency) is not weird at all, right? Not today, it's not!

I wore my own shirt, slacks and jacket, and raided Matt's closet for the tie, belt and shoes. Which are enormous on me. The sacrifices we make for (pseudo) fashion...


That's a pic of his kids and me sitting at his desk while he was in a meeting. We're a pretty relaxed office, thankfully :)

He said, "I'm strangely flattered, even though I know I'm being roundly mocked." To which I replied, "Oh Ben, trust me. You'd know if I were mocking you." And then we laughed and, good sport that he is, we took a pic:


Do you guys dress up at work? What are you going as/did you go as for your parties?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Idk what to title this post.



shirt: The Limited via Discount Fashion Warehouse
cardi: H&M
slacks: thrifted
flats: secondhand (but I think you can still find them at Target)
necklace: Old Navy

First, a very heartfelt thanks to those who shared their kind words and well-wishes re: yesterday's post. Folks like you help me realize that even though I feel very much alone when I'm like this, I never really am.

I'm feeling a little better emotionally today, but physically I think I may be falling apart. A sneaky migraine and what might be an injured tendon in my knee are conspiring against me this morning. Fortunately, I found an outfit shoot from earlier this month that I hadn't realized was saved on my computer. Sooo that's good. And can we talk about those shoes for a sec? Purple-and-silver shoes and an emerald top. I love it. Jewel tones FTW!

I don't really have much else to talk about today. I'mma go limp off and down some coffee in hopes that this monster headache disappears...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Half-hearted apology?

I was going to write a post this morning, but when my alarm went off I remembered I didn't have any outfit photos left on my computer and decided to sleep in instead. Whittling down the dozens of shots for each outfit after I load them from my camera takes time, and so does editing them, and then thinking of something to say, and quite frankly I didn't think I'd have the energy to do all that. I also thought about writing a DIY post on my lunch break, but I didn't have all the pictures I needed and I just couldn't really sum up the energy to even start it.

Because today, I am sad.

(That link, should you choose to follow it, is a wonderfully written vignette by a colleague from OU. It captures the concept of depression in a haunting, beautiful way that resonates deep down in my soul. She's like Allie Brosh, but with less pictures and more dry wit. [Amy, if you ever stumble across this, please know that that is about the highest compliment I can think of.])

Now I've lost my train of thought. I don't know that I ever really had one, except to say that I'm kind of having a bad day and it's for a really stupid reason (isn't it always?) and I'm sorry that you all have to read this blather instead of something interesting.

I really, really don't want to go to the gym after work today. I want to self-indulge in mopey-ness by sitting on the couch and eating disgusting amounts of disgusting food for a disgustingly long period of time, because it's easier and in a weird, twisted way, it's a little gratifying. But I (probably) won't do all that. Because it's bad for me and if I want to do this on my own, without medication (because I've been there and it freakin sucks), I can't give in to those urges. I have to do the hard thing. I have to make myself feel better.

I have half a mind to delete this because it's way personal and possibly TMI and honestly, who wants to hear me whine about being depressed today? But then I think about brave women like Amy and Allie and Jenny Lawson, who post about their struggles unapologetically, who are more concerned with removing stigma and raising awareness than their own images, and I move my mouse over the "Publish" button.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fiscal Fridays: Accountability 10/18-10/24

I blew my budget three ways to Sunday last month, so this month I'm trying really hard not to eat out at all. To help with this goal and hold myself accountable, I'm blogging each week about how I did.

First week, $8. Last week, nearly $40. This week? Somehow, even more, sadly. Like last week, I didn't want my self-imposed spending cap to make a wet blanket. My friend Emily came up from West Virginia, and I got to go back to Athens again to pick up Anna because our other sister (Abby) was in town from South Carolina. So lots of travel and people visiting = eating out. It couldn't be helped. Fortunately, my temptation to buy breakfast and lunch at work was at a minimal all week, so my slip-ups weren't too bad.

Friday, October 18
Met Emily at Panera for lunch. I guess I could have taken her back to my house and cooked something, but come on. How lame is that? $10.46. We both drove down to Athens, where we met Anna for dinner at the Court Street Diner. Which, by the way, has the best mac'n'cheese ever. Picked up Anna's meal because college. $27.40. (We then drove up to my parents' house, where they paid for everything. Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

Sunday, October 20
Grabbing brunch at the super-awesome Northstar Cafe just before Emily heads home is a long-standing tradition. The menu is very local and mostly organic, therefore it's very pricey. Fortunately I had a coupon for a free entreé and only paid $4.82 for my fresh-squeezed orange juice; without the coupon I would have been looking at a nearly $20 price tag.

Rest of the wee
Actually, I didn't spend any of my own money! Packed lunches like a champ, ate snacks and breakfast at home or brought from home, and powered through the week. It didn't hurt that I got a $25 Starbucks gift card from my friend's mom; she owns a bakery and I shot a few snaps of her desserts for her website. How nice of her is that? I used part of it to get a breakfast sammie and a salted caramel mocha latte (OHMYGODYUM) on Thursday.

Total for the week: $42.68. Thank god for that gift card and self-control, eh?

Fiscal Friday: VICTORY!

So if you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you'll probably know that the summer after I graduated college in 2010, I had a lot of debt. I mean, there were no student loans, so it wasn't an unmanageable amount, but between my car, my credit cards and a few other things, I was smothered under something like $15,000 in high-interest debt. No joke, one of my cards was charging an unbelievable twenty-seven percent APR, and I was barely able to make minimum payments.

For the first three months after college, I was working as a catering coordinator at Panera making $10 an hour, plus tips. I also did monthly freelance work that added $600 to my monthly income, but it was untaxed and I had to set aside some of it to pay taxes the following year. Often, I couldn't afford to set any aside. It all went to bills. I constantly felt like I was drowning. I had panic attacks over whether I'd make my next payment. I lost sleep wondering if I'd make enough tips the next day to get the $40 I was short on my bills. Just thinking about how stressed I was makes my stomach tie up in knots, even now.

Then I got a job at Columbus Monthly magazine, making $12 an hour. The drowning feeling didn't really go away, and at one point I had to take on a third job for a few months to save up enough money to cover my impending tax payment and my car's clutch, which was about to give out. For a while I was working 70 to 80 hour weeks and still barely making ends meet. I helped myself a little by transferring my high-interest credit card debt to a low-interest line of credit (more on that here). The lower interest and condensed payment made a huge difference. But I was still drowning.

Then, two things happened. I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, and then I got my current job, which pays a wage I can actually live on. And not only live on, but have surplus money with for the first time in my life. And for the last two years, I've been putting all of that surplus money toward my debt, per Dave's instructions.

And then this month, something amazing happened.

I paid off the last of my debt.

No joke guys, at one point I had just accepted that I would be struggling under the yoke of debt for the rest of my life. I just assumed I'd never get ahead. I had made peace with it. If, two and a half years ago, you had told me that I'd be where I am today, I would have laughed in your face. And then probably gone home and cried a lot.

It wasn't easy. It required a LOT of discipline, which is not something I had a lot of to begin with. I had to radically alter the way I looked at money, and credit. I had to make a billion tiny lifestyle changes. I had to learn to wait for the things I really wanted. I had to learn to say no. But just this week, I made my final car payment (10 months earlier than my loan repayment schedule, no less) and right this second, I could just about cry with joy. I apologize for all the bragging, but really, no I don't. Because I am fucking proud of myself. And really, I don't think I should have to apologize for that.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I technically have one tiny hurdle left to jump. I make most of my monthly purchases on my rewards credit card (more on that here), and I kind of fell a bit behind last month and this month. It's nothing terrible, and I'll be fully caught up again in just a couple of weeks, so I'm not really counting it in terms of "real" debt. But still. For all intents and purposes, I am free from the chains of overwhelming debt. Can I get a hell to the yes?

That doesn't mean the end of Fiscal Fridays, by the way. Eliminating debt is just the first big step in Dave's Total Money Makeover. So as I take the next steps, I'll continue blogging about my journey.

Okay. Not-so-humble-brag over. #sorryimnotsorry. Stay tuned for my accountability post for the past week's "no-eating-out" vow!

(Sidenote: Image was one of many ubiquitous results of a Google image search. Couldn't find an original source, unfortunately. If this is your image, please let me know so I can credit it appropriately!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Third time's a charm




studded collar blouse: Express via Discount Fashion Warehouse
skinnies: The Limited via DFW
flats: Target
bracelet: Etsy

So I originally wore this outfit back in mid-September. The photos were all blurry, so I reshot early this month. And none of those turned out either. So finally, on my third attempt and probably the last that would have been possible without freezing my buns off. Because in Ohio, October means a reasonable chance of snow, or at least freezing rain -_-

Also, please don't make fun of my butt in these pictures. I swear, it looks better than the Miley Cyrus-ness it looks like in some of these. Blame my phone; it was in my back pocket.

And can I just say how excited I am to finally be on the red-pants bandwagon? I know I'm wayyyy late to the game. In retrospect, I can't believe it's taken me this long. I. Love. These. Pants. Also, I love studs. Obviously. Sporting studs/spikes on my collar, wrist and heels with this outfit. See?


Monday, October 21, 2013


I'm gonna take a page out of Sydney's book and dedicate a whole post to my weekend. Because it was that spectacular. (Some of the OU photos are from Homecoming last weekend, but that's okay. I was actually in Athens twice this weekend so I feel like it counts.)

I kicked the weekend off by taking the afternoon off at work and meeting my friend Emily, who was in town visiting from West Virginia, for lunch at Panera. We got our nails done, then drove down to Athens for some reminiscing and to pick up my sister, Anna. (Emily and I met at Ohio University, and she doesn't get nearly as many chances to visit as I do.)


We walked around, reminisced, took a bunch of photos and grabbed dinner before heading out.



Entrance to College Green, the park-like green space in the middle of campus.

And old but really pretty building on the green.

Another entrance to the green.

Scripps Hall, aka my unofficial home for four years. Most of my journalism classes were in this building.

See the teeny half-moon window in the attic of the building with the green roof? That was my bedroom junior year.


Jackie O's was my official introduction to microbreweries. They always have great beers on tap, even for someone like me who doesn't really like beer. Razz Wheat fo' life!

I dropped Emily off in Columbus that night, then Anna and I finished the drive up to our parents' house. We got there late, but Mom and Dad stayed up till an unprecedented 1 am to chat, though two of my other sisters and I didn't go to bed until after 3. For me, that is hella late, haha.

My brothers had football games on Saturday, so the girls of the family went to meet our grandma and aunt for lunch and some shopping. (I managed to stick to my no-buying-clothes commitment for the month, despite finding some SUPER cute booties.) After a noisy and enthusiastic dinner and a great win by the Buckeyes (we're an OSU family through and through), we all went on this little haunted history tour. It was pretty cute.


Anna and I drove back to Columbus later that night, because I had plans to meet Emily for brunch before she headed home. We ate at Northstar, which if you live anywhere near Columbus, you should know about. (And if you don't, shame! Go there right this second. I'm not kidding. Go.) Anna didn't feel like joining us, which was definitely her loss.

Stephanie, Emily and me. Steph went to OU with us as well and was Emily's roommate for several years.

Poached eggs, Parmesan and prosciutto on rosemary focaccia toast with arugula salad, aka the best breakfast of my entire life.

Creepin' on someone's yard. Hey, if you live next to Northstar and have a tree this pretty, expect some creeper photographers.

Then I took Anna back to Athens and finally returned home for good to do some freelance work and cleaning. Total drive time: nearly 10 hours. Total distance: approximately 550 miles. Total time that was absolutely worth it: Every dang second.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fiscal Fridays: Accountability 10/11-10/18 and falling off the wagon

I blew my budget three ways to Sunday last month, so this month I'm trying really hard not to eat out at all. To help with this goal and hold myself accountable, I'm blogging each week about how I did.

So last week I did really well, coming in at only $8. This week? Yyyyyyeah, not so much. When I set a "no-eating-out" goal for this month, I completely failed to account for two things: Homecoming Weekend at OU last weekend and visits from my best friend and my sister this weekend. I refuse to let "oh I'm trying not to spend money" get in the way of fun times with friends and family. I was that person for a long time, and I hated it. So I'm not going to do it anymore. I fudged a bit last weekend. (And I'm sure I'll fudge this weekend as well.) And even those things aside, this week wasn't the greatest. Here's my little spending diary for the last seven days:

Friday, October 11
Date night with Matt. He got dinner, I had the movie tickets pre-paid via a Groupon purchased last month. Spending averted, woohoo!

Saturday, October 12, 10:30 am
I cave and buy breakfast on the way down to Athens. Getting Panera en route to OU is kind of a tradition for me; $7.57. Then it's lunch with Anna and her bf at Miller's Chicken, aka THE BEST DAMN FRIED CHICKEN PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD; $17.17. Dinner is this great guilty-pleasure Chinese place I love while Anna's at work; $6.75. I also buy drinks, but I don't count booze as "eating out." Cheating, perhaps, but hey, we're all human. And it's Athens, so drinks are insanely cheap anyway.

Sunday, October 13, 12:30 pm
Brunch with Anna at Court Street Diner; accidentally forget my real card in her dorm room and use a Visa gift card I had on hand, so technically free.

Tuesday, October 15, 7:21 am
Forgot to pre-mix my quinoa fruit smoothie last night. Womp womp. Think about eating breakfast and immediately feel sick. Good thing I bought some enormous apples yesterday; here's hoping that works.

(later that morning)
It totally does! Score.

7 pm
Finish running post-work errands and I'm literally week with hunger. Panera--my kryptonite--is in the next plaza over, but I resist and head home to heat up leftovers. Equal parts disappointed and proud.

Wednesday, October 16, 10 am
Woke up exhausted and therefore pretty nauseous. Can't even handle coffee. Feeling kind of bummed today, too. (Maybe it's all this rain?) Decide I deserve a treat: Breakfast sammie and a latte from Starbucks. $6.70, but worth every penny. It's not about spending money to cheer myself up--it's about deciding to treat myself in some way and then not beating myself up or feeling guilty about it.

Thursday, October 17, 10:30 am
No smoothie again, thanks to the blender in the dishwasher. Snag a mini cupcake from the next office over and inhale a granola bar...

11:55 am
Thank god, it's late enough to be considered lunchtime! Still, I didn't buy breakfast. Yay!

Total for the week: $38.19.'s not awesome. But it's still less than the $50/week I usually allot myself for food/beverage/entertainment spending, so I guess it's not a total loss.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Photo woes


shirtdress: Express via Discount Fashion Warehouse
tights: Groupon deal
boots: Target

Only two shots today because the rest turned out unexpectedly out of focus or I just looked kinda dumb. Having a rosebush in the background is nice, but it definitely makes it harder to get a good lock on the field of focus. Actually, I'm not even a huge fan of this outfit either, but it's the only one left in my queue and I didn't post yesterday, so... I guess they can't all be winners, huh?

I think I would have liked this outfit better if the tights had been the right color. They're supposed to be gray, but they're such a dark slate gray that they're nearly black. I have a pair of lighter gray tights, but I'm not good at making decisions in the mornings. I'm too busy trying to wake up. In fact, most of the outfits you see posted here are the result of pre-planning the night before. (I even have a note in my phone with possible outfit ideas.) Once in a while I'll surprise myself in the mornings, but usually if I don't plan an outfit in advance I end up wearing slacks and a plain blouse or nice t-shirt. This outfit was pre-planned, but I just couldn't get it together enough to decide to change my tights, haha.

How do you plan your outfits? Do you like to throw things together the morning of, or do you brainstorm ideas the night (or days) before?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Long weekend FTW!



blazer and slacks: Express via Discount Fashion Warehouse
blouse: The Limited via DFW
heels: Target

Sorry for my absence yesterday; I had the day off for Columbus Day and used it to the fullest extent. My whole weekend was kind of jam-packed, in fact, but in the best way possible.

Friday night was date night. Matt and I went out to dinner and saw Gravity. Fantastic visuals and audio effects, great soundtrack, lousy script. Seriously, I think I could have written better dialogue. See it in 3D if you go; the effects are absolutely worth it. We had a Groupon, so both tickets, two bags of popcorn and two drinks only cost $21. Not bad for a 3D flick in Columbus.

Saturday we slept in a little, then I went down to Athens for Ohio University's Homecoming. Matt isn't a huge fan of crowds, so he opted to go camping instead. I crashed in my sister's dorm room (she's a freshman) and had a blast catching up with some friends while she was at work. Then I introduced my sis to Anchorman, because (BLASPHEMY!) she'd never seen it. Sunday we hung out some more, saw some folks, enjoyed campus, then I came home and tried to recover ;) ...Hey, it's OU. Always requires some recovery time.

But yesterday I was a whirlwind! I slept in till 8 or so, then started tackling my to-do list. I finally did something about all my purses living on my closet floor, hung a bunch of art in our living rooms, did four loads of laundry, did the dishes, got groceries, and attempted a delicious dinner. (I only say "attempted" because my slow-cooker and I have some issues we need to work out. It's getting to be a problem...) I also worked on a few freelance projects. By the time Matt got home from work, my to-do list was done and I was free to chill with him. Pretty awesome, I say.

So on a completely unrelated note, I'm about to switch over my closet from warm weather clothes to cold weather clothes. I'm thinking these white pants are done for the season. It's a shame, because they're lined and would probably be pretty warm for winter. Any idea how to style these for cold months?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fiscal Fridays: Accountability for the week 10/4 - 10/10

I blew my budget three ways to Sunday last month, so this month I'm trying really hard not to eat out at all. To help with this goal and hold myself accountable, I'm blogging each week about how I did.

So the past week wasn't the worst in terms of my spending habits, but it wasn't the best either. I've been using the Notes app on my phone to journal my progress. Here's what I wrote over the last seven days:

Friday, Oct. 4, 12:42 pm
In my rush to get out the door this morning, I didn't pack enough food for lunch. Thought it would be enough, but I was wrong. Bought a small order of wings from the cafeteria--nothing else. $4.50. Realized halfway through that I wasn't that hungry after all. New goal: Wait 20 minutes after eating to buy more food, to give my stomach time to realize whether it's actually hungry.

Sunday, Oct. 6, noonish
Didn't get a chance to eat before running some time-sensitive errands. Wanted Panera for lunch, but settled for a $1.06 bagel (free butter, not cream cheese) and ate lunch for real when I got home.

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 10:30 am
So my biggest foe seems to be breakfast. The thought of eating within the first hour or two of waking up makes me physically nauseous, so I usually skip breakfast in favor of a cup or two of coffee. And of course by this time, I'm starving. This morning I tried Sydney's trick of making a breakfast smoothie, downing it pre-coffee as I packed my lunch and wiped down the kitchen. My stomach still is making the loudest grumbles you've ever heard. I'll give the smoothies a few more days (made a big batch of pre-mix), and maybe see how the Noble Pig's suggestion of adding quinoa works out, then I'll try my backup: packing breakfast.

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 10:24 am
Running errands on my morning break and I'm starving. Pop my head into Starbucks for a breakfast sandwich, but the line is a dozen people long. Take it as a sign and leave. There's a granola bar in my desk.

Same day, 10:30 am
Granola bars make me sad.

Thursday, Oct. 10, 10:25 am
Didn't have time for a smoothie this morning. I'm grumpy, tired, and hungry. Whatever, I'm getting cheese fries. (JK, I just couldn't resist the Mean Girls quote. I got bacon and eggs from the cafeteria--$3.30. They were completely unsatisfying, as I got the leftover bacon crumbles from breakfast service. Part of me feels like I deserve this for cheating. Womp womp.)

Total for the week: $8.85. Not bad. I managed to pack my lunch every day. Considering that the average cost for lunch downtown is anywhere between $8 and $10, I've actually done very well compared to the buy-lunch-two-or-three-times-a-week habit I was in last month.

Throw your hands up it's Friday!



button-down: thrifted
cami: Old Navy
skirt: H&M
flats: secondhand (Target)
necklace: Etsy

Running a wee late this morning so it'll be a short one, but can we just take a moment to express our joy for Fridays? Because they're pretty awesome. They herald in the weekend! Tonight Matt and I are doing dinner-and-a-movie date night. I got two tickets, popcorn and drinks at a nearby theatre via Groupon last month, and I've been really good about not not eating out for lunch so far this month, so I decided a treat is acceptable. We're going to see Gravity! I'm so excited.

I have some other pretty sweet plans for the weekend too, and it's a long one for me because Monday is Columbus Day and government employees get the day off. Can I get a woop woop? Have fun working on Monday, everyone in the private sector :P

Wow. Gloating is not attractive. Sorry 'bout that.

Ok, don't want to end on that note. Let's talk about these shoes for a minute. My friend gave them to me because they pinched her feet. They kind of pinch mine too, but I've been wanting some cap-toe shoes fo-eva so I'm trying to stretch them out. It's going pretty well. And hello, free adorable shoes? Yes please.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slightly sleepy



shirt, slacks: thrifted
flats: Target
necklace: Jane (formerly Very Jane)

As I was editing these photos this morning, I couldn't figure out why I was unable to return these pants to their original black hue without throwing all my other colors out of whack. Then I realized that these are my gray pants. Then I tried to type this entire paragraph in the title line of this post.

Something tells me I didn't get enough sleep last night.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This is not a real post.

It is quite literally nothing more than a not-so-humble brag. Hashtag sorrynotsorry.




Remember that pretty exciting news that I briefly mentioned in August/September? That I couldn't share and then never mentioned again?


In fact, I'll do better. I'll show you. Click this. Read it. Go ahead, I'll wait.


Well, I wrote that. For a Forbes affiliate. They paid me to write a story and then they posted it.

Is this real life?!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Keep it going



t-shirt: Old Navy
button-down: New York & Company
slacks: thrifted
flats: Target
necklace: Stella & Dot giveaway win
bracelet: H&M

Let's talk about this outfit for a sec. I don't know why, but I kind of love it. It's so simple and classic, but with fun accents that keep it from being boring. I won the necklace in a giveaway hosted by Jess over at Here & Now. I never win giveaways, so it was pretty exciting! I love how she styled it with a bold shirt, but for my first time I wanted to keep it fairly simple and let the necklace speak for itself.

When I was putting this outfit together, my mind flashed to Fran's post about how to wear a button-down under another shirt without all the bunching and weirdness. At the time, my sleepy brain thought, "Nah, you're good girl. No need to take off that tee, find a cami, put it on, then put the tee back on. Let's goooo!" But looking at these photos, I'm thinking I should have done it. Note to self: Morning brain is kinda cray.

Like this morning, when I woke up and for some inexplicable reason, was overcome by energy and the intense desire to clean everything in my house. Well, I guess only the energy was inexplicable. The cleaning bug probably was because the house is a *tad* overdue. So I tidied my closet and wiped down the kitchen counters and stove instead of writing a post this morning. Cause I can write a post on my lunch break, but I sure can't clean my kitchen, amiright?

I'm just hoping I can keep that energy/desire to clean this evening. It's my off night at the gym and I don't have any immediate deadlines to work toward, so instead of vegging out on the couch for an Adventure Time marathon, I want to try to catch up on house stuff. Including a couple projects for Phase 2 of house decorating :) It might be a coffee-in-the-afternoon type of day...I also find that music is a great motivator for me. So I'm trying to think up a good "getting shiz done" playlist for this evening. Any suggestions?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Longer weekend, please!

I feel like I'm saying that pretty much every Monday morning. I never seem to get everything done on my to-do list for any given weekend. We were busy these past two days, to be sure. Matt and I helped friends move, went to an overnight football-watching/camping/fishing trip at our friend's dad's house, set up a new wireless router and sold my old iPhone on Craigslist. I also dyed my hair and got it cut. But I wanted to work on some house projects and clean and figure out why our printer isn't working, and I didn't get to any of that. Le sigh.

So anyway, these photos. For some reason, I had a really hard time getting them to focus properly. It was the first time I ever had a problem like that, and I was getting really frustrated. I managed to clean up some of the least-out-of-focus ones using the methods I described in this post, but they're still a tad blurry:


shirt: really, really old Alloy from high school (hahaha yeah you read that right)
blazer: thrifted
skinnies: Forever 21
booties: Walmart
necklace: InPink (giveaway win)

But they got really good after I convinced Matt to step outside and be my "mark" for focusing the camera:



Since then, I've figured out that I can use my spare tripod as a mark. And ever since, my photos have been coming out crystal clear! (With the slight exception of tomorrow's outfit, because that trick hadn't quite dawned on me when I took those. Oops!)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fiscal Fridays: Accountability

So I'm sitting at my desk, thinking about how hungry I am and contemplating running downstairs to get a little midmorning breakfast from the cafeteria or the deli next door. A bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich sounds pretty damn awesome right now. But then I remember that I have a Kind bar in my drawer. And that it will be both free and filling enough to tide me until lunch. So I pull it out and as I type, I'm munching on almonds and Madagascar vanilla-flavored crisp rice. It's nowhere near as satisfying as a hot breakfast sandwich, but it's tasty and it'll do.

Why am I telling you this? For self-motivation. For accountability. I've discovered that when I blog about a goal -- in this case, not spending money on eating out this month -- I'm more likely to stick to it. Because I know people see it. And sometimes, like in Sydney's recent post, I get external support and encouragement as well.

So for this month at least, I'm bringing back Fiscal Fridays as a weekly feature. I'll keep a record of all the times I want to spend money on clothes or food or whatever when I shouldn't, and document how I did. I might fail. In fact, I'm pretty certain I will at least once or twice. But by forcing myself to document it, and then share that documentation with others, I hope to succeed more often than not.

So thanks in advance for reading these posts, if you do, and my apologies if you find them completely dull. I'll try to have other Friday content for you folks as well :)

Summer to fall

Lots of photos today, so I'm going to keep the words short and sweet. So Ohio has really ridiculously bipolar weather, and when seasons change things can get really crazy. Forty degrees one day, 80 the next. That is not an exaggeration. So we Ohioans often have to switch our wardrobes from hot-weather-wear to cool-weather-wear, often more than once in a week.

So this is how I styled an outfit — a new shirt and black bottoms — two different ways last month. The warmer-weather outfit I wore to brunch with some friends, on a day that reached a high in the mid-80s. The cooler-weather outfit I wore to a microbrew "festival" put on by my friend and some of his homebrew buddies, where the lows that night got down into the upper 40s, if I remember right. But there was a lot of beer there, so who knows.




shirt: Express via Discount Fashion Warehouse
shorts: thrifted J.Crew
sandals: Target
necklace, bracelet: Etsy (two different shops)




10-4-13hshirt, necklace: see above
skinnies: Forever 21
boots: Target
jacket: thrifted

So there you go. A warm-to-cool outfit in just a couple easy swaps. And now, I present to you an outtake, because my friend Ally always compliments my poses and I suspect she doesn't believe me when I say I take some real duds. Ally, this one's for you:


Don't worry folks, my neck isn't broken. And I'm not turning into an owl, either :) So yeah, hope that gave you all a giggle. Have a fabulous weekend!