Monday, September 22, 2014

baby bits o' happiness

It was Saturday afternoon, I was sitting on the couch, responding to comments when I suddenly realized...I didn't have any content prepared for the week. None. Nada. 
And not only that, but I had a total of zero exciting prospects to blog about before Monday. 
I almost panicked. 
But I didn't because I took a moment and remembered, "that's just life, man." 
Here are some little bits of life that made me exceptionally happy this past week. 

-grabbing a drink with the best, most wonderful co-workers after a Friday afternoon shift 
-treating myself to a new scarf a la H&M, just because 
-treating myself to sushi for lunch, also just because
-flowers delivered to my doorstep, to be enjoyed in lieu of a certain The Boy, MIA all day for a football game
-finally hanging those pictures, posters, and signs that have been occupying my cozy-comfy reading chair for months
-the weather finally reaching that perfect temperature for an evening walk with Albie 
-pre-movie cocktails with The Boy to end a Sunday 
-pub trivia (I love pub trivia! Because any autobiography of mine should be titled "Zoe: The Girl Who Loved Shoving Her Collection of Useless Knowledge in the Faces of her Opponents and Friends".) 
-being told I looked like Blair Waldorf in Linguistics class--that's being saved for my bad days 

Friday, September 19, 2014

autumn to do

It's the best time of year, and here's how I plan on enjoying it to the fullest. 
What are your fall musts? Hayrack rides? Pumpkin carving? Hibernation-prep? 
And don't forget: pumpkin spiced everything. It's the reason for the season. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

on love

Here's the best feeling in the world: You come home from a long day of school and work. Your canvas bag is loaded with books and your mind is loaded with the thought of the evening ahead, full of homework. A classmate contested your idea in discussion and was right. Your shift dragged on for what seemed like days. You're frustrated. Every little annoyance turns into a major drama and by the time your worn out key is having trouble puzzling itself into the worn out key hole, you just want to scream.
And then, click. The door opens, and when you huff inside, you're suddenly trapped in the entry way by the tiniest little ball of black puff, yipping and jumping and long poof of tail wagging so fast you worry for a few seconds that it might break. A wet snout nips at your heels, pushing you into the home. Thrilled barks are shot at you from a wide smile feet below. You finally give in, collapse on the ground and are bombarded with licks and kisses and nuzzles and--
what bad day?
Here's the best feeling in the world: You're reading on the couch. The book is thrilling, but something keeps pulling you away from the pages. It's a whine. A pitiful, constant yelp and quickly pacing padding on the hardwood floor. You sigh, and turn back to your book. But you only get a few lines in before the crying pipes up again. Your head snaps downward in guilty annoyance and you groan, "What" at two glittering black eyes. The whining stops, and a red-collared neck cocks sideways. You decided to try one more time, find your spot at the page, and as soon as you do, your puff ball takes you away. 
Finally, you toss your book to the side, pick your tuft of black fur off of the floor, and seat him next to you on the couch. Instantly, he takes a lap back and forth between the arms, and finally settles in with a "hmph" next to your legs. He curls up and falls asleep, pressed as close as he can be to you. 
So you go back to your reading.
Here's the best feeling in the world: After your morning cup of coffee, you stretch your legs and wander into the bathroom. You turn on the hot water, grab your cleanser, and while you're washing your face, you accidentally take a step backwards and bump into a soft block of black fur. A snout looks up at you and takes a seat on the floor, eventually collapsing into a curled up ball at your feet. You finish washing your face and turn to pat dry. Instantly the puff ball is up and at the ready. You turn back to the sink to put on moisturizer and brush your teeth, and down he goes again. When you're finished, you leave the bathroom, trailed by four white paws. When you realize, your forgot your hair tie, you whip around back to the bathroom, and so does your shadow. 
He trails you into the closet, he waits for you while you choose your socks from the dresser, he patiently treads next to you as you pack up your backpack. 
Maybe your steps have become a little wonky to keep from getting a paw under your feet, maybe you are constantly on the look out down below now, but you've completely forgotten how to walk around your own house without your new shadow. 

In conclusion, being a weird dog lady has been the coolest thing to happen to me. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

little luxuries

(image via

I'm in love with the idea of a beautiful life. It's a personal philosophy of mine that each day should be touched with a million tiny moments that enhance the entire experience of living...a good cup of coffee every morning, treating yourself to a last-minute dinner out, sitting in a parked car for an extra few minutes to finish up a song on the radio. 
Something I've been working on lately is putting more effort into creating a lifestyle I love. I've been focusing more on what sort of aesthetic, style, and vibe I want to set for my days, and part of that has been evaluating what aspects of my life make me the happiest. Maybe some of those aspects aren't the big important things, but they contribute to how I live my life nonetheless.
Here are my top indulgences for creating a happy, polished, and much loved life. 

1. Invest in opulent loungewear 
Ditch your old sweats for a pair of sleek leggings, a silky nightie, or an ultra-soft sweater. Even just picking up a few plain, cotton v-necks from Target to lounge around in feels so much fancier than a t-shirt emblazoned with your high school mascot. 
(My favorite jammies: Eberjey's Gisele PJ set, they're unbelievably cozy and make me feel like a 40s pin up chick.) 

2. Be creative about functionality 
I store a set of tall, black matches in an Erlenmeyer flask, flour and sugar in half-gallon sized glass jars on my kitchen counter, and my car keys in a glass candy dish shaped like a skull. It's weird, it's unnecessary, but these little touches make my home my own and make me smile every day. 

3. Take as many baths as you want
Don't forget the bubbles, a good book, and a thick, sweet smelling lotion to slather on afterwards. 

4. Go for that afternoon pick-me-up you're craving 
I can get through a morning just fine sans caffeine, but at around 2 pm, I need something to keep me perked up for the rest of the afternoon. Whether it's coffee, a bite of chocolate, or maybe just a brisk walk in the fresh air, life is too short for "I really don't need it"s. 

5. Burn candles in whatever room you're in
I know you all feel me on this one--there is no relaxation like the glow of a candle. And make sure to stock up on your favorite scents when you can. I'm burning a cypress and fir as I type this, and am simultaneously mourning the fact that I didn't buy 60 of these babies when I spotted them. 

6. Wear bright colored lipstick just for the hell of it 
It's ballsy! I love to add a swipe of bright red or orange when I'm wearing a subdued outfit. It adds a punch to any outfit, it's completely confidence boosting, it looks amazing on everyone, and it's just generally pretty kick-ass. 

7. Wear wool socks in winter
Just...trust me. It's a life changer. 

8. Use vintage china for everyday meals 
Spend an afternoon poking around secondhand and antiques stores and pick up a few large plates, small plates, and bowls in different patterns and colors. Each piece shouldn't set you back more than five dollars and even take-out Chinese becomes exponentially more delicious when eaten off of an old floral wedding set. We use exclusively mismatched china in this house (partially because it looks cool and is a pretty decent conversation started, partially because we couldn't afford a nice set of plates let alone china when The Boy and I moved in together). 

9. Reserve one night a week for ultimate pamper-dom 
Face mask, hair mask, shave legs, paint nails, pluck eyebrows, the whole nine yards. Sunday nights are my nights--they're a perfect evening to regroup for the upcoming week. 

10. Drip lavender oil on your pillow before bedtime 
Ahhhh. Hippy dippy shit or not, aromatherapy is the best. Just one or two drops on your pillowcase, and you'll fall asleep in minutes. It's the best way to end a day. 

What do you think? What do you do to create your most perfect life? I'd love to hear, I'm always looking for more ways to enhance my days! 




Friday, September 12, 2014

forty-for-fall week one

I thought I'd share with you all a little update on what week number one in my forty-for-fall challenge looked like, mirror-self-portrait style. 

I know it's only been a little over a week, but I'm over the moon in love with this challenge. I've already said this once, but this whole thing has been way too much fun. Getting dressed in the morning is a breeze--I know what I have and pretty much all of it will work together. So the excitement comes with experimenting in different ways...wearing a pair of shoes that aren't as matchy-matchy as I would have normally picked, layering different fabrics and textures, playing more and more with lip colors and hair styles. I've discovered that when I don't have to focus solely on my outfit, I'm enjoying the whole experience of getting dressed so much more. 
Oddly enough, I'm now opting for a spritz of perfume more often as well? I usually forego a daily spray, but I'm having fun picking and choosing different scents (that have probably been sitting on my wardrobe for far too long) for different days. 

And when I'm finally all put together and ready to go, I always love how I look. There are usually a few days out of the week when I feel like a top doesn't fit right, or a shoe looks weird with a certain style of jeans, and while that doesn't leave me feeling utterly self-conscious, my mind does keep tugging at the off-kilter annoyance throughout the day. Not once since I've started my challenge has this been an issue. I know I love how all of the pieces I've chosen look on me. I don't have to worry about making a too-small skirt work for the sake of a color scheme. Every piece of clothing I'm reaching for, I adore. 

I'm also finding myself in the same uniform over and over again. Even if that uniform is just a chic t-shirt and jeans, at least I know what I like. And when I stick to what I enjoy wearing, I feel like I have an all together more cohesive sense of style, instead of wearing a radically different outfit every day of the week. 

There have been a few times when I wish I would have switched out some items for others. A nice blazer is an always-must that I'm missing, a chunky knit sweater could have easily been exchanged for one of my crew necks. But I suppose that's what this challenge is all about: really taking stock of what I have, what I want, and what I need. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

b-lated

Although my birthday was well over two weeks ago and we celebrated enough for a year, I couldn't resist The Boy's invitation for a make-up birthday dinner date.