Fashion Friday: Work It

Whew. We made it! My legs still don’t work, but we made it to Friday! Let the weekending commence!

To ease you into your weekend after what can be referred to as the heaviest (no pun intended) post I’ve ever written, here’s a fashion post. Hooray?

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I hadn’t really posted any work-appropriate outfits yet, so I figured that since I actually put some effort in yesterday it would be a good opportunity to showcase the kinds of stuff I wear to the office. It was really nice outside, so I made my friend & coworker Rachel take pictures of me right outside of a federal building where I’m sure I didn’t look ridiculous at all.

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Especially not when I essentially stripped. I’m so glad she caught this on camera.

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Oh well. Worth it? Obviously while at work the cardigan stays on for the most part. But it was hot and sunny and I wanted to show off how cute this LBD is so I made the decision to shed a layer temporarily.

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And of course, no Fashion Friday would be complete without an awkward look-how-candid-I-am totally un-posed (ha!) shot. But can I just take a second to talk about the camera on my new iPhone 5? I used to loathe posting pictures with my phone, but as I am lazy, I don’t enjoy toting my DSLR with me absolutely everywhere. I mean, a phone camera will always be a phone camera, but I’m still pretty impressed. But if you were wondering why all my photos are not quite up to par lately, that’s why.

Anyway, here the outfit deets, just in case you were curious. I got almost everything on sale, so unfortunately I can’t find links to most of the products anymore. But with the kinds of places that I shop, generally similar things are always in rotation anyway.

LBD: Old Navy
Cardigan: New York & Company
Shoes: Payless (comfiest flats ever, btw, and they come in a few different colors)
Belt: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Armani Exchange (birthday gift)
Necklace: Gift from sister
Bag: Kate Spade

It’s too bad I don’t do Fashion Saturday posts, since tonight I’m going to a costume party for my freshman roommate Joanna and her twin sister Aileen. It’s actually their birthday today! Personally, as you all know I am OBSESSED with my own day o’ birth, I cannot imagine being forced to share it with anybody. Not even someone with whom I also shared, you know, the womb. (I may or may not have already threatened Jenny’s pregnant belly that if her baby is overdue and encrouches on my birthday month — she’s due at the end of March — there will be some seriously ‘splaining to do.)


Twinsies on the left

The party is Mean Girls-themed (!!), and since Aileen and Jo showed up at my own (Harry Potter-themed) birthday party in some pretty fetch costumes (a golden snitch and Dobby the elf respectively — see above), I figure I owe them at least a moderate effort. Right now I’m thinking about going as a “Cool Asian“. Unless anyone knows where I can get a purple tuxedo at the last minute.

Have a great weekend!

Flake

There are many things that I’ve learned about myself since I’ve started this blog. Sure, it all began as a way to document my food intake, fitness, and subsequent weight loss, but I think we can all recognize that it’s become a lot more than that. The process of putting all my crazy thoughts into some semblance of order is not only incredibly cathartic, but eye-opening. It’s helped me to see patterns in my behavior, identify why I do the things that I do, and has helped me grow because of (or in spite of?) them.

In fact, insane though it may sound to some, I’ve come to depend on this blog quite a lot. Organizing my thoughts, writing these posts, and hearing feedback from you guys, I really value it. I don’t base major decisions in my life on what I write and read within the confines of this website, of course, but I do give a lot of weight to what I discover about myself here.

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I’m wishy-washy. I’m a flaky person. I don’t like to commit to things, and I don’t like to be held accountable for things. I don’t know if that’s because I’m young or lazy or just a brat, but it’s something that I know about myself now. And in knowing, I do my best to counteract that. I know that I tend to flake out on things, so I actively force myself to stay in them. That internal push is what made me complete the relay race when I didn’t think I would be able to, when I thought that my spot on the team would be better suited for someone else. Even on days when it feels like it might be easier to give up, it’s what makes me eventually come back to face the music when it comes to my stalled weight loss. It’s what keeps me from tossing in the towel and kicking the bucket when I know it would be easier just to give up.

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The only thing is, another thing that I know about myself is how I tend to get slightly overzealous. Things that start out with the best of intentions can easily be taken too far. I touched on this in my last post about trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life career-wise. I know that I tend to be wishy-washy and change my mind a lot and have a hard time finishing things, so in trying to counteract that, I just fail to pull the trigger at all. I tried to instigate some forward motion in starting to take classes in pursuit of an eventual teaching degree, but now I’m starting to doubt that, too. Which is stressing me out because now I’m not sure if I feel like I should continue down this path because I want to, or because I feel like I’d be good at it, or because I feel like I have to because I’ve already publicly declared my intentions. It makes me anxious to even voice these concerns, because I don’t want to add to my change-my-mind, wishy-washy tendencies any more than I already do!

I know that I never said for sure that I was definitely going to teach. I’ve never claimed that it’s my calling, that it’s my destiny, that I want to inspire a younger generation. Actually, I mostly hate the younger generations, haha. They’re punks. (YOUTHS!). No, I know better than to make broad, overly-committal statements like that anymore. I said that I would try taking some classes, seeing how they go, and seeing how I feel about it. Well, despite my very recent post about how much I’m enjoying being in class (true) and working towards something (also true), I’m not so sure that WHAT I’m working towards is really the right choice for me.

Teaching is a practical choice, and it’s a very, very respectable career, but given all the other factors in my life — how much I already live in a semi-public eye, how much I enjoy that aspect of my life, and how what I really want to do is write — is it for me? But if it isn’t, then what is? The job that I have is fine for now, but it’s not a career. What I really want is to just magically have enough money to not have a job, write my novel, take photographs, blog, and freelance. Ahhh, to dream.

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With all the questions still up in the air, and all the unknowns that are constantly looming over my head, however, all I want to do is follow suit with my furrier halves and hide under the covers until the answers become clear. Or until I start to care less. I think I’d take either at this point.

A Day in the Life

I’ve been seeing these kinds of posts all over the place lately (starting with Cassie’s extraordinarily detailed one about her impressive and far-busier-than-mine life, haha), and am totally jumping on the bandwagon. I always find these kinds of things fascinating, and thought that at least one of you might be interested in what a typical day is like for me these days (especially now that I’ve factored gym-time into the equation). Admittedly, I’m not that great at following an extremely rigid schedule. Things always tend to shift in one direction or the other. Still, there are definitely a few basic things that tend to stay the same day-in and day-out for me, so here’s a glimpse of what the average day might be like!

6:15 AM: My alarm goes off, blaring the cheerful Parks & Recreation theme song through my room. I unfortunately have to be at work extra early today, so it’s going off earlier than normal. I immediately silence it, and proceed to take a nine-minute nap (the length of the iPhone’s snooze feature).

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6:24 AM: With an audible groan, I extricate myself from the two schnauzer-shaped lumps on either side of my legs and peel myself out of bed. It’s straight to the bathroom where I turn on the shower, pop in my contacts, and brush my teeth.

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6:30 AM: I realize that I forgot to weigh myself yesterday, so I quickly hop on the scale before popping into the now-warm shower. It’s a non-hair-washing day, plus I’m heading the gym later, so I just quickly scrub down and rinse off. I am a master of the speed-shower, so I’m out in less than 5 minutes. Boom.

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6:35 AM: I deliberate in front of my closet for a couple of minutes before inevitably slipping a dress over damp-around-the-edges hair (blow drying is just time wasted, after all!).

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The thought of having to pair together a respectable looking outfit that consists of more than one continuous piece of clothing is simply too challenging before 7 AM. Success!

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6:38 AM: I throw some makeup on (on weekday mornings it’s usually just eyes: shadow, liner, mascara) and part my hair with my fingers in an attempt to look presentable.

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My last act before leaving the sanctity of my bedroom is to rouse the hibernating beasts still curled up on the bed. Lucky mutts.

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6:40 AM: To the kitchen! I let the dogs out back and scrounge around the kitchen for potential breakfast items. The fridge yields one last pineapple Chobani and a frozen waffle, which I throw in the toaster. I also pull out my dinner leftovers from the night before to bring for lunch.

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6:45 AM: I let the dogs back in, feed them breakfast, and hightail it out the door with the waffle between my teeth.

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6:50 AM: Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go! Traffic is surprisingly heavy considering how early it is, but these months spent commuting into the city have turned me into a douchebag, so I jut in and out of the merge lanes and make it to the office in pretty good time.

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7:15 AM: Since I’m one of two people that are actually in the office at this outrageously early hour, it’s pretty dark inside. I flip on all the lights and head back to the kitchen to fill up my water bottle. Once I’m back at my desk, I break open the yogurt I had hastily tossed into my purse. I look around only to realize that despite having JUST been in the kitchen, I did not bring a spoon back with me. I have a fork at my desk though, and I know from past-precedence that it will work juuuuust fine. This is not the first time this has happened. Laziness wins again!

The next few hours are full of work-related boringness, so let’s skip ahead, shall we?

11:30 AM: I don’t normally eat lunch yet, but since my schedule has been skewed to the early side, I’m already starving. I eat my lunch at my desk and get a few more things done. More work-related boringness ensues. It is a loooooong day.

4:15 PM: Quitting time! Time to hit the road and pray that traffic isn’t bad.

4:16 PM: Traffic sucks. My normal exit is backed up to high heaven thanks to an accident, so I get off at an earlier one. Because it’s already HOV time on 66 though, I’m forced to take a detour through Arlington. I’m mildly freaking out because I’m not that familiar with driving through this area, but I guess it beats sitting in gridlock.

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4:55 PM: I had a few errands to run today, but unfortunately my detour threw me off schedule. Since I most needed to stop off at the dermatologist’s office to pick up an itemized receipt to submit for my Flex Spending Account, that’s what I went with. Luckily, it’s only a few blocks away from…

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5:00 PM: … the gym! Normally I would have gone straight here from work. I’ve been putting in about an hour here most trips, but my legs are still really sore from my last session on Wednesday (sad, I know) though, so I only make it 40 minutes. I do get to try out the arm exercise from the Hunger Games workout though!)

5:45 PM: I arrive at home. I am greeted by loud and excited schnauzers, give them a few snuggles, and spend a few minutes chatting with my roommate Erin. Then it’s time to head upstairs to shower (again). I am of the unfortunate breed that must shower after working out — that’s how much I sweat (TMI? What’s that?). At least this time I wash my hair? Ahahaha.

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6:30 PM: Squeaky clean yet again, I head back downstairs to give the dogs their dinner, then root around in the fridge myself. I desperately need to go grocery shopping (what else is new?), so it’s a quick game of pantry roulette that results in salad and eggs. It makes me feel like I’m in college again, haha.

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7:00 PM – 11:00 PM: The rest of the night is spent editing the photos for this very post, pre-writing it, watching Netflix, and greedily pawing through my new issue Glamour that just arrived.

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Not only does it feature my new girlcrush Jennifer Lawrence, but it has an extra special bonus inside too!

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Ahhhh, Ian Somerholder, my not-so-secret Vampire Diaries love! Best issue ever.

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11:00 PM: Bedtime for me! We’re right back where we started. I crawl under the covers and pass out. It all starts again in the morning… but at least it’s Friday!

Have a great weekend!

Adjusting

So as most of you are aware, I recently started a new job in our glorious nation’s capital. This means, however, that I have to somehow get from Point A (Falls Church) to Point B (DC) and back every day. Both of my other post-college jobs were roughly 4.5 miles down a single road from where I live (coincidentally down the street from each other.) And while my new work location is actually only 10 miles away now, it’s 10 miles into the CITY. BUM BUM BUM.

As if this is any great surprise, I don’t like driving in DC. Well actually, I don’t really like to drive PERIOD, but I especially don’t like driving in DC. It’s scary. The traffic signals are on the sides of the road. I’m not good at it. Enter: Metro. My house is a good mile and a half from the nearest metro station, which is definitely walkable but not enjoyable. My parents live half a mile closer, so for the past few days I’ve been driving to their house and walking from there. Naturally I thought I would absolutely dread it, but it actually hasn’t been that bad! While I’m a little sweatier than I’d like to be by the time I get to the station, it’s kind of invigorating. I’m sure I’ll be singing a VASTLY different tune the first time it rains or snows, but for now I think I’m adjusting well.

Plus, check out what I stumbled upon on the walk home yesterday:

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Or should I say, stumbled into me. I was attacked by mutant butterflies on the sidewalk as I was strolling home! These were the biggest butterflies I have ever seen outside of an arboretum or museum. They were enormous! And totally unphased as I spent like 16 minutes taking pictures of them. Not bad for an iPhone pic, eh?

Mutant Butterfly.

Another thing that I’m adjusting to is the whole actually-working-in-the-city thing. I’m kinda digging it! I mean, for one thing, we certainly didn’t have food trucks in Tysons:

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Am I the only person that didn’t know that my beloved Sweetgreen has a food truck? I was ecstatic! I foresee many more lunchtime froyo excursions to come.

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Hehe.

I will admit that the one other downside of working in the city is simply that I get home later. I know it’s really not that bad, but when you’re used to it taking 20 minutes door-to-door and you suddenly have to factor in trains and planes walking and automobiles, the whole package becomes a whoooole lot longer. Which, of course, means less precious time with these goofballs:

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IMG_0690.jpgYawn.

Yes, I’m one of those dog owners (which we already knew) but c’mon: who wouldn’t want to spend more time with this face?

Puppy Dog Eyes.

Yesterday’s home arrival was even later than usual, since I went, er, “grocery shopping” at the store that is my parents’ fridge. I came home with a bag bursting with produce that would have gone south reeeeeal quickly if I hadn’t stolen it stepped in. You’re welcome, parents.

Some of it was already going bad! So as soon as I stepped in my own front door I set to work to use up a squishy-around-the-edges eggplant of theirs, as well as a tiny CSA eggplant my sister gave me last week. Not really knowing what to do with two eggplants, I did what any other sensible person would: smothered it in cheese and baked it for an hour.

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There really is eggplant under there, I swear!

Eggplantia.

The size difference between the conventional eggplant from the ‘rents and the CSA eggplant from the sis (honestly, who actually BUYS groceries?) was kinda ridic. Both were equally delicious though!

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On the side (using the term “side” loosely since I had to use an entirely separate plate) was a salad with lettuce, red onion and mandarin orange wedges, an apple (drizzled with lemon juice to keep from browning!), and a slice of crusty seven-grain bread from a local vendor — with a smear of Earth Balance and strawberry jam, DUH.

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Tasty and HEALTHY. I really need to make sure that with my new schedule I get my eating back on track. Especially since I tend to justify ANY added activity in my schedule (like walking to/from the metro each day) as an excuse to eat whatever I want. Yesterday was good though. In retrospect, I realized I even had a totally meatless day. Go me!

What’s your commute to work like? If you have a lengthy commute, or work long hours, do you find it’s harder to motivate yourself to eat healthy?

PS: Don’t forget that you only have until tomorrow night to enter my Adora chocolate giveaway!