What The F*@& Universe?

Just yesterday I was telling you all how wonderful my birthday had been, that the Universe banded together to make my day. It was a day so perfect I wanted to meet it at summer camp and become pen pals with it.

Apparently the Universe had one more gift in store for me because I woke up this morning with something strange growing out of my head. I hesitate to call it a gray hair - I don't want it to become too familiar with me and invite its friends - but it's definitely lighter and more wiry than the rest of my hair. Not cool, Universe. GO TO YOUR ROOM.

I didn't pluck it because, for the moment, I'm choosing to refuse it exists. Except for the whole 'telling the Internet' part. You see, this alleged gray hair is throwing a wrench in my plans. I had always thought of myself as someone that wouldn't fret over gray hairs and wrinkles, someone who would just age naturally and gracefully. But that was assuming I wouldn't get a gray hair until I was 30. This rogue hair is AT LEAST 3 years premature and I don't know how to deal with it - dye it, pluck it or fuck it?

At least it's in the front so maybe I can rock a saucy gray streak, a la Stacy London.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday I turned 27 years old and the Universe banded together to make sure I had a fantastic day.

- I gave myself a shot of birthday confidence by donning my red skinny jeans (a birthday gift from the hubby)...

...and my most bad-ass high heels.

clearly, my shoes are very mysterious.

- The hubby took me to lunch for some yummy pizza.

- When I got back to work there was a big brownie parfait in the kitchen that just happened to have one serving left. I took that as a sign and devoured it. NOM.

- Around 3:00 some flowers were delivered and they were *gasp* for me! I've never had flowers delivered to me, so that was a very, very nice treat from Luke and the hubby.

not pictured: how jealous you are

- I answered my office phone and it was Alvin and the Chipmunks singing "Happy Birthday" to me. It turned out to be a birthday wish/prank from one of my co-workers. How funny!

- My Mother-in-Law gave me a gift certificate for a massage. I've only had one massage before, but it was when I was pregnant and could be considered painful but productive. I'm very much looking forward to a massage of the soothing Swedish variety.

- I enjoyed dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants with the hubby, Luke, my mom and my step-dad. On the menu: Roasted Tomato Soup, Butternut Squash Ravioli, Creme Brulee. NOMx2

- I got a bazillion birthday wishes on Facebook. Nothing make you feel like you have loads of friends like the Internet.


Like a lot of gals, I like having a little polish on my fingernails. But I hate how most manicures chip within 5 minutes of leaving the salon. It's like just the thought of me reaching my hand into my purse makes the polish flee with terror.

For I while I was getting gel manicures - which are super durable - but then I read that the UV gel-setting lights can cause wrinkles and HAND CANCER. OK, not hand cancer. Skin cancer on your hand. Still... no, thank you. Fortunately I came up with a cheaper, and less cancer-y, solution.

I now swear by Sally Hansen Hard as Nails. It does pretty good on its own, but if I get it applied at the nail salon with their super-strong top coat it will last me 2 weeks. Yes, I may have to do a few touch-ups at home but since the polish belongs to me, that's no problem. I still like my fast-drying options for a last minute manicure, but they're not built to last.

UGH. Why do hands look so scaly and old in close-ups?

For fall / Wolfpack season I picked this sparkly deep red that may or may not make another appearance at Christmas. Festive, no?

Free Stuff!

I just wanted to pop in real quick to share some awesome news with you guys...

One of my favorite craft blogs, THRIVE, is turning one! In honor of the occasion Nike (THRIVE's creator) is throwing a week-long blog party, complete with presents! Carolina Pear is joining the fun by hosting one of the seven, yes SEVEN, awesome giveaways. Stop by THRIVE to enter to win. And while you're there, stick around, you could probably learn a thing or two about thrifty crafting from Nike!

My Brand-New, Old Ottoman

If you read my baby blog, then you already know I hit up the yard sales on Saturday. If you don't read my baby blog, WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME?

Anyway... In addition to the amazing deal I scored on a jogging stroller I also got this gorgeous vintage leather ottoman for $25.

Well, technically my father-in-law bought it for me for $25.

As soon as I saw that ottoman I fell in love with it. At $25 I thought it was a bargain, but there was something holding me back. A certain something that I happen to be married to and that can be quite closed-minded when it comes to decor.

Admittedly this ottoman may be a bit of an acquired taste. It's more than a bit quirky, but I love it for its style as well as what it represents to me. You see, when I was a kid my grandparents had an ottoman very similar to this one that they bought when they lived in Peru in the mid-1960's. So seeing this guy instantly brought back memories of my childhood. But what really sealed the deal was that, by some strange coincidence, my grandfather's initials were stamped into the leather on the bottom. No, I don't think this ottoman belonged to my grandparents, but I do think fate was trying to give a little shove. Despite all that I couldn't bring myself to buy it knowing the hubby could hate it. And since yard sales don't really have return policies, I was prepared to walk away but my father-in-law sweetly bought it for me. Maybe he couldn't stand the way I was awkwardly staring at it hoping no one else wanted it.

Luckily, once I got it home the hubby said it could stay. He was lukewarm at first but after an hour he decided it was pretty cool.

I am quite curious where the ottoman came from and when it was made - no, I didn't think to ask the woman who sold it to us - so I sent an email to Apartment Therapy. I'll keep you posted if I learn anything new!

Project Closet

I am embarking on an adventure to wear everything in my closet. I have lots of clothes that I like, some I even love, but I am very bad about gravitating to a few favorites and leaving the rest hanging unworn. Well, no more! I plan to break free of my old standards and learn to see my clothes in a new light.

To help me keep track of what's been worn I whipped up some closet dividers (one for tops, one for dresses) out of cardboard from - you guessed it - the recycling bin. The process was so simple I didn't bother to photograph it. Instead I made you this handy illustration:
They look exactly like that. Except imagine them colored with sharpies and shoddily cut with scissors.

There are lots of ways to keep up with which clothes have been worn or not - rotating the item on the hanger, a hidden safety pin, etc - but I wanted the easiest possible system. I hung the divider at the back of my closet. After I wear an item I move it behind the divider. Easy peasy. As I mentioned before I am keeping track of tops and dresses, but not bottoms since I rarely build an outfit around skirts and pants.

I decided to make it easier on myself and only keep up with the clothes I wear during the work week. Which means I am still free to adhere to my weekend uniform of skinny jeans, ribbed tank and cardigan. That's not changing anytime soon.

If I were a super-fantastic blogger (HINT: I'm not) this project would include outfit posts, accessory close-ups and such. Sadly my new work schedule - four 9-hour days and a 4-hour Friday - means there is no daylight before I leave and when I get home I want to play with my son before he goes to bed. Sorry, Internet. You're playing second fiddle to an adorable, giggling toddler. I might pop-in if I come up with something particularly inspired, but this is not some sort of 30-for-30 type deal so don't expect daily documentation.

That being said, I'm looking forward to dusting off some beloved but neglected things from my wardrobe. Care to join me in the challenge? All you need is a closet, some cardboard and mediocre scissor skills.
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