obsessions // vent session

Well hello! By the way, in case you’re wondering (or not), we are mostly recovered from our colds! Yay! We spent about 90% of the past week just lying around (with the exception of church and a couple trips to Target, because Target), so I feel moderately prepared to start contributing to society again. Before that, though, I have a few recent addictions and annoyances to discuss this morning.

Obsessions

  • QuizUp: Holy cow, friends, this app is ADDICTIVE. You basically take little trivia quizzes in a variety of categories, but you’re going up against random people around the world. Or your friends, if you link up with them. I spent a shameful amount of time last night trying to increase my ranking in the Geography section. And it is taking some serious self control not to play it right now. Okay, I might have just played a few rounds of “name of the pop star.” I can’t believe myself.
  • Cynthia Vincent shopper bag: For a shopping addict, there are few feelings more painful than discovering a product you love but can’t find anywhere to buy. This is my current situation with this Cynthia Vincent bag that was featured in a special edition POPSUGAR box* before I started subscribing. I’m looking for a specific pattern, and it is just GONE. There was one on eBay recently, but it’s of course sold! I experienced this same type of situation once with a pair of jeans but miraculously found a pair in a local boutique. I’m hoping my desperate email to Cynthia Vincent last night results in another miracle!
  • Rich & Skinny jeans: Speaking of those long-sought jeans, I just found another color of them on an insane sale at Bluefly. I am currently debating between these or a much less discounted pair in white but that I would probably wear with more. Help! Which ones do I get?
  • New products from ban.do: I’ve gushed about ban.do here before, but they have officially entered a whole new sphere of amazing. This adorable pouch and insanely cute charging cable are currently in my shopping cart, awaiting husband approval. The screenshot below from their homepage gives you an idea, but prepare to squeal with glee. (This is NOT sponsored by ban.do, FYI, it’s just a proclamation of my love for them.)

Vent session

  • Tuesday TV: There are just not enough good shows on Tuesday. I count one that we watch. Am I missing something? Also, it wasn’t long ago that I didn’t watch TV at all. Things change once you have a sleeping baby at home! But seriously, I need to get into a book!
  • Requiem for my house boots: My $15 Target house boots are dying!! Like, flimsy-foam-bursting-out-of-the-super-thin-heel-fabric dying. I should not be surprised, since, you know, they only cost $15. But now it’s almost spring, and replacements are nowhere to be found. And I should probably move on and embrace the warm, but they’re so dang comfy. Tear.
  • Video ads: It has now happened too many times to be a coincidence that I go to watch a video online and the obligatory ad plays just fine, but once it’s done, the video mysteriously can’t load. It’s a conspiracy, obviously.
  • Brand liking: Why are brands and products always trying to get you to “like” their Facebook page before you’ve even tried them? I mean, I get the concept of “following,” but Facebook is not Twitter. When I say I like a page, my friends see that and assume it’s something I’ve already confirmed is awesome. But if I have to “like” a brand before I even learn about it, it seems a little like jumping the gun.

On a more serious note, I should make clear that there is much that I love and sorrow over more than these things, but I like to keep things light here for the most part. I’ll just say Allie’s cheeseball smile and our current transitional living situation are high on the lists, respectively.

* My invite link

how the top knot changed my life

Okay, so that’s a *slight* exaggeration. But only sort of. When it comes to hair, I am super boring. I’ve had really long hair since I was a teenager, and with all that hair to do fun things with, I do nothing. I just wear it down or maybe in a quick ponytail every now and then. But now I’ve got this little grabby infant who has recently discovered how TOTALLY AWESOME it is to pull my hair at every available opportunity. My hair gets in the way a lot. The other day I just looked at it all and felt so sick of all that hair! So I leaned over and pulled it all together in a bun at the top of my head.

It sounds totally lame, but I honestly cannot remember ever doing this before, and I felt so free!! I have been doing it all week, and every time I see myself in the mirror I freak out a little because I’m just not used to it. I also feel a little like Mulan. But she’s totally awesome and hardcore, so I’m cool with that. Allie thinks it’s funny and smiled super big at me the first time she saw my new ‘do (which, most of the time, is not a clean knot but a messy bun at the top of my head).

Anyway, yay for learning things every other girl figured out a million years ago. I’m like a new woman.

{Thanks to my beloved Tori for snapping the photo at the top during our waffle date the other day}

winter moments + happy distractions

Happy day off for some of you! Of course, I don’t get the day off, but there are plenty of other things making me happy today! For example…

  • The lingering memory of our Valentine’s getaway: Oh, my friends. There are a few (okay, more than a few) things in life that just make my heart sing. One of these is beautiful hotels. The feeling of being able to step inside somewhere lovely where you escape your daily life and relax and get taken care of—I love it.  I just love it. And I was so happy Allie was there! She had her first funicular ride, her first experience swimming (heated outdoor pool!), and plenty of attention from our fellow hotel guests. She was a total champ, too, sleeping well in the hotel crib in our room. I don’t typically rock her to sleep, but after our swim she was very tired and very cold and needed a quick catnap, so I wrapped her up in a blanket and rocked her by the fireplace in our room. It was so serene and warm in the dark with just the glow of the fire, holding my sweet baby girl. A perfect winter moment.
  • Insurgent: Since finally finishing my other book, I’ve been able to move on to book 2 of the Divergent series. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it, but I am back in and hooked once more! I totally love young adult lit.
  • Ciabatta bread: Yesterday for our family dinner, my mom wanted to make these sandwiches we love with grilled chicken, pineapple, and ranch dressing on ciabatta buns. But we didn’t have any ciabatta. So, thanks to our dear friend Google, we discovered (of course) that it’s not even that hard to make. And so we (my mom) made them, and they were delicious! It’s so exciting and empowering to find you can make things you’ve always only bought! We also enjoyed some amazing striped delight for dessert, a recipe courtesy of my friend Britni.
  • POPSUGAR Must Have* Resort Special Edition box: Friday, on our way out of town, we stopped by Target to pick up some baby swim equipment. As we walked across the parking lot, I put my sunglasses on and had the following series of thoughts: I remembered how my sunglasses had recently been broken (and fixed), thought about how I wouldn’t mind a new pair, recalled reading a review of a POPSUGAR Special Edition box that included sunglasses, then thought to myself how excited I am for the next Special Edition. Literally 10 minutes later, I felt my phone vibrate with an email and pulled it out. It was from POPSUGAR, announcing the resort box. Oh my goodness. I squealed aloud in Target. Like, three times.
  • Under the Gunn: Okay, so I didn’t realize that Tim Gunn’s show (a) had started, and (b) is a version of Project Runway. I’ve been catching up on the season thus far and just love Tim Gunn. It’s a slightly different twist on the typical Project Runway format, but I like it!
  • Influenster VoxBox: So a month or so ago a friend invited me to Influenster, which, in case you aren’t familiar, is basically a community for product review-sharing and brand discussion, and if you meet certain demographics and complete enough reviews and surveys, they send you—just my favorite thing ever—surprise boxes! Well, it’s a bunch of products to review. Anyway, I got my shipping notification for one of the VoxBoxes (lots of people have already received and reviewed theirs, so maybe they ship from the East Coast?), and I’m super excited!! I’ve carefully skipped past all the pictures others have posted of their boxes to keep mine a surprise.

And not to keep on about how busy work is, but seriously, it’s a good thing I have all this stuff to distract me, because work is dominating my life. I guess we all have to find things to look forward to, because daily life is not really always exciting.

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{Image via}

gold stars and olympic tears

{Image via Pinterest}

I finally finished my book! There is something so fulfilling about finishing a book. I sort of feel like I should get a gold star. (No wonder they call us the entitled generation!) Really though. You get a great sense of accomplishment when you finish a book, but it’s funny how it isn’t the same thing with movies… Anyway, it was interesting but also sort of depressing yet somehow inspiring. I think I’ll give it a review on here one of these days, mostly because it brings up some super fascinating topics of discussion, like envy and classism and the realities of adulthood. But in other news, with my book done, I have a few other things on my mind today:

  • The Olympics: Guys, I love the Olympics so much. I am in actual tears every time a competitor, regardless of country, does well and I see how completely happy and excited he/she is. It’s just pure joy, and it makes me happy to see it! On the flip side, seeing someone do poorly (like the girl in one of the snowboard events who fell and cracked her helmet) also makes me cry (mom hormones?), because I can (can’t) only even imagine how crushed they must feel. But anyway, it’s amazing to see what these people can do, and figure skating is still my favorite event ever to watch. Seriously, the Olympics are magical. I think I am officially adding it to my bucket list to attend an Olympics one day!
  • Russia: On that note, can we talk about Russia for a sec? There’s has been a lot of Russia-trashing in light of various mishaps with the Olympics. I get it, there have been issues (as, I’m to understand, there have been at pretty much every Olympics), but I’ve been seeing some just mean Russia-hating going on, and it makes me sad. Let’s just put international politics completely aside—isn’t that sort of one of the goals of the Olympics? I obviously have a soft spot in my heart for Russians after studying abroad there in college, and I just wish we could be a bit nicer about the whole thing. They clearly wanted these games to be amazing, and from most of the reports from people actually there, they totally are. Russia is a beautiful country and deserves a chance to be seen and appreciated! Just like the next hosting country (Brazil, right?) does. I just want world peace, okay?!
  • Birchbox* shop: So one of my favorite monthly subscription boxes is Birchbox, which is probably the most well known box out there. One thing I did not know prior to joining was that Birchbox has a whole shop of products, and when you buy stuff from the shop, you get Birchbox points. You also get points for your reviewing the monthly products in your Birchbox. Anyway, you can use those points for free stuff (boxes or merchandise), and it has become a bit of an obsession of mine to buy as many of my regular products as I can through Birchbox so I can get the points. I was looking at these cards from Rifle Paper Co. the other day and had them in my cart to buy. On a whim I decided to see if they were available anywhere else online, and wouldn’t you know, Birchbox has them—for the same price, AND I get Birchbox points for the purchase. Even if you don’t get the box, you should just sign up for a Birchbox account to start accumulating points for things you would get already! I’m currently trying to get Ben to reassure me that this is a good use of my points.
  • Mommy guilt: I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Why I’m apparently incapable of letting other people watch Allie and why, even when Ben tells me to go nap while he watches her, I have the hardest time relaxing and leaving her. On Saturday my cousin invited me out for lunch, and I took a huge emotional step in leaving Allie with Ben while I got out on my own for a few hours. It felt so good! I mean, obviously, I missed Allie, but it made me realize it is healthy to leave your baby every now and then. It also occurred to me that every mom has to come to this realization on her own (people have been telling me this all along, but I had to feel it for myself). Anyway, working on it.
  • Jimmy Kimmel: I don’t ever watch late-night TV, but the other night I turned it on as background and caught Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets (where celebrities read out some of the random mean tweets about them) and Unnecessary Censorship (exactly what it sounds like). Ben was sick and had already gone to bed, so I was just alone, dying of laughter. Seriously, if you haven’t seen these, WATCH THEM. They will make your day.
  • Email: Talk about the most life-improving yet life-ruining invention ever. Of course email is super convenient for communicating with people, but it has also resulted in a number of very annoying communication habits. For example, I got approximately 50 emails over the weekend for a work project from the same three people—lots of back and forth or just an email as a thought occurred to one of them. I tried to read them as they came in but was distracted, you know, living my life, and sorting through them this morning just made my brain hurt. We need to learn how to organize our thoughts before clicking send! Also, there’s the fact that people read emails and never respond to them, maybe because it only takes a second to check your email but responding actually requires time.

And speaking of email, I have to respond to like 10 for work! Peace out!

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on being a hawaii-raised mainlander

My high school reunion is coming up soon, and following all the exchanges about it in our Facebook group has brought the nostalgia train big time. As some of you know, I was born and raised in Hawaii. We would go on vacations to the mainland during most summers to visit family, but the life I knew was the tranquility of the islands. Contrary to what many people thought, we did not live in grass huts or wear hula skirts all the time, but it was probably a different childhood than someone might have in the continental U.S.

For starters, things like designer labels and nice cars were completely off my radar. I’m sure some people wore/had them, but nobody that I knew really cared. Also, being a part of the (not necessarily overwhelming) minority of Caucasians, I didn’t even really think about race for the most part. Hawaii is actually heavily Asian (pretty sure they are the majority), though where I lived there were lots of Polynesians and a fair share of Caucasians. In short, it was a good mix. The island of Oahu is even known as “the gathering place”—a kind, happy name I’ve always felt described my home very well.

A favorite pic from childhood of my brother and me at the beach.

A favorite pic from childhood of my brother and me at the beach.

Hawaii was and is the most laid back environment I’ve ever known, with some of the nicest people in the nation. Going to the beach after school, walking to get everywhere (I didn’t get my license until I was in college), and being surrounded by the beauties of nature at its finest on a daily basis were things of which I took shameful advantage until I left home for good. (This Buzzfeed article gives a few more reasons why Hawaii is an awesome place to grow up. Like li hing mui ice pops… YUM.)

Another was finding amusement in simple pleasures. We didn’t have a ton of things to do in my town apart from go to the beach, go see movies, or go to Foodland (the local grocery store). I regularly threw parties and invited everybody I knew, but these consisted of hanging out at my house, talking, eating food, and occasionally playing outdoor activities like water balloon fights or four square in my driveway. Everybody came anytime there was anything going on, because there was rarely anything ever going on. (The idea of inviting people to parties and them not showing up was one of the hardest growing pains of moving to the mainland.)

Despite the happy existence I had growing up, I was in a big hurry to head off to college and see the world. Like most teenagers, I had big dreams for my future and felt Hawaii was too small to contain them. Plus, I think I felt like I was missing out on something. I always longed for the traditional high school experience I saw in the movies (no idea why the concepts of indoor hallways and lockers were so appealing to me), and I think anyone can get island fever when you live on a small speck in the middle of earth’s largest ocean. So off I went, never looking back until it was too late to change my mind.

The view from my front yard.

The view from my front yard.

I miss it a lot, of course. While the memories of my peaceful childhood still come easily, so many parts of me have faded from being gone all these years. The most obvious of these is my vocabulary. If you’ve lived in or visited Hawaii, you know there are several distinctly Hawaiian terms and pronunciations. I held onto these for as long as I could, but eventually I grew tired of people not understanding me and had to give them up. For example:

  • Hawai’i: While technically, the authentic pronunciation of our state name involves the Hawaiian V sound for the letter W, most people pronounced it huh-wuh’-ee. I always did, but on the mainland people just had no idea what I was saying. So I started saying huh-whyee to people when introducing myself, and eventually I stopped saying it the original way altogether.
  • Saimin: Also known as ramen. But nobody calls it saimin in the mainland, and, especially as a starving college student!, I had to adapt.
  • Slippers: People think these are those fuzzy shoes you wear around the house, but in fact they are what most people call flip-flops. And even though the term flip-flops is one of the most ridiculous things I had ever heard, I changed my ways so people could understand me.

There are plenty of other expressions unique to Hawaii, but honestly, if I start thinking about this anymore the missing will be too much to handle! I’ll just close with one thing that is extra hard not to have in the mainland: leis. You’ll see them from time to time, but they are just part of life in Hawaii. Any award, graduation, celebration—there are leis. When families would move away growing up, we would sing Aloha ‘Oe in church and everyone would bring up leis for our soon-to-be-departed friends.

Me and my insane stack of leis after high school graduation.

It was always easy to feel the love in Hawaii. I need to get back there soon!!

life in this moment

I have this tendency toward infatuation. In all aspects of my life. I get super excited about something (or someone, as the case may be) for a while, then eventually it passes and I move on to something else without blinking. This served me well in getting over all sorts of relationships that probably weren’t right in the first place, and it also meant that the relationship that eventually did work out would need to start slow and steady. And, thank goodness, I was maybe the only girl who didn’t kiss Ben under his retractable mistletoe at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party where we met.

Anyway, you may find that my blog posts don’t always follow a consistent pattern or predictability, because frankly I just change my mind a lot about how I want to do things. So in the interests of living in the moment, my post today is all about right now. Currently, I am…

  • feeling: Exhausted. But also grateful. Ben is taking Allie on a walk so I can have some me time. This may turn into a nap once this post is done…
  • listening: To “Demons” by The Wanted (the band featured in last week’s ‘do this’ post). This song is the perfect pre-workout motivator. (Or run song, if you’re a runner. Tony Horton is my workout soundtrack.)
  • obsessing: About this Kate Spade color blocked tee, discovered through A Little Dash of Darling. So simple, yet so cute.
  • loving: My defiant, energetic child. She completely wears me out, but I love that even this small little girl is so sure of what she wants. Or at least what she thinks she wants. And that could and will change at any moment. (Hmm.. sounds like someone else we just talked about…)
  • wearing: Leggings. Obviously. And an oversized mint v-neck left over from pregnancy.
  • procrastinating: Work. It’s a holiday, so I don’t technically have to, but there are things to be done. And I should probably do them. Sigh.
  • worrying: About everything. Because that’s just what moms do.
  • smiling: Because the Bachelor is on tonight, and it is my guilty pleasure, and that is okay with me.
  • craving: Pineapple. I used to buy/eat at least one a week but haven’t since we moved. WITHDRAWALS.
  • realizing: I need a break from my iPhone. It is a legitimate addiction, and I’ve been in denial about it.
  • wishing: Our cats would reverse their daily routine to instead sleep all night and chase each other around loudly all day.
  • reconsidering: My personal ban on painting my fingernails. I haven’t painted them in years (with my wedding day French tips as a notable exception), but maybe I’m missing out.
  • dreading: Getting up and working out. Exercise + four hours of sleep = why do I do this to myself?
  • appreciating: Electric blankets and space heaters, a.k.a. the only way this Hawaii-born girl can cope with winter.
  • reading: The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer. Well not right this second, but these days, which typically consists of 10-15 pages before I totally pass out at bedtime.
  • wanting: A romantic getaway. Like nowish. I’d be cool taking Allie (and probably would anyway), but I need a vacation!
  • thinking: About Adam and Eve. A family discussion last night has planted all sorts of questions in my mind.
  • remembering: This one time four years ago when I was unintentionally a total jerk. Some friends and I were at The Cheesecake Factory and had been waiting a while for our food. The waitress came by and asked us if everything was alright, to which I responded honestly (but not even thinking how bratty it sounded), “Just hungry.” Everyone looked at me like I had just insulted the girl’s mom or something. I then realized that, while meant to be an honest statement, it probably came across super rude. Sorry, random CF waitress. Not sure why that popped into my head. Maybe I’m actually craving cheesecake.
  • missing: Virginia, as per usual.
  • ending: This post.

Peace out, friends. Happy MLK Jr. day. (Btw, this is a very interesting take on what MLK Jr.’s most important contribution really was.)

{Today’s post idea is inspired by this post on The Daybook. If you want to borrow it, too, I would love to read yours!}

{{Image is the drool-worthy QLOCKTWO wall clock}}

boxes, the bachelor, and babyproofing

Lots of random things on my mind this morning. I got a huge work project that has dominated the majority of my free time, but we won’t talk about that. Instead, let’s talk about…

  • Boxes!: Suuuper excited because my January Birchbox* arrived yesterday!! I didn’t even realize it had shipped yet, and when I saw that beautiful little box sitting on the kitchen counter, it totally made my day. Also helps that it was an awesome box! Oh, and remember the free clothes deal I told you about on Monday? My oh-so free Ann Taylor cardigan has shipped! Woot!

  • The Bachelor: Okay, I have to be honest, I wasn’t all that excited about this season. At least not as much as I’ve been in the past. I think I questioned the choice of Juan Pablo as el bach-ell-ore, but he has totally impressed me thus far. If you are a follower of the show, for sure check out the weekly recaps from Possessionista. She cracks me up.

  • Babyproofing: It has become clear to me that my tiny little human will soon become a tiny little terror once she learns to crawl. The thought of all the dangers that surround her in our house has made me, to put it mildly, completely paranoid. I know we need to start thinking about babyproofing, but I honestly have no idea where to start. Are there manuals for this??

Other random thoughts today:

  • TV in general: I feel like things are finally starting to pick up after the break. I don’t watch a ton of TV, usually just a show or two in the evening while I do something else (we have a strict no TV around Allie policy, at least for now), but there is something to be said for the little pleasures that are our regular shows. Just a nice way to unwind after a long day. Probably the show I’m most excited about these days is Sherlock. Because Benedict Cumberbatch is just fantastic. And also, it’s just the most brilliant and captivating show on television. It made me wonder.. would it be weird if we had a son and named him Sherlock? But seriously, have you ever heard of anyone besides the Sherlock named Sherlock?
  • Stressful jobs: My job can get pretty stressful sometimes, but usually it’s just a day or two, then things calm down and my nerves can recover. Ben found this Forbes article on The Most Stressful Jobs of 2014, and I found it very interesting (but, frankly, not surprising) that enlisted military personnel top the list. The side effects of being in prolonged stressful situations are a troubling topic of discussion for another day, but it makes me extra appreciative (cue Veterans Day post flashback) of our friends who are still serving. My job has its moments, but in comparison with, you know, fearing for your life every second of every day for months on end, I have it way easy.
  • Modern dads: When our friends the Petersons were visiting a couple of weeks ago, Richard remarked how, in conversations with his dad, it became apparent that our dads and other dads in their generation were much less involved in parenting than young dads today are. I am sure that’s not true for everyone in either generation, but I definitely find it’s true with people I know. Ben’s involvement in our daily routine is totally essential. I can cope without his help, but it is way harder. From this I can draw one of two conclusions: (1) Parenting is harder now than it was for my parents, or (2) I am just a total lightweight compared to my mom. I’ll just leave that one unanswered.

Anyway, back to the workly grind. Plenty of food for thought while I wait for my conference call to start, I suppose!

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sleep deprivation and veronica mars

This past week I came across two totally unrelated articles from The Atlantic that have been on my mind. We’ll start with the fun stuff, shall we?

What babies can learn from cats

For all their inability to be trained in any way whatsoever, cats at least have one skill down: sleep. Not only is sleep rejuvenating and happiness-inducing; it’s kind of essential to survive. One of my Facebook friends posted this article the other day about the effects of sleep deprivation, and I learned a few troubling lessons:

  • I classify as chronically sleep deprived.
  • Depression and sleep deprivation manifest themselves in the same ways.
  • Not sleeping enough literally poisons your body.

I suppose none of these should be a surprise. By a random miracle of teething chaos, our whole family got a two-hour nap yesterday afternoon, and I woke up feeling like a new woman. I can’t wait for how awesome and fun I’ll be once I start sleeping consistently again! Get excited, people! And in the meantime, some real fun stuff to look forward to…

Movies I’ll see if I ever learn to trust a babysitter

There really is a lot of cinema fun coming in 2014, much of which I hadn’t even heard about until I read this article! Any other former UPN watchers may remember the randomly awesome, cult-followed Veronica Mars, which, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, got the funding to be made into a movie—and it’s coming out in March! Totally excited. A few other highlights on the list of 2014 movies:

  • Divergent: More than a little excited about this one.
  • The Giver: So cool they are making a movie of this! Need to reread the book, though, since it’s been a decade or two…
  • Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1: Of course I’ll have to see Catching Fire first, but still.
  • Into the Woods: Have loved the musical for almost my whole life and cannot wait to see the movie!
  • Unbroken: How awesome there’s a movie in the works! Already established as one of my favorite books ever.

Now about the whole trusting other people to watch my child thing… yeah. Working on that.

wrapping paper and will ferrell

This is my life right now. Wrapping all my mom’s presents to the family, since I’m pretty sure she’s still doing last-minute shopping, while I watch Elf and other Christmas faves. I have to abide by my rules of an awesome Christmas, after all! Besides how to keep the cats from tearing all the wrapped presents to pieces, the following things are on my mind today:

  • Christmas gift tags: I’m not sure when it started, but in my family I have this tradition of creative gift tags. That is, To: Mom | From: Bethany doesn’t fly in my world. Usually something more like To: Momnivore | From: Bethereal. Just a simple play on words, but it’s more fun than the boring over-and-over of regular gift tags. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of Christmas, and I like to do it on all presents I wrap. My mom, Ben, and a sibling or two have adopted the tradition, but honestly, some people just don’t get it or appreciate it.

  • Nicknames: On that note, I’ve learned that in some families, people don’t get nicknames. That’s actually how Ben’s family is. Just straight Benjamin, all the time. In my family, it’s rare we actually get called by our own name. My siblings have so many different names for me and I for them, it’s only if I’m trying to be serious that I would use their given name. How do your families do it?
  • Uneven bread loaves: Ben and I pretty much only use bread for sandwiches. And several times recently when we’ve finished a loaf of bread, we’ve been left with one slice (annoying because, you know, sandwiches require two slices). Anyway, we got a new loaf of bread recently, and I decided to count. FIFTEEN slices. It’s like they give you an odd number on purpose!
  • Captchas: I feel like captchas are getting longer and harder to read. Not all bloggers I follow have applied the advice from Erin of Living in Yellow to remove word verification on the comments settings of their blogs. They should. I know the idea is to prove you’re human, but I swear it’s like the captcha is trying to make it as hard as possible for you to get it right!
  • Yearbooks: It occurred to me the other day that the concept of a high school yearbook seems a little outdated now that everyone you know is on Facebook and “keep in touch!” is almost impossible not to do. It made me wonder if schools still do yearbooks. And if they still cost like $80 or whatever it was.
  • Over-documenting our lives: Brace yourself for a wake-up call. I recently read this article (via Design Mom) about how we feel the need to take pictures of everything. It used to be that all we cared about was social sharing, but now it’s about possessing. We want to capture and keep each moment, which causes us to interrupt our experiences. It makes me want to just stop and experience every moment without having to take a picture… for about five seconds. Then I worry the moment will pass and rush to grab my phone. Addiction, anyone?

Hope you are all having a lovely time with your families or on your own, but in all cases enjoying this happy holiday season!

five years, forgotten brands, and more

Ben and I were talking today about how weird it is to think of our life before Allie—living in a world where/when she didn’t exist yet. It’s just crazy to imagine it. A couple of weeks ago marked the five-year anniversary of Ben and me meeting, and today is the five-year anniversary of when we started dating. I don’t feel old until I start looking at old pictures of us together. Like the pic below from our engagement shoot, about 3.5 years ago. We’re practically babies.

Which brings me to the first of the other things on my mind today:

  • Martin + Osa: Do any of you remember this store? This was my favorite clothing store for, you know, the four years it existed. My jeans in the pic above are from there. A branch of the American Eagle family, it shut down after too few people realized its awesomeness. Every time I wear an M+O item my heart breaks a little all over again, realizing that if I wear it out there is no replacement. Why do good brands have to die?? And on the subject of clothes…
  • Elizabeth & Clarke: I know I’ve already blog-loved on E&C, but I have to share this amazing deal I discovered through MommySplurge: LivingSocial is offering a sweet deal on Elizabeth & Clarke subscriptions. Up to 50% off, depending on whether you get the one-, two-, or three-shirt option. I keep trying to decide whether to get this for myself or trust Santa’s elves will notice it on my Christmas list.
  • FedEx Smart Post: I am not exactly new to the venting game here, but oh my goodness. FedEx Smart Post is the slowest, most frustrating parcel service out there! I have always been a champion of FedEx, rooting instead for UPS in Consumerist’s Worst Companies in America tournament, for example. But I guess this was before I started getting packages via Smart Post. There is no expeditious value in this partnership with USPS above just shipping through USPS to begin with. I just don’t get it.
  • College and first job showers: My sister shared this interesting article on Facebook last night that blames (in part) big weddings for high divorce rates and baby showers for teen pregnancies. Perhaps not completely sound science, but one point the author raises piqued my interest: maybe we should be throwing college showers, to celebrate acceptance to a school and send our kids off with gifts to equip them for college life, or first job showers, to praise the achievement of actually getting a job in this economy. I like these ideas. Parties are always great incentive for me!
  • Goodreads: Thanks to Emily for introducing me to the book lovers community everyone except me has been a part of for years. I so often find myself wanting good ideas for a new book, and this is the perfect place to find them! Time to find a few more books to change my life.

And finally, what’s on my mind is the hours of work I have ahead of me tonight! Off I go to save the world*, one marketing project at a time.

* Kidding. Obviously.