December 22, 2014

On Finishing College

Last Tuesday was my official last day of school. I had 1 online test to turn in. I'm actually at a loss for words for how I'm feeling right now. But here's a look at some thoughts I've been having.

but then I remember

and I feel like

So then I start acting like this

But wait! I already have a job in my field.
{8 years and counting...}

So then I'm a little more

So I focus on the most exciting part

because lezzbehonest,

But then I remember

so really, all I'm thinking is

November 19, 2014

How to: Survive Black Friday

If you've been around this block for any amount of time, then you now that I'm an avid Black Friday shopper. Besides November 28th, it's pretty much my favorite non-holiday day of the year.

So my early birthday present to you, is a 3-step guide to survival while still getting all your shopping done.

1\ Create a plan (this is your most important step)
I realize this is kind of obvious but it should be thorough. Think term paper outline thorough. You need to know which stores open when, what you're getting from them, and it's good to know the store's layout so you know where you're headed. 

2\ Prep the Night Before
Some of you may consider this part of #1, but it's not. You need to have gas in the car, trunk and backseat emptied; coffee on a timer (or allow time to be in the DD/Sbux lot waiting for them to open); phones fully charged (walkies if your that person); clothes laid out, etc. You won't have time for this in the morning, you've got to get in line!

3\ Know where you'll pitstop
Everyone knows you need to refuel during a shopping trip. This is no different. Depending on when you start you'll be hungry much earlier than usual. Make it someplace quick and close to your next destination. Mom and I usually hit a Denny's or Friendly's. 

And that's it! It seems like a no-brainer but I have to say, the amount of people I see each year who are so unprepared amateurs, it's comical.

So get out there, or don't, but if you are, do yourself a favor and follow these steps. You can thank me later.

November 15, 2014

The Divorce Papers

Thanks to Kelli I've discovered a new website that I'm completely in love with. As a self-proclaimed bookworm this is the cat's meow. Did I really just say that? Anyway....

I signed up at Blogging For Books and selected my first book.

This book immediately caught my attention for several reasons. For one, this is my field. I work in law, and for a divorce attorney no less. Secondly, reading that the book was a "layered novel told entirely through personal correspondence, office memos, e-mails, articles, handwritten notes, and legal documents" jumped out at me. I love books like this. It makes me feel as though I'm reading someone's journal, and not just a novel.

When I first started the book I dove through the first few pages, unfortunately I also felt as though I was back in my matrimonial law class. The memos between Sophie and David, or the e-mails between Sophie and Maggie were fun to read. They were personal and told the story. However, the case law and statutes that were attached to the memos, or the drafted legal documents seemed completely unnecessary to me. Almost like filler. Perhaps this was because I'm in the field and am familiar with complaints and other motions. 

I did like that there was real first-hand knowledge as the author, Susan Rieger, is a Columbia Law School graduate. For her first novel I thought it was a decent book. Star-wise, I'd give it 3. It kept me entertained, it was good, by I didn't love it. I am interested to see what her next novel will be. 

What have you read lately?

November 12, 2014

It's Not Right, But It's Okay... Right?

Let's not pretend that I haven't been a really shitty blogger for the past few months. I know we all apologize for it, and also say you shouldn't apologize for living, but thing is, I am sorry.

You guys come to this space for whatever reason, whether you want to see what's going on with me or you're just returning a comment. Either way I need to have something for you. Maybe not every time, but more than I have been.

The thing is, I haven't been feeling inspired - by anything. I can only say the apartment is good, or I'm over school so many times. But the reality is that is what's going on. School takes over my life so when the weekend comes I want to do nothing more than laze around watching horrible weekend tv.

And now with the holidays coming, I worry about this little space of mine. I'm not ready to give it up, I won't give it up, but I'm also not ready to dive back into it 110%.

If you've stuck with me this far (both this post and in general) then I thank you. Let's pretend I'm hugging you and sharing my cupcakes. It means a lot to me and it is encouraging. And all I can ask is that you continue to bear with me.

November 01, 2014

A Place for Everything

I feel like I have everything and nothing to tell you. The weekend started on a high note I purged, cleaned, organized, and created my home space. 

In other words I'm right on track to rock my plans for the November Choose Your Own goals link up.

Life According to Steph

Purging and organizing is my jam.

My goals for the month:

1)  Purge the closet. There are plenty of shirts I never wear. Time to donate or toss.

2)  Get a 2015 planner. Planners are my favorite. I really love the one my mom bought me last year so I may buy it again. We'll see though. Buying a planner is like buying a journal - important!

3)  Start making my holiday gift lists. I'm a great giver if I do say so myself. I listen and take notes all year and make it a point to buy the perfect gifts.

4)  Set up my "office". I'm really excited that I now have an "office" in my new place so I'm excited to decorate it. If anyone has suggestions, let me know!! I can't wait to show it to you all.

5)  Use my budgeting software. This is so hard for me since I usually forget about it and I'm not as diligent as I should be. I just need to stick. with. it.

So that's what's on the deck for the month. How are you planning to get organized before the holidays?

October 31, 2014

Friday Five... er Six | Halloween Edition

I love nothing more than getting home from the gym on a Friday night and doing absolutely nothing but watch movies. Tonight being Halloween won't change a thing except for the movies I'll be watching.

In honor of the holiday, some of my favorite movies for this time of year.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
It's not horror but c'mon, who doesn't enjoy this movie. It's got everything - Halloween and Christmas!

Rocky Horror Picture Show
I've got two words for you: Tim Curry.
He is balls to the wall amazing in this cult classic. K and I went to a midnight showing last year and it was so very fun.

Hocus Pocus
Let's be real, we all love this because we're all still 10 years old at heart. I will watch this until I can't see straight. 

The Candyman
I remember seeing the "bee scene" when I was a kid and finally watched it as an adult last year. It's just good!

The original of course, although I really did love the needle pit in the 2nd one. This is one of those 'what would you do' movies. Kill or be killed. And the ending, oh man.

Nightmare on Elm Street
If this isn't a favorite then I don't know what you're doing with your life. It's about a living nightmare. The song is too catchy. 

Now that you'll be humming that for the rest of the day you're welcome I'm out. There are just too many favorites to name and we have a Friday to celebrate!

October 03, 2014

Pop Culture Made Me Do It

Pop culture is a crazy thing. Random blips come into fad-dom and are almost immediately replaced by "the next big thing". It's a vicious cycle. 

Even though I participated in most of these, they make me question society.

1/  The Macarena 
Seriously. Why was this a thing? Don't get me wrong, I macarena'd with the best of them when I was in Jr. High (because that's how old this shit is) but again, why people?!

2/  Acid Washed Anything
I can't wrap my head around this one. Acid wash looks terrible. It doesn't matter what it is, it looks like you got in a fight with Clorox. 

3/  Colored Ketchup
What asshat came up with this? No really. Colored ketchup. Just googling this makes me want to spew my delicious Ben & Jerry's all over the place. 

4/  Lucite Heels
There is no faster way to show the world that you do things for money than by wearing lucite shoes. 

As much as I could continue to go on with the mistake of American society, I can't. It's honestly making my brain, and eyes, hurt, to know that all of these things were once super popular. Obviously I left out Tomagatchi's because, hello they were awesome!

What are some of the fads you would shame us for?

October 02, 2014

Choose Your Own Goals

At the beginning of the month I always post about what I want to work on or accomplish for that month. In September I decided to join in on a fun link up aimed at goals.

Life According to Steph

Each month has a theme, but you get to choose what you want to do. For September, we worked on fitness. 

My goals were to add new activities to my gym routines, and to stay on top of my clean eating. My results? 50/50.

Last Friday I mentioned that K had bought me personal training sessions. Yesterday was my second session. Tyler's energy is motivating and partly, I refuse to let him think I can't do something, which ultimately pushes me past my I can't do this anymore thoughts. Tyler is going to be my new BFF. 

As for my clean eating, that's been a little more difficult. In other words - fail.

Other goals for October:

1) Downsize my clothes. In recent years I've acquired a lot of clothing and like any real girl, I keep stuff just for the sake of keeping it. What if I need to wear this blue shirt someday?! You know, the same one I haven't worn in two years... It's time to cut the cord hanger.

2) Handle my food. (This fits in nicely with October's Choose Your Own theme) You guys, I've pretty much been off the clean n' green rails since July. Yikes! I can't keep doing it. I'm starting to feel like crap in general and I've gained 8 pounds since May. I'm not okay with that. Tyler can handle me and I'll handle the kitchen!

3) Recommit to this space. If you've hung around all summer I owe you many, many hugs... or cupcakes. The choice is yours. This blog was like Kevin McAllister on the way to Paris - Home Alone. I love this little space of mine, and apparently so do some of you (thanks!) so I want to make a point to get back in the saddle and give it more of my time.

4) Pin to Table. I've pinned SO many recipes and food things. I want to make at least 2 of my pins this month.

September 22, 2014

Thou Shalt Covet Fall

Fall fashion is one of my favorite things. How can you go wrong with all the layering and fun patterns? And honestly, who says no to boots and leggings? Someone I can't be friends with, that's who!
These are a few things I'm lusting after this season...

1/ Lace Up Boots - These lace up boots were a huge thing last season and like a true procrastinator, I took my time and could never find a pair I loved. This year, I'm on it.

2/  Essie polish in The Perfect cover Up - This color is amazing and I absolutely have to have it.

3/  Essie polish in Partner in Crime - Ditto for this gorgeous melted chocolate color!

4/  Camo surplus jacket - For once I'm being proactive! I ordered this from Old Navy yesterday!

5/  Canvas Utility jacket - Umm, I also ordered this yesterday. I wanted it in arugula, but they were sold out in my size. #notsorry In my defense I have no "between the seasons" coats. It's either heavy winter coats or nothing.

6/  Cowlneck pullover sweater - I'm a sucker for sweaters. I have so many and I just keep craving more.

7/  Red plaid infinity scarf - It's a scarf and it's plaid, what's not to love?? I have so many scarves I needed to get a special holder for them all. This from the girl who had maybe 4, and only for winter.

8/  Booties - I still have a love/hate relationship with these bad boys. It's irrational but I hate when my ankles are cold. But they're just so damn cute I think I need to tell my ankles to suck it up.

9/  Slouchy oversized sweatshirt - what fall wardrobe is complete without one of these? And this one from Etsy is adorable!

So what are you coveting for fall?

September 19, 2014

Statement Coats

I'm not really a trendy person so if you were to ask me what's in style for this fall I couldn't even pretend to tell you. I don't shop by what's popular, but instead by what I like and what I know I'll wear on repeat. 

What I do know is that I love color. The bolder, the better. So when I was browsing Polyvore a few weeks ago this coat caught my eye and I immediately styled this outfit. 

All Work

The outfit may be basic, although great for work, but the coat speaks volumes! I get so tired of seeing the same black trench or pea coats every season. Winter is dreary enough, our clothes don't need to be as well. Here are 6 other styles I'm currently loving. 

Winter Wonderland

1) As soon as I saw this Orla Kiely coat I immediately thought of Jackie O. It's structured and still so very feminine. I really like the double pocket look. 

2) If you know anything about me you'll know that I love plaid. I don't know what it is about this print but I'm always drawn to it. This plaid TIBI coat is screaming my name. 

3) I think this Bobbi aztec printed coat is just fun. I need it. Not want, need. I'm a sucker for that oversized fleece-lined collar. 

4) I have yet to wear or own a cape coat but I'm pretty sure it's moving closer to the top of my list. This Rose Gal cape is not only affordable but super cute. I envision myself all bundled up walking around while it snows sipping on a skinny peppermint latte. 

5) I'm always on the lookout for color in the winter so this Alice + Olivia red jacket is killer. 

6) This mod-inspired wool coat from Black Five is trendy and perfect with any outfit. 

What about you? Do you stick with the basics or opt for something fun?

September 17, 2014

Turn the Page

I've been keeping a secret for quite a while. It's been hard to keep it to myself but October will be my last month in my apartment. My semi-Type A personality had been happier than a clam with all the lists I've been making.

Side note... I wish I hadn't stopped watching this. 
The thing is... I'm moving.

And if I didn't admit that I feel a little like Carrie as she leaves her apartment for the last time, I might as well tell you that unicorns aren't real because I'd be lying.

I've lived in this apartment for four and a ½ years. I thought it was 5 years  but I'm dumb and miscalculated. Either way this place has been home for a long time.

I've drunkenly stumbled up all 53 steps like a pro. I've left for dates, had people over, walked around nude, cried myself to sleep, and most importantly grew.

As I've begun to itemize my life, pack it up into boxes or purge in these past few weeks I'm feeling very bittersweet. From the day I first saw this place I knew it was perfect and was going to be mine. And it was.

It's funny how we get attached to things. Although there's nothing remarkable about my apartment, it's mine. My comfort, my quiet, my stuff. But isn't that what life is about? Moving on to the next chapter?

So even though it's going to be new and different, and require some major adjustment on my part, I'm turning the page.

August 20, 2014

Can You Stomach It?

It's Wednesday,  although I think it should be Friday, and it's been a while since I've showed up to confession. Forgive me Blogger, for I have sinned...

+ I want to just stop paying bills. They're ruining everything. I get paid on Friday and want to go do something fun. Meanwhile my bills are getting ready to be all

+ I tried tripe a few weekends ago. It's by far the craziest thing I've ever eaten and ironically enough... I didn't hate it after I added a little salt since it's kind of bland. I should have added more cheese and I probably would have devoured it. Next time... what?!

+ I have no idea how much I weight right now other than what the gym scale tells me. If it's too be believed, I'm not happy about it. No, I don't care what the number is per say, but I care because it's not moving.

+ Last week when it was raining, I actually missed my old job. Only because I wouldn't have hesitated to call out, stay home on the couch all day watching Netflix and listening to the rain.

+ I considered closing up shop 2 weeks ago. I doubted whether I could, or even wanted to, keep up with this place with where my life is right now. And then I remembered I'm a writer. Not published, not famous, but a writer nonetheless. I need this space.

+ I'm ready for fall to be here. Overall the last week has been perfect weather. Cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon. I need this blended climate 24/7. San Diego needs to be in my future.

+ I need some scandal in my life. The good kind though.

+ I love when people leave their curtains open. Then I can see what they're watching. Highlight of my evening walks!

This is more of a current event but...

+ I think the NFL wanting to get paid by the halftime acts is absolute bullshit. Seriously NFL? I'm pretty sure that if you stopped only suspending player's who drag unconscious girl friend's around two games, and actually fining them, then you wouldn't need to charge the entertainment to... entertain.

And that's it for today. Seriously.... I need some scandal. Then these confessions might be better.

August 19, 2014

21 Questions

A funny thing happened on the way to the gym last week. And what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't share it.

So I'm sitting at the bus station waiting for my transfer. This guy walks over toward me and I was immediately on an interview I don't recall setting up.

Him: Good morning beautiful
Me: Hi
H. Imma hit you with some questions I need to know


H. What are you? How old are you? Where are you going, work or the gym? How old are you? Where do live? What's your mother's name?

(Silence, and then because I cant be rude)

M: A bunch of stuff
H: Like what
M: Mixed
H: So if you were filling out an application.what would you say
M: Other

(This went on for a bit longer but wait... it gets better...)

H. So where you headed
M. Gym (because that's not clear by me being dressed in gym clothes and having my gym bag with me...)

H: Where do you go
M: Blink
H: Where's that.. I go to spa 21

(And then I broke my own rule and asked a question)

M: Where's that?
H:  ......
(some long answer about locations and amenities that I was ignoring while texting my friend)

H: I just got approved for section 8, moving into a place in Bergenfield once the paperwork is complete so like mid September
M: Silence
H: You drive
M: Yes and no
H:You got a license
M: Yup
H: Yeah I gotta pay $300 in fines and then I'll get mine back. But I ain't driving. I'm letting my little brother hold down my car cuz the cops know me, they know my truck and it ain't worth getting more tickets (someone has common sense?)


H: So you gonna be my designated driver
M: No  (Then he offered to take me out to outback and a movie)
M: I'm not single so no
H: You're not. Guess I should have asked that
M: Maybe that should have been one of your first questions
H: So what's he like, you live together, how long y'all been together.
M: 3 years
H: Ooohh so you gonna get married have some kids
H: What's your name

(And because I can never pass up the fun of that question)

M: Michael
H: Michael... but Michelle
M: No
H: Michael?
M: Like Jordan.
H: That's kind of cute.  Oh and you got the nose ring....oooh I need to get away from you

(Smartest thing he's said this whole time... and then, by the grace of God, his bus came)

H: I'm Arthur. I'll see you again And ask  you some more questions. It was nice meeting you.
M: You too

July 30, 2014

Never Have I Ever

It's been a while since I've done a post "introducing" myself. If you want the basic facts you can always head over and find out more about the girl behind the blog, but I prefer to share the types of things that would make us winners on a game show. Not to mention, it's Wednesday...

Last fall I decided to make a conscious effort to do and experience more. Thanks to my 101 in 1001 list I can keep track of these accomplishments when I do them. This led me to thinking about other things I've never done.

... been on a blind date. Nope, it's never happened.

... left the east coast. I'm hoping to change this when I finally make my way to Vegas.

... worn a size smaller than a 9/10. Don't for one second think I'm mad about this. What can I say? These hips don't lie.

Who am I kidding. I wish they moved like this. 

... broken a bone. Let's just keep it that way shall we?

... been to a basketball game. Previously this read "I'm not sorry about this. I dislike basketball even more than baseball if that's at all possible." We all know this is now a lie. #6

... had lice. I'm just lucky like that.

... been fired from a job. My professional track record, although not glamorous at all times, thanks Tractor Supply Co., it's clean!

... been out of the contiguous states. This seriously bothers me. I'm almost 30 and I've never even been to Mexico... or Canada? #fail.

...ran a marathon. Are we really surprised by this? Wait, does a 5k count? If so, then I've done 1... which would make me a liar.

...been arrested. Life win.

Now - what's something you've never done??

July 22, 2014

Who Says That

One of my biggest pet peeves is being asked stupid questions. That saying about there being no such thing as a stupid question? It was most likely made up by someone having to justify the questions they were asked everyday, you know, so they didn't go into a rage. Me? Rage on.

Here's a list of 6 questions that will guarantee I give you the stink face while judging the shit out of you for being such an asshat.

Is that a perm?

I don't know... does it look like a perm.....

Did your parents want a boy?
It's no secret that my name is awesome Michael. Which is awesome. I personally love my name. We go together like Mac and Cheese and I wouldn't have it any other way. My mom liked the name and that's what she decided.

Would you ever change your name?
Umm, to what? Melissa, Kelly, Jessica, Nicole - No thanks. I am none of those and they don't fit me. (No offense if that's your name :)

You're a little behind aren't you? (In reference to (at the time) being 25, single, unmarried and no kids)
How about I just punch you in the face now? One, who says that to someone? And two, hell no I'm not behind. Here we are 4.75 years later and the only thing that's changed is I'm no longer single.... and I kind of want to be married.

Will there be booze?
What kind of question is this?? No really, who asks this?

 You want to go to the beach?
Anyone who knows me, or has read this blog for more than a month, knows that I'm in love with summer. I'm a sun sponge and make no secret that I would rather be on a beach than anywhere else.

July 09, 2014

How to Know You're an Adult

Way back when I read a post about why being an adult is better than being a kid. Although she raises valid points, being an adult sometimes sneaks up on you, and it made me start thinking about the not so obvious, or fun, signs that you've become an adult. I had a few of my own but reached out to you guys for opinions as well.

You can no longer go to bed late and wake up early.

You need the extra day after a night of drinking.

Kat: You have ever used the phrase "tax deduction".

Allyssa: Going to the DMV and hearing about kids passing their road tests.

Sara: A "house party" is now a gathering of women buying makeup/purses or someone just bought a house.

Flix: You are around teens and need to resist the urge to "teach them something".

Erin: You get excited when someone cancels on your plans after work because that means you can go sit your ass on the couch and veg. I'm so guilty of this.

Sara: Laundry

Jessica: You ask for appliances for Christmas. In my opinion asking for appliances is ok. Yay for not haing to buy a new microwave myself.  It's NOT ok when you receive an appliance from a boyfriend.
If I'm being truthful, I'm guilty of all of these things and yet I still don't feel like an adult. You know what they say: Age is just a number!

June 20, 2014

Love Affair

It all started when she was a child. It was her first crush. At the time she didn’t know it would turn into something more, something bigger. He came to visit every year and she was excited simply by his presence. When it was time for him to leave her days were a little less bright; gray and clouded. She liked him a lot, never knowing how powerful a feeling it would become.

As she grew up she started to realize how important his visits were. He didn’t just show up alone. He brought possibilities, adventure, and fun stories. Everything seemed brighter when he was around. He made her feel like anything was possible. She made the most of their time together. Sometimes they had special adventures with others that she’d come to reflect on later in life, other times they just spent time together, sharing warm kisses and laughter.

Years later he still made his visits. Only now, she didn’t have as much time for him. She made plans when she could, spent time where she was able, but more often than not, life got in the way. She now had obligations and responsibilities. He waited for when she was available but she regretted not being able to spend time together the way they used to. Their relationship had changed.

Changed but not broken. He still gives all he can while asking for nothing in return. He still offers adventure, laughter, and memories. The hugs are still warm and the kisses like no other, taken as often as they can be. When she first started to fall for him, she just thought it was a passing crush. She could never have known their’s would turn out to be her greatest love affair of her life.

June 13, 2014

Home Makeover

We've finally made it to Friday. I don't even know what to say about this past week except I'm glad it's over. It's also payday so I'm trying not to run to the nearest store, or bar, to spend all of my dolla dolla bills y'all.

The best way to shop and keep my money? Wishlists! 

Today's list is more of a collage of color schemes, but nonetheless, I want the goods.

Bright, Peaceful Living Room

I've been wanting to do something similar to this scheme in my living room for oh, about 5 years. Needless to say, it hasn't happened yet. I'm so indecisive when it comes to choosing the colors but this is soothing and neutral. I can easily swap out the orange for yellow, bright green, teal or any other color I'm eyeing at the moment. Plus, this goes with those bird prints I bought last month.

Sweet Dreams

When it comes to my sleeping space I like to keep things as tranquil and simple as possible. I despise clutter, especially in the bedroom. It's the one space that I want to be minimal and decorated for nothing but comfort. Warm and relaxing earth tones are my favorite and the green rug adds a pop of color, while still being neutral.

Kitchen Goodies

Since the kitchen is one of my favorite rooms, it's my favorite area to kind of draw out my funky side. I love cooking and trying new things so bright colors and mismatched pieces feel right at home. I actually own full sets of those Fiesta dishes up there and I'm in the process of decorating using mismatched colors. 

How do you decorate? 

June 04, 2014

Confessions of a First World Nature

I tweet. A lot, according to my profile.

Like everyone else, I use hashtags. I try to keep them to a minimum though because hashtag overload just make me crazy. One hashtag that I find myself using almost daily, in and out of online life is #firstworldproblems or #fwp

I'm not sorry about it one bit. We've all said it, thought it or had them. Here are some of my recent #firstworldproblems

The saddest part is that I actually made more than half of these because, #fwp, there weren't cards specific to my issues. Someone get me a tissue please?

What are your first world problems?