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.