Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo To You!

Happy Halloween, boys and ghouls!

Kelsey from Coghills In Grenada and Kelsey Inspired did a post a couple of weeks ago about the cool Halloweeny features on Picnik, so I have to share some of the awesome vampire, zombie, and generally creepy pics I made!


This has been my FB profile pic for almost 2 weeks, and amusingly, almost nobody has noticed!





I think I make a lovely Zombie

Just generally creepy. Hey kids, I have candy in my van!

I flippin' love Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Winter Experiment

I'm going to try something different this winter.

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Since I will (hopefully, hopefully, omg hopefully) be back in Orlando way before this time next year, this will (HOPEFULLY) be my last actual winter for at least a few years. (Did my desperation to go back come through in those parentheses?)

And so, even though I HATE HATE HATE Winter...

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I am going to try to like it this year.

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I'm going to try to celebrate it.

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I have no idea how I'm going to pull this off, but I do enjoy a challenge.

No bitching and whining about cold. No groaning about the greyness and ice.


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I'm going to find something to like.

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Maybe.


Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nailed It

One of my current favorite Internet phenomenons:

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Yard Sale Scores!

One thing I miss about Orlando is that there's pretty much always something awesome going on. If I was there right now, I'd be getting geared up for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party and stuffing myself silly at Epcot's annual Food & Wine fest. The town I'm currently in doesn't even have a Starbucks, let alone many fun events, so when something to do does pop up, I get pretty excited!

Last weekend, one of the eleventy billion churches (in a town of about 2,000) had a ginormous yard sale. Friday was a regular sale, but on Saturday you could stuff as much as you wanted into a paper grocery bag for $2.


I actually forgot all about the sale on Friday, which was ok since Saturday was obviously the better day. Of course, I also then totally forgot about it for most of Friday night, so it was 4AM when I realized the sale was only from 8-12 the next day, so I decided to just stay up.

Given that my town is like 2 miles long, I only live like 5 minutes from the church, so I went over about a quarter after 8. I now kinda wish I'd been there right when they opened-- my theory had been to avoid the crazy early morning people, but now I'm kind of jealous that they got to pick over things first. (I am going to make for a really spectacular old woman someday, I already have the skills down!)

At first I poked through things a little tentatively, but after around half an hour, my bag was STUFFED and my arm was about to break off. I handed the cashier dude my $2 on the way out, drove home, dropped the bag on the kitchen table and fell asleep. (I'd been up since like 7 am the day before.) I'm embarrassed to admit my arm was actually sore from carrying the bag around, but given that it had (literally) over 20 books in it, I think that's forgiveable.

Here's what I scored for $2:


How much did I pay for this dress? Oh, you know, 6 cents. (Fo' real. When I did the math, my $2 bag came out at just over 6 cents per item. Scoooooooore.) It's one of my favorite things that I got-- it wasn't even on the racks during my first pass, but when I was making one last trip around to fill the last few inches of my bag, there it was, all shiny and new and my size!

Other snazzy finds:


I think this is almost all of the books I got. I was kinda in a hurry, so I just tossed in anything that looked like it may be interesting.

The book on the very bottom is a little blank journal type of book with decorated pages and quotes. I can never have enough books to write in, so I was pretty excited about that. Just today, though, I saw this inside the front cover:


I find it totally fascinating and a little sad that this was given as a gift in 1986, but was never written in. What led to it finally being donated to the sale? Did the recipient die, or just decide not to hang onto it anymore? Why didn't she ever write anything in it?

I also got a cute vintage purse, several scarves, like 10 shirts and a braided belt. Not bad at ALL for $2!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A-Woo-Hoo!

I have no idea why, but I've had this stuck in my head for like three days straight:



I have to admit, I miss the giant hair, but the boy sure did grow up well.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Camouflage Lingerie: Love it or hate it?

As I've mentioned about a billion times lately, EdenFantasys has added a TON of new lingerie to their inventory lately. I'm a total nerd about keeping up with new arrivals, I check pretty much every day to see what's new. One new collection has drawn a lot of attention, the Bullet Proof line by Fantasy Lingerie. There are seven different designs in the collection, and EF carries them all. Here are a few examples, so you know what I'm talking about...



\

When I'm shopping for lingerie, I usually either go for either very feminine or very sexy, so I have to admit this isn't really my style. Plus, camo and bullets make me think either hunting or war, neither of which are a turn-on for me. I do think some of the items are cute from a design perspective (the faux bullets are clever and the way the pieces are cut is mostly flattering), but none of it is something I'd actually wear.

On the other hand, some women have said they're sick of everything being in girly colors, so they like the change of pace. Others are either in the military or have partners that are, which they say draws them to it. (To me that would feel like taking work home!)

You can check out the original post that inspired my curiosity on the EdenFantasys forums here. (If you have an account, you get points for posting to the forums and voting in polls!) I'm curious what you guys think, though. Would rocking the camo print make you feel super hot? Or is it not your style? And what matters more to you, the style/shape of your clothes/lingerie, or the print on them? I'd love to hear what you think!

Also, all lingerie and costumes are currently 20% off through the 21st, and you can always save 15% on your order by entering promo code SP3 when you checkout!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Wonder Virgin Mobile is a Virgin.

I'm so frustrated, y'all. I've been without cell phone service since yesterday, all because Virgin Mobile's website was designed by a spider monkey on crack.

I usually pay my bill via PayPal, since that's how I get paid and it's where all my money is. Last month, however, I was super broke from being sick and basically not working, so I used a credit card instead. Or I thought I did. A few days later I checked my bank account and noticed it was negative $50. Virgin had charged my PayPal account anyway, instead of the card that I entered the numbers from and pushed "pay". Despite a few Twitter messages back and forth with their customer service, they eventually stopped replying, which I took to mean they really didn't care. I probably should have fought it harder, but I was sick and didn't have the energy.

So that brings us to this month. My bill was due yesterday, so I re-added my PayPal account so I could pay it. However, when I click "Pay Now", it sends me to log in again. After I log in, I click to pay, it sends me to log in, etc etc. If I click to pay from a different part of my account page, I get an error telling me to call them. ARRGH.

I hate calling anyone, so I tried talking to their customer service via Twitter again. That led to this:

VirginMobileUSA Care
@
What kind of issues are you having with the website?

Me: (lengthy explanation similar to what you just read, but in more like 280 characters.)

VirginMobileUSA Care
@
What device are you using to log into your account? Phone or PC?

Crystal Ward
@
PC, phone can't log on without service.

(I actually grabbed my phone at that point and tried to pay via the little $ icon, thinking maybe they were smart enough to leave that enabled, but it gave me the "Dude, you don't have internet when your phone doesn't have service!" message.)

VirginMobileUSA Care
@
And your web is working fine? You may want to try topping up from a PC.

Crystal Ward
@
I *am* trying to do it from a PC. I think you misread my response.

VirginMobileUSA Care
@
I'm sorry! Please email our team at (an e-mail address that amusingly ends with @sprint.com) with a screenshot of the error you are receiving.


That sounded like it would go nowhere fast, so I finally gave in and tried calling customer service. It automatically knew I needed to pay my bill, and it gave me options of credit/debit card and PayPal. I said PayPal. It gave me a lengthy speech about how snazzy it is to be able to pay via PayPal, and then told me I could do so online. WTF? "Do you want to pay with a different method now?" it asked. "NO." "Ok, I'll send you back to the main menu!"

I hung up.

It finally occurred to me that it might work if I went back to the website and clicked the "restart my month now!" option. (I have a prepaid plan, so it gives you the option to restart early if you run out of minutes.) That gave me this:

An error has occurred while processing your request

We're having some trouble. Call Virgin Mobile At Your Service and they'll help you out.


It tells me to dial *VM to contact them, but given that I have a BlackBerry, dialing *VM doesn't do anything. Smooth one, Virgin.

So, I sent them a message through the help section of their site, detailing everything out again. I got this back:

"Our team is looking at your email right now. Due to higher than normal email volume recently, we will respond to your email within 72 hours. We apologize for any inconvenience. "

a) Could you maybe be getting a large volume of emails because your website SUCKS?
b) No big deal, I'll just hang out here without phone service for 72 hours. I don't have a life or need a phone or anything.

So, in short.... BLARRGHHHHH! I use this company because it's the best rate plan I've found ($35 for unlimited texts, internet, data, etc and 300 minutes) but having to go through THIS level of crap just to pay my normal monthly bill is unacceptable, especially since they screwed me over last month.

I should probably try calling and speaking to an actual human, but I'm way too frustrated at this point and I'd probably take it out on them, so I'll wait for a while to see if I hear back from my message.

Can anyone recommend a good no contract cell phone company with BlackBerry service?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Disney Box


This is my Disney box. It's one of those big plastic storage tubs and yes, it is about 90% full of stuff.

There's a crazy mix of items from vacations and my years of working for the Mouse. There are postcards, check stubs, pins and buttons, park maps, old room keys, times guides, work newsletters, you name it.

A few random items: All Star Resort cast Christmas card, La Nouba pass, 2008 Maingate, Tomorrowland Speedway license, Test Track Fast Pass, Pleasure Island wristband from when Downtown Disney didn't suck.


Almost impossible to read now, my Tomorrowland training schedule: 6:30 AM-3 PM one day, 4:30 PM- 1AM the next. It's like their way of saying "Welcome to Disney! Oh, btw, we own you now!"

The problem is, I have no idea what to DO with all this stuff. As cool and full of memories as it is, what good is it doing sitting in a box? I feel like there has to be SOMETHING better to do with all of it.

Ideas?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

5 Random Things

I have a lot of posts in my head that I want to write, but I haven't really slept in about 3 days, so here's some quick random catching up!


1. Poor BonoCat finally got neutered yesterday! He's doing great, but seems to be feeling a little violated. He's been spending a lot of time curled up in my lap hiding.

2. EdenFantasys has started carrying dresses! This one will be showing up at my house today:

I'm too frickin' excited about it to even wait for my next EF post, I had to freak out here.

3. In honor of the 20th anniversary of U2's Achtung Baby (and the accompanying 20th anniversary remaster & documentary) there's a cd of covers coming out. At first I was pretty frickin' excited, because there are some pretty snazzy artists. Here's the list:

Nine Inch Nails - Zoo Station
U2 (Jacques Lu Cont Mix) - Even Better Than The Real Thing
Damien Rice - One
Patti Smith - Until The End Of The World
Garbage - Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
Depeche Mode - So Cruel
Snow Patrol - Mysterious Ways
The Fray - Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World
Gavin Friday - The Fly
The Killers - Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
Glasvegas - Acrobat
Jack White - Love Is Blindness

The thing is, BBC radio (I think) played the Jack White cover of Love is Blindness a couple of days ago, so of course it ended up on the internet like 5 seconds later. I was actually pretty excited for that one, since I like Jack in general and since he's known for his distorted guitar sound, I thought he could do the solo parts some justice. I ended up HATING it. The whole magic of the original is the contrast between the lyric, which is delivered in a sort of hollow, empty way to a kind of funereal background sound, and this amazing guitar solo that I look at as sort of a flashback of the relationship falling apart. Jack *screams* the lyrics, full of rage and angst and all that, which totally goes against the nature of the song. I won't get into all the geekyness behind my dislike of it (already did that with the other nerds) but in short, I'm worried about the rest of the album now. I just know that if The Killers screw up Ultraviolet, I will never, ever forgive them. I am really curious to see what NIN does with Zoo Station, though. I guess I just hope there are a couple of awesome covers that come out of this.

4. I got some awesome stuff at a church yard sale over the weekend- they had a "stuff a bag of stuff for $2" and I ended up with like 20 books, several shirts and 2 dresses. Photos and an actual post coming soon! I also need to tell you guys the story of Katie, the dog flowers and the rooted washer, but that really deserves its own post.

5. This is weird, but I am super-curious: What did you have for dinner last night? I almost *never* make real food, so the concept that some people actually cook screws with my head. Did you have Pringles for dinner, too? Fill me in.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Halloween costume procured! I'm so ahead of schedule!

You guys already know that I'm obsessed with Halloween costumes. I'm a firm believer that there should be a holiday you get to dress up for at least 4 times a year. Picking out a costume is almost like a more fun version of answering the age-old "What do I want to be when I grow up?" question.

Yandy.com was awesome enough to let me pick out a costume to review, and let me tell you, it was a TOUGH choice! They have hundreds of choices in just about every category you can think of. I spent almost 2 hours looking through everything before I could make a choice!

Here are a few that I didn't pick that I thought were super cute:

Tribal Trouble Costume
I came SO CLOSE to picking this one! I'm part Cherokee, so I could totally rock it, right? This is totally on my wishlist now.


Sexy Rosie The Maid Costume
I think this Jetsons-inspired Rosie the Maid costume is so cute and clever!

Christmas Story Leg Lamp Costume
I also thought the Christmas Story Leg Lamp costume was hilarious. Plus, you could instantly know to start shunning any of your friends who didn't get the joke.

I was also REALLY impressed with their selection of plus size costumes, they have almost 300! It's so rare to find a site that offers SEXY plus-sized options! Plus, they show all of them on actual plus-sized models, so you get a much better idea of what it might look like on. Even though I shop in the "standard" size category, I found the plus size photos really helpful since I'm super curvy!

A few of the plus size options:

Plus Size Dark Alice CostumePlus Size Referee CostumePlus Size Wicked Queen CostumePlus Size Red Riding Hood Costume


One of my FAVORITE features of the site is that a lot of the costume's pages have not just photos, but videos! Anyone who has ever ordered something online and been totally surprised when it looked nothing like the photo can totally appreciate the chance to see a costume in something other than the perfectly-lit photo the manufacturer supplies! Actually seeing how a costume moves and looks at all angles helps so much!



On top of everything else, Yandy even has their own line of unique Halloween costumes that you won't find anywhere else!

So, what did I end up picking?

Reversible Officer to Sailor Costume

After a lot of debate, I went with this Reversible Officer to Sailor Costume by Dreamgirl. I just couldn't pass up a reversible corset and a tutu, especially since it came with TWO hats! Something like this is perfect if you have more than one Halloween party to go to and don't want to wear the same thing, but don't want to have to buy two costumes, either!

It isn't 100% how I imagined it from the photos, but it is still really cute! Here's a breakdown of some of the good and bad, and some tips on fit!

Pros:
*Packaging- The costume arrives in a sturdy plastic bag that has snaps and a hanger, so you can use it to store the costume in your closet if you want. Handy for a costume that has so many pieces!


*Reversible! Sometimes when something claims to be reversible, you get one good side and one that just barely passes as wearable. That's not the case here, you really can wear the bustier on either side without being able to tell it has another side!

(blue side is w/ a bra underneath, an experiment that didn't work that well)

*Removable Bra-type straps- You can choose to wear this strapless or attach the included adjustable straps.

*Lace-up back- Not only is this super sexy, but since it laces both from the top down and the bottom up (with both sets of laces meeting in the middle), you can adjust how it fits your top and bottom halves separately.



*Since you have both the lace-up back and a hook and eye closure in the front, once you get the laces adjusted how you want them, you can pretty much just leave them like that and get in and out of the corset via the hooks.

*Even though the corset is different from what I expected, it's really pretty! It is well constructed and should hold up fairly well through quite a few uses.

*From the photo, I thought the little anchor decal was permanantly attached to the corset, but in reality both it and the police badge are pins that you can choose to wear or not. Since you can wear the bustier plain, I can totally see being able to wear this out as a regular top when it's not Halloween!


The police badge is plastic and quite sturdy. It looks gold in the official pic, but it's very silver. It's a really nice quality accessory! The anchor pin is made from tiny sequins on white fabric. It's cute, but if you look closely the fabric looks almost like a paper towel. Still, it's a cute addition to the sailor side of the costume.


*Stretchy skirt waistband- A thick elastic waistband on the skirt makes this both really comfy and easy to fit to a variety of sizes. It measures 16" across when laid flat, and comfortably stretches to about 23" across.

*The back half of the bustier is made of stretchy fabric, making this even easier to fit different shapes.

*A navy blue bow on a pin is also included. In the photo, it is shown worn at the center of the bust of the white side of the corset, but you could really wear it on either side, wherever you want. One nice thing about wearing it on the white side is that it helps to cover the hooks and gap where the corset hooks up (see cons.)

Cons:
*Most corsets have what's refered to as a "privacy panel" if they have a hook-and-eye closure- it's a little strip of fabric that sits behind the hooks so your bare skin doesn't show through there. Since this is reversible, there isn't one, so there's a bit of a gap where you can see your stomach in the front of the bustier. You could probably attach some ribbon inside to cover the skin if this bothers you.

*The hooks are fairly hidden on the blue side, but when you flip to the white side they're very easy to see.

*Because the boning of the corset continues up over the bust area, it can flatten out your boobs a bit. Since the corset was a little big on me in the chest, it didn't offer any bust support, either.

*Skirt is super see-through and short! You are definitely going to need some shorts or another skirt under this! Here you can see my hand through the 4 layers of fluffy net fabric:


I will definitely need to wear some booty shorts or something under this, because a lot of my butt sticks out, even with it worn low. Keep in mind that I'm 5'11", though, so the length probably won't be quite so drastically short on someone of a more average height.

*You'll probably have room to wear a bra under this, but I found that since it's so low cut in the back, my bra band totally stuck out over the top. If this came up a few inches higher in the back, it would be much easier to wear a bra! I'm going to try to find some of those stick-on bra cups to wear underneath.


Other Misc. Notes:
*The fabric of the bustier is different than I expected, it's thinner and shinier than it looked to me in the photo. I think I was expecting something more cotton-polyester, but this is more satiny.

*The cop hat is adjustable but really hard to wear in a flattering way. I'm not even sure it's possible, actually...


*The sailor hat, on the other hand, is pretty cute!

Sizing:
I'm a little bit surprised that this ended up being a bit large on me. I'm not sure that it's big enough that I should have gone a size down, but I could definitely gain a few pounds and still fit with no problem.

There's a super handy size chart on DreamGirl's site, as well as a drop-down one on Yandy. I'm a bit smaller than most of the measurements for the size I ordered (XL), but I generally order up because I'm about 90% boobs, so I need a top that will fit. Almost any shirt or lingerie I buy is usually too small in the bust but fine everywhere else, or fits in the bust and is giant everywhere else. Oddly, this was the opposite! It's a little roomy in the bust, and fits great throughout the torso. Unfortunately since this is a little large on me, I have to wear it laced up as tight as possible, so I can't take it in anymore on top to help the fit there. It would probably be easy to just pick up some of those stick-on bra cup things to wear underneath to help with shape and lift.

Unless you're quite busty, I'd suggest ordering down a size if you're on the border of two sizes, especially since you have lots of extra ribbon to make the lacing wider in the back.

The skirt is a great fit- I can wear it down around my hips (where it is intended to be worn) very comfortably.

The size chart suggests the XL for sizes 14-16. I generally wear an 11/12, so the size chart was probably pretty spot-on.

Overall, I'd give this costume 4 out of 5 stars! You get a lot of pieces for the price, and everything included is pretty nice quality. You can use this in the bedroom, wear it out for costume parties and even work some of the pieces into your everyday wardrobe. Most of the problems that I had with the costume (see-through skirt, gap in the front of the corset) are pretty easy fixes, so I'd almost bump this up to 4.5 stars!

Huge thanks to Yandy for hooking me up with this great costume! I was really impressed with their selection and hope I can work with them again in the future!

Have you picked out a costume for this year yet, if you're dressing up?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

New Lingerie Overload!

Y'all, my EdenFantasys wishlist runneth over. I've already ordered a bunch of new stuff, but they keep adding like 10 new things every day and I can't keep up! Here are a few things that have jumped to the top of my wish list:

Lace back chemise - Chemise
Lace Back Chemise

I've blogged about how obsessed I am with my other Coquette chemise, so I pretty much died when I saw this new one! As it if isn't fall-over dead sexy from the pic above, check out the back!


I need this like yesterday! I'm kinda obsessed. It's so rare to find something that is both super-sexy to wear with a partner but also modest and comfy enough that you could wear whenever.

Polka dot mesh chemise - Chemise
Polka Dot Mesh Chemise

I know, I'm on a chemise kick! But seriously, I'm so in love with the 2 I already have from Coquette, and the more awesome ones I have, the less often I have to do laundry! (These are generally hand wash only.) This reminds me a lot of the Polka Dot Mesh Corset I have, also from Coquette. I love the ruffles on the bra cups, and check out the back!


TOO cute. I think this one ranks just under the first one on my "need it now!" list. I'll probably end up getting both in my next order, unless something even more awesome comes out in the next few days! (Totally possible with how much new stuff they've been adding!)

Are you into this kind of lingerie, or are you a hang out in sweatpants and a tee kind of girl?

Disclosure: I will be provided with a gift card as compensation for this post.

Whoa.

I was just thinking about something from when I was a kid, and just realized how odd it seems now.

I was put in the Gifted program in 4th grade, and it was set up where everyone in the group in our grade left our regular classes for about half the day once a week and went to that classroom instead. The classroom we went to was in the nearby elementary school- If I remember right (and seriously, who even knows since it's been like 20 years!) it was only a 5-10 minute walk, and the 5 or 6 of us all walked together, but still! Can you imagine a school now letting a bunch of 10 year olds walk that by themselves?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Kitty Crack!

I did a giveaway for catnip toys from Hazen's Attic earlier this year, and my cat Jasper is still totally obsessed with his toy.



He finally managed to chew a hole in it- I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner! He seriously plays with that thing EVERY day, and as you can see, he's not gentle!!

I'm ordering him a set of 3 of the new Halloween-print ones so that we're all set for a while!

Halloween Print Jumbo Cat Sac
SO CUTE!

Are your cats hooked on catnip? Or are they like my other cats, who prefer to decapitate fuzzy toy mice?

We Want To Know Wednesday

I don't do "whatever on whatever day" type of posts that often, but I have serious blogger's blog this week, so here we go!


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Hosted by Mamarazzi and Queso

1. If you had an extra hour to do ANYTHING for yourself each day what would you do?
SLEEP! I never get enough!

2. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night Owl

I am soooo anti-morning! If left to my own devices, my sort of "natural" sleep schedule keeps me up till around 5am.

truth


3. How much sleep do you get on an average night?
Usually 3-5 hours. This is what happens when you have cats, and can't fall back asleep once you've been woken up.

4. When do you find the time to blog/surf the ol' interweb?
Um, constantly?

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5. What is the ONE thing you're never too busy for?
Live music! I will fit a good concert into even the busiest schedule. There are plenty of times I've been out till like 3 when I had to be up at 7 to teach a class the next morning. Rock > Sleep.