bat mitzvah weekend

this weekend my boyfriend and i are in maryland to attend my cousin’s bat mitzvah. it’s been a while since i’ve been to a bar or bat mitzvah, and i’m excited to help my cousin and the rest of my family celebrate and party. i am also excited because this is the first big family event from my dad’s side of the family that my boyfriend will be attending. i’m so happy for him to meet my east coast family and have someone to help me celebrate.

this weekend, my boyfriend is also celebrating his birthday. i am so happy to be celebrating with him again.

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it’s too expensive

i love following personal style blogs online. i love seeing how other people define their style, how they accessorize, how they remix and re-wear their clothes year after year and through multiple seasons.

and there’s the rub; i’m finding more and more that style bloggers are wearing new and expensive items in every blog post. i hardly see the bloggers i like wearing items over and over. everything is new, and everything seems to be expensive.

i know for a lot of these bloggers the blog is a business, either full-time or part-time. they need to make money, and that comes through partnerships with brands. i just wish that the items they featured were a little more affordable (not a $500 dress from barney’s) and were worn more than once.

i don’t know, maybe i’m not really understanding the intentions or i’m not the target audience for style blogs. i’m not looking for new shopping leads; as i’ve mentioned previously i’m kind of over shopping. i really am primarily interested in looking at the clothes, looking at the styling, and thinking about how i would style the pieces.

2015 reading update

i have been doing a terrible job keeping up with my reading goals for this year. my goal is to read 30 books this year, all written by women. i’ve read 5 books so far; goodreads says i’m 6 books behind. i will really need to get a move on if i want to hit my goal. i’m not sure what’s behind my demotivation in 2015.

while working at the coffee shop, i read a lot on my lunch breaks. it was one of the only times when i was able to sit and relax and take some time for myself. i got to sit still, get off my feet, lean back and enjoy my book. working in an office, things are flipped. i sit for most of the day, and i am left mostly to myself. with my two monitors, i can do my work on one screen and keep up with chatting, news, and social media on the other screen. it’s a very relaxing job. so, when i take my breaks i like to move around. i like to get out and stroll through the gardens. i feel so fortunate to work in such a beautiful setting i want to take as much advantage as possible (i think i’m starting to sound like a broken record to most people). during my lunch break i try to eat quickly and then go for a walk. it’s not just about being able to walk in a garden setting, i’m also anxious to walk for exercise. i feel a little guilty for sitting and reading a book when i spend most of the day sitting doing work. i’m still trying to work out a balance.

right now, i’m reading a book of colette stories. i’m on the last story. i am going away for memorial day weekend, so i will probably pick a book to take with me on the trip. something breezy and short. i think going forward what i need to do is read more when i get home after work and watch less netflix.

10 years

last weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. i did not attend for a variety of reasons, but i was sad i wasn’t able to to attend. it was the same day as one of my boyfriend’s triathlons. i make it a priority to attend his races; it is so important to me to support him in any way i can. in addition, the cost of going to the reunion (in pennsylvania) was too steep once i factored in plane ticket, hotel, transportation, tickets for reunion events…it was too much. i have a lot of travel coming up this year with my boyfriend and friends. 2015 is definitely a big year for me. there isn’t a month this year where i don’t have a big event going on some weekend that either requires airline travel or fancy dress.

i went to my five year high school reunion in 2010 and had a really great time. i feel really lucky to have gone to a small, close-knit high school that doesn’t hold back when planning class reunions. every may, the school hosts alumni weekend where any alumni from any year can come back to campus and take part in special events that showcase the school: lectures from teachers and accomplished alumni, student vs. alumni sports games, dedications of new buildings, fabulous send-offs to retiring faculty and staff. there’s food, and games, and tons of photos. classes who are celebrating reunion years plan special off campus events with their classmates.

i’m not especially close with anyone from high school anymore. with facebook i’m able to keep up with some people through status updates and quick “hey, how are you?” i am sad to have not kept in better contact with my friends from school they were great people, very nice, good friends. geography definitely has something to do with it; most of my friends from high school live back east (not surprising since my hs is in pa), and i definitely connect better with people face to face. but still, that’s no excuse for not doing a better job of communicating with the people who i called my friends.

even though i wasn’t able to attend my 10 year reunion, i’m excited to attend again in 5 years…that would be my 15th reunion. ooo…that sounds old.

sayonara!

tuesday night, i went through my closet and pulled out a bunch of clothes that i felt very meh about. i pulled out an item, held it up in the air and said out loud (to no one) “does wearing this make you feel happy?” if the answer was no, i tossed it in the giveaway pile. i put all the clothes in contention for giveaway in a shopping bag and left it in a corner of my room. it’ll stay there for a bit; if i desperately feel the need to pull something out of the bag it goes back in the closet. if not, in a couple of weeks it’s leaving the apartment. and i feel great! i love seeing less clothing in my closet.

i want to open my closet and see clothes hanging there that make me say “i would love to wear any of these items today!” i am really warming up to the idea that having less overall but having only things that i truly love will be more fulfilling than a closet full of clothes that don’t make me feel anything. i used to really feel like having a closet full of clothes, stuffed to the brim would be awesome because i would have so many many options when it came to dressing everyday. but i usually ended up gravitating toward those few pieces that i really loved to wear. the rest just sat there.

about a week after starting my new job, i decided to start a little experiment. i wanted to wear everything in my closet at least once without repeating. i thought this was going to be a good way to weed out clothes i didn’t wear that often that i should consider giving away, a good way to really experiment with different combinations of clothing that would be new and exciting, and a good way to have fun! it certainly started out that way, because i started out by wearing all my favorite items. as the weeks went on it became less fun. i started having to dig really deep to put together outfits. most of the time, these late stage outfits were not exciting, did not really flatter me, and kind of depressed me. i would open my closet, see all my favorite pieces, and then have to bypass them because they’d already been worn. talk about a problem that shouldn’t exist.

so when i finally put the zeros in the giveaway bag the experiment ended. i’m going back to wearing only the things that i love, that make me happy, that make me feel pretty. if it doesn’t do all of those three things…then in the giveaway it goes! no looking back!

while i was putting my first round of giveaway clothes into the bag, i realized that there was a definite pattern to everything that i was pulling. it was almost all exclusively bought while i worked at ralph lauren. it was all bought for work. every single item was bought because it sat at the intersection of 1) the right price point, 2) work appropriate, and 3) something i really liked. which means that i was compromising, especially on the liking it part. i really thought that the clothes at ralph lauren and club monaco were totally in line with my personal style. i’ve come to realize that is not the case.

for a while now i’ve had the nagging feeling that most of these clothes weren’t me. but i pushed it away because i would look in my closet and say to myself, “but look at all this ralph lauren that i own, all the club monaco. most of my friends, most people my age (around 25/26 at the time) couldn’t afford this kind of closet!” i felt like i had been given the chance to own a wardrobe i would, under normal financial circumstances, have no right to own. i couldn’t just give it away or even consign it because it cost me so. much. money. seriously!? how crazy does that sound.

as the weeks go on, i’m sure i will be cleaning out even more of my closet and giving items that no longer fall into the “love it” category the proverbial heave ho. the money spent no longer is a deciding factor in whether i keep something or give it away. some of my favorite pieces are from used clothing stores, some are from clearance racks, and some are indeed from ralph and club monaco. but the money is gone, spent to fill my wardrobe with clothes i only felt “meh” about. i use that now as my lesson; my bank account would be much fuller today if i had found three or four really great work appropriate outfits and left it at that.

things i don’t like about myself

i admit it, there are things i don’t like about myself. physical things, personality traits. and i think it’s ok to say that there are things i don’t like about myself and wish i could change. some changes are possible some changes are not possible, it’s a mixed bag.

there is so much out there in media that is promoting body positive lifestyles, and i think that’s great. but i think it’s disingenuous to act like we should see ourselves as beautiful and perfect exactly the way we are. i think it ignores and encourages people to push down some negative feelings we have about ourselves, our bodies. i feel like over time this can’t be good for us.

i wish i was taller. not by much, say about two inches or so. this thought only occurred to me recently. i read a lot of style blogs and i like to take notice of fashions and styles when i’m out in my daily life. i like seeing how people put outfits together, how they accessorize. what i’ve noticed recently is that i love the way clothes look on women who are on the taller side of the spectrum. i feel like i occupy this weird, completely average height. i’m not short, i’m not tall, i’m just right there in the middle. i know that many tall people have issues with clothing and sizing; but that is their issue. i would like to be a little taller.

i wish my hair was longer and not as frizzy. i wish my curls were sleek. even though i have come around on my hair and can now appreciate my wild curls, there are things i wish i could change about them. i mean, who ever says they are completely satisfied with their hair. i don’t believe that anyone has good hair days everyday. i am working on growing out my hair, and i definitely have noticed that it has gotten longer since the beginning of the year! i have also begun working on finding the right products and tricks to use on my hair to make it more manageable and look sleeker, more defined curls, less frizzy. i am having some success, still working on it.

i wish i was a more organized person and less of a procrastinator. this is something that is completely in my control to change, i’m trying to figure out if i want to change. let me rephrase that…these are things i do want to change, i just have to decide how i want to change. being unorganized causes anxiety and being a procrastinator causes sleepless nights. obviously i don’t want to keep living that way. i hate anxiety and i want more sleep. but do i want to just go to the container store and buy a bunch of organizing components for all my stuff? no, not really. i would rather be more organized by having less stuff to keep track of. see, some things can, with a little adjustment can definitely change.

there’s things i don’t like about myself and that’s ok. i don’t have to like them; i won’t embrace the things i don’t like. i won’t be talked into embracing my flaws. i will learn to accept them, work around them, or change them if i can.