• Fashion is about what you wear. Style is about how you live your life. ~Ralph Lauren

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Eyes Have It

Sometimes you just gotta do something different.  Something that other people think is excessive or ridiculous.  Something you've always wanted to do. 

In this case, I did something that I've dreamed about my whole adult life.  I got eyelash extensions!!

To clarify I haven't always wanted eyelash extensions as I know them now.  Basically, I've spent my entire adult life trying to find a mascara to make my short, red lashes,  longer.  I toyed with doing that Latisse stuff that makes them grow but that freaked me out.  I've worn the fake eyelashes from drugstores.  That makes my eyes sticky and they are hard to put on everyday.  Not to mention pricey to keep buying.  I went through a phase last winter of wearing them all the time.  It was a process.  A messy process.

But then about a year ago this girl I know had gotten it done.  She's a hair stylist and had a person that did them for her.  I was immediately intrigued.  It's expensive.  There is upkeep involved.  But the results were so amazing.  Fast forward to this year and she was doing them herself here in town.  I stopped down a few weeks ago to inquire about it and to my delight....she was running a special for December.  So the price was significantly lower than the usual rate.  I made an appointment that day. 

I was a little concerned because I'm a redhead.  That's part of the reason I wanted them to be honest.  Being a redhead is nice, but my lashes are short and red.  So when I don't wear mascara--everyone thinks I'm sick or sad or tired.  Ugh.  It's so annoying.  In any case, I googled red  heads with extensions and I found a blog about a redhead that got it done and she looked lovely and natural with them.  So I stuck with my appointment on Friday.    So glad I did.    They look pretty good and they look like they are my real lashes.  I couldn't get water near my eyes for 24-36 hours but this morning I was able to take a regular shower and put on fresh makeup.  All I needed was  little eye liner and some blush.  Boom.  Done. 

This was at work the day after.  It was also a game day so I'm sporting a big orange bow. 

I'm so very glad I did this.  It's the same as getting my nails done.  It's about the same price every month.  And I think it's exactly what I needed to kick off 2014!!

Besides the excitement over my lashes, I had a busy weekend of work.  I did manage to squeeze in some friend time.  My friend Gillian lives in Florida now and was up for a few days.  I was so sad that I  was working while she was here and had very little time to spend.  But we had breakfast on Saturday morning.  I was glad to spend a little time with her.  :)
Jill,Gillian, Aimee and I at the diner. 
It was a busy weekend.  Syracuse won.  I have new lashes.  I saw friends.  I got to sleep a little.  I feel good about life. 
I am excited about the new year!  I have a whole new "outlook"  hahaha!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Christmas 2013 is in the books.    I went to my parents house for the day.   We pretty much just relaxed all day.  All I really wanted was a nap and thankfully, I got that.  I probably could have slept all day long if given the opportunity. 
Santa was very generous to me this year (as usual).  And Santa isn't a big Duke fan either so he knew I needed this. 

  I made my Dad take some selfies after dinner.   
Hard to tell we're father and daughter, huh? 
I stayed over last night and woke up to find we  had  gotten snow so I braved the roads (awful by the way) and got back here in time to go to work.  I should have wished for a day after Christmas nap! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ornament Fun

About two months ago I started thinking I wanted to have an ornament exchange with my friends instead of doing a gift exchange kind of thing.  Life is crazy as always so I couldn't figure out when I wanted to do it so I crossed it off the list for this year.  Then Angie was really into the idea and a week ago she insisted that we do it.  So last week we sent out a quick invitation and hoped people would be available two days before Christmas.  We made it simple.  Bring a snack and an wrapped ornament.  Simple. 

Not surprising I picked polka dot and stripes for the paper goods. 
Thanks to a little research last week, I made this punch that was super good.  1 bottle of champagne, 1 bottle ginger ale and a package (or two in this case) of frozen strawberries.  It's so delicious!

After we ate and chatted, we opened ornaments.  Every package was assigned a number and then we drew numbers to select ours.  Cristina was really excited  about her O-state ornament. 
Cristina and I have not taken too many successful pictures together and we finally got one last night.  She's so pretty!


Angie and I.  She's a great co-host and made my life easier with bringing the punch bowl and a bunch of other stuff and then organizing things.  Love her!

Our party favors were mittens wrapped up with a tag "warm wishes for the season"  They were a hit!

Even though we gave a week's notice, we had 12 people attend.  It was so nice to hang out and celebrate together. 

We all signed an ornament so we can remember who attended and keep this going as a tradition for years to come. 
It was a good way to enjoy the excitement of the holidays together.  It sure made me feel even more in the holiday spirit.  :)
Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Last night I was exhausted by the time I got out of work and headed to the mall to work my part time gig.  I haven't worn make up in a few days (WHAT?!?) because I overslept a few days in a row.  My schedule is rough right now.  I looked and I only have 2 two hour blocks of free time next week.  I know this because I was trying to book my eyelash extension appointment.  Trust me, after not wearing make up a few days I confirmed that my life would be enhanced if my lashes are too.  Not to mention that I won't have to wear make up everyday. 

So when I walked into work, it was decided that I didn't really NEED to work that night.  There was another manager there so she could close the store and she had two strong associates on with her.  So I happily jumped at the opportunity to go home.  I have a million things at home I need to do.  My bedroom looks like a bomb exploded.  When I say I have nothing to wear...don't believe a word I say.  This is evidenced in the sheer volume of clothes that are in the laundry, on the floor, on the bed, and hanging in the closet.  It's a mess.  Full disclosure. 

So I headed home.  Only I didn't quite get there.  I had to run to the store and then got a text to come meet my friends at their book club.  Did I go home and clean?  Nope.  Duh.  I went over there for a bit.  Turns out they didn't actually read a book, much less discuss it.  Perfect.

We helped Amy decorate her tree.  And took pictures.

It turned out to be an adventure to get a good picture. 
It was so nice to have TIME to myself to just be.

 Even if only for a few hours. 

Even if my bedroom is still a wreck today. 

Oh, and I got added to the book club.  ;)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lights, Camera...

Yesterday I wrote about doing Christmas the single girl way.  Simply put, I'm not going to NOT do what I want just because I don't have my own family.    I've had a rough few years of not feeling good about my life.  In a sudden epiphany a few months ago, I started changing my thought process.  Instead of wishing I was in a different part of my life, I want to embrace and celebrate where I am.  Single is good.  It means I've not settled for the wrong person.  Childless is good.  It means I will be completely ready for babies when they come.  Don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean I don't have moments...I do.  But what I'm trying really hard to do is try to focus on embracing what is and being excited about what's to be. 

And this year seemed like a great year to send out a Christmas card picture.  I got an idea in my head and asked a photography student that I work with to take pictures.  Luckily she got my vision and she had access to the photo studio on campus.  Here are a few of the best ones...

I wanted something with lights that focused on the simplicity of this time of the year.

I love my shoes.  They are hands down my FAVORITE pair of heels.  Silver.  Sparkly.  Magical.

I made a black tutu for the photo shoot.  I think this is the only one that shows it.  And another shoe shot. 

In the end, this is the one I chose for the card.  The bottom says "May your Holidays Sparkle" 
I had fun doing the pictures and I feel like it captures where I am right now.  I'm right where I need to be...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Getting On Board

I have spent the last few Christmas seasons wishing I had kids so that I could make more meaning of the hype of it all.  I still want that and eventually I will have it.   But I asked myself recently, why can't I just do the things I want?

 Why can't I have a Christmas card with a picture just because I don't have babies to show off?

 And why can't I have an Elf on the Shelf?  Who says? 

Um, no one.

So this weekend I got an Elf to come live with me for the holiday season.  Technically, my wonderful Dad purchased him for me. (thanks, Dad!) I think he wants the entertainment of the elf doing funny things around my home.  I can not disappoint.

These are creepy looking but it cracks me up.  I am STILL trying to come up with a good name for  him. And he needs some serious swag. 
I suspect as soon as I name him, he'll start doing something other than sitting in the box.  Stay tuned. 
This year I'm owning any Christmas tradition that I want.  Single and fantastically!
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Once Upon an Office

This month continues to be BUSY.  I feel like I'm in constant motion.  Whew.  This girl needs a nap for days.  I used to think I was busy with my position at the other college and that I needed to slow down and find more balance.  I left that job to pursue that very thing and have found myself even MORE busy than I was there and I'm still seeking balance.  huh.  weird.  I'm starting to think it's me...

Oh well.  I guess I'm just wired to be busy.  All. The. Time.

I don't think I've mentioned what a fun office I work in.  It's not my ideal job.  It's pretty boring in reality.  Yes, it's in my field.  Yes, it's good experience to have.  But what I actually get paid to do is a bore.  After up and leaving my perfect-for-me job (at a very imperfect place) I have been humbled in so many ways.  Wait, that's a totally different blog post.  My point for today is that while my job is boring, I am SO very thankful for the positive environment I work in right now.  The ladies I work with are kind to each other.  They ask how you are and want to hear the answer.  There is laughter in the office every day.  There is no drama.  We all do our jobs and have fun with each other while we do it.  It's refreshing.  It's exactly what I need in my professional life right now.  

Yesterday we did an office cookie exchange (I'm SO OVER cookie exchanges this year--three is A LOT).  I made snowball cookies (Russian tea cookies) and put them in mason jars with a poem about snowman poop.  Not terribly creative but I think they turned out cute for the effort I put in.  ha.
Ran out of the ribbon I wanted to use so I had these little bows to use instead.

We did prizes for Best Dressed Cookie, Most Festive and "Wow, that looks like it took a long time to make"  I was in charge of doing the prizes so I did wooden spoons with the award on it and a bag of fun to go with it.  It was a nice new tradition to start in the office. 
But an even BETTER office tradition is Dragon on the Shelf.   Since I'm new here I had no idea we did that.  So you can imagine my surprise when I walked in to see this on my desk...
Our mascot is the Red Dragon (just for context)  I loved it~  It was so cute and funny.  Since my job entails purging academic files the Dragon ate my files.   I had to pass it on to the next person this morning so I was here early to string 500 Christmas lights in an office....
This is exactly why it's a pleasure to walk through the office doors everyday...even with the dragon mess I had to clean up.  :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

la la la

I'm starting to think busy is just a way of life for me.  I haven't had a chance to blog since last week.  Last weekend was a super busy one.  Between my Santa gig, working at the mall, a graduation, and a craft show I had to make about 98 cookies for that cookie exchange.  I ended up waking up at 6 am on Saturday to get it done.  I went with the Grinch theme and found some adorable tags from a blogger (and for the LIFE of me, can not locate the link to where I found it--ugh)  So I made crinkle cookies and colored them green, and packaged them with the Grinch tags.  It turned out pretty cute!  I also found a Grinch shirt for my ugly sweater (because I would NEVER wear a shirt with a cartoon on it--yuck).  So I was all themed up.  The cookie exchange was fun.  The ladies there made some really beautiful cookies and the packaging was amazing. 
On Monday I celebrated my birthday.  Well, actually I had a birthday.  It was kind of a depressing day.  I really love celebrating my birthday but this year I felt sad because it was just an ordinary day.  I guess that's how it goes.  Don't get me wrong, my birthday buddy at work was sweet and made me cute orange cupcakes and decorated my chair.  And Jill and Vinny took me to dinner which was fun and so nice of them.  I guess I should have planned a party or something.  I feel like I was actually excited to turn another year older and I should have done something awesome to commemorate it.  Oh well.  I just hope this isn't telling of how the rest of my year is gonna go because I was pretty bummed out on Monday night.   I AM super thankful for  Jill and Vinny's company that night.  Those two make me laugh!
In any case, my goal for the next year is to be more kind and thoughtful and to work on being a better me on the outside and on the inside.  Easy enough, right?  :)
I'm starting by trying to ignore the delicious desserts that are currently taunting me at work.   I sit next to the food table, BUT I can also see the gym from my window and can see people working out.  Nothing like a little guilt to keep me on track.  Haha! 
Happy Wednesday!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Warm Heart

I wasn't going to post today but I just had to share a little bit of seasonal happy.  Last night was the tree lighting in town.  It's one of my favorite things here.  It's so cute!   And being Santa's helper has definitely made it even more fun for me.  I can see the magic in kids faces as they see Santa.  It warms my heart.

But what warms my heart even more is seeing the special kids in my life.  I have said a million times that I'm so lucky to have so many of my friends kids to love.  I get to be an "aunt" and I adore that. 

Here's Eliza and I from last weekend.  Heart explosion!  She makes me smile every time I see her.
And last night Sofia and Emma came to see me.  Look at those sweet little faces!!  I adore them.
When I think of how sad I've been in the recent past, I am SO thankful that I have these  little kids in my life to remind me of how wonderful life is (not to mention that their mama's are pretty special to me too)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sick Happens

This has been me this week:
I've not been feeling well still.  On Tuesday night I slept from 5 pm to the next morning when I had to get up and go to work yesterday.   I hate being sick (who likes it really?) and I hate how it limits my schedule.  I'm a busy girl and I don't enjoy being slowed down.  On Monday night I tried to make myself believe I felt okay and got my decorations up around the house.  By Tuesday morning I felt like poop.  But at least I got to be sick with pretty things to look at.

The 2013 version of my tree.  I don't know why my iPhone can't take a decent picture lately.  (I need the upgrade)  I went with red and white polka dots again this year.  I had thought about a new theme but then, I just didn't.
The Christmas village my Grandma made.  It's really cute on the mantle. 
The kitchen counter...
I thought this was a cool picture of one of the ornaments on the tree. 
Last night I felt better (after my epic sleep) so I got all my supplies for a cookie exchange this weekend.  I am stressed about this one because I have to make 100 cookies.  There are prizes for best packaging and ugly sweater.  Luckily, I was able to theme my cookies with my ugly sweater. The only thing I have to do is make the cookies sometime between working a lot and santa-ing.    I stress myself out about these things.  I like things to be cute and themed so I can't just make cookies and call it a day.   I don't know why but I just have to make it more difficult for myself.   I guess that can be a good thing but it makes me fear the future.  I can only imagine my future children's birthday parties and events...I'll be out of control.  My poor future husband...
I went to the first volleyball practice for a team that I'll be playing with for a city league last night.  It was fun to hit the ball around.  I love playing and can't wait to start that in January. 
Tonight is the tree lighting in town and I'll be helping Santa again for a few hours.  Hopefully it won't be as cold and I won't get more sick.
Remember when I was fun and not so boring?  ha!  I guess some weeks are like that.  :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Trotting into December

It's December already!  Whoa, crazy!  I don't know why I find it so hard to believe but I do. 

Last week was busy, as per usual.  I was thankful that because of bad weather I was able to have an extra day off from BOTH jobs.  On Wednesday I got to spent a blissful day in my sweats cleaning, organizing, and decorating.  It was wonderful to be able to just be home and do my own thing.  It's been awhile since it felt good to have no plans.  I got a lot done because I knew that I probably won't have the opportunity for awhile.  Even though it was the day before Thanksgiving I put up the trees.  I didn't decorate the big one (that's happening tonight) but I got it up.  However, I got the important tree decorated...

Thanksgiving was good this year. I had signed up for a turkey trot in town and was not feeling great about it because my running has been...well, stalled. I'm so not motivated to run in the cold. But the one thing I hate is the thought of regretting not doing something that I wanted to do. SO I got up and got dressed in the warmest running clothes I could find. (I definitely need warmer running clothes, Santa) It was snowing so hard before I left but I got there and it was just COLD and slushy. The run was fine but I wasn't running the best I could because of my frozen toes. The plus side is I finished and I'm glad I did it.
After I thawed out and got a little rest, I headed over to my friend, Jill's for Thanksgiving dinner.  It's always fun to go there because her family is fun and it's never dull.  There are plenty of laughs and fun to be had with that crew.  My only contribution to dinner was to bring the rum for rum punch (Jill's mom's orders).  I happily obeyed that order.  She made us some yummy punch to enjoy. 
After we ate and relaxed, I headed home to take a nap because I had to work at midnight for Black Friday at BBW.  By the time I left to go home at 6 am, I was beginning to get a cold (probably because of my frozen run that morning).  I slept for a few hours and had to be back for my night shift.  I was feeling pretty awful by that point and only ended up working a few hours.  I was really losing my voice so it was tough to talk to customers.  My friend, Angie, made her BBW debut. that day.  She agreed to help out for the holiday so she worked a  few hours.  It was fun to have her there. 
The rest of the weekend consisted of working and trying to rest  and get my voice back.  I had big plans of going out but feeling so crappy, I picked sleep.  Next week is my bday so hopefully I'll be rested and ready for some fun!
Happy December!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Help

On Saturday I started my seasonal gig of being Santa's helper.  I somehow got asked to do it by the city committee this year and I was flattered that someone thought I'd be good with all the kids as they wait to see the big guy.  I was a little nervous about it because the former Mrs. Claus was so magical and wonderful.  She's out of the state this year so they needed someone to help.  But I think it went pretty well. 

I've spent the last few weeks trying to find an appropriate costume to wear.  Google Santa's helper dresses and whoa--not many of those would be tasteful or warm enough for standing outside for hours in the upstate NY cold.  I did find one and I think it was perfect.  But no matter what I wear it won't be warm enough because it was freakin COLD.  I'm gonna need some fleece tights. 

The whole thing kicked off with a parade down Main Street.  I got to ride with Santa and his elves in a horse drawn situation.  It was so cute!  My friend snapped this picture as we rode by. 

After the parade Santa and I made our way to the Cottage to see all the kids lined up waiting to see him.  My job was to meet and greet and introduce the kids to Santa.  Our town has this cute little cottage for him to sit in so every family could go in and take pictures and have one on one attention from him.  The line was LONG and we didn't see the last family until 3 pm. Everyone was in good spirits and so patient.  It was such a heart warming day.  I'm really happy that I could be a part of it. 

Next up is the town tree lighting next week and then some Fridays and Saturdays.   It's been a long time since I felt any magic from the holidays and this is an excellent way to get me in the spirit.  Especially being able to see how excited the kids are to be there!   Love it!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Free Time

It sure has been a busy week!!    And I'm happy to report that I feel better than I have in weeks...maybe months.  I'm not sure why because nothing significant has happened but I think I'm finally sick of feeling so down.  As I told a friend of mine, I'm pretty fantastic--I should start acting like it!  (I mean that in the good self esteem way, not the cocky way)

Feeling better and more in control of life, I have felt more motivated to do some little projects in my "free" time.  (Note: two jobs doesn't give one much free time)  The other day I woke up at 5:45 with the intention of going for a run.  But then I rationalized that I was attending Yoga Sculpt that night so I could probably forgo the run and instead make an ironing board cover that coordinates with my craft/office room.  (excuses, excuses...)  It's been bugging me for weeks that the cover didn't coordinate with the room.  (hello, freak status)
You can't really tell but it's orange/white polka dot fabric.  The early morning lighting doesn't lend itself to good photography but it's super cute in person.  And it coordinates with my orange stuff, thank you very much.  :)

Last night I came home to discover a package at my house.  I had forgotten that I had won a blog giveaway from Ms. Attitude.  It's so cute!!  A Starbucks gift card and an ORANGE mug!  She totally gets me.  I'd like to believe she chose that based on my obsession with all things orange.  :)  I've been reading her blog for years now and I feel like she's my most faithful reader here.  Thanks, Ms. Attitude!  You made my day!
I'd close with TGIF--except that I have a busy weekend ahead.  I'm playing Santa's helper in town and the parade is tomorrow.  Yikes...I'm a little nervous.  I hope I can be as magical as they expect me to be and I hope my Santa costume comes together and I don't look like a fool.  Fingers crossed!  Wait, I'm supposed to be acting like I'm fantastic, aren't I?  Dang, so quick to forget...
Have a great weekend!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Half Full

This weekend was BUSY!  I was just talking to my co-worker about I didn't stop until Sunday night at 11 pm.  Whew.  I'm thankful for keeping myself busy.  It's helping me heal to some extent.  It was one of those weekends that makes me feel optimistic again.  I need to hold on to that feeling...especially today.
Saturday morning consisted of spending a few hours at my friend's fabric shop making crafts.  I love when she hosts these events and we can all go and make things.  This time it was a burlap stocking and a hanging card holder.  I went with red and white chevron.  (not a big surprise there). 
I love spending time with these lovely ladies.  I got to spend some QT with Sabrina and Eliza.  We walked around downtown and had lunch.  It was great and the weather was good.
I worked the rest of Saturday and came home and did a million things to get ready for Sunday.  I was exhausted by 10 pm.  I miss the days of going out...I need to have a fun night out on the town soon. Forget this grounding myself stuff.  I'm fantastic and I need to be out and about.  No more avoiding people.  So there.

Sunday morning was busy.  I got up early so I could finish a project, clean the storage room, and get out all the things I need for the week.  I've got a lot going on the next few weeks and I needed some time to organize.  To be honest I could have spent the whole day in my sweats doing that BUT I had lots of plans for the day. 

Some friends hosted a Holiday Open House so I went over there.  It was so lovely.  They had their craft creations out for purchase.  I picked up some cute stuff from my talented, crafty friends. 
After I left there I headed over to Isabel's house to watch the Jets-Bills game. 
I got to spend some time with little Mr. Tyler.  And Isabel asked if I'd be one of his godmothers.  I felt honored to be asked.  In Finland, it's traditional to have two sets of godparents.  So cute.  I don't have any experience with godparents so I'm not really sure what it means but it's definitely an honor.  I'll spoil him extra now.  :)
After the excitement of seeing little man, I headed to work at BBW to do our big meeting before Black Friday.  We did a cookie exchange after the meeting so that was nice.  For the record I brought the cookies to work today so I would not have any temptation to eat them at home.  I've got two more cookie exchanges to get through next month so I can't be having any temptation.  I've got to get to my 20 lb mark folks!

After that I had an appointment with a friend to take my holiday card photo.  I think it's going to turn out pretty well...Here's a sneak preview...weird I know, but it'll make sense later, I promise. 
After I got home and cleaned up from all these activities I was exhausted.  And for the first time in a long time, I saw the glass of water on my nightstand before I fell asleep and I thought to myself...wow, it's half full.