Thursday, November 20, 2014

Clean All The Things!

Keeping your own house clean is hard. Keeping yours AND someone else's up to par is exhausting, y'all.

It's now been over six weeks since mom went to the hospital and then nursing home, and I am SO happy that she's supposed to get to come home next week, because keeping up with both my house and hers is wearing me out! Beyond the original life maintenance stuff that had built up while she was home sick (laundry, dishes) that I took care of right after she went to the hospital, I've been taking care of her half of our herd of cats (as I like to call them), which is a feat onto itself. (Don't believe that stereotype about being meticulous; Cats are messy!) This past week or so I've been focusing on making sure she has a super clean, organized house to come home to that will be easy to get around since she'll need to use a walker or wheelchair for awhile.

This is the collection of stuff that I need to drop off at the thrift store tomorrow. (Cat not included.)

I spent four hours last night working on the living room, and tonight I plan to tackle her bathrooms: cleaning the tub, wiping down bathroom faucets, tossing out expired medicine, etc. How is it that bathrooms are usually the smallest room in the house, but the most work to really keep clean?

I'm super excited that an awesome company called Danze is sending me a new showerhead, because my own bathroom needs some love, too! I'm looking forward to having all of the craziness of preparing mom's house completed so that I can focus on my own again! (It's become a wreck this past month or so!) You can bet I'm installing that new one the second it shows up in the mail and taking a long, hot, massage-y shower! (I have a theory that the meanest thing you can wish upon an enemy is the need to hop out of the shower on a cold day to grab forgotten shampoo! I would probably spend all winter in a hot shower if only hot water was infinite.)

This is the showerhead I'll be using in my bathroom soon. I love how the angle of this photo makes it look a little bit like a tiny spaceship. Beam me up, massaging spray!

I am receiving a complimentary item from Danze in exchange for this post, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday - Volume 25

1. Have been falling back in love with Veronica Varlow's Danger Diary lately. It fits my current mood exactly, and her tales of traveling to follow her dream are stirring up my need for exploration, adventure, and giant false lashes.

2. Are you a little behind in keeping up with everything that's been going down in Ferguson? Matt Pearce of the LA Times (You may recall him from my post back in August about who to follow on Twitter for Ferguson info) has put together a great collection of articles you can read through as a sort of Ferguson 101. I've been wanting to compile something like that, so I appreciate that he has unknowingly enabled me to be lazy.

Warning though, Matt is kind of the cutest, so don't get all sucked into reading his stuff or you will melt into a pool of unrequited crushyness.

No, seriously.

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(Photo by also adorable Ryan of HuffPost.)

Check out his Tumblr too, though, because it is pretty great.

3. I recently read something by Danielle LaPorte about the need to destroy before you create, and it keeps tumbling about in my head. Winter just seems like that season for letting go before you can move on to a renaissance.

4. So, I have a new favorite Instagram account to follow:

Baddie Winkle is 86 and I might be in love with her.

5. My mom is expected to be able to move back home from the nursing home in about a week! EXCITE! Which means that I get to spend the next week cleaning her house and making it extra comfy. Less excite.

6. This sums up how I'm handling freezing weather so far:

Awesome wolf hat aside, there's something about this cold that's making me especially sensual. Not sensual in the sexytimes way (I mean, that's all the time), but in terms of wanting to end the day by slipping into silky sheets, to wrap myself in the softest vintage lace slips before getting dressed in multiple layers, and generally gravitating towards anything warm, soft, comforting.

7. I requested that the comfy chair I usually write from when I actually go into the office be converted to a blanket fort, but I don't think this has happened yet.

8. I cheated on my beloved gingerbread latte tonight by ordering the new chestnut praline flavor. It's awesome. Also today? Somehow did NOT buy anything in the big 40% off clothes sale at Target. Got pulled over for speeding for the first time in a bunch of years, and luckily got off with a warning. WHEW.



10. I've posted this before, but this song by Cotton Wine is perfect for listening to the car while driving on a cold, grey day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Awesome Blogger Opp! Platinum Pixs Giveaway Event!

Straight On Till Morning has an AWESOME giveaway coming up, and would like to invite fellow bloggers to join in!

Collage of Four Canvas Prints - 24x24

We're going to be giving one lucky winner a 16" x 24" canvas print worth over $100 from Platinum Pixs! That means they'll get the photo of their choice printed on professional quality archival canvas, with their choice of finish and wrap style. What an awesome way to display a favorite family photo, vacation snapshot, or (my personal favorite, of course) hilarious pic of your cat? Your favorite photo instantly becomes a work of art! The giveaway will be running from Dec 1-15.

Want to join in this awesome giveaway? You get one FREE link in the giveaway form, just by posting about the giveaway on your blog! (Additional links are available for a fee.) You're welcome to copy the above giveaway information exactly as it is, or change it up a bit to suit your style - I trust you! Just be sure to include the purple giveaway image and link to Straight On Till Morning ( and to the handy dandy form that you'll need to fill out to participate! Blogger participant signups close on Nov 27th.

Have questions? Feel free to contact me at Crystal (at)!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ami Clubwear Review & Giveaway {Round Em Up! Giveaway Hop Event} Ends 11/22

It's giveaway time! I get to hook one of you guys up with a $50 gift certificate to a fun site called Ami Clubwear. They've got all kinds of dresses, swimwear, shoes, lingerie, accessories... you name it! The styles range from elegant to casual to daringly sexy. Check out a few of my favorites:

Everyone needs a great little black dress!

Looking for an amazing New Year's Eve party dress, or something cute to wear to a holiday party?

And a few of my favorite casual dress picks!

Cute Casual Dresses

And they have a HUGE selection of cute fall and winter boots, from neutrals that will look great with any outfit...

Fall boots

To options that are a little more fun and funky!

And of course, accessories!

I was sent the Blue Multi Printed Sleeveless Party Dress, which is printed with Van Gogh's Starry Night. My url comes from a Van Gogh quote, so I couldn't resist!

I'm generally a size 8-10 in dresses, so I ordered a large. In my experience, this dress definitely hugs every curve tightly, so be sure to order up a size if you'd like a somewhat looser fit! Even more importantly, if you're tall like I am (I'm about 5'10" 1/2), this is NOT going to be dress length on you! Let's just say that it didn't even entirely cover my underwear. However, I found that if I flip the last couple of inches under, it works great as a top! Of course, if you're maybe 5'6" or shorter, you can probably wear this as it's intended.

(Note - I'll be adding a pic of me wearing this later today. My ER trip earlier this week threw off my schedule a bit! Sorry 'bout that!)

Length issues aside, I really like this! The fabric is soft and stretchy and quite comfortable. It's lightweight, but not so thin that you get visible underwear lines or anything. The super smooth fabric also makes it perfect for layering, which I expect to be doing a lot of now that temperatures are dipping down to freezing!

I'm joining some other awesome bloggers for the Round Em Up! Giveaway Hop. Be sure to check out the giveaways going on at all of the other blogs participating in this giveaway hop - there are some awesome prizes to win!

Round Em Up 300x360

Welcome to the Round Em U Hop Event

Hosted by LeahSay's Views and Planet Weidknecht

The event will run November 12th - 22nd; please take the time to visit each of the blogs listed in the linky below. Each blogger will be hosting a review/giveaway valued at a minimum of $25. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank You For Sharing!

Disclosure: This prize is being provided by Ami Clubwear, and I received a sample dress to facilitate my review, but no other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday - Volume 24

1. You may have already seen this on my Instagram, but I ended up in the ER on Sunday night. I occasionally get these bouts of super duper nausea (I'll spare you the gory details), but this one was by far the worst ever and I hit the point of not being able to take it anymore, so I called an ambulance. I wish they sold whatever they injected me with over the counter, because within the 30 minute drive to the ER, I was feeling SO much better. Wish I'd had that before suffering for 12 hours!

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2. It's freaking cold here now. So...

3. I finally gave in and bought myself these cute loopy infinity scarves today. I've been eyeing them every time I'm at Walmart (Yes, Walmart.) and the almost freezing temps today finally talked me into buying. Two for $5, yo!

4. Speaking of fun wintery clothes, I'm scheduled to get my first Stitch Fix shipment in 2 weeks, and I'm counting down the days! It's like Christmas, except where Santa makes you pay for the gifts you want to keep. Still... clothes! YAY!

5. I'm kinda bummed to hear that ABC is canceling Selfie. I don't watch a lot of TV, but what I've caught of it has been fun, and I enjoy catching the My Fair Lady references. Have any of you guys been watching?

6. I have been searching stores for more Chex Mix Popped, and haven't had any luck yet! Plateful Co-Op sent me a sample around the end of Sept, just before my mom went to the hospital. She *loved* it, so I've been trying to hunt down some more since she's just now getting back to solid foods. The search continues!

I'm kind of searching for me, too, because the one I was sent was the perfect combo of sweet and salty, and that's hard to find! But there's also a white cheddar flavor that I'm pretty sure I need in my life.

(Disclosure:The information and product sample have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op)

7. So, Target recently had a discount in the Cartwheel app for 25% off shoes and boots. It's entirely possible that I bought these...

8. ...and then realized that the majority of my winter tops are black, so I went back and bought these, too. 

And crap, I just noticed that now they have a buy one, get one 50% off sale, which makes me want MORE BOOTS. But I'm broke now, so no more boots for me.

9. I'm kinda considering an Orlando trip for my birthday. I can't believe that I haven't been home in almost a year!! 

10. Be sure to come back tomorrow - there's an awesome giveaway coming up! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mount Victoria B&B in Eureka Springs

Have you ever reclined in a bubbling jacuzzi tub, slightly tipsy on your second (third?) glass of wine, and watched rubber duckies zoom around in the jets of water? If not, you're missing out on a life experience. But more about that in a minute.

10 Things on Tuesday (On Wednesday)- Volume 23

1. Okay, the obvious update first - My mom has been in the nursing home for one week now, and is already doing way better! When she first moved there from the hospital, she couldn't even sit up on her own. Yesterday, I watched her walk a pretty impressive distance down the hallways before she got tired. Her physical therapist said it was about three times farther than she went yesterday; even he was impressed! She will most likely be there a few more weeks, but it's really nice (and relieving) to see her make progress. 

2. I have to admit that I don't get the obsession with buying the new iPhone the second it comes out. If a phone costs over $100, it had better make me coffee every morning or last at least 10 years.

That said, I got a new phone! I've been needing to replace mine for months, ever since I dropped it in the bath tub. (Oops.) It mostly still functioned after drying it out overnight, but the camera was never quite as sharp, I could only make calls on speaker, and random little things were starting to get funky. Luckily, Target had my exact phone on sale for $50, with a promotion where it came with a free $15 gift card. I had a $25 Target GC that I won in a giveaway, so basically I only paid 10 "real" dollars for my phone. YAY.

3. I won a $75 gift card to Stitch Fix, and I'm super excited to see what they send me, but also a little nervous that I might not like any of it! (Or what if I fall in love with ALL of it!?) For those of you who have tried it, how much stuff did you love vs. hate?

4. Not a great pic, but I got this clothing rack for like $15 and it's basically my new favorite thing! I'm using it for all of my sewing projects in progress. I've noticed that when they're all stuffed in bags and boxes I never work on them, so having them out where I can see them has been good motivation! Hoping to have a sewing marathon one day this week.

5. I'm not generally much of a TV person, but I finally watched the first several episodes of How To Get Away with Murder this weekend and I'm digging it. Love that it has Dean Thomas and Paris from Gilmore Girls! Are there any new fall TV shows I need to check out? 

6. My inner political nerd is super excited that there are less than 2 weeks until midterm elections! 

7. Know what's awesome? This stuff. I got an email the other day that Bath & Body Works was having a sale on the mason jar candles - $5 instead of $12.50. I tried to talk myself out of driving over (the closest one is half an hour away), but then I remembered that I had coupons that they'd sent me: one for 20% off and one for a free body care item with $10 purchase. If you do the math, it means that I got everything in this pic for $12.50. SCORE. Plus they gave me a coupon for a free item of choice up to $13 on my next trip, so it's kind of like I spent $0? Calling this one an epic victory.

8. I'm in that awkward phase where I checked out an ebook online from my library, totally forgot about it until 3 days before it was due, and then discovered that it was over 700 pages once I started reading. And of course there's a waiting list for it, so it won't let me renew. If I just keep it open on my laptop, I can keep reading after the due date, but it's kind of annoying. Do I suck it up and try to read the remaining 600-ish pages as quickly as possible, or hop back on the waiting list and totally forget what I've read so far while I wait?

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9. I haven't posted any of my thrift store finds in ages, but I had a pretty good haul this month, including this funky, colorful apron and another with a more classic design. Now I feel the need to bake stuff! (Ignore that my nails are two different colors here. Life is hard to keep up with.)

10. Still haven't made it out to any hiking trails yet this fall. I know I'll kick myself later if I don't take advantage of the perfect outdoorsy weather now, but life has been too crazy. Maybe later this week? Cross your fingers for me!

My Tuesday post on Wednesday is better than never, right? I hope?

How is your week going?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Open Enrollment Time is Coming!

Ah, insurance. For me it's one of those things that I know is important, but that I get a little overwhelmed diving into. I've learned from experience how important it is to plan ahead for the expenses that come with illness or injury, though - my credit score is still a mess from when I missed a lot of work back in 2009 due to health issues and quickly fell behind on bills as a result. Like a lot of people in the millennial age group, I don't have a lot of money set aside for an emergency. A recent study by Aflac found that 35% of millennials have less than $500 set aside for unexpected medical expenses. (You can read some of the other stats in their post about being One Emergency Away From Financial Disaster - It's pretty interesting!) If you don't have paid sick days available, missing a week of work plus medical expenses can add up super quickly!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my mom has been in the hospital this week. It's a little odd to be writing a post about preparing for unexpected medical costs when I'm kind of living it at the same time.  Speaking from current experience I can definitely say that dealing with the illness of yourself or a family member is scary and stressful enough without worrying about the financial side of things at the same time.

Looking forward to hanging out with my mom back at her house again, instead of the hospital/nursing home!

The 2nd round of open enrollment begins November 15th, so now is a good time to do some research on your benefit options! Even if you are already insured, you might want to consider a supplemental plan like those offered by Aflac. They offer plans that can help out with the expenses that can come with an accident or illness, such as child care or the bills that continue to show up even when you're unable to work. Nearly half of millennials surveyed said that they spent 30 minutes or less selecting their benefits last year. I spend way more time than that deciding which boots to buy for fall! A little extra time spent checking out your benefit options now to prepare for the open enrollment period could make life a lot easier if something unexpected does happen. There's no magical plan that's a perfect fit for everyone. Do your future self a favor and take the time to educate yourself about your options so that you're sure you're making the right choices for your life.  (I feel like I should end this post with some kind of "Knowledge is power!" graphic, or one of those "The more you know!" stars. I'll resist that urge, though.)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.