Tuesday, July 22, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday - Volume 17


1. I finally had a doctor's appointment today that I scheduled back in early June! It was originally about a month before they could get me in, but then the doctor's schedule kept changing and they kept having to reschedule me, so I've now been waiting a month and a half. Oh, health care, you're such a blast. Anyway, that's why this post isn't going up until so late in the day - I've been all over the place today!


2. Google Maps cracks me up sometimes. I like that it's all "Now, if you really want to drive to Nashville, that's fine, but for a ton of money you could get there an hour slower by flying!" (I don't think I'm going to Nashville, btw. Unless I change my mind? I was mostly trying to figure out a route to Florida that involved a lot less time in Arkansas.)

3. I got paid to eat fast food yesterday, and was again astounded by how expensive it has gotten. I won't name the establishment since it was a mystery shopper job, but let's just say that my six nuggets of chicken (ambiguous enough?), medium fries and medium drink came to almost $7. Isn't the entire point of fast food supposed to be that it's cheap? When did this happen? Other than the occasional Taco Bell craving every few months, I don't really eat fast food unless I'm getting paid to do so, so I'm really not accustomed to spending more than $3. Why wouldn't you go somewhere with real food if you're going to spend seven dollars?! You could totally get unlimited soup and breadsticks at Olive Garden for the same price. (Okay, that probably still doesn't qualify as "real food" but you get the idea.)

4. Okay, fine, I confess that I'm considering a road trip. Oh, how quickly I seem to have forgotten the nightmare that was my drive down to New Orleans, and the sleeping at a truck stop that followed. Road trips must be like giving birth - you know that whole thing where apparently mothers forget that it hurt like a mofo and just decide they want another baby? Apparently I forget that my ass was numb for several days after I made it home and all of the vows I made about never driving that kind of distance again, even if you paid me, and only remember how nice it is to go somewhere cool. (To be fair, I probably wouldn't be driving 15 straight hours or sleeping with truckers this time. Probably.)

5. All of my Orlando friends keep posting Diagon Alley pics on FB and Twitter, and it's killing me! Gotta get back to Hogwarts! (You get bonus points if that sentence made you break into song.)

6. This is a slightly lame thing to report, but I just replaced the blog idea notebook that Jasper spilled an entire cup of tea on a few weeks ago. I had put so much effort into picking out the perfect legal pad, outlined everything in sections, and then barely got to use it! I know it's nerdy, but I'm looking forward to doing my best to make out the blurry pages of the tea stained old one and copy things into the fresh, pretty new notebook.

7. Are any of you guys watching The Bachelorette? I haven't blogged about it much this season, but it's almost finale time! I don't really see the appeal of either of the final two but I'm hoping that she picks Josh. The letter from one of the final two that they showed on last night's Men Tell All special was intriguing! Also, I am really, really looking forward to hate watching Bachelor in Paradise. It's going to be so terrible, but Marcus is going to be half naked, so that's ok.

8. You know that doctor appointment today? The clinic hat I go to is awesome in that they try to give you free samples of your medication if possible to save you some $. That happened to me today, but rather than little sample packs, they handed me two ziplock baggies full of pills. I wish I could explain why I found this so hilarious, but you'll just have to trust me. I enjoyed texting people "I have been given baggies of drugs!" I possibly need to get out more.



9. This is my current nail color, in case you are super curious. I wanted something that kind of screamed bright summery colorfulness. Yes, I just painted them last night and it's already chipped. It's from the OPI James Bond collection, but I'm not sure which color this is!

10. I think I've apologized for my lack of blogging recently, but here's another apology! I really do have about three posts that are nearly complete, and if my plans for next month fall into place the way I'm hoping, there are going to be a LOT of fun posts to follow! (Oooh, intrigue!) Basically, this is a thanks for sticking with me this month even though these Tuesday posts are pretty much all I've been managing!

Don't forget that you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter, too! 

I'm skipping the linky since only a couple of people have been linking up each week, but if you do a 10 things post be sure to leave me a link in the comments and I'll go check it out! If I get back to where more than a couple of people are participating, I'll bring the linky tool back!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday - Volume 16


1. It feels so weird not to have more World Cup games to watch! I'm so used to checking the schedule each morning to see what's up for the day! Germany played really well and deserved their win, though! And the US did way better than I originally expected, so that's pretty cool, too.

2. I need a trip home so much! I'm still trying to figure out if there's a way I could swing a quick one next month to see my friend's band play. Money is so tight and there are several things that need it more urgently than this, but omg would it be good for my spirit right now.

3. Okay, question for you guys! I've been looking into replacing my desktop computer. It finally died this winter after about 10 years of good service. Several people have encouraged me to just replace my (totally falling apart) laptop instead, but I keep hesitating. Have you guys gone totally desktop free yet? Am I totally just old and set in my ways?

Struggle isn't fun, but it's an opportunity to be brave

4. Quote for this week. It's been a rough one, and I can use the reminder that choosing to be brave, choosing love over fear, all of those really hard choices? They're worth it. 

5. This week marks three whole years since I ran around Canada with about 20 friends, following U2 on tour! That was such a great week, so full of good people and great music and amazing adventures. Can't wait to do it again! (Please announce a new album and tour already, boys!)



6. I hate to confess to being an occasional reader of GOMI, but if you missed this thread where a blogger started a thread bashing herself to get attention, created several extra accounts to defend herself, and then faked her own death... you seriously missed out. It's the most amazing trainwreck EVER. It's huge now, so go make yourself a snack and set aside a couple of hours. It will make you feel so much better about your own life.

7. You know what? I'm going to do a very weird thing and just stop here at 7 today. It's been a crazy week and I don't have that many fun random things to share, so rather than spending another hour trying to come up with three more, let's just make it seven. Seven is a magical number after all, maybe it will be good luck.

Hope you're all having a fantastic start to your week! Be sure to link up below if you've done a 10 things list, too!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fall Couture Fashion Week!

Now that the World Cup is over, I can catch up on drooling over (and occasionally shaking my head at) everything that came out of Fall 2014 couture fashion week! Here are a few highs and lows:


I'm not a huge wearer of polka dots, but I think Armani Prive rocked this one! I'd swap out the shorts for a black skirt of a similar length or slim fitting black pants. I get the theory of mixing in those larger scale dots, but I'm not a fan of it visually. Plus, there were so many unflattering pleated shorts in this collection. Bleh.



How is this even from the same collection? You know how you tend to get brilliant ideas in the shower? If one of those ideas is "I should make a dress that looks like this thing I'm washing myself with!" you should possibly reconsider.



So here's the thing... I don't usually like Dior much. And I don't usually like primarily white/black/neutral collections much. But I liked a lot of this collection. Not necessarily in an "I want to wear that!" way, but in an "I see what you did there, and I appreciate it." way.


This Alexis Mabille dress, you guys. This is pretty much perfection, other than the fact that my boobs would never fit in it. 


I want to walk in a Schiaparelli show. Someone please make this happen for me.


This Alexandre Vauthier creation falls into that category of things that I wouldn't necessarily say that I like, but that are so visually itnerresting that I want to spend a while staring at them. It reminds me a little bit of the era of cyberpunk! Dying to know what the texture of that dress feels like.


I started to pick a couple of looks from this Viktor & Rolf collection to discuss, but seriously all I could do was shake my head at the screen while saying out loud, "I fucking love fashion." So here's a screencap of a bunch of them. Hopefully you'll have the same reaction. This is only about half of the collection, but I think you get the idea.


Loved this Valentino dress, and the shoe choice is spot on.


More Valentino couture - I can't explain why, but I'ma little obsessed with this look. I think it's mostly because that's a really amazing green, but a few other looks in the collection use the same fabric and I'm not that into them - there's something else that I can't pinpoint. It's just great. 

I wish that technology would advance to the point that we could start illegally downloading clothes already.

all images via style.com

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

10 Things On Tuesday - Volume 15

Note: Super sorry if this is appearing in your feed again! This is July 8th's post, which I somehow managed to totally delete by hitting something weird on the blogger app on my phone! Thank goodness for Google's cached copy! Whew!

 

1. Did you all survive the 4th of July? (If you have crazy "I nearly did NOT survive, dude!" stories to tell, I want to hear them!) I am somehow still alive despite the following factors:

a) 5 days of family
b) The multi-day headache of doom that resulted from letter a.
c) Every dog in my neighborhood barking for three solid nights, due to the fact that they thought the world was ending. (Goes well with b.)
d) Did I mention family? It was the kind of weekend that resulted in messages to my hetero-lifemate Katie of the "You would totally help me hide a body, right?" variety.
e) Neighbors down the street who I assume either exploded themselves or something fairly important, given the number of sirens that zoomed their way.
f) The fact that I had to brave Wal-Mart on July 3rd. Plus the fact that I live on a lake and it's a summer holiday.

2. That was a lot of ranting. And I don't think my 10 Things has ever had a sub-list before! Neat. Anyway, the highlight of the 4th weekend silliness (for me, at least, probably not for others involved) was when my middle sister brought back a pretty large (like hand-sized) piece of meat from a meal out with other family people and was not smart enough to hide it somewhere safe from cats (aka on the moon, because nowhere closer than that IS cat safe.) At one point I walked into the kitchen and saw my kitten Tennyson playing with something. Yep, he stole her leftover steak thingy. The thing about Ten is that if you give him something like a piece of meat (super rare for him to get), he won't just eat it... he wants to hunt and kill it. You guys, that little kitten spent a solid hour with this thing, throwing it up in the air and across the room, running after it, attacking, etc. It was basically the best thing I've seen in ages.



A video of Tennyson with a little piece of chicken a few months ago, to give you an idea.

3. Can we talk about Tim Howard for a second? If you follow me on Twitter, you know I've probably already said most of what can be said about his awesome record setting goal blocking in the World Cup game against Belgium. Seriously though, that was super rad. If only that game had gone to penalty kicks instead of being settled in overtime, we would have totally won.

This was probably the best thing I saw on Twitter that day:


And "Tim Howard saving things" has basically become my new favorite meme. 

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4. One of my favorite old Orlando bands (and favorite bands in general, really) is reuniting for one show at House of Blues next month, and I really want to go. Life was so much easier when I lived practically across the street from Downtown Disney! Seriously though, if I can find a cheap enough flight, I am seriously considering it. Haven't gotten to see them play since 2010! (You can see a video I shot at Hard Rock Live of my favorite song from their CD here!)

5. I spent a few really enjoyable hours this weekend reading through the archives of 27 Months Without Peanut Butter, the blog of a woman who spent two years in Jordan with the Peace Corps. Reading about cultural differences is always fun. It's filled with both moments of humor and moments of heartbreak. One quote that amused me, about the animals at the school where she's teaching:
"There are four rabbits, and their names are Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Falafel, and Hummus. The teachers named them."
6. I had nearly as much fun reading through the similarly named A Year Without Peanut Butter, written by a woman volunteering in Colombia. Apparently expat bloggers take their protein seriously!

7. Given that the vast majority of my friends are in Orlando, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been flooded with pics of the new Diagon Alley area at Universal these past few days! I do wish that Universal could find a way to make these parts of the parks more interactive, though. Hogsmeade is super pretty and cool to look at, but there's not all that much to actually do. I want to be able to actually interact with the environment, not just snap cool photos of it, you know?

8. Just in case you're keeping track, I have yet to wear anything from that box of jewelry I posted about two weeks ago.

9. These 10 Things posts seem to be the only blogging I've been doing lately! As soon as I recover from the nuttiness of having family around all weekend, I resolve to do better. (I know, the whole "Sorry I've been a bad blogger!" apology is the ultimate blogging cliche.) I actually just went to finish up a skirt I've been working on so that I could post the before and after (and also you know, wear it...) and I found that someone moved it from my sewing machine. I spent over half an hour searching everywhere and still haven't tracked it down! Not delighted.

10. Pretty much my only plans for today are to go to the library, buy green tea and water, and watch the Brazil/Germany World Cup game. It's exactly the kind of day I need to get my head on straight again before going back to being productive tomorrow.

That's it for this week! If you wrote a 10 Things post too, link up below!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday - Volume 14






1. I just filled up the kiddie pool in my back yard (Yeah, I'm awesome. Deal with it.) and slathered on sunscreen so I could go sit in the water and read in between World Cup games. Instead, the Switzerland/Argentina game ran an entire half hour longer than it should have, and now the sun is totally gone. I am all sunscreened up to scroll through Tumblr. (The sun came back as I was still working on this post and I managed about 15 minutes outside with by book, and still had enough time left over to make lunch before the game! YAY!)

2. My poor car, y'all. Last month I had the issue with the brake light switch, now my windshield wipers have stopped working. After a grocery trip last week, I hopped in the car to head home and they would NOT come on. At first I was like well, maybe I can just drive slowly and carefully (It's only like 6 miles home), surely I'll be able to see well enough to make it? LOL NOPE. I couldn't even get out of the parking lot.


What I expected driving with no wipers to look like.


What it actually looks like.

I just kinda sat there in my car for close to an hour until the rain let up enough for me to get to the auto parts store across the street. The fuses that control my wiper relay are black plastic boxes where you can't easily see if they're blown or not, so I couldn't tell if it was a fuse, the wiper motor, or something else. I ended up following the suggestion of the guy at the store and buying some Rain-X to at least make it where I could see to get home. 

3. I was so sad to hear about what seems to have been open gunfire in the French Quarter on Sunday. Nine people were shot on Bourbon Street. I have a special affection for New Orleans and can't wait to go back. I know there's quite a bit of crime in the city at large, but most of the worst of that crime seems to stay out of the Quarter. Sure, there are pickpockets and scam artists and such about, but you generally don't have to worry TOO much about violent crime in the most touristy areas.

It reminds me a little bit of Orlando - Disney World is generally super safe, but if you drive 5-10 minutes outside the gates, you can find yourself in a pretty bad neighborhood. Orlando has no shortage of crime, but like NOLA the serious stuff tends to be away from the tourist areas. I think that the main difference is in scale - the French Quarter has an area of less than one square mile while Disney World is 47 square miles. As a result, the more dangerous areas are a matter of crossing a couple of streets vs driving a few miles - it's much easier to stumble out of the "safe" area, or for others to stumble into the bubble. I don't know, I guess that so many years in the hospitality industry have made me appreciate how much people look forward to their vacations, how much planning and saving and dreaming goes in, so it really breaks my heart when things like this happen.

4. Speaking of total bummers, the whole Hobby Lobby ruling yesterday totally ruined my day. I mostly managed to stay out of arguments, but a few people said things so dumb that I couldn't resist comment. (I literally heard a "If you can't afford to have a baby, you shouldn't have sex.") There was also an overwhelming amount of frustration over a surprising number of people not understanding the absolute basics of how various kinds of birth control work. I seriously don't think I can read any more or my head will legit explode.



5. Okay, on a slightly less serious topic... There's a consignment store not far from me where I occasionally take clothes to sell. (Being stood up after trying to sell things in Facebook yard sale groups got old really quickly.) I stopped by today to drop a few things off and obviously couldn't resist browsing to see if there was anything awesome. I spotted a cute blue dress and was like "Wow! I used to have one just like that!" But then I spotted another dress that I used to have... and another... and a top, and a pair of boots and yet another dress... And then I realized that they were ALL things that I sold in a yard sale earlier this year. Tons of items that I sold for 50 cents or a dollar now bearing $8-10 price tags. All I could do was laugh.

6. Spicy black bean veggie burgers from Morning Star, you guys. Trust me on this one. I just kind of ate 4 over the course of 2 days.

7. Since we're all pretty soccer obsessed right now, I have to mention that my beloved (soon to be MLS!) Orlando City Soccer acquired the superstar Brazillian player Kaka yesterday!

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8. This is the yoga pose I am currently working towards:

Another article on working towards Kurmasana.

My shoulders are possibly my least flexible area, so this is HARD. Loving the challenge, though.


Picasso

9. Favorite quote this week.

10. I have a reality TV rant. Last night on The Bachelorette, one of the dudes went down to the hotel front desk claiming that he lost his room key and couldn't remember his room number. He gave the desk clerk the Bachelorette's name, claiming the room was under "his wife's name". And the lady at the desk is all "Oh, your room is 602!" There's so much wrong with the whole thing that I CANT EVEN. Ignoring the fact that given that there's a TV show going on, the staff would obviously know who Andi was and that this guy is not "her husband" (and that due to privacy for filming the room probably wouldn't even BE under her name)... THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. When the front desk woman looked up the room, she would have clearly seen that Andi was the only name listed for it. You would never give someone info for a room that doesn't have THEIR name listed. Plus, she said the room number out loud, which is also a big no-no. (Although I have seen poorly trained front desk people do that a lot.) I know that a lot of this show is staged for the camera, but things like this totally ruin any suspension of disbelief I had going.

Okay, peeps! I have a US/Belgium game to watch!

Is anyone interested in 10 Things being a linkup again? If so, let me know! (And if you did it this week, leave your link in the comments so I can check it out!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Fellow Blogger's Cat Weght Lost Story With #HillsPet



As you may have noticed, I've been sharing info and stories about the new Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution dog and cat food. (Holy cow that's a mouthful to say! Handful to type?) Several of you got to try the food out for free when we did a giveaway, and hopefully many more of you took advantage of the rebate I posted last month for the food and vet visit! Today I'm wrapping up this series of posts by sharing the story of a fellow blogger's cat's progress using this food!



This is Vega, whose adventures you'll usually find of over at The Adventures of Puppy and Cat. She's 6 years old, and is a lover of cuddles (after my own heart, Vega!) but has really started to gain weight over the past year. The increased weight meant a drop in energy so she became a bigger fan of naps than of playing, and even started snoring! With her starting weight at 14.5 pounds, her vet suggested that she should lose around three pounds to get back to a healthy weight.



Cat weight loss can be tough, since nobody wants to feel like they're depriving their pet, and since up until recently most weight less regimes for pets involved cutting back the amount of food, success was hard since it's tough not to give in when they beg for more. I know that my cats tend to act like they're starving to death if dinner is even a little late, so I can only imagine how they'd react if I tried to cut the amount! With the Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution food you feed the same amount as usual, so your cat doesn't get all "Yo, dude, there's supposed to be more food in my bowl!" And they still get treats!

Did somebody say treats?

After two months on the new line of food, Vega has already dropped a pound and a half, so she's already halfway to her goal weight! Even better, she's stopped snoring and has become more interested in playing again.



All of the adorable images of Vega in this post come from this post about her weight loss journey at Puppy And Cat. I'll admit that I spent an embarrassing amount of time picking out which ones to use - they're all so cute! (I'm possibly a little biased because she looks a lot like my Bear cat!) Thanks so much to Vega's owner for sharing!

Want to check out more reviews of the Metabolic food from other people who have tried it? You can find the cool review search for Hill's products by clicking here. If you type "metabolic" into the search box, it will bring up options that you can select from. You can also add your own review if you've had the opportunity to try it!

This post is sponsored by Hill’s and the Blogpaws Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Food, but Straight On Till Morning only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ten Things on Tuesday - Volume 13


1. I had to cut the World Cup watching down quite a bit over the last few days because I was getting NOTHING done. Still watching some of it, just not ALL THE GAMES!



2. I've been trying to really pare down my possessions. I'm aiming for less clutter, more simplicity, and better feng shui. One big thing I did this week was to go through my jewelry and put most of the pieces I never wear in this little box:



I decided that anything I don't wear by the end of August gets sold or donated. The weird thing is that I think I would be comfortable letting it all go now. I'm surprised that I'm not more attached.

3. Speaking of getting rid of things, I also finally tossed my old dance class shoes. I have no idea why I hung on to them for so long, I guess there was some pride in how horrible they looked - every worn out spot was hours of classes or performances, ya know? Wanna see how bad they were?


Yes, that's duct tape.

4. This post is so late! I have been trying to get my 10 Things posts up early in the morning so others can link up, but this week has been nuts! And not many people have been linking up, so hopefully it won't be missed. I'll bring the linkup back next week if you guys are interested.

5. I'm actually typing this up on my phone while participating in a focus group on my laptop. I've gotta say, I am enjoying getting paid to sit here and eat cookies while I share my opinions about alcohol brands!

6. Confession: My desktop computer has been dead since like December, but I've only just now gotten serious about replacing it because Sims 4 comes out in September and I'll be super sad if I can't play it.

Sorcery.

7. THIS! I've yet to wear this out in public, but I've totally been doing it around my house. I'm basically a 7 year old girl trapped in a grown woman's body. Gimmie a princess dress.

8. Since it's almost midnight and I'm STILL not to 10 things, here's a sneak peek of one of the dresses I'm working on. (This is the "before" shot before I did any alterations.)

So far I've shortened it a tiny bit and taken out that first ruffle below the waist to make it sit nicer, but I have NO idea what I'm doing next! I'm pretty sure the giant neck ruffle needs to go, but I'm still experimenting. Ideas?

9. The cats have now knocked my little cilantro garden off the windowsill TWICE now. I'm a little worried about the survival of my tasty little plants!

10. I have no #10. Sorry for sucking this week you guys, I'll aim for awesomeness next week! Promise!


Bloggers Wanted- Back To School In Style Event

BTS Style Giveaway.jpg

Back to School in Style Event

Organized by: Mom Powered Media

10 Winners each receiving a $100 Gift Card

Event dates: 7/21 - 8/4

Giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents.


(Please enter that you were referred by Straight On Till Morning if you sign up!)

Not a blogger? Be sure to stop back by my blog during the giveaway dates to enter!

Trying Out Sunscreens Is Hard Work!

This spring and beginning of summer have been NUTS, you guys! I'm basically a solar powered human, so I've wanted nothing more than to go spend some time outside to soak up a little Vitamin D, but it has literally rained almost every single day since the end of April! I finally, FINALLY got a beautiful sunny day to spend out at the lake, so I totally took advantage! I grabbed the Tom Robbins memoirs I've been reading and one of the bottles of sunscreen that Coppertone sent me and found a nice quiet place to relax!

Holy white legs, Batman!


I'm lucky to live near a GIANT lake system, and the little spot I settled into with my beach towel is one of my favorites. It's all the way at the end of a park and down a little ridge, so I had plenty of quiet and could even sit with my toes in the water to keep them cool. (Although I learned pretty quickly that when a speedboat went by on the other side, it made HUGE waves and I had to grab my things and move up a few feet to avoid getting everything soaked!)

I only stayed out there for a little over half an hour, but it was exactly what I needed. There's something about sunshine and water that seems to cure just about anything, you know?

I had a fairly rough day today, but couldn't get away to relax at the lake, so I did the totally adult thing and set up a plastic kiddie pool in my back yard. (Plus, I wanted an excuse to try out the other sunscreen, which is made for the beach and pool!) I really miss Florida where even the cheapest residences have a pool, but for now this is as close as I can get!

I never realize how much I need to paint my nails until I post photos. Eep!


Both of the Coppertone Clearly Sheer formulas I tried were great - they're lightweight formulas designed not to break you out or clog your pores. Of the two I think I preferred the variety for sunny days, since its scent disappeared a lot faster. (I'm generally anti-scented things in general!) It can be worn under makeup, but I've yet to try that out. Clearly I need many more pool days for further research! Next time, I'm bringing an adult drink to my kiddie pool. That's just how I roll.

Disclosure: I received free products to try via BzzAgent, but wasn't obligated to write this post and all opinions are my own.