To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

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

Fifty shades of purple

JessComment

Well, here it is: my Easter finery! I actually planned to wear something else on Easter Sunday, but I made a game-time decision for this outfit instead, mainly because it incorporated fleece-lined tights. #realtalk I can't even remember the last time I wore this dress, but I liked it a lot better this time around. (Look at those pleats! How cute!) I remembered it being way boxier than it apparently is, ha.

In other news, purple is my favorite color (surprise!), and boy, did I rock it for Easter!

My friend Piper and I always say "purple is a neutral" because we want to (and do!) wear it with everything! :)

My friend Piper and I always say "purple is a neutral" because we want to (and do!) wear it with everything! :)

image.jpg
image.jpg

Coat: H&M (2011?)

Dress: Banana Republic (2012?)

Cardigan: Old Navy (2014)

Booties: Blowfish (2015)

Necklace: Loft (2014)

Watch: Target (2015)

Ring: Live and Conquer "Temple" ring (2015)

Tights: Target (2015?)

Bracelets: Lokai, and I have no idea about the wooden one!

Nail Polish: Zoya Magical Pixie Dust in "Arlo"

image.jpg

This Old Navy cardigan is so boring, so basic, so perfect. It's soft, and I can throw it on with about a million outfits. Who could ask for anything more?! The plaid H&M coat might be one of my best buys ever. I scored it for $20 in August five years ago, and I still reach for it when I want to be a little dressy in the colder weather. And then my ring! It's the one I got at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago last fall, and I love it so so much. It's the only ring I wear every single day, aside from my high school ring! I linked to the shop on Etsy, but it doesn't look like this exact ring is available anymore. Rats! I will say that Cheyenne, the artisan, is awesome and actually made me this ring (the rose gold wasn't available in my size at Renegade) and then mailed it to me, so maybe she can work with you if you're interested in one of her pieces!

I do deClaire
pleated poppy

April goals

JessComment
image.jpg

For some reason, I had a really hard time coming up with goals for April (hence why there are only four, not five). Here are my, admittedly random, goals:

image.jpg
  1. Probably a good idea, unless I want the "cozy coupe" to be my future whip for real. ;)
  2. Both my go-to tall boots and booties are pretty much falling apart (the booties legit have holes in the sole nbd), AND I don't have a comfortable pair of flats :( So if I buy anything this month, it should be shoes! Feel free to give me suggestions for comfy boots, booties, or flats!
  3. Sleep is usually the first thing to get jettisoned when I'm busy--or lazy. (Like, in need of lazy time, since my current schedule only allows me maybe two hours of free time a night.) I used to be in bed around 10:30, but bedtime keeps getting pushed further and further back, and "OJ Night" definitely doesn't help! (Ugh, 10 PM start time.) Considering I have to get the bus to work at either 6:27 or 7:27, I really need to try to get to sleep before midnight in order to not be a total zombie!
  4. I have a couple of lovely prints that I need to get up on the wall! 

 

Ok, so how did March's goals go? Well, I misspelled "goal" as "gaol" as I was writing this part of the post, and it's fitting because one of my goals kind of felt like jail last month. Within a week of choosing my March goals, I stopped exposure therapy. I just felt really burned out (I guess having four therapists at once will do that to you!), and felt like I needed to get my primary therapy situation sorted out above all else. Giving up on exposure initially felt just like that: like giving up. Like I had done something wrong. I mean, this was one of my goals--how could I stop?! I felt totally locked into it--even though it wasn't working--largely because I had anointed it a goal. But! Even though I stopped exposure, I didn't abandon my goal of getting a car (which a lot of my initial exposure homework was working towards). I just work on it myself now, instead of spending time and money going to an additional therapist. The fact that I made a change and the world didn't end was a good lesson for me.

Let's see how the rest of March's goals went, shall we?

  1. Sort out therapy sitch: CHECK! I'm now seeing my EMDR therapist as my primary one because she specializes in EMDR but is also a "regular" therapist! (I don't know why that possibility didn't occur to me sooner!) I already enjoyed working with her and always got a lot out of our EMDR sessions, so I think this could work out well.
  2. Keep up exposure progress: CHECK, just not in the way I envisioned! (see above)
  3. Keep up with gratitude log: CHECK, as needed (or, more accurately, as remembered, lol)
  4. Pay extra on student loans: CHECK! And I think I've now come up with a system that will help me to remember to pay extra regularly too.
  5. Take it easy! Well, I'm not sure I did this, but at least I didn't have a fifth goal to tangle with! :)

What are you working on in April? 

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: April 1

JessComment

It's the freakin' weekend! Here's what put the sparkle into my week:

  • I willingly watched an entire March Madness game for the first time in my life last Saturday. I'm rooting for Villanova because I went there for grad school, but it's sort of complicated because Nova was largely an annoyance to me in undergrad, especially during March Madness. You see, for undergrad, I went to Rosemont (the tiny, then-all-women's college not far away), and when my bffl and I would try to catch Flyers games while out to dinner in March, March Madness trumped everything. (Nova was in the Final Four our senior year, so you can imagine the level of basketball fever going on then!) But it seems I'm now singing a different tune, haha!
What a poser. Although I do really hope Villanova wins on Saturday!

What a poser. Although I do really hope Villanova wins on Saturday!

  • Something else I was glued to this week? The new season of Dancing with the Stars! (I've been hooked on DWTS ever since the Sadie-Alfonso season in 2014, haha.) Mark is my favorite pro, so you can imagine my devastation when I heard that he was injured (gasp!). As for the "stars" this season, obviously I'm rooting for Jodie Sweetin (how could the dude from Boyz II Men use "Motown Philly" in week one and thus deprive us of an update of this classic number, sparkly hats and all?!), and I was psyched for Mischa Barton, but homegirl is just a disaster out there, and her attitude is terrible. Watching her makes me sad. :( At the opposite end of the spectrum from Mischa is Nyle DiMarco, the stunning deaf model from ANTM (#smize) who utterly killed his opening routine!

Pops: "What the heck is this song?" Me: "Googling now. I think there was some line about cake by the ocean??" Yeah, we're hip. 

 

  • So ever since I finished exposure and saw the freedom that driving can provide when you're not too terrified to get behind the wheel, I've been thinking about getting a car. I'm totally clueless and overwhelmed by all the options, but luckily, my bffl stepped in and found me the perfect one: 
WELL-PLAYED.

WELL-PLAYED.

  • Look at these lovely flowers from my walk to the bus stop! Picture #1 was taken Tuesday and picture #2 on Wednesday. So in just one day, we went from a single bloom to TONS--wow. It's been kind of a rough week anxiety-wise, so this was a perfect reminder that things can't stay bad forever (despite what anxiety tries to tell me!).
image.jpg
Hello, lovelies!

Hello, lovelies!

  • The print below has also been helping me deal with my anxiety this week. I fell in love with this whole Etsy shop when The Neat Nook mentioned it in her H54F post a few weeks ago, and it's taken a lot of willpower for me not to order like five more prints from Little Emma's Flowers! I now have a hard copy of this print and made it the background on my work computer, a decision that I think is helping my mindset a bit. <3
image.jpg

Hope you all have a great weekend! xoxo

March 2016 Budget

JessComment

Totaling up my spending from last year, while horrifying, seems to have been a big turning point for me. I came in under budget AGAIN this month, and have been at or under budget for all of 2016! In contrast, I only stayed at or under budget four times in 2015--so this is a pretty big change.

At the end of 2015, I told my therapist how horrified I was over my spending habits, and she suggested that I write or post the total in places where I would see it. So it's currently on the white board in my bedroom, and taped to my work computer and the inside of my wallet. And it's just so infuriating to look at all the time! This plan is working!

On top of that, I'm generally more aware of what I have, and don't have, in my closet. It's a lot easier to walk away from something when you realize you have ten similar things already.

With no further adieu, here's what I bought this month:

image.jpg

 

  1. May Coop Raw Sauce (Sephora): $14
  2. I'm Lip Crayon in "Mary Jane" (Memebox): $9
  3. Hera UV Mist Cushion (Memebox): $43 - $5 coupon = $38
  4. Stripe drapey tee (Gap): $35 on sale for $13
  5. Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil (Sephora): $12
  6. Articles of Society Sarah Release Hem skinny jeans (Nordstrom Rack): $64 on sale for $20

Not pictured:

  1. Camisole (Nordstrom Rack): $10
  2. Ice Roller (Amazon): $14

TOTAL: $130

Boy, have I bought a lot of pants lately, haha! This is a new trend for me, as I hate buying pants (they're so boring!). But I think I've just come to the realization that I'm more apt to wear jeans all the time, even though skirts and dresses are way cuter and I love them. Although, ultimately, I want to wear leggings all the time, so finding jeans that are soft like leggings has been an ongoing quest, and this Articles of Society pair fit the bill. Speaking of leggings, the striped Gap tee is the perfect length to wear with leggings and is super comfy itself! I had ordered it along with a few things from Old Navy, but the Gap shirt was the only keeper.

As I mentioned last Friday, I'm loving the Tatcha and May Coop products, and my face seems to be at least a little less red since I started using them. I was super nervous about the Hera UV Mist Cushion, and actually waited a few weeks to order it, which is another sign of growth on the spending front! ("How can I spend $43 on something I haven't even tried before?! What color is supposed to match my practically translucent skin tone?!") I've only had the Hera Cushion for about a week, but I'm loving it! It's so easy to apply and melts into the skin like a dream, thanks to the little cushion. And the shade I got (N21) matches my skin pretty darn well. The Lip Crayon was pretty drying, though. I was excited to finally have a Memebox order that met the shipping minimum, so I wanted to try a lip product, but this one is pretty disappointing.

Wrapping up this month's Asian skin care purchases, the Ice Roller is super weird and definitely my biggest impulse buy, as I bought it shortly after my facial last month. It was a much cheaper alternative to those cold globe things the esthetician had used on me. The Ice Roller is supposed to help with redness (hello!) and puffyness, but I never remember to use it because you need to keep it in the fridge (doyeee, hence the "ice" in the name). I'm a "ten reminder alerts on my phone" kind of girl, someone who needs things right in front of her for there to be a prayer that she'll use them. So the deck is definitely stacked against me with this Ice Roller being in the fridge, but it seems really cool (buh dum ching!), and I'd be curious to see the impact regular use would have on my redness. I really need to get my act together and do an Asian skincare/beauty product post, because there are so many awesome things out there that I've tried over the past few months!

What did you buy this month? What Asian beauty products should I try next?!

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers! 

High Five for Friday: March 25

JessComment

Hooray for Friday! Let's see what put the sparkle into my week:

  • I usually try to do something outside my normal routine on my rebirthday (which was this past Sunday!). Last year, I went to Chicago to see one of my besties and go to the Hay House Writers' Conference. This year, I got to stay at my friend's place in Philly and snuggle with her sweet kitten!
Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur...

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur...

Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr <3

Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr <3

  • On Saturday, I decided to take advantage of my proximity to Center City shopping and hit up the Rack, Forever 21, and Buffalo Exchange. I did buy a few things, but I'm finding that I'm less wooed by impulse buys because I have a much better idea of what I actually need (like unexciting camisoles, which is one of the things I got at the Rack). This is GREAT news!! haha
I'm not always a shopping genius, but when I am, I must photo document it! 

I'm not always a shopping genius, but when I am, I must photo document it! 

Fellow shopping genius

Fellow shopping genius

  • Afterward, B and I went for a walk near Deena's hood, since I'm not at all familiar with it. (I know how to get to the el and the CVS--what more do I need?!) We wound up stopping for ice cream even though I was freezing lol. This flavor is "chocolate salt malt" with "muddy meteors" (Kix dipped in chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar), and it was as delicious as it looks!
SO. GOOD.

SO. GOOD.

  • I had scoped out the Center City Sephora, but they didn't have what I was looking for, so I put in an order, and it arrived promptly on Monday! I've heard many good things about Tatcha and May Coop, so I was psyched to try them. I was hoping to hate these products, since the full sizes are like $40+, but so far, I love them (of course). The Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil is much lighter than the Banila Clean It Zero (which never feels entirely washed off my face), and the May Coop Raw Sauce absorbs like instantaneously! It's hailed as an essence, but I read somewhere that it's like a toner+essence in one. And the Tatcha oil is supposed to be only one step (as opposed to the double cleanse method). I'm pretty lazy when it comes to skincare, so this is music to my ears! I also got the Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb (a Beauty Insider 100 point reward), and the Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil deluxe sample! I haven't tried the Korres yet, but I like the Belif so far--it seems to soak in pretty well overnight, and it has a very pleasant scent. (My skin had been really greasy and didn't seem to be absorbing my Vitamin C serum or Benton Steam Cream very well.)
How pretty are these bottles?! (There's actual rose petals in the Korres one!)

How pretty are these bottles?! (There's actual rose petals in the Korres one!)

  • So I guess I'm fully back on the Grey's bandwagon, as I powered through more than half of season 9 in a week. Whoops. While watching together, B and I paused it and then realized we had done so at the best possible moment. 
Jackson Avery, what are you doing?!

Jackson Avery, what are you doing?!

Have a great weekend, and Happy Easter! xoxo

Third Rebirthday

JessComment
image.jpg

March 20, 2013. One of the worst days of my life... and it made the next three years possible. It's the day I admitted that I'd been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts and checked myself into the hospital. 

It wasn't like those types of thoughts were new; I'd had them on and off since high school. But they were getting worse. Thoughts were forming into plans. So the best (and scariest!) thing for me to do was admit that I had them--to friends and family, not just to therapists. (Although I was in between therapists/psychiatrists in March 2013, so I wasn't even doing that.) I try to avoid feeling, and outwardly, I just want to seem happy so that I'm not a problem or source of stress for other people. I still struggle with these things, but it's less of an issue than it once was. (Exhibit A: this blog, where I am really open about how I'm feeling! :))

Five days in the hospital in March 2013 were followed by a new therapist (the one who just left her practice, actually), group therapy, exposure therapy, and somatic healing. In my last appointment with my therapist a few weeks ago, we revisited my intake paperwork from 2013, and even though I feel like I've stopped progressing, it's so clear how far I've come from that terrified girl whose main coping skills were beating herself up and thinking of escape. That therapist was incredibly helpful in teaching me how to deal with my anxiety and depression in a healthy way, and now, it's time to work on some other things patterns I'm stuck in, like avoidance. 

The work is never done, but at least I'm still here, trying. At least I still get to play the game. And while I'm feeling stuck in some areas of my life, the things that I've tried and done over the past three years are nothing short of amazing... and they did not at all seem possible on March 20, 2013. You really never know what is ahead when you think of giving up. <3

Q&A over at Save, Spend, Splurge!

JessComment

Hey guys! I did a little interview with Sherry at Save, Spend, Splurge as part of her "Style Bloggers <3 Budgeting" series, and you can check it out here to learn more about my budgeting approach, why I started blogging, and what some of my favorite outfits/buys are! :) 

High Five for Friday: March 18

JessComment

Boy, this week just flew by! I'm finally feeling better, and I got to spend quality time with a cat, so life is good. :) Here's what put the sparkle into my week:

  • On Saturday, B and I walked around his hood and saw the first glimpses of SPRING!!!! Even though this winter hasn't been bad, it's always so invigorating to see the flowers start blooming and the days get longer. :) In our travels, I also might have come to a screeching halt in the middle of the block when I saw an adorable dress on a mannequin outside a thrift shop: "Does that dress have cats on it?!?" It sure did! And had it not been $45, B probably would not have been able to tear me away, haha!
Welcome back, friend!

Welcome back, friend!

Then, on Sunday, I did a bunch of super-boring-but-good stuff, like cleaning my room and emptying a bunch of old files while watching Twilight and a Kardashians marathon! #glamorous

 

  • Speaking of trashy TV, Monday marked the end of the first season of The Bachelor that I've ever watched in my life. Yikes, what a trainwreck--and yet Pops and I could not look away! I was Team JoJo for the last few weeks, eventually recruiting Pops, so I was irrationally infuriated by the finale. At least she can brush her shoulders off and be a pimp too as The Bachelorette. (Caila's adorable, and her hair was positively to die for, but I was pretty meh about her.) In related news, Fran posted a link to this awesome blog of Bachelor recaps written by a former Bachelor contestant, and I got super engrossed in them! (They're kind of better than the show itself, haha.)
#goals And I don't drink or work out!

#goals And I don't drink or work out!

  • I'm watching my friend Deena's adorable kitten Sasha for a few days, and I'm in heaven! B was wondering if I was bored while we watched Netflix, and I was like, "How can I focus on The West Wing when there's a real live cat here?!" #priorities It's pretty nice having a fuzzy companion, especially one who's purring at my feet when my alarm goes off at 6:30 AM. <3
I'M IN HEAVEN.

I'M IN HEAVEN.

  • Since I'm watching Sasha, I'm staying in the city again, and that means enormous city drugstores that sell everything under the sun... including TATER TOTS! I almost audibly squealed at the sight. I absolutely hate going to the grocery store (and there's not one within walking distance at home), so thank you, city CVS, for making my dreams come true!
I'm twenty-nine going on five, basically.

I'm twenty-nine going on five, basically.

  • Lastly, I got back on the Grey's bandwagon this week and picked up where I left off in season 9 (which I had abandoned like a month and a half ago!), although it's not super enjoyable thus far with everyone being traumatized from the plane crash! Conveniently, I've also been rewatching season 4 and 5, and they're just SO GOOD. Mer trying to get all "whole and healed" in therapy! Her revelations about her mother! Her malignant glioma clinical trial with Derek finally being successful! The house of candles! I had forgotten all of these things! On a related note, I wonder if I'll ever be interested in rewatching seasons after S5 because Grey's without George (ok, and Izzie too) makes me sad. :(
Seriously, how did I forget about this?!

Seriously, how did I forget about this?!

Although Mer's big romantic gesture wouldn't be complete without a little meltdown :) 

Although Mer's big romantic gesture wouldn't be complete without a little meltdown :) 

Have a great weekend, everybody! xo