Friday, November 13, 2015

A kitty convo.

Me: "I really want to take this free part-Siamese kitty to give to [daughter] for Christmas. What the hell is wrong with me??? It was found in our area. Already fixed. Healthy. About 4 year old female. Posted to the classified section at work by a compliance officer.

Husband: "Well, that was the last thing I expected to get today."

Me: "Yeah, someone at Starbucks must have laced my coffee with drugs."

Husband: "It is such a sweet idea, but, cats are fickle creatures, and there is no telling how the cat will do with the kids. Additionally, vet costs. Furthermore, I have thoroughly enjoyed not having to smell/clean a litter box for the past 10 years since I left for college."

Me: "Yeah, I was smoking crack. I'm over it now."

Husband: "Good."

Saturday, October 10, 2015

In search of a hobby/purpose?

The past several years have been nonstop hustling trying to get to the next step. Whether it was having babies, raising the babies, getting a grad degree, getting good jobs, buying a house, getting promotion, etc....I've always had my sights on something to work toward. I've been very lucky, and very tired!

Now I'm at a strange point in my life where it's fine tuning the details, the ever-trudging financial goals, and mainly just wondering where to go from here.

I have to have something outside of work/my career to fulfill me and define me as a person. I'm realizing it's super lame to only have your job to talk about when you're around other people...even if you feel that your job is interesting. I'm really starting to enjoy being a mom more and more, but again, everyone - especially moms- needs to have something to work on and get creative with outside of their family duties.

I have thoughts swirling around about a side business, a community, an active hobby with other people, volunteering for charity, or something like that. I just know it's not joining a bible study, because I'm horrible at "sharing". We shall see!

Friday, September 25, 2015

A girl who has only 6 pairs of shoes??

I used to think 20 pairs was a small shoe collection. Now I've got my A team - 6 pairs. One type of shoe for each need - a cute sandal, a boot, a heel, a flat, a running shoe, and CHACOS. As fun as it sounds, I'd probably get anxiety with an epic shoe closet like this chick...if I'm not getting a ton of wear out of it, I don't want to possess it or be responsible for it.

Having only 6 pairs of shoes has made a lot of sense in my life....the six that I have are all really nice, and work perfectly for my lifestyle. From time to time I find myself wishing that I had a bright red shoe, but the simplicity of only having the essentials outweighs my fleeting desires for variety. For me, the creativity and variety comes from putting together outfits, jewelry, and makeup looks from my edited down collections of all those items.

My shoe collection used to look like this (in our previous home, 2 years ago)....but I feel much more free, mentally, with a more streamlined group of 6 shoes. And, it works better for my narrow shelves in the new house! I have to admit I miss my flats having a pointed toe - when my current flats become ragged, I'll prob. replace them with a pointed toe again. I can't deny my love for the pointed toe.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Minimal-ish makeup collection.

Over the past year, my makeup collection has evolved. I've started to appreciate the finer things in the makeup world, and while I don't have 20 blush color options, the one blush that I do have is kickass.

I'm still trying to cull down my makeup collection to only "value add" items. If it doesn't significantly impact my skincare or makeup look, it doesn't get a spot on the A-team. Below, I'll talk more about what I'm definitely not replacing, what I will buy again in the same shade/brand, and item types I have but haven't found "the one" yet.

I say this is minimal-ish, because I feel like calling it minimalist isn't accurate since there are more than like, 3 products. However, compared to the overflowing bins, drawers, and kaboodles that I had as a high school girl, and that many women still do have, it's pretty pared down. Makeup is utilitarian to me, but it's also something I enjoy. While I don't need tons of options, I want the items I have to be really good.

Back left compartment: Urban Decay concealer; Too Faced foundation; Too Faced primer/moisturizer. I will repurchase the concealer - love it. The foundation is nice, but I'll try something else next time. I'm still unsure about whether the primer is worth it or not. I may not replace it and just use my night cream in a lighter layer for a day moisturizer.

Mid left compartment: 4 essie nailpolishes. Top fave is "Ballet Slippers" and "Good to Go" topcoat. Two not as important shades are "Find me an Oasis" and "Watermelon". Clinique face powder (yes); Tarte bronzer (yes); Tarte blush (yes, but will prob go back to Nars "Orgasm" blush next time....that stuff is too good). Keep in mind I've had all three of the aforementioned since end of 2014, and wear it daily. When you get good stuff, it really lasts.

Front left compartment: Anastasia brow pomade; Urban Decay eyeshadow; Nars eyeshadow; Origins night cream. When the pomade, eyeshadow and my eyeliner (next area) run out, I'll probably make a MAC eyeshadow quad with four colors that serve all those purposes, instead of having 3-4 separate products. The Origins night cream is soooooo good. Will definitely repurchase.

Middle small compartments: Real Techniques Bold Metals brushes; Loreal mascara; NYX eyeliner; Clinique nude lipstick; MAC "Ruby Woo" lipstick. The brushes are good, and are super durable. The mascara is okay, but I'll def try a new kind when that runs out. The eyeliner is going bye bye after I use it up (see above regarding MAC quad in the plans). I love having a nude and a bold lipstick option. The Clinique one is good, but I'll probably try something new next. The MAC "Ruby Woo" is bright red, and seriously worth every dime.

Back right compartment: My scent that I discovered on my trip to Vancouver/AK this past summer....L'eau d'Issey by Issey Miyake (read scent profile here - floral/ozonic/aquatic). I smelled it first with my mom while burning time in an airport duty free shop. It was love at first smell, but I didn't buy it. Then days later on the cruise ship, they had it in their duty free shop (for much cheaper). My aunt and cousin fell in love with it too there on the cruise ship. So we all three bought it, and the funny thing is - it smells a bit different on each person. I appreciate perfume so much - I'd gladly splash out for that above all else. Pun not intended.

Front right compartment: Lip balm, and watch/rings. The poodle is a ring holder, but you can barely see my rings hanging from the tail from this angle.

Monday, September 7, 2015

My current wardrobe and life prerogatives

It's been almost two months since I've been here typing in my little blog.

What's my excuse? I got a promotion at work. All work and no play makes Donna a dull girl.

Here are my wardrobe and life prerogatives of the moment:
  • Find balance in my life / enjoy the present more.
  • Keep a clean and streamlined home.
  • Exercise once a day / Go on walk during lunch breaks / Don't count calories, but make healthier choices - hoping to slowly lose 15-20lbs. In the past two years, it appears that I've gained the "Office Job 15". SAD FACE.
  • Own less makeup, but own nicer makeup/skincare products
  • Don't buy any new clothes/jewelry/shoes until 2016 - and then only net zero (one in, one out)

I did the "uniform" for a couple of months, and it was a fun experiment. But now that I've got a new position at work, I've been compelled to go back to dressing much nicer. I've moved back into my work wardrobe of black suit jacket, 3 dresses, a couple of nice blouses, and dress slacks. It's definitely a capsule wardrobe of older pieces, and I like it. I'm not replacing anything that wears out until 2016, so I'm running pretty lean at the moment.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Owning houses and cars. I can see why intense minimalists don't want any of it.

While I fully understand and accept that spending lots of money on repairs and maintenance is part of car and home ownership, sometimes I feel like this isn't my circus, and I don't want these to be my monkeys....
If there is one single thing I would change about my life, it would be to completely cut commuting and everything about commuting out. That includes car ownership. I loathe owning cars. I loathe driving cars. I loathe paying for gas and tolls. I loathe the time I spend waiting in traffic. And more than those? I loathe dropping thousands on car maintenance.

In the past three months we've done the following things to our two cars:
  1. Replaced both sets of tires (talk about money rapidly leaving your wallet...)
  2. Subsequently got tires repaired/patched/single tires replaced again 2X
  3. Replaced battery
  4. Replaced failed transmission on newer car (covered under warranty - positive spin)
  5. Replaced break pads 
  6. Replaced and repaired rear bumper and trunk from being rear-ended
  7. Fixed windshield chips 4X
  8. Got hit by a gigantic semi truck tire that blew out, and jacked up our grill. Still haven't repaired it, but at least started an insurance claim.....
  9. Regular preventive maintenance/oil change every 5,000 miles, which we hit a couple times in the past few months.
I mean, this is borderline insane...but with how much we drive, I'm not too surprised a time like this was coming.

I have coping mechanisms for my commute (which I may write about), but unfortunately my city and circumstances haven't panned out to many other feasible alternatives to commuting.

Now, onto the house. There are joys to owning a home. Buying a house was a huge goal of mine. But sometimes, I wonder....why was it a goal of mine? The stress of being responsible for the upkeep and repair (mainly, the repair dollars) of this home you now own sometimes does not outweigh the joy of owning your home. I know it's an investment, and it's a long term bigger picture thing, but still. Is it worth the headache? It's not something I really "got" until I was actually experiencing this.

Everyone would rather spend their "house fixing" money on remodeling or decorating....but then when your AC starts dripping water down your wall - shit gets real. I just feel lucky that we've been able to swing these repairs. Some people have this stuff happen to their houses, and can't do a thing about it. My coping mechanism for the house repair frustrations is gratitude and perspective...but still doesn't stop me from wanting to blog about it!

Further, owning your house is one way to have your biggest possession tie you down, which is the antithesis of minimalism. For me though, I'm already tied down. I have young kids to put through school (soon) and feed! And wouldn't want to have it any other way!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lululemon Lab Purchases, and 2 Months of Wearing a Uniform

While I was in Vancouver, I made several purchases at Lululemon Lab, which was a dream come true of mine (you may or may not know I've got a thing for Lululemon). I've been wanting to visit the Lab for years, and I'm not sure when I'll get to go back, so I kind of treated it like a once in a lifetime experience. All the stuff can transition from workout to streetwear, and many things are sharp enough to wear at work. My mom was kind enough to take some try on photos to help me decide what to purchase.....I had a blast. And loved everything.

We ended up going with the below four items for me, as well as some things for my husband:

1. Merino blend black mock turtleneck shirt (looks amazing with black pants and heels at work)
2. Black lightweight blazer/bomber jacket (another that I wear at work)
3. Bluish grey extra long tank top (great for running and layering)
4. Black skort (not for work, but can be worn for streetwear or running)

Just this past week, I found myself not really wearing my "uniform" of a light wash chambray shirt and black skinny slacks, and instead going for my dresses.

I don't think it's that I'm tired of my uniform....the trouble is that the shirts seem to look wrinkly, and I have started to lose patience with agonizing over my ironing board with them. In fact, I don't even feel like ironing my clothes....and these shirts are the only thing that require it. This, coupled with the fact that I've wanted to start dressing up more at work due to some stuff I have going on, so yeah....this week seems to be my break in uniform. I'm not sure that I'll give up my uniform, because after all, now I have 5 or so of the same exact shirt. But, I may have to accept that I may utilize them more for my off-work life. Who knows - maybe I'll swing back to them after a week break of constant ironing. But that's not really the point, is it? The point is to love the clothes you wear, and feel confident in them.