10 Best // Ways To Avoid People

July 31, 2014

1. sharknado marathon.  obviously.  if you got to watch it wednesday night, then you'll understand how much it needs a replay.  thankfully, there's one this weekend.  syfy channel will have sharknado 1 and 2 back to back.  and if you haven't watched it yet, you're thoroughly missing out.  it has officially sealed it's spot as my #3 favorite movie of all time.  empire records, boondock saints, sharknado 2, the goonies, brink.  sharknado 1 makes my top 10, but not my top 5.

2. learn.  if you're a game of thrones fan (i'm sorry, are some of you not?  well, you're wrong.), then check out these real life events some of the show is based on.

3. laugh.  this website will especially be appreciated by all you lawyers/law students out there.  for the rest of you, it's pretty honest glimpse into what it's like!  and, duh, gifs.

4. live vicariously through alex.  these photos are more than close enough for me.  eek.

5. figure out your twitter.  am i the only one who's really bad at these?  social media is just not my thing.

6. cook.  mmm greek chicken in the slow cooker.

7. diy.  i advocate for diy projects, even though i'm in capable of them myself.  try a scarf hanger.

8. shop.  someone buy me all of these shirts.  90s forever!

10. and of course, i always recommend watching videos of my big ferocious dog.  she's so tough.

happy friday!

My Newest Total OCD Move

July 29, 2014

alright so remember how i'm apartment hunting?*  well, since i'm moving at the end of august, a full month from now, it seemed totally logical to... start packing.  yeah, you heard me.

my first thought was that if i'm able to pack it up with over a month left, i don't need it.  but that's just not true, since i've mostly packed up winter-y things like boots, sweaters, ice skates, hats, etc.  i realize that this is a risk since i live in chicago and it could potentially snow on august 20th and no one would be surprised, but i resigned myself to the fact that if that happens, i'll just untape the box with the necessary supplies.

which is where my newest total ocd move comes in - my comprehensive box inventory.

when's the last time you packed up?  did you write 'bedroom' on the box and maybe a note or two like 'summer clothes, jewelry'?  or did you number them and then keep a list that says 'box 3 - kuerig, baking pans, silverware'?  even use different colored duct tape to note which boxes went to which rooms?  these are all completely sane and logical ways to keep track of your belongings.  unless you're me, of course, with an ocd brain and way too much time to slowly pack.

so here's what i did instead:

in case you can't tell from the photos, it started innocently enough.  yes, i labelled each box with a number and what room, like a normal person.  on all 4 sides of the box as well as the tops, naturally.  then i got a notepad and wrote down 'box 1 - bedroom.'  all standard packing behavior.  but then, i proceeded to list not just what types of things were in the box but exactly what was in each box.  'winter sweaters' and 'hangers' are simply not good enough descriptors in stephanie world.  it was 100% necessary to instead write '25 beige velvet hangers' and 'teal v-neck sweater from express.'  so now i have a box full of clothes and a 4 page list of what's in said box, down to '1 pair of white, grey and pink athletic socks.'

there is zero part of me that regrets this process, no matter how insane you think i am.  you're just jealous you don't have a complete list of every single item you own, including how many clear push pins are in box 6.

*i've found a place.  it's nestled between two neighborhood corner bars which were clearly designed for me to be a regular at and the downstairs neighbor was brewing a giant vat of beer when i visited.  priorities.  i haz them.

The Last Apartment Hunt

July 23, 2014

it seems strange, every time i think about it.  i've been moving just about every year since just before i turned 19.  that's a decade of moving.  i believe there was 1 apartment i stayed in for 3 years but otherwise, i keep changing.  so 9 moves.  a dorm room, the sorority house, 2 apartments in college, a small apartment during my first year of law school, a larger apartment for the next 3 years, an apartment right on the lake the second year out of school, the one bedroom in the same building i'm in now but 6 floors up, and my current place.  and dang, if i count the summer i came home from school and the time lindsay and i sublet a place while we waited for out new apartment to be ready, that's a lot of moves.

but here it is, the last apartment hunt.  i'd like to note that i hate apartment hunting.  it's kind of a pain in the ass here in chicago.  they don't make it easy on you, by any means, and i've got just over 1 month to find a place and move in.  (but i do love the packing and moving process.  i like decluttering and then unpacking and re-arranging everything in a new space.  it's fun, up until the moment the bill for the movers comes.)  there's just too many things that come with apartment hunting - the price, the area, the size, the building, the security, the available move-in date, the proximity to public transit since i don't have a car, have never had a car, and would prefer to never have one in the future, either.  then you have to make time to see the space and ask about things like utilities and internet and laundry and dog parks and guest parking and security deposits and maintenance requests and my god i'm already tired just talking about it and i haven't even gotten to the actual hiring of movers and reserving of elevator time on moving day.

needless to say, this blog will not be back to regularly scheduled programming until september.

exhausting as it is, i'm trying to actually enjoy this particular apartment hunt because like i said, it's the last one.  the last apartment hunt after 10 years of moves.  why, you ask?  well, in the next few months, john will be buying a house.  and when my lease is up next august, that's where i'll be moving into.  by that point, john and i will have been dating for 2.5 years (and we'll have known each other for over 15, yikes.)  that number is large enough to not make me totally panic but small enough that i'm still fidgety about it.  it's his idea, so i'm still getting used to it, which will probably take me all year long.  hawkeye, however, is ready to move in, like, yesterday.  he hand serves her cheeseburgers and drives her to taco bell with the ac blasting in his truck.  she's easy to please.  i'm slightly more discerning, though the taco bell trips are a plus in my book too.

not that i don't love john and not that i've never lived with a boyfriend before.  i was just smart in that i always had the apartment in my name, at a price point i could still afford on my own.  hashtag momma didn't raise no fool.  but this is not renting an apartment together that has a 1 year lease.  this is moving into a house that he bought.  permanently.  in just one year.

meep!  and yes, i need a full year to prepare, because i'm not good with change.

NASCAR Overload

July 21, 2014

as her christmas gift, i got tara tickets to nascar.  the race was this past weekend so we decided to make a whole day of it that saturday.  which means we started cocktail hour at 10:30 am.  the day started pretty typical.  we took the train to the speedway from downtown chicago.  began the day with two bottles of champagne and some oj, made friends, watched a woman take so many selfies she failed to notice her baby chewing on her lighter, the usual.  hopped off the train in joliet and took a cab to the track.  the best part about nascar is that you can bring your own alcohol.  this is meant as "soft sided 6 pack coolers with beer" but we decided it actually meant "pop bottles full of vodka."

no one questioned it. as we found our way into the pit and garage area, we quickly learned that absolutely no one was going to say no to us today.  so we wandered as far as anyone would let us go and if we weren't afraid of dying, we probably could have gotten onto the track or into a car.  the guys outside the viva racing trailer invited us in to check it out and basically we just never left.  parked ourselves in their chairs in the shade, enjoyed out beverages, and laughed when they shooed all non-nascar personnel out of the area.  jamie dick racing?  #dicktowin?  obviously, we couldn't leave.

oh and i decided i'm going to embrace being a car model now.

and just when we thought the fun was over and we might actually have to find our seats in the stands, the nice men in the photo below asked if we wanted to follow them to pit row.  obviously, we did.  they brought the chairs and cooler and everything.  i can never sit in the stands again.

who knows?  maybe next time tara and i will be driving.  thanks for all the fun, viva racing!  we'll be back.

10 Best // Life Lately

July 17, 2014

1. 4th of july of course.  i took no photos, oh well.  at least john did.

2. i also got my nails done for the 4th with my friend katie.  red and gold glitter, because i'm 12, and they looked like fireworks.  i tried to get a photo but of course hawkeye was not having that.  a photo without her in it?  never. just look at the crazy eyes.

3. the 2015 weekdates are out.  i love these planners, it's the perfect size to carry.  and the set-up is so neat.  mine should be shipping mid-august.  i have no idea which cover is coming, i told them to surprise me.  what?  planners excite me.

4. this psycho thread.  maybe i should be above it all, but i'm so not and it consumed my time for a week.  i couldn't help myself.

5. closet downsizing.  i want to try for a minimalist, capsule wardrobe.  like the 30 piece wardrobe or 40 hanger closet.  because of work, i can't get quite that small, but i could definitely get close.  maybe more like this checklist.  (raise your hand if you need to get off pinterest...)  and what better time to downsize then as you're packing things up to move? (see #7 below)  i decided to start with getting rid of anything that's not my style.  to visualize said style, i pinned even more things, and i settled on a blair waldorf/charlotte york/lauren conrad combo.  they're all similar, really.  and a minimalist wardrobe means sticking to a few mix and match colors, which led to a new obsession with:

6. color analysis.  okay so this isn't a 'life lately best' but it's been consuming a part of my time and i can't figure out the answer.  i want to know what colors look best on me, and in order to do that, you figure out your type based on your hair, skin, and eye color. there's so many options you can be.  i think.  who knows, it confuses me.  i'm either a light spring or a soft autumn, based on the fact that i think i look (coloring-wise) similar to kate winslet and lauren conrad in those photos.  i actually get compared to piper perabo most often, but alas, her color analysis isn't online anywhere that i can see.  which one do you think i am?  which one are you?  am i making it harder than it should be?

7. also not a best but accounting for the majority of my time - apartment hunting.  ohhh yes, again.  it's been a year, the lease is up, and i need to find just one more apartment.  just one more year.  it should not be as hard as it seems to be right now.  it will be so much better when i can just pick one and be done and not have to think about apartment hunting again.  (john is buying a house and that's where i'll be moving into in a year.)  on the plus side, i got tape and boxes and packing supplies and i get to start purging and packing things.  i seriously love packing.  no sarcasm.  i truly love it.  it's the ultimate decluttering and organizing test.

8. 101 list progress.  i'm up to 72 checked off.  only 29 to go, nbd.

9. winning!  i won ad space for an entire year on helene in between.  i'm very excited because i just love her.  if you follow me on twitter, you may see by my lack of giveaway related tweets that i don't enter too many giveaways.  only the ones i really, really want to win.  personally, i think this restraint makes me lucky in the giveaways i do enter, because i tend to win them.  and this win was just an awesome one.  a whole year, guys.

10. hawkeye.  always.  if you haven't seen this video of her demanding attention, you need to.

happy friday!

Things I Actually Learned From After School Activities

July 14, 2014

i did a lot of after school activities as a kid.  a lot.  girl scouts, dance class, soccer, basketball, ice skating, latin club (oh yes, it exists), camp, youth ministry, horseback riding, mathletes, tennis, cooking class, the list goes on and on.  and guess what?  i still can't make a lay up, i still fall on the ice, i still count on my fingers, and i still think boxed cake mix is way easier.  apparently, i'm just not that great at a whole lot of things.  yes, i'm sure i learned some valuable life skills along the way.  but more importantly, i definitely know i learned some things that can only be taught by experience, like:

'another night' is the superior ace of base song.

and 'faith' is not, in fact, a limp bizkit original.  sorry, mom.

if you really want to kick a girl in a soccer game, probably you should wait until the ball is close by.

despite what the last 8 years with an uber competitive dad taught you, people really do let you win because you're a kid.

see what i mean?  jeez dad!

if you split the word list with your best friend and switch papers half way through, you both get prizes for being first done with the word search.

everyone's a sucker for girl scout cookies.

the squeaky wheel gets the attention, but the quiet ones get an extra hershey bar for s'mores from the troop leaders.

nothing makes arts and crafts time suck less until you're old enough for wine.

everyone can be bribed into doing your bidding with pixie stix.  especially boys, but really, everyone.

cheer leading doesn't not get any less repetitive.  it's sort of the point.

gathering the bottom of your shirt and pulling it up through the neck hole and then back down keeps you cool, turns your t-shirt into a bra, and you into a 10 year old hooker.

were you an after school program regular like me?  what did you really learn?

Mind Blown

July 11, 2014

sometimes in life, people just blow your mind.  and i'm a gomi regular, i adore it, so very little shocks me any more.  i'm sure you all know what i'm taking about but if you don't feel free to take a refresher here.  don't say i didn't warn you.  but, the entertainment value is through the roof, so enjoy.

tldr? (too long didn't read, in gomi speak) - the 'author' (are you still the author if you stole all your content?) of the blog put herself on gomi, made sock puppet accounts to defend herself, got caught by the site administrator, which then led everyone to mistrust everything about her.  they found that all her photos and recipes were stolen from other bloggers and she watermarked them as her own.  the owner asked her to take them down.  halfway to cray, as she's now been nicknamed, then deleted everything - blog, social media, personal facebook.  and eventually came back on to gomi, pretended to be her husband, and claimed that she died in a car crash that afternoon.

the moral of the story is, don't steal and lie all the live long day.  and definitely don't fake your own death when you get caught.  who fakes their own death??

the point of this post - i'm offering free ad space to anyone who was swindled by bev.  just let me know you were one of those people and i'll e-mail you the promo code.  because we're not all crazy and mean on the internets.

but just... whoa.

Not Always a Cheapskate Though

July 7, 2014

you might remember that last week (my only real post last week, the other was at sarah's.  sue me, it was party tiiiime.) i posted about my cheapskate tendencies.  and while i do love saving all the money i can, there's a few lines i won't cross.  like:

getting food at food banks.  i can cut costs at the grocery all day but the fact is, i have the money to buy food.  some people aren't that lucky.  no way i'm saving a few bucks by getting free food at a food bank, because that's directly taking it away from someone who really needs and relies on those services.  i think extreme cheapskates who do that while their money sits in the bank are pretty terrible.  in a similar vein... i'm not eating roadkill.  yuck.

hair care.  i'll definitely get groupons to salons, but i just can't bring myself to trust my highlights to a beauty school, even if it's free.  haircuts, sure, but highlights are trickier and my hair needs to be watched pretty closely because if you leave the stuff on certain sections too long, it'll start getting white real quick.  i realize it's just hair, but... i really like my hair.  but lazy me really only does this twice a year instead of the every six weeks they say you should, so it's not that much money.  six weeks?  surely you said six months...

cheap beer.  i'll do bud light all day, even busch when it's a beer pong day.  but i draw the line at natty.  that stuff is gross.  if it's cheaper than a 30 pack of busch, i know i can't do it.

internet.  right now, i have free cable with my apartment.  i rarely watch it.  i can't actually remember the last time i watched it... anyway, when it's not free, i won't have it.  netflix, all the way.  but this means i won't ever cancel my home wi-fi.  i am way too attached it!  i'd be more likely to cut my cell phone i never use before i'd cut wi-fi.

and of course,

pet care.  only the best for hrh princess hawkeye.  her food is $25 for a 5 lb bag.  i get the name brand pricey flea and heartworm preventatives because i read reviews that the knockoffs don't work (and can you imagine fleas in all that fur?  i'd die.)  i even get her the expensive potty pads because she doesn't like the cheapies.  she gets all her shots regularly and i even took her for an expensive emergency visit when she chewed her paw and her nail got infected because i didn't want to wait until morning in case something happened.  there is quite literally no amount that i wouldn't spend on that dog.

what are your 'must spend' categories?

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