Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Amazing Adventures of Crazy Cat Lady

So the kitchen continues to be my best lighting situation in this apartment.  I love the bookcases-as-wall in the main room, but combined with a large-ish tree outside my window, there is not a whole lot of light in the front half.  So while I had originally wanted to use my bookcases as my backdrop, it would seem y'all will be seeing a LOT of my awesome (and clean!) kitchen.

Floral cardigan - H&M; Black tank top & skinny jeans - Target; Gray Madden Girl Boots - Peebles

Also.  Posing?  I'm not good at it.  I feel silly.  You can ask April.  When she offered to take my outfit photo for me at Ikea, I immediately got awkward.  And then groped a closet unit.  So I've just decided to embrace my weirdness.  Hence the Wonder Woman pose up there.  And the "just casually tossing my hair" pose below:

I like that photo because it almost looks like I have a real butt!  The other night while I was sitting at the airport, waiting to see if I'd fly, I watched Aisha Tyler's Comedy Central special and it started with the following music video:

nowassitall - watch more funny videos      

It made my giggle.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Habits

So what's the old adage?  About how it takes 21 days to form a new habit?  I'd say it's pretty accurate.  I've been in my new apartment for three weeks now.  And before I'd even moved in, I had made one decision about my new place.  It was going to be kept clean.

My last situation was less than tidy.  The burden of cleaning was not split equally between the three people living there (one of which was living rent-free, two of which were unemployed) and if I didn't do things, they often went undone.  I hated it.  I grew up in a meticulous household.  My mother kept a clean, tidy, orderly home.  And even though I don't always like to admit it, I am slowly turning into my mother.  After having lived in a messy apartment for two years, I was done.

So.  I decided to become a Clean Person, the kind of person who doesn't panic at the idea of someone stopping by unannounced or who waits to call Maintenance on a problem until she's had a chance to clean everything up.  But I'm lazy.  And I knew it was something that wasn't going to happen overnight, so I made a small goal: to clean the kitchen every night.  By "clean the kitchen" I meant to wash the dinner dishes (though I don't worry too much about putting them away until the morning), wipe down the counter tops, stove & table and sweep the floor.  Every night.  And I have.

But tonight I started bargaining.  I'd been lazy all day, aside from a 5-mile run, and the breakfast dishes were still sitting (rinsed!) in the sink.  And this little voice in my brain started wheedling me.  "You can just do them in the morning.  You don't have to do them right away.  Go and have some ice cream and come back later to do it."  But I know myself.  And I know that if I walked out of the kitchen without cleaning it, I likely wouldn't get around to doing it.  So I did it.  That's something the old me might not have done.  So I gave myself a little pat on the back after I put the broom away, came into the living room to type this up, and now I'm going to go have that ice cream.  It's pretty awesome being a grown up.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hey Good Lookin'! Whatcha Got Cookin'?

So, it would seem my kitchen has the best lighting in the entire apartment.  I toted the tripod all around the apartment, trying to find a place with good lighting.  And I ended up in the kitchen.  I take a certain amount of pride in how clean my kitchen is these days, so I think I'm okay with taking my outfit photos in there.
Gray cardigan - Target; Floral blouse - Fun & Flirt via Marshalls; Skinny jeans - Target; Black heels - Qupid via LEN

There are some new items here!  This is the first appearance of both the blouse & the jeans.  The blouse was $7 at Marshalls.  I had originally tried on a large and thought it was a bit big and had put it back on the rack.  When I came back a few days later, there was a medium.  I bought it without trying it on.  Word of advice, friends.  Try things on.  Because that ruffly bit at the bottom of the shirt originally had elastic running through it.  And the large was, well, large enough that the elastic wasn't very elastic and the shirt stayed put.  But I didn't buy the large.  I bought the medium.  And the elastic kept wanting to slide up to my smallest point, which is several inches above where my jeans hit.  And I'm not into belly shirts.  So I decided, rather than return the shirt, because I really liked the pattern & the neckline, to just take out all the elastic.  It was a project and I'm not sure I like the final product.  I feel like it hits me at an odd point on my hips and there's no definition at my waist.  To top that off (or bottom it off?) those skinny jeans are SKINNY.  Holy Hannah.  They fit great in the waist & hips, but man oh man, the legs are tight.  I think this is actually the standard in skinny jeans, but it's a new sensation for me.  My old Express jeans (RIP, Express jeans) were a skinny leg, but they weren't skin-tight.  These are the kind of skinny jeans that end up completely inside-out when I take them off.

All complaining aside, looking at the picture now, I think it looks fine.  And I can't wait to wear those jeans with boots this fall.  I've been on the look-out for a brown pair to give my gray Madden Girl boots a break.  I really need to take a good look at my closet and take stock of what I have and what I'd like.  I feel like I have a lot of great pieces, but it's not very cohesive.  And there are some weird gaps.  For instance, I do not own a single button-down shirt.  Not a one.  I also don't currently own a vest.  I have zero pull-over sweaters.  I got rid of so many things and now it's time to hit up some thrift stores and fill in the gaps.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jimi Jimi Jimi

So.  I've had this shirt since my freshman year of college.  It's an XL because I was a chubbier girl then and also I wore a lot of baggy clothes.  It's one of those shirts I just can't get rid of.  Even though it has a small hole in the armpit.  And even though I swim in it now.  I keep trying to style it in a way that looks cute & not trashy.  Because as much as I love this shirt (and Jimi Hendrix!), it really doesn't fit into my current wardrobe.  But I persist!

Perry Ellis blazer- Savers; Jimi Hendrix tshirt - The Hendrix Experience mobile museum; Olive skirt - Old Navy (found for $3.50 on sale!); Burgandy tights - HUE via Nordstrom Rack; Gray Madden Girl Boots - Peebles

My tripod arrived from Amazon on Friday and I've been trying to figure out the best place to take outfit photos.  The lighting was bad in my living room yesterday, so I had to use the flash, which I hate.  Also, there's the problem with my slanty floors.  All my photos turned out kind of crooked.  Thank goodness for the "straighten" option in Picasa.

Also, there's been no word from the Laundry Thief.  Somewhat surprisingly, there's also been no word back yet from my property management company OR the police.  I left both of them messages on Saturday morning, so I'm hoping I'll hear something by the end of the business day today.  I'm serious about filling out a police report.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Was Robbed, I Tell Ya, Robbed!

Oh that I wish this blog title was a joke.  But it's not.  I've been robbed.  Let me back up.

So last night, I did my laundry.  I put two loads in the washing machines and went back up to my apartment to put dinner together.  When I finished my dinner, I walked back downstairs to put my clothes in the dryer.  Then I went upstairs and snuggled with the kitten and watched an episode of Numb3rs.  I figured 40 minutes is the about right time for a dryer cycle.  So when the show was over, I tromped back downstairs to fold my laundry.

When I walked into the laundry room (which you have to have a key to get into), there was a girl standing by the dryers.  All of my clothes were on top of the dryers.  This didn't strike me as weird at all, because I had myself just moved someone's wash out of the washing machine so I could use it.  The girl kind of started when I walked in and said, "Oh, is this yours?"  I replied in the affirmative and assured that it was cool, I know how it is when you need to use the machine.  She mumbled something about bringing stuff over from a storage unit and beat a hasty retreat.  I told her to have a good night because I'm super polite like that & I started to fold my clothes.

I'm not sure when exactly I realized that I was missing things.  I think the first thing I noticed that was missing was a pair of running tights.  The ones I wore on my 11 mile run yesterday.  I frowned, looked through the pile of stuff.  Then I realized the hot pink workout tank I'd ALSO worn yesterday on my run was gone.  And as I was pawing through my clothes, noticed that my Doctor Who tshirt from Threadless was not present.

Let me back up again real quick.  So, here's the deal with the laundry room in my new building.  One of the washing machines is $1.50/load, the other is $1.75.  I don't know why.  There are three dryers and two of them are $1.25/load and one of them is $1.50.  Obviously people all want to use the cheaper machines, myself included.  Before I realized that my clothes were missing, I was perturbed because someone had removed my load of darks from the dryer before they were dry.  My jeans & a maxi dress & my uniform dress were all still really damp.  So I was pissed because I thought someone had taken my stuff out & put their stuff in, on my money.  That machine was done.  So when I saw that my clothes were gone, my immediate thought was that the rude person who stole my machine out from under me had been in a big hurry and hadn't gotten all of my clothes out before s/he put his/her clothes in.  Well, I found a pair of stretch pants that I hadn't noticed yet were missing.  But that was it.  Plus, the Doctor Who shirt was in with the loads of lights, which had been in the other machine.

So I opened the other machine, the machine that I remember the girl from earlier closing.  It was empty.  So then I started to get that bad feeling.  I only interacted with that girl for maybe 20 seconds, but the whole thing had been weird to me.  If she had needed the machine, why were the clothes in one of the machines already done and why were the other two empty?  I'm pretty sure that she had been going through my clothes, picking out what she wanted.  It was about this time that I realized I was ALSO missing a pair of jeans, my Express skinny jeans.  Later I also noticed one of my white v-neck t-shirts was missing.  I think that's all that was taken.

I put up signs all over the building, listing the things that were taken and asking whoever took them to please return them.  I'm pretty sure the chances of that are slim, but this morning I noticed there was ANOTHER note next to mine, from a girl in another unit who ALSO had things stolen from her in the laundry room.  So, clearly this is not an isolated incident.  I'm going to file a police report and encourage the other girl to do the same, if she hasn't.

Maybe I am just incredibly lucky, but this is the first time I've had something stolen from me.  I was almost pick-pocketed twice when I was studying abroad in Italy, but both times, I realized what was going on and I confronted the pick-pocketer.  My mom loves to tell the story of the time it happened with her.  She says she's never seen me get so angry so fast.  But you know, these are MY things.  No one else has a right to take them.  And I just feel so violated.  At first I thought I was over-reacting to five items being taken from me, but I've since decided that, No.  I am not over-reacting.  Someone took things that didn't belong to him/her.  And s/he's done it before.  And s/he will do it again.  And if I don't file a police report and if I don't go to the management company, nothing will ever come of it.  And maybe nothing will come of it still, but at least I've acted.

Now let's all take a moment of silence for the items that will probably never grace this blog again.

Friday, September 16, 2011

With Special Guest Star

So apparently my cat continues to want to be on the blog.  As I was setting up to take some shots of my first foray of the Fall in my black trench coat, she trotted right into the frame and then perched up on the chair.  Pretty sure we even have matching expressions.

Floral scarf - Forever 21; Black shiny trench - Target; Joe's Jeans - Nordstrom Rack; Black flats - Nine West

No real exciting outfit today because I ran 11 1/2 miles today as part of my training for the half marathon I'm running at the end of October.  It took quite a bit out of me, so by the time I got home, I just wanted comfort.  Which meant jeans, a t-shirt & a flowy cardigan.  I added the scarf & trench for my walk to Target to get ice cream.  Because while I do not NEED ice cream, I WANT it after today's run.  So I'm going to have some.  As soon as my laundry is done.

And since I've already got two pictures of Stella up on the blog, might as well show y'all why I am really good at typing & eating with my left hand.

Yep.  Just go right ahead & call me a crazy cat lady.  But that's how we chill, the baby cat & I.  She kills me with the cuteness.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


 I don't have an outfit for y'all, though I have actually worn two pretty cute outfits.  I just didn't get a chance to take any photos.  But!  This is just a quick bit of housekeeping business.  I've switched the comments to Disqus because I was bummed that I could never reply to the comments and the comments are the best part of posting! So,  I think you'll have to register for it, but now I'll be able to talk back to you!  Which I think is pretty exciting! So we'll give this a go and see how it works!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Last of the Summer Days

So on Monday we had the last 80+ degree day for a while, according to the forecasts.  Yesterday's high was in the low 70s & today's high won't even hit 60.  I took advantage of that beautiful day to take a walk up to the post office to drop off a package for the Mister.

Yellow silk blouse - Anthropologie; Teal maxi dress as skirt - Forever 21; Nude platform sandals - GUESS via DSW.

This is the only photo that really turned out.  I ordered a tripod from Amazon, so hopefully soon I won't have to rely on the various surfaces in my apartment and I may even venture outside!  It's hard to see in this photo, but you might remember from previous appearances of this top that it has really pretty light blue embroidery in the straps and along the neckline.  I thought that paired pretty well with my maxi dress.  I hate the smocked bodice of this top, but I love the color.  I pulled it up to right under my bra to wear it as a skirt & I think it worked well length-wise with my platform sandals.

Personally, I'm looking forward to this cooler weather.  For one thing, it's a welcome change from the hot, humid temps I've run through all summer.  Plus, I've mentioned before, I'm a sucker for a blazer and cooler weather just BEGS for blazers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

In Which I Wear Things Again

So, contrary to blog evidence of the past month, I do still put on clothes & leave my apartment.  Though, in all fairness, now that I'm living alone again, I take EVERY opportunity to do things in my underwear.

I honestly don't know if any of the pieces in this outfit actually "match" but I felt like they went together so well.  And also, I love this t-shirt.  It's from Threadless and I get stopped so often by people who have seen the design on the site and are excited to see it "in the wild" which is fun.

 I've mentioned before that I'm a big old nerd for Doctor Who, and y'all know how much I love owls, so put the two together and you have one happy lady!  Below, I'm pointing out my own personal favorite Doctor, as portrayed by David Tennant, in owl form.

Pardon the greasy-looking face.  It's been pretty dang warm in my apartment lately b/c I've been a cookie-baking factory.  

Stella wanted to be on my blog, and really, how could I say no?  

My hair is getting ridiculously long.  The last time it was this long was when I was in high school.  It needs a cut badly b/c it's all pretty much one length.  I've been going to the Aveda Institute for all my hair cutting needs since I moved up to Minneapolis, but the students tend to be a little risk-averse.  And I can understand that, because they are getting evaluated based on how my hair looks when I walk out.  So this last time, I asked the girl to take it all up 3 inches, and she kind of freaked at how much 3 inches was and I think she forgot to take up the layers.  A flight attendant friend of mine gave me a referral card for her stylist, so I think I'm going to go see him, pay the big $$ and let him give me an actual style again.  And then I'll go back to being cheap and getting my trims at the Institute.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Food & Clothes: Two of My Favorite Things

So, last but not least on this house tour is my closet & the kitchen!

For a studio apartment, the closet in this place is HUGE!  Eyeballing it, I could possibly fit my bed (without the head or foot boards) into the closet.  One could definitely fit a single bed in there.  But I'm rather pleased with how I've divided the main room, so my closet is the Home For Everything Else That Doesn't Have a Place Plus All My Clothes and Shoes.  My closet is very pleased with its title.

View of the closet from the hall
There are actually two entry points on the closet.  The big door in the living room photos leads into the closet.  But I've decided to just keep that door closed all the time because I don't need two ways to get in here.

Cube organizer pulled from the trash
So, I found that 3x3 cube organizer next to a dumpster in my neighborhood.  When I was younger, I used to be mortified when my mother would have my dad pull the car over so she could pull something out of someone else's trash.  Now?  Hey, guess what!  It's free!  Plus, there is this understanding in my neighborhood that if you're getting rid of something that someone else might want, you don't put it inSIDE the dumpster.  You put it next to it.  I did the same with a computer desk I didn't want anymore.  I tried to sell it on Craigslist, with no takers, so on moving day, my step-dad & I carried it out and put it next to my dumpster.  It was gone within 3 hours.  There was actually a whole bunch of great stuff with this cube organizer, but I decided not to be greedy.  I had actually planned on purchasing one of these new at Target, where they sell for $50 and come flat-packaged and require assembly.  So I was rather pleased at finding one  in good condition, already all put together and FREE.  Did I mention it was free?

View from the back of the closet
Like I said, the closet is pretty much home to everything without a home.  I'll probably do another purge in the next few months, of things that just don't belong and that I don't need to keep.  I have a feeling that lamp is going to go.

I have to say that I think the kitchen might be my favorite room in the whole house.  I'm actually sitting in that little kitchen nook right now, drinking my coffee & writing this.  I definitely need to get some pads for the benches though, b/c my tuckus doesn't appreciate the hard surface.  That kitchen mat is from Marshall's and is the softest, scooshiest, squishiest thing EVER!  It's covered in kind of a microsuede fabric and I love standing on it while I wash dishes.  The green thing is a locker that my family has had for as long as I can remember.  It's been painted any number of colors and I use it as a pantry, although I really don't need any extra storage in this kitchen.

That hutch reaches ALL the way up to the ceiling.  And there is absolutely nothing in the upper cabinets except for a dozen rolls of paper towels.  There isn't much in the under-cabinets either.  Between that little tiled area and the locker are two tall skinny cabinets.  There's nothing in the upper one, but the lower on is PERFECT for my mop & broom & Swiffer!  

All of my single use appliances.  I have to say that the George Foreman grill might be the best $15 I've ever spent on a kitchen item.  Although I was rather dismayed to see it on sale for $7.50 yesterday at Target.  I've only used it twice, both times on chicken breast, but it's so easy!  I love it!  I also love all the counter space I have!  I put my microwave up on top of the refrigerator, because I really just don't use it enough for it to take up precious counter space.

And lastly, some of my Fiestaware pieces and proof that I have some of the loveliest friends in the universe!  Three of my best friends in the whole wide world chipped in to surprise me with this winking owl cookie jar from Anthropologie that I had been coveting.  They conspired with my mom & all the secrecy was great!

Me, looking sweaty but happy on moving day!
And as an extra special bonus, my boyfriend is currently on a ship somewhere in the ocean, so he got out of the entire moving process.  However, on September 1st, I had a special delivery.

From my mister!
A sweet & thoughtful boyfriend, amazing & clever friends and wonderful & helpful parents.  Plus a great new apartment and a loving cat.  I'm an incredibly lucky girl!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Where the Magic Happens (and by "magic" I mean sleep)

Time to talk about my bedroom!

I love my bed.  Even though, according to pretty much everyone else who has ever slept in my bed (hi Mom!), my mattresses are crap.  It's my bed with my sheets & pillows & blankets and I love it.  The bedframe is sort of a place holder.  At my parents' house, I have a real wrought-iron bedframe that belonged to, I think, my step-dad's grandparents.  It became mine when I was in high school, on the understanding that I am never to get rid of it.  And why would I?  It's lovely!  But alas, it was too heavy & cumbersome for my parents to bring up in their truck when I first moved up to Minneapolis, so I got this lightweight look-alike at Ikea.  The quilt was from Urban Outfitters, on major sale a few years ago.

I especially love the bookcases-as-wall idea.  As soon as I decided to take this apartment, I started working with the floorplan in my head and this was one of my first ideas.  The only downside is that the backs of my bookcases are an ugly brown cardboard-ish material.  But that is an easy fix!  I just need to find some awesome wallpaper or wrapping paper to cover the backs.  Easy-peasy-pumpkin pie!

And there's my awesome hot pink vanity!  It's one of my favorite pieces of furniture ever!  And do you want to know the best part?  I paid $25 for it off Craigslist AND the guy delivered it to me!  That's a great deal, if I've ever heard of one!  It came with a little bench, which can be seen next to the door in my living room pictures.  The plan for that is to re-upholster it and paint it, though not to go with the vanity.  I found the chair in an alley in my neighborhood.  I was originally going to paint it pink to match, but I got lazy and left it white.  It definitely need a new coat of paint, though. 

The little door to the left of my vanity leads to my little "linen closet" area.

And by "linen closet" area, I just mean the four shelves on the wall in the hall between the closet & the bathroom.  My mom had the brilliant idea of putting up the tension rod & curtains to hide my shelves.  I wish I could hide the catbox too, but my cat is a weirdo and she likes pulling anything in reach INTO the box.  So, the curtains have to be up higher so she can't reach them.  

To the right is the bathroom!

I love that shower curtain!  It's from the Shabby Chic line at Target & I love it enough that when an identical one went on sale, I snatched it up, just in case!  I'm trying to get maintenance to come in & raise the shower head & thus the curtain for me.  They said it's probably do-able, but they haven't stopped by yet.  I don't like the curtain dragging on the ground like that, but more importantly, when I stand in the shower, I'm eye level with the shower head!  No good!

Tomorrow I'll show you the closet & my kitchen!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Movin' on up!

 Well, it's been a while.  Sorry to have just abandoned y'all like that, but I haven't gotten savvy enough to start scheduling my posts in advance, so when I got caught up in moving & work, well, the blog fell by the wayside.  But!  I'm all moved in and I love my new place.  It's seriously so perfect for me & Stella.  The only thing I can complain about is that the building is old and all the floors are crooked.  Sometimes I feel a little like the crooked man in the old nursery rhyme:

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
But we put cardboard shims under all the furniture and I'm getting used the the slants.  Plus, Stella likes that all her toys roll away from her.

I don't have any outfit posts for you & the last 6 days of the photo challenge didn't really happen.  Partly because day 25 was a sunflare and I don't know how to do that on my camera.  But, I didn't come here empty handed.  I have soooo many pictures for you that I'm going to break this down over a couple days, so as not to overwhelm you.  We'll start with the living room!
The view from the front door

The left bookcase

The right bookcase

The bottom half of the bookcases
View of the living room from the door

Another view of the living room

View of the door & my entry piece

The entry piece is something known as The Behemoth among those who have had to move it.  It weighs about a million pounds, but me & my step-dad found it at the Salvation Army and they let us have it for $3.  It's the perfect piece to have in the entry because there's a mirror and places for my sunglass & key bowls.  The bookcases are new and are the Billy style from Ikea.  My step-dad put them together for me and they are bolted together & screwed into the wall to keep them steady.  They provide a sort of wall to separate the living room area from the bed area.  These are the little tricks one uses in a studio apartment!  With the bookcases where they are, my guests don't see my bed when they walk in, which gives a little bit of extra privacy.  I'm planning to put up more things on the wall, specifically on the wall behind the television where my "S" is hanging, so that won't look so empty.

Tomorrow I'll show you the bedroom!