Monday, June 25, 2012

NEON

I'm not really a very trendy dresser. Here's what I'm wearing today as a pretty good example of my style.
Shirt: Land's End Canvas (similar, similar)
Shorts: J. Crew
Shoes: Sperry A/Os
Bracelet: vintage (similar)
Earrings: vintage (similar)

Striped shirt, white shorts, Sperrys. What you can't really see in the picture is a pair of tiny gold friendship knot earrings and a gold greek key bangle. I also traded out the necklace for a yellow belt because I'm tidying today and it was getting in the way.

Pinterest is great for getting me to branch out a bit. For example:
Source: instagr.am via Alison on Pinterest

I've pinned a couple outfits with red pants, a color I love, but can't really wear as a top or a dress. I haven't acquired any yet, but they're on the list. I'll use Polyvore to acquire additional ideas for what to do with them once I've actually purchased them.

That said, there are other ideas on Pinterest that are definitely trendy, too young for me and just generally not my style. Of course, that doesn't keep me from being attracted to something, say, neon yellow (a little longer length, with a blue sash? could be so fun).


I love this blogger, but she's maybe all of 22, works in fashion and lives on the West Coast. The result is that most of her outfits don't fit my style, my lifestyle, my budget or really anything else. I do love seeing San Francisco geographic details in her backgrounds though!

Neon has been, ahem, hot this year in home decor and fashion. And as a child of the 80s, I'd be totally lying if I said I didn't love it, but the problem is that it's the sort of thing that will go back out of style in about five minutes and I'd be stuck with a dress or a handbag or a pair of cute neon pink shoes that I would feel weird about wearing once the neon thing is like so over. So instead, I adapted the trend to my needs, budget and trendiness level.
Peach Daiquiri from Essie

I'd been wanting to paint my toenails for several weeks because I think unpainted toenails look silly in open-toes shoes, of which I have a nude pair that I love and goes with everything. So when I was at Target last week, I found a cheap solution to the problem of being attracted to neon pink! Yay!

Of course, I was too chicken to paint my fingernails neon so I went with my standard Ballet Slippers pink from Essie, but hey, baby steps.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thinspiration

One of the more irritating things about Pinterest is the prevalence of "Thinspiration" boards. People post pictures of pretty, fit women doing amazing things. There are also some Kardashian photos. What can I say, sometimes it's a mixed bag. While I understand that "thinspiration" is mostly just an amusing play on words, the likes of which Pinterest is absolutely swimming in, I can't help but be a bit bothered by the fact that these pretty 20-somethings all over the site still feel they need to be thin in addition to being pretty, accomplished, educated (most are at university) and amazing cooks. I also can't help but find it funny that these posts get pinned literally right after things like "cake batter cookie dip" recipes. I suppose that's just life though. You take the cake batter cookie dip with a little bit of exercise.

In any case, I'm glad the Thinspiration boards are there because seeing those posts reminds me that one of the reasons I was excited to give up office work was that I would finally have time for exercise again. Except that three months later, I hadn't really done much about it except take Chester for nice long walks. I actually did enjoy running once. And running three days a week and lifting two days a week had once been an important, pleasurable part of my weekly routine before life got in the way.

So I've started my own version of a Thinspiration board, but I've called it {Fitness} Work It. Because really, I'm much less interested in losing weight than I am in not being desperately out of breath on the long hilly climb back to the parking lot at Royal Lake.

I won't be pinning any photos of the Kardashian girls though. Sorry.

So this morning, I took step one and got out on the trail for a run. Not the best day to start considering it already felt like 85 degrees when I went out at 7 AM, but really, I had procrastinated long enough. I'm using a Couch 2 5K app I found in the Android market and after one work-out, I've got to say, I really like it. One problem with doing C25K outside is that timing it is a pain, but with the app, the GPS lady's voice announces when it's time to run and when it's time to walk. I love. Here's the app's website.
One of the many beautiful views along our trails
While the husband is away progress report:

get my cracked computer screen fixed (should be ready late this week or early next)
measure the inside of the old floor model radio so we can start the bar project
buy a new register cover for the vent in the bathroom
call the realtor to see the smallest house in the development we like (waiting for a call back)
find a few more pet-related events and secure my booth (sent in requests for information)
help a friend who is moving pack her stuff
pick up dry cleaning
return books to the library
make refried beans for burritos
laundry
ironing
perfect soft almond cookie recipe
clean up office
call contractor about flooring and vanity in bath

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dude, get on that already

Yesterday was a pretty productive day considering I spent the first part of it in bed nursing a headache. It was raining so I didn't feel too bad about it. Actually, that's a lie. Despite the fact that I had an awful headache and that it was raining, which limited what I could do with Chester, I still felt a little guilty for lying around for several hours doing nothing. How ridiculous is that?

Anyway, another Pinterest find, Young House Love, runs this recurring set of posts that they've labeled "Dude, get on that already". Like anyone else, they have little nagging projects that aren't difficult, but there always seem to be a lot of them. Sometimes you need a little kick in the pants to just "git 'er done". Like hanging pictures that have been sitting in the hall for a year. No, I don't know anything about that.
Pictures on the floor of the office
For example, the last time my husband went on a work trip, I was hanging those shelves in the kitchen and watching Grey's Anatomy on Hulu on my laptop, which was sitting on the kitchen counter. Unfortunately, I bumped it with my elbow and my laptop fell off the counter. Have you ever heard the phrase "a sickening crack"? Typically writers are talking about bones, but lemme tell you, it applies equally to laptop screens. I have an HDMI cable that we use to watch TV so it wasn't that big a deal to just use the TV screen all the time, but it will be nice to have my computer screen back.

So my laptop screen has been broken since late April. Whoopsie. And...DUDE, get on that already. So yesterday I put the dog in the car and drove the laptop down to Woodbridge to get it fixed. Yay!

While the husband is away progress report:
get my cracked computer screen fixed (should be ready late this week or early next)
measure the inside of the old floor model radio so we can start the bar project
buy a new register cover for the vent in the bathroom
call the realtor to see the smallest house in the development we like
find a few more pet-related events and secure my booth
help a friend who is moving pack her stuff
pick up dry cleaning
return books to the library
make refried beans for burritos
laundry
ironing
perfect soft almond cookie recipe
I also thought about my dramatic transformation and decided that the most productive option would be to reorganize the office.
Office disarray
More office disarray, mostly related to Dog River Biscuit Company
Luckily, one of the things that is keeping the office in a state of permanent disarray is the bathroom vanity that is taking up floor space (on the far left of the top picture) because I haven't called a contractor yet to install it. So really I'm going to get to cross two items off this list.

start painting kitchen cabinets
reorganize office
call contractor to get vanity and flooring installed

Time to "dude, get on that already"!


Monday, June 18, 2012

While the husband is away...

The wife will play.

Last time my husband went on a business trip, I did this:


Yep, open shelving in the kitchen. It's been up since April and we love it. Putting away clean dishes is a breeze and since our kitchen is tiny, it freed up an entire cabinet for baking ingredients like ten pounds of flour, ten pounds of sugar, all my granola and pizza making supplies and the ten tons of powdered sugar I keep around for icing.

My inspiration, of course, came from Pinterest:


from Young House Love







from This Old House

My husband is gone again for a few days at a conference for work and I want to tackle something equally dramatic. Unfortunately, I have several undramatic things to accomplish. This stuff:

get my cracked computer screen fixed
measure the inside of the old floor model radio so we can start the bar project
buy a new register cover for the vent in the bathroom
call the realtor to see the smallest house in the development we like
find a few more pet-related events and secure my booth
help a friend who is moving pack her stuff
pick up dry cleaning
return books to the library
make refried beans for burritos
laundry
ironing

Here are the dramatic things I could do. Thoughts?

start painting the kitchen cabinets
call the contractor and have him come lay tile in the bathroom
get the office straightened up



Pinspiration

Quitting my full-time job to pursue my dog treat baking business roughly coincided with my discovery of Pinterest. As many Pinterest widowers can attest, this is a very dangerous website indeed. That said, my husband stopped minding when I started turning out dishes like sausage, spinach and provolone pizza on homemade pizza crust.


I spent so much time combing Pinterest for decorating ideas, awesome recipes, fun products, fashion tips and entertaining notions that I finally started to feel a little guilty for wasting so much time there. But of course, Pinterest was not designed to be a time-waster. It was designed so people could create and view inspirational pin boards.

The problem is that inspiration is useless until you actually go out and do something with it.  So I decided to apply the Seth Godin conference-attendance rule and actually DO SOMETHING with what I'd been learning instead of letting it all fester there on my Pinterest boards.

It started with fashion ideas. I created a board called Looks Good to inspire me to get dressed every morning (which, let me tell you is sometimes a challenging prospect when you're self-employed). Then I started chronicling and reviewing the recipes I'd discovered through Pinterest on Finders Keepers since I kept losing my favorite recipes in the quagmire that is my recipe board.

It was around the time I was contemplating trying out a tip I saw on Pinterest about getting yellow stains out of white clothes that I decided to start writing about my Pinteresting adventures.

I don't want to say that Pinterest changed my life. I mean, how awful is that? A website changed your life, Ali? Really? But I'm not sure what else to call something that has completely changed the way I make my home, cook meals for my family, dress myself and approach my days.

So...um...here's how Pinterest changed my life.
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