Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

This past weekend I was supposed to carve my pumpkin that I picked up at Perry Farms. I didn't. Instead, I did other things like watch the Giants win the World Series (woohoo!) and take a special puppy dog to the dog park. With Halloween rapidly approaching I needed to carve mine soon, so that's what I did last night. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures. Lucky for you, pumpkin carving last year looked remarkably similar to pumpkin carving last year...

Carving pumpkins last year looked something like this:


Here is my creation for this year:

My creation: The Haunted House
I modified my tools this time around and decided not to use the dull poking tool to map out my design, but used my Dritz seam ripper instead. Seriously, this was the single greatest modification I could have used used. Not only were the holes much smaller, but it allowed me a little more freedom when transferring the pattern. It was also significantly easier to use because it was so sharp. This will definitely be a part of my pumpkin carving tool kit from now on. Maybe next year I'll introduce some X-ACTO tools!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Simple Pleasures

The end of another week and all I want to do is...absolutely nothing. Too bad there's this little thing called work

In the hours leading up to the weekend, I'll be thinking about these things...

Coming Home to Dinner

Photo found here
I don't always eat meat. In fact, I mostly prefer not to eat it. I have dabbled with being a vegetarian, but quite frankly I do indulge my carnivorous side on occasion. Tonight will be one of those nights. This morning I shuffled to the kitchen to get a roast in the crock pot. For people who don't know how to cook or just don't care to, making a pot roast in a crock pot is one of the easiest things to do because it's so hard to screw it up. I didn't follow the recipe for the photo above because I don't use gravy when cooking my roast. I prefer to use water since every roast I've made has always come out tender and juicy. This time I deviated away from my usual recipe of meat (coated in salt and pepper), potatoes, carrots, and onions, and this time added a little bit of garlic. Hopefully it won't be too overpowering. Fingers crossed! The best part is, I don't have to do a thing when I get home tonight. I'll just be waiting for that timer to go off at 5.

My Every Day Wallet

I have long since stopped using my yellow snake skin Guess wallet and my silver and black "lace" Betsey Johnson wallet. The reason? I bought this Coach wallet at the Gilroy Outlets and have never looked back. I didn't just buy it because it matched the tote I also bought, but more importantly, I realized I could use it as a clutch if I decided not to bring a purse at all. On a daily basis it makes its home in whatever purse I'm using, but each and every time I pull this puppy out, I smile. Something about it just makes me happy. I realize that this likely isn't a "real" Coach wallet since it's probably part of their factory line, but what do I care? I simply love this wallet.

An Impulse Buy

Photo found here

I have seriously curbed my online shopping habits ever since I started The Total Money Makeover. In fact, I rarely make an online purchase these days. Today was an exception. I received an email from Refinery29 for "32 vintage stunners that will seriously upgrade your wardrobe" and I knew I had to check it out. What I found were very reasonable prices and a silk blouse that I know I can pull off despite it's busy pattern. Unfortunately, I missed out on this little number, but I am more than happy with the paisley blouse (although I don't see a paisley on the thing!). The color scheme will complement my skin tone and it has the feel of a beautiful Indian garment, which I just love. I cannot wait to wear this...hopefully it ships soon!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

KK and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Okay, so it wasn't THAT bad (no one died or was injured), but it did include a sleepless night drugged up on zzzQuil, dumpster diving, and a dismembered rug.

Sunday afternoon I took a three hour nap. I certainly wasn't in a deep sleep the whole time, but I did dream at some point, so overall it was a good nap. Later that evening, I was feeling like I wasn't going to be able to fall asleep, so I decided to try zzzQuil (I do NOT recommend it). I generally sleep well after taking NyQuil, so I thought zzzQuil would provide me with the same sound sleeping without the pain & cold relievers. It did not. I spent the entire night tossing and turning. It was almost like it made my body want to sleep without letting my mind rest. The worst part about the whole ordeal was feeling like I couldn't breathe. Every time I almost dozed off, I'd wake up gasping for air. Not a comfortable feeling in the slightest. Especially when I couldn't seem to catch a breathe while I was trying to nod off.

If that wasn't bad enough, I woke up still feeling the tightness in my chest. It didn't start to fade away until mid-morning while I was at work. Luckily it subsided, but what a way to start a Monday. The day progressed as normal. Nothing special. Then I went home and ended up cleaning. Not sure how that one really happened, but it needed to be done and so I did it.

After cleaning the bathroom and in between laundry loads, I cleaned out the refrigerator and the freezer. I already needed to take the trash out, but now I had two bags to contend with. As I was walking to the dumpster with my keys in hand, I thought to myself how funny it would be if I accidentally threw my keys in with the trash. I've thrown out the trash dozens of times with my keys in my hand and I've never once accidentally thrown them in. This particular evening that was about to change. The first bag was tossed in with ease just as the many others had gone before, but the second bag was sneaky and the red plastic ties somehow managed to wrap around my keychain and rip the keys out of my hand. Literally, the keys were torn from my grip. I'm still not even completely sure how it happened since I made sure the keys weren't entwined with the ties on the bag. My previous thought about how funny it would be? Turns out it wasn't that funny at the time. I had a fleeting thought of going back to my condo and getting a flashlight, but oh wait, that's right, MY KEYS WERE IN THE TRASH. Lucky for me the trash had been recently emptied, so there were about 6 bags in there including mine. I hoisted myself up and over the dumpster wall without really having to touch much and safely landed in my flip flops (yes my feet were practically bare and it was disgusting to think about), and I only had to move one bag to figure out if it was mine or not. I found my keys (still attached to the bag) and hoisted myself up and over the dumpster. I laughed to myself as I walked back. I disinfected my keys, washed my hands, and then took out some of the recycling. Then, I promptly took a shower to wash off any filth that was attached to me.

From there I continued my eternal battle with laundry and washed my bathroom rug. Right before I went to bed, I went to put the rug in the dryer only to discover that it had somehow developed two rips in the seams and it was losing pieces of carpet everywhere. I couldn't throw it in my ancient dryer because I was certain the whole thing would catch on fire, so now I have to go buy another rug. You would think this wouldn't be a big deal, but you don't know the story of how long it took me to find a rug that possessed the exact qualities I was looking for.

On the plus side, the work day went by rapidly and I have (some) clean clothes, a clean bathroom, and a clean kitchen floor. Now if only I could tackle the den area and streamline that into a workable arts and crafts room, I'd be all set! Baby steps.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Recaptured

This past weekend I had the luxury of a 3-day. I took Friday off to spend the day with my seester since she had been on vacation all week and we haven't had a full day to spend with each other in quite some time. The night before we talked about things that we could do...HMB, SF, bowling, mini golf, heading up to Oakland to eat at restaurant she's been wanting to try. We didn't really establish anything initially. We veered off topic and started chit-chatting about other things before finally coming to the conclusion that we were going to go to San Francisco to Chinatown.

She had been wanting to buy some new China flats, so we decided to go to the city, even if it meant we were only going to be spending a few hours there. We took BART because it's so ridiculously convenient, and arrived there around 11. We hadn't had our morning caffeine jolts yet, so we stopped at Starbucks and fulfilled that need before walking a few blocks up Grant Street to the gate to Chinatown.

Photo found here
We browsed some of the shoes that were outside of a few of the first shops, but then we hit the motherload. There were flats galore outside of one particular store, China Station, and they were exactly what she was looking for. She debated between the black velvet flats and the black textured flats, but ended up with the ones she originally was going for - the black velvet. There was another pair of orange flats that were made out of a linen or burlap that were just screaming her name and so, she got those too. I had my eye on a pair of navy velvet flats to wear with all of the navy items I just can't seem to take out of my closet. I have a hard time wearing my black flats with my navy tops, so I figured this would be a good way to finally wear more navy! At $14, it was a steal.

From there we continued on our way up through Chinatown and eventually landed in Little Italy. We were pretty hungry at this point, so when my seester saw a sign for paninis at Caffe Greco. I was sold. I have a tendency to avoid meat, but the panini with prosciutto, mozzarella, and peppers was making my mouth water, so I ordered that with a small Pellegrino. I polished off that sandwich.

I couldn't wait to take a photo...hence the bite taken out of the sandwich.
After lunch, we continued on and stopped in a candy shop. We left empty handed, but we made sure to stop at See's to get a chocolate fix before deciding we were ready to go home. There she treated me to a few of my favorite chocolates: a Raspberry Cream, a Butterscotch Square, and an Apple Pie Truffle. Delish!

All photos from here

Overall, the day was well spent. We had stopped to browse at DSW (though we didn't purchase anything) and of course the first pair of shoes I picked up ON THE SALE RACK were $300. Yes, I have good taste. Our last shopping stop was at Old Navy (twice in one month???) where my seester picked up a couple of long sleeved tees and I found a new blouse for work. It wasn't on super sale like my blue shirt was, but it was still on sale and it'll be a nice addition to my closet. Plus, I can wear my new blue shoes with them! 

I always enjoy a three-day weekend, but this one was particularly good because I was able to spend some quality time with my wonderful seester. We should do things like this more often!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Private Relations

"Choose your battles wisely." 

It's an adage we've all heard at some point in our lives and one that holds truth. It's trivial to pursue a discussion or argument about every little thing that goes wrong or irritates you. If you do choose to nitpick, you run the risk of burying your significant other in criticism that will only weaken your relationship. Relationships are hard enough on their own without the added ridiculousness of regular bickering.

Personally, I hate when someone tries to pick a fight with me for no good reason about something that isn't even remotely important. If you're just trying to broach a pet-peeve, then talk about what's bothering you rather than just pushing the other person's buttons and causing an unnecessary argument. If you're upset about something that's happened, be forthright and talk about it. Taking the passive aggressive route and making a big deal about small things without addressing the real issue at hand isn't going to do you any favors.

When it seems like a person is trying to start a dispute over something that is seemingly meaningless, I just choose to bite my tongue and let it roll off my back. Why indulge the other person in a quibble that is going to leave me having less than ideal feelings for them? So I don't touch it with a ten-foot pole. I let it go. I choose not to engage in those battles even though someone else chose to attempt one.

Long story short - choose your battles and choose them wisely or you could end sabotaging your relationship. Unless of course you have a significant other who is constantly giving you their endless forgiveness over such trite things. Just make sure there's a bottomless pit of it first.


Monday, October 15, 2012

A Taste of Luxury

Earlier I was doing some online shopping at Macy's to see if they had something I could use my gift cards on. I made my way from boots to jeans to sweaters to purses and landed on this little number that I'd like to add to my closet immediately. There's just something about the color scheme that really makes me think that this would be an extremely versatile item for wardrobe.

Coach Legacy Colorblock Leather Duffle - $398

From there I left Macy's and headed over to Shopbop just for kicks. I can't afford Elizabeth and James (at least not on a regular basis), but I can't help but love some of their things. Like these cropped brocade pants. It could just be the texture of the pant, but they vaguely remind me of a pair of faux snake skin pants I once had...very vaguely. These, by far, are much classier.
Elizabeth and James Brocade Winston Pants - $395

And lastly, I stopped at Net-A-Porter and found this blouse by Burberry London. Maybe it's because I know it has a little stretch, but between the color and the cut, I'm sold on it. Well, I would be if I had the funds to purchase it anyway.
Burberry London - $550

None of these items are completely out of my reach...I mean, sure, I could save for them, but let's be honest, unless I come into some serious cash, these won't be reaching the depths of my closet any time soon. The Coach purse has a chance, but I better check on the balance of those gift cards before I do any serious shopping.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Simple Pleasures

Happy Friday! These are some things I'm taking joy in...

Gloomy Weather
Photo taken on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles
Even though I love the summer warmth here in the Bay Area, I can't help but look forward to the crisp autumn weather that is sporadically upon us. Right now it's overcast with a hint of drizzle and the first time this season I'm wearing a heavier sweater. I'm fairly certain we haven't seen the last of the heat, but I'm enjoying every bit of the cooler temps for the time being.

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

Artwork by Rebecca Coffman

This weekend is the 42nd Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. Half Moon Bay is one of my favorite places to be at any point during the year. I love it on a nice clear, sunny day or on a blistering cold, windy day. As long as it's not raining there this weekend, I'll likely be making an appearance there. One of the highlights is seeing the giant pumpkin. I'll never know how someone is able to grow a 1,700 pound pumpkin, but it is quite a sight to see! 

A Long Distance Chat

Ever since my mom and I went to Simi Valley to visit some of her relatives, I have felt a connection with my great aunt. Something about her reminds me of my nana - my mom's mom - who passed away 11 years ago this month. I feel like I didn't have enough time with my nana (she lived in Nevada) and I still have a lot of guilt for not going to see her that one summer when I decided to go to track camp instead. My great aunt has some of the same characteristics of my nana, she sounds like her a little, and there's just something about her that I can't quite seem to pinpoint that makes me feel a little closer to my nana. I know that by talking with her that I'm not talking to Nana, but it fulfills something in my heart. I spoke to her online very briefly yesterday, but it made me so happy to do so. It made me even happier to hear that she's moving back to California next year. Now maybe I'll have the opportunity to see her a little more than I will with her living in West Virginia. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Steals, Not Deals

While perusing the web, I stumbled across these shoes at Nordstrom by Topshop...

Topshop 'Vectra' Flat

They were the same style as a pair of shoes I had just bought at DSW, by Zigi Soho! After a $10 coupon, the shoes being on sale even more than I thought the were, and a gift card with an unknown balance, I walked away without even having to shell out any "real" money. Always a plus. The ones I bought weren't plain ol' black...far from it really. They are multicolored, but those same gold studs are embellishing my shoes as well. The funny part was, my mom had walked by them first and thought about showing them to me, but opted not to because she didn't think I'd like them. When I tried them on to show her the shoes I had found, she burst out laughing. My mom knows me so well :)

These are a photo of my new shoes that I absolutely love. 

Zigi Soho 'Smokey' Flat - Photo found here
They are definitely different (and are much nicer in person), but they're so versatile and I've been constructing ensembles around them. It's easy to do because the toe of the shoe is less bright than the sides and I can wear them as a pop of color on my feet. The gold accents from the studs makes it easy to coordinate accessories too. I just use my gold Coach purse, put on a simple skinny gold belt, and top it all off with a few pieces of simple gold jewelry.

After I made my purchase, we went over to Old Navy. I don't usually shop there, but I figured I could pick up a new white tank top and maybe look for a new blue blouse to go with my new shoes. I picked up a few button down shirts before making my way over to the sale rack where I found a similar blue blouse, but in a better hue than the newer ones. Turns out, it was the one that fit the best!

Old Navy 3/4-Sleeve Button-Tab Top

It was marked down to just under $21 and I was secretly hoping it was going to be a few more dollars off. Maybe somewhere around $15. It wasn't. It was MUCH better than that. The blouse rang up at $0.97

No, you didn't read that incorrectly 97 CENTS. They were practically paying me to take it off their hands! There weren't any imperfections, so I guess I just happened to be in the right place at the right time!

I love a good deal, and this one was a GREAT one. 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Private Relations

I love having my Simple Pleasures posts on Fridays so much that I think I may start another themed day dealing with relationships. This will likely consist of lessons I've learned along the way and even though many may be common sense items, sometimes those things still need to be said. So, without further ado, here is my first post on Private Relations.

Apologies are best received when they are spoken sincerely. The only thing worse than an apology that is rude, sarcastic, or acerbic is an apology that includes a single three-letter word.

I'm sorry, but it wasn't my fault...

I'm sorry, but if you had only...

I'm sorry, but I wasn't the one who...

An apology without ownership of a wrong, is not an apology at all. I don't know for certain that this is in fact a quote from Mr. Benjamin Franklin, but it's a good one nonetheless:

"Never ruin an apology with an excuse."

If you mean it, say it with meaning. And never make an excuse for it. Own it. Chances are, the person on the receiving end of the apology will accept it far more quickly if you take responsibility for your words or actions (or in some cases the lack thereof) and nix any hint of a giant "but". It will only make things worse if you try to rationalize what you did it after saying you are sorry.

True story.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Au Naturale in Dior

Who doesn't love Dior?

I currently use Diorshow Black Out Mascara, but now I've ventured into foundation...

I mentioned yesterday that I stopped into Neiman's over the weekend and snatched up some samples of makeup. I've been dying to try their new Nude foundation, but I seriously hate walking into a department store or Sephora's without any makeup on. I know first hand that having a blank canvas (aka a clean face) is essential when attempting to color match, so with four samples in my possession I knew I'd be able to find a suitable shade for me in the privacy of my own home.

Dior 'Diorskin Nude' Glowing Makeup SPF 15

Luckily for me, I have an eye for color. I'm pretty sure, given the resources, that I could color match anyone. Seriously. I can usually color match myself online with the swatches, but sometimes you need to go in and see the color in person since it doesn't always translate accurately through a web page.

The sample colors I took (which were the 4 out of the 6 that were available without actually talking to someone) were shades 10, 20, 30, and 40. I figured 40 would be too dark, but you never know! My gut was telling me that I could wear a 20 although a 10 could be in my winter palette future. I went out on a limb and applied the 20 before church. I know, I was going out into public with a brand new makeup that I wasn't even sure was going to work. The end result? It was perfect. Sometimes when I wear a foundation that has more of a yellow undertone (which my skin has plenty of), I come out looking a little jaundice. Shade 20 is actually more of a beige without the excessive pink tones, which is why it actually seems to works for me. A neutral color to balance out my crazy skin. Today I started with shade 10 and then applied shade 20 over it in the places I needed it like my cheeks. One thing I really like about it is that it seems to last all day. I set it with Makeup Forever's HD Powderand my skin hasn't been oily at all. Usually by mid-day I'm reapplying foundation to my nose because it looks like I haven't even put any on there! Now, I feel like I'm not wearing anything and my skin looks radiant. I was even told that my skin was "glowing" and then was promptly asked if I was pregnant. Compliment? I'll take it! And no, I'm not pregnant.



I have officially changed my color of foundation to color number 11, which is Créme. It is PERFECT. I was doing fine with the other shades, but I really feel like this one is truly compatible with my skin tone. I couldn't ask for anything better! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Simple Pleasures

Again, I've fallen off the blog wagon. Fridays always seem like a great time to get back into the swing of things, though, since it's my dedicated day for Simple Pleasures. Here are some things I'm excited about....

The Oakland A's
Photo found here
I've always maintained that I'm a fan of the teams from both sides of the Bay, but when it gets down to brass tacks, I'm rooting for Oakland before San Francisco. So, while I'm happy for the Giants that they won their division title, I'm even MORE stoked for the A's for winning the AL West title and making it to the post season without having to go in as a wild card! My beau is a die-hard Angels fan, so he was quite upset that his team couldn't quite hack it and was even more upset that the A's managed to. When the A's won that last game against the Rangers it was the first time they had been in first place all season. My response? Better late than never!

My Work Pumpkin

It may officially be autumn, but the temperatures this past week sure haven't been reflecting that much...it was mostly high 90s, but it hit triple digits a time or two. Still, I've been pretending it's a little crisper outside, which wasn't too hard since I was sitting in an air conditioned office. Now that it's starting to cool down (and hopefully stay that way) I am definitely looking forward to more autumn-esque things like the leaves changing colors, and carving pumpkins. One pumpkin I won't be carving, however, is the lovely new addition to my desktop and a gift from my boss. Nothing says "autumn" quite like a bright orange pumpkin!

An After Work Shopping Trip

My mom and I used to go shopping after work fairly frequently. We didn't always come home with purchases, but we did enjoy just going out and perusing the shoes or purses on any given day. For one reason or another, we haven't been venturing out together after work to see what's new in the stores, but today we are. Whether or not we find anything is yet to be determined, but I'm armed and ready with gift cards left over from my birthday. Here's to hoping I find a new pair of shoes!