Chop Chop Now Y’all

Guys. I did it. I finally gathered the courage and moxie to cut my hair off. All of it. Chop chop. I am now the proud sporter of a pixie cut, very similar to this. And I am loving it.

I’ve thought about a pixie cut for years, wondering if I could pull it off. Even back in college, I was curious. The most I managed to do was a pretty short bob, about a half inch above my jaw line. My boyfriend at the time made sure that I knew I looked like a boy and that he much preferred long hair. I didn’t really give a crap about his preferences regarding female hair, but the comment about looking like a boy stung. It eroded any confidence I had in the look and guaranteed that I never went shorter. (I will say, with some pride, that I still frequently sported bobs when I was with him, despite his preferences. A little bit of resistance against my controller.)

But still, every year when I inevitably got tired of long-ish hair and made the appointment to go short, pixie thoughts would pop into my brain. I never took the plunge, but still, they were there. When I made my appointment this time, I didn’t think it would be any different. I figured I would go in and cut it about chin length and go about my merry way.  Then, Sunday evening, manic took hold of me. I googled pixie good or bad and what to know before you get a pixie cut and pixie cuts in image results. I saved ideas. I read articles. I browsed Reddit. I researched cuts for face shape. I discovered that my particular face shape is well suited for a pixie cut. And I decided. Chop chop.

My stylist was super excited when I told her what I wanted. My hair was mid-shoulder blade length, so this was a drastic difference. I had a moment of panic, sitting in the chair as a I watched her cut the sides (wow, that is VERY short), but all in all I handled it well. I had worried that I would have an immediate gut reaction of hate when she was done. After all, I’ve been looking at myself with hair for a very long time. This new cut was/is far shorter than I have ever attempted. I needn’t have worried though because I was already in love, even before it was dry and styled. It really is a great look on me and I think it suits my face particularly well.

I headed to Ulta as soon as I was done to pick up some new product on my stylist’s recommendation – an awesome volumizing powder and a pomade. I showered and washed my hair last night under the guise of getting the hair remnants off my neck, but really I wanted to test two things: how well it air dried and how it would look in the morning after sleeping on it. I am VERY excited to say that it air dried perfectly well (though, in the interest of full disclosure, I will likely still blow dry it if I need it looking super polished). I am even more excited to report that for the first time in my life I actually have hair that I can spend five minutes styling in the morning and go. Shampooing and blow drying are no longer essential to looking barely passable at work. I can get up and go and it is fantastic! A quick spritz of water this morning rectified any bedhead and my volumizing powder brought my look from passable to cute AF.

So yeah, I love it. I’m so excited and I really can’t see myself going back to longer hair any time soon.

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In other news

My office is moving next month. (Not my home office, though that would be a pretty swanky way of telling you guys that we’re moving. tucks away line for future use) Very long story short, we’re moving into one of the towering skyscrapers downtown. We are currently in a modest office tower, just twenty stories tall or so, and we’re moving into a much higher floor. We got to tour it yesterday and it’s really nice. I’m looking forward to new views and a new space.

I’ll be interested to see what sort of tenants are in the new building. It’s very stately, with a lot of law offices, which probably means slacks and low heels. Our current building has “creative” tenants (think magazines and PR firms) which means bright tops and high heels. I usually feel dowdy as I walk into the office, surrounded by smartly dressed women in their on-trend heels and skinny jeans. I try to dress well, but I tend to buy classic pieces that I can wear for years rather than a trendy top that will be dated by next season. My style suits me, I think, but I can’t help but feel wistful for the cold-shoulder dresses and flouncy tops as they go strolling past me.

As I mentioned, we visited the new space yesterday. It’s a few blocks away, so we all gathered at 3pm to walk down there. I ….. misjudged yesterday morning and chose to wear heels. That was a mistake. The walk down was fine, but then we all stood around for 45 minutes in a warm-ish office (the AC is on for construction, but set to like 78 which feels especially warm in business attire) and then we walked back in the 100 degree, 70% humidity afternoon sunlight. My feet were not pleased with me. I’m sporting about five new blisters, one of which even required bandaging for me to teach class after work. I had it coming to me though as two people commented on my heels and asked if my feet were hurting and I smugly proclaimed them to be fine as each woman shook her head and admitted to not being able to wear heels that long anymore. Hangs head in shame. Me either, apparently.

Cleaning the domain

When I was growing up, my dad (a Navy guy) had us on a strict cleaning schedule. Every other weekend we cleaned the entire house, top to bottom. I’m talking toilets scrubbed, showers de-scummed, floors mopped, rooms straightened. When we were young, our only task was to straighten our rooms. In typical child fashion, it took my brother and I just as long to clean our rooms as it took my dad to clean the entire house. As we got older, he added chores until we were responsible for cleaning our bathroom too, as well as mopping/vacuuming our side of the house. When my brother moved out, I offered to take over cleaning myself. So every other week, I put on some music and dusted, mopped, vacuumed, scrubbed, shined, wiped, straightened, and more!

My internship was the first time I was free from the every-other-week schedule and I took full advantage of it. A humorous anecdote from the time: my apartment’s shower developed an orange scum. I seriously had no idea what it was and didn’t know that could happen – that’s how often we cleaned our home. I blamed a crappy apartment shower, rather than the fact that I hadn’t cleaned it in six weeks. I didn’t realize my mistake until I was cleaning for move-out and realized that the stuff wiped away. Whoops.

Anyway, ever since moving out and being gloriously free from the every-other-week thing, I’ve struggled to find an adequate schedule. I mean, no one likes scrubbing toilets, but there’s got to be a better way other than my current mode (which is to invite friends/family over and then surreptitiously wipe down the toilet with Clorox wipes while they aren’t looking after freaking out because the smell is suddenly QUITE noticeable). Plus, I’m one of the weirdos that loves a clean house. It’s like I can’t fully relax unless the living room is straightened and the counters have been wiped down. Luffy thinks I am crazy, but I embrace it.

I say all of this because I’ve gone on a sudden cleaning binge. In probably the first time since well before the dumpling was born, all of our toilets and showers are clean at the same time. (And not just wiped-down-with-Clorox-wipe clean, I mean scrubbed-with-a-toothbrush clean.) The dumpling’s toys have been put away. The ever present entryway jumble is mostly organized. And I remember again why I love a clean home. But, you know, a toddler lives here and thus a clean home takes a lot of work. So cheers to me, for fighting the good fight. The living room will devolve into chaos as soon as the dumpling gets home from daycare, but at least he can’t muck up the toilet. Yet.

A few thoughts on a Thursday

It’s raining here, which is glorious. I love a good thunderstorm, most especially when it falls on a day that I’m working from home. Ahhh, perfection.


I got a pedicure yesterday. It too was perfection. I don’t often get pedicures. In fact, I can precisely tell you the last two times I got one: last September (2017) and the day before my wedding (2013). It’s just one of those things that taps into my a few of my neurosis like my reluctance to spend money on myself and my hesitation to go to new places that typically have unwritten rules (like the tip! or do you make conversation with the pedicurist? what if you can’t understand her when she asks if you want hot stone or paraffin wax? and the massage chair just opens up a whole can of worms…). Anyway, I’m now staring at pretty toes and I’m tickled pink about it!


We went to the farmer’s market this weekend. We used to go pretty regularly to get fresh eggs and meat, but we haven’t been since the dumpling was born. We went because they were hosting a kid’s day, including a petting zoo! That ended up being a bit of a bust. The petting zoo was a very small enclosure with a lot of older kids. The dumpling seems so big to me now that I forget he’s a tiny thing still. He was a bit overwhelmed by the activity, so we stayed on the outside. He did at least seem fascinated by the donkey and stared at it for a while.


Luffy’s parents bought the dumpling a tricycle! He tried it out this weekend and loved riding on it. He’s a bit short for it still (though when I just looked it up online and I realized that the seat is adjustable, so I’ll have to fiddle with that). He was super cute as we tried it out in the driveway this weekend.


And that’s about all I’ve got for ya.

Polishing Up The Home, pt 3

I did it! The handyman was hired and the materials were purchased and the repairs have been made! We have now the proud owners of LED lights in our kitchen and utility room and a freshly-caulked shower. [Though, damn that handyman, because he came into our circa-1992 master bathroom and started talking about renovations and now I practically drool every time I step into the shower as I think about what it could be.]

Further polishings were attempted yesterday after the latch on our front door stopped working. Now, I’ve never repaired a door knob. Hell, I’ve never even closely examined a door knob, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard! Half an hour later, once I realized that I had to take the entire kit off to access the latch, I figured I might as well replace the whole thing. It was looking old and worn anyway. (Plus, it’s gold – might as well modernize it a bit!)

Home Depot proved invaluable and I quickly found exactly what I needed! Or so I thought, of course. I came home and … naively? optimistically? stupidly? … skipped right over the first step of the installation instructions. I bet you can guess what that step was: measure. Double check your measurements to make sure this thing will actually fit before you start, Belle! Ah damn it – you’ve already installed the latch anyway – well don’t say I didn’t warn you! <<< actual text from manual.

So yeah, I didn’t measure – jumped right into installation and had the new latch installed before realizing that the new handle was about an inch too long and didn’t line up with my hole. Not only did it not line up (which I would have at least thought about handling with my drill), the plate didn’t cover the old hole. I couldn’t have that, so I had to uninstall the latch and re-package everything. I returned it this morning and opted to just replace the latch. Now my eyelid is twitching because, during this little endeavor, I realized that our front door was originally painted teal. It’s now a matte black, but whoever painted it didn’t remove the fixtures to paint. The problem is that the new latch moves our door handle to the right about 1/8 of an inch, revealing a tiny stripe of teal paint. I hope I forget about it soon because my next overzealous burst of motivation may be to repaint the door.

Blog Reruns

I got all charged up to talk about my hunt for a new bra and had this moment of deja vu when I sat down at the computer. Oh right… I’ve already talked about this.

I talked then about how my “real” band size is a 28 or 30. I don’t have any bras in my “real” size. All of my current bras are from VS because I know exactly what size will (mostly) fit me there. However, I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to purchase my “real” size through an online store. I’ve purchased two separate bras and had zero luck so far. The first was just laughably big, by every measure, because I had a moment of amnesia and blissfully forgot about the whole “real” size issue. The second bra I’m less sure about. To be fair, I probably chose poorly, in trying to buy my first “real” sized bra because this particular style was flagged as running shallow in the cup. Order a up a cup size! the site told me, so I did. And it doesn’t really fit. My boobs still seem squished in the center. I ordered another cup size up (which, for anyone keeping track, is now two cup sizes above what I really am), but I had the thought that maybe it’s just the design of the bra.

I hate that I’m paying $7/bra to try these things on (essentially, as that’s the cost to return the bra). I’ll probably try going into an actual store later on, if this third round of bras yields nothing. Or, you know, I could just forget the whole endeavor for a while and try again in another couple of years. Stay tuned!

Speaking of boobs (nice segue self!) how was your Valentine’s Day? Ours was nice. I decided on Monday to make a nice dinner for Luffy and myself. Nothing fancy, just something with a tad more effort that a typical Wednesday night dinner. I decided to do big, thick steaks and my favorite mac and cheese. We shared my good champagne and I made Luffy’s favorite mini cheesecakes. It was a really nice night if we don’t speak of the overstimulated, sugar-blitzed toddler I wrestled and wrangled from the time I picked him up to the moment I tossed him (lovingly) into bed. Poor kiddo was just plumb tuckered out from his first Valentine’s Day party.

Polishing Up the Home

But first – we finally figured out what it was that had the dumpling so upset last week. His molars. They are erupting. Aaaaaaand that’s probably all you need to know about how our week was last week. Aye yai yai.


I’m a pretty industrious sort of gal. Pre-dumpling, I could rarely spend an entire Sunday just sitting – I had to accomplish at least one thing. Be it laundry or lawn work or running to Target, something had to get done or else I’d feel entirely useless and adrift. Ticking one thing off my mental to-do list put me in a much better frame of mind. I could be in a funk over body image issues or deep into existential crisis mode and have my spirits instantly lifted by cleaning Jas’ litter box and picking up the groceries. Luffy thinks I am weird. (For the record, Luffy is the complete opposite of this. He puts much more effort into keeping things off his to-do list.)

This doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t procrastinate with the best of them. Take our kitchen lights, for instance. They have been in some state of flickering and/or not working for at least (does some math…. counts fingers…. realizes she is getting old) three years? Maybe more? For frame of reference, they were on my list of things to do before the baby gets here. The baby who is now almost 16 months old, yes that one. And it’s not like they stopped working a week before he arrived either. I was just really good at ignoring the issue.

Every once in a while though, I get a burst of motivation and energy for all things house-related. It started with light bulbs. I would swear that the previous owner of our home replaced every single light bulb at the exact same time because they’re all going out! Simultaneously! One in the guest bath, one in the office, one in the living room, two in our bathroom. Every time I turn around, I spot another bulb out. And of course, you can’t just buy an exact replacement bulb these days – have you shopped for lights lately? It’s all “10.4W equivalent of 60W”, or some such nonsense. And then you have to pick a color spectrum like daylight or soft white or cool white – which is great! Except when you’re trying to match bulbs that are already there. And you know what, I bet this is why the previous owner replaced them all at the same time.

Anyway, replacing the one bulb in the guest bath, led me to finally getting around to fixing the kitchen lights. I had previously discussed the basics of what I would need to do to replace the ballast with my dad (in November 2015 and I remember that clearly because we were visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, sans dumpling, so that just tells you how long these lights have been out) and hopped up to pull the ballast out to take with me to Home Depot. The dumpling and I searched high and low for a replacement ballast, but none could be found. I finally had to leave when the dumpling became bored with looking at ballasts and decided that running away from mama was much more fun. After some googling at home, it turns out we have an old-school ballast that needs to be semi-specially ordered and costs like $30/ea and my dad was like, just hold off! We’ll replace them with LED lights next time I’m down! which meant that I could go back to studiously ignoring the flickering lights in my kitchen.

SOLD!

But then! I decided that I wanted to replace the light in the utility room. It’s too dim for my liking (I want a near surgical-suite level of brightness in there). And you know, I’ve been meaning to swap the fan in the dining room with the fixture from the living room. With tasks mounting up, I decided to hire a handyman to take care of several items around the house that I’ve been procrastinating on for four and a half years.

YAY!

AND THEN. Jas woke me up at 2am, early Sunday morning, with her patented paw-aggressively-at-the-mirror trick that she has been doing at 2am all her life. It wakes me up because the mirror makes this weird noise. Because I never hung it up. Because it is really big? And I was always really nervous of hanging something that big. So it just kind of leans there. Anyway, the point is that I have had this mirror for at least five years and she discovered she could play this game with me on probably the second day we had it (I come out of bed swinging because it pisses me off like nothing else) (I am sure this delights her) (otherwise, why would she keep doing it so much). Ahem. Again, anyway, my point – guess what I did Sunday morning? I finally hung the darn thing! And then I went out and bought a little pet bed to put beneath it, as an offering to Her Highness to make amends for ruining her nightly fun.

I feel so productive you guys!