scratching my feelings. new year same me edition.

turns out that not working hasn’t cured my anxiety. I didn’t think it would, I don’t have a paycheck right now and that’s stressful, I have a massive trade show to go to next week and THAT is stressful, I don’t have business cards, my company isn’t actually incorporated yet, I didn’t bring businessy clothes with me on this trip…

I napped for a solid 4 hours today but since I woke up my watch has told me to start concentrating on my breathing at least three times.

coloring for stress relief seems like a good idea until I sit down with my tin of sharpened pencils and my very elaborate coloring book patterns. then I remember that a giant part of my anxiety is DEFINITELY related to decision fatigue and having to choose colors, and a pattern, and making sure I don’t screw up the pattern or make sure that the colors that will eventually meet up aren’t going to clash or be too close or, or, or… does anyone want any coloring books? because I have a few I will NEVER use.

enter Facebook targeted advertising.

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magic fricking scratch-off art. it’s like color by number but by subtraction. and it is calming and therapeutic as heck. my oldest daughter and I took a road trip last week and I brought two of these sets and every night we worked on one for about an hour before bed and it was everything you want in a mindless activity without any potential frustration. losing puzzle pieces? no.  decided on burnt sienna only to realize that your mandala looks like a mustard spill? no. lost your scissors? realized you don’t know how to cross stitch? keep stabbing yourself with a needle? threw away the cord for your sewing machine? artistic collage ransom notes frowned upon? never learned how to make friendship bracelets?

get one of these sets. you’ll be so glad you did.   (that’s a link to get it on Amazon, it comes with the scratchy tool and a brush)

caveat – it does make a little bit of a black speckly mess but a clorox wipe and a paper towel and you’re good to go.

 

 

 

unrelated to the scratching art – but certainly related to the anxiety… I wrote SO MANY THINGS during my last week or two of work- (they threw me a taco party! I wore jeans every day!) but never posted any of them – it was a tough couple of weeks for me. I loved that job and those coworkers and that company. I had been prepared to make that job the rest of my working life and very quickly with little time to adjust, that entire plan was changed. so now I’m scratching my way to Plan B. literally, figuratively, emotionally… like the hot mess I am.  but for now I’m hiding out regrouping in my villains lair. -which is actually a great little townhouse in central Florida with my own tiny pool- I’ll tell you more about it next time.

in the meantime I’m going to question the life choices which led me to decide against buying a couple of bottles of wine while I was at Target earlier today.  their target has a straight up liquor store in it! never mind wine – I could be having a vodka tonic right now.

 

xoxo

some favorites thursday – miscellany edition.

(I originally typed: misandry edition. because it is the end of a very long 2018 so why not.)

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 ?

countvoncount
ah – ah – ah

 

Imma stream of consciousness this post today.

 


 

this doesn’t count as a favorite…

since when is the green lifesaver watermelon? I bought my first roll of non butterscotch lifesavers in easily… I mean, when did they have the mini holes candies? because that long.

holes
1990. the last time I bought lifesavers was a hot minute ago.

 


 

 

but speaking of misandry (which is also not a favorite) – I had a whole ‘year of the woman writer’ in 2018. Not every voice was perfect but I’m OVER (over over over) boob-dimensional female characters written by men.

I got NO sleep last night because I couldn’t stop reading this book. It was ridiculous and as all over the place as this blog will be today. so it is fitting I include it.

Never AloneNever Alone by Elizabeth Haynes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(closer to 3-1/2 stars) I enjoyed this book, I stayed up until 2 this morning reading it, it was fast paced and interesting – but it was also incredibly frustrating. The men in Sarah’s life were atrocious, she makes terrible decisions, her dogs need leashes, her doors need locks. Beyond that though, solid storytelling with a likable, albeit infuriating, main character.

 



 

carmen

I look EVERYTHING up.

before the internet I was a big fan of the card catalogue, the encyclopedia, the reference book. I need to know things and with this glorious anxiety the more information I have the better – how often should I blog? how do I blog? how do I say no to someone who asks to be a houseguest? what is a triple net lease? how do I tell my coworkers I’m leaving my job? what is the difference between an LLC and a Sole Proprietorship? how do I start an art collection? what are the hipster neighborhoods in Orlando? where are the best brunch spots in Orlando? when will there be a Chuy’s in Massachusetts? what information should be on a business card? how do you name a company?

see what I did there? I still haven’t figured out how to tell all of my coworkers that I’m leaving my job at the end of the year.

I love this job, I love this company, I love my coworkers. But it is time for a change.

I’m starting my own company, staying in the industry I’ve been working in for the last 5 years. I’m taking January and February off, I’ve rented a place in Florida for 5 weeks, and I am going to bust out some strategy in the sunshine. (14 miles from the Magic Kingdom because who are we kidding?) I’m freaking the fork out. But I’m 42 and next year both of my kids will be in college, it is time to figure out what I’m going to do when I grow up.

at least until I become an archaeologist.

 




 

livingcoral
living coral. is it a color? a call to environmental action? the antithesis of the orange detritus inhabiting the white house? a reminder that the sun will come out tomorrow? am I reading too much into this?

everything is political. with the exception of, like, the president of the united states, he’s just a ruinous piece of garbage. Pantone’s color of the year was announced yesterday and even that announcement felt political.

From their announcement:

Introducing the Pantone Color of the Year 2019, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral – an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression. #COY2019

I want lighthearted activity. Remember lighthearted activity?

 

 

brb, gotta figure out how to tell my coworkers I’m leaving the company at the end of the year…

xoxo

I only really like my cervix if I don’t have to think about it.

obgyn

Due to an atrocious OBGYN several years ago who equated every single problem I had with my weight I had a Soviet Era copper IUD that was old enough to vote. It wasn’t really Soviet Era, it WAS pre-9/11, and to be fair it voted Democrat but it still had to go.

The removal process 9 days ago was hellish. Hellish. I yelled at one point, out loud, and then started crying. I mean… she stuck a needle in my cervix. Without any warning. I don’t recommend it. It made half my face go numb and my nose bleed. That’s some fucked up reverse acupuncture FOR SURE. Leading up to this she had given me a prescription for something that was supposed to soften my cervix to make the thing easier, and in my defense the pharmacist didn’t mention that it was supposed to be inserted – the instructions were “take one tablet night before procedure”. Also it said “take with food”. These made me think that I should eat something and then swallow the pill. I was wrong.

I have a very high tolerance for pain. Like really very high. 36 hours of back labor followed by delivery without any drugs. Kidney stones without any drugs. An injection in the cervix without any drugs. rooting around in my uterus looking for a little piece of copper without any drugs.

The insertion process wasn’t much better, because evidently there are corners and switchbacks involved because it turns out that my uterus is literally upside-down and backwards and on its side, and in an entirely different building, the pathway looks like Lombard St, which isn’t something that anyone felt the need to tell me, the owner of the uterus. I said: “oh, so is that why I only had back labor?” and she said “yes, I can’t believe no one warned you”. My youngest is 18 so it’s been too long to be feeling THIS DAMN SALTY, but no, no one told me. Why would anyone tell the terrified 23 year old what is causing her pain?

Where am I going with this? I don’t remember. But today I’ve got a shiny new IUD, loaded with hormones that might even help with my The Shining Elevator style periods I’ve been having for the last 15 years. Which, coincidently had NOTHING to do with my fucking weight.

disneyholiday

and in case you’re wondering – once I get home and put on the most comfortable damn joggers in the WORLD (which yeah, I do think are worth the stupid high price tag.) I’m going to shop alllllll these feelings away in the form of Disney Holiday Decorations. (and vanilla milkshakes with butterscotch schnapps. #butterscotchberns )

 

sunday morning coming down

as I start this it is 8:19 AM. I’ve put my sheets into the wash because I found a giant dead wood beetle UNDER WHERE I WAS SLEEPING this morning. (sunday is bedding day anyways but I was hoping to put it off while I watched some netflix and wrote this post, but no, I’m a beetle murder in my sleep so new plan…) it is raining so I have some hope that it will stay bleak enough to facilitate day-watching of Haunting of Hill House while I clean in anticipation of the housekeeper.

before ALL of that, before I’d ever gotten out of bed, while the beetle was still in pieces beneath me (AAAAAAAH) I had already read three things:

  1. a text from my mother asking why my daughters “dumped (her)” – they left a group chat that she put them in with my sister, nephew, uncle and myself. They didn’t ask to be put there but she was spending 2 weeks in Disney when she did it so I think they thought it was a way to share her Disney experiences, which, you know, we are ALL about. Yesterday out of the blue she sent us this text: “M is reading a book about Trump and he has a weekly Bible study at the White House. Soooo perfect! I can trust anyone who wants to serve God!!! You can too.”  — OF COURSE I FUCKING RESPONDED!  I have avoided having this conversation with her for two years, I never wanted to have it. But now it’s out there, and so I had to ask the question that burns in my throat whenever a “Christian” talks about their president.texttomom


  2. the first thing on my Facebook feed this morning – super appropriate to thing 1 on today’s list. This piece about Religious Trauma Syndrome which explains my life from 7 when I was praying I would be a martyr because I knew I was already an undeserving sinner and there didn’t seem like ANY other way into heaven.  Until the day my youngest daughter asked me about this statue at Epcot (everything happens at Disney) in the Germany pavilion where St. George is slaying a dragon. I said “that’s Saint George, he’s killing a drago….” and that was it. I wasn’t taught that that dragon was a metaphor, I was taught it was an ACTUAL DRAGON. And I believed it. So my 20s were especially fraught as I tried to figure out who I was and what I believed and where, as a loud, smart, independent but married, woman, and mother, my place in the world could be.  So that was the second thing I read today.



  3. the third thing I read today is about beer. (<<<read that, it’s very interesting, a little frustrating, but good)  and also ‘men’s rights activists’ because if there’s anything men in this country are lacking, it is equality. amirite. I’m not a giant beer drinker – I like red ales and Kolsch and lagers and pilsners. though plenty of guys have told me that Kolsch isn’t actually beer, that real beer tastes like carbonated stomach bile – like the acid you use to strip your car battery. No thank you. not for me. but some people are into IPAs and porters and stouts and that’s cool, more power to you sister. So in LA, Ting Su, cofounder of Eagle Rock Brewery started a Women’s Only Beer Forum, to help the ladies explore their beer love. Like a wine class, which apparently we can have endless numbers of, but for beer. which is obviously only for the mens.  Anyways, Ting Su started this super-sexist-against-poor-men-who-don’t-get-to-do-anything group and got sued, by a professional plaintiff, and now she’s defending herself. And there’s a Go Fund Me.

    I want to go there and drink these! talk about GREAT packaging design. Also the word Manifesto is something I hold near and dear going way back to the early days of the Patriot Act. But there’s a conversation to be had here about beer, and equality and safe spaces and douchebros who can’t even pay for sex.

Which brings us back to Trump. (kidding) it brings me to 10:15 AM and I need to put my sheets in the dryer.

 

Prost, xoxo

Three Favorites Thursday: Packing for Disney Edition

I shipped a box down to my Disney hotel on Tuesday so that we can restock our Owner’s Locker with shampoo, conditioner, my new favorite beach waves hair cream, a box of glow bracelets… I should have take a photo of the contents but until 15 seconds ago I didn’t know what my favorites were going to be this week.

We are leaving Friday for the long weekend. Our youngest is turning 18 on Saturday and we cashed in all of our JetBlue frequent flier miles and Disney Rewards Visa points to bring her and 2 of her friends to stay at Bay Lake Tower. We are going to the Halloween Party, it is the first weekend of the Food & Wine Festival and Tiffany is going to be singing for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, I can’t wait.

I think half of the battle for regular Disney visitors are finding:

  1. the perfect park bag.
  2. the perfect park shoes.
  3. the perfect comfort/convenience items.

So here we go:

 

 

disney1

My perfect park bag is the Kavu rope sling bag. I’ve been using the same one for the last several years and it still looks BRAND NEW. Which is awesome, but also- c’mon! I want a new one. (Specifically the space pops one– how great is that?!)  There are a ton of pockets- the front one fits my iphone 7+ perfectly, and that’s a monster so I can’t imagine a phone that wouldn’t fit there to be easily accessible. It is comfortable to wear, I don’t find myself getting all sweaty under it. It fits EVERYTHING. I generally start the day with a couple of bottles of water, a cooling towel, charging cords, a sunscreen, a single neatly folded poncho, my phone, and a small wallet with ID/Annual Pass/Gift Card/Disney Visa Card.  I generally end the day without the water bottles but WITH a cake pop or school bread or carrot cake cookie, a set of ears, various souvenirs, three damp ponchos, and still room for more.

I love this bag.

 

 

 

disney coloring pages with numbers Elegant Disney Cartoon Coloring Pages Numbers

I go back and forth on the perfect park shoes. For a year or two they were Sketchers lace up sneakers with memory foam cooling insoles… and then my feet decided that being confined like that would RUIN EVERYONE’S DAY.  So I’m all set with that for now.

I have had much luck with Sanuk Yoga Mat Slings – they have fabric that hugs your foot while still giving them lots of room to breathe – which keeps them from getting cranky – which keeps ME from getting cranky.  (never wear these to the beach, you will never get the sand out of the sling bit)

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 9.24.13 AM
this is the exact pair I have. they go with everything.

BUT THEN I bought a pair of these Fit Flop Uberknit flip flops. I committed the first Disney mortal sin of wearing brand new shoes, straight out of the box, for a full day at Disneyland and they were so comfortable I broke the second Disney mortal sin of wearing the same shoes two days in a row. No regrets. I bought a second color and these two pairs might be the only shoes I bring for the weekend.

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 9.24.53 AM
I have these in pink and black, but I am digging the blue.

 

disney3

And for #3 I’m essentially asking Genie for a million wishes because I can’t pick a third and instead I’m listing some of my favorite convenience items.

  1. The Disney Park Poncho – the original and the best – I decided one year that I was going to buy those disposable little ponchos and it ripped while I was putting it on mid-rainstorm. So.
  2. I mentioned I have an Owner’s Locker the locker is packed with ponchos, ears, full sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, any meds we might need, bandaids, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe, etc. So now I store our ponchos in the Locker, but before that I’d just bring them back and forth each in their own quart sized ziplock bag.
  3. Cooling towels. I’m a better person when I have one wrapped around my neck. These are NOT in our locker, because they’d be all mildewy so I bring them home to wash between visits. At quick service counters you can ask for free glasses of ice water. I ask for 2, and one of them is just to submerge my cooling towel in. Game changer.
  4. and finally – power. I have a few different kinds of portable power sources for our phones but the Fuel Rods available on property hold more than a full charge and are replaceable on site – so you don’t have to go back to your room to recharge. Your first fuel rod also comes with a little cord and a few different phone adaptors. It is expensive at $30 but I feel as if we have recouped the spend multiple times over so far.

 

So that’s what I’ve got.  And other than the poncho and the Owners Locker these would work for a day at any amusement park or field trip or hike.

I’ve got to start packing…

xoxo

The Return of Three Favorites Thursday!

Anxiety is a real, true, gross, pain in the ass sometimes. I have had *literally* (figuratively) 657 ideas for things to write about but then I was positive they were all terrible ideas. They weren’t but I feel like even if they were I should probably still have written because that’s what our teachers used to say about making writing a habit, right? I’m hyperventilating a little bit right now thinking “do I even have three favorite things?”

ummm. yes. I have thousands of favorite things, everything is my favorite.

one1

Earrings. I own lots of earrings, both because I make them, and because unlike things around my wrists or neck, I can generally handle keeping a comfortable pair of earrings in my ears all day.  Back in February I was on a cruise and the family in the cabin next to us were this gorgeous, fancy family from Mexico- tiny daughters all dressed the same with shiny ponytails, mom impeccable even tendering back from an excursion… perfect. Annnnyways, mom wore these earrings– and hers were probably real pearls worth thousands of dollars but I’m not about that, so I found them on Amazon. For 8.99. and I wear them at least 4 times a week. I feel so cool in them, they match EVERYTHING.  (I might have just this moment ordered the black and rose gold ones.) frontbackearrings

And when I’m not wearing those I’m usually wearing these – my friend Barbara reps for Stella & Dot and these earrings weigh NOTHING, go with EVERYTHING, and get me compliments every time I wear them. At $44 they are a bit more than the pearls above but still not terribly expensive and the amount of wear you’ll get out of them makes them absolutely worth it.

Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 8.55.45 AM

 

 

 

two222

 

Shoes! I can’t stop buying shoes. I bought myself silver Frye combat boots yesterday – they won’t be here for another couple of weeks so those can’t be my favorite anything other than ‘favorite unworn purchase’ maybe… but I did also order the Tarte blush book so that could be my favorite unworn purchase…

Have I mentioned how my feet, which have always been my favorite physical feature, my cute little feet, are developing bunions? I think I have. Because they are, and they MEAN BUSINESS. So my toes need room to hang out and make a natural foot shape. On the other hand I have long loved a pointy toe. Which is where these come in. They were in my most recent Nordstrom Trunk Club Trunk (that’s a referral link… you should sign up, your wardrobe will thank you!)

kelinflatbp.jpg

These Kelin Flats from BP were $59.95 and instantly comfortable right out of the box. The leather is so soft, and the sole nice and flexible. 10 out of 10. Would recommend. They are getting a TON of wear and will be good right into fall. (I rock naked ankles until it starts snowing.)

 

kelin
see? pointy toe but not a narrow toe box, so hella comfortable. and I haven’t tried yet but I bet I could wear a bunion corrector with these. ahhh 42, the magical age when I learned what the f*ck a bunion corrector is.

I just read this piece from Augusta Falletta for Buzzfeed about retiring uncomfortable footwear and YES! I agree 100%. I’m a MUCH nicer human when my feet don’t hurt.

 

 

three3

These freaking dresses.  I live in this place where I’m constantly trying to find the perfect Disney wardrobe. Is that weird? I’m pretty sure that’s weird. Anyways, day to day I tend to wear a lot of New England appropriate things, lot of black, recently some navy and that blush color that is so popular right now. But COLOR and PATTERN are things I reserve for vacation in either Austin Texas (all the sundresses!) or Disney World.

magicdress33
trying to sneak into Club 33 in the magic dress. for reference I wear a 14 and this is an XL.

Enter the magical 17 dollar Amazon dress with POCKETS!  they’re cute, swingy, soft, they wash well and they’re the perfect length. (I wear Jockey Skimmies slipshorts under them- Skimmies would be my 3.5th favorite thing for this week, they are life changing, and not just because I’ve never met a breeze that didn’t want to introduce every passerby to a flash of my underwear.)

Anyways – the dress! Cute on its own, over skinny jeans, with a cardigan… I  love it. I have it in 2 patterns already and am tempted by 2 more.

 

 

 

So. there are my three favorites for Thursday August 23rd. And they’re all under 60$!

treatyoself

xoxo

 

 

 

Packing for Imaginary Vacations. (when I have an actual vacation to pack for)

Y’all. on the 9th I had to have a tooth extracted and then this weekend I cracked a tooth on the OTHER side of my mouth – on an egg salad sandwich. So it was the tooth’s time to go I guess. So, I’m still not really eating anything delicious. But! Today someone brought a bag of fun sized candy bars to the office and there are Three Musketeers bars- which are definitely my speed right now.

So I ordered three boxes of chocolates from See’s.  And technically I bought extra to share but I might keep all three for myself because the world is shitty right now and I’m a sucker for a berry creme chocolate. And chocolate in general. And pretty much anything I can eat without worrying that I’m going to stab myself in the gums or break another tooth. (my teeth aren’t all this fragile, just those two.)

I have no regrets,  #becausechocolate

I got an email today with this dress in it. I’m not buying it because like I said – dental work – and also I’m currently pretending that I’m going to Egypt for 17 days in January/February. THOUGH. if I were going to Egypt this dress seems like it could be amazing with a giant hat to wear onboard the Sonesta Star Goddess as we travel up the Nile. Oh… I’m definitely putting together a fake packing list Pinterest board for my fake adventure through Egypt.  hang on…

ok. done.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 12.46.54 PM

the dress:

handpainted dress
perfect, right? I especially love the styling with the shoes.

Anyways, like I said- I’m going on actual vacation on Saturday. I’m going to Disneyland! Don’t roll your eyes at me, I know I was in Disney World last month but this is different. I’ve never been to Disneyland! And everyone is going – Dave, the girls, my sister and her husband and my nephew, and the girls are each bringing a friend… it is a Disney field trip of the highest order. AND. we are doing a VIP tour because it stresses me out to be responsible for other people’s vacations – so to make sure we cover everything… getting a plaid. Wicked excited.

disneylandcur

I’ve been making the same list over and over this week – tweaking it a little each time. But yesterday morning it occurred to me that I’m bringing a big-ass-suitcase because I’m NOT stressing out about fitting my outfits and shoes into a little suitcase to prove that I can. That’s not fun at all.

How do I pack for Disneyland? Is it weird that I’m looking at strangers’ Instas to see what people are wearing in their photos?

AND THEN…

news breaks that Justice Kennedy is retiring and there goes all of my travel excitement and actual anxiety hits and none of this fun silly stuff matters.

 

I picked the wrong administration to start a blog about shopping.

action-alert

Call your senators. 

xoxo