Monday, April 4, 2016

Fast Fashion

(From Erin Boyle's Awwwesome book; hint my review of it is here.)

I've been shopping in thrift stores since I was a teenager but sadly got away from it in college and immediately thereafter. I happened to have a therapy appointment in the same shopping center as an Old Navy so I wandered in while killing time for my bus. And walked out with their credit card. To be fair, I did find some good items there; dress pants that served me well for four years, comfy sweaters, etc. But lately, I've been tired of it. I've wanted to cut my wardrobe down further and clean up the cards in my wallet.

A coworker had recommended ThredUp about a day before Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves did. I tried it out and while it did take me four tries to find a pair of jeans that fit (PEOPLE. WOMEN COME IN A VARIETY OF SIZES. NEWS AT ELEVEN), OMG, why haven't I used this before? Prices are astonishingly reasonable, you can get two day shipping and the variety is great. I have four packages still coming as of this writing; two dresses, a pair of shoes and a pair of jeans.

They also have a service where they ship you a prepaid bag, you clean out your closet and boom, money and a cleaner closet.

(Filled. This. Thing. Up!)

And so once I make the final payment on my Old Navy card this month, I'm calling to cancel it. And I can't wait.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Cherry Blossoms!

I sadly missed the blossoms last year because I unknowingly tried to take the Metro on their peak day...on a Saturday. The line just to get a Metro card was winding out to the parking lot.

But this year! Took the afternoon off work and went down a day or two before peak.

Rest are here!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book Review: Simple Matters

I found the always entertaining blog, Reading My Tea Leaves through A Cup of Jo, when she interviewed Erin Boyle about living in 240 sq feet. I loved her dry humor with a dash of sass and not so subtle feminist overtones and gulped nearly the entirety of her series Life in a Tiny Apartment series in about four days, despite the fact that I live in just under a 1500 square foot house and kept trying to convince my husband to purge our entire house.

Her writing draws you in, pours you a cup of tea and invites to kick off your shoes and pull up a blanket on the couch, which is why I was thrilled to find out she was writing a book. Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More could be filed away in the vein of a lot of decluttering/slow living books which are popping up everywhere these days.

And yet.

At less than 200 pages, this volume is concise with only nine chapters with the message "The things you love are the things you'll keep. Reconsider everything else." The author touches upon decluttering, DIY healthy cleaning supplies, the best items to put on a wedding registry and why fast fashion has destroyed thrift stores.

The reason decluttering, slow living and conscious choices are the buzzwords lately is because something has to change. I know I was the not the only one who felt it during and after the Great Recession. A lot of people wanted a change. We were well stocked, but restless. Boyle notes this throughout the book, stating, "When our lives are crowded with endless supplies of stuff, we lose the ability to get excited about something new."

Even the book's layout gave the reader space to breathe and pause, with tons of white space and the simplest photographs. We so often forget that simple step; stop, pause and breathe. With that in mind, I leave you with this quote:

"More than an aesthetic or economic choice, living simply requires conscious acts.
By consuming less, purchasing more thoughtfully, and sending fewer things to the landfill, we
can free up time and space for the things that really matter. By making useful art out of any
square footage, we can improve the tenor of our days. No matter who or where you are,
you can make your life matter, simply."

(Photo credit: Amazon)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Love List

I haven't done a love list in ages!

  • Dirty Pretty Things Browsed a Barnes and Noble in Pittsburgh and saw this book. One of my all time favorite movies has the same title so I was intrigued and flipped through. And then promptly added it to my wishlist.

  • Naps on the couch because it usually means I'll be covered in cats.

  • My UHMAZING new memory foam mattress. I'm sleeping so much better at night.

  • Hearing those kick ass throw back songs in the morning; heard Don't You Forget about Me and In the Air Tonight in the past week. Bonus: being able to do the drum smash at a light for the latter song.

  • Having a good week ahead: Cherry Blossoms visit, museum visit and seeing My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 this week!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Snippets: VOTE


Located in an isolated and economically languishing area of North Dakota, Spirit Lake is a Sioux Indian reservation home to some 6,200 inhabitants.

Obstetric Violence

My heart just broke reading these stories. Yes, a healthy baby is a great outcome, but what about the mental and physical needs of the person giving birth?

Expensive as fuck to be poor

FEELS Puppies are the best.

Why I'm Returning to My Maiden Name

Women's own identities were disappearing. In fact, the concept of removing a maiden name from your public identity is so engrained in our culture, it's the top contender for a secure password reminder at banks and in online forms. When I came to better understand our own history, as recently as the 1970's, state laws in the U.S. still mandated that a married woman needed to use her husband's name to vote, open a bank account, or get a passport.

'[It] is the equivalent of a bomb going off outside Debenhams on the Drapery in Northampton, or on New street in Birmingham, or Piccadilly Circus in London'

Ellen Page looks like she could set that man on fire with her eyes

And there it is

To the Strangers in Whole Foods Who Surrounded Me After News of My Father’s Suicide This is beautiful.

Sent Home From Middle School After Reporting A Rape (TW)

Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Adventures in Homeownership: Bedroom After

At long last, we have an upgraded bedroom. I've put in work over the nearly four years we've owned the house so here's a few throw backs of what it used to look like.

Painting the beige walls the day after we closed.

Fall 2012

And now for updated pictures (still in crappy lighting!)

This is on the wall opposite our bed. All items that have been significant in our relationship.

Photos above our bed, whose frames love to move just as I'm taking the picture of course. And our Schwopkins sign!

My side of the bed. New lamp, which can display different colors and I usually run it on battery, to save energy. Also, MUCH less jewelry than in previous years. I own a grand total of 7 necklaces now.

This may look like a hot mess but I'm actually quite pleased with it. Justin has been compiling his ties for work so that he finally purge them. My decluttering is rubbing off!

Unsealing the mattress. As soon as we did, it puffed right up.


Our new bed and bed-frame with quilt. It sits much lower than I first saw online, but it's actually not too bad. Our new mattress is so freaking comfy, along with our new memory foam pillows. I've been up a bit later than I should lately, but even still, I sleep so much better now.

This was taken standing in front of the window. We have a blackout frame up now and we still need to hang the curtains back up, which is why there is no shot of those.

Moving the chest from the foot of our bed to against the wall has really opened up the space. The black bag/toolbox aren't normally there as well.

One off the to do list, many more to go!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Ugh

Every time I flip through social media, I have to see that orange potato with corn husk for hair actually running in a presidential race. The fuck, America?

( photo credit:

How Society Pays When Women’s Work Is Unpaid

Worldwide, women spend an average of 4.5 hours a day on unpaid work, including grocery shopping, child care and laundry. That is more than double the amount of time men spend, according to O.E.C.D. data. Men spend significantly more time on paid work and also on leisure activities, which include playing sports, watching TV and hanging out with friends.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Adventures in Homeownership: Bedroom Before

Our bedroom was one of the first rooms we painted when we bought our house. We were working under a time crunch (closed on July 27th and our lease was up August 5th) so we didn't repaint our ceiling. Which very badly needs it as I believe spastic meth addicted squirrels painted it last time.

We splurged with our tax refund on a new mattress, pillows and bed frame. We've only had handmedowns (not knocking 'em!) since we moved in together in August 2008, so we figured why not?

These are the before bedroom shots, next post will be the after bedroom shots.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Adventures in Homeownership: Jewelry

When the cold reaches butt puckering levels outside, you begin to go a little stir crazy inside. And by inside, I mean inside the house, I was already nuts to begin with!

So I had already made changes to part of my nightstand area and while it was pretty, the gold blended in too much with the wood frame.

So I got blue!

Much with the pretty.

Yay sparkles!

Upgrading to blue is also one of the changes that I had wanted to make to our bedroom overall. In the next few weeks, we are:

-repainting the ceiling
-hanging a wall of our hats
-putting up new art
-finish painting the baseboards
-replacing our bed frame, mattress and pillows
-re-hanging our curtains

I'm very excited to see how it all turns out!