Monday, December 18, 2017

Birthday Goals {31}

For the past few years, I've made a birthday goals list. Usually it corresponds with my age, like "31 before 31" so I have 31 goals to complete before my 31st birthday. That's a lot of goals y'all. 2017 was my hardest year personally, but I feel like I'm past the worst of it and am in a really good place now.  I also realized that the long list of birthday goals was a little too unwieldy. I had some goals that were way too ambitious and some that were just thrown on there to make it to 31. I wasn't in the best headspace to focus on accomplishing things on the list, when I was struggling to deal with grief over my mom's death and dealing with a job that was draining everything good from me. Those big things took so much of my mental and physical energy that working on the goals I wrote down last December that it seemed more important to get to a healthy mental space than work on listening to one new album a week.

It feels like a lot of excuses, but ultimately the mental health I accomplished was worth more than all the other goals on that list put together. So this year I'm focusing instead on a smaller list that feels more meaningful. These a goals I've been thinking about doing and having smaller list feels so much more meaningful than trying to come up with 32 things to do before I turn 32 next December.

Explore my city (and state) 
I work in St. Louis and have seen such a small part of Missouri. I want to make time to do more cool events in St. Louis. There is so much cool stuff happening here and I want to do it all! I also want to see a little more of the state I'm in. Kansas City is 4 hours from me but I've never been there. I've lived here almost my whole life and I've never traveled to another cool city 4 hours away? I want to make the most of the place I live now and take advantage of everything it has to offer. 

Run a half marathon 
This year running was a big part of my healing process. I recently got a gym membership close to my work and I want to get back into running after taking time off when it got colder. I want to build up some stamina and run a half marathon, something I thought I would never be able to do. After running two miles non stop this year (another thing I thought I could never do), doing "impossible" things seems a little more possible. 

Create more 
This year I was in a creative rut. It became so clear how much I miss creating things as it got closer to Christmas and I realized I didn't make one gift this year. I usually make one or two, maybe a Christmas craft to hang up in my house. But this year...nothing. So I want to focus on making things next year. More gifts, more things for myself, more house DIYs. 

Cook my way through the Thug Kitchen cookbook
Jarrett got me this cookbook for Christmas a few years ago. So far we have made almost every soup recipe and they have all been showstoppers. I haven't even attempted the other recipes, but if the soups are crushing it like that, I want to cook the rest of it. It's a real Julia & Julia situation, but with a vegan cookbook that uses the word fuck a lot. 

Get serious about skincare
It's shameful how bad I treat my skin. I wash my face maybe twice a week and just this year started using moisturizer. I want to do a better job of taking care of my skin this year. I am planning a routine and just feel like it's time to make this a priority.  

Save $2K 
Pretty self explanatory. I'm terrible with money. Less clothes that I don't need, more money in my savings account. 

Start a podcast 
This is one I've been thinking of for awhile. I have an idea and want to take the next few weeks to really flesh it out. I'm excited and scared but I feel like that's a good sign. All good ideas should be a little exciting and a little scary. 

Declutter and organize 
I'm so tired of being surrounded by stuff. I am an emotional shopper and it's hard to move past using shopping as a default any time I'm stressed/sad/a little drunk. I'm drawn to cozy, minimalist spaces when mine is currently the opposite of that. My intention is to slowly transition my home into a space I love. 

Focus on friendships 
Friendships are so important to me, but I find myself dipping out of plans because I'm tired/have to drive into STL/just want to watch Netflix on my couch. I want to be a better friend and make both old & new friendships a priority in 2018. 

Learn tarot 
I have a tarot deck, two books on how to read the cards, and a 2018 planner (I told you I spend way too much money). I want to start with a daily tarot card and move on from there. It's a thing that makes me feel really grounded, connected, and intentional. Healthy habits 2018 is kind of a theme here. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

November Rewind

 Man, looking back I didn't read a whole lot last month.  I read our book club pick, Bad Romance, which I absolutely loved and wished it was a resource during my teen years.  I may have been too cool for school for a lot of things as a teen but I never was too cool for reading and I think it would have made a pretty big impact.  I also ready One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Read on Heather's recommendation. I really loved it even with my anticipation going into it

 I watched Atypical on Netflix which I recommend to all. I really enjoyed the quirky family dynamic.  I also finished watching The Mindy Project. I hadn't watched it religiously, but since the finale dropped a few weeks ago I really wanted to get caught up. I really loved the happy ending!

I've got nothing new to offer you listening wise. I've restarted the Harry Potter books again and I'm already on book 4. I did download the first episode of "Stay Sexy, Don't Get Murdered" upon Heather's recommendation and I'm excited to dive into that in December.

Also this month 

Tiny Pies
Something about the holidays brings out the Martha Stewart in me, but like the Joe Dirt version.  I get these huge ideas, that I don't realize are so challenging for a novice, and then usually a catastrophe strikes and my husband feels bad and helps bail me out.  This year was no exception. I became obsessed with tiny little pies, in various flavors, mostly of which turned out great. But it was way more work than I bargained for.  Plus, they were a huge hit at Friendsgiving, so I'd do it all over again.

November was kind of a hibernation month for me. The weather started getting way cooler and coming off all the planning for my sister's reception had me soaking up the relaxation time. I got a lot of stitching, tv watching and kitty cuddling in which was so good for my heart.

Sock Collection
It seems like every season or year or some fun interval, I become obsessed with some accessory or piece of fashion. My husband makes fun of me because it seems like I always have a new favorite item.  Lately, I can not get enough out of cute, patterned socks in varying lengths. They keep me warm and cozy, yet I feel even more put together because my socks are cute and I just want to show them off. It's the constant on the various wish lists I've circulated amongst family and friends.

I feel like November flew by and I didn't get to read as much as I wanted to. One thing I did get to was The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. So the first one was the choice for the Feminist Literary Society and it blew me away. It was so so good, and also kind of scary. The second one (Talents) was even better, if you can believe that. It's got that dystopian/sci-fi vibe that I love. It reminded me of The Handmaid's Tale in that it felt painfully real, like it could happen to us at any point. 

This month I feel like I watched a lot of the same stuff I've been watching (The Sopranos, 30 Rock) but I did decide to watch old seasons of The Bachelor/Bachelorette so I've got that going on. I started with Ben Flajnik's season and now I've moved on to Andi Dorfman's season, mostly because Courtney (winner of Ben's season) and Andi both wrote books that I was interested in reading. I'm still making my way through Andi's season, but it's interesting to see things play out that I've heard about because I'm in a ton of Bachelor Nation Facebook groups/podcasts. 

I've been wracking my brain trying to think of something new I listened to this month but there's nothing. I alternated between My Brother, My Brother, and Me and the What Happened? audiobook. I feel like November had a lot of changes and challenges so I fell back on to what's comforting (MBMBAM comedy) and audiobooks to unwind. 

Also this month 

Engagement Photos 
At the beginning of November we got our engagement photos taken with our wedding photographer. I love our photographer and she was so great at posing us and dealing with the girls, who were very interested in helping her get the perfect shot. I need to share the photos on the blog soon, but we got them on one of the last warmish days, with all the leaves looking gorgeous af. It was the next best thing to getting married in the fall, getting to have these amazing fall themed engagement photos. 

We had our second annual Friendsgiving and it was such a hit. It's my new favorite holiday tradition. This year it was my family, Jen & Josh, and my sister & nephew. It was small but also all my favorite people. Jen made mini pies, which were SO GOOD and we did a mexican theme since we figured you already eat enough Thanksgiving food, so why not shake it up with something good but different. I am already thinking about next year and hoping we can keep this tradition going. 

New Job 
I started a new job at the beginning of November and it's so amazing. It's different from what I've done before, but it's such a good fit. It's a start up, which I love, and everyone is insanely cool. There's also a lot of flexibility to work remotely, which is nice since I commute an hour each way and have kids, but I love being in the office so it's basically a dream come true. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

December Small Goals

Somehow it still doesn't feel like it's the last month of 2017. I think this was my personal hardest year as an adult. I struggled a lot but I feel like these past two months have given me hope that it's getting better and the struggle will be less (not completely gone because let's be real). I'm also not really feeling the holiday cheer as much this year as I usually do. Part of it is wedding planning is taking a huge chunk of our budget and I can't go as crazy with gifts this year as I normally do, though honestly, that might be good for me to not be so focused on buying all the things. Anyway, I'm ready to finish this year strong and see what 2018 has in store. As always, we are linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl (late, but whatevs) so go check out everyone's end of year goals! 

Jen's November Small Goals 
1. Reupholster my hope chest.  Done. It took a little husband manpower assistance but it's done and I love how much better it looks.
2. Catch up on Rat Queens comics.  Does buying them count? Probably not. I'm still working on this one.
3.  Hello Autumn Cube.  Ugh, nope. I have no excuses for this one since I literally  had all the supplies on hand. Whatevs, I'll get it done soon and store it for next year.
4.  Cross stitch ornaments. I started this project but I'm not making quick headway on it. I have zero holiday spirit this year (I guess it is just in the air) and am way more focused on keeping up with my monthly projects. I still intend to finish this, but maybe sometime next spring or something?
5.  Workout 3 days a week.  Yes! This was my main goal and I pretty much crushed it with the exception of Thanksgiving week. But let's be honest, we all cheat that week.

2/5--not so great but I'm glad I stuck with the working out goal since it was the one I was most concerned about.

December Small Goals 
1. Survive the holidays.  Like I mentioned, I'm not feeling the spirit much this year and I'm doubting I even make the effort to put up my tree. (Who am I?) My biggest goal with all the commotion is just to survive, hopefully with the least amount of stress.
2.  Bake Christmas Cookies.  Just because I'm not feeling the spirit, doesn't mean I'm not interest in eating some great holiday treats. At Christmas I super enjoy different fun cookies so I think I'll pick a few different recipes and go crazy. I'm sure I'll also bake my go to gooey butter cookies because what is a holiday without them?
3. Stay on Budget.  During the holidays, it can be so easy to go over budget on holiday stuff, especially gift giving to your favorite people. Anyway, this year I'm going to try my hardest to stay in budget so January isn't super stressful.
4.  Keep Nails Painted.  Guys, I'm back to chewing my nails and that's just recipe for sicknesses during this point of the year. Got to keep them painted so I keep them out of my mouth.
5. Brush cats weekly.  My cats are a mess and are the happiest with the most solid of routines. They love being brushed and I love the way they feel after they are brushed so I'm going to try to make it happen once a week for them.

Heather's November Small Goals 
1. Start my new job Yeah buddy! I love my new job, though I did have to fight a little bit of imposter syndrome around week 3. Everyone there is so cool and amazing and I was so worried they would figure out I'm a boring dork, but I guess if they wanted me to work there, I must be pretty cool and amazing too! 
2. Pay off two credit cards  Bummer, but no. This one is close and I am hoping I can do it by the end of the year. 
3. Make a Christmas list Done! And I've gotten almost everything bought for everyone. Yay! 
4. Host the Second Annual Friendsgiving Done! I got sick Thanksgiving night so I wasn't sure I could pull it off, but we did it! Jen made tiny pies that were super delicious and we got to hang out for a few hours. The perfect chill Friendsgiving. 
5. Finish my birthday goals list Done! I'm going to post it in the next few days and I'm actually super excited for it this year. 

4/5 goals AGAIN! Yaaaassss! 

December Small Goals 
1. Drink more water I've been living on large amounts of coffee lately and not hydrating enough. Someone at work said they set a timer to remind them to drink water so I might give that a try. 
2. Make a giant wedding to-do list  I haven't had to do any wedding planning for a few weeks, but the wedding is 4 months away and I need to actually start getting some stuff done. So the goal is list with dates and delegating need to happen this month. 
3. Clear out extra room clutter  I don't know how it happened but we have an extra bedroom that is so junked up with things that it's driving me crazy. I want to dedicate a weekend to organizing some of it if I can soon. 
4. Catch up on magazines  I have so many magazines that have piled up. I need to dedicate some time to reading them soon so I can make space. 
5. Take lunch 4 times a week  I used to be able to get away with not taking lunch at my old job because there was a micro kitchen with snacks. While my new job is so much more fulfilling now, there's no snacks and if I don't bring lunch, there's big risk of being talked into eating out, which I do not need. So meal planning and prepping needs to happen this month. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

December Book Club

Can you believe we are at the last book club of 2017? Crazy! I feel like this year has been our most solid yet. I feel like I've loved every book we've chosen and it was a much more collaborative year than more. I'm excited to see where this whole thing goes in 2018.

This month I suggested the book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I've talked about my love for TJR before on the blog, and was partially inspired by re-reading Maybe in Another Life for a podcast I guested on a few weeks ago. Jen was on board since she shared my love for TJR so this was a perfect pick. I think we will close out the end of the year strong with this book and I can't wait to chat about it soon.

What's it about?

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Be Gentle with Yourself

Hey friends! It's been a hot minute since we've done an outfit post but with the fall back it's even harder to squeeze those outfit photos in. It gets dark soooooo early!  Plus, I'm first to admit I turn into even more of a hermit when its cold outside.  I'm all about quilts and cat cuddles this time of year. 
Anyway, this time we want to talk a little about being gentle with yourself. 

As a teen I idolized B. Spears, therefore maintaining a size 0 was my number one goal so I could rock those low riders without sporting a muffin top. I did more crunches than I ever want to admit to.  During that age range I felt very self conscious about my smallish chest, an issue that couldn't be changed no matter what steps I took in my personal life short from surgery which I'm personally not into.  Now we are living further into the "Kardashian Society" and having crazy accentuated curves and highly contoured make up is where it's at.  The only way for me to appear "curvy" is to wear the highest waisted jeans known to man and I still don't come off super curvy.  Forget contouring - I'll never figure that out, just like I'll never figure out how to tame my messy waves. 
My point is styles are always evolving and changing and it's hard to keep up with everything.  Personally, I've always felt like the least cool kid in the room no matter how hard I try to keep up with the changing fashion and styles of the times.  I always feel like I'm a step behind the cool kids.

Being gentle towards yourself is hard.  You will always be your own worst critic and you definitely have to find what works best for you in ways of empowerment.  When I started on my fitness journey last year, I discovered I do really well with words of affirmation which is basically of fancy way of saying "TALK NICE TO YOURSELF".  I remind myself of my attributes and that people value more from me than how my hair looks and what clothes are on my body.  I remind myself that I'm a crafty ass bitch who can make Sailor Moon costumes for 7 year olds, who can make a crap ton of delicious mini pies for Thanksgiving, who can figure out how to dry wall an ENTIRE room with no experience, who can and has made a gazillion quilts, who has great pop culture knowledge and a dark sense of humor, and who co-runs their own fucking blog and book club.  I don't even need to see a picture of the person I'm describing to know she's probably the coolest person in the world.

For me, referring to myself as BeyoncĂ© once a day is usually enough to instill some confidence in myself.  It helps to get me out of my obsessive loops of self loathing or wishing this or that was different about my appearance or that I was more gifted with a make up brush or styling wand.  It also helps that this is one of my favorite outfits of all times and overalls instantly make me feel like myself.

{This is probably the best my hair has ever looked}

Overalls {Forever 21} / Bodysuit {Forever 21} / Booties {Qupid} / Pinsss {The Pink Samurai}

Do you ever feel like things look one way in your head and then another when you actually do them? I think that was the case for me with these photos. We took these after a long day of crafting the girls Halloween costumes (we really need to be better about taking photos!) and I had imagined these one way in my head and my gut reaction when editing them was not great. 

I thought my hair looked weird, the shirt was kind of twisted in most photos so you couldn't always see what it said, I thought I looked bigger than I felt. All kind of this blah feeling. Then I realized how easy it was to fall into these negative thought patterns. Part of it might be that my body related anxiety is through the roof recently with wedding dress shopping on the horizon, but I want to be gentle with myself. 

Gentleness, to me, is reminding myself that all of the things I'm wearing are my favorite things. This shirt from Everyday Unicorns is so great I bought it in two different styles. The cardigan is the softest thing I own, my jeggings make me feel like a curvy badass, and my booties are my trusty go to. While I'm not always going to love my body in photos, I can reframe my thoughts and reactions in a more helpful light. I do think the advice to talk to yourself like you would a friend is pretty solid.

I feel like this year I've really struggled with my body image/body acceptance and it's the reason it comes up so frequently when we do outfit posts. I know I'm not alone in the struggle and writing my feelings out tends to help me see them from another angle. I'm proud of my body and the things I'm wearing. I just need to remember it's ok to be gentle every now and then. 

Outfit Details 
Cardigan {Target} / Tee Shirt {Everyday Unicorns} / Jeggings {AE} / Booties {Target

Monday, November 27, 2017

October Reading List

I know, it's almost December and here we are with our reading list from October. I started a new job at the beginning of November, spent a weekend or two sick, and am finally feeling like I've found my footing enough to be on top of blog prep again. While we will have another one of these for November soon, here's everything we read in October.

Heather's Reading List 

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
I choose this for book club in October and it definitely did not disappoint. Look out for a discussion post on this one soon!

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Honestly, I did not finish this one. I was listening to the audiobook and the narrators were not my favorite. I made it almost halfway and just could not justify any more commute hours on something I was not into. I know a lot of people loved this, but it was just not for me.

Since She Went Away by David Bell
A library book I picked up after seeing it on a blog (I don't remember which one). It was a mystery about a woman who's best friend goes missing. The story is told from alternating points of view from Jenna, Celia's best friend, and Jared, Jenna's teenage son. It was a middle of the road thriller/mystery. I didn't guess the whodunit, but I also wasn't as engrossed in the story as I hoped to be.

Watching Edie by Camilla Way
Another thriller about a woman named Edie who encounters her high school friend Heather. Edie is not happy to see Heather, but as she gives birth to a baby alone, Heather swoops in to help. There's a sense of dread during this book. There are references to something that happened in high school that Edie wants to forget, and she's scared of Heather. It's told in chapters that take place in present day and the past, telling the story of how Edie and Heather became friends and leading up to what drove them apart. I really enjoyed this one.

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain by Courtney Robertson
Hi, raise your hand if you are also obsessed with the Bachelor franchise, as problematic as it can be? I read this one for an online book club, but had to watch Courtney's season first since I'd never seen it. I loved the sneak peaks behind the scenes of filming the show and the dirt she gives on Ben and the other contestants (and some of her Hollywood flings). It definitely gives you the other side of that villain role that someone always gets cast in every season and made me a huge fan of Courtney (for the most part).

Final Girls by Riley Sager
Maybe my favorite read in October! Slasher films are my favorite kind of horror films and with this one being suggested for fans of Scream, I was there for it. It follows Quincy, the sole survivor (or Final Girl) from a brutal cabin massacre in college. It's 10 years later and one of the other "final girls" commits suicide, prompting the remaining two to seek each other out. Some people on Goodreads said it was easy to figure out but it kept me guessing until the end. I seriously had no clue who committed the murders and it was another one that was really good at weaving that dread and mystery into the whole story.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 
I was on a really cool podcast called Judging Book Covers to discuss this one and it was such a cool experience! Not only was the podcast awesome (and already one of my favorites) but the book was so creepy and weird and unsettling. Also nothing like the 1999 movie The Haunting, which was my only frame of reference for this book. It's a classic horror novel and one that I cannot believe I didn't read until now.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks 
I received an advanced copy of this book (release date is in January) and actually am part of the blog tour for it soon, so a stand alone post on it will be published shortly! It was another thriller/mystery that had a lot of moving pieces but that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole way through.

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson
One of my favorite thrillers in the past few years was The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, so I definitely wanted to check this out. It was the authors first novel and it was not as good as The Kind Worth Killing, but still a pretty solid thriller. It centers around George, who sees his college sweetheart in a bar one random night. The only thing is he was under the impression she committed suicide. She now says he's the only one who can help her out of a bind and it starts a mystery that was good, but not great.

Jen's Reading List

This month was a solid mix of creepy reads and comics.  The last year or so I feel like I've lost my bookish groove but I really felt like I found my reading groove last month. 

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Heather picked this one for our book club pick. I'm sure we'll talk more about it in our wrap up, but oh man, I really loved this one.

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
So, full disclosure, this book is about vampires. Like a bunch of people who were just over vampires, I pretty much swore off any book involving them. But this book also involved an Amish community so that intrigued me.

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Oh man, this one was the creepiest of the creeps. I don't really believe in spirits or devils or supernatural things, even though I wish with all my hearts witches/wizards were real, but this one made me sort of rethink my thinking. Possessed kids, even if they are teenagers, will forever creep my shit out. 5 stars for me!

Slam! the comic
Ok, so it is no secret that I'm very fascinated by Roller Derby. Forever ago I even made a roller derby quilt and I continuously have big dreams of becoming a roller derby star. Obviously, with my small frame and nonaggressive personality it seems to be a weird combination but I not only think it would be a blast; I love the sisterhood that accompanies it. My town actually has a roller derby team and maybe one day I will get the courage to join a practice.  Anyway, this comic is about roller derby girls and their road to greatness. They canceled this comic after the first volume, however they have recently revamped it and new monthly comics are being produced. I can't wait to grab the next volume! This comic was also a birthday gift from my bestie who basically knows me better than anyone.

Giant Days, Volume 6
Giant Days is hands down my favorite comic and the new volumes always get preordered.  This comic never disappoints and I sincerely hope when these girls graduate college we still get to follow their lives. I will be lost when this comic ends.

Nothing Bad is Going to Happen by Katherine Hale
So this author has a very dramatic past in regards to book reviewers so for my own protection...just kidding. All the drama aside, I'm a huge fan of Katherine's work.  She has the ability to write the quirkiest of characters who I immediately bond with probably because I'm also super quirky. This book was actually the sequel in a 2 book series that I bought forever ago and forgotten about. 

Paper Girls Volumes 2 & 3
The last few months I've been picking a comic series to get caught up on. In October I chose Paper Girls because when I read the first volume it very much had a Stranger Things vibe and I absolutely love that show.  It's full of science fiction, sisterhood and creep. It's definitely sky rocketing up to a favorite series and I will be preording the new volumes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

October Rewind

Man, October was pretty much a blur for me, but I was able to read like 6 comics and 3-4 spooky books so I feel really great about that.  We'll dive more into this in our October Reading List post but it was a pretty great month for reading!

Even though this month was so busy, I was able to watch a lot of new things. Obviously, I binged Stranger Things 2, like every one else, and it was amazing. Baby Gorgons and Mom Steve had me at my happiest. I also fell in LOVE with Riverdale this month and I'm caught up on the current season. I'm like addicted to this show, I love it so much! If stand ups are more your jam then you should check out the Patton Oswalt's new Netflix special--its sad and funny at the same time.  And it's a little immature, but I also recommend Big Mouth, written by Nick Krull, et al. The hormone monsters are hilarious.  I even got to watch a crap ton of Halloween movies.

I listened to Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.  I really loved the narrator for the audio version. I didn't listen to a bunch of new things this month but I think I made up for that with all the reading and tv viewing I did instead.

Also this month 
Wedding Reception

So my sister got married at the end of August and we spent all of October reception planning to the max. Most of my free time was consumed by it, making decorations (SO MANY DECORATIONS), planting succulents for her reception favors, decorating and cleaning up the hall. It was intense, a good time and I'm so happy it's over so I can go back to my super chill life. Here's to a happy marriage to my sister and new brother!

Home Remodels
Somehow we were able to make some progress on our remodeling project. I'm just as surprised as you are.  But! We bought supplies to sand the room, my husband sanded it and then we primed it! We need to go in a fix the mud in a couple of places since the primer helps show you all your mistakes but we are so close to painting and picking out flooring that I can hardly stand it! 

Annual Hocus Pocus Girls Day
This day is one of my favorite October traditions.  We've had it going on for at least 5 years now and I just love it. Heather and the girls came over, with very appropriate Halloween themed cookies, we watched Hocus Pocus (duh) and this year Heather and I worked together to make the girls Sailor Guardians costumes. I was a little nervous about this venture, but the costumes turned out great and the girls were so cute! I'm always so excited to be a part of the best friend's gang.

October is when I try to focus on spooky reads and I feel like I was able to fit in a few good ones. I think my favorite would be Final Girls by Riley Sager. It was billed as being like Scream and it seriously did not disappoint. I know a lot of people felt like they saw the ending coming but I didn't and was pleasantly surprised by the "whodunit" reveal.  

Again, spooky movies featured heavily in our rotation this month. I watched a lot of good and bad ones but I really enjoyed starting The Sopranos, which is not really spooky but is very good. We just finished season 1 and I'm super excited to dive in to the next season ASAP. 

I've been on a huge podcast kick and My Brother, My Brother, and Me has been my go to lately on my commutes. I want something light and fun when I'm commuting since my job was really starting to weigh on me, I didn't really want anything else to wear me down, which my true crime podcasts can sometimes do. Listening to these silly brothers is basically the best. 

Also this month 

Best Friend Traditions
So Jen is basically the best ever and spent most of our Hocus Pocus girls day sewing Sailor Guardian costumes for Emily and Morgan. The girls loved it and it was so fun to spend time creating with my bestie (even though she did most of the work!). I love our bestie traditions and it's crazy that this is our like 6th or 7th year watching Hocus Pocus with the girls. 

October is the month for weddings. First up was Jarrett's cousin who had a cute outdoor wedding and a fun reception with tons of food and drinks. The girls danced the night away and we got to catch up with his family who we don't get to see a lot. Then the weekend after Jen's sister had her reception. I took photos for them (just some basic family group poses) and then ate the crap out of the taco bar. Plus I got to spend even more time with Jen so I call that a win!  

New Job Alert! 
I was offered a new job on Halloween and I was so excited! I had interviewed with 5 different places in October and the job I accepted was the one I was most hoping for. Interviewing can be a nightmare and I went back and forth on feeling good about my options then terrified that I would be stuck in a call center forever. I'm so grateful for the new opportunity and finding out on Halloween, my favorite holiday, was the cherry on top of it all. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

November Small Goals

I feel like every month I start out by saying "How is it already _____ month?!" but seriously, how is this year almost over?! I'm ready for 2018, I think it's going to be a better year for me personally and I'm excited to see what change and growth I'm able to manifest in the coming year. We do still have some time to kick some small goal ass in 2017 so let's do this! As always, we are linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl so go check out all the other goal getters this month.

Jen's October Small Goals 
1. Carve a pumpkin.  Man, this month was bananas and I was just too worn out by Halloween weekend to get it done. Plus, it's irrational but I don't know if I can destroy a pumpkin. Ok, I finally said it.
2. Make a Fabric Backdrop.  Done. I finished this and several other decorations my sister requested. It was a whirl wind of a month.
3.  Buy Sanding Supplies. Not only did we buy the supplies, we sanded and primed the room. BOOM!
4.  Spending Lockdown. Ok, so real talk. I have a spending problem and cracked within the first week. I bought some new jeggings from Old Navy and few things from Forever 21 but I'm been on serious lockdown ever since and I just paid my credit card off and I have no intention of charging anything for a while. Eliminating a debt always feels so freeing.
5.  Workouts. Ugh, this month I felt so accomplished, but I didn't develop a great routine. The first week I did ok but then I just started feeling too busy and overwhelmed to continue. This one feels really disappointing.

2/5 - Man, that's not great but I still feel like I accomplished way more in October than I expected so I'm not going to be too hard on myself.
November Small Goals 

1. Reupholster my hope chest. So I have this pretty cool chest that lives at the end of my bed where I keep bed linens and whatnot.  It has a fabric covered top and the fabric is ripped and doesn't look very pretty.  I've already bought some fabric to replace it so I'm going to purpose to get that done this month.
2. Catch up on Rat Queens comics.  When I first started reading comics I just tried out a bunch of different styles and now I'm trying to go back and catch up on series of ones I really loved.  In August/September I did Squirrel Girl and in October I did Paper Girls. This month its going to be all about the Rat Queens.
3.  Hello Autumn Cube.  Last month I finished a smallish season cross stitch pattern that belongs to a set of patterns. I can get a little OCD about finishes sets of patterns the same way. I've already done Spring & Summer and turned them into fabric cubes and autumn's pattern has the same fate.
4.  Cross stitch ornaments.  December can get so crazy that it can be hard to have time to create any decorations to add in with your already growing collection. I try to craft a little something new each year to add with my Christmas stuff. Anyway, at the beginning of the year I made one cross stitch ornament and I loved how whimsical and on brand it looked so I'm going to try to pick a few pieces from previous patterns to turn them into ornaments. Crafty and thrifty! I promise to stop talking about cross stitch now.
5.  Workout 3 days a week.  I know! I sound like a broken record between working out and cross stitch but I really feel like getting a solid workout in a few days a week is really beneficial for mind and body. I can put a little time a side to get this done. I need it!

Heather's October Small Goals 
1. Figure out my new Style ID Done! I've settled on "Comfortable Start Up Chic" which I'm super in love with and feels like it fits perfectly for this time in my life. I've worked in a start up environment for a few years now and I like the way it marries casual with professional outfits, which is right where my style lives honestly. 
2. Finish knitting my sweater Nope. I ended up having to order some new needles for the sweater arms and progress has been slow. I'm hoping to get this finished by the end of the year. 
3. Make Halloween costumes for the girls (with Jen's help!) Yep! Jen did most of the work honestly, and the girls LOVED their Sailor Guardian costumes. Plus we got to spend a day crafting and eating cookies so it was a win/win/win in my book. 
4. Complete "Instagram for Success" course Done! While I don't plan to use my Instagram for business, I did get a lot of tips and tricks out of this course, so it was totally worth the small investment for it. 
5. Do all the fall things  I don't know if I did all the fall things, but I did a lot of them. We drank cider most nights, carved pumpkins, watched horror movies almost every night, went on some hikes. It was perfect. 


November Small Goals 
1. Start my new job Guys, I feel like I've been searching for a new job forever and I finally landed one! This might seem like an easy goal, but I'm nervous and excited to move on and try something new. 
2. Pay off two credit cards I've got a few credit cards and I'm wanting to pay them off by the end of the year. I'd like to knock two of them out this month if I can. 
3. Make a Christmas list I'm a list maker and I need to start planning my gifts for this year for the girls, Jarrett, Jen, ect. so I have a plan and am not scrambling last minute. 
4. Host the Second Annual Friendsgiving Last year we had a small Friendsgiving and it was so fun! I want to have another one this year so fingers crossed we can make it happen! 
5. Finish my birthday goals list I make yearly goals on my birthday and I'm hoping to try something new with it this year. I need to firm up my goals by the end of the month (I cannot believe I'm about to be 31!)

Friday, November 3, 2017

November Book Club

Hey book lovers! I can't believe we are at our second to last book club selection for the year! I feel like it's been a solid year of book club selections and I'm excited to see how next year shapes up. But before that happens, Jen was able to find a book I forgot I was excited about: Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios. We actually read another book by this author for book club in 2015 (I think) and we both really loved it, so I'm excited to dive in. 

What's it about? 

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape. 

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Finally Fall

Oh fall, where art thou? Missouri weather is forever disappointing. We were basically pretending it's fall around here and them BAM helllllllo 30 degrees. Like as I write this I'm wearing a Casper hoodie and I'm wrapped in a quilt. I don't understand it and I don't love it; but the warm temps haven't stopped me from trying to make use of my fall wardrobe anyway.   

Mixing prints isn't my normal jam. I always love it when I see it on others or in magazine but every time I put something together I feel like it's a full on Monet.  But I absolutely loved the pairing of these patterns together and I think this outfit has been improved from my previous versions of it. This outfit has all my favorite things, stripes and florals and booties and socks. I've really been into using socks more in my outfits this fall and not just because of the chilly mornings.

I have naturally curly hair but I don't love it because its a big ole mess so I spend a lot of time straightening it in ways that would make Jennifer Aniston proud.  But lately I've been trying out some waves to mix up those straight days because to quote Nikki Glaser, "I'm not fucking Jennifer Aniston" nor will I ever look as good with stick straight hair as she does. Paraphrasing of course.

Urban Outfitters isn't a brand I shop a ton of mostly because I'm not quite cool enough. But I'm still on their emailing list and I'm constantly ogling things so when this went on sale I decided  to be brave. UO is basically my Delias from the 90s. Super cute stuff but just a tad out of my price range. I really love this dress. It gives me all the 90's witch vibes and I actually feel like a cool teen in it which is basically my biggest life goal. Plus it has pockets, y'all know how important that is to me.

Bodysuit {Forever 21-simlar} / Dress {Urban Outfitters} / Boots {Qupid}

While the title of this blog is "Finally Fall" I think Missouri skipped over it completely because it was cold as heck when I was walking the two blocks from my parking spot to my office this morning. Even so, I think fall outfits are my favorite to style. This jean jacket I snagged on Poshmark a few months ago has been in heavy rotation for weeks now. I never thought I'd love a denim jacket so much but it's so easy to make an outfit look put together when I throw it on. 

I've also been making my way through the Feel Good, Dress Better workbook and have been struggling to find my new Style ID. I think I've finally settled on "Comfortable Start Up Chic". It popped into my head one day and since I work at kind of a large company with a start up feel, I felt like it definitely encompasses where I'm at right now. I want to look put together but comfortable at work and most of my wardrobe can double as work/weekend wear anyway. I feel pretty good about this Style ID, but I'm open to tweaks as well. 

These pants are my new favorite thing. Jarrett said I looked like I was going to karate when I went to meet Jen for blog photos, but what does he know about ~fashion~ anyway? I love this whole look and it makes me feel confident yet stylish and cool. Also, how dope is this shirt from Everyday Unicorns by Valery Brennan? I have it in both black and white, v-neck and crew neck. What can I say, I like tshirts and I like options and I love when they have a feminist message. 

Outfit Details
Jacket {Poshmark} / Tshirt {Everyday Unicorns} / Pants {Zara} / Shoes {similar