Monday, January 23, 2012


Nope, this is not about drinking water with a pinch of cayenne pepper.  I'm doing a shopping fast.

I started on January 10th, although it's actually been a bit longer since I made any clothing purchases.  But that was the day I decided.  My goal is to make it to April 10th.  So I've been doing this 14 days (including today), out of 90.  And I'm already DYING.

Some of my favorite stores aren't helping matters with their sales.  40% off sale items (J. Crew, code OURTREAT), especially when I am COVETING the Saturday pant.  They would only be $25.  And Madewell, with the 30% off sale items (Code SALEAWAY).  The crazy deals on some of the tee shirts has me itching to hit buy.

But I'm resisting.  I have to keep reminding myself that it's worth it.  Saving my pennies will be 100% worth it once we sell our house and move into my dream house.  Especially since the neighborhood we're planning to live in was built in the 40's, which means small closets.

I have a couple of things that are helping me out.  First, I bought a few things before my fast started that had long delivery times.  So I've received my satchel and a great new pair of slippers, which has made my days brighter.  I also made planned exceptions for a few necessary purchases - a new desk for me and a couple of desk accessories:

Parsons Mini Desk - West Elm
Leather mousepad from Freshly Picked
Vintage tin bank from pinkshirtsncarwrecks
I also got a new monitor partially furnished by a Christmas gift card, a new keyboard, and valentine's day gifts (yet to be revealed!).

Oh, and I spent a buttload of money on Brett's birthday present - a new computer (hence the desk, monitor, etc. for me because I'm getting his old one ALL FOR ME).

We've also been planning to replace our towels.  I bought some Turkish flat weave towels from Fab - some linen and some cotton - to try them out.  If we like them, we'll pick up some more, likely via etsy.

Oh, forgot one!  My tattoo.  but this shouldn't count because it's my Christmas present!

But after that - that's it.  I still check Fab everyday like an addict, but no more buying.  This freeze is mostly about wardrobe spending but I'm extending it to home decor too.  I hope I can make it.  I'm one sixth of the way there (almost!).  I'm also trying to ease my pain by picking a reward - something I've been wanting but didn't get because it was too expensive.  But obviously not so expensive that it undoes all of my non-spending.

So far there are two items in the running.

Tory Burch Revas, which I've wanted since college. 

I love this color, but I should probably go with something a bit neutral?
And a bespoke silk shirt from this etsy seller.

Both are gorgeous.  I think the shirt is winning right now because it's a more distinctive, less trendy piece.  And it's awesome.

Anyone else trying to avoid shopping for a while?  I hope someone is taking advantage of the sales going on right now, even if I can't!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Special delivery!

From Cambridge!  I knew it was there, because my husband is sick as a dog and was at home most of the day yesterday.  But still, I was super psyched to get home and see it waiting for me.

It was wrapped up in this cute little cotton bag.

I loved it from the first second I glimpsed that yellow through the bag.

The detailing, stitching, buckles - all gorgeous.

But here's the problem.  I knew from reviews that this thing was not deep AT ALL.  I wanted a small bag, so I wasn't worried about that.  But for someone used to being able to carry anything from a sweater to a pair of shoes in my bag, It's an adjustment.

So I pulled everything out of my big gray bag.  And laid it out on the table so I could decide what to keep and what to put elsewhere.  In the must carry category, there was my (giant) wallet, my journal and a pencil, a Baggu zipper bag with my meds in it, and my phone (not pictured since I took this photo with it).  My sunglasses fall into this category sometimes, but I generally keep them in my car.  In the not necessary but useful category we had hand cream (a large tube, not travel size), a compact umbrella, and a small bottle of pain reliever.  In the "why the hell am I carrying this around everywhere" category, we have a turquoise leather bracelet I bought at Zara, a bottle of melatonin (I only take it at night.  Why do I keep putting it back in my purse?), and my home decor reference notebook.  That thing never proved as useful as I thought it would.

In the end, I settled on just the necessities, plus the hand cream.  When I get done with this tube, I'll pick up something smaller that will take up less space.

Dude, pf course I carry a moleskine.  Even half-assed hipsters like me consider it a necessity.  I shifted things around a little bit (laid my wallet horizontal, with handcream and keys on top.

About to head out the door to pick up Outback.  We live down the street and their curbside is just too tempting.  Hence - why I'm in my pajamas.  It occurred to me as I walked out the door that this act would be illegal in Shreveport!  Obviously this was a state-based pop culture reference.  Obviously.

Point of this post being - this bag is awesome.  And not too expensive, so if you're considering it, buy one!

I'm getting busy on the prep for my cousin's bridal shower.  And having a really fun time planning everything.  I just ordered invitations and paper for crafts this morning, and I'm loving the color scheme (my new bag would fit right in).  But unfortunately the date that works best for the couple is the weekend before Fat Tuesday.  Which means no Spanish Town parade for me.  I was so psyched that I now own the perfect clothing item for the parade - my flamingo skirt.  I was ready to pair it with a hot pink shirt, pink tights, glittery pink shoes, and my self made glamorous headpiece.

Maybe I'll just wear that to the shower instead.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A new place to waste time

My husband's birthday is coming up (in just three weeks!) and his gift has pushed us to do a little changing around in our office.

He's getting a new computer (he knows already because god knows I wouldn't know what he needed), but his current one works fine for a lot of stuff.  He plays graphics heavy games on there, and the video card (?) is too slow for that.  But for me, for websurfing, editing photos, and music and movies, it will be perfect.

But there's a problem.  Our office is pretty small, and more than that it has very little wall space.  The main problem is that we have a 1.5 story house, and the eaves upstairs drive us crazy.  So two walls are only four or so feet high with eaves.  And the other two are limited because of a window and two doors.

Apparently I haven't taken that many pictures of the room, and not even our AWESOME mid century desk which is probably in my top two favorite furniture pieces we own.  But here's a rough idea.

When you're standing in the door, Brett's desk and computer are immediately to the left.  His new one will have better cooling, so I'm really hoping we can get rid of that nightstand that holds his old computer up off the floor.

I made those curtains.  I love them.  Probably too much.

We now have a greige/taupe settee in front of the window.  This both tones down the curtains, and gives me a place to sit and hang out with Brett while he's on the computer.  I take my laptop up there and hangout a lot.  Also, since I've taken this picture I've learned to love the camelback, so I don't drape the blanket over it anymore.

This post is reminding me that we seriously need to start thrifting again.  The desk was only $40, and the settee I believe was $75.  It's in amazing shape too, with little brass casters on the feet and gorgeous upholstery that's almost a linen.

One the wall to the right, we have Ribba bookshelves wall to wall.  Those transformers have given way to our Lego collection, which is pretty much taking over at this point.

I absolutely love these book cases.  They really add something to the room.  I'm sad we'll probably have to leave them behind when we move.  I love to style them, but we're approaching capacity so I'm limited on the room I have to play with.

We also have posters around the room.  Three concert posters (Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, and possibly the Doors?).  And we also have this nerdy print that I got my husband for Valentine's Day last year.

Yep, that's a Lego dude trying on different heads.

The last wall is taken up by the door into the hallway and the close door.  In between there's a space of about three feet where we have an old, cheap TV stand from Wal-Mart that I bought when I lived by myself in college.  This is the only picture I have.  Again, we're a couple of nerds.

But that sucker is going, and that's where my desk is going to be.  Yay!

Like I said, the space is only 3 feet wide (a few inches more if you count the door moldings.  So I'm working with limited space here.  Ideally, I'd like my desk to be pretty clean and not have a bunch of stuff on it.  So since the desk will be small anyway, and we want to use this as a place to watch shows and movies, we decided to mount it on the wall.

I decided to get a 24" LED monitor from Amazon, partially funded by my Christmas gift card.  I also got a nifty little mount that pivots and swings out, so Brett can watch from his desk if he wants.

I looked all over for desks, and found a few options at Crate and Barrel, but they were a little more than I wanted to spend.  I even looked at small space dining tables.  But I kept coming back to a Parsons mini desk.

It's a nice deal at $199, but I had $25 in WE Design Dollars, plus a coupon code for doing some market research for them.  So that brought it down to a bit over $150.  It has good reviews and I love the look, so I pulled the trigger.  I'm really psyched to style it!

Now, I just have to get a chair (and convince Brett to let me buy him a new one).  I thought it would be neat if he had a white leather chair and I had a wooden chair.  I'm not going to be spending hours at this desk so I'm not worried about ergonomics for me.

I wanted this one for $100, but it's on backorder until almost April.  You can buy a set of two now, but not a single chair.  Why?

I would love to have an Eames shell chair, either in black or in a fun color.  I hesitate to buy a knock-off, but $400 for a side chair just is not going to happen.

I can get a knockoff in black for $120.  I just don't know yet what I want.  I have a little time to figure it out, though.

For not, I'm looking at pictures of small workplaces and dreaming.  So pretty!  but where's the computer?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Goals

I haven't always been a person who makes resolutions, but after a few really crappy years, I started the practice again for 2011.  And it worked out really well, so I'm going to keep on keeping on.  They're not resolutions, so much as goals for the year - I guess they're just not as specific so if I cave and eat fast food, I won't feel like a failure?

So my 2011 resolutions were

  • Continue to improve my relationship with my H and depend on him for more.
  • Kick ass at work and be leading projects with other engineers start to finish by the end of 2011.
  • And for fun, rebuild our fence so I can get a dog.  Maybe.  I haven't decided if I want one or not.
So how did I do?  Number one was a huge check.  We are in a great place and really enjoying each other.  Really glad we made it a priority this year!

Number two - check!  I'm leading others, got requested on a HUGE project for 2012, and even got a promotion.

Number three - yep.  We rebuilt our fence this summer (helped along by a severe windstorm that knocked out the back half).  It looks great and will be nice when we sell our house.  We decided not to get a dog, but we got this guy instead.

For 2012, I'm going to continue working on 1 & 2.  Specifically I want to get my Six Sigma certification at work.  Well, I don't want to, but I need to.

But I have some other goals too.

  • Sell our house and move into my dream house - this will depend on the market of course.  But we'll hit three years in March and I'm ready to move into our "forever (or as long as we live in Baton Rouge) home."  This will take some work, but I think we can do it.
  • Related to number 1, step up on saving money and cut down on shopping.  If moving is my goal, I need to do this to make it happen.
  • Declutter.  Again, necessary for selling the house, but it's something we just need to do anyway.  I have so many knick knacks that I don't even like, and they're going.
  • Related to decluttering, stop buying things just to have something there.  We decide to get a couch?  We're getting THE couch, not a $400 back room special.
  • Stop biting my fingernails.  Blargh.
These are big goals for me, especially number 1.  I know it will happen eventually, if not this year.  I just hope it is as quick as possible, because I want to get out of here!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sale Alert: Zara

I've been purposely avoiding Zara because I knew there was a sale going on.  But I fell into the trap tonight (just browsing, no buying yet).

FYI, my all time favorite tee shirts are on sale for just $10.

The only downside (and it's a big one) is that these shirts can't go in the dryer.  The fit is awesome, they're super long, and the colors are really saturated.  Love them!

OOTD: Sick Day

I'm actually at work today, but after being so sick yesterday afternoon and evening, I just couldn't be bothered.  So today, you get my actual outfit, plus my an outfit I wore a while ago and haven't posted yet (and I repeated it on NYE.

Today, I went for comfort.  The high is in the upper 70s, and it's supposed to start raining around lunch time.  I just wasn't in the mood for makeup since I thought I'd be shut in my office all day catching up.  Turns out, I've already had a half hour conversation with my boss.  Crap.

I really should have put on makeup since I have burst blood vessels all around my eyes due to all the, um, stomach activity (?) from yesterday.

This dress is that great combo of flattering and comfortable.  I love knit dresses for warm days like this.  It's almost too short, so it's probably not great for tall girls.  I know plenty of people who have and love this dress, enough so that we refer to it as The Target Dress.  It's awesome.

dress - Merona at Target, sweater - Gap, flats/necklace/watch face/bangle - J. Crew, watchband - Brooks Brothers, leather bracelet - H&M.

Basically if you want to feel like you're wearing pajamas at work, this is the ticket.

But real, thought out outfit?  Here's a cute one I've worn a couple of times, I like it so much.

We don't just leave our trash can in the middle of the floor.  Promise.
Yes, our kitchen floors are really that bad.  I assume it was a lazy DIY by the previous owners.

This outfit is super comfy and will definitely be a favorite for me.

Jeans - Gap, sweater/flats - J. Crew, blouse - Madewell

Necklace - gift, I believe it was from Etsy, bracelet - FailJewelry on Etsy, watch - J. Crew.  I was also wearing my horse earrings from Madewell which my husband said look like army men (?) shooting a bazooka (??).

Now I have to get back into the swing of things at work.  And that means do actual work, boooooooo.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Oh Hi

Anybody else get wrapped up in the holidays and just (mostly) forget about the internet?  I have like 1000 posts to catch up on in Google Reader, and my Pinterest has a dangerous number of pins to catch up on.  But I'm back to work tomorrow, and easing my way back into reality today.

We've had a great time with our families this past week.  First we spent New Year's Eve at my brother's house.  They made a beautiful dinner of a prime rib roast (I don't love red meat but it was so delicious, he made au jus to go with it and it was just insane).  We also had mashed potatoes from scratch, stewed spinach, and chocolate mousse made from scratch by my SIL.  I really appreciated that they made the whole meal gluten free for me.  My SIL's mom even made a GF dip and brought rice crackers for me.  Plus it was just plain delicious.

That morning we had woken up and opened presents.  Of course, I knew what my H was getting, but it was still great to see him open his new safety razor, a shaving mug and some delicious lime soap, and his favorite cologne.  He also got all of the Lego Special Edition Minifigures he needed to complete hit collection up to Series 5.  It was hilarious because my parents wrapped each one separately (17 total).  So when we passed out gifts, he had WAY more than the rest of us.

I got great gifts too, and I think everyone really liked what we got them.  My mom got a sweater and necklace from Anthro, and a book that she already had (damn!).  I got my dad a couple of books and some great, thick socks from J. Crew.  My brother got an English wool blanket and a Christmas Story mug, and we got some nice hand cream and solid perfume for my SIL.

I'm sure I won't remember everything, but here are some highlights.

Gold skull Bhati Beads
I love the color of the silk wrap on these beads.  Michelle Obama wears the plain gold version (I guess the First Lady shouldn't be seen wearing skulls?), which is what turned me on to them.

This is golden quartz mounted in an old brass bullet casing.  It's on a longish brass chain and SO gorgeous.  This is probably my favorite gift.  I also got another brass necklace with a cluster of pendants, including an owl and a little clock.

This collage on a canvas is so beautiful in person.  I can't wait to hang it in our living room.

This sweatshirt is a really soft waffle texture, and the banded bottom gives it a really nice fit.

My brother got this watchband for me from Brooks Brothers.  It fits my J. Crew watch perfectly and I love how preppy it is.  He also got me a book of rejected New Yorker cartoons.  Since my husband likes to poke fun at how pretentious my brother and I are, it was just perfect.

I also got a $50 amazon gift card, and $200 cash between my in-laws and Brett's grandparents.

I also haven't blogged about a gift from my Secret Santa.  I love doing SS with a group of ladies from a message board I hang out on.  These were honestly some of the sweetest gifts I received.

I love this vintage magnifying glass necklace so much.  I'm already wearing it a few days a week.

And these measuring cups are cracking me up every time I go in the kitchen.

The best, though, was a huge handmade leather pouch with gold sequin lining.  I know she meant it as a joke to poke fun at my horrible taste in handbags.  But I've used it a couple of times while packing, so joke's on her.  It makes a great travel bag.

Now the holiday season continues with us deciding what to spend our cash on.  We each ended up with around $300, but we're going to save a chunk of it to spend on Brett's birthday gift next month.  We're getting him a new computer!  Long overdue.  Plus it means I get to have his old one for photos and stuff.  We're already mentally rearranging our office.

Anyway, Brett spent a little over $100 on a Keurig today.  He's really excited, and our friends who have them love them, so I'm happy he got one.  He never bothered to make coffee with our old machine (I don't drink it, so making a pot for just him seemed like a waste).  We also got some hot chocolate cups for me, which I'm psyched about.

For my part, I just ordered a new handbag.  I chose the yellow Cambridge Satchel, in the 13" size.  I also got my initials embossed on it.  I really can't wait to get it, although I know it will take a while.  I also bought some tees and a pair of skinny cords from J. Crew sale for super cheap.

The only other thing I think I'll be buying soon is some new towels.  We're getting one Turkish peshtemal to see if we like it.  Then we'll decide whether to stick with those or go with a regular style towel.  But we had a fantastic holiday break, and now it's time to get back to the grind.