paw-sitively adorable

When I saw this adorable overall dress I was 99.9% sure that there was no way the skirt would fit over my hips but I bought it anyway and just figured there was a pretty good chance it would be a fun novelty piece I could keep in my closet as a "maybe someday" goal piece. But IT FITS. With some wiggle room, actually! And I'm carrying a few extra pounds right now (which always, without fail, pads my hips and my behind) so I'm seriously shocked that it fits.

And I have no idea what possessed me to decide to start doing this but I shot some video to go with this post. It's really short and I always look so goofy in video footage but I thought it might be fun to start doing some little videos to go with my outfit posts. So here it is!

overalls - forever 21 | shirt - forever 21 | tights - target
cat shoes - gift (similar) | wig - keke wigs

DIY heart shaped pin board

Like basically everyone else on instagram, I was really smitten with the heart-shaped pin board that Target had in their dollar spot last year. I was hoping I could snag a few more this year but when I couldn't find any at my local store I decided to DIY it and make my own! I actually like this even better since I got to pick my own fabric design, I used cork board that heals better (pins don't leave permanent holes in the cork, which tends to happen with thin cork boards that are backed with cardboard) and it's a little bigger so I can fill it up with more pins!

To make your own heart-shaped pin board you'll need:

- two 12" x 12" pieces of cork
- a wooden heart cut-out*
- fabric of your choice
- hot glue
- utility knife (I use this one)

*I got the 12" x 12" heart, but you could really do any shape using this tutorial, or use smaller heart shapes and hang them in a little cluster! Just make sure that your wooden shape is small enough to fit on your cork board.

Start by tracing your wooden heart onto two sheets of cork board. (Using two pieces means your pins will stick in the cork better!) Then use the utility knife to cut out the shapes. (Make sure you have something underneath the cork so that you don't cut your desk!) Use your hot glue gun to glue one sheet of cork onto the wooden heart shape. I just put some glue in the corners to make sure it doesn't shift around. Once they're attached, use the glue gun again to adhere the second piece of cork on top. So you should have two layers of cork, with a bottom base of wood.

Cut your fabric with about 2" of excess around the edge of the shape, and then cut small slits so that the fabric will easily conform to the shape of the wood. Use the hot glue gun to glue the fabric down, and then cut off any excess fabric. At this point you can choose how you want to hang the board. I decided to wire the back with picture frame wire and two tiny screws, but you could also attach ribbon (which would look more like the Target cork board) or a saw-tooth hanger.

And voila! A heart-shaped cork board! I love that this is so customizable -- you can use any fabric, customize the size, even customize the shape if you don't want a heart! Now the only thing left to do is fill it up with pins (might I suggest these? ;)

my funny valentine

Happy Valentine's Day! As a chronically single girl, Valentine's Day used to make me sad. I obviously loved all the pink and hearts everywhere (I'm not made of stone!) but there would always be a little pit of sadness in my stomach, and I'd fantasize about all the things I *could* be doing that day if only I had a special someone. But now that I'm in my 30's and totally accepting of my spinsterhood, it isn't bothering me quite as much anymore.

In fact I actually feel like I've become more of a romantic as I've gotten older and old-maid-er! As the years pass and further solidify my standing as a bachelor girl, I find myself even more drawn to movies about love and cute silly-rom-coms, and I find myself awwww-ing over goofy social media stories like guys who feed their girlfriends chicken nuggets while they get their nails done. I've become a big old softy! But it's all without any hope of living that kind of life myself. I think of it this way -- I would *love* to go to Mars, but that's not going to happen. That doesn't stop me from watching and enjoying The Martian. So I'm applying that same attitude to movies and stories about love.

So today I'll be watching some super sappy movies, cuddling with my #1 love (in true spinster fashion, I am totally talking about my cat) and eating candy. And feeling pretty happy.

pink palace

This is probably super obvious and not some brilliant sartorial secret, but my cute feather trimmed jacket is actually a robe! I just thought it would be so perfect for days when I want to add a little luxe to my outfit. And I wear vintage bed jackets as "real" clothing all the time, so why not do the same with non-vintage bed wear, too? :)

I chalk this all up to my new rug. It just reminds me so much of Jayne Mansfield's house (here's a link if you're unfamiliar with it -- but be prepared to fall in love with the kitschy pink-ness of it all!!) It just makes me want to wear all the pink furry and feathery things and lay on heart-shaped furniture and eat bon-bons or something.

The only downside to this rug is that my shoes kind of disappear in them and you can't see them in outfit photos! Today I'm wearing these scallop-trimmed pink cutie pies from Bait Footwear (of course!) and it breaks my heart a bit that you can't really see them!

great balls of fire

I have too many Valentine's Day themed outfits to limit it to February 14th alone, guys. I've literally been wearing nothing but pink and red for the last few days and I can't stop.

Now that I'm feeling better and I have blood work that scientifically backs up that feeling, I'm just a giant ball of energy! I'm sure the novelty of having energy again, getting dressed, putting on makeup, eating normal food, it will all start to wear off and feel like normal daily life again soon but right now I just feel so invigorated doing mundane stuff. You have no idea how much I've enjoyed taking outfit photos this week! I've also been on an organization/decoration spree. I gave part of my studio a facelift (you can see a bit of it in the photos but I'll post a proper tour soon!) and invested in a ton of storage containers that function better than the hodgepodge of buckets and baskets I had been using previously. It feels good to freshen up my space a bit now that I'm feeling like a brand new me! :)

Oh! Also! I'll do a full post on this soon but I just wanted to mention that I'm selling t-shirts in my shop now! I had tried my hand at this several years ago and wasn't that happy with the designs or the shirt style I selected but I am in love with these. I have 11 designs available so far, right here.

dress - amazon | cardigan - forever 21 | shoes - aldo

heart happy

I am heart happy in so many ways right now! Valentine's Day is next week so I'm obsessed with wearing every single heart-shaped, heart-print, or heart-themed item that I own. But I'm also heart happy because my latest follow-up blood work came back normal!!

Since the last time I blogged about my health issues, I had lab work that showed my hemoglobin count had dropped even more since I was discharged from the hospital (hemoglobins are what transport the oxygen in your blood, so when they're low it means your heart has to work harder.) My doctor gave me two more weeks to see if I improved, and in the mean time I had to make an appointment with a hematologist (blood doctor) to get another iron infusion. I just got my lab results back from the second follow-up yesterday and hemoglobins are NORMAL! Just barely, but it counts! :D I still have to see the hematologist to make sure everything is on the right track and figure out how to maintain the progress I've made, but hopefully I won't have to get the iron iv (fingers crossed!)

And the best part of getting better? I got to eat pizza again last week!! FINALLY!! Okay, the best part of getting better is the "not being deathly ill" part, for sure, but pizza is soooo close ;)

belt - old | wig - keke wigs

wallpapered printer DIY

I have a large format Canon printer that prints up to 13" x 19". It's a necessity for me, but a two foot hunk of black and silver plastic can be a bit of an eyesore in my candy-colored room! I've been trying to come up with a good solution for concealing the printer, and I think I finally found it! If you like blending your necessary (but ugly) appliances into their surroundings, read on for my DIY instructions :)

Here's the before picture. It sticks out like a sore thumb!

You only need a few things to do this project:

- A ruler
- Scissors
- Peel-and-stick repositionable wallpaper

I used this design from my spoonflower shop. It's cheaper to just buy swatches for this project rather than a whole roll of paper. I measured my printer before ordering and calculated that I'd need four swatches (they are 2' x 1' each) but I actually only ended up needing three! So that's a total of $21 for this whole project!

The easiest part is covering the pieces on the printer that are perfect rectangles, since they're really easy to measure and cut. For the curved pieces and for cutting out an opening for the buttons, I just used plain thin copy paper and traced the form of my printer, then I used that as a stencil to cut out pieces of wallpaper that would match. To be on the safe side and to make sure I didn't waste my precious swatches, I transferred my stencils onto scrap paper first and wrapped that around the printer to make sure everything lined up perfectly before I actually cut into my wallpaper.

To apply the pieces, carefully line up the wallpaper in one corner and then slowly smooth it out as you apply the whole piece. I can't say for sure whether all peel-and-stick wallpaper functions the same way as Spoonflower paper does, but this was very repositionable and whenever I messed up at placing it, it was easy to peel it up and try again.

Also, it goes without saying, but don't cover any of the functional pieces of the printer. You need the buttons to still be showing and you shouldn't cover the parts that come into contact with the paper.

I hope this helps if anyone out there is as obsessive about having matching decor as I am! haha! :)

if only in my dreams

Before I got really sick last year I pre-took photos in my Christmas outfit. I knew I'd be too busy on Christmas to sneak in outfit photos; plus this way I could schedule the pictures to post on Christmas morning. I wasn't sure what to do with the pictures once it became increasingly clear I definitely was not going to get to spend Christmas in this dress. But I really liked how they came out, and in a way my diligent planning created this little alternate universe where I *did* spend Christmas in a fancy dress with perfect eyeliner and a flawlessly functioning body, lol.

And to be honest, these pictures actually reflect how happy I felt on Christmas this year. I kept bursting into happy tears over literally everything. I was SO happy to be home with my family. I didn't have the energy to open my presents myself, so my dad did it for me. I was in pajamas with messy hair, and no makeup. I felt run down and so incredibly sick, and I wasn't wearing my perfect Christmas dress with its perfect bell-sleeves. But it was the happiest Christmas I've ever had in my entire life.

feeling lucky

Sorry I've been pretty MIA over the last few weeks! I had a health scare over the holidays and I'm just now starting to feel a little better.

I started feeling under the weather around Thanksgiving, when I had an intense nose bleed that I just attributed to a brewing sinus infection. Then I started bruising really easily, and I just attributed that to me moving some furniture around in the living room. My stomach was really upset, but I thought I was just really stressed from the holidays, and since I was in "Christmas work mode" I wasn't eating that well.. getting a lot of take out and munching on Christmas cookies. I just thought I was run down.

I finally went to the doctor after I had been sick for about two weeks. I almost fainted when I woke up that morning, and I thought it was time to finally cave in and go. He thought I just had a stomach bug, but he ordered blood work anyway just to make sure it wasn't anything serious, and he gave me  medicine for my symptoms. I felt better on the medicine, so I put off the blood work for a week. The day after I went in for the blood work, I got a call from the doctor telling me I had to go to the ER immediately because my platelet and hemoglobin counts were dangerously low. I was TERRIFIED. I ended up getting admitted to the hospital and after what seemed like five dozen tests I was diagnosed with c-diff, which is a bacterial infection in the colon, and if it's untreated quickly it's pretty deadly. I already had major blood loss and my colon was significantly inflamed... I caught it literally just in time. I was treated at the hospital for a couple more days and since I responded well to treatment, and my blood levels started returning to safe levels, I was luckily able to spend Christmas at home.

It's taken me about two weeks to feel even remotely normal again. My first round of antibiotics didn't knock out the infection, and I finish my second round of pills tonight. I feel like I have some energy back, and my stomach is feeling more settled, but my brain is still reeling with all the "what-if" scenarios. If I had just waited a few more days to get blood work, if I hadn't gone to the doctor, etc. I've never been so scared in my entire life.

I don't feel like I'm totally out of the woods yet, so I don't want to be like "yay! totally back to normal!" just yet. I still have to have more blood work, I have follow-up doctor's appointments, and apparently once you've had c-diff it's hard to shake it, so even though I feel a little better I'm still nervous that it's lurking around inside waiting to attack again.

I'll say one thing though, this whole experience has taught me so much and totally changed my approach to life. Part of the reason I didn't go to the doctor sooner was because I didn't want to spend the money. I had a lot of money-related stress last year and I was penny-pinching when I really shouldn't have. I tried to save a few hundred dollars by skipping the doctor, and that's going to cost me thousands in hospital bills. It was so colossally stupid of me to treat my health that way, and I'm never making that mistake again. No matter the cost, my health comes first. Not just because hospital bills are pricier than doctor bills, but because trying to save a few dollars almost killed me. Never ever again.

And god I probably sound so hokey but I learned that I need to stop being mopey all the time and stop taking life for granted. I have spent a lot of my adult life feeling blue about really stupid things. Even some of the big things are stupid in retrospect. I care WAY too much about my business and feeling unaccomplished for my age. I'm done letting that swallow my mood every day. When the doctor told me I was well enough to leave the hospital, nothing, and I mean NOTHING mattered to me as much as my parents, my cat, and being home. And I need to remember that more often. Since I've been home, even though I've still been sick, I've been looking around and just cherishing everything around me. I like breathing air, I like eating (even if it's been nothing but rice, toast, and applesauce for three weeks straight!), I like holding Arrietty and feeling her little heartbeat against my chest, I like watching movies with my mom and dad, I like feeling a cozy blanket tucked up against my chin, I like the feeling of falling asleep in my own comfy bed.

I feel so incredibly lucky to be alive and (knock on wood!) on the road to recovery. And between my parents and my best friends, I feel so incredibly loved right now. I just feel so appreciative of literally everything, and I'm looking forward to a happy and (knock on wood again!) healthy 2018 :)