Thursday, September 18, 2014

An Oddly Lovely Giveaway

Hello, readers! My name is Cat – I’m a 25 year old social media marketer living in the East San Francisco Bay and lifestyle blogging at Oddly Lovely. When I signed up to take over Erin’s blog for the day, she told me you liked goodies, which is why I’m hooking you up with the chance to win a $50 credit to Modcloth (pretty much the coolest online fashion and home d├ęcor shop on the entire internet). Before you skip to the bottom of this post to get some entries, I’d love if you’d just hang out with me for two seconds so I can give you the elevator pitch about my blog. I’ll make it fast, promise.

Oddly Lovely is all about the little, simple joys in life. Easy-to-do recipes, thoughtfully curated outfits, beauty tips, and pet product reviews – basically I talk about whatever makes me happy, which sometimes includes less “cool” things like fantasy novels and camping (and always includes way too much about my dog).

Minor plug – Erin designed my blog, and I could not be happier! I highly recommend her services if you’re considering an updated look. (P.S. This is Erin and I totally paid her to stick this little bit in here) (P.P.S. I'm totally kidding but I just love Cat for how often she gives my little blog design business some loving!)

If you’re interested in checking out my blog, here are some posts I think you might dig:

Now on to the good stuff. Modcloth has the COOLEST clothing, accessories, and decor knick knacks. If you’re drawn towards vintage-inspired and indie styles, it’ll be everything you can do to not spend your entire paycheck here. Check out my recent blog post with some of my favorite items they have for sale, and then make sure you enter here for a chance to have a mini shopping spree.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Head vs. Heart

This is a blog post topic that's been swimming around in my mind for quite some time now. I was watching TV one day (shocker) and someone had asked someone else if they were the type of person that leads with their head or their heart. P.S. You're welcome for that insanely detailed explanation as to how this blog post came about. I should really start writing shit down at the time I'm thinking of it.

Anyway, that simple little question got me thinking about which way I tend to lean. Which way have  I gone in the past? Which way am I currently going about things right now? 

Do I think things through first, taking them slow so I that I can weigh out all the positives and negatives in my head and know I'm in a solid (and more importantly safe) place before I decide to let my heart catch up? Do I do the logical thing and listen to the signs and the clues and the black and white instead of letting myself get swept up into the emotional part of it all? Orrr do I push all that "real life rational" talk straight out the window and just dive right in with my heart strapped front and center onto my sleeve?

I think we've probably figured out by now that I do the latter.

But the weird thing about me is that I only usually choose heart when it comes to relationships. Anything else is all head. Analytical, thought out, reasonable, decision making. Why I have such a disconnect when it comes to dating, I'll never know. But it's definitely a pattern I've come to realize about myself over the years.

First off their was my first ever boyfriend. Remember the dickwad that was allergic to monogamy and cheated and lied and I stuck around for years being a bat shit crazy lunatic? Yeah that was obviously all heart since any head that had even an inch of brain matter could have known to run like a gazelle on Animal Planet straight on out of that lion's den. 

Then their was my hunkfest Tinder relationship when I blogged about my "Biggest Confession to Date". Which was just simply that I had a real life boyfriend. Because up until last August, I'd really only ever had one official guy (the dickwad) that was ever given that title from me. Obviously I dated (a lot) but no real Facebook official (ha!) boyfriends. What can I say, I'm a picky ass bitch. But anyway, that was obviously all heart too since we met him on Tinder after a night of way too many margaritas and were officially dating about a month later, even though I saw a red flag from the very first week. But the mushy gushy heart took hold so I pushed the black right on out and tried to hold on to the white. Obviously that couldn't last forever though, so neither did we.

And that, as we all know, takes us to right on over to Charlotte shortly after all of that ended. I never really got into that relationship on my blog too much, though. Partly because I knew how much it sucked to parade a romance across a screen for a couple months just to have to write a break up post about it shortly after. But also partly because in the way way way back of my head, I wasn't sure it would ever last anyway. 

Cough, there's your sign Erin, cough. 

But regardless, the thing with Charlotte that no one ever knew was that we had dated before. He lived in the city before moving to Charlotte right around the same time I started flying there. So we actually had a really long history of off and on dating beforehand. It wasn't some break up with one and find a new one a day later type of love story. It was more of a "we've tried this a few times before but never took it seriously and I think we might actually just love each other so let's give this one a real life shot" kind of thing. And there went my heart sprinting off into lala land hoping to hell that it would actually work that last time. We know now that it didn't and we know now that it shattered my heart into little tiny pieces. But I should have known that before it ever started. And I probably did know that, but guess who the dingbat was over here that turns her head off whenever she starts dating someone. Oh hey, that'd be me.

And that brings us to now. Where I, yet again, am asking myself what the hell is wrong with me for letting my heart wander along on its merry way doing whatever it wants without thinking logically through any of it.

But the thing here is that even though I've gotten my heart broken and even though I've broken a couple others by doing things the heart way, I would still never choose to do it the head way. Yeah, if I leaned more towards what my brain was telling me instead of what my heart wanted, I might not have dated the one that made me psycho, or the one with the red flag, or gotten myself into a relationship that I knew could shatter me, but I'd still do it all over again in a heartbeat. And from here on out I'll probably still be doing it the same way.

I don't really care that I just wrote a break up post a month and a half ago. I don't really care that it might be a little nuts to already be pasting that crazy heart of mine right back onto my sleeve again.

Because the only way I know that I'll never regret something is if I pursue it with everything I've got. If I let my head cloud my emotions and hold me back, then am I really giving it everything I've got? Am I really actually even being me? I don't want to be cautious. I'm cautious in every single other decision I make in life. But in love, I want to be reckless. And one day, being reckless by throwing my heart straight into the fire and hoping for the best might just actually turn out to be perfect.

But what do you do? Do you lead with your head or your heart?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pinsday Wednesday

One: This dot rug from Urban Outfitters that's currently sold out because, hello, why wouldn't it be when it's that stinkin' cute? I'm still sitting around with plain white curtains that are just waiting for me to get my own DIY black splotching on because I love this print so much. Two: These roses climbing up behind the cutest little white cottage fence because they remind me of Lisa Vanderpump and I really need her to get her classy ass back on my TV, and stat. Like, what am I supposed to do with only one Real Housewives season on? Three: A stack of cat-eyed sunnies just to remind myself that I look like an absolute idiot in them in real life and am left to solely being allowed to pin them instead. Four: Umm, because would this be an "Erin's Current Faves" list if there wasn't a puppy included in the mix? Absolutely not. Five: "The best things happen unexpectedly." Yes, just yes. They most certainly do. Six: Fall means vests and I cannot wait to start wearing mine. I have a couple stocked and ready to go in my closet but I'm loving this one from JCrew right now. Seven: This is a wall in an office that I found while perusing Pinterest and I needed it, uhh, yesterday. I also needed an office. And my own apartment, but hey, let's ignore that part for the current moment shall we? Eight: I'm quite certain that I'll never put flowers in a vase ever again just because I love them displayed in anything but clear glass. It's totally acceptable to put a vase inside of a bag or something right…? Nine: Because one polka dot picture wasn't enough… here's some polka dot bedding that I currently have sitting in my virtual shopping cart.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

It's the Happiest Season of All

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® Tyson and Wet-Nap®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #wingsandwipes

Anddd it's back, ladies and gents. Football season is officially upon us and I couldn't be any more excited about it. Just add a little black lab puppy stuffed into a Christmas stocking into the mix and we'd be set for the rest of life over here. P.S. I'd like this one below if anyone out there is reading this and has any ideas about giving me said black lab puppy stuffed into a Christmas stocking any time soon. Hashtag just sayin'.

But seriously, do you not just die?!

Anyway, let's get back to the task at hand. Football season. I posted something obnoxious last Thursday on Facebook that went a little something like this: "If the NFL kicking off today feels like Christmas, then what is Monday's Giants gameday going to feel like? My damn wedding day?

Yeah, I'm seriously so cool guys. 

But it's true, that's how I actually feel right now. I'm pretty much the definition of pumped sitting here in my seat. 7:10pm EST can't come soon enough, my friends. But before we could arrive at the beauty that will be Monday Night Football later on this evening, (P.S. do we have someone better singing the song for this instead of that no name from last year?!) we had to get through the first Sunday of the season. And oh what a Sunday it was.

The biggest difference about living in Upstate New York as opposed to down in the city for football is the differing team preferences. In the city it's pretty much split between the Giants/Jets and then every other team in the damn league since Manhattan is basically just a melting pot of everyone from all over the country. There's a bar to back every team down to the darn Texans, I swear. Sorry to any of you Houston fans out there, but y'all kinda sucked last year. It doesn't get much better up here, though, because the fans skew pretty hard towards the Bills. 

Let's take a moment to laugh for a second like that one emoji that giggles so hard it cries.

Okay, glad that's over with. 

Regardless of how crazy these fans are over a team that has pretty much blown donkey dung for the past umpteen years, they really are just as passionate as the rest of us. If not more. Bless their blue and red beating hearts. But since the Giants aren't playing until tonight, I decided to team up with these crazies and do a little Bills backing yesterday. And that backing included a trip to the bar for the game and then a Buffalo Bills Wing eating contest to follow once we got home.

I grabbed my Any'Tizer Hot and BBQ wings from Wal-Mart, popped them in the oven and the games were on. The only problem was that I pretty much sucked Dyson style at the eating really fast part of the game, so I left it to the professionals and just stuffed my face with all the goodness (and beer) instead. Plus my handy dandy Wet-Nap wipes came in for clean-up duty at the two minute warning to get rid of the sticky faces when we were all done with our competition, making our game day super simple. P.S. if you head to Wal-Mart right now you'll get 55 cents off your Wet-Nap products (while supplies last) with this coupon. Use it, don't abuse it.

And that's pretty much how my first weekend of the NFL season went down. One conquered, sixteen (and hopefully a few more) to go. Let's see if we can top them, and let's also see if we can get those Gmen to the big game again, shall we? 
But tell me, who's your team? How'd you do this week? Please be advised that this question is only open to non-NFC East fans. I don't want to hear about you Eagles fans coming back in the second half yesterday. All you Cowboys can suck a chestnut. And I don't think we even need to mention the Redskins...
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Friday, September 5, 2014

Confession Session

1// This if the first year I've ever been torn about wanting the fall season to get here and I'm not sure how to handle these conflicting emotions right now. Usually I'm ready for boots and scarves the day after the 4th of July rolls around, but not this year. I've pretty much had the most perfect summer ever, ever, ever, so maybe that's why I wouldn't mind dragging it out a bit more? But don't get me wrong, I'm 100% thrilled for pumpkin carving contests and trips to the cider mill. Bring it on Kirsten Dunst.

2// I'm probably more excited about fall shows coming back this month than I am for the actual season. Give me my Olivia Pope and no one gets hurt. P.S. I still need to buy her damn long-stemmed wine glasses. I'm amazed and jealous every time I see her drink out of them.

3// I haven't put any of my clothes away since I got home exactly a month ago. My room has never been messier in my entire life and I might be dying inside at this point since I'm usually Danny Tanner organized. There's pretty much just bags and bags of winter clothes in the corner of the room and then two suitcases in the middle of the floor spewing out all the summer clothes I rotate wearing. It's not cute and shit needs to get handled next week. Mark my words people.

4// I had a picnic at the park down by the lake Wednesday night and remembered why the area I live in is constantly topping lists of "Best Places to Live". So peaceful, so pretty, so relaxing, and so romantic.

5// And since we were just talking about fall in my first two points, we can't forget to also confess that I hate everything pumpkin spice. Because I think everyone needs a reminder that I still feel the same way I felt last year when I wrote this post. You know, just in case you were for some horribly awful reason not following along last year and didn't know this fun fact about me.

6// Itches make me mental. Why do I always have to be so random? Itches from bug bites. Itches that you can't reach. Itches that you have to use a chopstick to get when you have a cast on your arm. Itches that you don't want to scratch when you're snuggling with a boy because you don't want to move and wake him up. Or is that just me? Itches on your foot right after you've put on a sock and laced up your sneakers. Itches in your ears that you can only get with a Q-Tip even though you know you're not supposed to do that. Itches in your eyes from allergy season. Fuck all the itches.

7// I've re-read Tuesday's post at least ten times since I hit publish. It just makes me so damn happy. Insert the hand-over-eyes monkey and heart-eyed face emojis here.

8// I want a backpack. Like, honestly, I actually want a backpack. But not a normal back-to-school JanSport (even though I do miss the bright coral one I had in high school like I miss Dunkaroos right now). More like all the ones on that one rack by the scarves and handbag aisle in Target. Yeah those. How stinkin' cute is this?!

9// I've only eaten Chipotle once in the past month. I just died a little inside typing that out. What is WRONG with me?!

10// I've re-found my love for country music since moving back home and I can. not. stop. listening to it. I even drove past my house the other day just so I could finish my song while cruising down my back country roads. Is there anything better in life? P.S. this is the song that stole my heart and has been on repeat for the past three weeks.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Curveball

Remember when I said I was going to start blogging full-time again? Yeah… so much for that nonsense. Girlfriend sure is slackin' over here. But for good reason. 

I've sort of just been living in that land of struggle where your personal life is going swimmingly well and you don't quite know how, or if, really, you should be merging all of it into your blog's life. The dilemma is really real when it comes to this thing known as lifestyle blogging because the only thing I really share here is, umm, my life and all the things going on in it. So what in the hell do you do when you don't wan't to talk about your life and all the things going on in it?

In my case, you basically just stop blogging. Whoops.

But when your head gets all clogged up with newfound happies, your initial reaction is to want to pour them all out and show how great of a hand you've been dealt. But that's also quite the gamble in a world full of Judgey McJudgertons, so the best move is to probably just pull a Lady Gaga and put on your poker face. Which I think I'm probably going to do for a while. 

Although that is quite the cock tease, so let's just say that I'm 100 and 70,000% shocked that I've been able to do a complete 180 since my break up post five weeks ago.

Five. Weeks. Ago. 

Phew, that feels like an entire eternity ago at this point. Because now I'm pretty much just thanking all  my lucky stars above, each and every day, that all of that hell went down. And especially when it did. Because at five weeks ago, I was severely depressed thinking about how I wasn't going to be able to live out the life I had planned for my future. And now, today, I just get depressed thinking about how I could've so easily been handed that life… because that would've meant that I never would've found this new one I'm currently living. And I rather like this one I'm currently living.

Good God. Who am I? 

That's the question I've been asking myself these past couple weeks. Because I'm seriously in so much disbelief as to how easy it was for me to climb out of that dark hole, which we can now title, "Moping Around Watching Rerun After Rerun of That 70's Show in Whitney's Apartment While Downing Glasses of Wine and Snuggling Ella" two days after the break up, to now finding my sunshine and skipping down the street in my Hunter boots again. And I don't really know why I feel the need to let everyone know that my mindset is back on track to thinking about puppy snuggles all day, but I do.

Maybe for my own sanity? Maybe for anyone else out there that is moping around thinking they'll never feel normal again? (Newsflash: you will) I'm not entirely sure what the rhyme or reason is for this post. All I know is that life has a crazy ass way of throwing you a curveball when you least expect it.

There couldn't be any truer words for me at this moment. So for anyone going through something similar to what my life was like those five long weeks ago, I hope you try to keep the faith. Because in the words of Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, "JUST KEEP SWIMMING". And maybe you too will be thanking life for your very own curveball one day.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Decision Made

Give me a second while I dust the cobwebs off around here. 


There, that's better. Vacuum hose to the rescue. Apparently I've been too busy figuring out my life slash trying to soak up the last few solid days of summer to attempt to actually show face at this place. But that's perfectly fine with me because I've been pretty damn happy this past week and my motto is to basically just do whatever it is that gets you to that point, so here we are. 

But with summer winding down and my two months of "I'm going to do whatever I want for a couple months and figure out what to do with myself later" expiring pretty much today, I think it's time I hop back on the blog train. All the other bloggers are coming back now too, right? The sunshine bug that took us all out of commission for awhile is about to be sent packing into fall boots and infinity scarves, so I say it's about time. Then again maybe I should just hold on to that bug for a little while longer since I don't think I'm even making a single ounce of sense right now. 

Le sigh. That's what happens when you've been out of practice. Things get more awkward than Taylor Swift at an award show.

And I digress…

So as for that whole "figuring out what to do with myself" thing. We're getting there. Slowly but surely. A couple weeks ago I posted about my life choices and how I was attempting to decide between four different options. If you're too lazy to click that link, then shame on you, I could really use the page views around this barren land. That was rude. But anyway, those options were: moving back to my apartment in NYC, going to Israel to keep nannying for my nanny family, staying home to save money and take classes, or moving somewhere completely new.

The winner has been chosen and I've decided to stay home for awhile. Which is pretty much the most anticlimactic ending to this decision making process, but I'm currently 110% happy with it.

So, starting tomorrow, I'll be going back to school to take digital photography and graphic design classes. And now that I just officially wrote that down in one solid sentence, it's all becoming really real. Here's a collection of feelings I have about it all.

"Wait what? Did I really just say I'm going back to college? Doubleyou tee eff?!"

"Oh my God, I get to go buy fun notebooks and mechanical pencils and pick a first day outfit!"

 "Let's hope I'm actually good at this shit, fingers crossed I guess."

"I plan on trying to be as invisible as possible since I'll be 25 in a room full of 18 year olds."

"I never could get financial aid the first time around but now that I'm an independent I can. 
Free money? Fuck yes!"

"The realization that I have to sit in a classroom for nine straight hours moment of petrified horror."

But really when all is said and done, I honestly truly just feel like this:

Because I really am so unbelievably excited. I could go on for days, scratch that, YEARS about how much I think our educational system is screwed up and wasted on the indecisive young. But I'll save that for a later date. Just know that I think my time spent at college the first time around was an absolute waste. Because most 17 year olds don't have a damn clue what they want for breakfast, let alone what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Except society tells us we "need" to go to school and thus we rush into it and drop bucket loads of cash to do so.

I'm getting carried away.

Anyway, now I'm just crazily thrilled to finally have a real direction, a passion, something that I'm over the moon excited about learning, something that I need to learn in order to be able to live out my current goals and dreams. And on top of that, the ability to go back and only take the classes I find interesting, those I know will further my skills in the areas that I want furthering, not gen-ed crap that I won't remember two weeks after the final. 

So it all begins tomorrow. I'm nervous to shit, but I'm excited as all hell.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DIY Canvas Tote

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #StaplesBTS

If you know a single ounce of my personality, you'll know that I'm an organization freak. The annoying customer that stands at the register thirty seconds after she's done being rung up because she must have her dollar bills face the right way and be in the right order. Yup, that'd be me. The weirdo at the dinner table that likes to separate her meat from her mashed potatoes from her veggies, not because she's picky and doesn't want them to touch, but just because everything needs its own pile. That'd also be me. I could go on for days here…

But I'll save you the nonsense and just cut right to the chase. My Etsy shop business is just a tad bit unorganized when it comes to shipping out orders. There, I said it. Prints are strewn across the table, mailers are everywhere but up my nose, and addresses fill in the rest of the space creatin chaotic clutter. And then once I have everything sorted out, there's also the task of getting all of them to the Post Office so they can actually make their merry way to customers. 

Enter the need for a tote to help me transport things and keep organized.

But if you know another ounce of my personality, you'll know that I like creative DIY projects just about as much as I like puppies. So that's exactly what I did in creating that badass little tote you see up there. 

It started out as your regular plain old canvas tote for about four bucks at Hobby Lobby. Then I went to town taping things here and there. First to create the line at the bottom for the gold, then again into triangles for the pattern, and then around the whole thing so I could make the handles black. I used gold acrylic paint for the bottom, a black Sharpie to fill in the triangles, and then just some spray paint for the handles. Piece of cake and way better than the original!

So if you're feeling crafty and find yourself in need of a new tote, try this little project out. The possibilities are endless! Plus, if you go to Staples like I did to get your materials, you'll get any Sharpie Fine Point, Ultra Fine Point, or Neon marker pack on sale, while supplies last, until August 24th. How's that for the cheapest personalized bag you ever did see?

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Fearless I Am Not

Have you checked out Whitney's newest IWYP by Whitney Ellen tee? If you haven't you're really missing out because it's probably one of my favorites yet. I'm not really one to wear t-shirts that have anything to do with blogging, hell I still get all freaked out when I find out someone I know in real life has read my blog, so whenever Whitsticle designs one that's not related to blogging I jump on it. Or she just shoves it in my face because I was in her apartment when the order arrived and we screamed in excitement about how badass it is. Whichever works. 

"Fear less to be fearless" is this month's motto and I could sure use it because I'm afraid of quite a few things in life. So I figured I post them today, because whenever I write things down into a list I feel like it's much easier to tackle inside my actual head. So here we go, the things I'm most afraid of.

1) Getting trapped under water - we can thank me sitting on my mother's lap in the movie theater for the entire three and a half hours of Titanic bawling my eyes out for that psychotic fear.

2) Paper cuts on eyeballs

3) Paper cuts in general

4) Bugs crawling into my ear - I know a man who had a moth crawl all the way into his eardrum and then get stuck for a couple days before surgery could remove it. Now I tear up and shiver just thinking about it.

5) Receiving a phone call that someone close to me has died

6) Never finding a job that will satisfy both my dreams and my bank account

7) Being tortured

8) Being forced to watch my loved ones be tortured

9) Complete darkness when sleeping - I basically should just move into a Motel 6 at this point because they'll leave the light on for me.

10) Not being able to get pregnant

11) Never getting the opportunity to find out why the hell we're on this planet since I don't really believe that anyone really walks through the pearly white gates of heaven

12) Samara from The Ring

13) Never being loved by someone as much as I love them or vice versa. But seriously, do fairy tales even exist?

14) The world being demolished by a contagion epidemic

15) Witnessing someone jump in front of a subway train to commit suicide

16) Suicide in general - I'm not so much fearful of this one but rather just completely disturbed by it. This as well as executions.

17) My brother getting hurt while serving our country

18) Pixar suddenly going bankrupt and never releasing another movie

What are you afraid of? Let me know in my comments and then make sure you go order your own "Fear Less" shirt  here so you can have a reminder too.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Awkward Turtle

Sometimes I try to be a fashion blogger when boutiques send me clothing to be a fashion blogger with. Every single time this happens, shit hits the fan. I don't understand how any of you do this so many times a week. I turn into THEE most awkward turtle there ever was to grace this planet and end up doing weird things with my hands. Like where do you even put them? Your hands that is. 

And how does one learn how to not smirk like a six year old? Because that's what I did in every single picture that my mother took of me yesterday. And that's why there isn't a single picture of my actual head in this blog post.

Plus the lighting - there is none. Do you plan outfit posts by your weather channel app? And the location - this is my deck after a nice downpour. Do you get in your car and scope out cool places that actually match your outfit? Good lord, I think I should just give up on this here and now. If anyone has tips for this game, I'd greatly appreciate it. Maybe next time I should just do this after twofer Tuesday instead of dead sober in the dawn of the morning? There, problem solved.

But P.S. this lace kimono cardigan thing is so fun to play with. My brother even complimented me on it! So go get yours today and use TWOTHIRDS15 for 15% off your order. Oh and be sure to enter this giveaway to win a gift card to In Bloom Boutique while you're at it..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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