To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: July 1

JessComment

I spent most of Thursday thinking it was Friday, so it must actually be Friday if this post is now live, haha! Here's what put the sparkle into my (apparently confusing) week:

 

  • On Saturday, I drove to Reading for the first time, my longest drive ever! (Ok, it's only a little over an hour, so it's not that much longer than my drive to work BUT it's on mostly unfamiliar highways/roads so I had to rely a lot on Google Maps. Eep!) I planned to take a route that avoided toll roads (getting in those cattle shoots kind of stresses me out), but I must have hit the wrong option in Google Maps, as it directed me onto toll roads... and everything was totally fine. I guess I'm getting better at handling whatever driving throws at me! *confetti horn emoji*

 

  • On Sunday, I got to see my dear gal pal Timmi, which was delightful as always! Even though there was a pretense of "making flower crowns" at her little gathering, she took the liberty of making them for us! What a champ. Getting to be a pretty princess with zero effort on my part is truly living the dream! :)
Snapchat filter IRL.

Snapchat filter IRL.

I want that boo to be me, I want me to be that boo...

I want that boo to be me, I want me to be that boo...

  • I also made a new friend at Timmi's! Her pup Biene just burrowed in my lap and thawed my icy, cat-loving heart a bit. She's pretty adorable! (As long as she's not climbing over me and giving my internal organs an unwelcome massage, that is!)
Such a precious pupcake.

Such a precious pupcake.

  • I don't even know what to say about the GoT finale, other than "that shit is bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S." I actually watched it on Sunday with Timmi and her fam, and then rewatched it on Tuesday with Pops, who legit freaked out when I told him he'd have to wait until April 2017 for the next season, haha! ("But you have five other seasons to catch up on in the meantime!" "Oh... yeah...") In total nerd news, I a.) actually made Pops a chart showing the relationships of all the people who would be in the finale and b.) finally bought the first book! (I had gotten like 300 pages in before returning it to B.) NERD ALERT!
Sam is a square like me... no wonder I love him!

Sam is a square like me... no wonder I love him!

  • Speaking of huge TV moments this week, The Bachelorette. OMG. First of all, Wells was by far my favorite prospective Future Mr. JoJo, thanks to him being brunette and vaguely dorky and looking like he's at least ten years younger than he is. I was bummed he was eliminated this week, but we all saw it coming--Wells isn't enough of a bro to win JoJo's heart. He's too good for this world!
Like, come on. <3

Like, come on. <3

Luckily, I was able to console myself with the second half of the episode, which gave us all the treat of a lifetime. As soon as I recognized "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," I started hyperventilating, shrieking, and laughing all at once. So yes, this montage made me lose all control of my faculties, in the best possible way (if there IS a best possible way for one to lose control of one's faculties).

I can't believe it's the 4th of July already! Hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend! xo

June 2016 budget

JessComment

Remember how I was cutting back on shopping in order to save for a big purchase? Well, shortly after my last budget post, it finally happened: I bought a car! And although having monthly car and insurance payments for the first time in my life has me more stressed about budgeting than ever, I actually bought more in June than I did in February through May. Whoops! I blame the newfound ability to go places. ;) At least my clothing/shoe purchases were limited, thanks to physical therapy! (My wardrobe choices these days are largely dictated by "ease of movement while riding a recumbent bicycle"--hence picking up the Target shirt below to wear with leggings!) But of course that didn't stop me from buying other things, so here's what I got this month:

image.jpg

 

  1. Pur Cosmetics Correcting Primer Redness Reducer (Ulta): $33
  2. Hobo Briar Crossbody Bag (Nordstrom Rack): $228 on sale for $110 - 25% off for Clear the Rack = $82
  3. Portico Petite Convertible Necklace (Chloe + Isabel): $48 - party-hosting credit = $0
  4. Faux Stone Tassel Necklace (Forever 21): $6
  5. Mossimo Supply Co. Drapey Knit Sharkbite Tee (Target): $15
  6. Pave Curved Bar Necklace (Chloe + Isabel): $42 - party-hosting credit = $0

TOTAL: $136

It was totally love at first sight with the Hobo bag, and then I spent a week agonizing over whether or not to keep it. $82 is a lot to spend on just one thing!! But I had been looking for a roomy but smallish crossbody bag with a front flap for MONTHS, and this one is perfect.  Plus, it's real leather, so it should hold up well, AND it has a cell phone pocket in the back. For someone who wears leggings as pants way too often and thus doesn't always have access to pockets--GAME CHANGER.

I also went a little necklace-crazy this month! I'm intrigued by every blogger's pretty Kendra Scott necklaces, but I am not ready to spend that much on a long necklace. (I have a few long necklaces and definitely wear them less than others.) But a dupe for $6? SOLD! And I had never spent the $100 C+I credit I earned last fall because I could never commit to anything until now! (So.many.items have been in and out of my shopping cart in the past eight months!) I love the two dainty yet architectural pieces that I got, especially the Pave Gold Bar Necklace--it's like a more understated version of the C+I Geovista Collar (which I also love).

With makeup, I'm always looking to cover up my natural blotchiness, so we'll see how this green primer from Pur works out. I'm not sure that it does a whole lot, but it feels really nice and satiny when applied, and according to the lady at Ulta, it should improve my redness over time. Here's hoping!

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

 

 

High Five for Friday: June 24

JessComment

Was this a fast week, or am I delusional? Either way, TGIF, and let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • Pops and I celebrated Father's Day with two of his favorite things: the movies and ice cream! We saw Me Before You ("When I was lit-le, I had a pair of bumble-bee tights..."), which actually wasn't as super cheesy or wildly depressing as I feared it would be. (It was wildly depressing at times, but not the whole time, thank god!)
As soon as we got out of the movie, I was texting my friend Kristin, and Pops goes, "Hey, does she want to meet us at Handel's?" And I was like, "Wait, we're going to Handel's? You didn't even invite ME to Handel's!" haha!

As soon as we got out of the movie, I was texting my friend Kristin, and Pops goes, "Hey, does she want to meet us at Handel's?" And I was like, "Wait, we're going to Handel's? You didn't even invite ME to Handel's!" haha!

  • Because appointments are the only thing getting me out of the house on weekends lately, I decided to go with it and make a fun appointment at the massage place I like near work! Then, I hit up the nearby mall because it's home to my favorite Nordstrom Rack. But most exciting of all (sadly) was that I discovered an easier way to get on the Turnpike as part of this outing! #adulting #sadtrombone
Cue the choir of angels.

Cue the choir of angels.

  • If you watch GoT, then I hope you read the recaps on Verge because they are freaking hilarious. This week's really took the cake for me, personally, thanks to the Ygritte, "Formation," and Final Fantasy (!!) references. (I loved Final Fantasy VII and VIII as a kid, and, no joke, have thought about the death of Aeris in FFVII in comparison to major character deaths on GoT. Nerd alert!) It was seriously like the Verge recapper looked into my soul this week. <3 I also stumbled upon this brilliant mash-up of Parks and Rec quotes and GoT scenes, which had me legit lol'ing. Clearly, I need my intense dramas with a side of ridiculousness.
Sick Leslie is my favorite.

Sick Leslie is my favorite.

  • When a random song gets stuck in your head, and all you know is that it's from a show you've seen nine seasons of, well, you're screwed, right? This tale of woe actually started six months again with a random morose song from Grey's that I just could not place--UNTIL NOW! I put on the season 2 episode "Yesterday" as background noise this week, and when the following scene started, my jaw dropped. It featured THE SONG!! Which is "Everybody Needs a Fence to Lean On" by Headlights, aka a song never would have found on my own.
  • One of my fb friends posted the following quote this week, and it was definitely something I needed to read after a rough EMDR session (and general sense of malaise lately).
PREACH.

PREACH.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xo

Confessions: Physical therapy and Beanie Babies

JessComment
  • At my last podiatrist appointment in May, the doctor decided that he wanted me to start physical therapy. But he wouldn't say "physical therapy," rather, just "therapy," as in "Let's see where we can get you in for some therapy..." This probably isn't a source of confusion for most of his patients, but then again, most people don't have a roster of mental health professionals that they see regularly. Like, I was 99% sure he meant physical therapy, but I'd never heard it with the "physical" dropped before, and thus the seed of doubt was planted. So after the doctor said just "therapy" a few more times, I finally went, "Ok, you do mean PHYSICAL therapy, right? Because I already do the other kind, so that is covered!" Of course he meant physical therapy, but at least he got a chuckle out of it. "Yes, yes, physical therapy! Although I hope the other is going well for you too!" #ClearlyNotWellEnough #FacePalm
  • So per his instruction, I started physical therapy for my foot a few weeks ago, and one of my exercises is to pick up marbles with my toes. I wish I were kidding. People around me are doing full out stretches, and there I am, awkwardly trying to pick up marbles with my toes. #NothingToSeeHere
  • One of the cats I follow on Instagram (halp) looks exactly like the black and white Beanie Baby cat. Somehow, I couldn't for the life of me remember that one's name... but in the process of trying to remember, I was able to recall all the other Beanie Baby cats' names and colors! "Is it Flip? No, he's white. And Snip is Siamese... I'm pretty sure Nip was brown... DAMMIT IT'S ZIP! THAT'S THE BLACK AND WHITE ONE!!" #BeanieBabyCatLadyProbs
Battle of the Beanie Baby Bastards

Battle of the Beanie Baby Bastards

  • On my first city driving adventure with my car, somebody beeped at me for not capitalizing on a split second break in oncoming traffic to turn, and I literally yelled, "Who is driving this car?!?" at no one, because I'm 80. #I'llTurnThisCarRightAround
  • Speaking of driving, my recent car jams are a very eclectic lot, including but not limited to "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins (love a dramatic 80s ballad), "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO (again, halp), and "Call Me" by Blondie. As bizarre as they all are together, "Call Me" makes the least sense (believe it or not!) because my life motto is pretty much "DON'T call me." Ignoring phone calls is like my Olympic sport--in the car, the only phone-related button I know is the one that declines calls when you're connected via Bluetooth! Thank god "Call Me" is a pretty rocking tune--that helps me to forget that I'm encouraging a ringing phone in song form. #GoldMedalistInScreeningCalls

What wacky things have been going on in your lives these days? What everyday things do you avoid like the plague?

#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
More Coffee Less Talky

High Five for Friday: June 17

JessComment

I really struggled with the idea of doing a High Five for Friday post during such a tragic week. How can you acknowledge the good at a time of so much sadness? But I decided to go ahead with it because I have welcomed reading "normal" posts on my favorite blogs this week (and last week too, when I was in a rage spiral reading every article about the Stanford rape case). So I hope that this post/blog can be a safe, sparkly space for those who need a break from the news right now. <3

 

  • Although having a car has really put a dent in my real-life Neko Atsume, I spotted this guy lounging around as I drove down our street on Saturday morning! Pops happened to be outside at the moment, so I pulled up to our house spluttering, "EEEEEEE Tuxedo Cat is out, let's go see him!!" I think Tuxedo must be chilling at his house here because he didn't run away from us (yay!), but he was still not wooed by kissy noises and cooing (boo!). HOWEVER, like two minutes after Pops and I left, we saw the guy who lives at this house come home, and Tuxedo totally ran over and flopped for him! The nerve!
What a playa.

What a playa.

  • Last weekend, I got my hair cut for the first time in nearly a year and cannot even convey how psyched I was about it. It's truly the little things! My hairdresser gave me a Deva Cut with a million layers, and my crazy thick hair feels about ten pounds lighter!
Requisite post-salon selfie. "Becky with the good hair" must have just left the salon because no one's hair is that good on their own!

Requisite post-salon selfie. "Becky with the good hair" must have just left the salon because no one's hair is that good on their own!

  • So we've had this hydrangea in our yard for as long as I can remember. It stopped blooming a few years ago, possibly due to overzealous gardening, but now, it's back, baby! Look at these pretty lavender blooms coming in! Hooray! 
image.jpg
  • I've seen Parks and Rec all out of order, so I caught this episode for the first time the other day, and the following exchange between Joan Callamezzo and Jean-Ralphio had me (and Pops!) busting a gut: 
  • And finally, one last cat pic. This is my gf Sasha being ultra adorable. When her mom informed me that Sasha had been scratching her up, I was like, "Not this little angel!!" INCONCEIVABLE! (Except yes conceivable because she's basically still a kitten lol.)
Squeeeeee <3

Squeeeeee <3

Here's hoping for a peaceful weekend. xo

When you're ready, come and get it

JessComment

Spoiler: I was not ready.

So I bought a car a few weeks ago! A purchase that was a year in the making! And when the time came on May 31, I still was not ready! Actually, that's not true--I was excited by then. Before, however, was a different story!

 

After I finished exposure therapy last summer, it became clear that I would need a car of my own, so that I could drive regularly and stay un-terrified of driving. But I was not thrilled about this proposition. Luckily, saving for a down payment was a great, indisputable excuse that let me to hang out in comfy noncommital limbo for awhile. In the meantime, I could borrow my dad's car and drive to work once a week, thereby not undoing all the progress of exposure therapy. Insert thumbs-up emoji here.

Buuut then, in March, I got my tax return back and could suddenly afford a down payment.

OH CRAP! was pretty much my mindset from March until May, although I did test-drive a few cars and work out my budget in that time. And my commute on public transportation was getting to be a giant pain in the ass. A normal person would have reached their breaking point with a four-hour-a-day commute long ago, but for someone who feels anxious in down time and also while driving, it was nbd. Or at least it had been. I couldn't deny that a 45 minute drive, in a car that was waiting for me whenever I was ready to leave work, was pretty sweet. Certainly less stressful than trying to make four Septa connections each way! 

A week or so before I bought the car, I was on the bus near work (connection #1) heading home when I saw that my usual train was delayed and that a portion of the el (which I would take in place of the train or catch later in its route after getting off the train) was shut down altogether. I jotted down what ran through my mind as I hyperventilated through that commute, so I wouldn't forget how insane it was:

This is your brain on public transportation: a jumble of train/bus schedules and back-up plans.

This is your brain on public transportation: a jumble of train/bus schedules and back-up plans.

I could no longer deny the ridiculousness of my commute. But even so, the night before I was set to buy the car, I was having serious second thoughts, and poor Pops made the mistake of asking me about my lack of enthusiasm. "OF COURSE I'm not excited--I'm about to sign my life away to something that scares me! Why would be excited about that?!" And that's when I realized that I was actually having a very normal reaction for me. I have never been someone who welcomes change with open arms. So of course I'd be freaking out about having to embrace change, commitment, and driving all at once! IT ALL MADE PERFECT SENSE! I was right on track (for me)! And realizing that took away a lot of the worry and doubt. Instead of falling prey to my anxiety and interpreting it as a sign that buying a car would be a huge mistake, I was just like, "Oh, I'm exactly where I usually am in situations like this. It's just business as usual, ok."  And, lo and behold, I felt excited when I woke up the next morning! I was still nervous of course, but I wanted to pursue the trip to the car dealership as planned. I did play a pump-up song on the way there, but the rest is history!

No joke, this is my jam. And only the "club remix" version, haha!

As I had feared before buying the car, I'm still stressed about driving. But that makes sense too--there's no real way to get used to driving every day without having a car to, you know, drive every day. So I'm hoping that this residual anxiety dissipates with more driving practice. But so far, I don't regret taking this leap at all.

High Five for Friday: June 10

JessComment

What a crazy week! It was my first full week as a car owner, which means that I'm also getting used to a new routine that doesn't involve hours on public transportation! WHOA. So let's see what put the sparkle into it:

  • I had a lot of driving adventures over the weekend! Eeee! I'm still a pretty nervous driver, so this newfound ability to drive everywhere is sort of unnerving. But I didn't avoid (even though I wanted to!)! I drove everywhere from Philly to Phoenixville, and I chronicled a bunch of these adventures (and their accompanying freak-outs) in real time! I realized afterward that, by noting my level of anxiety before and after each scary task, I was doing exactly what they have you do in exposure therapy! #winning
  • I also made my first drive for fun over the weekend--to Target of course! I had been feeling a lot of anxiety about "unnecessary" driving--basically fearing that something bad would happen if I drove when I didn't absolutely have to. So I'm glad I was able to get up the courage to drive somewhere I wanted to, as opposed to driving for work or for an appointment, which I would do without question (and had been doing no problem since getting my car).
Hello, old friend!

Hello, old friend!

  • Pretty Woman is one of those movies that my college roommates and I watched and quoted all the time (heck, I still quote it all the time!), so I couldn't resist when it was on TV on Sunday. "It corners like it's on rails!" is one of my favorite car-related movie lines ever. And I have actually referenced Richard Gere's spiel about spending thousands of dollars in therapy to be able to say, "I'm Mr. Lewis and I'm very angry at my father!" in therapy myself! (Just not about my own father!) I don't really like Richard Gere, or Julia Roberts for that matter, but their humor and chemistry is so great.

Did you know that Richard Gere closing the box here was unscripted? Thank you, IMDb Trivia (aka my favorite thing ever)!

 

  • Amid my general lack of motivation lately, I hadn't painted my nails in weeks (womp). So I'm thrilled that I actually got it together this week and am now rocking one of my all-time favorite nail colors: Essie's Splash of Grenadine!
Why this color looks nothing like grenadine is beyond me, but it is a great shade--just not a shade of red!

Why this color looks nothing like grenadine is beyond me, but it is a great shade--just not a shade of red!

  • I found out Thursday that my retainer sentence is up!! WOO HOO! While those seven weeks did fly by, I was definitely over wearing my retainer 24/7. Now, I can just wear is at night and lisp in the privacy of my own home! Celebrate good times, come on! Oh, and as I was leaving the office, the receptionist asked me if I needed a note for school nbd. I was like, "Uhh, I'm actually 29, but thank you?" HAHA!
FREE AT LAST!

FREE AT LAST!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: June 3

JessComment

After being off Monday and Tuesday, I really haven't known what day of the week it is until today! Thank god it's Friday! ;) Here's what put the sparkle into my wacky week:

  • I took Tuesday off to do something crazy... like buy a car!! I still can hardly believe it! Every time I say "my car," I do a double-take because it does not compute! Aaahhh! I hope to write a post about the whole car-buying saga once I have some more coherent thoughts about it--as opposed to just total stupefaction that I now have A CAR and can go WHEREVER I WANT at ANY TIME AT ALL!! That I don't have to check with my dad or consult a Septa schedule before I plan anything! Not to mention overcoming that slight issue of being, oh, TERRIFIED of driving! This shit is bananas (b-a-n-a-n-a-s)! I even recorded a little video of me trying to make sense of it all!
  • Memorial Day, however, was much less exciting because our roof leaked overnight, and we woke up to water in our kitchen and basement. Ugh. But! As Pops was out on the roof investigating, and I was leaning out the bathroom window talking to him, who comes trotting through our yard but a cat! (Well, what else would it be in our 'hood?) In fact, it was recently discovered neighborhood cat Brindle Pinky! (Because she has a pink collar like Calico Pinky, but a brindle coat, obv!) Brindle Pinky was sure to stop and stare at us like we were nuts (accurate) before continuing on her merry way. Definitely the only bright spot in the whole roof leak debacle!

 

  • I took advantage of the long weekend to finally get all caught up on GoT! If you too are caught up, then you might appreciate this hilarious video. (I legit lol'd.) 

 

  • I've always liked Allana Davison's beauty videos and tutorials, but I recently discovered her "Everyday May" vlogs, and I totally love them. She's just so funny and down-to-earth and enjoyable to watch, even while doing nothing particularly interesting! Plus, she's often sans make-up in these vlogs, and it's so endearing to me that she'll film herself all chill with her zits and redness showing. YouTube beauty gurus, they're just like you and me! :)
  • Appropriately enough, I've had The Cars in very heavy rotation lately, especially this song! It's so good!!

Well, I'm off to pinch myself again! Hope y'all have a great weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: May 27

JessComment

How is it Friday already?! Well, here's what put the sparkle into my week:

  • I spent a rainy Saturday night with my friend Kristin and her cats, as she tried to get me caught up on Game of Thrones. (I have a really hard time picking up with shows after a hiatus, so I had instructed Kristin to "sit on me and make me watch GoT" lol.) We made it through the first 2.5 episodes, but how can I focus on the affairs of Westeros with all this cuteness going on around me?!
Look at that face!! He's usually pretty meh about me, but at least he was skeptical of me this time! (And rubbed up on me when he thought I would be his ticket to the great outdoors!)

Look at that face!! He's usually pretty meh about me, but at least he was skeptical of me this time! (And rubbed up on me when he thought I would be his ticket to the great outdoors!)

  • I actually did some creative writing this week! Like, fiction writing! Whoa! Although I really enjoy writing and getting lost in an imaginary world, I tend to avoid it because being still and without the distractions of TV makes me anxious. So I did some writing on the train, where I have no choice but to sit still! GENIUS! And I've been feeling more connected to this particular character that I've had in my head since undergrad, so it was a good time to revisit her.

 

  • In this week's edition of Neighborhood Flower Creeping, my favorite shade of rhododendron is now in bloom! I've been anxiously awaiting these guys' arrival, not gonna lie. What a vibrant shade of lavender--kind of like Illamasqua's Jo'mina, one of my favorite nail colors! #nerdalert
I had to send this to my mom to confirm that these are, in fact, rhododendrons. Someday, I'll know the names of the flowers I love so much!

I had to send this to my mom to confirm that these are, in fact, rhododendrons. Someday, I'll know the names of the flowers I love so much!

  • This week was the finale of DWTS, so of course Pops and I were all about it. I was very conflicted because Mark is my favorite pro and Paige is a fantastic dancer, but Nyle is just incredible (how does he have such great rhythm without being able to hear the music?!), and not to mention F-I-N-E. So once Ginger was taken out of the running, I knew I would be pretty happy with whoever won. Congrats to Nyle and Peta, they certainly deserved it (and blew my mind along the way!)!

I can't even with Nyle crying after this dance. <3 <3

 

  • As a follow-up to my irrational fears Confessions post, look what my bffl texted me over the weekend! EEK!
The passage is from Olive Kitteridge, which we actually read in grad school, and I remember being horrified by this casual mention of Bradlees back then too! 

The passage is from Olive Kitteridge, which we actually read in grad school, and I remember being horrified by this casual mention of Bradlees back then too! 

Like many of you, Soph (a west coast gal) had never heard of Bradlees until I told her about it, so my fear is super confusing to her as well haha! 

 

  • BONUS sixth thing! (High Six for Friday??) Ever since catching this ep of Parks and Rec on Wednesday, "I want that boo to be me / I want me to be that boo" has been stuck in my head. Oh Tom Haverford, you hilarious nut!

Happy holiday weekend everybody!! I'm actually kind of nervous about it, because my anxiety tends to be worse on the weekends (lack of routine, I guess?), and it's been really bad all month, but here's hoping this one isn't too stressful! xo

 

 

 

May 2016 Budget

JessComment

I must say, shopping was barely on my radar this month, what with everything else that has been going on. I did want to shop a few times, to cheer myself up, but something (maturity? terror?) stopped me. I'm on the verge of making a big purchase, so I've actually been SAVING MONEY (!!), and I'm super scared I'm going to blow it now, at the eleventh hour. Or that I'll be juuuust short of the total I need because of some stupid impulse purchases. Eek. So nearly every time I considered buying something, I was able to talk myself out of it. (Thanks, maturity/fear!) As a result, only three little treats came home with me this month:

image.jpg
  1. Marfa Double-Crossed Midi Ring (Francesca's): $12 on sale for $10
  2. Beyond Alice in Glow Lip Oil Tint (Amazon): $17
  3. Sierra Claw Ring (Francesca's): $12 on sale for $10

Total: $37

What the what?! I'm even shocked by that total, and I'm the one who spent it! Spending in the double-digits was positively unfathomable just a few months ago--and certainly this time last year, when I dropped $375 shopping in the month of May. Double eek.

Moving on to this month's purchases... Francesca's is right by the podiatrist, so clearly, stopping in there was a necessity! Rings are probably my favorite accessory, but I have tiny baby fingers (size 4-5), which is a blessing (less rings to buy!) and a curse (less rings to buy!), as most places only stock sizes 6, 7, and 8. Thank god for midi rings, which I can often wear as legit rings! I love a cool, architectural ring like the Marfa Double-Crossed Ring, and I might have even contemplated getting it before. This time, I could not resist! And I totally loved the Sierra Claw Ring (which is not as hideous as that name and the above pic make it seem), but was skeptical when I didn't see a size on it. Turns out it's ADJUSTABLE!! *confetti horn emoji*

Strangely, the Francesca's rings are not available online, even though I literally just bought them in-store last Thursday. So all is not lost if you live near a Francesca's. And look! The "claw" ring is actually super dainty and cute!

LOVE. And it goes so well with my high school ring too! :)

LOVE. And it goes so well with my high school ring too! :)

As for the lip oil, sigh. I had been scoping out the most boring options on Colourpop's site (because I've been wanting to try their stuff for months), but I'm not a lipstick/bright color/matte kind of girl. So when I saw F*** Yeah Korean Cosmetics raving about the Beyond lip oil on Instagram, I decided to give it a shot. (It had been awhile since I'd gotten a new Korean beauty product to play with!) While the lip oil looked pretty subtle on F Yeah Korean Cosmetics girl, it's super pink on me! Like pinky pink pink! It is somewhat sheer, but for someone who is a nude or MLBB lip product gal, it's a bit much. So I'm not quite sure how I feel about it... :-/ 

What did you guys get this month?? 

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers! 

High Five for Friday: May 20

JessComment

Another week is in the books! Let's see what put the sparkle into it:

  • As of yesterday, I'm cast-free! My foot still isn't exactly better (like, if it starts hurting again, I'm supposed to bust out my walking boot), but at least now I can shower without having a heart attack about my cast possibly getting wet! #winning

 

  • I went to an event at my high school last Saturday and wore the following ensemble. Obviously, going to a fancy evening in sneakers rankled my fashion-loving heart, but I couldn't fit my cast into any other shoes, so I just had to go with it... and pick a color scheme that didn't clash terribly with my Reeboks (or my purple cast)! ;) 
I would link to what I'm wearing, but both the dress and the cardigan were thrifted years ago!

I would link to what I'm wearing, but both the dress and the cardigan were thrifted years ago!

  • Signs you're an expert at flower creeping: you know where in the neighborhood to find your favorite flowers! Once I realized irises were in bloom, I made a beeline to check out these beauties, and as you can see, they did not disappoint! 
image.jpg
  • I love finding out little-known facts and behind the scenes tidbits about songs I like, so when Pops and I stumbled onto this video that details the making of "God Only Knows," I was riveted! "God Only Knows" is an insane arrangement anyway, so to listen to the parts separately and hear Brian Wilson directing everyone to his vision was just fascinating. Listening to a masterpiece like this is so creatively inspiring to me. (Even if it was Winnie and Kevin's break-up song. *tear*)
  • This week, Facebook reminded me that I posted these pictures SEVEN YEARS AGO. Good lord, how was undergrad graduation SEVEN years ago?!? It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago, simultaneously. I miss watching Disney movies til all hours of the night, and being able to sleep in til an 11:30 class, and having my roommates to dress me (and loan me their stuff!)! Not living with my friends anymore after undergrad was a very rude awakening! 
image.jpg
image.jpg

 Hope y'all have a great weekend!! Xo

Confessions: Irrational fears and other mishaps

JessComment
  • In my last Confessions post, I mentioned that I am totally terrified of bees and bee-like things. A pretty reasonable fear given the potential for, you know, getting stung and all that. But two other fears of mine? Not so easy to understand (or even explain!). First up, we have Mr. Bubble, that (maniacal) pink cartoon guy on the bubble bath bottles. I think the issue here is that my parents bought me a towel with Mr. Bubble on it when I was little and introduced it to me by draping it over my crib. Yeah, the sight of a huge Mr. Bubble towering over me was not exactly welcome! I have since recovered from this fear, but I'm still not his biggest fan. #GoAwayMrBubble #YoureDrunk
image.jpg
  • However, my other big childhood fear is still alive and well and makes even less sense. Remember the store Bradlees? (If you did not live near this store, I'm so jealous of your life.) Well, I'm terrified of its hellish logo. I am fully aware that this is an insane fear, and yet, I can't shake it. #realtalk There's no way I'm sullying this blog by posting a visual for you, but the Bradlees font is all 80s and blocky and maroon and menacing. Plastic bags from the store were covered in the logo, so maybe that's how this fear started? Or maybe the terrifying hugeness of the logo on the side of a building is what set me off as a little kid? Who knows. All I can say for sure is THANK THE LORD Bradlees went out of business because if one were still located ten minutes from my house, I would probably need to keep a paper bag in the car so I could breathe into it! But long after the Bradlees near my house closed, one remained open en route to the shore, and we would ALWAYS get stuck at a red light right across the street, and I would totally be covering my eyes like the "See no evil" monkey emoji. And this was in high school/college. #MaybeIDoNeed4Therapists #IsBradleesListedintheDSM
"I feel betrayed, bewildered... Wrong response?" 

"I feel betrayed, bewildered... Wrong response?" 

  • Remember when I was the oldest person at the orthodontist? Well, now that I'm dealing with a bum foot, I'm the youngest person at the podiatrist by about 30 years. I'm pretty much the only one there not collecting Social Security, although with my retainers and their dentures, we're kind of all on the same page. And when I walked through the waiting room with my purple cast, I swear one adorable old lady was eyeing it! I hope she went into the doctor and got a bright purple cast of her own! #OkLadies #NowLetsGetinFormation
image.jpg
  • A few weeks ago, I had to revisit a work assignment that I hadn't done in months, and slowly, all of the details came back to me. I found myself explaining what we needed to do without even fully realizing what I was saying--it's like this secret compartment in my brain got unlocked and took over. So in musing afterwards about how crazy it is when you remember something utterly random that you didn't even know was tucked away in your brain, I mentioned that I still know the quadratic equation song. Now, when you say something embarrassing like, "I still remember the quadratic equation song," people are going to want you to make good on that statement. And thus I had to serenade my boss with the good ol' quadratic equation song set to "Pop Goes the Weasel"--with my retainer in, no less. #HowEmbarrassing? #TheLimitDoesNotExist
image.jpg
  • Speaking of my retainer, I try to make sure I'm not wearing it when I have to talk on the phone, since it's hard enough to be understood with crackling connections and background chaos and whatnot. Well, this proved problematic when the podiatrist's office called me back while I was waiting for the bus, and it led me to basically spit out my retainer at the bus stop while trying to answer my phone. #StayClassy
image.jpg

Please let me know what crazy things you guys are afraid of, so I can feel (slightly) better about myself! :)

More Coffee Less Talky
#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren

High Five for Friday: May 13

JessComment

The start of this H54F post is going to be a bit of a buzzkill because I've been avoiding talking about some important things that are happening right now. Sort of problematic for this blog that's, you know, about my life. So here's an update:

B and I broke up. Sigh. Things were/are amicable, but obviously, this is a huge change, and a really sad one. I haven't been super motivated to post or do much of anything for the past few weeks, so that's why I've been sort of MIA. 

And then, on top of that, I started having problems with my right foot, for no apparent reason. I actually spent the past week in a soft cast and had to get an MRI on Tuesday. In 2014, I had a stress fracture in the same foot, so it's not an unfamiliar situation. It's just frustrating and scary to know something is wrong but not know what it is. Having a bum foot is also not great for my anxiety and sadness, since I deal with emotions by keeping busy! So poor timing all around.

But here I am. I'm still doing things, still going through my days, and still not contemplating suicide, which is always a relief to me, since things like depression and suicidal thoughts can always come back. I'm just trying to keep in mind that a few things in my life suck right now, but they will get better eventually. And there have been bright spots, which is why I keep up the H54F posts, even when I'm feeling meh. 

Now let's get on to some sparkle!

  • My MRI came back clean, no breaks or tears!! *confetti horn emoji* My doctor suspects that my foot issue is just an irritated ligament. So now I'm rocking a shorter version of this soft cast (still in purple of course!) for another week.
Thank god I painted my toenails like three days before this appointment!

Thank god I painted my toenails like three days before this appointment!

  • My friends Laura and Deena (cat-mom to Sasha!) visited me last weekend, and with cupcakes no less! We had been trying to get together for awhile, but with a cast cramping my style, they just came over to my house and hung out. It was great to catch up, and to have some company while elevating my foot!
YUM

YUM

  • On Mother's Day, I wound up watching a bunch of Carpool Karaoke videos with my parents! I don't know why I never watched Carpool Karaoke until like two weeks ago--it's SO GOOD. I really like James Corden and just want to be bffs with him and everyone he gets to hang out with--they all look like they're having such a great time, and their synchronized car dancing is always on fleek. The Chris Martin one just killed me (his Mick Jagger impersonation omg).
  • I've been watching Veronica Mars on and off since the fall, and now I'm back on again and nearly done season 1. It's getting so good. (Not that it wasn't before, but things are really ramping up now!) But you know what's more exciting than watching Veronica Mars? Watching Veronica Mars with this IMDb "X-Ray" feature on Amazon Instant Video!
Oh Schmidt (sans kimono). 

Oh Schmidt (sans kimono). 

I'm someone who can't get through a show or movie without saying, "Wait, he looks familiar..." and having to get right on IMDb, so this is pretty much a dream come true. It even explains the show's references! How cool is that?! Technology, man.

Theo Rossi was actually in an episode of Grey's (which is usually the reason an actor looks familiar to me, lol)!

Theo Rossi was actually in an episode of Grey's (which is usually the reason an actor looks familiar to me, lol)!

  • Lastly, I give you the cutest article title ever: "Sharks cat Jo Paw-velski gets two linemates"! Squee!! Yes, Jo is now sharing her Sharks be-decked pen at the Humane Society with two kitten roomies. I've been watching her Live Cam, and it's sooo precious. <3

 

So acording to Facebook Memories, I've been doing H54F posts for a whole YEAR! I think I've only I've only missed linking up once (aside from Christmas week when there was no link-up), which means I've written 50 of these posts?! BANANAS. Thank you Katie, Tif, and Della for hosting such a fun link-up and for making me feel so included right from May 8, 2015! :) Have a great weekend, everybody! xo

High Five for Friday: May 6

JessComment

Oof, it's been a rough two weeks. But there were some good moments too, so here's what brought the sparkle:

  • I got a new phone! I'd been having issues with my phone for months, so last weekend, I finally bid it adieu and got an iPhone 6S! I'm smitten with how pretty it is and, you know, that it actually works. I went in planning to get the iPhone SE, but I'm actually totally loving the big screen on the 6S. It makes reading the Wiki article on every song I'm listening to on my commute AND editing blog posts in the waiting room at the podiatrist so much easier! (True nerd story!) AND THE CAMERA! I've never taken such beautiful pictures on a phone in my life! Whee!!

 

  • I was pretty bummed on Sunday, and the weather sure didn't help. (It was chilly and rainy all day bleh.) Neither did Pops dragging me to Lowe's with him... until I realized that it was pretty much a free botanical garden! Poor Pops was trying to find plants that would actually look nice/survive in our yard, and I was all, "Ooh, this is pretty!" and "This looks like something a cat would like to rub up on!" (Definitely not what Pops wants to hear, since he's already found Calico Pinky amid the few plants currently in our yard!) Of course, I was also busy taking a million photos because flowers!! Look at how ridiculously gorgeous this picture taken with my phone IN THE FREAKING LOWE'S turned out! The iPhone 6S camera is no joke. 
How is this even possible?

How is this even possible?

  • Of all the cats I've been seeing on my neighborhood Neko Atsume lately, the head honcho of them all has been missing: IKE! I had begun to wonder if someone had tamed that wild horse and got him to embrace indoor cat life... but then he made an appearance at the park near my house!!
I had to do a quick analysis to confirm that it was indeed Ike and not Tuxedo Cat, who's sudden presence keeps throwing me off!

I had to do a quick analysis to confirm that it was indeed Ike and not Tuxedo Cat, who's sudden presence keeps throwing me off!

Ike and I had very different reactions to our reunion. I basically stopped in my tracks and went "EEEEEEEEE!!!!" while Ike also froze but looked like, "UGH." #squadgoals Ike is a pretty friendly cat, so he did give me a few bumps before continuing on his way. Such nice treatment from a celebrity! (Somebody who passed us said, "Oh hey, there's Ike!" Haha!) Not quite the reception I get from our two resident scaredy cats, Tuxedo Cat and newcomer Big Cranky Fuzzy Cat (whose pseudonym admittedly needs some work!).

:( :( 

:( :( 

  • In other major cat news, have you guys heard about the cat that snuck onto the ice before the Sharks-Predators game last Friday?! What a tiny, terrified little kitten! How did she get in there? How did they eventually catch her? I am so invested in little Jo Paw-velski now, and I check daily for updates haha. My bffl lives not far from San Jose, so I told her to adopt Jo, but I doubt her two dogs would be down with that plan!
  • I have been totally back on the Rich Kids of Beverly Hills bandwagon, thanks to all of season 3 being On Demand and the new season starting last Sunday. I'm behind on GoT and yet all caught up on this dumb show whoops! (Rich Kids is such a guilty pleasure, I can't help myself! And I'm not ready for the emotional turmoil that is GoT!)
Oh Morgan <3

Oh Morgan <3

Cheers to the weekend! Hope it's a good one for y'all! xo

April 2016 Budget

JessComment

No H54F post today because somehow, it's already the end of the month--which means it's Budget Post Time! *confetti horn emoji*

Thank goodness I picked up a few things in the second half of the month because, honestly, there was a time when I thought my only clothing or accessory purchase would be my new retainer! Sad. Paying for said retainer and my six-month check-up at the dentist (which included x-rays UGH) ate up most of my extra "fun" money in April. BUT! Normally, realizing that I have too many bills in a certain month to do much shopping does not stop me from shopping--I will just dip into my savings to accommodate retail therapy. BUT NOT THIS MONTH, BABY! I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking to my financial goals and priorities. I also just haven't felt the need to buy things in an attempt to make myself happy, which is HUGE. I have no idea if this change will stick, but I'm am rolling with it for now, haha. On top of all of that great news, I also pretty much stuck to my (official and unofficial) shopping goals for the month, which were to find some new shoes and tees... meaning that I didn't just buy things that I don't actually need, all willy-nilly!

If I could high-five you all through the computer right now, I would, because that's how excited I am about these changes in my spending habits and my way of thinking of shopping!!

Now that we've got all that out of the way, let's see what I bought in April:

image.jpg
  1. Mossimo Supply Co. V-Neck Tee (Target): $9
  2. Keds Chillax Slip-On Sneaker (DSW): $40 on sale for $28
  3. Indigo Rd. Lagstee Flat (DSW): $30 on sale for $18

Not pictured (because I can't seem to find it on the Target website, rats!):

  1. Mossimo Supply Co. Drapey Striped Tee (Target): $15

TOTAL: $70 An all-time low! Hooray!!

Oh, and Cassie from The Minuteglass was kind enough to send me a bottle of Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil that she didn't plan to use, after seeing me rave about it in my March budget post. Thanks again, Cassie!

 

I probably could have waited for the Target tees to go on sale, but then I would have either wound up spending more money to get free shipping online, or I would have had to track them down again in store, after already having found and tried them on in store. So I just bit the bullet and got them the day I found them. At least they weren't total impulse buys since I was looking to get a few new tees! I absolutely love the color of Target tee #1, which is called "Lively Lilac." <3 It's so pretty and springy and (surprisingly) not a shade of purple that I already have in my closet! I've been noticing that I have a real lack of pretty tee shirts to just throw on with a cardigan (my usual work outfit), so this addition is perfect! And although Target tee #2 has a bit of a high-low hem situation (which I typically hate), the hem isn't too crazy AND it gives me another top to wear with leggings (which are all I ever want to wear anyway)!

My hope on the shoe front this month was to find some on-sale boots and booties, to replace two ancient pairs that I have now just about destroyed. As you can see above, that didn't pan out, but I do also need flats, so it wasn't a total loss! I usually hate Keds, they just never seem to fit me right, and I probably wouldn't have tried on the pair that I got, had I realized they were Keds right off the bat! But they are actually super comfy and a great fit--and perfect to just throw on with jeans or leggings. I've already worn them a bunch! I had sort of been looking for a replacement for this pair of adorable Old Navy pink floral slip-ons (RIP) that I had a few years ago, and these Keds definitely fill that void. 

I'm also excited to finally have a pair of those darn trendy lace-up flats that look so cute on everyone else! (And to have a pair of flats that I might not walk out of for once! Curse you, narrow feet!) I must say, though, that the pair I got, with all the grommets AND the laces, is pretty flashy for me! They make me feel slightly like an Irish dancer who went crazy in shop class, haha! So I'm really taking a walk on the wild side here. :)

So, what did you guys get this month? What budget revelations have you had lately?

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers! 

 

High Five for Friday: April 22

JessComment

If you read my Confessions post, you know that things have been pretty wacky around here lately! But here are some things that put the sparkle into my week:

  • The weather was absolutely gorgeous last Saturday, so B and I took a stroll up to Fishtown, which isn't too far from his apartment.There's an ice cream place there (Little Baby's--the same one we went to in West Philly) where you can buy a scoop in advance for another person, and B had bought me a scoop awhile ago, so Saturday was the perfect day to collect! Buuut I didn't get just a scoop... more like an ice cream cookie sandwich... :) I got chocolate salt malt ice cream with mint chocolate cookies, and it was ah-mazing.
Yeah, this got demolished!

Yeah, this got demolished!

  • On our walk back to B's apartment, I spotted these stunning tulips in a little park and totally made a beeline for them. I still can't get over how gorgeous they are! I love tulips in general, but these ones with variegated colors are just stunning!
image.jpg
image.jpg
How about "Stop and freak out over the tulips?" because I did do that!

How about "Stop and freak out over the tulips?" because I did do that!

  • Wednesday was a two-neighborhood-cat day! (The best kind of day, in my opinion, haha!) First up, we have Tuxedo Cat (or simply "Tuxado," ala Franck in Father of the Bride), who still prefers to gaze at me from a safe distance. After taking this shot, I stepped on a twig, and Tuxedo Cat bolted. Our relationship needs some work.
Why won't you love me, Tuxedo Cat?!

Why won't you love me, Tuxedo Cat?!

And then, later that day, who did I find rolling around our neighbor's yard but Calico Pinky!! The cats whose real names we don't know get christened with some descriptive nickname (ala Tuxado/Tuxedo Cat), so Pops shortened "Calico Pink Collar" to "Calico Pinky." He's the main one who sees her--in fact, she was just hanging out in our plants last week, much to Pops' chagrin--so you can imagine my glee at happening upon such a rare cat in my neighborhood Neko Atsume! Calico Pinky was way more excited to see me than Tuxedo Cat had been: she came right over and kept walking in circles around me, rubbing up on me and meowing. I WAS LEGIT TRAPPED IN A CIRCLE OF CUTENESS. When Pops found me, I was sprawled out on the sidewalk, squealing incoherently with Calico Pinky laying up against me. Oh happy day!!

I can't even with her little white face!

I can't even with her little white face!

Besties <3 THIS COULD BE YOU TOO, TUXEDO CAT!

Besties <3 THIS COULD BE YOU TOO, TUXEDO CAT!

  • My retainer saga continued this week, as I picked up retainer #2, the one that had to be re-made. This appointment was at a different office, so I had to see the actual orthodontist who had treated me back when I had braces, and he seriously did.not.care that I hadn't worn my retainers for years. Fear of telling him that I hadn't followed the rules was partially what kept me from making an appointment sooner, and yet he was totally chill. Ugh, stupid fear and shame, you ruin everything!! ANYWAY, this orthodontist reiterated that my teeth really haven't shifted much (which I'm still in shock over!) and that they could go back to their super-straight post-braces state if I wear both retainers all the time for 6-8 weeks. 6-8 weeks?!? I thought we'd be talking six months to a year or something! So despite the lisp and general Farmer Ted-ness (ugh), I'm going to see if I can tough it out for 6-8 weeks. I had a walking boot for that long and it was nbd, so it's worth a shot. My initial goal with the retainers was just to stop my teeth from getting worse, so the potential of fixing the damage I'd already done is like hitting the jackpot!

By the way... I've gotten some logistical questions about my whole retainer situation, so I wanted to answer them here, in the hopes of helping anyone else who might be losing sleep over the state of their teeth! 

  1. My new retainer cost $150. Which is WAY more reasonable than I thought it would be! If you call your doctor's office, they can probably give you an idea of how much a retainer would cost (that's where I started out).
  2. I was also freaked out about how much the appointment itself would cost (since I don't have dental insurance), but at my orthodontist at least, retainer check appointments are FREE! So I paid $0 at my appointment last week, and $150 at my appointment this week (to cover the new retainer cost). THAT'S IT. *confetti horn emoji*
  3. If you still have your retainers, and they would be wearable if they only fit, bring them with you to your appointment. If you have a Hawley retainer (the typical metal and plastic kind), your orthodontist might be able to adjust it FOR FREE so that it fits the current state of your teeth. That's what happened with my bottom retainer. (My old top retainer was an Essix retainer, which is sort of Invisalign-esque and has no flexibility to be re-shaped, hence why I had to get a new one.)

Bottom line: Don't let fear of the cost stop you from seeking treatment if you're concerned about your teeth. Things might not be as bad as you think! (I was certainly blown away!!)

I promptly sent this picture to my bffl with a bunch of baby emojis, because, accurate. I already get carded at R-rated movies, this is not going to help!!

I promptly sent this picture to my bffl with a bunch of baby emojis, because, accurate. I already get carded at R-rated movies, this is not going to help!!

  • I test drove a car this week! Eeeee! I'm truly 16 years old, looking at cars and going to the orthodontist, ha! I typically drive my dad's 2012 Civic, and it just feels enormous compared to the Civics of my childhood (namely our white 2001 Civic with the black door handles that made it so easy to spot <3). So Pops' "car guy" introduced me to the Honda Fit, and I totally loved it! It is the perfect size and has fantastic visibility! AND it has a rear windshield wiper, which Pops, me, my bffl, and her mom were all psyched about, haha. Now I just need to do some serious number crunching and see if I can actually afford it...

 

  • Finally, here is a sign that is currently positioned outside our office complex and cracks me up every day:
image.jpg

Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend! xo

Confessions

JessComment

I've been debating doing a post like this for while, because they're always so fun and entertaining when Mattie does them! And there's no shortage of things to confess because my life has been super ridiculous lately!

  • So I mentioned last Friday that I had to go to the orthodontist... for the first time in 11 or 12 years. I'm pretty sure I was a senior in high school the last time I was there. This time around, I was a trendsetter on SO many levels: I was the only patient in the waiting room not accompanied by a parent or guardian, perhaps the only patient of legal driving age, and definitely the only patient not skipping first period for my appointment. #winning #stillgetcardedtho

 

  • I'm a terrible liar. And, when I feel guilty about something, I'm all flustered April Kepner about it. So I sang like a canary about not wearing my retainers. And when the doctor casually asked, "So what brought you in today?" my response was a panicked, "FEAR!!" #butactually
image.jpg
  • Oh, and when you've last been to the orthodontist 11 or 12 years ago, the picture they have on file for you is utterly appalling and needs to be burned STAT. I don't need a reminder of how awkward I was as a brace-faced teen, thanks! #ctrl #alt #del #unfierce #sorryTyra
  • In other news, Fruit Loops have been my breakfast of choice for the past week. Yeah. That's happening. I just wanted to mix up my breakfast routine but couldn't commit to a full box of anything else! (Sidenote: Why don't they make those awesome variety packs with all the little boxes of cereal for adult-y cereals?! That's exactly what I needed!) My super health nut dad did not want to be seen with this box in his basket, but alas. #juicecleanse
My contributions to our shopping cart. #adulting

My contributions to our shopping cart. #adulting

  • I'm terrified of bugs in general, but especially bees, wasps, basically anything that buzzes and stings. I seriously take off running whenever I hear that droney buzz... even if it's just a lawn mower in the distance #realtalk. Well, at work this week, we've had TWO hornets in our office! (Or maybe they're wasps... it's not like I'm getting all up on them with a magnifying glass or anything!) And in both cases, of course it was me who found them. Clearly, I'm not going to be the one to corral them, so I had to enlist my co-workers for help. The co-workers in question are Russian and have a hard enough time understanding me as it is, but now that I'm 15 years old and have a retainer that gives me a lisp, you can imagine how well things went! "Thereth a bee or thomthing buzthing in there, can you guyth help me?!" UGH SO EMBARRASSING. But thankfully, one of the guys was able to capture our new "bee friend," and set it free. GOOD GRIEF. #buzzkill #almostliterally #FarmerTed
This is pretty much how I've felt all week.

This is pretty much how I've felt all week.

How is your week going? I hope it's hornet (or wasp) and embarrassment-free! :)

#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
More Coffee Less Talky

High Five for Friday: April 15

JessComment

Oh boy, what a week! Here's what put the sparkle into it:

  • Once I heard that there was going to be a parade in Philly for the Villanova basketball team last Friday, I was super torn about going. (Big crowds are not my favorite--surprise!) But the once-in-a-lifetime nature of the situation finally won me over (along with my regret over not going to the Phillies parade in '08!). We couldn't see or hear very well at the parade and subsequent rally, but at least we were there! (Oh yeah, I made Pops be my parade wing-man!) It's times like this when I really appreciate that my job is super flexible and lets me work from home on short notice so that I can do cool, spur-of-the-moment things. :)
At the end of the rally, Jay Wright had everyone throw streamers and confetti after the winning basket was shown on the big screens. I'm sure the clean-up crew was thrilled.

At the end of the rally, Jay Wright had everyone throw streamers and confetti after the winning basket was shown on the big screens. I'm sure the clean-up crew was thrilled.

  • Monday got off to a super Monday start. At stop #2 on my morning commute (the el), I saw the ticker at the station say something about "shuttle buses" and "delays up to one hour." Uh, ain't nobody got time for that, especially when you have a seven-minute window to make your next Septa connection, so I just went back home to get a ride. Sigh. BUT THEN! My day improved 1000% on my walk home when I spotted this dapper guy in his Monday tuxedo:
Who are you?! And why is our neighborhood a cat's paradise?!

Who are you?! And why is our neighborhood a cat's paradise?!

He sat like that, still as a statue, as a guy passed with his dog, but when I went to my house (next door), I heard "MEOW! MEOW!" and noticed someone following me through the bushes!! I tried to approach him at that point, but he went all ABORT ABORT on the friendliness and dove back into the bushes. And then, a street sweeper came down our little street, which was all the poor cat could take--he fled that vacuum-esque truck at warp speed. Oh well, at least I got to spend a few minutes of National Pet Day with someone's pet!

 

  • This week was Disney Week on DWTS, which made me realize just how random my taste in Disney music is. Don't get me wrong, I love "Part of Your World" and "Friend Like Me" as much as the next earhat-wearing person, but I was lobbying hard for some "So This Is Love" and "Once Upon a Dream."  (Fun fact: my text tone is the "ahhhh ahhhh" from the middle of "Once Upon a Dream"!) Thankfully, Ginger and Val gave me a pleasant surprise by dancing to "Belle" instead of "Beauty and the Beast." There goes the baker with his tray like alwaaaays, the same old bread and rolls to sellllll...
  • So, confession time: I had braces in high school and was so so good about the rubber bands, and the not chewing gum, and everything. And then I got to college and stopped wearing my retainers, like a typical dumb college kid. Surprise, my teeth shifted! And by the time I could see the shifting, my old retainers didn't fit anymore. Thus began several years of me fretting about the state of my teeth but not actually doing anything about it because I was so ashamed that I hadn't followed the rules. But this week, I actually started to lose sleep over the whole thing (no lie), so I finally made an appointment at the orthodontist. On Thursday, I went and found out that, yes, my teeth have shifted, but that it's totally fixable by wearing my retainers all the time for awhile and then just (consistently) at night. THANK THE LORD. So I now I'm a 29 year old with a retainer and a lisp (ugh!), but at least I didn't totally undo two years of braces (and waste a lot of my parents' money!). AND no one at the office was judgy at all! The orthodontist actually commended me for being proactive! Ha! I guess they've seen worse cases than me!
My fashionable new accessory. They were able to bend my existing bottom retainer to fit the current state of my teeth, but my top one needs to be totally redone, so I'll pick that up next week. Cue the money-flying-away emoji.

My fashionable new accessory. They were able to bend my existing bottom retainer to fit the current state of my teeth, but my top one needs to be totally redone, so I'll pick that up next week. Cue the money-flying-away emoji.

  • Lastly, here's a jazzy tune to brighten up your Friday workday! It's been stuck in my head all week (and possibly B's too now, whoops), and it's just so delightful! I first heard it in Supernatural and was psyched to learn that it's by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass! (This Guy's in Love with You is so good.) You're welcome. :)

Cheers to the weekend! Hope it's a good one! xo

How to deal when the "worst-case scenario" comes true

JessComment

So I've had this post in my draft folder forever. Because the incident I'm about to retell is SO FREAKING EMBARRASSING. I can (sort of) laugh about it now, but there are not enough monkey-covering-his-eyes or blushing-face emojis for how I felt at the time. The only thing that got me to hit "Publish" on this post is that the embarrassing disaster to follow taught me a good lesson that might be helpful to other anxious people.

Let's roll it back to Monday, March Something, 2015. It started out like any other day: I was on the bus by 6:30 AM, headed to work, and feeling kind of nauseous. Nauseous is basically my resting state, so I didn't think much of it. Once I got to the el, though, I was feeling sicker, so I slumped in my seat and tried to distract myself by watching (I remember this vividly) a YouTube video of Stana Katic (yes, Beckett from Castle, lol!) on Jimmy Kimmel. 

Several stops into my trip, I began to fear that I actually might get sick. Should I go home? Ugh, but I had done that before--called out of work because I felt sick but then turned out to be fine. Nausea is common for me. Sick days are not. So on this day, soldiering on won out, as it usually does for me.

But there was a flaw in this plan: the illusion of control. Oh. THAT. When you ignore your body and try to control it, it often does not end well...

And that's how I wound up puking on the door of the el between the 46th and 40th Street stations in a train packed with commuters, one of whom was standing right next to me at the time, looking appropriately horrified. I don't think I threw up too much, but any throw up is too much in an enclosed public (!!) space like the el, right? UGH.

Here is how retelling this moment went:

Friend: "You threw up at the station?"

Me: "No, on the train."

Friend: "On the train."

Me: "Yes. Specifically, on the door."

 

Friend #2: "OMG what did you do?!"

Me: "I FLED like an idiot! What else was I supposed to do?!"

 

Yes, I sprinted off the train at the next stop because what else can you do when you're that a-hole who just went full Exorcist (while, A, completely sober, and B, older than five years old) on a train full of people? Had the situation been reversed, sure, I would have felt bad for the poor soul puking on the el... but I definitely would have felt bad for myself too for having to commute under those conditions!

If you had presented this scenario to me as a hypothetical ("Let's say you threw up on an el full of people on your way to work one morning, what would you do?!"), I would have probably frozen in horror and hyperventilated. But having come face-to-face with it, I can tell you what we do in these nightmarish worst-case scenarios:

WE FIGURE IT OUT! WE DO SOMETHING!

Once at the station (and no longer gagging), I took a few seconds to mentally beat myself up for being ~that person~ on the el, but you can only freak out for so long. Eventually, you have to do SOMETHING. So I pulled myself together at the station, called out of work, and began my trek back home.

Anxiety wants us to be hyper-vigilant and always fretting the worst. "Oh, I better not do X because then Y might happen..." (That is pretty much my current struggle with buying a car, btw.) But there is really nothing to worry about because we are strong and resilient and figure out what to do when these bad or unexpected things happen. 

Personally, I get totally flustered and paralyzed when presented with possible scenarios and worries. But in the heat of the moment, I can figure out solutions. We usually do. We get through these unpleasant situations, even if anxiety taunts us that we can't and won't. My el debacle is a great reminder of that, and one that I think of often (while cringing, of course). It's also an excellent reminder that we need to listen to our bodies and sometimes give them a freaking break! Had I gotten off just one stop sooner, I could have puked in a very ladylike manner in a trash can at the station. Both of these lessons are ones that I need to remind myself of on pretty much a daily basis. 

AND! If we can handle nightmarish, but relatively minor, stuff, then we are more prepared than we think we are to handle the big, super-terrifying stuff too. xo

A fine motto, haha!

A fine motto, haha!

High Five for Friday: April 8

JessComment

Hooray, we made it to Friday! Here's what put the sparkle into this week of April Madness:

  • VILLANOVA!!!! I was legit hyperventilating in the final minutes of that game, like omg. I've never watched an NCAA Championship game and think I saw the mic drop of games as my first! I'm still in shock that this school I actually attended is the NATIONAL champion. Crazy. Nova's run bought back such fond memories of the friends I made while I was there, and playing quizzo with them (Team Gingerlicious ftw), and hanging out back when we had no set schedule aside from class. Those were the days... siiiiigh.
V for Villanova, V for victory... (annnd those are the only words I know!)

V for Villanova, V for victory... (annnd those are the only words I know!)

In related news, it dawned on me that I was finishing up my MA thesis during the current senior b-ball players' freshmen year (fall 2012). So I could have passed these guys on campus! I could have been in the gym at the same time as them! (Yeah, I used to go to the gym--those days are long gone!) I could have been sitting next to Ryan Arcidiacono at the computers in Falvey while cursing ProQuest and their stupid margin requirements! WE COULD HAVE BEEN BFFS! (Especially if he wanted to hear about teenage outsiders as portrayed in different literary genres, which, who doesn't?!)

I have like three items of Villanova swag, so they've been in heavy rotation LOL.

I have like three items of Villanova swag, so they've been in heavy rotation LOL.

  • My mom's birthday was Saturday, so a bunch of us got together to celebrate... wherein B and I noticed there was a COLDSTONE in the same shopping center as the place we had dinner! WHAT?! Coldstone is still around?! We let everyone else have their (lame) restaurant desserts and totally made a beeline for Coldstone after dinner! 
Peanut Butter Cup Perfection is 100% my go-to. I pretty much lived on it when I got my wisdom teeth out. 

Peanut Butter Cup Perfection is 100% my go-to. I pretty much lived on it when I got my wisdom teeth out. 

  • Continuing on the birthday train, my pal Timmi's b-day is two days after my mom's. So here's a little throwback collage in honor of the girl I've been friends with for almost 15 years (!!). (In fact, we got Coldstone together when I got my wisdom teeth out, haha!) In that time, she's gone from homeroom buddy to one of my best friends, and I so admire her creativity and spirit of adventure. Since she lives in Chicago, I couldn't celebrate with her in person, so this tribute will have to do! :)
Father-Daughter Dance '03, Senior Prom After Party (note my prom hair!), Flower Creepin' up in NYC, and Not Freezing in Chicago (for once)!

Father-Daughter Dance '03, Senior Prom After Party (note my prom hair!), Flower Creepin' up in NYC, and Not Freezing in Chicago (for once)!

  • I realized over the weekend that I started exposure last year on April 1. (I remember being like "Starting this on April Fools' Day sounds about right LOL!") Back then, I felt like I was going to faint just driving around my neighborhood alone. Fast-forward a year, and I'm driving all over. Just this weekend, I drove to my friend Kristin's, drove HER car around the block (it's new and in my price range, so it's one I could potentially get, much like the cozy coupe!), drove to CVS and the post office, and THEN, the piece de resistance: drove on 476 and I-95 AT NIGHT. And on the way back (a route I've only driven once), I was alone! (I had taken B home, so he was with me for the first leg of the journey.) I can barely believe that the same person who was terrified of driving basically her whole life is WILLINGLY driving on HIGHWAYS and going 70 and changing lanes and kind of ENJOYING IT--like a real driver!! This totally felt impossible just a year ago and now, it's weird, but it's becoming the new normal. Change is always possible. <3

 

  • Speaking of transportation... in addition to my many modes of Septa, I also boarded the soul train this week! I've been listening to a lot of Philly soul--maybe spurred by the Nova game? The Sound of Philadelphia, the Delfonics, and Harold Melvin and Blue Notes... so good. "Bad Luck" was probably not the best choice going into Monday's game, but it's so catchy, how could I resist?! Throw in some Staple Singers and the Main Ingredient, and it's been a very funky week around here!

I hope you guys have an equally groovy weekend (Soul Train line dance optional!)! :) xo