Monday Already

Life & Style

In all honesty, I completely forgot that today was Monday as I have the week off. No, I am not doing anything or traveling anywhere – just using up vacation time before I lose it. We had a COVID outbreak at my part-time job & I went in for a little bit to help out there. Thankfully, I work there so infrequently that I was not exposed but we currently have 6 associates out ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I suspected that this would be the week that retail workers would be hit hard. The Starbucks near my work is closed until further notice because they also had a major outbreak.

I got all of my Christmas shopping done this weekend, mostly because I think retail will be shut down post Black Friday. I could be wrong but didn’t want to find out either. Probably the highlight of my annual shopping trip is meeting up with my best friend & spending the day gift hunting. Obviously we could not do that this year but we did Skype while we wrapped gifts. Each year we do a Toys for Tots haul & just go nuts, it’s literally the most fun thing ever. We scour all of the toy gift guides & plan our attack. This year, I was fascinated by the LOL Surprise Dolls & knew I was snagging some of those. I think they’re pretty mature but they’re so popular that parents must be purchasing them? Anyway, I was super excited about Pop BB – listen, their names are completely asinine but she’s so cute. I had told my friend that I loved her because she looked like Madonna ๐Ÿ˜‚ So, we’re showing each other our Tots haul & he also got Pop BB. I was like, but I got Pop BB then he said he got one so I could keep mine ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was the nicest yet silliest thing anyone has done for me. I felt like a kid on Christmas opening that box.

Tell me she’s not the cutest.

I’m glad that my shopping is done, being out this weekend was one of the few times that I have felt truly anxious about getting sick. I generally feel confident in the restrictions & guidelines that are in place but there were so many people out that it made me nervous. I still have a small grocery run to do but plan on heading out very early to avoid the crowds.

It was a great weekend then I left this morning to discover that someone had stolen my holiday doormat which seems pretty fitting for a Monday ๐Ÿ˜‚ I don’t understand people sometimes. What did you do this weekend? I hope that you are happy, healthy & just doing the best you can ๐Ÿค

Best Of: Current Lifestyle Favorites

Life & Style

As I am typing this, I realized that I pretty recently posted a lifestyle post but I figure that since I have some new cold weather things, that it will be OK. Who knows – since I’m not leaving the house again this winter, I might just be posting lifestyle favorites for the foreseeable future. I find it appalling that restaurants are being forced to close again while Target announced $22-billion in quarter three earnings. Nobody’s catching COVID at Target?! Really, nobody? That’s absolutely the place where I always think I’m going to catch it because that is one of the few places that I go & it’s always busy. I don’t know what kind of bullshit these statistics are on but they cannot be accurate. I’m truly bummed for all of my friends in the service industry, I personally think that they are being disproportionately regulated. Like most everyone else, I have been at home a lot more & here are a few items that I have been especially enjoying recently.

*I_Love~Christmas}

I found a new robe after years of trying different robes & not liking them, I stumbled upon this Stars & Above robe a couple of weeks ago. I was actually on the hunt for more of their lounge cardigans but I’m not sure they will be releasing those again this year. This was a fantastic consolation find since I can wear it around the house & it’s not too thick or too thin. It’s the perfect length to be worn with pants or nightgowns, it belts completely closed & it’s so soft. Having never worn robes until I was gifted one from Old Navy in college, I am surprisingly particular when it comes to what robes I like. I think it’s because the Old Navy robe was my first introduction to robes & has become the standard to which I hold all robes to. This robe is the closest that I have ever found & I love it.

*I_Love~Christmas}

I’m not one to get hyped about limited edition anything, I think it’s an easy way to sell a lot of stock before consumers come to their senses & realize that they may not need said item. I really had no idea that there was so much hype around the Starbucks seasonal mugs until purchasing one as a gift for a friend & went to three different locations to find the one that she wanted. After becoming very well acquainted with their holiday collection, I decided that I wanted one…or two for myself. They are very cute but I cannot imagine that I would need more than the two that I purchased, I mean, one can only use one cup at a item. Their holiday stuff is very cute though, very pastel, very to my taste.

*I_Love~Christmas}

In all honesty I am unsure if these are a favorite or something that I have been using non-stop but these melamine mixing bowls were worth every penny that I spent on them. Not only are they just pretty to look at, they are perfect for all of my mixing needs. The base of these bowls has a rubber grippy strip which is awesome when I am mixing & measuring & trying not to make a mess. I found these on Amazon, come in a couple of different colors but the pink are just adorable. I do have the biggest bowl with the spout but I use it for decoration, batter pours out of the regular lipped bowls just fine.

*I_Love~Christmas}

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have been surviving on mostly coffee, Cameron’s Breakfast Blend has been my go to recently. It’s a little milder, a little less caffeine that what I usually drink but it was a necessary change since I have been drinking so much coffee more recently. These pods are commercially compostable & I think the coffee tastes a bit richer from the EcoPod – could be just my imagination but I enjoy them.

*I_Love~Christmas}

When I am not drinking coffee, I am drinking delicious cups of David’s Tea & my most recent favorite is the Sweet Potato Pie blend. Pumpkin Chai had been my front runner but when I got a taste of this sweet, nutty goodness it was over. I mean, the chai is still very good but this literally tastes like I am drinking a pie – much more enjoyable than it sounds.

*I_Love~Christmas}

Yet another Target find, they get ya’ with those damn endcaps – these Off the Eaten Path crisps are delicious. I am not a snack person most of the time, my snack of choice is typically popcorn but with my new fillings I am being very cautious so that I never have to go back ๐Ÿ˜‰ These are very low calorie & provide just enough salty, crunchiness to satisfy my savory snack cravings. I have not dipped them in anything yet but I think they would probably be delicious with most anything.

*I_Love~Christmas}

Those are a few of the things that have been keeping my happy at home – I will save all of my Christmas goodies for Blogmas but they have definitely been brightening my day too. What have you been enjoying lately, let me know in the comments!

This is Halloween, This is Halloween…I’m Baaccckkkk

Life & Style

Where was I, you ask? I took an isolation vacation up north, mostly because I haven’t used any time off days since January & they were expiring. I loved it & would like to move out of the metro immediately. Actually, this was the first year that I had planned a real vacation out of the states but obviously had to cancel. I still have travel vouchers to use but no plans for the time being which is fine, I would rather support the US economy at this time anyway.

We had a stretch of really cool weather, I thought fall was here but now it is hot again and next week looks pretty warm too – the leaves are changing so I am getting into the Halloween mood. I can’t lie, most of the (inside) decor went up on the first weekend of September because I couldn’t wait any longer. This year has been such a pile and I am ready for the holiday season which for me, starts with Halloween! I am particularly excited for it this year as it falls on a full moon – the only full moon Halloween that sticks out in my mind is from when I was 8 or 9’ish and my mother being very superstitious kept us home. I do remember it was a very eerie, windy night & I don’t think I was too bummed out about it. I also grew up in the middle of nowhere so that added to the overall creepy aura I am sure. Anyway, I don’t even know what Halloween will look like this year. Our big Halloween events have been cancelled & I am a little bitter about it. I think that trick-or-treating was already a dying tradition & this will be the final blow, Halloween just isn’t what it used to be…at least I can celebrate in my own home & here is a peek at my decor this year!

This mug really isn’t decor but it’s my favorite mug to start using this time of year. I think it was an Etsy purchase? It embodies how seeing another new Starbucks makes me feel, like a rotting corpse of a mermaid. Anyway, here is the rest of it ๐Ÿ˜€

I am pretty pleased with myself as I only purchased three new things for this year’s setup – the two ghost figurines and the black cat in the middle of the mantelpiece display. Wal-Mart released the cat a couple of years ago and I have been on the hunt for it ever since. I randomly checked out their Halloween section just as it was being set & was able to snag it. I love the vintage remakes, especially the grinning black cat pieces – I thought I read somewhere that his name is Chester but don’t quote me on that. That’s the set up this year, have you decorated yet? Let me know what’s happening with your Halloween plans ๐Ÿ–ค

Orly Color Pass: Desert Muse

Life & Style

After many, many years of having my nails done in a salon, I have switched to doing my own nails at home. I can’t say that I am afraid of going to the salon, I would have loved to have been there the first day that my salon was allowed to open but the owners made the decision to close permanently about halfway through the Stay at Home Order. They sent cards in the mail to all of the regulars and it was really sad, I will miss my nail tech and the gals who worked there. They were all so nice & I just don’t have the desire to find a new salon. I’m not picky about my nails but also never had a bad manicure from my gal so I don’t know how easy it would be for me to find another salon.

Anyway, after 10 or more years of acrylics, my nails were wrecked. I had some photos but must have deleted them ๐Ÿ˜€ They were so thin & brittle, they had these folds in them from what I am guessing was the acrylic basically shrink wrapping them for so long. It took almost 10 weeks to just get the bumps and lumps to grow out, they kept breaking & snagging – it was a ride. Finally, we made it to a point where I could paint them and not have them look terrifying.

I wish that I had the before picture because these little nubs would look a lot more impressive ๐Ÿ˜› Anyway, so of course I have been purchasing & ended up with about 6 bottles of different toned beige & like, 3 browns. Finger nail polish is not cheap so I pick colors that I know will be used so I end up having a lot of the same color. Well, then I discovered Orly Color Pass – for $36 each quarter you are sent the season’s collection. I signed up just in time to receive their Desert Muse box and it’s a wonderful variety of fall tones with a good mix of nudes and colors.

L to R: Midnight Oasis, Sage Brush, Roam With Me, Canyon Clay, Red Rock, Wild Abandon

In the box I also received a cuticle pusher and matte top coat, plus these cute little stickers. I’m pleased with every shade in the box but the ones that really caught my were Canyon Clay (a dark burnt sienna), Red Rock (brown red) and Roam With Me (pinky nude). So far I have only used Red Rock and Sage Brush & they are both very lovely:

First, I am not the best at painting my own nails ๐Ÿ˜› Orly has quickly become my go to brand though because they have these big, rubber caps that are much easier to grip than what other brands offer. The brushes are also wide enough that I can get the nail totally covered with just two passes. I love this shade, it reminds me of the red clay that can be found in Colorado and of course, Red Rock Amphitheater where I saw many a good show. This is just one coat and one clear coat because I don’t have the patience to let numerous coats dry.

This is Sage Brush, it looks much more green in this lighting than it actually is. This is two coats two coats of color, no top coat. I just tried this on a whim, it’s pretty but not one that I would reach for on the regular. I think that’s the fun thing about this box though, I will use all of the shades now that I have them but wouldn’t have necessarily picked them on my own.

I really like this box so far! I miss the salon experience but definitely don’t miss the price tag and in comparison, 6 polishes for $6 each is a total deal when these retail for $10-10.50 each. All of these shades are perfect for fall, I am looking forward to using all of them! The next box is the holiday box & I will try to do swatches of each, I will post pics of the other shades in future blogs as I use them. Are you going back to the salon or are there things that you are skipping in this new normal? Let me know what you’re fave polishes are – I swear there are a million different ones now ๐Ÿ–ค

At Summer’s End

Life & Style

Last weekend we were in the throes of a sticky, stagnant, intense mid-west heat wave. You could have not convinced me that this week we would be seeing lows in the 50’s. Summer is tricky like that, when you are in the middle of it, there is no end in sight but then all at once, the wind shifts and it’s over. I’ve never been a summer person, not having a great home life meant spending a lot more time in a chaotic atmosphere. Fall was always a fresh new beginning for me, an opportunity to throw myself back into sports and academics and finding peace away from home. As an adult, I find things to appreciate about summer but I am definitely more in my element in the fall and winter – thus my attempt to jump back into blogging. My last post was some time in May, here is what’s been happening since then…

Has been absolutely bananas, and yes I am tremendously thankful that I still have a job. I work in Parks & Recreation, we had a lot of programs cancelled but the parks, trails and lakes have never been busier. I was also assisting another department for the majority of the summer and felt like I never had a breather. Working in the public sector, you get to hear everyone’s opinion on how the government mandates are pissing people off. People are either shocked that there are restrictions or shocked that there aren’t more – you can’t win. Thankfully, we are back in the office fifty percent of the time and it feels more normal. I don’t know what the cooler weather will bring but we are adapting every day.

Cup of tea at the office…

I have been so homesick lately that I could cry & often do. I want to move back to Colorado now more than ever but can’t make that happen without finding a job there first. Since I am stuck in Minnesota for now, I decided to make my place feel a little homier. I live in an apartment so nothing crazy – finally purchased a new couch! It only took me ten years and a sale to do it. It’s pink velvet, long enough to lay stretched out on with room to spare. I also discovered Casaluna bedding from Target which is absolutely to die for and invested in some funky wall art. My apartment feels delightfully eclectic & I’m really into it. I won’t talk in length about all of the factors that are making me want to leave Minnesota but the destruction of Minneapolis is definitely one of them. I used to live right near the 3rd Precinct and seeing the colorful, vibrant, diverse community reduced to rubble is heartbreaking and makes me angry.

Was a complete and total failure! No sooner had I arranged everything on my patio, we found out that numerous improvements to the outside of the building were being made this summer. We had a new roof put on, new siding, the patios were all power washed, reslatted and repainted. I moved my garden inside but since I only have windows on the one side of my apartment, most everything died within a couple of weeks & everything smelled like manure. The building looks great and now that everything is done, the patio will be used a lot this fall but what a bummer! Good thing I can still visit the farmers markets for my fresh veggie fix.

Pluto enjoying the new bedding…

After almost 6 months of not being on my MS medication due to COVID, some of my every day activities like driving and walking have gotten a bit tricky. My MS has the most impact to balance and fine motor skills & it’s certainly been disappointing to see things deteriorate. I will be resuming my treatment in the next few weeks because at this point, COVID is the lesser threat. I’m excited to get back into it since I was seeing such good results this past winter with the more severe symptoms. I hope that everyone has been able to stay healthy! If there’s been any silver lining to being at home more, I finally feel like I caught up on sleep ๐Ÿ˜› Did anyone else find it hard to sleep at the start of all of this? I don’t think I got to bed before 2 AM since early June so am glad to have found a normal sleep pattern.

I hope that you are happy & healthy & just doing the best that you can wherever you are. I am excited to get back into blogging and posting lots of fall content. This year being almost at an end is hard to believe but I am hopeful for the future. Let me know what you’ve been up to and how this summer has been treating you ๐Ÿ–ค

Working From Home is Ruining My Home

Life & Style, Uncategorized

I will preface this by saying that I know that I am extremely lucky in that my employer has allowed me to work from home & that I have not my job because of all of this. A lot of this satirical and meant to be humorous, also though, I’m sick of working at home.

Outbreak Regular

The first day working at home was a struggle, my internet was just not equipped to handle all of the things that I was suddenly trying to do. My laptop (we do not have work issued equipment) was struggling too. I use some beefy software for my job and suddenly my zippy little laptop was hardly loading. I had to upgrade my internet to the fastest I can get in my area & I had to pay an additional $99 installation fee! I also purchased additional storage for my laptop just to get it in working order. All to the tune of a few hundred dollars. Now, I know that I’m saving money on gas but my new internet costs 3 times as much as I spend on gas monthly so it’s not a wash for me. I improvised a desk and pulled a sofa table into my bedroom but now am looking at needing a chair since we aren’t going back to the office any time soon. And then what will I do with said chair when we go back to the office? I don’t particularly need an office set up and will put my furniture back where it actually goes.

Outbreak Regular

Kids (not mine, we have quite a few who live in the building and they’re out in the hallway constantly), package deliveries, my neighbor’s doing yard work. I didn’t realize how quiet the office is and how loud my living space is. I don’t notice it when I’m home probably because I’m busy living and probably making more noise than I would at work anyway. I consider my building to be unusually quite for an apartment but it’s driving me nuts at the moment.

Outbreak Regular

Being in the office and working with a fairly flexible department, I can take a break whenever I want to/need to. Obviously, if I go to the restroom and my boss stops by my desk then he would just swing back knowing that I would be back shortly. Now however, I take my phone to the bathroom in case someone calls because I don’t want them to think I’m slacking off. It’s like I’m working all of the time when my workload hasn’t increased drastically.

Outbreak Regular

My ‘office’ is in my room, well it is now – before I set something up I was just sitting in random places. When I go to bed, it feels like I am sleeping at work. When I wake up, I’m immediately at work. It’s this really warped feeling that I hope goes away when we do get back in the office.

Working from home is definitely a personal preference as I am finding out. Some people love it and some people really struggle – I’m struggling. It’s just a chore at this point and I feel like I’m constantly at work. Unfortunately, I think that the attitude from some of these employers is that we should be so lucky even having the choice to work at home. I get that but I’ve never sought out a job that allows for work from home because it just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s like none of use should expect anything from our employers now because thank God they are still paying us. Kind of a shitty way to feel, honestly. Since this will be the routine for the foreseeable future, I will keep trying to make the best of it. It is nice to get chores done and out of the way during my lunch break so then I can enjoy the evening. I generally eat pretty well but having time to make a nice salad for lunch or time consuming dinner is a treat and I am sure that there will be things I miss when we are no longer at home.

I hope that you’re happy and healthy and just doing the best that you can, let me know what life changes you are working through at the moment.

๐Ÿงก