A Simple Style | Shopping For Home Decor.

I dragged Kyle into the bookstore the other day to “get books for our bookshelf”. 

We have a bookshelf in our living room that I’ve recently gained the opportunity to re-decorate. And when I say “recently gained the opportunity”, I mean “one of my plants died and it’s thrown the entire shelf out of whack and now I have all of this space to fill where my dead plant used to be.” 

I guess if you gain nothing else from this post – there’s a lesson in what happens when you don’t water your plants. 

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How to Shop Your Own Closet.

I was inspired to write this post because I *didn’t* buy a jacket. 

Back story – I have fifteen thousand jackets at home. Probably. I haven’t counted, but I know that when I open up our “coat closet” (also doubles as our laundry/shoe/vacuum/Swiffer closet) most of the coats that I see in there are mine. Maybe three of them are Kyle’s. And one of those I bought for him. 

This post could have just as easily been titled “Confessions of a Shopaholic” or “How to be a Crazy Coat Lady” – but honestly, that’s a little embarrassing and – based solely on my experience today – I am clearly turning a corner outside of my consumerism mindset. 

Exhibit A: I did not buy a jacket. I *almost* did. But then, I didn’t! Yay! (Isn’t this a great story so far?) 

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That time I almost worked for a fashion company in New York.

Contrary to popular belief – working in the fashion industry was never really my “dream”. People always assumed it was because A) I wanted to move to New York City, and B) I liked to go shopping.

That’s it. There was also a brief stint during my childhood when I begged my parents to let me pursue a career in modeling because the lady at the mall from the Barbizon Modeling School told me that I could. For a fee. But she thought I had a real “look”, so the $750 application fee would be totally worth it.

To this day, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d just gone to the Barbizon Modeling School. Maybe that lady WASN’T just trying to scam me as a poor, unsuspecting eighth grader with low self-esteem, maybe I really did have “the look” – if that look was ‘glasses and frizzy hair’. Instead my parents got hung up on that measly $750 application fee. Even though I was like, “The lady said it’s TOTALLY worth it! I have THE LOOK.” And my parents were like, “uh…” and I was like “The Barbizon lady said that! And she knows what she’s talking about, SHE WORKS THERE.” 

Right. She works there. So, she said it because it’s TRUE. Not because she’s trying to scam my family out of nearly $1,000. She wouldn’t do that, she was so nice.

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Out and about!

Full disclaimer: I am not a photographer. Sure, I take a lot of pictures – but that’s essentially all I am: a picture-taker. When purchasing a new camera, photographers are people who consider things like shutter speed, lens selection, aperture, and various camera-words-that-I-don’t-know-because-I’m-not-a-photographer. Meanwhile, in the other camp, a “picture-taker” will pick out a camera based on… “I don’t know, is it easy to use? Is it heavy? Do I have to know stuff about cameras to be able to use it? Will it take better pictures than my iPhone?”

These are all real questions that I asked when searching for a new camera.

Photographers don’t like picture-takers (I’m just guessing). At least they don’t like the picture-takers who like to call themselves photographers. (Again, I’m just guessing.) I feel like if I had taken a lot of time and practice to hone my craft, I’d be pretty annoyed with the person who shows up with an iPhone and an Instagram account and refers to themselves as a “photographer”. Congratulations, you officially have as much photography experience as Chrissy Teigen (who, for all I know, could actually be a very skilled photographer.)

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Spanx. They aren’t just for Moms.

I wouldn’t say that I have “anxiety” about wearing Spanx (and honestly, no one SHOULD have anxiety about wearing a brand of sucky-in-y underwear – because that’s essentially all they are) but I HAVE noticed that when I’m wearing a tight dress, along with – what is essentially a modern day girdle – I feel, a little…. well, anxious. Stiff. Uncomfortable. There’s a tightness in my chest…/abdomen. 

I mean, most of that is the sucky-in-y part of the underwear that I paid $50 to literally wedge myself into so that I could look good in a dress for a few hours, but you know what I mean. I worry. The Spanx alter blood circulation to my brain (probably, I don’t know.  You’d think they’ve got to be cutting off some circulation around my torso. Otherwise, are they even doing their job?) My inner fat girl that needed the Spanx in the first place starts sending paranoid, worried signals to my brain. 

“What if people can tell?” I think. “Can people tell that I’m wearing a girdle?” 

I honestly do not know how anyone would ever be able to “tell”, unless they came over and lifted up my dress and said, “Hey I see you’re wearing some funny underwear under there.” And if someone ever does that to you, I can PROMISE you that the the highlight of that story will not be “I was wearing Spanx”, it will be “A stranger lifted up my dress. It was weird.”

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How to make ANY outfit look good.

There were two things that I wanted to be as a high school freshman: a Varsity cheerleader, and the lead in the school play. As a quiet, mousy, afraid-to-even-raise-her-hand-in-class kind of kid, these seemed like totally normal things to want. I was too shy to ask a question during English class, but getting up in front of everyone during a basketball game and jumping around in a short skirt? That sounds GREAT! Sign me up. There was a guy I liked on the basketball team.

I mean, of course there were OTHER reasons I wanted to be a cheerleader – because it’s a SPORT. And a healthy extracurricular. And a great opportunity to build life-long friendships with my other cheer… mates? Cheermates? Is that a word? Cheer friends?

Whatever. It was mostly about the guy. And everyone knows cheerleaders are hot.

So I dragged my friend to try-outs with me – you know, because I was too afraid to go alone – and together we learned all of the basic chants, stunts, cheers, I think there was a dance involved? The only thing I can remember is thinking how they made everything look so much easier in “Bring It On”. I couldn’t even do a cartwheel, let alone the front handspring-stepout, roundoff back handspring-stepout I had planned to blow everyone away. You know, if I practiced enough. How hard could it be? It’s just, jumping around. On your hands.

I did the splits for my “stunt” portion during try-outs. That was one of the things – you had to do a “stunt”: a cartwheel, a roundoff, a handspring, you could even do a forward roll if you weren’t coordinated enough to do anything else. Which I wasn’t. But I chose to do the splits, because I decided that a forward roll might be too dangerous for someone inexperienced like myself.

Also I thought the splits would be more impressive. Which they would have been – had I actually done them, instead of whatever I did. Because what I did was slide down about halfway to the ground, until my knees started to bend and my legs made this triangle shape with the floor, and I was like “Ta-da!”

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