Archive for the 'bling blog' Category


Semi-funny story. When AO & I put in the offer on this place we now live, I had no idea that the train ran through our backyard. I have no excuse for not knowing: this isn’t a foreign town to me; I’m capable of reading maps (some would say I’m obsessed with them); and I semi-got that the reason our well-endowed house was priced so cheaply was because of location. I just wrongly concentrated solely on its front-facing problems, i.e. East Wash. Boo.

But ohmigawd, there’s a train, too. But I’ve come to see what others may view as a downside is something, well, if not charming, at least memorable

I’ve come to love the trains, which comes largely in the wee hours. Is that weird? I know that they’re so loud and make such different noises than the street sounds on the street side  of life. But I find them so oddly comforting, even when they’re acerbic.

So, I’d say I’d move away from this damn car-infested street any day of the week, but I want a train in my backyard.

Sneak peak!


Last night Molly was being a total butthead about going to sleep. The final incident involved her coughing loudly and seemingly seriously. So, I went into her room and glared at her.

I said, ‘WTF?!’

Jk. I said, ‘Are you ok?’ And she said, ‘My throat hurts.’ I suggested she drink some water. She gasped, ‘I can’t!’ She then, whispering-yelling, told me that she could hardly talk and was in dire straits. I said, ‘Molly, you are the biggest drama queen.’

She said, ‘No Mommy, I’m not. Babies are.’

Day X

So, on Day 19 we fell a bit off of our Monster 30-day plan to be our best, calm selves and get our lives in order. This Administration and, well, life proved too much for us. Instead we said screw it to the mess in the house and the House and everywhere, had some nighttime cocktails and binge-watched some telly. It was cathartic in its own right.

And now, ten plus days later, the house is still a mess, the chaos in Washington is bigger than before and I’m dealing with a flood of emotions at having just celebrated Mollybear’s fifth birthday. With every one of these birthdays – or any milestone really (like, for example, she’s taken to saying, “Oh. My God,” which has to be a rite of passage) – I seem to die a bit on the inside. As cliched as it is to say, this parenting business is not for the weak of heart. And weak of heart I am.

On that note, I give you this article, which I thought was written by me at first. What tipped me off wasn’t the name of the author (I thought that perhaps I had submitted under a nom de plume), but that I drink coffee, Coke Zero and icy cold water in the morning. And then it struck me that the voice seems to be somewhat younger than I. And I don’t have one of those fancy towels she speaks of. And she showers more frequently than I do. And she’s funnier. And a better writer. Look, I didn’t write it. I get that. But still. For just a moment, I thought, “Wait. Did I submit an article to Slate?!”

Day 3

Hello everyone. In the words of the great Barack Obama, is this thing still on!?

So today is day of Kate’s Great 2017 30-day Challenge, which means different things to me on different days, but generally means the following: For 30 days, I don’t have alcohol, I introduce more (read: some) regular exercise, I read more, and I get to sleep earlier. In these chaotic times, I felt I was spiraling into the abyss and needed to try to find some concrete ways to stop the spin. So, for the time being, it’s been these relatively simple ideas.

Now, that’s not all. I’ve been trying to think of ways that I can make my life a little easier. And calmer. And more joyful, too. This probably all sounds terribly selfish to you as the world spins off of its axis (so much spinning in this post), but I’m pretty certain that if I don’t figure out how to calm the %$%^&(%&#$% down, I will soon be locked up in a padded room draining what’s left of the State’s resources. And that’s not good for anyone. So, in addition to the above basic plan, I have a few missions to try to avoid that. And the first I’d like to talk about is one I return to again and again (in my head anyway) and one to which I still don’t have much of an answer, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.


It’s no secret that I’m not a morning person. I don’t like to get up. I don’t like to be spoken to in the morning. I don’t like to talk. And I really dread figuring out what to wear. Although I still really do like clothes and have preferences in styles and whatnot, I really would, at this point, prefer to have a small closet with great choices. And while that’s something that I’ve tried to work on, I’ve really failed at it.

A couple of years ago I decided I was going to go with the capsule wardrobe idea and I chose Banana Republic as my sponsor. Only they didn’t know it and I had to pay for everything. I decided to go with (largely) one store because it seemed easiest and fastest and I was ready to implement this sucker over night. Well, the problem with that idea was that I was stuck with about 12 pieces that were all very much from that two-peek period in 2014 or whenever it was and while I like some of the pieces still, some of them were dumb at the time and I knew it, but was too lazy to do anything about it. I thought, “They fit, they’re affordable. Done.”

But as time went on, I realized that striped cotton t-shirt wasn’t going to do much for me in Wisconsin’s January and, frankly, I hated the way it looked anyway. I felt like a dowdy frump and I wasn’t fun to be around when I wore it because, you know, I felt like a dowdy frump. Enter: Stitch Fix. I wrote about Stitch Fix here. I loved it! A couple of fixes later … The patina has worn off a little. I still think it’s so fun and a great idea, but the pieces aren’t nearly as appealing to me and I’m wondering if it’s just because I expect the service to have the whole array of clothing in the universe at its hands when it really has only a handful of clothes available to it like any other place would.

So, here is what I have learned so far. I am still into the capsule wardrobe because I think it would make my life simpler and cleaner. And from there it would allow me to concentrate on other things and dread mornings so much less. But. I need to realize it won’t happen overnight. I need to stop looking for the quick fix, if you will.

And here’s one more piece: cost and quality.

This is where my latest venture comes into the story. On a whim, I decided to try the ritzy (for moi) MM.LaFleur. It’s a lot like StitchFix in that you get a box whenever you like, but it’s a lot pricier. My first one came last night, but because someone I live with forgot to mention it to me, I didn’t notice it until this morning. As we were supposed to be rushing out the door, though, I dug into it and I could immediately tell that the quality was far superior to anything that I’ve ever gotten from Stitch Fix and, with rare exception, from Banana, too. I haven’t tried anything on yet so it’s more than possible that nothing will fit and, even if it did, I’m not sure I can justify spending that kind of money anyway.

But I’m also sick of being sick of my clothes. And more than that. I’m sick of cycling through clothes I don’t like. I buy them, get tired of them, donate them, buy more, get tired, donate and the cycle goes on and on. So I was thinking a lot about how much money I probably waste on clothes and how sad that is. And then I was reading this article and wondering if spending more on my clothes would have a variety of benefits.