Win $200 from Silk Road Collection


I’m very excited about this contest, so thought I’d share it with my readers. Silk Road Collection is a New Orleans-based company that has a bustling online store, serving customers all over the world. As their name suggests, they sell Asian antiques and home decor, and they’ve got some really fun pieces on their site in a range of prices. From now until December 24th, they’re sponsoring a contest on Pinterest, where you can win a $200 gift certificate just by creating a pin board of Asian-inspired holiday decor. It’s a fun and easy way to score a great deal on something lovely for your home.


Outfit for My Friend’s Croatian Wedding

My vacation is looming closer, and I couldn’t be happier to be getting the hell out of dodge. So far, I’ve got all of my travel accounted for (though I still have to purchase train tickets for travelling in Italy). My hotels/hostel are lined up, I have a good idea of the times I’ll be travelling, and over the last few weeks, I’ve been spending time putting together a mental list of the outfits I’ll be bringing with me.

I’m travelling with only a backpack, so it’s imperative to travel light. That wouldn’t be too much of a problem, save for the wedding I’m attending. It’s a conundrum – I could pack light and tight, with the tiniest of flat sandals and a lightweight dress, or I could be a stunner and bring heels, a cute jacket, etc. The deciding factor is that it’s one of my best friends, and I simply cannot go to her wedding looking just so-so. Especially not if I’m travelling half way around the world for the event!

I bought a cute dress on ModCloth a few weeks ago, and was generally happy with it, but not exactly overjoyed. It’s cute, see?

ModCloth - Sweet Peacock Dress

I even went out and found a pretty little green sweater to wear with it, but something about the outfit just didn’t seem right to me still. I know, that’s very vague, but when I put everything on I felt cute, but not excited or pretty. Just meh. I think it might be because the bodice has all of the extra fabric criss-crossing it, and it makes me look poofy. Lord knows, I don’t need any extra padding on a sundress!

So today I went out shopping, with the intention of buying some cat food and maybe a pair of gold heels to go with the peacock dress. Instead, I ended up going by Francesca’s and finding this gorgeous little sundress that is absolutely perfect in every way (although it kind of looks like a QR code if you’re staring at it too intently). The best part about the dress is that while I can definitely dress it up for the wedding, I’ll be able to wear it elsewhere during my vacation, getting me multiple days’ worth of clothing in one fell swoop.

Francesca's - Downriver Dress

Downriver Dress by Francesca's

I shopped for an appropriate cardigan/jacket for a couple of hours before finding one that looks a lot like this, without the buttons, in a thin cotton that drapes really nicely. Imagine a few more folds at the longest front part – there’s more material, so it’s got some flair without competing with the pattern of the dress too much. In the dressing room it was a straight toss up on whether I looked like a cool art gallery manager or if I was edging into frumpy, so I actually dredged up the courage to ask the other women in the dressing room for their opinions. It was a fun fashion moment, and they all agreed that with the right pair of heels, I would be unstoppable (or something to that effect).

Drape Tencel Jacket from YouHeShe

An hour later, I was prancing home with the PERFECT heels, bought at a steal. While trying them on and deliberating in front of the mirror, a lady with a thick German accent stopped to tell me how lovely the shoes were, and that I should definitely buy them. I took that as a sign from the Universe that the look, once pulled together, would be a success. Check out these babies – they’re a little more industrial than my normal taste, but they really do lend an edgy, artistic air to a dress that would otherwise be a sunny little number for the beach.

Unlisted Web Maker

Unlisted Web Maker

I think I might end up wearing these cute earrings I just won on auction at my newest obsession site, Tophatter. They’re sterling silver, and made by an Etsy dealer named AnniePants. What do you think – funky enough?

Hammered Sterling Silver Swirly Hoops


43 Days: Evening

Long day, and I’m exhausted.  Actually considering hitting the hay considerably earlier than usual tonight.  That may have to do with my limited food intake today, or the fact that most of my sustenance today was juice so my body’s probably starting to detox.  Or it might just have to do with the super-awesome-intense Spin class I went to this evening.

This morning was juice (carrot, apple & ginger) for breakfast, but for lunch I had organic squash soup, some lovely baguette, and brie.  First dinner was more juice (this time beet, ginger, carrot, pineapple, and apple), then about an hour later I ate three eggs scrambled in a bit of olive oil.

I rode my new/old bike for the first time tonight.  My boyfriend bought it for me from his old landlord, and it’s a cute old bike, red, with fenders and a basket.  It’s not a cruiser – it’s got skinny tires that I would normally call racing tires, but it also has brakes like kids bikes do, the ones where you have to backpedal to get the bike to stop.  Consequently I ran headfirst into a (very prickly) bush this afternoon to avoid running out into traffic.  Passersby laughed hysterically.  Oh, who am I kidding – I laughed hysterically.  It turns out I’m complete shite at braking without hand brakes.  I might have to get this thing converted before I hurt myself, but we’ll give it a couple of more tries before giving up completely.

Like I said before, Spin was ridiculously cool.  The teacher played mostly hip hop, which I appreciated since normally Spin classes tend to go more club/techno and that can get annoying.  I prefer the slightly angrier song selection so I can work that energy into my routine.  My hips and back hurt a little bit, but overall I feel good.  I love that Spin is a lot like dancing on a bike, and I always work up a fantastic sweat.  I feel so accomplished just by living through a class! One of the songs that was played was brand new to me, and I ended up coming home and watching it a few times on Youtube – Beyonce’s “Run the World”.  I love the dance routines & costumes on this one.

Also, since this blog entry seems to be in no particular order, I finished putting together my company’s Flickr page today.  You can see it here if you’re at all interested in pretty interior design photos.

And did you know that Steve Madden has great customer service?  I recently won a contest through their Facebook site, in which I got a year’s subscription to Paper Magazine and a 35% off coupon for use on their website.  Part of the process of winning involved phone conversations and emails back and forth with the nicest guy, Dan, who works in their marketing department.  Then I ordered some shoes this weekend, and accidentally used the wrong credit card (oops!).  I got an email today saying that my order didn’t go through, and if I wanted help I could call their toll-free number for assistance, but in the end I decided not to since I really shouldn’t be spending more money on clothes right now.  I just deleted the email and went back to work, but an hour or two later, got a call from the company, asking if everything was OK and if I would rather use a different credit card to ensure my order went through.  Such a refreshing moment in this age of automated shopping carts.  So of course I ponied up and bought the damn shoes even though I said I wasn’t going to.  These are the two pairs I got – rather basic but I only own two pairs of flats, and one is leopard print, so these will work well for me.

"Krusshh" in Raspberry Suede, by Steve Madden. You can't see it here, but the back has a cute little gold zipper and a tassel in the same color as the shoe. I like that the low sides look a little like khussas.

"Kingdom" in Blush Patent, by Steve Madden. Prim and proper, and just what I need for the skinny jeans I will be fitting into by my birthday.

That’s all the energy I’ve got, folks.  On to bed.  Kisses!

Running Out of Time

Wow, I’ve really been sucking lately.  I’ve got 44 days until my 30th birthday, and I haven’t weighed myself since the day of my last post.  Pretty sure I haven’t lost any weight – in fact, given my diet over the last week, I’ve probably added on a few pounds.  That’s no big deal, though, because I have a plan.  I spent half of the day today logging in a very detailed plan for every day of the next month, including exercise, work, and play.  From now on this is all about getting into the best shape of my adult life, as well as starting to train to run again, finishing a few projects I’ve had in the works for WAY too long, and building a social life while I’m at this.

Also, this week I bought some products that I wasn’t going to use at first, but now that I’m thinking about it I feel like I deserve to splurge on.  I’m going to be trying out the Bliss FatGirl Treatment Set, something that I’ve always been a little reluctant to try mostly because of the name (so demeaning), but have also heard great reviews on.  Despite the name, they’re not actually ‘fat’ treatments, they’re for diminishing cellulite and firming skin, two things I’d love to see happen in my massive butt region.  I had heard great things about the different products in the kit – Fat Girl Slim, Fat Girl Scrub, and Fat Girl Sleep.  I’ve abstained from buying them for a few years because they’re pretty expensive, and also lately I’ve been trying to go all organic with my body care products.  However, since gotten healthier with my skincare routine, my skin has never felt more slack or sad.  Maybe that’s all about diet and exercise (probably), but since I’m getting old and feeling icky, I feel like I’d rather take the chance on toxins and feel pretty for a little while.  I know, so shallow, but so be it.  Combining a product regimen like this with intense exercise and a good diet will make me more intent to follow all three routes religiously, so I can see the best results, and it would be great to have a 25 year old butt again in time for my 30th birthday!

Besides those products, I also splurged on a bottle of Bliss Love Handler, which is probably a big waste of time but sounded like a fun thing to try.  It’s supposed to be specially formulated to firm skin and improve tone and contour of your tummy, with an 8-hour release of caffeine and creatine.  Probably all snake oil, but hell, why not, right?  All of this stuff should be showing up in the mail this week, along with the new shower curtain I spent way too much money on but am totally and irrevocably in love with…

I’m over the moon about that fabulous octopus, and it’s the first shower curtain in a long line of shower curtains (I’m practically a chronic bathroom redecorator) that my boyfriend was actually enthusiastic about me purchasing.  I take that as a great sign for my life going forward, lol.

AND, on top of all this weirdness/goodness, I worked out a schedule today that I think will be a lot of fun for me if I can get my butt in gear and keep it there.  I’m going to start running again in the mornings, just a mile to start, followed by EDGE training.  When I get home, I’ll have an hour and a half of writing time to work on my book.  Then most afternoons I’ll be taking a class like Spin or Zumba, and if I’m feeling the funk this week, I’m going to start going to a Hip Hop dance class once a week, too.  I’ve wanted to take Hip Hop for a long time, and even though I’m not very graceful or coordinated, I figure it’ll be a great way to start feeling more feminine and having more fun with my body.  I’d like to start taking horseback riding lessons soon, as well, but I’m going to hold off on that until I’m sure I can trust myself with this schedule, and then move on from there.  I also signed up to volunteer at a couple of local festivals that should be super fun, and hopefully will also give me the chance to meet new friends and make new marketing contacts so I can get my copywriting business up and running over the course of the next year.

Tomorrow’s the first day of this grand new effort.  I’m a little embarrassed to go back to EDGE after only making it to one session last week, but I need to just suck it up and show up.  That’s the best I can do, and all I can do after that is make it to one class at a time.  The more I show up, the more I’ll feel like showing up again the next day.  Duh, right?

OK, wish me luck.  I’ll see you tomorrow, with my weight, measurements, and caloric intake.