Thursday, September 27, 2012


Thanks everyone for all your caring comments from my moving post yesterday. Hubby and I got our moving truck out of 'truck jail' and it was unloaded last night. We have a full house and a full storage unit. Hopefully over the next couple of days, we'll get it all sorted out (I found silverware last night - no more plastic forks - yay!). My husband's birthday party is also this Saturday, so I have to focus on that in the next couple of days as we have about 25 guests coming to the beach condo my mom rented for us. I'm sending hubby there on Friday to go enjoy some 'man time' while I run errands for food, cake, wine, and beer.

So until I can get around easily in the apartment and get through this party...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Move from Hell!

This move has not gone as planned one bit. I arrived Thursday night in Connecticut where I had to take a car from the airport to the tune of $160 because our movers showed up three hours late. Therefore hubby couldn't come and get me. Couldn't grab a shuttle because they were ALL booked up. So hubby had to get me an executive town car, which was kind of luxurious and nice but a  complete waste of money. I'm so glad we don't live in such an expensive state anymore. Or so I thought. But I'll get to that later.

So when I got to CT, the four guys had only loaded some of our stuff. They exclaimed, "We're almost done," when I arrived. That couldn't have been further from the truth. They were so not almost done. None of our furniture had been loaded. At 11:30 PM, I'm shouting at the one guy who claimed he just needed "five more minutes to figure out where to put things." His "five minutes" took about three hours of time that we were paying at a rate of $100/hour. So $900 later and we realized we needed a second truck. We have way too much stuff. So much stuff that we have a storage until in FL for the crap.

On Friday, hubby and I rented a 16' moving truck that I would be driving down. It took us all day to load it by ourselves. One of the movers did come back to haul off our garbage and was kind enough to help us for the last two hours. After cleaning all morning on Saturday, we finally left CT around 1:00 PM.

We white-knuckled it through New York City and stopped at a truck station in New Jersey only to find my husband's car cover torn at the bottom and the entire thing barely hanging on. This was after we already tied it down once in CT. So we took it off and stuffed it in the car for the rest of the trip.

We made it to VA around 1:00 AM and decided to stop at a rest area to grab about 4-5 hours of sleep. Hubby's truck had a bench seat and he was able to wrap himself up in one of our comforters and stretch out. I, on the other hand, had bucket seats in my truck. I did my best to build up my sleeping nest and stretch out across the seats. It got pretty cold throughout the night and I woke up shivering. About every 10 minutes, a truck would pass us or one would start up their engines. So to say we 'slept' would be stretching it.

We left the rest area around 7:00 AM Sunday morning and made it to South Carolina by early evening. We were downing energy drinks and having to pee every couple of hours in addition to getting diesel gas for hubby's truck every couple of hours as well. I had no idea it was going to take us so long to make this drive when I did it in two days, with an overnight hotel stay, in about 20 hours total. Our top speed in the trucks was about 70mph and that varied depending on what semi truck or old man was in front of us driving 55mph. You just can't whip around the slow pokes when you are driving big rigs. And I now have a new respect for truckers.

We realized in South Carolina that it was going to take us another eight hours to get to Tampa and we needed to stop, take showers, and have a decent night's sleep. Seeing as I had to go to work the next day, I had to email my boss and request an additional day off of work. So until the end of the year, I have no more paid time off (I only get two floating days until the end of the year. No PTO time for six months from hire date).

My sister was watching our dog and didn't bank on me taking an extra two days. She was hoping I'd get home quick as my dog was running out of food and she didn't know what to do (Woozie is on a special diet of venison and potato dog food). We got into it over text messages and basically aren't talking to one another. I'm sure we'll work it out, as family always does, but until then we are both stubborn and this will have to pass over.

Once we got to Tampa Monday evening, we quickly realized only the 16' truck would be able to stay overnight in the apartment complex. The 26' foot truck would have to spend the night at the Winn Dixie plaza across the road. We also arranged for a guy to come help us at a very good rate ($15/hour - see? it really is cheaper in FL).

I had to get up Tuesday morning and be at work by 8 AM. When I pulled out of the apartment complex and looked for our truck across the road, it was gone! I panicked and called hubby. I then called the cops who informed me the car had been towed as it was parked illegally. We saw no signs pulling into the plaza, however they were posted down low at the other entrance.

You ready? To get husband's car and our belongings from the towing facility, we had to pull out a grand from the bank! That's right, $1,000 to get our stuff back. Did we pay it. We had no choice. We had to. And as I posted all this on Facebook, I got a childhood friend telling me one day that I will laugh about this. I wrote 'highly unlikely' as I take money very seriously and after spending over $6-7K to get down here, I don't find anything funny about another $1K.

Our apartment is a complete wreck right now as we are still unloading the big truck. Our help comes back tomorrow. Thank goodness. Oh and did I mention hubby is using my brand new Elchim to defrost our A/C unit that froze over?

Oh fun times, indeed. There will never be another cross country move.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Black and Blue

The last time I wore this blouse, I got a lovely comment of "puke." That's it. One nasty word from an anonymous person from Arkansas. Yes, that's right. Even though you may show up as anonymous, I can still see where you are from and what your IP address is. And while I'm all for constructive criticism, nasty comments are just mean and uncalled for.

But I happen to love this top. I bought it after seeing it on Chloe Conspiracy's list of wants from Asos. It's unique, and I happen to have a thing for embellished collars, even if they are part of the shirt. And I can't rave enough about my faux leather panel skirt. I could wear that thing once a week, it's so darn comfy and cool.

So I'll be away from my computer for a few days. I fly out at 2pm today to Connecticut. I'm only there for a brief stay but already dread going as I can't tell my mind that it's just a quick trip and I'll have all my beloved things again in just a few days. I'm still having a hard time when I shop at Publix and The Fresh Market. I keep wanting to hoard items for fear that I won't be able to shop there for awhile, as was the case when I would come down to visit family. So although I'm missing my husband like crazy and can't wait to see him after five long weeks, I'm in no hurry to go back to a state the lacked so many things and places. I don't mind knowing it's a bit cool up there as it's still 90 and humid here. Two days of refreshing weather will be nice. Getting through New York and New Jersey in a 26' moving van? Not so nice. But we'll do it. And we'll make it back in time to unload our stuff on Sunday with help from our family.

So pardon my absence while I'm helping the husband move. There's nothing glamorous about jeans, tees, flip flops, no makeup, and wet hair. I hope to be back up and posting by Tuesday. And let me look through my closet and see what I can come up with for a 30 by 30 challenge. Until then, have a great weekend.

{Blouse: Asos | Skirt: Anne Klein: eBay | Shoes: Nine West Andriana | Lipstick: Nars Dragon Girl}
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Silky Hair

Decided to put my money where my mouth is and show you how my hair looks with my new products. I'm still waiting for my new Elchim hair dryer to replace my existing Chi that I've had for a few years. Unfortunately, my Chi no longer holds a concentrator nozzle due to the fact that it's bent out of shape from the hand diffuser when I went through my curly hair phase and bought all that Deva stuff that really didn't work very well on my fine, wavy hair (only works well for really curly hair). I used to own a Super Solano and loved it, but it was heavy. It lasted almost 10 years.

So until my new dryer arrives, I'm drying on low and using my Brush Lab round brush. Oh, and I totally want more layers next haircut. I had this strange dream last night that I was in a room with a woman named Courtney and we started seeing the door slam on its own like in Paranormal Activity. I then look over and Courtney is possessed and I can't get her back. Translation: I finally found a good hairdresser and am afraid she'll stop doing my hair.

In addition leaving for Connecticut on Thursday afternoon to help hubby drive down to Florida with all our furniture, my mom, sister, and I are also planning his birthday party. It's a major milestone this year. Both of us had major milestone bdays this year. We're planning a nice party at a condo on Indian Rocks beach. Mom rented the condo for us all weekend and we are very grateful for her generosity. I plan to have Publix fried chicken for the birthday boy and some Bang Bang shrimp from Bonefish Grill as well as lots of Trader Joe's apps. Oh and lots of drinky poos. Should be a real nice party with our friends and family that we've missed for the last four years.

As I was about to step out the door this morning, it started pouring rain. There was no way I was going to wear a silk shirt and heels in pouring rain. So I quickly changed into jeans and a shirt and threw on some flats.

{Blouse: J. Crew | Skirt: J. Crew | Necklace: J. Crew | Shoes: JCP | Lipstick: MAC Rebel}
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Good in Theory

I felt majorly uncomfortable in this outfit today. While it looks fine on the surface, and hanging in my closet, it has several flaws. The top is from the Limited and I saw it on J's Everyday Fashion. And while it does look cute on, it is poorly constructed and so sheer that I had to throw on a blazer the entire day at work. I'm taking it showed what should only be seen in the adult entertainment bizness! The shoulders kept slipping as well for these pics, thus exposing my bra. Again, sign me up for the next striptease class.

On to the pants. Probably one of the top five most uncomfortable pants I own. I bought these Talbots pants off eBay. They have a side zip, which never works well for me and my belly pouch.  They have no spandex. When I sat in them all day, they practically cut off my circulation in my adult entertainment region. When I got up to go to the breakroom and restroom, I feared I was displaying major camel toe. Not a good look. I also felt like I should be playing shuffleboard.

I don't know ladies. My fashion choices down in FL seem to be hit or miss. I felt fairly confident in my wardrobe choices up north. But down here, it's not clicking.  I'm just not fitting in fashion-wise with my fellow peers. And maybe I didn't fit in up north either because we had only a couple of women in the software company I worked at. So come to think of it, they didn't have much fashion sense either. So what do I do? Do I continue dressing like I'm from another world to please my blog audience or do I start dressing more conservative and risk losing you all?

And I so wanted to showcase my hair today. But go figure I would be having a bad hair day in high humidity.

{Blouse: The Limited | Pants: Talbots (eBay) | Shoes: Nine West}
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Retired Chi

So I retired my Chi flat iron. I've had it for probably 10 years and it has served me well. But I got a new friend now. But I'm getting ahead of myself. If you remember from my Fashion Night Out post, I stopped a girl in MAC to ask where she gets her hair done. More so the color than the cut. She had the blonde highlights I wanted. She referred me to Toni & Guy in International Plaza.

You've seen the cut; care of a 22 year old woman named Courtney. I normally can't stand how hairstylists blow dry and flat iron my hair. I say 'pin straight,' and I typically leave with a Sally Field helmet in which the trained receptionist says, 'Oh it looks so good.' Uh huh. Right. I've only had one stylist 'get' my hair and give me an amazing blow out, as well as highlights. She understood the base color needed to be a level 6 or 7 so as not to wash me out. She took her time with the blow drying and flat ironing and I left the salon not wanting to wash my hair for days. Of course, I have to wash after the second day because I just can't stand it. I ended up moving to CT and my former stylist now lives in Utah. But now I have Courtney, who not only does an amazing cut, she makes my hair feel like silk when she is done.

Because I've been highlighting my hair for the last two years and covering the gray, I've been ending up with a top layer of damage due to overlapping the bleach. I've been blow drying my hair on low because it feels less like straw than when I blow dry on high. I put in a dab of Chi Silk Infusion with a little Fekkai Ironless Straightening Balm before I blow dry. I blow dry with either a round brush or paddle brush and then flat iron. But it's still been looking stiff and damaged with those products.

When I saw Jenny the other night at Toni & Guy for full highlights, I was a bit worried that I was going to do even more damage. Jenny mixed in a few lowlights up top to help with the damaged areas. She also recommended Tigi S Factor Serious Conditioner and gave me a similar sample to try at home first. I love how the highlights turned out and feel back to normal (pics coming soon). I had Courtney style my hair again and this time I paid attention to the products she used, as well as her flat iron that seemed to make my hair silky and shiny. It felt great, too.

So here are the products I recommend based on personal experience that have given me amazing results. Please note that I have a lot of hair, but it's very fine.  So you may experience different results based on the texture of your hair. I cannot say enough about the shine spray. I used to use Rusk Thermal spray before I flat ironed. I'm so impressed with Tigi's shine spray. One word of caution - too much of it can make your hair look greasy. So go easy. Do a little research online for the best prices as salon prices can be high. However, I don't recommend Amazon as I've read and heard too much about other products not being authentic.

Tigi S Factor Serious Conditioner

Tigi S Factor Flat Iron Shine Spray
And now for the holy grail. I have no idea how this flat iron can make straw look like silk, but it does. It's easier to handle than the Chi and you can get closer to the roots. I believe there's a newer version in silver but I went with the one Courtney used.
Paul Mitchell Express Ion Smooth

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nurse Jackie Hair

It's hot. I have a lot of hair. It's fine, but there's a lot of it. And it keeps me warm in the winter, but makes me sweat in the summer. I'm serious. I sweat like a guy. And I think it's because I have all this hair on my head retaining heat. So off it went. I know some people will miss my longer locks but I've gotta do what's comfortable for me. I also get up an hour and a half earlier than I used to as I have set hours at work now. So cutting my hair has saved me about 10-15 minutes in styling each morning.

I'm also going blonder. I got my hair cut by a great stylist at the International Plaza. Tonight I'm going to get full highlights. Now that I'm back in Florida, it's fairly easy to find stylists who know how to do blonde highlights. Up in New England, the majority of women like that monotone dark brown/black hair color. As a result, I had a hard time finding anyone who would do highlights the color I wanted (white blonde). When my mom and I were at Fashion Night Out, I spotted a girl in MAC who had the white blonde highlights that I wanted and asked her for a referral.

So what was I going for with this cut? Nurse Jackie! I love how the character has grown out her short locks into a piecey pixie. I also have been envious of Gweneth Paltrow's short bob she had in 1996 when she would pull her bangs to the side with a simple bobby pin.

{Shirt: Zara | Skirt: River Island - Asos | Shoes: Pour la Victoire | Necklace: J. Crew}
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

FNO Outfit

Just wanted to show you what I wore to Fashion Night Out Tampa last Thursday. Although I got three compliments on my shoes, I just couldn't stroll around the mall in them. They are pretty to look at and okay for the little bit of walking I do at work, but very uncomfortable for walking. So I changed to my sparkly Fit Flops.

And while it's pretty cold in the office I work at, I knew my Zara blazer would be too heavy for a rainy, steamy night. However, I did wear this outfit all day to work. I kind of felt a little weird about the shoes as they seem kind of hookerish to me. Maybe it's the height, could be the tassels, or the straps around the ankles. Combine those issues and not being able to walk very far and that's why these shoes still look new.

I also feel like I might be gaining some weight with the move. I haven't been tracking my meals as diligently as I used to before the move. So while I was at Publix last night, I jumped on the giant scale by the door and was happy to see that I had only gained two pounds. So I just need to get back on it and watch what I eat. I also need to frequent the gym that I joined a little more often.

{Top: Ann Taylor | Skirt: Asos | Blazer: Zara | Shoes: Dolce Vita | Necklace: J. Crew}
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Leather, Leopard, and Stripes

I've been wanting to wear this shirt for awhile now. I've had it for months. And although leather isn't allowed at my work, I thought I could get away with a little panel of it on my skirt (it repeats on the back as well). I bought this skirt on eBay as I was doing an extensive search on leather skirts to replace my faux leather skirt that ripped the first time I wore it. So sad. But I actually like this one much better. And since no one accosted me at work and threatened to send me home for clothing abuse, I think it's safe to wear it again.

Hope everyone's weekend was good. My friend Mike and I went down to Sarasota for the opening of Trader Joes. They are finally breaking ground and expanding in Florida. I was so used to popping into my local TJs about 10 mins from my CT home when I wanted their great frozen appetizers. Now it's an hour drive to and fro. I stocked up on my favorites (croissants, feta cheese and caramelized onion tartlets, broccoli and cheese quiche, organic brown rice, and chipotle baby potato skins) and waited about 20 minutes in a line that snaked around the aisles. The good news is that I can now buy wine in stores and was finally able to buy some "two buck chuck." I haven't tried it yet, but hope for $2.99 that it's fairly decent.

This has also been the first weekend that I have actually had some down time. I took a nap Saturday afternoon for the first time in about 6-8 weeks.  And I think my doggie has enjoyed a little one-on-one mommy time without me running off here or there.

I also got my Florida plates and driver's license. So it's official. I'm a Floridian again! And the beauty about not having any furniture yet, I can choose any bare wall in the apartment to snap pictures in front of. Going outside during August and September in Florida does not result in the best of pictures. Mainly because I start to sweat and my hair frizzes up. Not a lovely picture combo.

{Skirt: Ann Klein via eBay | Shirt: Vera Moda via Asos | Shoes: JCP | Necklace: eBay | Lipstick: Nars Dragon Girl}
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Fashion Night Out - Tampa

I invited my mom and sister to Fashion Night Out at International Plaza in Tampa last night. While definitely small scale next to NYC's FNO,  it was something to do out of the norm. Sister had book club so she couldn't join us. Mom and I indulged in little baby cupcakes, mini non-alcoholic martinis, and 30% off a single item from H&M. Now that is a rare thing. I've never seen H&M give any kind of discounts. I ended up buying a dress and a mint green collar. I had my mom be my "buyer" on the collar since it was 30% off on one item only. Thanks Mom!

After FNO, mom and I headed to the other mall about a mile away. We dined at PF Changs, one of my favorite restaurants. We considered having another glass of wine to wait out the rain. But that's the thing about Florida. Wait 15 minutes and it usually clears up, unlike Connecticut where it rains for days on end.

Speaking of Connecticut, I'm going back. Yep, I've had it with Florida and I'm heading back.  Nahhhh. I'm just flying up in two weeks to drive the moving van down with hubby.  I'm really happy to be seeing him again (it's been 3.5 weeks) and to keep him company during the long drive. I'm also excited to be starting our lives down here. I'm in the apartment and as settled as I can be without furniture. The house went up on market yesterday. Sure hope we get some nibbles. The house a few doors down just sold after four days on the market. Please let us be so lucky!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Winter & Hope

This past weekend my family and I took a trip to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter and the other mammals. I gotta say that I was a bit disappointed in Winter. I was expecting a little more activity out of her. The way she is promoted down here, "Girl Power," made me pumped up about seeing her. But when we got there, I just felt kind of sorry and sad that she's this carnival act that is funding projects for the aquarium. And the aquarium still looks run down, just like I remember it.

Winter doesn't wear her prosthetic tail all the time. In fact, it's just for rehab and we happened to be there on a day where they put it on her. It wasn't on for long, though.

The big attraction, in my opinion, was Winter's counterpart Hope. She was lively and fun to watch. I got some great shots of her in the air.

My nephew had a great time riding the trolley from the Harbor Center to the aquarium. He's really into trains but thought it was a bus he was on.

After we went to the aquarium and had funky, spicy hamburgers at a local cafe, I loaded up my car and my sister's car with my things. I was able to move up my move-in date to our apartment before the Labor Day weekend and I've been getting settled for the last few days. Just got cable and Internet today. Been watching DVDs on my laptop and surfing the net on my phone while I wait for technology. So my apologies for not being on top of it with responding to comments. Kathy - I owe you a response and thought I would work it into a blog post.

I'm also very excited about my closet. I finally have a walk-in with enough room with fit everything! I'll show it to you in another post coming soon.

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