who wouldn't want to do the camino de santiago with their mom?

Ouftit Post: I Could Have Danced All Morning

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Umph. Some mornings it is difficult to feel motivated to get up. This is especially true when you previously had a bad day and know that today will most likely not be better. Obstacles are guaranteed to meet you as soon as you step through work's door. Add on top of that grey weather and it is hard to see a reason to get out of a warm bed.

Today's outfit all began with picking out a sweater. To make my day brighter I decided I need to wear yellow. My yellow cardigan is bright and adds a much needed extra layer when greeting fall weather. Once I had my cardigan selected, I knew I also needed to wear a bottom that made me smile. I pulled out my Modcloth Essential Elegance skirt (i can't help but think of Audrey Hepburn when I look at this skirt), added a black turtleneck and I felt ready to dance. The yellow was helping me feel warmth and the skirt made me twirl. When the day seems to greet you with a frown, sometimes you need to wear something that makes you smile.

Cooper could not help but join in the dancing. 

Cardigan: J Crew. Turtleneck: Thrifted. Skirt: Modcloth. 



Get Up! Check In

Added on by bebe pies.

Just shy of a month ago, I posted about my attempts to stand more and sit less. I thought it would be good to do a check-in to see where I am thriving and where I am failing in my goal.

Thriving: Work. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am lucky that part of my job entails digitizing old reels of audio. Some lazy mornings I really just want to sit as the audio plays and I take notes. But for the most part I stick to my standing for at least half of the my morning work. I fit in some stretch time too! It's not really a fluid stretch routine due to the note taking, but it has been crazy beneficial in keeping my neck and back aches in check. In the afternoon I tend to do some data entry, scanning, and research. This is all based at a desktop computer. I don't have to try too hard to remember to get up every hour or so cause I drink tons of tea and it leads to many bathroom breaks. It's a nice little walk to the bathroom and a quick stretch or two before sitting down again at the desk. I feel more productive overall. The quick breaks also help my mind and brain refocus when I am back at my desk.

Failing: Home. My puppy still helps keep me up and moving (much more than I would if she were not there). We take a long walk every evening. BUT, i do feel tired when I get home from work and this has lead to sitting and watching tv. Gone are the stretches and/or short exercises. I lie to myself and say 'You get lots of exercise in your walk to work and dog walking'. Really, I have just been tired and easily flake out on doing things I know are good for me.

Thriving: Weekends. Overall, my weekends have been more active. Again, this is in large thanks to my awesome puppy. Weekends are spent on longer walks and extra playtime.

Results: The less sitting at work has lessened the headaches and back aches I get at work. This is great! I am more tired when I get home from work, but I think this has more to do with the changing of the seasons and my current lazy diet. I haven't been eating as well as I should and I believe there is a direct relation to my current energy levels.

Resolution: Keep the current strategy for work. At home, slowly incorporate some exercise into your tv time. Increase that time each week.

#fashiontruth

Added on by bebe pies.

Puppies like to attack bowler hats. #fashiontruth

Online retailer Modcloth has started a #fashiontruth campaign. The moment I heard about the #fashiontruth campaign I felt inspired to write out a long list of my personal fashion truths. I personally prefer the term style truths. Fashion is too associated with an industry that is built on belittling, classism, racism,  and money money money. But, that is one of the reasons the #fashiontruth campaign is awesome - it is taking concrete steps to break free from the negativity that can surround fashion. 

I am sharing my personal fashion truths on Instagram. My list of fashion truths is comprised of the irrelevant (puppies and bowler hats) and truths I truly feel are shunned by the fashion industry (batwings are not something to be ashamed of). What are some of your fashion truths?

Long Distance Love

Added on by bebe pies.

Why don't most people formally ask people out on dates anymore? It's fun! When in a long distance romance it is easy to let some of the romance slip. You don't have much time together  so you kinda just hibernate inside your cocoon (aka. apartment). While I do love cocooning, it is also good to go out on a date night from time to time. I decided to ask my bf out on a date and sent him the invite pictured above. I already bought the movie tickets! That's right, we are going for the classic movie and dinner date. Now I just have to pick out my outfit. 

Making a Home: The Bathroom

Added on by bebe pies.

Bathroom when I moved in. 

What to do when you have a dull bathroom and 1. Do not have extra money 2. Can not paint? This is the dilemma I found myself in when I moved into my new apartment. Let's be honest, this bathroom is dullsville. It is also very small. You may notice it is also missing a mirror. For some reason the previous tenant took the above the sink mirror with them. So, first things first, you get a mirror. After that you recycle and reuse! 

I decided when I moved into my current apartment that I was only going to get things that were absolutely necessarily and as much as possible buy those necessities used. We live in a culture of consumption that considers anything that has been with us a year or two as old. To find the things I needed for my apartment I constantly turned to Kijiji. Combining what I already owned with some thrifted items i purchased, I attempted to create a more cheery bathroom. At least one that has a semblance of a personality. 

Bathroom After. Photo taken on different day.

I am grateful to have found a tiny metal organizer that fits perfectly into the bathroom. This helps keep the sink and windowsill from becoming cluttered. Lucky for me the organizer was too small for someone else. I already had some bright colored hand towels and face clothes so I decided to put them all on display. I needed to get some color into the bathroom. The brown color scheme seemed like a bad choice. Seriously, brown. bathroom. no. 

Cheap Bathroom Makeover Tip: A cheery bathmat can make a huge difference. The addition of the owl bathmat makes me happy. The eye goes directly to the owl and you smile. 

The window in the bathroom does not open; I decided to put the shutters to use and hang some of my go-to hair and neck scarves. This detail mainly helps my outfits look cuter. Bonus: they add some more color to the boring brown bathroom. 

That's it. Just some small tweaks and the bathroom feels a little more like me. In total this injection of bathroom personality cost me $22. 

 

Taking control of my (digital) life. Pt.2

Added on by bebe pies.

A couple of weeks ago, I discussed how I was attempting to take control over my digital life. It is all a part of simplifying my daily life in general. Part of taking control over my digital life was assessing what websites/blogs I visited out of habit more than actual interest. Was it time to break up from a site that I had either outgrown or lost interest in?

Of course it was! Why was I spending so much time scanning stuff that barely interested me when I could spend more time reading things that did? Habit. I was scanning out of habit. There were certain blogs that had changed their focus and while I respected the growth and new direction the blogger was taking, I was no longer interested in the topic of choice. So, I stopped visiting. Then there were sites I visited daily that I could easily cut back to one, maybe two, visits a week to get the gist of what was happening. I streamlined my online visits. Well...sort of. I still love to fall down an internet rabbit hole of discovery. That is one of the funniest things one can do on the internet.

I have to give a most hardy of recommendations to taking time to think about your daily internet visits. We do so much out of habit that I think we barely digest what is in front of us. For me, that was the case. I was spending much more time scanning rather than reading. This lead to me never remembering what i had spent so much of my time looking at once I stepped away from the screen.

Outfit Post: Back to School, 1940s Style

Added on by bebe pies.

I currently work on a university campus. Classes do not start till Thursday but university life is already in full bloom. There are frosh groups chanting, new student tours, and extra trash on the sidewalk due to the turn over of apartments from old students to new. With all the new student action, I felt inspired to wear my back to school dress. It is a vintage dress, estimated to be from the 1940s. I love the large buttons and forest green color of the dress. Whenever I wear the dress I having a feeling of excitement for what the future might bring. Giant buttons make me optimistic. Cooper does not seem to be as impressed with the dress as I am. 

For the record, I did wear shoes to work. They were cute flats that developed a hole at the left big toe while I was walking to work. I was very sad to see the hole. 

Dress: Vintage from Qs Daydream 

1983, it was a very good year

Added on by bebe pies.

Part of my current job is archiving all the ephemera associated with the community radio station I work for. It is a super fun job. Part of the fum is in discovering old music charts. Not only is it fascinating to see how one station interpreted a certain year, I personally get to discover new music. Last week, I came across a chart for the top albums for 1983. Boy oh boy! Was it a fantastic summer for music at a community radio station. You have David Bowie, Talking Heads, New Order, Sparks, Berlin, and so so so much more. I decided that this album chart needed to become a playlist and made one for all to revel in. Let the new wave wash over you as you begin your work week. 


The Women

Added on by bebe pies.

Last night i was feeling a little blue. i needed inspiration. I decided to throw on the 1939 film 'The Women' to hear some smart talking ladies and revel in the glory of hats. I decided I should repost a previous blog post that was dedicated to the film.

Lately, Saturdays have been spent treating myself to rewatching (and discovering in some cases) some of my favorite films that would be deemed Classic Cinema . Most recently I revisited the 1939 film version of 'The Women'. The reason I reached for 'The Women' is I wanted to revisit the amazing hats that Rosalind Russell's character sports, and the fantastic 30s gowns that are displayed throughout the film. 

While I was watching the film I became captivated by some of my favorite quotes from the film. The script is sharp as a razor! 

"I'm an old maid. A frozen asset" 

"I'm an old woman, my dear. I know my sex"

"A man has only one escape from his old self; to see a different self in the mirror of some woman's eyes"

"I'm divinely happy" 

"There's a name for you ladies but it isn't used in high society outside a kennel" 

One of the revolutionary elements of 'The Women' is the fact that not one man appears on screen. The focus is on marriage and infidelity from the women's point of view. The film also highlights the negative effect false friends can have on a person's life. While it is true that the film showcases some of the women as gossip hungry felines, it is a good lesson for any person to learn that a friend who can not be genuinely happy for you (and would rather delight in your misery) is no friend. 

"We've always given each other our best and I won't qualify that relationship now. It's wrong, shockingly wrong" 

"I bet that made him sore. A man hates to be told that no woman but his wife would be fool enough to love him"

"They lost their equilibrium 'cause they lost their faith in love" 

I find it intriguing that 'The Women', without showing a single male character, puts on display male vanity and weakness. The cause of infidelity within the film is often a case of an ego in need. It's not enough to have a loving wife, a man needs to feel wanted and attractive to other women. When the man realizes he has made a mistake, his ego will not allow him to tell his wife as much. 

 I would be lying if I did not admit that one of the great joys of watching the film comes from seeing the divine clothing on display. The Women live in a fantasy world that is constructed of glamorous outfits, hair that is styled to perfection, and jungle red nails. Gosh, I wish I could maintain nice looking hands.

Outfit Post: Miss Havisham, the early years

Added on by bebe pies.

This is an old dress I got off ebay. The dress was originally sold in Anthropologie stores. When I first purchased the dress I had long hair. Whenever I wore the summer dress I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland. Sweet and a little curious; ready to get some dirt on the dress from adventuring.

When I wear the dress with short hair I feel like a young Miss Havisham. I am clinging to romantic ideals but there is the sense that I allow my ideals to turn into disillusions. While Miss Havisham is commonly portrayed with long hair, I like to think that at a young age she would have chopped her hair off herself as a tragically romantic gesture. All of this is to say that I love this dress and how much it allows my imagination to create a character from it.

Long Distance Anniversary

Added on by bebe pies.

The bf and I are long distance. We have been long distance for large chunks of our time together. I am not going to lie; it stinks. Long distance is hard and often leads to feelings of loneliness. The bf and I have never been able to celebrate our anniversary on the day of our anniversary. I always find this a bummer cause I like celebrating things. So, what do you do to celebrate when you are apart and don't have much money? 

You send cute email messages and plan what you will do when you are together. It would be fantastic to receive flowers or some outlandish surprise but those things cost money when you are not in the same city. Sweet reminders that your honey bunny is thinking of you are perfect till you are together again. In person we plan to celebrate with ice cream cake and dressing fancy. To me, that is perfection. 

Get Up!

Added on by bebe pies.

I can't stop thinking about the recent studies that suggest that too much sitting is terrible for humans. I sit at work. I sit at home. I sit when I go out (unless I am dancing). This is not good.

It is estimated that most people in The United States sit 50-70 percent of the time during the day. Even people who consider themselves active and exercise regularly are not shielded from the dangers of sitting. The amount of time we spend sitting in a day can lead to a significant rise in our risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and of dying prematurely. Some articles began referring to siting as the new smoking. These studies, and the articles they produced, made me stop and think about the amount of time I spend sitting. My unscientific study of myself lead me to realize I sit a lot. Too much. It is time for some change.

Observation: It is difficult not to sit too much. Many of us have jobs that are focused around us staring at computer screens on desks built for sitting. I do not work at an office that allows for the choice of a standing desk, nor do I have the funds to invest in one for myself. Still, I am not going to allow my job to force me to sit more than is healthy causing my body to rapidly decay ( I should note that I am not sure how much sitting is too much sitting. I am just focused on sitting less). Of course there is the sitting while at home. There is no real excuse for being totally sedentary at home if you have the ability to move your body. I have been working on some remedies to my over-sitting problem and so far they seem to be working.

Step 1: Stand at my desk at work. I am lucky. My job at the moment involves me digitizing old audio from tape reels. I also have to listen to old audio that was previously archived. While it would be easy to sit while doing this work, I now try to stand for a big portion of it. There really is no reason for me to sit while I listen to old interviews. I can lean over while I make notes.

Step 2: Stretch breaks at work. I tend to get sore shoulders and an irritated neck while I am at work. This is definitely in part because my desk and chair do not align very well. When I start to feel tension building (and I have a small space available to me) I will take a quick stretch break. This has aided in getting me up from my desk AND has reduced the number of headaches I get during the work week.

Step 3: Walking. I have a puppy. She is awesome. One of the benefits of having a puppy is that you naturally walk more.  It has become  part of my daily routine. I have gradually increased the length of our walks. Walking definitely takes away from time I would spend in front of the tv and this is a good thing. Just another way dogs rule – they are good for your health.

Another way to add in walking is to walk to work. Once again i am lucky, I live close enough to work that I can walk to and from the work day everyday.  If you ride public transit to work, try to stand for your commute.

Step 4: Stretching during tv time. I am beginning to do some simple stretches when I first start to watch tv in the evening. I don't want to give the false impression that I am doing a full blown yoga routine while Brooklyn Nine-Nine plays in the background. I am mostly sticking to this easy, 15 minute routine from Real Simple. 15 minutes is still better than no minutes. While I have been working on stretching more this entire year, I was often breaking up the stretch time from tv time. Sometimes this would lead me to rushing through the stretches so that I could quickly get to sitcom watching time. By combining the two I tend to spend more time in each stretch.

Basically, if you want to sit less you have to find ways to navigate away from the chair. That comfy comfy chair.

Taking control of my (digital) life

Added on by bebe pies.

I have decided to take control of my digital life. I don't know about you, but too often I spend wasted time on sites I don't even really like. These sites have merely become a daily habit. The pathetic part of it all is that some of them just frustrate and/or annoy the beejesus out of me. Why I am spending time on things that reduce pleasure from my life instead of actively engaging with content I find entertaining, useful, enlightening and informative? It's time to take the control back in my digital life. For me, this is a step by step process. Today I am sharing my experiences with making it through Step 1.

Step 1: Limit my Facebook use.

Confession: I don't know why I spend so much time on facebook. It rarely makes me happy or excited. I don't go there for my news or to learn. Am I merely spying on the lives of my friends? Well, the lives that they present on fb that is. That  just seems creepy. Wait, is facebook making me a creep?

I am not at a point where I want to delete fb out of my life entirely. I still have faraway friends that I like to keep up with. I do enjoy seeing some of the photo albums that friends post. Yes, yes, there is Instagram for photos - but I also love it when someone takes the time to craft an amusing photo album complete with pithy anecdotes on facebook. I also still enjoy receiving event invitations via facebook. It is an easy way to stay in the know of social events. I still see some value in having a Facebook account. 

What I have come to realize is that there is no reason to visit facebook multiple times throughout the day. It is a time drain and often one that raises my blood pressure. I will admit it to the fact that I get insanely annoyed at a lot of the junk that is shared on fb. Is it dumb to get annoyed at harmless memes? Dang right it is! Yet, the fact remains that I do. Why not just cut the useless content out of me life?

The Remedy: I only go on facebook 3 quick times a day. I am working to getting it down to two. There really was no need for the constant fb reloading in my life. Wait, there was one….

I used to send messages back and forth throughout the day with my bf. We live in different cities and he doesn't really use a cell phone. Facebook provided a quick and easy way to share silly stuff we knew the other would like and to let each other know what was happening in our day. This was the main reason I would be on facebook multiple times throughout the day.

Remedy # 2: email. Simple, right? Now we just email each other throughout the day and the act of receiving the message is not cluttered with all the information in my fb newsfeed. I am loving this simple solution. Also, this has cut out the issue of fb being the first site I would load in the morning.

So far the taking control over my facebook habit is going great! I am sticking to my limit of 3 visits a day. This first step in gaining control over my digital life has lead me to start cutting out some of the other daily online visits I seem to lurk out of habit more than anything else. Next week I will discuss my complicated online relationship with Pitchfork. 

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Flowers.jpg

"Life is the flower for which love is the honey." 

- Victor Hugo

Between my last contract job and my current position, I took a trip home to visit my parents. One of the things I love about my parents home is their backyard and the garden that grows there. There is a luxury to being able to step out of your backdoor and smell sweet summer flowers blooming, and hear birds chirping while they fill their bellies from bird feeders. I am going to miss having the ability to pick a small bunch of flowers to bring into the home to brighten it up. 

Making a home

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TibetanTerrierPuppy

Once again I have found myself moving to a new city and apartment. It seems the modern way of working is transitioning from one contract job to another. Attempting to make a home in a rented apartment always presents challenges. Will the landlord allow you to paint? What life hacks will help you create more storage space?  Moving to a new apartment that you are only guaranteed to live in for eight months presents a couple extra challenges (could, perhaps, become longer but at the moment of move in you do not know). How many possible changes do you make to the rented space? Do you invest in a piece of furniture you love when you know you will have to move it in the not too distant future? How do you make your rented apartment feel more like a comfortable home on a tight budget? 

I am about to attempt to make my new apartment a home for me and Agent Cooper (my Tibetan Terrier puppy). At this moment i have clothes splayed all over the floor, empty walls, and some furniture randomly organized in my living room. Thank goodness for Apartment Therapy and Pinterest for never-ending design inspiration and DIY suggestions. It's easy for me to hunker down and just live out of suitcases, but it is much nicer to work to make a new space a home. 

Sunday's Simple Pleasures

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In an ideal world, Sunday is a day for relaxation, reflection, and simple pleasures. When weather allows, Sunday is a day meant for long walks and enjoying the outdoors. To bring a little sunshine in, I picked these sweet pastel hued flowers to sit next to me as I enjoyed lunch. It's difficult not to smile when looking at them. 

"'Just living is not enough", said the butterfly, "One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower'"

                                                                     -Hans Christian Anderson