Sometimes, you have to add a battery pack and twinkle lights

In June, I attended my fourth BlogHer conference. But this one felt strange. The last six writing conferences I attended all had a similar feel — one in which I knew dozens of people and was comfortable just…being me. That’s when I thrive.

This time, I started the conference off with a bang. After 3 flights in less than a week, and a truly amazing Disney adventure, my back was acting up for the first time in months. I was in pain, which only exasperated my desire to hide.

I know what you’re thinking. Chrissy? Hiding?

So, I’m an introverted extrovert. If you know me, you couldn’t possibly see me as shy. But if you don’t, you might think I’m the quiet one. Adding to that, I spent much of this year suffering from mild depression and anxiety, and now, I’ve got a recipe for disaster.

And so at BlogHer, only knowing a few of the several thousand people and trying to fight through pain, anxiety, and depression, I found myself hiding. Skipping sessions to nap in my room. Barely taking any photos throughout the events. Wandering the exhibitor hall by myself instead of sitting through full keynotes from really interesting speakers. Opting out of late night partying with new friends, and instead, I found myself floating down the lazy river with my roomie, Renee.

It was still fun, but it was a different kind of fun than one should have at a writing conference full of like-minded people. I found myself asking why I was even there.

On Friday night, I took a Valium for my back pain and crashed early.

On Saturday morning, Renee left, and my dear friend, Samara, was doing her own thing…so I wandered the expo for a while. I was interviewed for a Forbes podcast, and the guy looked at me — sporting a normal-ish blonde hairstyle and simple blue dress — with douche eyes and actually said, “Quirky Chrissy? You don’t look very quirky. Now, I saw this other girl who had rainbow hair and a unicorn horn. Now, THAT’S quirky.” Maybe it was the place my brain was hiding, but I wanted to simultaneously punch him and cry. But how do you defend your personality when someone mocks your chosen moniker?

I left the expo feeling down in the dumps.

The thing about being an extrovert who suffers from depression and anxiety is that you need people to help lift you out of the cycle, but you don’t want to be around people when you’re depressed or anxious.

By the time the closing party rolled around, I was ready to go home. But I told Samara I’d meet her down there. And I knew there would be snacks — I was starving, and I’ve yet to find a reason to say no to free food. So I decided I had one last chance to bust out my magic twinkle skirt.

And then I found some more of my people, and people recharge me the way the battery pack sewn into this skirt makes it light up. They bring me back to life (that’s the extroverted part of my brain). I met the unicorn girl, Elliotte, — who, by the way, is AMAZING — and she was kind and wonderful and inspiring…and she gave me a pink unicorn horn.

writers posing at the blogher17 closing party

Photo credit: BlogHer17/SheKnows Media

If I could have gone back in time and worn this fucking skirt the whole time I was in Orlando, I think I would have. Because there’s no better way to make 50 new friends than to wear a light up twinkle skirt. It was my superhero transformation and for a few hours, I wasn’t depressed or anxious or homesick. It wasn’t a REAL fix, but it helped me.

It was my superhero transformation and for a few hours, I wasn’t depressed or anxious or homesick. It wasn’t a REAL fix, but it helped me end the weekend on a high note.Twinkling Stars Skirt - Blue. 3X by ThinkGeek

I started seeing writing friends at the conference, some of whom I knew were there and that I’d said hi to, but hadn’t made a point to actually hang out with, despite my desperate need for more human interaction. I was shy and nervous. I convinced myself they didn’t want to hang out with me. I was afraid. But once I put on my magic skirt, and it was like I could hide my insecurities behind the sparkles and just illuminate the bright spots. It was a Band Aid, but at the time, I really needed a Band Aid.

selfie with writing friends at BlogHer

Eventually, I met up with Samara and she was ready to DANCE. And so I danced. And twirled. And shined brighter than I had throughout the whole conference. I felt glimmers of the me that I love to be, and I knew I had to get back there.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Our Cheesy Wedding

So, I’m thinking on Wednesdays, I’m going to try posting little snippets and tidbits from our wedding, mostly because THERE’S SO MUCH TO SHARE, and I really don’t want to overwhelm y’all.

I figured the best place to start is with our wedding theme…which came together at the very last minute.

It all started with a cheese cake. A cake made of cheese wheels. Both Brian and I aren’t big fans of cake, and the thought of tasting tons of cake and paying for tons of cake when that’s not what we wanted was less that desirable. I originally thought cheesecakes, but Brian doesn’t like those, either.

Cue big giant wheels of my favorite thing on the planet (Brian not withstanding), and we had ourselves a cake that dreams are made of.

If you love cheese as much as I do, I highly recommend the cheese-themed wedding.

Originally, I had planned to vet the wheels, find the cheapest prices, order them, and set them up, all by myself. Basically, pre-wedding me was insane. (You’re going to see as this series unfolds that people like me aren’t DIY experts, so if you’re looking for those kind of wedding planning tips, you’re in the wrong place, my friends. If, on the contrary, you’re looking for realistic, I-paid-someone-to-do-it and I-have-the-best-friends-on-the-planet advice, I’m your gal.)

About two months before the wedding, I realized I was crazy and definitely didn’t want to add more to my to-do list, so I called Whole Foods Orland Park. I knew they had a kickin’ cheese selection and there was one near the wedding venue. I worked with two unbelievably wonderful people in the cheese department, and they were just as excited about our cheese cake as I was.

No cheese themed wedding is complete without wheels of cheese...

Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography. The piece de resistance of our wedding was definitely the cheese wheel cake. Some people thought it was a cake made to look like cheese, but no. It was a cake made of cheese. Obvi. Laura decorated the cheese table and added the extra flourishes, accoutrements, and MORE CHEESE.

I’m so glad I called them because it turned out to be one of the best wedding experiences I had with vendors. After some back and forth with the cheese selections, in which they sent pictures and prices, and I asked for changes a few times, we finally had a pretty good idea of what we were going to choose, and I thanked them for their patience.

They invited me down to Orland Park for a cheese tasting, and I was already in love. Brian had zero interest in most things wedding, so I brought my pal Laura, who is a godsend and amazing. She managed a significant number of day-of wedding details for me, did my flowers, candy buffet, and handled the cheese cake.

Our wedding cake was three tiered cheese wheels. This was the demo from Whole Foods.

Whole Foods set up a clothed table with a sign that said, “reserved for the future Mr. and Mrs. Woj” and flowers and little place settings. They set up a cake with the wheels we had chosen so we could see and touch.

At Whole Foods, we tasted all three cheeses: Marieke Gouda, a young Manchego, and a Petite Basque, and they even paired the cheese with three glasses of wine. After I placed my order (in which I got 10% OFF for buying whole wheels), they handed me a lovely goodie bag with Whole Foods treats and beauty samples as a thank you to their bride. OMG I died. It was about a month before the wedding and I had yet to feel super duper special with any of the wedding vendors I was working with. None of the bridal events I attended were even close to this magical.

You can ask your cheese vendor to make shaped displays with goat cheese.

Laura made Whole Foods turn cranberry goat cheese into beautiful heart-shaped displays. There was one on the head table just for us, too. It was fucking perfect. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

As the wedding day drew near, I stumbled across mini cheese grater favors. We had planned to donate to a charity in lieu of favors, but once I saw those, I knew what I needed to do.

If you're going to have a cheese themed wedding, you need to have cheese grater favors.

Mama Bear tied ribbons around each grater the week before the wedding, and Ally, my night before slumber party bridesmaid, handled the sticking of the names on the grater boxes at midnight the night before the wedding. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

A week before the wedding, I also decided to make Snapchat geofilters, which is SO EASY.

We created Snapchat Filters for our cheesy wedding

Two of my Something Blues (More on that next week) using the Snapchat filters I made.

I had also thrown around the idea of naming tables instead of numbering them…but I was lazy and just kept putting it off. Until the day before the wedding. Brian was printing table names and labels for the favors with guest names and their tables. I was just trying not to freak out because it was 1 o’clock in the morning.

We named our tables after cheeses

The hardest part was coming up with the 28ish different cheese names for the tables…Laura managed all the centerpiece decorations and shit. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

But it all came together so nicely. And cutting the cake WAS THE MOST FUN THING EVER.

As I was cutting the cheese cake with my new husband., we kept laughing

Take note: It’s surprisingly hard to cut into a giant wheel of cheese. I recommend a practice cut. We were supposed to cut into the bottom layer, but that was not happening, so the top layer got the knife instead. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

Taking a bite out of a big hunk of cheese makes for an awesome cake cutting ceremony at a wedding.

I could not. Stop. Laughing. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

Our cake cutting was hilarious. Because the cake was made of cheese.

You guys. We cut the cheese at our wedding. We CUT. THE. CHEESE. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

And THAT’S how you have a cheesy wedding.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to Dress for a Trip to Urgent Care…

I’m getting old a helluva lot faster than I thought I would.

Remember the old commercials for the Life Alert? Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up?

Yeah. That was me almost two months ago. Minus the falling part.

Life alert - Help I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

We all know my lumbar spine hasn’t exactly been the envy of all 29-year-old backs. First there was the velociraptor back jonesin’ for some queso. Then the show-offy yoga back that drank too much. And most recently, the panty-dropper back that decided I should have gone commando (and a whole bunch of other back injuries from my youth…).

So when I was nursing my L5 back to health, my doctor tried putting me back on the crazy meds…other than being the only time I’ve cried about the anxiety of wedding planning, they didn’t do shit this time around. So, I got an X-ray and referral for a chiropractor. While I was waiting for the referral to come through (this is maybe the only time an HMO sounds like a bad health insurance plan), I had a hot date to meet up with Andra Watkins, Lea Grover, and Christine Organ while Andra was visiting the Chi. I was initially planning to attend a magical-sounding literary festival in the far west ‘burbs, but woke up feeling a little pain, and even though it was definitely on the mend, I decided to take care of myself. Not to worry, I’d planned to stretch a little and rest a lot, and be ready to meet up with them for cocktails in the evening.

So I reached for a summer frock (I like to wear summer dresses in the winter as my “house clothes” because comfort, ease, and no pants) in the closet, and squealed in pain. Apparently the reaching part was a baaaaad idea. All of a sudden, the going out at all was becoming less and less a possibility. But I thought I’d wait it out a little longer.

While binge-watching Gilmore Girls, I couldn’t seem to find a single comfortable spot on the couch, and I could barely move…so I took to the only place I thought I might find comfort: The floor.

The first relief I’d had all day, I was able to have a lovely nap on the carpeted floor of our front room, while the Gilmores played on. But when I decided it was time to try getting ready for drinks with some writer friends, I realized with no uncertainty that getting off the floor was a near-impossibility. And so I texted Andra and told her to throw back an extra drink for me while I cried a little bit inside (partially because of the pain, and partially because of Andra, who is amazing and doesn’t live here like the other two ladies).

Brian heard me writhing on the floor trying to get up and came running (he doesn’t do this often because he’s so accustomed to my screams of pain). He attempted to help pull me up, but I was afraid I was either too big for him to pick me up or that he would break me. Mostly the second one, honestly. I take back everything I ever said about the previous pains I’ve experienced because this one topped the cake in an entirely different way.

Much like the past pain, I felt as if I had no control over the center of my body. The core is an integral part of functioning, people. If you lose that, you lose the ability to move. In addition to this inability to move, the muscle spasms were throbbing and nearly trying to kill me. It took 25 minutes and a LOT of effort on my end, plus help from Brian, to get myself off the floor.

As soon as I stood as best I could, I looked at Brian and said, “I need to go to urgent care.”

This from the girl who puts off going to the doctor until she really thinks she’s dying, because hypochondria makes her fear the results from the doctor. The decision was swift and immediate. Brian helped me put socks and slippers on, grabbed my purse and handed me my fleece. I was ready to do this thing. Dressed like a Polish war bride…again. I had no bra on, a summer dress, winter slippers, Brian’s man socks, and a fleece-oh and had super greasy hair. Obviously, it was perfectly appropriate for the middle of January.

I got into the car slowly, aiming to produce as little pain as possible (which was near impossible) and found a position that was only mildly debilitating. It took about 15 minutes to get to our destination, and the whole time, I was whining on the phone to my mom. My nearest urgent care clinic is on a busy road, two blocks from the downtown area of the town in which I grew up. With the speed in which I was walking, holding my back as if I were eight months pregnant, at least 40 cars whizzed past us, and I had Brian take a few candid snapshots because I was going to think it was ridiculous one day instead of painful.

How to dress when you're on your way to urgent care

It was…special.

They took me in right away, and Brian had to help me change into the gown they made me wear. I was pouting the entire time. Brian took pictures this time without my asking.

Urgent care is not fun for anyone...

Finally, the doctor came in, gave me a shit load of drugs, injected something into my thigh, and even laughed at my joke about how the last time I let a doctor give me a shot there, I gained 30 pounds and decided I was never taking a hormonal birth control again. (I actually love this part of going to the doctor. It’s like I have a captive audience to practice my own personal stand-up show.) And then she sent me on my merry way. It was just as painful to get back into the car, but at least, there was supposedly some relief coming soon.

A few days later, I was finally feeling better. And physical therapy was just around the corner (by a couple of weeks, because it takes fucking forever to get an appointment). And now, several weeks later, I’m able to laugh at my little visit to urgent care.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Get Your Own Red Carpet Style (And Perhaps Join Me in My Julep Maven Obsession)

Okay. So you all know I’ve got a bit of an addictive personality. Once I’m into something, I’m all in, guns blazin’. If you follow me on the Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of my nail art.

Julpe Mani

I’ve been playing with Julep polish since July and cannot. get. enough. Seriously. I have a friggin’ spreadsheet. A SPREADSHEET. A COLOR-CODED SPREADSHEET with all of the  polish colors that I own. Because I may have accidentally bought a few dupes in the beginning. But not any more!  I’m organized.

Just a small sampling of my 50+ colors...described mostly according to my own views of the colors

Just a small sampling of my 50+ colors…described mostly according to my own views of the colors

Anyways, crazy obsession aside, I thought that sharing the Julep love would be fun for you. Right now, you can get the Red Carpet Welcome Box (by signing up for a Julep Maven monthly subscription box) for JUST the $2.99 shipping cost when you use the code, “winner”. That’s 3 fancy pants polishes and an awesome gliding eyeliner for less than $3 (I use the eyeliner and adore it!). If you do plan on sticking with the monthly subscriptions for a while, I recommend the 3 month plan (which I regret not doing wholeheartedly) which will save $5 a month (for at least your first two months – after the free welcome box).

One of the things I love about my monthly Maven box is the customization that you’ll find with the monthly selections. You can swap out polishes, beauty products and other goodies to make it perfectly your own. You can even get a few add ons at discounted prices.
Red Carpet Welcome Box

  • Julep Maven isn’t super pricey if you love beauty products (and there are some really amazing ones out there!). You get over $40 of full-size products in every box for just $24.99 per month.
  • Julep Maven is the only customizable box of full-size, limited-run nail colors and beauty innovations. That means no surprises, no dupes or colors you don’t like. You can see what’s in your box each month and have the option of swapping out colors/products you already have or don’t want. Some boxes aren’t customizable, but they have more items in them (which I LOVE).
  • If you need to skip a month? It’s totally cool. Once you are a Maven and have paid for your first box, you can skip a month if you need to or you can gift your box to a friend – you have choices.
  • Mavens get oodles of benefits at Julep – like 20% off Julep.com, free shipping, early access to secret sales and mother perks that make being a maven more fun.
  • A Maven subscription is also a great gift for the nail polish and beauty product lover in your life. Hint Hint BRIAN.

Join Maven now and the Red Carpet Welcome Box is FREE. ($58 value – just pay $2.99 Shipping). Enter the code WINNER at checkout.

Or, if you’re not into practically free welcome boxes…or you already have a Maven subscription…or you don’t want to sign up for a monthly box and you want to roll the dice with a magical mystery, the Cupid’s Mystery Clutch comes with two polishes, a sparkly clutch, and a whole bunch of secret mystery stuff thrown in for fun. (I’ve gotten several mystery boxes and they’re a GREAT way to build your collection of polish and full-size beauty products.)

Cupid's Mystery Clutch

So. Much. Magic!

Are you a Julep Maven? Have you tried Julep? Are you as obsessed as I am? What is your favorite beauty product?

This is not a sponsored post. I am a Julep Maven, but I am also a Julep affiliate. This post contains affiliate links that may earn me a few dollars should you decide to try Julep for yourself. As always, I never promote brands or products that I don’t believe in.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

PlayCHIC A Night of Play and Fashion That Took Over Chicago

The stunningly beautiful Alhambra Palace in Chicago set the scene for an exotic night of play and fashion, as the third annual PlayCHIC commenced last Thursday night. The sponsors, ever-present Mayfair Games, Rainbow Loom, Women in Toys and Celebrity Name Game set in motion one of the most entertaining fashion shows I’ve ever been to…okay fine. All the fashion shows I’ve been to have been PlayCHIC. One of my favorite annual events.

PlayCHIC 2014

 

 

Michelle Tan – Mayfair Games Villainy

Michelle Tan has been designing the Mayfair styles since PlayCHIC’s inception three years ago, and with Villainy, she really made a splash. Her creations are whimsical, wicked and wonderful and looked great on both the lady and dude models.

Mayfair Games Michelle Tan

On another Mayfair Games note, I got to take a selfie with Mayfair president, Larry Roznai, who was a really cool dude to chat with.

 

Elda Delarosa – Celebrity Name Game

The elegant designs by Elda Delarosa were the start of this celeb-adorned gown. I’m not going to lie, this was probably my least favorite of the designs. It felt uninspired, as if the game was merely sewn onto the dress. I’m no designer, but I like to think that there are other ways to incorporate themes into clothing than sewing photographs to a dress. Sorry guys, you lost me on this one.

Elda Delarosa Celebrity Name Game

Peach Carr – Rainbow Loom

Made with the actual toy, this  Peach Carr original represents Rainbow Loom with a fun two-piece set. The creator of Rainbow Loom was even there wearing the jacket that Jimmy Kimmel wore! Brian would have been impressed. Probably.  My favorite part? The Rainbow Loom poodle. Who wants to make me one of those?

Rainbow Loom - Peach Carr Rainbow Loom

Gibeon Tolbert – Women in Toys

Representing a fantastic group in the toy and game industry, Gibeon Tolbert’s power suit represents everything I want to be in this world. Pink, powerful, stylish and fun. I seriously LOVED this design. Which shouldn’t be a surprise. If we all remember from PlayCHIC 2012, he created my favorite design, the Word Winder tie.

Gibeon Tolbert Women in Toys

 Which design is your favorite? What games or toys would you like to see mashed with fashion?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things My Boyfriend Noticed About My Hair and Things He May Have Missed…

Brian rarely notices things I do to my hair. When he does, it’s kind of a big deal. A few weeks ago, I mentioned trying out Living Proof PhD (Perfect hair Day) so that you could get the DL on the life-altering promises that this stuff made. (Wait, you mean I really won’t have to wash my hair as often? And it’s going to be cleaner? And more awesome?) After using this for well over a month, I can safely say that yes, it really did mean less hair washing without looking gross (Note: Previously, I could go about 2 days without washing my hair before it started looking SERIOUSLY oily and gross. That’s me. Not everyone. Just clarifying).

Living Proof

Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Living Proof. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.

So I’ve been washing my hair every 3 days or so (I actually went 4 days at one point…don’t you judge me) since starting this Living Proof regimen, and I haven’t been disappointed.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Review

I really enjoyed the results of styling my hair after using PhD. (And I can’t take a picture without making a funny face)

In my infinite wisdom, I styled my hair for Halloween…

Disclaimer: Normal people don't do their hair like this. But it's Halloween week, y'all.

Disclaimer: Normal people don’t do their hair like this. But it’s Halloween week, y’all.

And THANKFULLY, it wasn’t completely destroyed after the mass amounts of hairspray and teasing.

Living proof review

The day after the Halloween party. Unwashed hair. Boom.

And even after washing my hair and styling it, it’s definitely not destroyed.

As I’ve been testing this product out, Brian really has noticed several things about my hair, and I, of course, responded as best as I could:

  •  “Your hair is softer. Did you do something to it?”
    • “I didn’t wash it?”
  • “Your hair smells nice.”
    • “It’s not my favorite smell, but I feel a lot better knowing that it’s just me being weird.” (Disclaimer – I hate orangy/citrusy smells for some odd reason, even though I love orange and citrus)
  • “You’ve been taking a lot of bubble baths lately.”
    • “That’s because I don’t have to shower as often. This pleases me greatly. But I should probably still be clean and wash self.”

Of course, there are things he didn’t notice, and probably wouldn’t have, which bums me out because it’s pretty awesome.

  • My hair is literally squeaky clean. When I’m washing my hair, I don’t know if I’m losing it, but I definitely hear/feel the squeaks. Because this stuff is really getting to the root of the problem. Pun intended.
  • My hair doesn’t look like a disgusting greasy mess, even though you haven’t washed it in days. Well done.
Living Proof

The products I received from Living Proof to review.

In the grand scheme of things, this slightly pricier shampoo/conditioner set seems pretty worth it for the convenience and quality factor. I was legit skeptical at first, but I’m totally a believer. I’m not as big a fan of the styling treatment (I think it’s because I needed to wash my hair slightly more often when I used that, whereas the shampoo and conditioner alone gave me a longer run time), but after watching the following video, I’m willing to give it another go for some beachy waves (is it bad that I’m ALREADY thinking about our next Florida trip?).

So you’re interested in trying this sweet stuff out? Through November 8th, you can get free shipping and a free travel size PhD 5-in-1 Styling Treatment with the purchase of $20 or more using the following Living Proof coupon code.
○ Promotional Code: NOV2014

What do you do for the perfect hair day? What is your idea of a great hair day? How do you combat bad hair days? Have you ever teased the ever-loving-everything out of your hair?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Vacation Fashion Fails

Good morning Blog Friends!

I thought today was as good a day as any to tell you of this year’s vacation fashion whoops moments…because I tend to have a lot of them.

I bought several new dresses and outfits to wear on our trip, as vacation seems to be my favorite time to get a new wardrobe. Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t fuck it all up every now and then.

The first fashion fail entails our drive out of San Francisco, which is a wonder since it seemed to take 2 whole days before wrecking myself. This dress was a try-it-on-three-times-before-deciding dress, as I wasn’t quite sure I wanted it. I probably should have left it at Forever 21.

We had been through a whirlwind morning in an almost-failed attempt to acquire a rental car that resulted in a $50 town car ride to the airport and a significantly cheaper car rental than you’d find in Downtown San Francisco. We figured the town car would be nicer than a cab ride and it was the same price.

Of course, I was donning one of my never-before worn dresses, feeling all sorts of fancy. Until I ripped it getting out of the car.

image

As you can see, it’s a pretty bold and busy pattern, so you won’t notice that I continue to wear the dress even with a hole in it.

I’d like to tell you that this next fashion fail was a result of shot time with Pocketful of Joules, but I’d be lying.

image
And since there is Instagramic proof that I was having problems with this dress from the beginning…you wouldn’t believe me anyways.

This dress was the dress I almost bought a house in. It started the vacation at my mom’s house, where after one wearing, I required a seam fix in the arm pit and a stain removal from that one time I thought it was a good idea to cook with oil while wearing a new dress and a few additional spills…from wearing it once. Mom fixed it up and delivered it to me the day of our flight to San Fran. Best. Mom. Ever.

It was probably bad luck to bring it along as it was, but I’m a big fan of living on the edge.

As you may have seen on Instagram, I had problems from the moment I put the dress on.
image

The cutouts at the bottom of my dress were going to be the death of this dress. Somewhere between getting caught in the hair dryer cord and doing shots with Joules, my dress was ripped in q big way that Mama can’t fix…though she did offer to try.

Luckily, it’s a pretty flowy dress amd you can’t TOTALLY see where it’s ripped…so I’ll still be seen wearing it.

My final fashion fail wasn’t so much a rip or tear as it was poor planning on my part. I had planned to wear this saucy little black dress on a fancy dinner night with Brian…but things don’t work out the way you plan and it became my McDonald’s closing party duds.

It was strapless and practically backless, so wearing a bra wasn’t about to happen. Brian thought it looked spectacular, so I rolled out to meet with the Bloopies(a group of bloggers that I’m a part of).

image
You can kind of see that the dress didn’t seem to be holding up as much as I would have liked…

Thankfully, I’m often surrounded by people who are smarter than me and one of these delightful women, the brilliant genius that is Lily Connelly, suggested that I use my scarf to hold the dress up after seeing my insecure struggle to keep it from giving all of BlogHer a free show.

So my fashion fail actually turned into a fashion hack, in which I wrapped the scarf through the center tie and back around my neck, thus keeping my boobs in place and out of sight.

Fashion hack: use a scarf to hold a strapless dress up. ALSO, this may be the nicest port-o-potty ever.

Fashion hack: use a scarf to hold a strapless dress up. ALSO, this may be the nicest port-o-potty ever.

Have you ever had a fashion fail? Do you rip holes in clothes as often as I do? What’s the best fashion hack you’ve discovered?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fashionista? Who? Me? Oh, Sure!

I’ve always been kind of a girly tomboy. I love pink and sparkles and fuzzy and cute. But I also love football and sweatpants and comfy and cozy. While I may not have the BEST fashion sense, I know a cute outfit when I see one. So when Meijer asked me to play dress up with their new fall styles, I couldn’t resist.

Meijer Fall Fashion Lookbook

 So last night, after a long day at the office, I made my way to Meijer, armed with a gift card (courtesy of Meijer), my camera phone, and my keen fashion sense. I had a plan.

Now, I’ll warn you right now, I’m a normal girl. I’m a REAL girl. I’m a slightly chubby-non-model-girl. So as adorable as these clean cut, wake up fresh lady models may be… They’ve got nothing on me.

Back to my shopping adventure. As soon as I walked in, I noticed that there was a nice selection of sweater dresses, which are my go-to fall faves. I love that if it’s still warm, I can wear them (sometimes) without pants (you know how I hate pants), and then when it gets cool, I can pair them with leggings (yes!) and flats. Once it gets Chicago blustery, it’s leggings or skinny jeans and boots. I tried on 3 adorable sweaters, that were all super comfy and very reasonably priced…And I felt kind of like Goldilocks.

The first sweater made my boobs look GIGANTIC. Which I thought was fun, but at the same time, not really for me (anymore).

The second sweater was comfortable, but it was too short for what I wanted in a sweater dress. Plus, no matter how much I want them to work, horizontal stripes have never been my strong suit.

The third sweater was just right. And perfect both with pants and without! Hair down, hair up. I could wear it on a train, I could wear it on a plane. In a house, with a mouse. I could wear it here or there; I could wear it anywhere.

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my little dressing room fashion show, I wandered through the collection of fall shoes and accessories. I loved the infinity scarves and purses (there was a TOTALLY cute owl purse that I ALMOST bought). I ended up getting several pairs of knee high socks to wear with my boots, because I never seem to have enough socks. (Something about them getting lost in a strange land somewhere between the washer and the dryer.) Plus, let’s be honest. I freakin’ love socks. I love them almost as much as I love not wearing pants.

What are your favorite fall fashion trends, Blog friends?

While I was compensated for this post with a Meijer gift card, all opinions are, as always, my own. Obviously.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Drunken Laundry at the Laundromat

In the spring of 2008, my parents’ washing machine was on the fritz…and being a grown woman still living at her parents’ house…I needed to do my own laundry. Of course, I waited until I had practically nothing left…(yes, I would occasionally buy underwear and socks, and even go without one or both because I didn’t want to do laundry…) and my wardrobe options were getting pretty scarce.

drunk laundry escapades

So, one night, after a huge Easter feast, a surprise homecoming from my best friend, Mark, and a lazy evening watching Enchanted for the second of three times in a week, I packed up my car and drove to the nearest laundromat (Actually I packed it up twice–once to move out of Mark’s apartment, where I was living/apartment-sitting while he was on a long-ass business trip, and once with laundry).

I cannot claim whether this was truly nearest my house…But it was nearest my 2nd home–Flaherty’s AKA The Bar. I found out that the laundromat was open on Easter (Woot!)…until 9:30 (which I discovered at 8:40-another resounding Woot Woot!). As I was loading up my arms with Tide and Bounce and laundry and money and keys, I banged my head, not once but, twice on the car door. Keep in mind this was in addition to the neck and shoulder bangs from unloading my stuff from Mark’s apartment. The evening was not necessarily going the way I had hoped.

I walked into the laundromat and there was one guy doing his laundry. Keep in mind, this was a big production for me, since I’ve never used a laundromat. The closest experience was in the college dorms, and that was designed to be easy (and more often then not, I took my clothes home to wash them). So I put soap in three of the nearest washers, which weren’t going to fit ANYTHING. Apparently these were commercial washers. Although I’m still not entirely sure what their purpose was…I knew I messed up and wasted money. So I tried stuffing clothes in anyways, and I soon realized…maybe not. I looked around and realized that there were normal-people washers in the back of the ‘mat. Ahhh… that makes sense-put the real stuff in the backRight? Fits more clothes. Less money. Bingo! I finally got everything sorted, in, and spinning.

At this point, I decided I wasn’t going to sit around and watch laundry spin…so I left. Ok, I went to  the bar and ordered a very necessary drink. And a pizza. Mmmm…pizza was one of my lenten offerings that year, and I was thrilled the sacrifice was over. I started chatting with my pal Liz and telling her about my most recent adventures in Chrissy-land, and we were laughing up a storm.

About 20 minutes later, I ran back to the laundromat with Liz to check on my clothes. And it was locked.

Shit. The guy came out of the office and let us in. He told us that he was leaving and we could prop the door open if we need to leave for anything. Oh dear.

I was about to transfer my clothes, and again, I wasn’t quite sure how this worked because there were also two different dryer types–a bigger one and a smaller one. The guy put money into the big one for me(score!) and said it was the better one. So I stuffed all of my clothes in there–all three loads of laundry–and vowed to return in a bit. (That vodka soda and frozen pizza was calling my name).

Liz and I propped the door open with my Bounce box and walked back to our drinks and the pizza. We hung out for a bit and when it was time to grab my clothes, we invited another girl to join us for round three of laundry-mania. We got over to the laundromat and my clothes were still not dry, so I put more money in and planned to come back after another drinky…you can see where this is going.

After our final return, the clothes were dry, folded (poorly) and put into my basket. As we were walking out, we double checked: Money, keys, clothes, Tide, Bounce. Closed the door.

And oh FUCK! Immediately, I knew that I had left some stuff hanging to dry inside!

3 hours of laundry: $6.75

Tip at Bar: $5.00

Juke Box Money: $5.00

Calling your dad the next morning to retrieve your bras from the laundromat:

Priceless.

Never Again.

Blog Friends, have you ever had to ask one of your parents to remedy your flakiness? Tell me one of your embarrassing stories so I don’t feel quite so bad!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!