Saturday, August 22, 2015

Doing life & new adventures

Hi, it's me again. Resurfacing to Earth in the midst of figuring out what I'm going to be doing post-graduation in... nine months. Yikes. Let's see.

Since I last was a halfway decent blogger, I...
• moved apartments
• finished my internship and retired work clothes in favor of t-shirts and shorts
• spent 12 days in Seattle and Vancouver - um, can you say 65 degrees?! It was glorious.
• started my Last Year of School Ever, hallelujah, bye grad school
• started leasing a new horse

Yep. It's true. I have something to talk incessantly about again, because once again, I have a pony in my life.

It's also an entire new adventure, because this new horse? Does dressage.

Because if you can't try a totally new discipline during your last year of grad school, um, hello, when are you going to?

So let's back up a moment and try to make some sense of this.

Rewind to end of July, where I start actively looking for a half-lease for the next year. And strike out majorly. Everyone is either like, "don't have anything, sorry" or "only have $10,000/year hunters" or "have a 13hh pony an hour each way from you." So I resign myself to being a lesson-er for the next while, which I have no problem with, but part of the reason I make the time/money for horses during grad school is because going to the barn is a huge source of destressing and relaxation for me, and sometimes I just wanna walk and trot around and not really ride. 

Not 24 hours later, I run across a lease ad for this cute little bay Quarter Horse gelding. In the perfect barn situation.  20 minutes from my house. The x variable here? He does dressage. But - he's a great lower level horse, super sane, easy to ride and otherwise, everything I'm looking for.
Two trial rides later...


Meet Snickers. (He is also only 15.1, so like, yay, horses my size!)

And now I've found myself dropping my stirrup leathers like, 18 holes and learning this whole new ballgame.
It's awesome.

The real question: can I go buy all the sparkly dressage things now?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Full of LOLs

Despite the fact that it seems like I don't really exist anymore, I totally do, I'm just like trying this whole working-adult thing and don't have a horse to ride and moving apartments and so I have literally zero interesting things to say. But I'm still reading along and enjoying everyone's everyday fail photos way too much, so I thought that seemed like a great way to throw my hat back into the ring. Plus, this serves as a nice journey through my various disciplines over the years.

Oh, just showmanship... at the WORLD SHOW thanks Luce, could you look any more horrified?

Same world show, this time SO ANGRY to be showing we freight-trained around then entire arena so far behind my hand I thought she would fall over. Obvious answer is to push your lower leg out like a reiner, right?

I'm pretty sure this is how I do a breast stroke in the pool too - totally horizontal

And then my foray into working cow horses... Bye, buffalo! You just go on ahead, don't worry about me. (Note: sad day when the buffalo has a better hock than the horse you're on...)

Hey, Sunshine? The cow is going the other way, can we turn? No? Really? Please? Still no? Ok...


The way to get a nice balanced lope is to rotate your leg out 90 degrees, lean forward and sideways and shimmy. Definitely.

Thou shall ride thy hunter like a reining horse (newsflash: doesn't magically add a sliding stop)

You should definitely show this video to the ED doc when you get a concussion 

.... thanks Luce

Monday, June 8, 2015

Reunions and wedding weekends

One of my sorority sisters from Auburn got married this last weekend and I got to sneak away for the weekend and head back to sweet home Alabama. I flew into Nashville crazy early on Friday morning, where T met me at the airport. After breakfast and a few errands, we hit the road for Huntsville. It's a really short and easy trip and was fun to have an hour or so in the car to just catch up in person instead of having to talk on the phone (she's in law school in Houston). Of course, no trip back to the homeland is complete without a stop to Chicken Salad Chick, so naturally that was our first stop. Naps came a close second, since I'd been up since about 3am.

The actual wedding on Saturday was beautiful and wonderful and of course I cried and tried not to rub my eyes and still can't believe my friends are getting married. Yeah, all of that. 

2010 PC AOIIs reunited

The most beautiful, glowing bride!

Well, some things never change. Like an inability to take a normal photo because you're laughing too hard.

In typical fashion, I had the Belmont pulled up on my phone and a small crowd around to watch me flip my lid when American Pharoah won - we're talking full-on tears, shaking, dropped my phone a few times. Sorry I watched a TC winner in the middle of your best man's speech... but HISTORY.

This Snapchat was send, because YEAH.

And pictures with giant gold balloons, DUH. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Budgeting Bloggers: April Showers bring May Shopping Binges

I would usually call this part of Budgeting Bloggers, but it seems like the opposite of budgeting happened here... More like Buy All The Things. Oops.

The blame for this falls to three things:
• I'm working a full-time internship/job right now, meaning I'm in real people clothes five days a week and not, "Yes, this is a sorority t-shirt from 2011, what were you saying?"
• It's summmmmmeeerrrrrr (aka I'm at the pool from 4pm Friday until 6pm Sunday)
• All of my friends are getting married. I'm getting ice cream.

That all happened. Is happening. Whatever.
This all got bought sometime between April 1st and May 31st. No, I'm not keeping track. I don't really want to know. (Neither does my mother and she reads this.)

Ann Taylor Petite Tweed Pencil Skirt: originally $89, paid $48
I had crazy good luck with Ann Taylor this month for work clothes. I adore this skirt - it pairs well with the abundance of white/black/navy in my closet and is a nice change from the basic navy or black skirt I find myself wearing constantly. Runs true to size, and the petite fits perfectly for us vertically challenged folks.

Theory Testra 2B Pants in Black: originally $265, paid $120
These were a Nordstrom Rack find - they'd been hemmed and somehow ended up at Rack. I hear these great things about how amazing Theory pants are all the time so I grabbed them and liked them enough to buy. Of course, once home I'm not in love - but I think it's because they need to be hemmed (yes, I need to hem hemmed pants)? I'm hoping that solves it because I need black pants and I want to love these.

Banana Republic Kinsley Pump in Brindle: originally $118, paid $100
I already own these in black and wear them constantly for work, school, play, you name it. They're the right height that gives a nice heel (and looks nicer than flats!) but is still easily doable all day. I can wear these all day at work (and did today - through an entire OR tour) and be fine, so I knew it was only a matter of time before the nude pair came home with me. Black & nude are both true to size - the patent seems to run a little small.

BP. Spring Wedge in Light Taupe: $60
I am woman-obsessed with these. I needed shoes for the upcoming wedding season, tried these on totally on a whim at Nordstrom and fell in love. They're outrageously comfortable, don't feel wobbly and are a great color. All of that? Sold. Run, don't walk and get a pair of these. Size a half size up - I'm a true to size 7.5 and an 8 fits me perfectly.

J.Crew Ruched Bandeau One-Piece Swimsuit: originally $102, paid $28
I spend a crazy amount of time at the pool and that's no secret. I also didn't have a one-piece I really loved and sometimes a girl does not want to wear a bikini. I hunted this down BNWT on eBay and bit the bullet. I don't lovelove it and if I'd paid full-price it probably would have gone back (mainly the ruching bugs me), but I like it and it does the job so it remains in the swimwear rotation. Runs TTS for J.Crew aka big for everyone else.

Banana Republic Dot Lace Shell: originally $80, paid $50
BR's tops nearly never fit me right, but I was so pleasantly surprised with this top. It hits me lower than the model - not nearly as 'crop top' looking. A fun work top that doesn't have to be tucked in? Yes, please. (I hate tucking things into my skirts) Size down - I'm wearing a large, and I usually end up with an XL at Banana to fit my chest.

BCBG Mina Dress: originally $220, paid $110
Well, I can promise I do not have amazonian legs like the model in this photo, and my dress hits at an appropriate length for this to be one of my many wedding guest dresses for the summer. Great color, great sale, and re-wearable year round as a cocktail dress.

BCBG Miryam Sleeveless Color-Block Dress: originally $220, paid $110
While I've been on a work clothes shopping spree, I noticed I have a lot of black, white and navy in my closet... and not much else. Vowing to buy more color, I came across this dress while shopping for the green one above and fell in love. Super, super flattering and great colors. It's a great go-to dress for mornings when finding an outfit is just too much work and it has pockets. Runs TTS.

Ann Taylor Faux Leather Tweed Jacket & Skirt: originally $169 (j) and $89 (s), paid $27 (j) and $10 (s)
So, suit deal of the year? I think so. My Ann Taylor had one jacket and one skirt left in stock in this suit this weekend - both in my size. $37 for a pretty, well-fitting suit that isn't boring old navy? How could I not... Right? They're both equally wearable as separates as well (I wore the skirt today) which just adds more wearability and diversity to my closet. The jacket runs TTS, the skirt runs short - my regular petite size is a tad shorter than I'd like it - and I'm only 5'2".

Limited Black Collection Ribbon Trim Sheath Dress: originally $98, paid $26
I am obsessed with this dress - I'm seriously not sure I've ever found a basic work dress that's more flattering and I'm semi-heartbroken that it was sold out online in navy (and now everywhere). The waist has this great black grosgrain ribbon detail and the neckline is interesting without being inappropriate.

Talbots Signature Lindsey Ankle Pants in Navy: originally $89, paid $80
I own black pants. I did not own navy pants. Pants don't like to fit me well - I am short and have no butt and no hips. These fit as well as anything else I've found (namely, the much pricier Theory pair above), so they're the pair I've been wearing. I think my issue is more that I don't like how I look in any pants - not that I don't like these pants. Runs TTS.

Panache Isobel Bandeau Bikini Top: originally $48, paid $24
Back in April, I ordered (brace yourself) 12 bikini tops in varying styles, colors, sizes, etc. Mainly because I tend to buy these things from Asos or Figleaves and with shipping taking a year and a day, I only want to go through that hassle once. It's just easier to return one big box. This top and the next one were the big winners - and I love them. I don't ever love bikini tops either. I am not kidding when I say this top fits better than my strapless bra. What. Yup. If you are #blessed to be uh, top heavy, then you need to own this top. Band runs TTS, cup runs a little big (not a bad thing in a strapless bikini?)

Wolf & Whistle Underwired Bikini Top in Leaf: $29
The other survivor of my ruthless bikini shopping spree. Adorable pattern. Double ties at the neck drive me bananas. Band size runs TTS, cup size runs small. Have fun. Buy all the bikinis.

Ann Taylor Silk Camp Shirt: originally $98, paid $48 (royal) and $18 (seafoam green)
I actually found this in two different colors at my brick & mortar store and the seafoam green/mintish color was marked down to $24 with an additional 30% off on final sale - but of course a photo of it is nowhere to be found. These are the first button up blouses I've found that don't pull across the chest. Miracles and fairy dust, I tell you. Beautiful colors and I'll be damned if I don't just love silk. Also tabs for rolling sleeves = insert hallelujah emoji here because I hate nothing like pushing up my sleeves all day at work. Hashtag annoying. Runs true to size/maybe a little big?

ETA: Apparently now the seafoam green has appeared on the site. Run one, run all.

Ann Taylor Floral Peplum Top: originally $89, paid $48
I don't like peplum on me. On others? So cute. Me? Nope. Buuutt - the peplum on this is so slight, you almost can't tell - except that it nips at your waist in the cutest way possible. Hello, mini-waist, is that you? A flattering v-neck and a cute floral pattern? Yeah, those are hearts in my eyes. Runs big, mainly in the bust, and ohmygosh, you need this.

LOLNO I'm not totaling these things. Because then I will cry. No crying allowed in blogging.
I will tell you I saved $1001.
And averaged $56 an item.
And bought these over a two month period.

OMG, I have to clean out my closet before I move. I am a woman out of control.

Linked with Fran & Budgeting Bloggers.

Monday, June 1, 2015

In which I DIY semi-successfully

It's so gloriously summer-like outside I didn't even complain when it rained this evening, and instead sat on our new (!) beautiful porch furniture, drank a glass of wine and read a book. Blissful. With a lot of Off! Hey, all of live has its trade-offs. Like not having a horse right now. I miss riding and being at the barn, but I know that it wouldn't be practical right now and that's what I have to keep reminding myself when I get caught up in it all. The summer off will make the fall back so much sweeter, and it's allowing me to do things like travel, shop and relax right now and I need that going back into second year.

Just me... and 18 children at the pool.
Kicked off summer-for-real MDW... all alone (jk, every child under the age of 12 was at the pool with me). In reality, it was so low-key and so great to just kick back by the pool and devour book after book. My Goodreads is out of control, y'all. I'm also in desperate need of new books, since that's my weekend M.O. and I am feeling the downside to that whole speed-reader thing.

Aside from the truly outrageous number of hours I've been logging at the pool (don't worry Mom, I'm wearing a hat and SPF!), I redid our coffee table and side tables over the long weekend. I had the world's most hideous, heinous dark laminate wood coffee table. It was awful and I hated it. Sooo.. I took some sandpaper and paint to the thing.


Well, I might be obsessed. It's a bad photo (hi, I own a very nice Canon, but like, my iPhone is sitting next to me and doesn't involve taking out a memory card soooo...), but the top is Sherwin Williams Extra White in High Gloss, the legs are metallic gold and the whole thing is covered in like 1,892 layers of Polycrilic High Gloss. In case you want to do this yourself. (Don't. Buy a new coffee table. Not worth it. I promise.) 
But really, I found paint on myself for a week after. Highly professional look at work, by the way. White paint splatter on your feet/legs/arms/hair. All the rage in Europe.

And obviously if you give a basic bitch a white and gold table, she's going to need to style a coffee table tray to go along with it...

Oh, you don't take all your blog photos upside down? Just me? Okay, then.

Also, my hydrangeas look better than this in real life, pinky promise. Haven't managed to kill them... yet. Tray is from HomeGoods, the horse shoe is one of Lucy's old ones... spray painted gold. Candle is Anthropologie, book is Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, polka dot binder is Target and the rock is from somewhere I don't remember. Good stuff.

Moral of this story? Don't leave your roommate alone for a three-day weekend. You come home to refinished furniture, and +/- eleven shopping bags littering your apartment from the buying binge she went on during the month of May... Oops?
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