Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Christmas Post

Christmas was pretty awesome considering a few months ago I was expecting our first Christmas together to be humble, small, and in the end, a blip in our memories in the years to come.
Not so.
Those who read this now about Spencer's Black Friday journey and the goodies that yielded. A couple more goodies we got but weren't expecting were:

-a Cuisinart food processor (Spencer has wanted one for years and we didn't even ask for one, his parents are just that thoughtful and generous).
-and a car. A 1997 Toyota Avalon, in wonderful condition, given to us by his Grandpa Holt who drove it here for us from Houston, Texas, in exchange for our paying his plane fare back.

Also, I got that garment rack for the bedroom-- the one that I can sew a curtain around, also it is compact and I love it.

Another great thing was getting to talk to Rachel and McKay. We originally thought I wasn't going to be home from work soon enough to talk to Rachel, but Dan let me close the store an hour early so Karlie and I could race down to Murray and catch five minutes on the phone with her. Rachel's been out for five months already, which she says has whizzed by. I beg to differ. And McKay's been gone almost two months, which is harder for Spencer. He has no one to tag-team holiday dinners with and he's not sure if he wants to go to Richfield next summer because, well, who would he have to hang out with? Other than me and Naomi.

And now here are some pictures. Just a couple.This is the only picture of me without food in my mouth.

Spencer and Naomi playing on the Xbox, me eating.

Left to right: Jasmine (McKay's lady-friend), Naomi, Spencer, me.

All other photos of me are either me eating, getting food to eat or contemplating what food to eat next so I'm omitting them from this post.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Some Little Notes and Things I Like:

Things I like:
+I like when I get emails from my granny and she uses unnecessary quotations like when she says she is feeling "good" and healthy compared to last year and how she thinks Spencer and I having FHE with Karlie is "great" and she is pleased with our having a set date to specifically spend time with each other.
It makes her sound bitter and sarcastic which is a funny way to think of her if you know how loving and gentle she is in reality. Hilarious.
+I also like snowy workdays at the Gateway because fewer people come in-- I mean, uh, they're horrible for business! I wish it would stop!
+I like not listening to Christmas music when the store is empty.
+I like that I have the schedule memorized for Trax going to and from my house because it happens to be the same either way.
+I like the little fox on my Gmail theme setting, particularly when he has tea with his monkey friend at the top of his pagoda at 4:00 pm.
+I like Ben's Cookies, far too much and have resolved to stop buying cookies. Srsly, it's getting ridiculous.

Little notes:
+I am planning and prepping way too many quilts to sew at once.
+Spencer and I may have our first car soon, that would be the first time I'd have a car to my name in nearly three years. I don't regret it though because living downtown is pretty easy without a car.
+I have recently become a little obsessive with taking proper care of my skin, particularly in the FACE. Moisturize me, MOISTURIZE me!
+I have never formally learned to crochet or sew (kind of... high school courses don't count when you remember exactly nothing from them) and yet it takes up almost all of my nights. How is this happening? It's kind of getting out of hand.
+Spencer and I picked out 12 knobs for the dresser I'm re-vamping. Pictures soooooon. (Ugh, how many times can I promise that and think it's actually going to happen?)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Everyone Though, Right?

When I was a kid and I got new clothes, my mom would have us do a fashion show once we got home. Similarly with my friends, showing each other new clothes was always fun, especially if we had gone second-hand shopping together or something like that.

Even into my adulthood, I still have this need to show what new clothes (and things) I've gotten when I get them. I still can't tell if most girls do this or just people around me though. Some girls I know don't really seem the type to do this, however anytime I am at the Holt's house and either I, Rachel, or Naomi has gotten back from shopping, there's always a show-and-tell.

I do it when I've gotten back from shopping with Spencer, Naomi does it, and Rachel even did it whenever she got new mission clothes. I don't know why exactly it's so fun, it's not like we get to keep the clothes we're showing off, but it's entertaining anyway.

Which is why I'm going to do this here.
I bought the boots in my previous post, along with a few other things (I type that whilst cringing). I really, really make an effort not to go overboard when shopping. As a rule, Spencer and I go shopping with predetermined purchases.

1. Make a list before you go.
2. Do not stray from the list. (At least not too much...)

I am really good with the first rule.
Last night though, I vehemently broke the second rule.
I make up for this by DI'ing the differences.
Let's see what I got.I think most all of my camis are at that point where you really ought to be turning them into cleaning rags because the colors are gross and they're damaged beyond their worth to repair. I usually go to DownEast for basics like this because American Apparel is so expensive but these tanks were all under $5, in fact, the top 4 were all $2.50. Hopefully the price doesn't reflect too poorly on their quality.
The first pair are for me, the second, a stocking stuffer for mother. Solid.
Your standard late 80's early 90's headband. Makes me think of something you'd see an extra wearing in Twin Peaks. If I can't rock it, I'm going to paint it or glue sequins and feathers over it or something.
Those lovely boots! They weren't in the stores, so I tried on similar boots to gauge the sizing. Hopefully, it's pretty true to size as I've deduced. I mostly can't wait for these.
Floral printed tights. I think they're sweet.
I've had my eye on a belt almost exactly like this on Urban Outfitters only it was about 5 times more expensive. I imagine this should be very flattering to my waist.

So. I've done it again. I blew my savings on, what else? More clothing.
But it's not quite like I used to be. I follow a couple of de-cluttering rules.

If I've bought something that I have a lot of, I replace the old with the new and get rid of it. I don't exactly do the whole "buy one thing, throw away one thing" rule but if I've added something to a collection, I in turn slim it down by a piece or two.

For example, the belt. I will probably be going through my belts and getting rid of more than just one. Same with the tights and camisoles.

However I probably won't be getting rid of any shoes just yet. Maybe in a month or two, but I'm satisfied with my shoes right now.

And my jewelry, that's another thing. I'm less likely to get rid of any jewelry because I go through cycles of favoring a piece more than others and even when they become broken, well, then they're just waiting to be transformed. Pendants and brooches don't have the same life-expectancy than a basic camisole. Jewelry can be so much more timeless.

One thing I ought to go through and slim down regardless of anything new bought are all my hoodies, sweaters and cardigans. About two years ago I decided I needed more. Little by little I collected them. Now I have way too many.

Some of them I plan on putting away in storage, to save them for my future kids to ridicule and reject, then later love, alter to their taste and eventually wear out.
A lot of those pieces I plan on storing are from Black Chandelier and Jared Gold. And not just our tee-shirts which I've already sold to consignment shops and whatnot, but the good stuff. The coats, the dresses, the special pieces. I look forward to bringing those up from a basement or out of an attic in 20 or 30 years.

Also I am thinking, to make up for the slow periods where I don't really like to write or the habit gets away from me, I'm going to start posting my week's worth of doodles until I can find the camera to start documenting my sewing projects.
Or would that be lame?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This is Just How it Works. Part Two.

To borrow from Karlie's blog, this post should really be called "Boots."

It's that time again when my old boots are in need of retiring and I start looking for new ones.
Actually, it's been that time since last winter, when I DI'd the old ones but forwent (forgoed?) buying new boots because I was just too picky and couldn't find the right pair. Actually, I did find a pair of boots I loved, or should I say I found a boot that I loved but couldn't get because the store couldn't find its mate and it was the last pair in stock. Mucho de depressing.

So I've been trying to narrow down another pair. This is usually my criteria:
-Water proof (leather or whatever)
-Goes with everything, but is not boring (I love black, but I am also not afraid of color)
-Flat heals, cannot-will not do the high heel in snow.
-tight enough shaft to flatter my chicken-scratch calves.

I usually go with a variation of this style:I prefer something that's not suede but the style is spot-on. Flat, pull on, flattering, goes with everything, comes in a variety of colors and the price is fine. Your standard indie-girl boot.

However I am starting to feel my childhood wardrobe creep up over my shoulder and I kind of want an almost Doc Marten-y look again. I've fallen in love with the look of rugged (but not too rugged) boots mixed with femmy, skinny tailored jeans and girly vintage sweaters and other chunky knitted accessories.

That is a style I can admire and sport. That combination is sometimes hard for me to find and I can often end up buying something that I think it gorgeous but I never wear it, or I find I am wearing something everyday that I don't think is particularly attractive.

So, the hunt began. I started where I normally do, online. Urban Outfitters, Mod Cloth, Pixie Market, Endless.com, none really have what I am looking for, and most are far too expensive anyway. So I take another chance and check out Forever21.com, renowned for their cheap cheap CHEAP prices and uncanny ability to pump out trendy item after trendy item. It is both a blessing of a store and a curse. Don't even get me started on how it's even possible for them to have so many styles, so fast, and so cheap. The answer is surely not what anyone wants to hear but everyone knows: it's GOT to be sweat shops. Who am I to be criticizing Wal-Mart, amiright?

Anyways, just like when I was searching for bridesmaids dresses on websites like Anthropologie's and finding nothing, I take a chance and what do you know?

Exactly what I was looking for. Even better, in fact.
So perfect, in fact, that I am thoroughly disturbed and somewhat disappointed. I anticipate a long and difficult hunt for these boots because I am under the impression that I am one of the few who desires this particular style and then the only place I finally find it is a place notorious for catering to the masses.
This is often how my mother feels about Anthropologie and hates going there for the same reason as I loathe (and yet love) going to Forever21.

Anyways, all I was hoping to find were some boots that laced up, were primarily flat, but a little rise was ok, had no more of a 12 inch rise, were waterproof/leather, and came in either black or a fun color.
And here they are:
I kid you not, this is almost exactly what I was envisioning, and a plus because while they are not black (although they come in black) nor a "fun color" I think grey is just different enough from black and also goes with everything yet they don't blend into nothingness.

*Grey is lovely for making other colors pop. I think people try this too often with black and end up making the other colors look hammy and cheap. But that is not a rule to live by, I've seen a lot of outfits with all black and a contrasting color that was GORGEOUS and I've also see quite a few outfits where the grey was just SO drab and drug everything else about the outfit into the ethers of infinity. Only maybe not that dramatically so.

And while they're a little steep for Forever21 ($40? If I'm buying a cheap product from a cheap store that is as notorious for cheap quality as it is for cheap pricing, I really only want to buy the cheap cheap stuff, right?) and they're not leather, they're "100% synthetic" which is fine I guess. As long as they're waterproof.
I'm going to stop by the store tonight before heading home with Spencer and seeing if they are in stores at all (the website doesn't say) and seeing how they fit.

What's going to be the tricky thing is avoiding the "punk" look. That isn't a look I am going for at all. The look I want to emulate is classical girl, but with an artistic flair. I think that can be very, very easily lumped into a punk-ish look or something else altogether. We'll see what I can do!

P.S. If you haven't read Part 1 of this post and have nothing to do, read it and leave a comment letting me know which rack you think I should get!

This is Just How it Works. Part One.

So yesterday I made some silly post about how I am on hiatus and now I have something to write about because I am SO cool like that.

Quick insight: as I've mentioned before, Spencer and I seem to be getting a better and better handle on our finances ironically enough in this time of massive recession and economic collapse. Our first Christmas as a married couple looks as if there are going to be one or two more surprises than I originally anticipated and the prospect of buying a car is becoming more likely to happen sooner than I also originally anticipated (maybe even before winter is over? maybe...)

And we do this by budgeting, how else?
20% of our income goes into savings. We use them for Christmas gifts, saving up for a car, and funds for future vacationing... And that's basically it.
We do put 5% of our income into separate savings accounts, 5% each, that we are allowed to spend on anything we want, as long the other isn't absolutely against it.
I would like to set up even more strict budgets to help pay off debts faster, but as of right now, we are doing swell.
I know that we spend, on average about $450/month on groceries/food. Is that a lot? But other than bills and food and trax money, we don't often buy much else. Once in awhile we go out to eat or go to the movies, and rather than buying DVD's so often we'll instead utilize our county library and Netflix, or even just the internet for entertainment.

Spencer has saved up his allowance from the start, I think he's bought a video game with it, but whatever he's saving up for, I hope it's worth it. Or maybe he's just one of those lucky kids who doesn't feel like they need everything they see in a store to make them happy.

Just the opposite of me. Well, not really. Limitation broadens my mind. That is my motto. However, I have had the hardest time saving up my allowance past one consecutive deposit. Every time something is added, I somehow find something I need to get right away!

This time it is two things. This is the first.

One: A Clothing Rack.
The Toss Up: Wide and classically commercial? Or do I go for a updated, made-for-home model?
The contenders:
This above rack is $50. It's your standard commercial clothing rack. It's about as tall as me and its width ranges from about 50 inches to 70. Lovely.
-$50, also available in stores (which is so nice as S&H is something like $16)
-quality rubber wheels
-adjustable width, goes really wide
-sturdy build (I use two of them in my store, and tons at the headquarters)

-Space hog, even when extension bars are retracted
-No subtlety: everything hangs in the open (but hey, hanging up, on the floor, when are my clothes NOT in the open?!)

Now we have the competition:
This above rack is lovely as well.
-Less of a space hog (I don't have THAT many clothes I need to find more space for)
-Top shelf can be a new home to my vintage hats and other accessories that just float from spot to spot in my room
-Bottom shelf can be home to my in-season shoes**
-Structure lends itself to sewing a curtain-like cover for the whole shebang. Yes, yes, I could buy the canvas cover for $30 more but you and I know I could whip up a much more attractive cover than that and with the yards and yards of fabric that plague my sewing dresser.

-Steeper $70 price tag, PLUS it's not available in store so we're looking at a grand total of nearly $90. Jeez.
-Caster wheels look kinda crappy.

So that's my dilemma. Walmart and Amazon both have the first rack, and both are priced higher. Amazon doesn't have the second rack, and while Walmart does, it's only $5 cheaper, still not available in stores, and it's from Walmart.

I'm kind of leaning toward the second rack just because of the shelves and the curtain-making possibility. But for $40 more than the first? It's a hard decision to make. I'll probably end up going with it though, because in the long run, it has more of what I need.

**the whole point of getting this new rack is to efficiently separate my seasonal/special clothing and keep searching and tornado-ing at a minimum

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Sometimes finding the drive to post is hard, since Spencer's posts regularly and usually are an echo of my posts, or more accurately: vice versa, although we try to avoid that.

Nevertheless, I am a very visual person and this is the cause of my hiatus.

If my day isn't a replica of Spencer's, then it probably has to do with these things:

-work at the studio
-a sewing project
-a baking project
-some other project

All of those, except maybe the first are also visual things, like me. And whilst our camera is MIA, it's very frustrating to write (and I imagine very dull to read) about my life.

Oh sure, I can continue writing about television or films watched and discuss those but that's where we get into that echoing-your-spouse problem because Spencer has usually watched anything I have and he has an exceptional vigor and air of professionalism in his posts that I suspect he loves writing whereas I just gush about "parts I like" or "actors I like" or "how I love to watch this all the time" and go on and on for never-ending sentences.

No, no, the stuff that makes me want to write, ironically must also be visually presented and until such time when cell phones are not the only cameras on hand I suspect these bouts of inactivity will be regular.

That being said, check back frequently because I do intend to find that camera very soon!