Thursday, September 11, 2014

Daydreams on the Drive

The route that our morning bus driver takes on our commute to work winds through the back roads of Maryland and up into DC. We spend about an hour passing farm house after farm house, open fields, and horses who've just woken and stepped out of the barns. I find myself every morning lusting after these homes and daydreaming about a life in one of them.

There is one tiny white clapboard house in some small town whose name I don't know that sits right next to a rundown grocery store. Usually I would probably look at something like that and think how dirty it was it how scared I would be to live somewhere so remote, next to unsavory looking businesses, but during our morning drive, that little house looks cute and quaint and I can picture settling there and walking over to the dusty grocery in the morning for some eggs or milk.

Maybe one day we'll brave the daily commute on those back roads (the bus doesn't stop there so we'd have to drive every day) and leave the city for some land and a chicken coop with room for our dogs to run and hypothetical kids to play.

(But in reality, one must ask, how close is the nearest Target?)

See what I mean? Dreamy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Things I'm Thankful For

This week has been my first real week of full time commuting which includes an about 15 minute walk from where my bus drops me off to my office. I've found myself during my walk feeling so elated and happy and most of all thankful. Which is a nice way to feel first thing in the morning, especially after waking up at 4:45am and wanting nothing more than to just go back to sleep.

I think a big part of it is me trying to focus on the fact that I'm here, I'm doing this. I've dreamed of moving to and working in DC since I was a teenager. Mike and I have spent so many days wandering the city hand in hand talking endlessly about how we would love to move here, if that were ever possible. And look, we're here. I walk to work with all the other commuters; zigzagging around the lost tourists and cutting in front of cars before the light changes. I sit at my desk and look out at gorgeous rowhouses and my dream neighborhood.

So in that vein, here are some things I am currently thankful for that popped in my head this morning on my walk:

 - Family to support us. Our families support us in so many ways, it could be its whole own daily blog. Most recently, my dad and step-mom (who side note JUST found my blog and all my facetious mentions of her on here as step-monster...) offered to let Mike and I move in with them when our lease is up in October to save money and give us time to really find the right place in DC. And my retired dad will be watching the pups all day so double bonus.

 - The commuter bus. Maryland has an amazing system in place for commuters to DC. The buses are convenient, clean, the drivers are super friendly and awesome, they know every back way into DC you could possibly think of in order to avoid traffic, and everyone on the buses are courteous and nice. And they have bathrooms (I kind of wish there was a video of my trying to pee in there this morning while the bus entered the freeway, that was not easy, guys). A two hour commute isn't so bad when you're comfortably sitting on a heated bus, reading your book, being driven by someone you trust.

 - Being part of a great team. When I started commuting with Mike instead of me being home all day, it really rocked our routine. I'm so glad that Mike and I are able to work so well as a team, just falling into a new routine, no matter how tiring it may be. I love the moment after dinner when we, without words, go into the kitchen and clean and prepare each other's lunches for the next day together.

 - Our amazing dog walker. I cannot praise this woman enough. I'm actually sad we're moving away just because we have to say goodbye to her. I am a giant stress case when it comes to our dogs and having her taking care of them once a day has made me feel so much better. She texts me a photo of them every day on their walk and then leaves us these adorable notes to find when we get home always telling us who "went #2" and how much she loves them. It makes my day. Check her out here!

 - Loose dresses. No seriously, I'm so fat right now I would be screwed without my tent dresses. Hashtag go on a diet already you whiner.

 - Time to read. The best thing about the commute is that it gives me about 3 hours a day just to read. As you've seen from my unemployment posts, I knew I needed to be reading more instead of messing about on the internet or watching tv, but I'm so bad about doing it when I'm home alone. I've found myself looking forward to the time on the bus to catch up on some much needed reading.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oh Hey

I'm alive.

In case you were wondering.

A 4 hour daily commute that results in 14 hour days away from home is pretty damn grueling.

We come home, walk the dogs, make dinner, feed the dogs, eat dinner, and then have time to pretty much shower, make lunch for the next day, and go to bed.

It's not ideal.

But it's also not permanent, so huzzah.

I've been totally slacking on my styling and blogging and working out and just honing my general awesomeness.

This weekend, I get ready to leave for a conference in Vegas (VEGAS!) which includes me having to leave the house at 3:00am and a return flight that lands me home at 1:00am on a work day. Whomp whomp.

Then we need to start packing.

Then we drive 2 hours to put a bunch of our things in storage the next weekend.

Then we have company coming to visit.

Then we move.


Typing that made me tired and stressed out.

But all this stressful, tiring, grueling stuff is for positive reasons so I shall focus on that.

And then go to bed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On Starting a New Job

When you've been unemployed for a while and are starting to feel hopeless and useless and worried about money, you would give anything for a job. Just a job, hopefully a good one, but it doesn't have to be THAT exciting. Something that pays the bills and doesn't make you hate yourself, thanks.

Then you get a job. And you get that YES FINALLY euphoria. You're not a loser! You're not going to be homeless! You're not invisible! Maybe, just maybe, your student loans were not for naught!

And then you start the job.

You always forget this part when you're ass deep in unemployment depression or flying in the clouds on a new job high. It's not just the matter of getting the job, you actually have to start that job and work at that job. It's a job.

Inevitably it's a mess the first couple of weeks. No one is prepared to train you and the person you are replacing is never still there to help guide you. You spend days following people around being introduced to coworkers you'll never see again and trying not to look too sheepish or stupid. Your upcoming weeks are never planned ahead of time so you spend far too much energy sending "hopefully not too bitchy" emails prodding people to give you a solid answer on when you need to be at work and when you can leave. You feel dumb. Dumber than dumb. You get lost on your walk to work. You stress out far too much about missing your new bus. You have no idea what your day-to-day tasking is and feel like begging people to just train you on it already. And your commute causes a whole extra bag of worms because you HAVE to leave by a certain time, it's not a suggestion, if you don't, you miss your bus and are stranded two hours from home. So you have to be that guy who packs up and leaves in the middle of a meeting. And you don't have kids (which I imagine is way harder) but you do have two dogs who you don't leave alone for more than 8 hours at a time so you kind of have to know your schedule a head of time to plan for that which makes you that bitchy employee emailing people and telling them you WILL be leaving your shift at 5 because, well you will. Great impressions you're leaving here.

And you inevitably have that gut feeling of oh shit did I do the wrong thing is this the right place for me what the hell am I doing with my life. Why didn't I just get a nice, boring government job like everyone else?!

And maybe you got a job with a major food chain and part of training means working in the restaurant for two days and you've never worked in food service and know you're going to look like a total jack ass for two days straight and this happens tomorrow and you are beyond dreading it.

BUT you remind yourself that in a few months (hopefully) time, you will know your daily routine. You will have done the commute enough times to not be terrified of missing your bus because you're not sure where they pick you up as opposed to dropping you off. You will not feel so g-damn sad every time your alarm goes off at 4:45am. Your dogs will be used to the new 14 hour day schedule. You will not feel like a completely useless idiot shuffling around the office with no purpose or brains.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Life Lately

Life lately has been tiring and stressful and great. I spent the last week on travel training for my new job and missing my boys. Mike is getting used to his commute and helping me prepare for mine. I gained about 10 pounds while on travel (working for a major food chain is a perk and a disadvantage). I learned the hard way that you don't read a bunch of articles about a brutal and senseless rape and murder right before going to sleep alone in a hotel. The dogs have gotten a new best friend aka their daily dog walker who is amazing and makes my life so much easier. We've been wrestling with where we're going to live when our lease is up 6 weeks. And it's hot as all hell balls here.

Here are some photos.

Our dog walker is okay with my intense crazy and agreed to text me every day her first week with the dogs. She included photos because she's awesome and these texts made my days while on travel. I think the dogs like her, what do you think?!

My favorite picture ever. This guy.

Mike has taken to buying metro roses every Friday and it makes my week. Thanks metro man and thanks Mike!

Off to the airport! I look so calm and collected, but really I'm a mess until I get to my gate.

The wine bar in Dulles is just as good as I dreamed. Cheese plate and two glasses of wine for dinner pre-flight? Yes please!

My walk to work every morning in Denver was pretty dang cute.

I can't help myself.

Texts from Mike of my babies were much needed. These guys...

My boys. Mostly this picture is about pug bits...


Not hating your new haircut AND being able to style it like your inspiration photo a week later? Priceless.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wedding Inspiration with Rent the Runway

My sister introduced me to Rent the Runway a couple of years ago and I've been hooked ever since. My first time ordering was to rent some cute dresses for New Years Eve.

Oh man, my bangs look good here!

My sister and I have always had great experiences with Rent the Runway and I love talking about companies I actually like on here so I figured I'd share some of my favorite looks on the blog!

One of the best uses for Rent the Runway is to rent dresses for weddings. It can be so hard to find an appropriate dress that you feel really cute in, especially for the fancier, more formal weddings. Rent the Runway has designer dresses available to rent (Vera Wang, Opening Ceremony, Narcisco Rodriguez and more) for everything from garden bridal showers to pavilion black tie ceremonies, or just pick out that special one-of-a-kind jewelry piece to take your own little black dress over the top. Dresses are tailored to fit all shapes and sizes (available in sizes 0-22), and you can even select an additional backup size to be shipped at no extra cost. Rent the Runway also has more than 25 stylists on hand available as consultants to help women find the perfect look (or you know, I'll do it for you), wear it and send it back with no dry cleaning, no shipping costs, no hassle. Check out Rent the Runway's rehearsal dinner lookscocktail dress collection or even peruse their full line of wedding season styles featuring the hottest styles and the coolest trends. 

Here are my favorite picks for wearing to a wedding:

Perfect for an outdoor, summer wedding.

I love dresses like this that can be dressy, but still springy and fun.

For when you need to wear cocktail attire, but still want to be cheerful and girly.

Perfect for a black tie wedding.

Why not rent your wedding dress? For only $70, you could wear this gorgeous gown in your own wedding. I think it's genius and could save you so much on your wedding budget. I love this dress SO much and I think it would look perfect on my sister (hint hint).

Sugar Coat Dress by allison parris
Another great wedding gown option.

And one more great wedding gown option, Badgley Mischka for only $125? Yes please!

Why not have your bridesmaids rent their dresses instead of buying? It helps them save money and come on, you know they're never wearing that dress again even if they do shorten it.

What bridesmaids wouldn't want to walk down the aisle wearing Kate Spade?

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Pug

We'll call this series of photos "The Happiest You Will Ever See Tuffy the Pug"

This is what happens when Tuffy gets let loose in the dog park and finds what Mike and I call a stink spot. Basically, a place in the grass that probably has old meat, something dead, or poo on it that we can't see and he loves it so much he gets overcome with joy and rubs his pug body all over it.

I hope you get to feel as happy as Tuffy was in these pictures at least once in your life.