Saturday, June 30, 2012

[Life] Weekend Flashback

WARNING: This post is going to be kind of heavy on feeling and words. It's not fashion-related. If you're not into that, feel free to skip on out of here.

I'm not sure what's possessed me to write about this today. Maybe because I've found a bunch of old pictures, I don't know. I've only talked about it briefly. I've never written about it. There have been reasons for that and I'm going to speak to them today.

This is something that weighs heavy on my heart. I know that many people have dealt with much worse, and I don't write this to make anyone feel bad for me or to make it sound like "oh how damaged" because I'm not. I've been carrying around guilt in my heart and I owe a dear friend an apology that I can no longer give her face to face. This is for me and for her. So take it at that.

When I was in high school I just didn't fit in. I was scrawny-skinny, and had been picked on since grade school by the popular kids. I was smart and liked to read, and I had no idea how to be fashionable. I was an athlete, but the athletes didn't really have a "clique". In middle school, I had a crush on a guy and so did this girl Dayleen. We didn't like each other because we were competing for the same boy's attention. But by 9th grade, we didn't like him any more and we started liking each other.

Dayleen became my best friend through high school. We were inseparable. Dayleen and I never did anything without the other. We snuck around together; we drove around together; we wasted away afternoons bouncing around our little town together. We shared friends and opinions and deep thoughts; we talked about religion, politics, the state of the world, and relationships. I had a really rough time at home through the last years of high school; Dayleen was my anchor through the whole thing. After graduation, Dayleen and I went separate ways - she stayed near home to attend college, and I moved across the state.

We kept in touch via phone calls for awhile, but over time, we lost touch. We stopped making an effort to see each other at home after the first year or two. Then, when I went back to college after the summer following my sophomore year, I never came back home to live. I'm not sure if it was the distance, or if our lives were just drifting in different directions, but we never hung out again after I moved.

A year or two after I graduated, my little brother, who was still at home in HS, told me he had seen Dayleen at a local restaurant. He said she had asked about me and gave him her email to pass on to me.

I forgot about it for a few months. Then one day I decided to write to her. Even now, thinking about this makes me feel a little ill, because I was immature and insecure and it came across horribly in my email. I remember writing with the intent to put a gloss on my life, to come across as being at an amazing place with amazing relationships in a fun and fast city. I don't think I was purposely trying to make myself and my life look better than hers, in fact I wasn't happy with where I really was in life, but I wanted her to say "wow" when she read my email.

In retrospect, I'm sure I came off arrogant. I no longer was talking to her like my old friend, but as someone I desperately wanted to impress. Why, I don't know. And I regret that email. Terribly. It was like I didn't have time for anything outside of my own sphere. But I didn't really feel that way. I've regretted that email ever since.

We corresponded back and forth. I'm not sure if I'm over-exaggerating here, but I likely pushed her away by not really being a friend and instead trying to be above everyone else throughout our emails. And I've vowed since to never, ever think myself superior to anyone, in any respect, because I'm not. I don't really remember what happened after that. I only know we eventually stopped emailing.

But not until after she sent me the link to her blog. I would think about her now and again and observe her life via her blog instead of emailing her and conversing. Then one day the blog stopped and the vlog began. Why a vlog? Because she couldn't type any more.

From what I can remember, Dayleen was having trouble making her fingers do what was in her brain. Her words wouldn't manifest on the screen how her brain wanted them to. She couldn't read because the words were jumbled. In her vlog, she talked about what was happening. Eventually, scans showed a tumor in her brain. Brain cancer.

She fought. She lost her hair. She kept talking to the world through her webcam. And the whole time I sat and watched it through her vlog, only occasionally reaching out to her via email. Then one day, 3 years ago this month, Dayleen couldn't fight any more. On June 13, 2009, Dayleen passed away.

I wasn't the friend to her I should have been those last few years. I didn't express to her how much she really meant to me, and how she was my savior in high school. I would have been the nerdy, geeky, lonely girl with no friends if she hadn't brought me in. And I always admired her, loved her, and wished the best for her. But I just didn't express it until it was too late. I sent her a deep, heartfelt email right near the end. It was too little, too late, and I was stupid to think she should assuage my guilt while she was fighting such a difficult battle. But I really wanted her to know what she meant to me.

When the world lost Dayleen we lost an amazing young woman. A woman who knew what friendship meant and had the depth of character to always uphold the beliefs she held dear. She was an unbelievable artist and I think she would have found her career success in that arena.

art by dayleen

So, here's to you, Dayleen. Forgive me my shortsightedness and immature arrogance, my neglect and my distance. You always had a special place in my heart, even if I was crappy at showing it. I think of you often, and every year on your birthday and on the anniversary of your passing I get a little sad. I hope you're somewhere happy. Save me a diner date, will you?

Friday, June 29, 2012

[Fashion] Don't hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself

It's Friday. And I think that calls for a little something casual. Warning: If you're a hardcore Baltimore Ravens or Cleveland Browns fan, you might want to stop here. I would hate to lose a reader over this outfit. :)
Top: Gifted | Jeans: Charlotte Russe (Jan 2012 - similar here) | Shoes: Gap | Sunnies: I have no idea

2 things real fast: 1 - after looking at these pics, the outfit probably could have used a belt. next time, folks, next time. 2 - I'm a DIE HARD Steelers fan. I'm not going to talk about it in this post, because I'm sure it will become a big topic of conversation once football season starts, but know that I am not one of those gals who sports a team's shirt because her significant other roots for them or someone gifted it to her. I love the Steelers. If we're being frank, when I met the hubs he was a HUGE college football fan (going to Bama will do that to ya), but he didn't really have a pro team he followed. I turned him. BIG time. That's how much I love the Stillers. If hubs didn't love them too, this whole relationship never would have worked out. (I may or may not be kidding in that last statement). Anyway, I digress.

I wore this outfit to go to a class at Home Depot. Yes, you read that right - a class at Home Depot. I love a good t-shirt and jeans outfit, but I don't wear them that often. Generally I can be found in this combo when I'm running errands or going to watch sports at a pub.

Necklace: Macy's (2011 - similar here and here) | Earrings, Bracelet: Target (2009) | Watch: Japan 2003

The fan in our living room is remote controlled and recently stopped working. After a bungled visit from an electrician, we decided to do it ourselves. Normally, hubs would volunteer to do this kind of work at the house, but he's currently getting his MBA and his class this summer is Saturday morning - which is when the fan class was at the HD. (Home Depot, in case that wasn't clear). So, I volunteered to go.


I didn't want to walk into Home Depot in anything that would make me look as though I were a poor, incapable female. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying clothes say that, I'm saying that other people make those judgments if you, say, walk into the HD in 5 inch stilettos. I mean, people doing home repairs generally don't wear spikes, so they might think you have no clue about home repair simply on looking at your shoes. Not cool, but it happens). This was my attempt at looking like I semi-might belong at a HD. But maybe the blingy jewelry was too much?

Needless to say, I got the instruction I needed and BAM - THIS GAL RIGHT HERE fixed our fan. That included wiring the light (aka playing with electric wires) and putting the whole thing back together. MR. Fix-It? Think again. It's MRS. Fix-It to you.

I kid, I kid. Don't ask me to fix anything else. It took me 2.5 hours and a lot of googling. I don't want to do it again. Hubs, this stuff is all yours.

And I snapped this gem of a picture while shooting these outfit posts. It made me laugh so I thought you all should laugh at me, too. I'm sure I'm not the only style blogger this happens to.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

[Shopping] Bling Bling, Every Time We Come Around Your City Bling Bling

I haven't really said much about this on my blog before, but my husband works for Macy's. This. Is. Awesome. He doesn't work in a store; he works at their Systems and Technology headquarters. This means employee discounts. For not only hubs, but for his family too, aka ME!

Macy's gives their discount to employees in an interesting way - each employee and family gets a credit account and a Macy's charge card. When you make purchases on your charge card, the 20% employee discount is taken off the card bill. This may not sound great, especially if you have an aversion to credit cards, but I love it. Why? Because Macy's gives cardholders extra discount passes, to the tune of 12-15 a year. So, that means if Macy's is having a sale, I get sale % off, savings pass % off that, and employee discount % off that. See? Awesome.

Macy's has some of my fave brands - Lucky, Ralph Lauren, Miss Me, True Religion, Free People. A month or three ago, I went into Macy's and noticed the Miss Me jeans were on sale. This hardly ever happens. I was stoked, especially because I (and my teammates) love to wear them to dance gigs cause they're fun and a bit flashy.

Well. These jeans were $109 originally. Then 40% off. Then my 20% WOW pass. Then hubby's 20% employee discount.


And then I found this pair. Originally $99.

And the back had stars and horseshoes! And I'm on a country dance team!!!

Really, though, I couldn't justify buying both. So I only walked away with the first pair.

Then a few weeks ago they were on sale again - the last few pairs from a select bunch of styles that they were obviously trying to get rid of. And they had one left in my size. Squee!!!

Second pair price? $38.01+tax. SOLD. To me. You'll see these on the blog soon. I've already worn the horseshoe pair twice.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[Fashion] You're all I need to get by....

You guys, I've been watching my viewership and followers slowly but surely climb. You all are so awesome!!! It makes a gal feel inspired just knowing there are folks out there who enjoy reading this lil blog. A big THANK YOU to everyone who's checking in here - you are appreciated!!

Dress: Target (spring 2012) | Cardigan: Old Navy (2010) | Heels: Chinese Laundry (old) | Bracelet: F21 (2011) | Watch: New York & Company | Necklace: ? (old, gifted) | Earrings: India (gifted from MIL)

This was my attempt at making a casual dress suitable for the office.

This dress actually has spaghetti straps, but I figured since it was pretty covered in the bust, a simple cardigan over top would make it office-appropriate.

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the asymmetrical cardigan but I thought the hem actually added to the overall outfit.

This necklace is an add-a-pearl necklace from my Grandmother that she gave me when I was just a little girl. Do you have any childhood fine jewelry pieces that you've held on to?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

[Fashion] Come Back Home to California

Lately I've been seeing some posts about hanging onto old clothes. I am so, so guilty of this!!!

The jeans I'm wearing here are 11 years old - ELEVEN!!!! I bought them my junior year of college at a place called the Pittsburgh Jean Company.

I had a sorority sister who worked there, and it's one of those boutique-y jean places, where they only carry the designer and high end brands. (Read: EXPENSIVE for a college kid!!).

However, the first time I went there, I fell in love with these jeans. 11 years later, they still fit. I wore them on my second date with my husband and they have a hole in the knee from when I tripped and fell on our way to the car after dinner.

But I still feel awesome in them. And they're Juicy Couture jeans, which I've seen to be high quality, as I still have them. And they still fit me like a glove.

Do you have any clothes you've hung on to??

Outfit deets:
Top, Heels - Kohl's (top is recent but not on the website, shoes Fall 2011)
Jeans - Juicy Couture, Pittsburgh Jean Company
Earrings - Homemade
Necklace, Watch - New York & Company (Spring 2012 and Spring 2011)
Bracelet - Macy's (here)

Monday, June 25, 2012

[Random] Eye Candy


Can't wait for this movie. Wonder why....??

Happy Monday, ya'll.

Friday, June 22, 2012

[Blogging] No-Reply Blogger

There have been a lot of posts in the blogosphere lately that fall under one of these categories:

  1. What I hate about blogging (Disguised as "How to be a Better Blogger" post)
  2. What I hate about commenters/readers/etc (Also disguised as the "How to be a Better Blogger/Reader" post)
  3. What I hate about other bloggers (Disguised as discussions about "Blog Snobs")

I'm kind of getting tired of reading about it. But I am not going to add to the negativity by whining about it. (Hollie at Hollie Takes Notes also was discussing the issue of blogger whining here - it's a good read!) Can't we all just get along and ignore the blogs that irk us?

Anyway. Let's get to the point.

There are a lot of posts out there lamenting the "No Reply Blogger". What, you ask, is the no-reply blogger? Well, on many blogs, when you comment, the blogger gets an email saying you commented and showing the content in your comment.  Most of you are probably saying "duh" (do people still say that or am I regressing to the 90s?) because you're bloggers, too, and you get these emails. They are awesome, because we don't have to keep going back to our blogs, right?

But when that email comes, it will come from an email address...and sometimes the email address is aka "No Reply Blogger". Often, bloggers would love to just email you a reply. If you have an email address on your comment, it can be done. If you don't, we have to go back to the blog to comment.

This is what a noreply blogger email looks like!

Now, let it be known I'm not whining about noreply-blogger. I don't really care. I mean, it's easier if you have an email, but if you don't I don't get all bent out of shape about it. Whatevs. I will always try and go to my blog to reply if I can't reply via email. However, I'm never sure if anyone actually sees that I reply or comes back to check, so there's that.

What I'm really writing about here is how to fix noreply-blogger if you so choose. I'm not asking you to or anything, but I know when I wanted to change mine I couldn't figure out how in the world to do it. Friends, I am here to help!

All other posts on how to do this, that I could find anyway, tell you how to do it from the original blogger dashboard. But what if you have the new blogger dashboard? Egads!! I thought this post might really help out some others who don't know how to change it. I spent weeks trying to figure it out.

NOTE: If you have linked blogger to Google+, these directions will not apply. I have never linked my blog to Google+ so I don't know how to do it if you have. I do know that if you've linked to Google+ in the last 30 days, you can switch back using the info found here: ...Otherwise - I'm sorry, but this won't help!

Here is the part of the post where you all should be glad I was a technical writer, because hopefully these directions are clear, concise, and easy to follow.

You have to go back to the old blogger dashboard. This is the biggest problem with every other "how to get rid of no-reply blogger" post that's out there. They don't tell you to do this if you have new blogger dashboard!!!


Go to the gear at the top right of your blogger dashboard.


Select Old Blogger Interface.


Select Edit Profile when the old dashboard appears.

Make sure "Show my email address" is checked. The email that is set will be to the right of the setting. To change it, go to Identity and type in email address.

5. Hit Save. This takes you back to the old blogger dashboard.

6. Select "Upgrade Now" from the link at the top of the page. There should be a displayed message about old blogger dashboard going away and would you like to upgrade? It's in there.

That's it! You're done!

There may be other ways to do this without going backwards (when old blogger goes away for good I have no idea how this will work), but this is the way I figured out. If you know of another way, please leave it in the comments!!

I know a big part of my problem is that my blogger is connected to my Google+. I'm curious if the issue and the solve is the same for those who don't have blogger connected to Google+.

Anyway....hope this helped!

[Fashion] Little Shadow

Guys, this week has been exhausting. Fun, but exhausting. Remember how I was gone last week? I came home and spent the weekend catching up - housework, laundry, and spending QT with the hubs since I hadn't seen him all week. Then Monday came.

Every single night this week I've had something. I'm not complaining - most of the the somethings were fun. BUT - I haven't had any down time yet. That's why I'm so looking forward to this weekend. Tonight is a Friday night, and if all goes well it will find me with my laptop and a glass of wine, parked on the couch. All night. It's what I'm dreaming of. :)

So, this week's blog has really suffered because of my busyness, and I apologize. I plan to have a solid week of daily or near daily posts next week to make up for it. Seriously, I have about 3 weeks worth of outfit photos stock piled that just need some editing.


Let's get to it! Ya'll, let me prepare you. These are not my best pics. But I still liked the outfit so oh well. I can share the warts and all.

Love that sexy fire alarm up there!
 This outfit was a random middle of the work week outfit. My office is pretty casual, so when I'm not teaching (or, shall I say not teaching a client), my wardrobe can be casual. Generally not quite so casual as this, but my boss is in England, so I get away with it.

What a goofy face! 
These pics were taken in the room I teach in. I tried a series there a few weeks ago and really just love outside light better.

What's that over yonder!?

Am I done yet?

Arm party!

Outfit deets:
Top - JCPenney (here)
Jeans - Express (old)
Flip Flops - Old Navy (here)
Earrings - I have no idea (old, old, old)
Necklace - Macy's (2011)
Bracelets - INPink (blue, here), Macy's (diamond infinity, here - Valentine's gift from hubby!), Gifted (beaded is from sis-in-law)
Watch - New York & Company (2011)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

[Blogging] Bauble Swap!

One of my favorite bloggers, Shanna (at Because Shanna Said So) is hosting a Bauble Swap. I think this is such a neat idea! Each blogger will be matched with another blogger, and they will have the opportunity to get to know them through their blog and then pick out a new or gently used bauble that they think their partner would like! Who doesn't love picking out the perfect gift or getting a surprise in the mail!? Check out the link below if you want to read more about it or participate!

[Fashion] Time For An...

Outfit post!

A few weekends ago, we had a barbecue at our place and this is what I wore for my roll as grillmaster. :)

I love hosting things at my house. I like to be in my own place but surrounded by people. For my 30th birthday last summer, I asked for a kegger/grill party with yard games and flip cup. That's exactly what my hubby gave me!  This outfit was perfect for a simple summer afternoon with a handful of friends chowing down on all kinds of grilled delicacies.

Top - New York & Company
Shorts - Old Navy (2011)
Shoes - Shoe Carnival
Watch - local boutique
Black & Silver ring - Payless
Bracelets - old

I'm starting to try to edit my photos and although there is a photo almost identical to this above, I thought the lighting was kind of cool and am sharing it as a bonus photo. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

[Shopping] The Webster

Today was my first full day back in Atlanta, so I needed to run some errands. I had some stuff to pick up at Home Depot, and I had a pair of shoes to pick up at Payless. (I ordered the pink Payless wedges I mentioned here and they came in while I was in Toronto. Since they were on sale for $19.99 and had free shipping to the store - I love that!!! - I had to grab them!)

My local Payless is right next to a Target, so I popped in to see if the shoes I've been eyeing had come down in price. (I'm keeping my eye on these - I found out recently that Target prices ending in 8 will come down more and those ending in 4 are the cheapest they'll get. I don't really need these wedges, so I'm trying to hold out and see if the price drops, and hope they still have my size). The shoes were still $14.98, but I checked out the clothes while I was there and was happy to see a number of items from The Webster collection were now marked down!!

The Webster at Target® Cotton Jacquard Tunic - White.Opens in a new window
Tunic, originally $29.99 marked down to $20.98
The Webster at Target® Crinkle Chiffon Top - Flamingo Print.Opens in a new window
Chiffon top, originally $29.99 marked down to $20.98
The Webster at Target® Crossback Tiered Dress - White.Opens in a new window
Dress, originally $39.99, marked down to $27.98

I know this stuff can differ from store to store, but I thought I'd give ya'll a heads up so you can at least stop in and check!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

[Life] I'm Back...and Exhausted

Hello lovely readers,

This past week I've been in Toronto working on a client site. This particular course was pretty intensive and it was my first time teaching it so I spent a lot of my non-teaching hours preparing! Thankfully I had a few posts for link-ups already planned or there wouldn't have been any new content for this week.

I'm just now starting to catch up on personal emails and bloggy stuff, so bear with me if you've commented or emailed in the last 5 days. Also, probably no new post until tomorrow.

Til then!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

[Link-Up] From Blog Life to Real Life

The fabulous Jessica at Lovely Little Things and the equally fabulous Britt from the Magnolia Pair have put together a From Blog Life to Real Life link-up for today. I thought this was a really fun idea - they chose 10 questions for fellow bloggers to answer in a post and we'll all link up said posts today. Since it's all about bloggers and blogging I thought it would be fun!

The questions?

1. Do you have any real life blog friends?
2. Which blogger are you just dying to meet?
3. Which blogger's closet do you want to raid?
4. You are stuck on an island. Which blogger would you want with you to help you survive?
5. The first blogger you remember "meeting" and connecting with ?
6. Any blogger that you admire and look up to?
7. Who is the craziest/funniest blogger?
8. There's a reality television show for bloggers, who would you want to be casted with you?
9. Some bloggers have really cool jobs, anybody you'd like to swap careers with?
10. Favorite blog design?

And here are my answers - there were some bloggers I could happily put into more than one question, but in the interest of variety, I've kept it one to one!

1. Do you have any real life blog friends?
It makes me sad to say that no - I don't. :(  Not just yet anyway. But I'm still pretty new to this blogging thing, so I'm hoping in the next few months to a year I meet some!

Frowny Face Clip Art

2. Which blogger are you just dying to meet?
Oh, this one is easy. She was my first follower - she's got great style, a fantastic sense of humor, and is an awesome writer. And on top of it, she is seriously one of the nicest and most positive people I've ever had the pleasure of "knowing" (you know, since we've never actually met). It would definitely be Molly of Still Being Molly!!

Molly's personality shining through :)

3. Which blogger's closet do you want to raid? 
Marion at Marionberry Style. Seriously. That girl has the best clothes! There are definitely a bunch of bloggers who clothes I would love to steal, but every single outfit Marion wears is fabulous while being classic and chic.

Also, Andrea at My Closet to Yours. She has killer style.

4. You are stuck on an island. Which blogger would you want with you to help you survive? 
Maegan at Maegan. She does amazing DIYs and if I were stuck on an island I believe her amazing DIY skills would come in very useful in surviving!!!

flared j brand lovestory jeans with a vintage halston sweater and vintage tucci blouse, tom ford cat eye sunglasses, pour la victoire shoes, platforms with socks, love story jeans, j brand jeans, 1970's look, DSC_0016

5. The first blogger you remember "meeting" and connecting with ? 
Amanda at A.Co est. 1984. I adore her style and found inspiration in her posts! She was the first fashion blogger I ever followed.

Hi, I'm A.Co!

6. Any blogger that you admire and look up to? 
Kate at The Small Things Blog. She always comes across as kind and intelligent, no matter what she's writing about. She has amazing style, impeccable taste in decor, is amazing at styling hair, and her pictures always look fabulous. 


7. Who is the craziest/funniest blogger? 
Mish (Michelle) at Mish Lovin' Life. She is downright hilarious. Her style of writing is so engaging and her sense of humor makes me laugh every post I read! She's half Korean and spends a lot of time poking fun at being "Asian", and she's somehow managed to make something as impressive as marathon training come off as fun and funny at the same time. She has an alter ego named Crazy Connie. If you are not reading her blog, go do it now. You heard me. Go on. I'll still be here when you get back.

You can just tell she's fun from her button!!!

8. There's a reality television show for bloggers, who would you want to be casted with you? 
Oh, there are definitely a number I'd want around - Shan from Merci Blah Blah for her ridiculously awesome sense of humor and Sarah from Coming Unstitched because she's a Pennsylvania girl and we all know PA gals are the most fun ;). 

9. Some bloggers have really cool jobs, anybody you'd like to swap careers with? 
I would love to swap careers with Mary Ann from the Dapper Bun. She's a dance teacher, and dances with a local dance company here in Atlanta. I love dance but unfortunately didn't start doing it early enough in life to really become great. I'd love to be good enough to do what she does!!


10. Favorite blog design?
Confession: I hardly ever actually visit people's blog pages. I read all my blogs in my Google Reader. I have no idea who has a good blog design and who doesn't!!!