Saturday, March 30, 2013

His Style

I barely leave the house during the week now that I'm unemployed and have no car.
So my outfits are not worth posting.
But this guy, he brings it daily.
So expect to see a little more of him...

Shirt:  Banana Republic Outlet
Sweater:  Banana Republic
Tie:  Tie Bar
Pants:  Gap
Socks:  Happy Socks via Nordstrom Rack
Shoes:  Heutchy via Gilt

Similars Below:

{1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6} {7}

(And Oggster, he wants you to start wearing bow ties...)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest Post

Hey All!
I'm over at Political Style today talking about my favorite places to eat in my new little town. 
Check it out here!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A DIY That Actually Worked!

Are you ready for this?
I did a DIY that actually worked!
The world MIGHT end.
No joke.
(It's also the worlds easiest DIY so....)

So, when we moved here we accidentally started the habit of getting Gizmo a squeaky toy every time we went to Target.
And now, any time we come back from a store he stands there watching us unload everything waiting for his toy.
And he makes the saddest face if there is no toy at the end of the unloading.
But he destroys those things in like five minutes and they're like five bucks a pop so we were getting sick of this.

To keep the pup and our wallets happy, I decided to re-purpose the destroyed toys.
I bought a bag of squeakers for way cheap on Amazon.

via Amazon

I cut open the hole in the toy a little bigger (I do not understand how he gets his nose in these tiny holes and pulls out the squeakers.  He's amazing.) and shoved a new squeaker in there.
I then sewed up the hole and just like that, brand new squeaker toy!

Worst sewing job ever, but Gizmo didn't mind.

Good as new!

Gizmo was happy as a little corgi clam.
I already have one hidden for when we get home from Target tonight!
He'll never know...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Instagram Shops

I just recently became obsessed with a new thing on instagram - the clothing shops.
Did you know about this?
Probably, I'm usually super late to the game.
There are all these women on there selling vintage/thrift finds or re-selling their gently used clothing and it's amazeballs!
The grand puba of instagram shops is of course Karla Reed.
Have you seen her instagram account?  Ohhh the cute outfits.
Here's one of my faves:

Found here

She has an insanely popular instagram shop called Chic Thrifty.
Here pieces rock and they sell out in seconds.
Like this little number:

Here are some of my other favorite shops.
(Be prepared to get addicted to instagram shopping!)

(I got this one and it fits perfectly!)

From Vgtgyuyu
ModCloth for cheap!

Cynthia Rowley!!

Oh this necklace!!

What do you guys think about this new trend?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Red & Coral

I wore this outfit on Saturday for a day trip to the outlets and Annapolis for lunch with my dad and step-mom.
We were too lazy to bring our camera to the trip or to take outfit photos, but I loved the color combination so much, I wanted to blog about it anyways.

Sweater:  Gift, J.Crew
Blazer:  Forever21
Scarf:  Gift, Old Navy
Jeans:  Forever21
Boots:  Gift, Steve Madden
Earrings:  Thrifted

Similars Below:

{1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6} {7} {8}

What do you guys think about coral and red together?
(I would have never paired these two colors before I started reading fashion blogs...)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Things I'm Excited About Right Now

Eating here today:

The Rockfish in Annapolis
What a great way to spend a diet cheat day!

The Week 2 diet including Greek yogurt and dessert.
There are sugar free Jello puddings in my fridge right now.
I'm freakishly excited about this, you guys.

The fact that Spring is trying so hard to show up here.
It was actually beautiful outside yesterday afternoon!

Styling this new skirt Mike got me the other day (come on skirt weather!).

Going to this outlet mall today before lunch.
You know how we feel about outlet malls.
Ohhhh yeah.

That's it.
I don't have much going on in my life, guys.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Unemployment Rant

Alright, this whole unemployed applying for jobs business is getting rough.
I've had a fun time with it.
I'm so lucky to be getting unemployment to help with our expenses and I've made the most of my lazy time at home.
But constantly being rejected for jobs is starting to wear on me.
I get rejected for jobs I REALLY want.
I get rejected for jobs I kind of want.
I get rejected for jobs I feel are beneath me.
And every rejection letter is the same.
You were qualified, but others were more qualified.
What applicant beat me out for a secretary position?
I have a Master's Degree.
I'm young, I'm cheap, I'm awesome.
But nope, you can't be our secretary and get paid super low and commute for hours just to get there.

I'm starting to get to that point every unemployed person gets to where you want to reply to the rejection email and just say WHY.  
Enough with the form rejection letter, just tell me why.  Tell me what to do differently; how to be better.


My husband called in the middle of me writing this blog post in response to my having emailed him that I lost out on a job that I thought was a sure thing.
And as I hung up the phone, I started bawling.
Pathetic, chin quivering bawling.
Ladies and gentleman, my first official unemployment melt down.
I made it 118 days without crying over this stress.
So as awful and pathetic as I look right now sobbing into my keyboard, I'm gonna give myself this one.

This rejection just hit me harder than the others.
It wasn't a dream job by any means, but it was solid and had potential.
And the recruiter and interviewer did that thing they tend to do where they made it seem like I had the job already.
Yesterday I was e-mailing back and forth with them about training for me to do at home for the job.
I spent hours getting my computer to work with their training program.
And today, out of nowhere, they've hired someone else.
Didn't they know that yesterday? 
Couldn't you not have made it seem like I was the only one interviewing?

It just hurts.
And it's hard.
And I feel rejected and like a loser and like my master's degree was a waste of money and time.




Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Revolt Diary - Week 1

I'm counting this as my week 1 because even though I did the workouts last week, I wasn't on the diet so it was easy peasy.
I mean...the workouts kicked my ass, but it was nothing like this damn diet so...easy peasy.
Let's start by saying, I hate diets.
Hate them.
For many reasons.
Because I'm a control freak, because I don't like being told what to do, because I love food, and because I don't want to start something that when I stray from it or stop it, I blow up in weight.
So I didn't have the best attitude starting this diet. 
I was actually pretty pissy whilst walking through BJ's picking up our chicken and 8 million eggs.
Thankfully, the hardest part of the diet only lasts 6 days and my saint of a husband was doing it along with me even though he's the fittest, thinnest person I know.
That first week's diet is a sugar and carb detox which means you are basically eating meat and veggies all week.

A bowl full of weeds.  Now, I love salads, but 3 cups of spinach twice a day is a lot (also I miss feta cheese).

Mike has basically taken to shotgunning the entire salad because he's sick of the spinach.
I watched him grab a handful of undressed spinach leaves the other day and shove them in his mouth.
It's pretty funny.

My favorite meal of the day:  sirloin and salad.  Yummers.

Here are my thoughts during the 6 days on the Revolt sugar detox:

Day 1:
 Oh holy hell these egg whites are DISGUSTING.
I'm full and don't feel bloated...score!
 Mike:  "Wait, we can have sugar free cookies right?" (poor guy)
Didn't drink any damn water, whoops.

Day 2: 
Egg whites/banana pancakes are much improved from nasty scrambled egg whites.
 I'm no longer full and I'm pissy about it.
I miss fruit.
I cheated and ate an apple while Mike ate a banana.
I basically made love to that apple.
Still didn't drink any water.
I'm tired and fussy.

Day 3:
I finally started drinking my water.
Holy crap, people who drink water pee a lot.
These chicken/brussel sprout/sweet potato bowls are delicious.
Mike is sick of them.
Mike ate another banana (cheater).
We cannot stop talking about where we're going to eat on our cheat day.
I don't crave sweets at all, just fruit...oh God, I want an orange.
We realized that next week we can actually substitute foods like cucumbers for carrots.  This was mind blowing and made our day.

Day 4:
Worst day so far, I couldn't finish my eggs and I feel really deflated and sad and hungry
I look like this:

Not cute.

And I am TIRED, my body misses carbs.
Normal Val would quit at this point.
But, instead, I whined a bunch, laid on the floor while Gizmo licked my face for like 20 minutes and then went to the gym.
The gym perked me up and I added abs to my arm workout for the day as punishment for my whining.
Then we went to Target and bought some supplies for our cheat day and ended up with yogurt and strawberries.

I think clean eating has gone to our heads, but holy balls we can't wait to eat that yogurt!

Day 5:
We decided since I was having such a bad time yesterday to move up cheat day and have it today.
It started with fat free Greek yogurt, Bear Naked Fit granola, strawberries and bananas (seriously, once you've cut out sugar, this meal is TO DIE FOR).
Then lunch at Ruddy Duck Brewery where we had gluten free beers and a Greek pizza with a side of hummus.
Oh feta I've missed you.
Then Panera bread for dinner (sandwich and soup my fave) and a cookie for dessert.
Oh and wine.
We missed wine a lot.
We really enjoyed what we ate and we didn't overdo it.  It was like a special treat so that was fun.
We had a big talk at lunch about changing how we eat and how much we are loving this program...we were pretty pumped.
Also had an amazing workout that day (pre-beer and wine of course)

Day 6:
Energy finally!
Over the detox hump, this feels great!

Day 7:
So excited that this is almost over.
Not tired, not hungry, feeling great.
So excited to eat sugar free pudding and yogurt tomorrow!!

Moral of the story:
Sugar detoxes are not for sissies.
Thankfully, Nichole's diet has 4 out of the 5 meals of the day that are tasty and filling and great.
Egg whites will always suck.
The Revolt program rocks because there is an amazing group of women supporting each other through the hell of sugar detox week.
Doing this will help you get ready for the diet (anything is better than this!) and change your cravings.

I'll post some of my results next week since I measured/weighed on a weird day.
And don't forget to check out Revolt!

Disclaimer: I was chosen as a Revolt Fitness Program blogger and received free membership to try the fitness program out. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Meet my new glasses.
I named them Oliver.
Oliver and I will be doing a lot of things together.
Watching tv.
Playing tetris on my phone while Mike is asleep.
Walking the dogs in the morning.
Saving the day when my contacts fail me.
And I feel I should apologize to Oliver ahead of time for my greasy morning face.

Oliver and I were brought together by this awesome company Firmoo.
They have cute glasses, fast shipping, and a great virtual try-on tool, but the best thing is their free glasses giveaway shenanigans otherwise known as The First Pair Free Program.
You seriously get your first pair of glasses free from them; all you pay is shipping.
It sounds too good to be true, but it's not!

I have always had great experiences with Firmoo.  Easy ordering, fast shipping, perfect quality!

Check them out here and go get some cute glasses like Oliver!

The pair I got is #SD2383 found here!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No One But Me Is Going To Find This Blog Post Interesting

So one of my favorite movies when I was younger was Camp.


It's really cheesy and I love Broadway and I'm a goober.
I had the soundtrack guys, this shit was real.

I literally JUST figured something out about this movie two days ago.

The girl singing my favorite song is..

Who is also...

Anna Kendrick: New Moon Is Like Camp
Anna Kendrick

Mind blown.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Hey Guys!

Today I'm doing a giveaway from the awesome Etsy shop SimplySophiaMaria!
She sells the cutest stuff including workout tanks, jewelry holders, and vintage wood frames.
Since I've started working with Revolt, I've been wanting some more cute workout clothes because let's face it, it's more fun to work out if you look cute, right?
Today, SimplySophiaMaria is giving one of my followers her most popular workout tank, this Train Like a Beast, Look Like a Beauty tank!

Train Like A Beast Look Like A Beauty Gray Tri-Blend District Threads T-Back Tank Top - Workout Tank - size small

Cute, comfy, and inspirational...who wouldn't want to work out in this?

To win, enter below!

Good luck!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Life Lately

Lots of dog snuggles on cold and rainy days

Getting the guest room ready and figuring out how to make that damn couch into a bed. Gizmo liked the finished product.

Taking every sunny moment we can to get the pups to the dog park.  Look how happy it makes Gizmo.

We started a diet.  More about that later.  Ugh, spinach all day.

Our first visitor!!  Such a fun couple of days with my sister.

Side Note:  anyone in the Annpolis area, eat here:

Holy crapoli, delicious!

I got cute new glasses from Firmoo.  Blog post on them soon.

I'm finally sick of top knots and have been rocking random, messy low buns all week.  I feel very cute and my head hurts less haha.

My Sunday mornings look like this now and I like it.  Who is this person?!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Conversation Between Mike & I

In case you guys missed me.
I haven't been blogging much because I'm boring and a little obsessed with Revolt right now.
So here is a conversation that just happened between Mike and I:

Me out of nowhere, "Well, I don't love you either."
Mike, "I never said I don't love you, that makes no sense."
Me, "You didn't let me touch your abs."
Mike still stuck on me making no sense, "You saying either doesn't make sense, you're dumb."
Me, "I have so little in my life and your abs are one of my only good things!"
Mike shuts the door.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Revolt Week 1 Down!

Hey All!
I've been MIA because my sister was here visiting (our first visitor yay!) and I now have a nasty cold.
But during all of that, I also started my first week of Revolt Now Fitness!
We haven't started the diet yet, but I did the week of workouts and they kicked my ass.
She has separate days for fat burning, upper body, and lower body and the fat burning days are BRUTAL.
Pistol squats and t-thrusters are now my mortal enemies!
I will say I feel pretty great though.
Being able to finish one of these ass kicking workouts has been awesome and makes you feel really good about yourself.
I'll definitely post more details and be less of a lazy blogger this next week, but I just wanted to check in!
If you want to start your revolt...go here!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Getting Good At Stuff - Being Happy

I have a tendency to be kind of a pessimist.
I have been known to non-ironically say "Everything is the worst."
Which my husband finds hilarious because he doesn't think anything is the worst.
But it can be hard for me to be happy.
I struggle with depression and jealousy and darkness.
So now that I'm focusing on getting good at things, one of those things will be being happy.
Happy with what I have, happy with who I am, just happy.
One of the ways I'm working on getting good at that is signing up for this site Happify.
It's a site that uses daily activities to get you to focus on the important things in your life and to be happy with what you have.
To find happiness in your everyday.
It's cheesy.
And I'm loving it.
(And no, this isn't a sponsored post, I just really love this dang site)
One of the first assignments we did was to walk around your home and savor what you have.  To look at physical items you own and see the value in them based on who gave them to you or the memories they evoke rather than price or quality.
I chose three items in our home and wrote down why I love them for those reasons and it helped me to focus on being happy with what I already have.
I chose the prints framed above our dining room table that my dad bought for us in Paris and the poster my mom bought during our wedding weekend in Lodi.

These things aren't the most expensive or desirable pieces in our home, but they make me so happy because they were given to me by people who love and support me.
It's a really nice way to look at your things and be happy with what you already have.

If any of you want to join and haven't gotten an invite, go here!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Good Eats

I start a diet next week.
That is mostly eggs.
So....I'm not excited.
Let's talk about tasty non-diet recipes we've tried and lovely lately!

One Pan Roast Herby Fish via The Majestic Wine Blog
We tweeked this a little bit with larger tomatoes and no anchovies.  I also think you should halve the amount of parsley in the gremolata.
Overall though, super tasty and filling, loved it.

Red Lentil Curry via Real Simple
We couldn't find red lentils anywhere so we used plain and our scallions went bad so we thinly sliced some regular onions in there (it's always something with us).
This recipe was easy and filling and good.  Definitely making again.

Now I'm off to boil some eggs...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Campus Book Rentals

Remember when I was in grad school and complained about it all the time on here?
That sucked.
But one of the best things about enrolling in school this time around as opposed to my young whipper snapper days was finding out that you can RENT your textbooks now.
I seriously saved so much money renting those big ole' books rather than forking out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for them.
One of my favorite companies to rent from was Campus Book Rentals.
They had great prices, free shipping, a huge selection and they donate to Operation Smile with every textbook you rent from them.
They've also recently started a new site Rent Back where students like you and me can rent our own textbooks out to others to make a little extra cash.
So we can buy more books (or beer).
I think they're pretty awesome and so does my wallet.
Check out a little bit more about them in the video below or by clicking here and remember to thank your lucky stars I'm done with grad school so you don't have to hear me bitch about it anymore every day...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Getting Good At Stuff - Working Out

So things have been trucking along here with working out.
My little extra daily workout is getting easier which is nice although my burpees are pretty embarrassing.
While at the gym on Saturday, Mike and I started talking about how just lifting weights with him wasn't cutting it.
I need to add exercises to cut through my fat rather than just building muscle like he does.
Especially on my badonk and thighs.
(Badonk sounds less abrasive than ass, yes?)
Lo and behold, when I got home from the gym that day, I had an offer waiting in my inbox to join Revolt and blog about it.
Revolt is an exercise and diet plan put together by this awesome woman who was sick of gaining and losing the weight after having her four kids and ending up "skinny fat" something I've always struggled with too (the skinny fat not the kids)
So she started kicking her own ass,  got super hot, and eventually got licensed and now has created this awesome program.
It's a pretty great program because it's all doable at home, no gym membership needed, it's realistic, and it's affordable.
I start Monday.
I'm nervous.
But it should be great and I'm going to blog about it once a week on here to hold myself accountable and tell you guys how the program works.

**I will admit that since this is happening super short notice for me, I'm starting the diet a week off.  My sister comes Thursday and our plans all revolve around restaurants so...yeah.

But the workouts start tomorrow as scheduled.
Get ready to hear some whining and check out Revolt if you're interested in starting your own uprising!