Thursday, December 30, 2010

another year over, a new one just begun

I am joining all the other bloggers out there and doing my 2010 Review. I apologize for it being super text heavy. This year went by so fast! I can still vividly remember New Year's last year, and now it is time to do it all over again. I feel like time just goes by faster every year. I hope 2011 slows down a little! But not too much. I have a lot to look forward to in my future and I do hate waiting. So slow down, but just a teensie bit, okay 2011? Thanks a billion, hugs and kisses, Katrina.

So anyway, without further ado, here's a tiny little nugget of goodies from 2010:

January: Boyfriend & I had New Years' at our apartment. My BFF Jamie came over as well as a couple of my other friends. It was a nice night with a small crowd. We played games and taped the ball dropping so we could have multiple New Years, haha.

February: I can find no evidence that anything happened at all in February. Except for that second picture. February was clearly a concerning month for me. February was also the month sparkle is a color (this here blog!) was born! But other than that, nothing at all happened.

March: March is the month of my birth! It is a momentous month. For my birthday this year I was in glasses as I was preparing for my Lasik surgery. I wasn't happy about it. I also went to my first ever Bruins game in March! I had fun and can't wait to go again this year (hint hint Boyfriend!)

April: April is when I got my hot little hands on my very first Sam Summer of the year! In these here parts, once Sam Summer is available it's the end of winter. Punxsutawny who? Sam Adams controls the seasons here in Boston. I also took my very first outfit picture in April! It's atrocious. Oh and I got my eyes lasered! Best thing I have ever spent money on.

May: May is Myrtle Beach month! Jamie joined Boyfriend and I this year. We went on a helicopter ride while we were there which was AH-MAZING. I want a helicopter that I can take everywhere: "Wanna go out? I'll be right by in my chopper." I also started dieting as soon as I got home from Myrtle.

June: June is when I first started noticing my weight loss. I was maybe 8-10lbs down in the picture of Jamie and I (second row, third from left) and that was the first picture I really felt thinner in. That was an awesome night all around. Jamie and I wanted to go out, but couldn't decide what to do. We went from Gloucester to Lynn that night and everywhere in between, finally ending up at a bar with a bunch of good people, where it just so happened to be 80's night. Success.

July: Ah, summer. We had awesome weather here in New England this summer. I was at the beach almost every weekend. For fourth of July I just watched some fireworks in Beverly with Jamie and her sister, as is our custom.  This is also Jamie's birthday month! I think we had a BBQ at her house, as is custom.  Oh and I finally got my watermelon ale from Beerworks. Yum! (I have a thing for seasonal beers, okay?!)

August: August is when Boyfriend's birthday is, so we had a nice day out in Boston to celebrate. I took the day off work and we went to the Sam Adams brewery and had lunch at a swanky restaurant, since it also just happened to be restaurant week. Jamie, Boyfriend, and I (the three of us are kind of a team. We don't do much alone. It's super adorable.) went to my family's cottage in Gloucester for a night. They got a big kick out of all the random knick-knacks. We BBQ'd, laughed hysterically over board games, and enjoyed an afternoon at the beach. I can't wait to do it again this year.

September: I always love September, because although January is the real start of the new year, September always feels like a new beginning to me. Probably due to going to school for sixteen years. No, wait...EIGHTEEN YEARS. Good golly. Anyway, I got to break out my beloved Minnetonka's again! Boyfriend and I also climbed a mountain. Sigh. Fine. He'll only get mad if I don't point out that HE climbed to the top, and I stopped ALMOST at the top because I decided the top was over-rated. I maintain this opinion. Every so often, when we are sitting silently enjoying each other's company, he likes to say "Hey, remember that time you almost climbed a mountain?" Then I kick him.

October: October was a lovely time of the year for foliage. We had some great foliage this year. I went to Concord, MA with my family and out to the western part of the state for some fall adventures. I was a cat for Halloween. Boyfriend and I moved out of our apartment and back with our parents to save money. Bummer, but for the best.

November: DISNEY and HARRY POTTER. Need I say more? Also: Thanksgiving. I had three Thanksgiving dinners this year. Two involved fried turkey. One involved delicious ham. All three involved amazing people.

December: I went to Foxwoods and chipped my tooth. I cut bangs in my hair! We had our first New England blizzard with two feet of snow. Christmas was so super-duper amazing. Now it's time to get ready for 2011! Come on, hit me with your best shot New Years!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas eve

Soo I'm a little behind getting these up here. Oh well. I don't actually have any pictures from the holiday celebrations because my family seriously freaks out if anyone brings out a camera anywhere near them. It's my brother's fault; he takes great pleasure in capturing people at their worst.

My mom was my photographer on this day. She snapped a few pictures as we were (literally) running out the door to head to Grammy and Grampy's. She did okay! I am in the shots and I am in focus. That's saying a lot about her. Photography is not her strong suit. Thanks Mom!

[dress - French Connection/belt - TJMaxx/tights - Filene's Basement/boots - Seychelles/snowflake necklace - unknown gift]

I seriously look the same in all of these pictures. I just change which hand I put on my hip, haha. Clearly I was feeling uninspired. And nervous about what Mom was doing with my camera. My Rebel is still out of commission. My Dad is going to take it into a shop to be fixed sometime soon, thank goodness. Though the best situation ever is when my brother is home and agrees to take my pictures. He won't travel farther than the backyard to snap them, but he does a good job.  As soon as the Rebel is back I'll have to get Boyfriend on the job more often.

Work today started off good, then progressively got worse. I feel like I'm just in a funk because of the holidays. This week and last week were both short weeks and it's just been hard for me to get into working. I feel like these aren't "real weeks." Anyone else having that problem? Next week is the new year, so hopefully that will make something click and I'll be more focused.

I've been feeling kind of bummed out about my weight lately. Obviously the holidays were rough with all the eating and yummy things around, but I'm also finding it hard to get back on track. Though today hasn't been too bad. I did just eat a chocolate covered pretzel though. Like, a big one. Oops. But I'm going to yoga later! Maybe that will burn off the pretzel.

I just feel like last spring, when I decided to really focus on losing weight, I was really motivated and doing so well. Then I just kind of lost that motivation. And while I haven't gained any weight back, I'm at a stand still and can't find the oomph I need to get myself going again. I keep telling myself it's because it is winter, and once spring rolls around I'll want to eat more fruits and veggies and it will be easier. But dammit, I want to be at my goal by spring! Maybe my motivation for dieting will kick into gear next week too, haha.

Okay, that's enough whining from me. I'm just going to sit here, listen to some Bon Iver, and edit pictures for tomorrow's post. And play Frontierville. Yes, I have a Facebook Frontier. Don't judge! ;P

fun with words

This is too funny not to share:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

what i'm reading: sellevision

I've been thinking about doing a little something like this for awhile, and I had a delightful snow day yesterday and started a new book, so here is my new pet project!

I thought it might be kind of fun to share with you guys what I happen to be reading. Then you guys can share what you're reading, or let me know if you've read the book I'm reading and tell me what you thought. I'm always looking for book recommendations, so those are always welcome too!

My first book up is Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs. I've read a bunch of Burroughs' other books, if not all of them. The others I've read are his memoirs, which are laugh out loud hilarious. This one is a novel, and I'm about half way through right now and while it's not quite as hilarious as his memoirs, I've enjoyed it so far.

Have you guys read this one? Like Augusten Burroughs? Have any similar recommendations? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email!

*Note: I am a really fast reader, and from the time I began this post yesterday afternoon to tonight when I finished it...I finished this book. Stay tuned for my next choice! I'll probably wait until next week to post it though.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

it's a blizzard out there!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! I didn't take very many pictures since I was too busy eating, eating and more eating. Yikes. It was worth it though. It's the holidays after all! These are from early last week when we had a little bit of snow.

Of course, this is NOTHING compared to what is going on outside my window right now. New England is in for its first blizzard tonight! The snow is already coming down pretty quickly out there, and it is only supposed to get worse. I am snuggled up at home in my pajamas with new books and movies to keep me occupied.

What is everyone's favorite gift they got for Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, whatever) this year? I got a pair of Hunter rainboots which were a "surprise gift" (aka I didn't ask for them or pick them out) and I was soooo excited! I got fleece liners for them too so they'll be perfect when I have to dig out tomorrow.

Boyfriend got my the black Ray Bans I wanted oh so badly, and since he has a pair, we're twins now, hehe. I also got The Pioneer Woman Cookbook! Love it so much. Can't wait to cook lots of yummy meals for Boyfriend and my family (and you too Biffy!).

[hat - ?/coat - H&M/lace tee - Madewell/red scarf - Pier One/jeans - Gap/boots - Old Navy/cardigan - H&M]

I got so many wonderful gifts this year. I'm such a lucky girl. It's been a really great weekend with family too. They are a bunch of nutballs, this family of mine. Everyone was at our house literally all day yesterday, eating and laughing and playing games and eating. And drinking all the alcohol in the house. Which is probably why things were so loud and there was so much laughing. Either way, it was a great Christmas.

Okay, going back to putting away my Christmas things and having myself a mini spa night! Stay warm kiddos!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

haul out the holly

Christmas is so close you guys! I can't wait. I don't have to work the rest of the week and we got out an hour early today. We also FINALLY got some snow around here, which you got a little glimpse of in one of my last posts. There are some light flurries right now and there may or may not be a huge storm later this weekend. I hope it is ginormous and I get work off.

Do my bangs make my cheeks look extra large? I feel like they might. Sometimes they don't, but then in pictures I think they totally do. Oh well, nothing I can do now. My face is probably just puffy because I've been eating so horribly lately. I can't wait for the holidays to be over so I can get back on track. I've pretty much given up the past couple weeks since I've been so busy. Once things slow down I'll re-commit, but no sense torturing myself this time of year. I want to enjoy the holidays!

[sweater - H&M/dress - Forever 21/booties - Forever 21/necklace - Forever 21]

I really like this sweater, but I'm not completely sold on how it fits me. Heavy knit + large chest + top heavy girl. It's just so darn comfy and cozy! I bought it since I've been looking for a cozy cropped sweater to wear over dresses. This shorter length is perfect for this, since it hits right at my waist and doesn't cut me off in a weird place. In the store they had it on a mannequin layered over a button up. I think I'll try it like that next.

I'm so obsessed with these booties. I have been hemming and hawing over whether or not I wanted a pair of desert boots, and I tried on a pair at DSW awhile ago but just couldn't decide if I'd wear them enough to justify the price. When I spied these at F21 I knew they had to be mine. I figured they were cheap enough ($25!) that if I didn't get that much use out of them I wouldn't be too upset. Turns out I've worn them pretty much every day since I got them. They look super adorbs with cuffed skinnies and cute socks peaking out. They're also really comfortable for a $25 shoe from F21. Yay booties!

Three more sleeps til Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

winter wonderland?

We finally had our first snow of the season here in New England. In typical New England fashion, they predicted a dusting and we ended up with three inches. Not that three inches is anything, but it sure isn't a dusting. One of my co-workers is from Virginia and I think this is her first winter as a New Englander. She was saying yesterday afternoon how she's heard all about these New England winters and the snow and how she was beginning to think we were all lying.

I'll have to ask her how her walk to the train station after work yesterday was.

My cubicle is so secluded from the outside world, I had no idea it was even snowing until I left the building yesterday. On my way out someone was saying to me how people always forget how to drive the first time it snows and there would probably be a lot of accidents out there. She wished me luck driving home. I gave her a look like she was crazy, since the last time I looked outside there were like, two flakes on the ground. Then I stepped outside. And cried a little. And got out my Sno Brum.

The driving wasn't terrible, but people were crawling along the highway like idiots. There was a lot of road gunk flying up on my windshield and my windshield wiper fluid was frozen. So this morning, when I couldn't see through the road spit congealing on my windshield, I said to myself,  "Self, you know how to put windshield wiper fluid in your car because you are A Modern Woman. Why don't you stop at the gas station and buy some so you can see and don't crash and die?" So that's exactly what I did. Only I couldn't get the hood of my car open. I know how to pop it, but I couldn't find that damn latch to open it all the way. It wasn't where I thought it would be (aka, in the correct location). Then my fingers got cold. And I have grease under my fingernail. And the not very kind Samaritan in the big pickup truck next to me didn't offer to help. So I said "Screw this!" chucked the bottle of windshield wiper fluid in the car, and drove off with zero visibility.

I figure I can try again after work. Or lurk in the parking lot looking distressed until someone helps me. This Modern Woman would rather be a Trophy Wife.

once upon a december

[top to bottom: first snow | champagne on ice | rock 'n roll | date night | first ever sushi | mgm grand | winning outfit | new fringe | ftw! | cozy cardi | rock 'em sock 'em | sandy shuffle board. all photos by myself or boyfriend taken on an iPhone 4 edited using camerabag app]

Friday, December 17, 2010

i got the budget blues

I feel like I've probably addressed this before on this blog, but I am addressing it again - more so for myself than anyone else. So if you don't want to read about my monetary woes and the new budget I am strictly enforcing for myself, then you'd better just leave right now. Go on, scram.

Okay, all the budget haters gone? Good. Let's proceed.

I recently got a raise at work, which was really exciting because obviously this meant I'd have more money. Then I got to thinking about what I wanted to do with that money. I know that, more than anything else, I want to buy a house. I don't like renting - the idea of giving my money away and not owning anything in return bothers me. Especially when it comes to something as personal as your home. However, I am nowhere near being able to afford a house, and definitely not on my own. Boyfriend and I would be buying a house together, but even then we'd both have to save for quite some time in order to even afford a down payment on something decent. Sadly, we live in a part of the country where your money just doesn't go very far when it comes to buying a house. I know whatever we buy will have to be a fixer-upper, but even then we can barely afford a run down old shack! I know we'll find something perfect for us when the time comes to begin looking...but we'll never be able to start looking without some money in the bank first!

So I am imposing a  budget on myself. Obviously there's nothing I can do about bills that have to be paid, so after factoring those out of my income, this is the budget I am allowing myself [*Note! I live at home currently, so that is why I have so much money kicking around]:

Shopping: $200/month
(clothes, accessories, etc.)
Entertainment: $100/month
(movies, food, etc.)
Emergency Fund: $50/month
(as in, extra pocket money, this is not for medical emergencies or any kind of real crisis)

This may seem insanely generous. I know there are people out there way better than me when it comes to spending and saving, but I am just not very good. I am decent with saving money - as in, I have a savings account and I contribute to it as often as I can - but I also feel no remorse about dipping into it to buy a new pair of shoes or something. Also, the AmEx bill has got to go. To be honest, I probably spend a lot more than $200 a month on clothes and stuff. And I don't need clothes! I have plenty! I am going to embrace the art of the remix. I am also going to try to spend my clothing allowance on better quality things. I will not be blowing it all at Forever 21. I think I may even have a specific store or brand I will spend the $200 each month. Heck, some months I may decide not to buy anything at all!

I'm going to have a spreadsheet at home where I keep track of every penny I spent on anything that isn't a bill. As soon as I hit that $200 mark, I'm finished.

The $100 entertainment fund will be spent on going out to dinner, grabbing drinks, the movies...anything like that. That's plenty, I think. Because you know what's fun and free? Hanging out at home playing board games and watching movies with your best friend.

The $50 emergency fund is money that I will keep in cash, in an envelope, at my house. If an impromptu diner comes up and I've spent my entertainment fund - I'll have that to dip into. If there's an article of clothing THAT I WILL DIE WITHOUT - I'll dip into the envelope. I figure I won't need to do this every month, so the money in the envelope will eventually add up. Then I can use it on weekends away or something.

Fingers crossed, this will allow me to save a big hunk of cash every month! This all sounds so lovely and logical written out, doesn't it? now let's just see if I can manage to put my words into action...wish me luck!

Now it's your turn. Are you on a budget? How's it working out for you? Do you have a shopping addiction like me? How do you keep yourself from going all Becky Bloomwood every time you step into a store? Leave a comment or shoot me an email.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

o holy knight

Damn, the Kardashians outdid me with their Christmas card AGAIN this year.

Kardashian Khristmas:

Katrina Khristmas:

[Kardashian picture via Oh No They Didn't! My card was created using Snapfish]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

oh well, whatever, never mind

You know the holidays are getting closer when your days get busier and busier. I'm pretty sure I'm all finished on the gift front, but I always get nervous that I forgot something. Plus my boss decided yesterday, after I'd already left work for the day, that tomorrow we'd be having a pot luck lunch and a Yankee swap. Nothing like the last minute. I had to skip the gym tonight in favor of an at home work out just so I'd have time to make cookies and buy a gift.

I had to take pictures in my garage the other day since by the time I was done with all my errands and whatnot after work it was dark.  But I really liked this outfit so I wanted to capture it. I think I'm going to have to stop wearing cute outfits that I want to take pictures of during the week, haha. I just don't have time to take the pictures before it gets dark!

Today at work I was perusing all the Pioneer Woman recipes and drooling everywhere. It all looks so good! I wish I'd put the Pioneer Woman cookbook on my Christmas list. Oh well, maybe I'll treat myself to it this weekend. I like to cook more in the winter. I feel like I'm holed up inside anyway, might as well be eating something delicious, right? Tonight I'm making pizzelles for the pot luck tomorrow. I have all the ingredients on hand and they're super quick and easy. Maybe I'll do a cooking post on them. 

[corduroy blazer - H&M/scarf - H&M/t-shirt - American Eagle/jeans - Gap/booties - Payless]

I'm super duper excited for this weekend! I spent a good amount of time last night putting on prospective Foxwoods outfits and parading around my house for Boyfriend and my mom. After a lot of trial and error we managed to decide on an outfit. It's hot. I love it. I'm sure there will be pictures to share next week.

Also, I keep forgetting to mention it, but I was featured on the super adorable Amanda's blog! She was nice enough to extend the invitation out to anyone who wanted to be featured and I'm in her fifth installment of Hello Blogosphere! Thanks again Amanda! Be sure to head over there and read my goofy little interview as well as check out some other rock solid bloggers.

Monday, December 13, 2010

a carpenters kind of monday

Okay, I'm debuting my new look! It's bangs, in case you couldn't tell. I got my hair cut on Thursday and I went in wanting longer, side swept bangs, but I wanted them to be heavy looking, Keiko Lynn style. Somehow, I ended up with blunt bangs like this. But I like them! I was worried, because I had a traumatic bang experience a couple years ago, but these are so much better. It was so strange looking at myself at first. It's funny how something as small seeming as bangs can change how you look so much. Now that I'm used to it I really like them. I'll probably leave them as is for a few months then start to grow them out as spring gets closer. I can't handle bangs in the summer - I'd be in a constant battle with the humidity.

I had the best weekend. I didn't even do anything super fabulous, but to be honest, super-fabulous things don't usually make a good weekend for me. Saturday I wrapped all the gifts I have bought so far and cleaned my room somewhat. Then Boyfriend and I went to the Cape Ann Brewery to get another Christmas gift and have some beer and play shuffleboard. I decided when we're old we'll be that old couple that goes on a million cruises and just sits outside playing shuffleboard with our brown leathery skin, haha.

Saturday night we grabbed some dinner and headed home to snuggle on the couch with hot chocolate spiked with Godiva liquor and watch A Muppet Christmas Carol! That's my idea of the perfect night right there. What can I say? I'm pretty low maintenance. Plus, A Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas movie, ever.

Sunday morning Boyfriend and I woke up really, really early. Like 6:30am early. We had no idea why (well I was having a scary dream about fighting with a cashier over money at Best Buy and then followed by a creepy guy when I got lost wandering away from Best Buy...don't ask.) So we figured since we were up we should go out to breakfast! Two weekends in a row! We're on a breakfast roll (we're on a croissant?). We headed to Red's in Salem. It was delicious. Best pancake I have ever had. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Yummm. That's where we got these pictures - in an alley across from Red's. This is the old Salem Town Hall. It was so quiet with no one around. Granted, it was about 8am, but it was nice.
[trench - H&M/leggings - aerie/boots - Rocket Dog/bag - B. Makowsky]

And then, after all that breakfast goodness, I went to Boyfriend's parent's new place and helped him get his room set up. He has an awesome room on the top floor of their condo and he has four huge built in cabinets for his closets. I honestly enjoyed organizing all his clothes in there, haha. I spent the rest of the day vegetating. A perfect rainy Sunday.

Next weekend I'm off to Foxwoods for a girl's weekend! I'm so excited. I have a few sassy outfits styled up that I have to choose from. Then after that there's a nice short work week and then Christmas! I can't wait!


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