Just two weeks and two days after my husband’s birthday, comes MINE (Joel is two years, two weeks, and two days older than me)! Since turning 28 isn’t as big of a deal as turning 30, I recycled Joel’s balloons instead of getting my own with the correct numbers… You get the idea though: TODAY’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!
I have a tendency to make way too big of a deal out of my birthday (I went to New Orleans last year and had this party the year before), and this year is no different. We’re heading to sunny Florida for the weekend, which is perfect timing because it’s supposed to snow in PGH on Saturday. BYEEEEE.
While we’re on the subject of birthdays, I guess I should wish a very happy one to my Uncle David, Nikki Minaj, and my very own twin sister, Bessie. Hope y’all have birthdays for the books!
There comes a time in many a woman’s life where she contemplates getting bangs. I have found myself, once again, at this particular crossroads. To bang, or not to bang, that is the question…
Long story short: I banged. I banged harder than a Ricky Martin song. This is my life now. I have bangs.
A couple years ago, I used some scissors from my BFF’s craft room and cut my own bangs, which my cousin fixed the next day. I liked my straight across, blunt, Zooey Deschanel bangs, but opted for Sienna Miller curtain bangs this time around. Some more bangin’ inspiration:
On Saturday afternoon, I was sitting in the chair at my salon and right as my stylist was lifting his shears, I panicked and awkwardly seconded guessed all of the choices I’d made in my life that lead me to think that bangs were a good idea. He then gave me a look that said “get your shit together/ hair grows, dummy/there are more important things happening in the world to think and worry about other than your hair”.
Did I regret my decision to get bangs? Oh, immediately. But I have since gone through the five stages of grief that I always go through when I cut my hair:
denial “oh no I DID NOT just get bangs”
anger “EFF THESE BANGS! I HATE THEM!”
bargaining “okay okay I’ll pay you double if you can glue that hair on the floor back onto my head”
IDK about you, but I am definitely an advocate for wearing pajamas in public places. I’ve been known to go to the movie theatre in an American Flag print nightgown (worn as a dress, obviously) and I’ve graced quite a few strangers at the grocery store with the presence of my Darth Vader boxer briefs (I originally bought them for my husband, but kept them for myself). Since it can be annoyingly difficult to find “dressy” clothing that can hold a candle to the comfort of sleep clothes, I decided to test drive wearing a bathrobe in lieu of a jacket to see if I could get away with it.
Long story short: If you looked up “pulling it off” in the dictionary, you’d probably find these photos.
Speaking of bathrobes, when we were getting ready for Paris back in September, I ordered this beautiful floral kimono to wear around the city of lights. When I opened the package from my online purchase, Joel said “ohhh that’s a pretty bathrobe” and that’s part of where the inspiration for this post came from. Bathrobes (and bathrobe inspired kimonos) are, like, so IN this season.
Confidence is key to wearing pajamas in public. Just try not to accessorize with a shower cap and/or bunny slippers and you’ll be golden.
Anyone who comes from a family with multiple kids knows that the relationships between siblings can be, well, complex… Especially with sisters. Feelings toward sisters are notoriously contradictory; we tend to love/hate each other more than brothers. I should know, I have three. Even though I have a twin, whom I love dearly, I’ve always been the closest with my oldest sister, Annie.
Annie is the most narcissistic, pretentious, sarcastic, moody, goofy, and hilarious person I know. She may not be particularly nice to your face, but she has that low-key kindness that only truly good human beings possess. Even though we have similar long, messy blond hair (hers is natural, mine not so much), we couldn’t be more different. I am honored that she has graced my blog with her presence as my next Woman Of The Hour…
Describe your style in 1-5 words.
Dolly Parton is my spirit animal??? Not that flashy but when I do get dressed up, I like to channel the queen of country. I’ve also described my style to others as “Lesbian Trucker with a Feminine Side”.
Who is your style icon? I have a few icons- Bridget Bardot, Debbie Harry, The Olsen Twins, Alexa Chung, Aleksandra Zee, and Blake Lively.
What is your best feature? My thick af hair and some would also mention dat ass. [best hair and best butt and best hairy butt i’ve ever seen]
What beauty product can you not live without? Mascara and a good moisturizer!
If you were an inanimate object, what would you be? Probably a cast iron skillet.
What is your Myers Briggs score? It’s funny I used to be an ENFJ when I was younger. Now I am a solid INFJ. Definitely cherishing my alone time as an adult. [emphasis on the J]
What was your first aol screen name? motorcycleAC [this is because Annie once asked someone if motorcycles have air conditioning…]
Are you currently binge watching anything, Netflix or otherwise? Not really binge watching anythings rn. There is a new Netflix series with Michelle Dockery that I will probably watch. I am watching This Is Us on a week to week basis on Hulu! Guaranteed to make me cry! [Annie used to watch a lot of fan-made Downton Abbey videos on youtube, like this one]
What is your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever had? One year when I was little, I was little red riding hood. My twin brother was the wolf. When he wasn’t around, my grandma’s long-haired german shepherd, Annie, was his stand in. Annie the dog & Annie the girl. I came second! I remember having really curly hair and getting to wear red lipstick, too. [not sure why she answered this question like I don’t know who her twin brother, grandma, or grandma’s dog are, but whatever]
If you could go anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go and why? Germany!!! The week when November turns into December so I get fall and Christmas!
What is your drink of choice? Topo Chico with Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka and a squeeze of lime.
Give me an example of your biggest fashion win and your biggest fashion mistake. Biggest fashion win for me has been developing my personal style. In the last 3 years I have really figured it out. Forgoing most trends, neutral colors, and quality over quantity. Biggest fashion mistake: Walmart gaucho pants 2005.
What are your favorite and least favorite current fashion trends? I hate that most of the 90s is alive again. Like, the only thing good to come from that era fashion-wise was grunge, imho. I don’t think bell sleeves are functional. Choker necklaces are stupid. Pretty much not a fan of fast fashion at all. Favorite trends? Mules and bandanas?
Go-to karaoke song? Rilo Kiley! Portions for Foxes or A Better Son/Daughter if i’m feeling angsty.
Favorite song of the moment? Most of my music tastes are stuck in 2009. I’m liking the newest Brand New album and listen to it almost every day on my commute to work when I’m not listening to Waylon Jennings. [so you could say she likes that brand new Brand New]
Who is your favorite sibling? You know who you are but I’m not going to go on the record. [IT ME.]
Best childhood memory of us? Waking up to Chumbawumba on the clock radio and jumping on our beds. The fights we had were pretty funny, too. [one of my favorite memories of Annie growing up was that she would leave for school early for Student Council meetings/Swim practice and I’d go into her room and I’d listen to her CDs while using all of her makeup/hair straightener, then I’d wear her clothes and she’d see me at school and get soooo mad… that’s what happens when you convince mom you deserve your own room and I had to share with the other two.]
Who do you think is mom and dad’s favorite kid? Whichever one of us who still goes to church. Probably you. [probably me]
Best advice you’ve ever been given and would like to pass on. Work hard and be nice to people.
It was four years a go that I decided to move to Pittsburgh, and I don’t know what I would have done if my recently graduated from Grad School sister hadn’t decided to move with me. She’s my best friend and I hate how much I love her.
Since we’re on the subject of street art anyway, let’s take the appreciation for colorful walls and murals across the pond… Back to Reykjavik, Iceland; a city that looks like the inside of a psychedelic kaleidoscope!
I mentioned before that when we went to Iceland last month, we didn’t venture far out of Reykjavik. Which is fine, because holy color explosion, it’s a vividly chromatic feast for your eyeballs. Hue won’t be disappointed (color pun, I’ll stop talking now)…
Whether it’s the outside of a bakery, the inside of a parking garage, or the entrance to the Punk Rock Museum, those talented Icelandic artists won’t leave you hanging when it comes to all things colorful. If you find yourself needing to kill some time on a stopover in Iceland, but you don’t want to spend a small fortune on excursions, just go for a wall crawl. And while you’re out and about, spend $4 on an Icelandic hot dog, just don’t ask what it’s made of…
Pro tip: pay $8 and go up to the top of That One Church to scope out the nearby street art.
There is a hefty handful of really cool gals in Blog World/Instagram Land who have perfected the art of Wall Crawling. Although it may sound silly to some people, I believe that street art makes our world a better (i.e. more colorful) place, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my way of thinking. Imagine you’re walking down the street and after seeing nothing but bland buildings one after the other, you look up and see a mural that sticks out like a sore, beautiful thumb. You can’t help but smile and appreciate the fact that there is art running wild in the real world, not stuck in a museum with a partition and no flash photography.
As far as cataloging murals around the country goes.. Jen has San Antonio, Bianca has Austin, Rosemary has Philly, Baltimore, LA, Vegas, and D.C. totally covered, but what about Pittsburgh?! Yinz guyz know we got cool murals n’at?! Technically, someone already made an extremely detailed website with the addresses of literally every single mural in town, but I thought I’d add to it by making an Instagram account (@PittsburghMurals) for the same thing… just because it didn’t exist.
Actual murals aside, finding a wall to have my picture taken in front of that is a solid color and coordinates with my outfit is not only my specialty, but what I get asked most about via email or direct messaging on IG. So Anyway, these are a few of my favorite walls:
Even if you’re not a blogger who favors ridiculously colorful photos to accompany your posts, murals could still be part of your life. My DIY/Travel Blogging friends, Sarah and Nick, took their engagement photos in front of Pittsburgh’s Pink Wall and how cute would it be to find the best blue wall for a photo shoot with your newborn baby boy?! Whatever the occasion, there’s probably a wall for you!
I think I said “wall” too many times and now it doesn’t sound like a real word anymore. GOTTA GO. BYEEE.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty big fans of frugality around here. Is it just me, or do I keep talking about how we’re trying to pinch pennies while simultaneous livin’ it up? Okay maybe it was just this post where I mentioned saving money while visiting one of the most luxurious cities in the world, but that’s how Joel and I are most of the time. Well, that’s how Joel is and how I’m learning to be (adulting is hard sometimes). We have a weekly budget that we stick to as well as a travel budget where we dump any extra cash we get from babysitting (me) or leftover per diem (Joel).
Even though 95% of the time you’ll find the two of us being a boring old married couple at home, on our couch, with our cats, binge watching something (rn it’s Rick and Morty), we still like to do fun stuff with the remaining 5%. I think that it is important in a marriage to date your spouse. Dates are great, right?! Especially when you’re already married to the guy and you don’t have to worry about shaving your legs or whether or not he’s going to murder you when you go home with him! See? Great!
I started this new “Cheap Date” category on here because dates are fun and, according to my husband, so is saving money. For the first installment, I thought I’d talk about how we went on super cheap Parisian date while we were in Paris last month.
Did you know you can eat a fancy dinner on a boat on the Seine? Did you also know that a lot of people say it’s overpriced and overrated? We opted for the cheap-o version. We dressed up hella fancy on our last night in town, took the metro down to Pont D’Alma where we hopped on a 1 hour river cruise via Bateaux Mouches. When all of the tourists wearing cargo shorts pushed and shoved to get a good seat at the top of the boat, Joel and I high tailed it to the side where we could be all alone. We bought champagne. We snuggled and whispered sweet nothings to each other the whole time. It was perfect. We didn’t need a fancy, expensive dinner because we knew we’d get crepes on our way back to the hotel.
Side note: since 2009, I haven’t been able to get on a boat without this song getting stuck in my head. Not complaining, it’s awesome.
“We drinking Santana champ, cause it’s so crisp…”
12 Euros for boat tickets, 20 for champagne + plastic flutes, a few more for late night crepes compared to 99 per person for shitty cruise food? Yes, please! Cheap dates for the win! BOO YA.
On the next installment of Cheap Dates, we see if our marriage can withstand All You Can Eat Appetizers… See ya then!