Friday, March 30, 2012

single lady sings the blues

this morning's view. 
It just takes one gloomy morning for moody thoughts to loom in...
Why aren't you in bed?

It's such a good day to snuggle in bed with someone...

...Why don't you HAVE someone?


Isn't there a clinical study that says Seattle is one of the most depressing places because it's rainy all the time? I can totally understand why. As a single woman the disparaging thoughts come flying at me when it's rainy. All I want to do is cuddle with someone and drink tea all day. I can't say I'm never lonely because I don't want to lie. I'm lonely a lot actually but I know exactly what to do to shake myself out of my reverie. Just a few quick tips to shake things up and take you into your weekend : ) cuz i love you in real life.

1. Everything you're thinking that makes you unhappy? Do the exact opposite.

If you're thinking that you should stay in bed all day, clearly you need to go somewhere - even if it's just the library. You want to mope and watch the Notebook until you feel slightly suicidal? Watch Bridesmaids and laugh til you pee, while drinking Kool-aid through a curly straw.

2. Puddle Jump. Either in your car or in rain boots.

As a matter of fact puddle jump and THEN get in your car and puddle jump!


ALWAYS. treat yo'self.

4. Get out of the house!

It is the perfect day to rid yourself of your phobia of falling off bikes! (this is a story for a different day.)

5. Spend some time with God or meditating or whatever makes you feel best

I know when I feel crappy it's cuz I haven't spent time with God. I shouldn't be my focus anyway! You're never alone! Even if you can't see God doesn't mean He's ignoring you in your lonely state. Spend some time meditating on good things. Maybe your insides need some attention. Also God has way better things in store for you than being lonely.

6. Fake. It.

"But I'm not happy!" Who ever arrived at happy without acting like they were already there? You know when people ask, "How are you?" in passing and you proceed to tell them the story of your sad existence when in reality all they wanted to hear was "Fine!" Yeah! Don't be that girl! Your good mood might help someone else who is feeling lonely.

sunshine hair flower
Honestly when in doubt TREAT YO'SELF and all the other ones will fall into place.

stay tuned for next week's Single Lady Wednesday (SLW) and a GUEST POST what uuuup!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

{about} blogging

How true is this?! Also it makes me want to eat breakfast... cinnamon rolls anyone?

found on swiss-miss. original source here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

single lady wednesdays: getting your house in order

Lately I have been all over the map. I saw JtB, went downtown to the beach and ran to a train with a pizza in my hand and it's kinda been AWESOME. But I have a secret...

I'm anti-social.

For all of you scoffing out there I'm telling you the truth. In order to actually see Joy the Baker I had to really mentally prepare. Social situations tend to drain me like no other and I end up withdrawing instead of being happy. Actually the day after seeing Joy, I went to a store meeting and ended up in tears because it was just... too much. It's weird and complex but I know how to deal with it... I just can't deal with a LOT of it all at one time.

I'm using today to catch up with myself. Sometimes I need to make a 5 cup pot of coffee for just myself and drink it all day. I need to make warm oatmeal with brown sugar, pecans and dried cherries... it's like eating a warm hug. I've also GOT to spend some time without pants on today because I've been oppressed by them for too long! (don't get me started on how much i hate wearing pants)

I'm throwing open my windows and letting my room air out... mostly because I'm behind on laundry and maybe it smells up in here.

I need to do laundry...

...and clean my room and make my bed....

Having things clean actually clears out the cobwebs in my brain. I can't design when my desk is cluttered, it's like the things on my desk climbed into my brain and sat. just waiting for me to put them away.

I recommend playing a BANGIN' Spotify playlist as loud as possible, opening every window you can see out of and just sing, dance and clear them cobwebs. Literally and figuratively.

...and then i'll be going out later on this evening : )

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NBD. (how I met Joy Wilson)

Winnetka is srsly cute. 
I got there EARLY and it was packed already
best idea ever. also the guy in the khaki's totally bought a purple KitchenAid for Joy to sign
the woman herself in her business lady blazer
yep. this is real life guys.
signed swag! also that OXO spoon is really nice. I need to get one to use in real life
Take notice of Joy's normal smiling face... then take note of my face that is about to explode. pure. happiness. 

This past Saturday a tiny lil dream of mine came true. I met Joy the Baker. and LIVED! 

Not sure if you remember when I met that gorgeous piece of man flesh, Taye Diggs, last October (and lived.) but this time I think was way better. For starters I FLIPPED OUT when my mother told me we were going to meet him because in all his beauty I thought he would think I'm ugly. Yeah... these are thoughts that run through my head. But I've already built a little interwebz relationship with Joy via Twitter and ya know... maybe I've been mentioned in oh... let's say... FOUR podcasts of hers. *shrugs* oh ya know. no bigs. 

I met up with Maggie and Ashley in Winnetka (aka the cutest town ALIVE), which was a long drive for me but totally worth it. We stood with pretty much... every hipster 20/30 something woman ever and listened to her speak and be funny and awesome for a little bit - then came the long wait to get our books signed. 

I got cut in line a BUNCH of times but hey... what are you gonna do? I got to meet the LADY HERSELF!

Back to happy things!

Okay can I just tell you an awesome thing that happened? Joy had a question and answer time (in which I FORGOT to ask how how the heck she knows Emma Stone. Oh yeah. You read that right. EMMA STONE.) and in the middle of it she stopped, looked straight at my face, and said, "Hey Abby. No big deal. Nbd." and then continued. 

I think I went into cardiac arrest right then and there. I played it off SO well though cuz I somehow responded with a "hey" and a quick "nbd" without peeing my pants, crying and then fainting. 

Then she did it again! During book signing time. GAH! It still makes me kinda squeak in excitement. Apparently I say No Big Deal (nbd) so much that it's become my catchphrase. I'm cool with it!

After a lot of line cutting and Joy ultimately missing her flight I got to hug the woman. I am so big on how a person hugs, I think it directly relates to how they are in real life. Joy's an awesome hugger! Very genuine and heartfelt. She also did not mind the fact that I was giggling the entire time *forehead smack* and had nothing real to say. I just... I'm so awkward. But you totally knew that right? Good. She signed my book and was happy about my addendum and she signed my spoon which... I'm probably just going to have bronzed. Clearly. 

The interesting thing is *scratches head awkwardly* I think I kind of made an interwebz friend-quaintance... Like clearly I don't REALLY know her in real life and she only knows me because I'm ridiculously overzealous on Twitter, but the entire time in line I felt like I was just going to see an old friend that I hadn't seen in a long time. I'm not... trying to fabricate a relationship out of nothing; I'm for real a normal person I just... kinda feel like I could probably be friends with Joy on a normal you're-not-an-out-of-my-league-celebrity kind of way. Does that make sense? 

*sigh* it was one of the COOLEST days. mm ever. haha

love connections

swiss-miss made me look at this typography 'dating' site

i may never leave my computer again.

(also I legit love Archer and Eurostile together - they're the new Bennifer)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

i am bloglovin'!

...for the record i've actually never seen Super Bad. 

but you can still find me here! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

single lady wednesday: the married edition

Today I took time to spend with my favorite people in the world; the married ones. Brian & Cole, Kate, Erick & baby Sof, Michelle Parsons (I can't say her first name without her last haha) and I headed out to paint the city red. It was an altered Family Day if you will : )

You know how certain situations come together and they happen SO well that you know it can't possibly work ever again in that same instance?

I think that was today.

We started out having coffee at Metropolis and just kinda chillin'. It was a good start. I always have to fully wake up and my spicy Mexican Mocha did just that.

It was almost 90 degrees here today and while everyone else was humid and hot we sunned ourselves on Hollywood Beach, walked on the warm sand and dipped our toes in the cold water. It was like being on vacation without having to go anywhere.

We stopped by Forever Yogurt to taste literally every yogurt they had. Somehow I got a combo of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (which tasted like Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch) and Key Lime Pie froyo and it was quite possibly the best thing ever. THEN? Somehow we got it in our brain to go to Hot Doug's which is quite possibly the best hot dog/sausage place in the WORLD (of Chicago).

All in all it was just an amazing day. I got to see my friends, who are the coolest people around. I got to see Sofia, who I am TOTALLY claiming as my best friend right now cuz we SUPER bonded today haha and I got to eat at the best places in the city WITH said friends and new bff baby!

To wrap up today in a word? Perfect.

signs of wisdom

So as you know my hair is crazy town. It's this big curly mess of the tightest curls you've ever seen that tend to GLOM together to form one big puff of curl. In all honesty? It's amazing. Well, I got my hair cut a couple weeks ago because it needed it and I've never been happier. It's easy to style, I can literally get up, scrunch my hands through it, put a flower in it (which is quickly becoming my signature) and BAM. I'm ready to go!

I was styling my hair the other day, and by styling I mean lamenting over what color flower to wear, when suddenly I noticed something...


And at 25 too! so young... and I found myself GIGGLING (it really doesn't take much) with delight. Grey hairs are a sign of wisdom... and aging... and I just have one. Flowing free. Next to all the other raven hairs. Bein' bold. It doesn't care.

I thought about pulling it out but the old wives tale, "you pull one grey hair two grow in its place," plagued me, but really? I kind of LOVE IT.

I'm the type of girl who is planning her 30th birthday (PARIS Y'ALL. PARIS.) and is excited to BE that grandma who totally leads a Zumba class at the fitness center and goes on cruises with her girlfriends every 3 months. I want to take aging by the horns and really embrace it! I think that's the only way you have fun in life. Plus I totally had my quarter life crisis earlier this year and it was SOOO legit. It's time to move on for reals.

Anyone else got grey hair(s)? Did you completely freak out orrrr did you post it on Twitter like I did? haha

Sunday, March 18, 2012


You know how some weeks it's all you can do just to make it through with all your limbs attached and your eyes still in sockets?

That was last week.

I survived though! I must say... this weather is helping. Driving down the same roads can be liberating when your windows are down and you're singing loudly. I'd take that over paid therapy any day.

Hopefully I'll be back soon, filling your life with randomness and awesomeness all at the same time.

I'm gonna leave you with my random thoughts - cuz that's how I am:
- is showering right now REALLY necessary?
- i think having a KitchenAid mixer is more of a right than a necessity. I'm looking at you... ALL OF THE SOUTH (and married Olivetians)
- i think there was a point this week where i seriously considered chopping my own feet off because that's how much they hurt
- how much frozen yogurt can one person eat in one sitting before it's considered dangerous?
- how is Coldplay so amazing?! (they might be who I'm listening to at the moment... and who is holding me up from taking my shower)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SLW: adventures of a single lady

Before I write this post can I just say that I've been on a "looking cute" streak lately? I'm not sure what has changed, either outwards or inwards, but I have been lookin' CUTE, girl, CUTE. I like it. No, I LOVE it.

Anyways. I have named Wednesday's, Single Lady Wednesday. It is always the day that I have adventures on... most of the time it consists of me wearing off tiredness from the night before (cuz I end up working until 12 or 1) and walking around my apartment pantless, catching up on television, which is a single lady right.

It was 81 degrees today in the middle of frickin' March so anyone that had a brain was outside today. It was just too AMAZING to NOT be outside, so I met up with my awesome and good friend Sarah. The beginning of the day started out with me completing my quest to find the stainless steel Sharpie marker at Blick. It ended with us running for the train with an entire Pizano's pizza (thanks Rossie!) in our hands and eating said pizza... on the train.

The day wasn't really planned out, we just knew we wanted to be in the city and running around. At one point we were sprawled on the grass talking about boys, and life, and moving, and avoiding the blackbirds that are just SO BOLD and fly right up to you. They practically ASK you for food - every chirp sounds like "CHI-FEEDME-IIRP!"

I want to say though... I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about me writing on singleness, like it's an invitation for me to be selfish about my life, or that it's better than everyone else's life who is married. Marriage and family is what I WANT - eventually. I could (and I have) spend my entire day wishing I was on a Family Day adventure with the De La Rosa's or eating pizza in Millennium Park at sunset with the Schwartz's, but why would I do that? I need to make my own adventures and not let anyone take my sense of being ALIVE away from me. That's what I want to write about MOST. Just... living life as a single girl who sometimes doesn't leave her apartment on her off days and sometimes doesn't put pants on.  But when I DO put pants on? I have awesome adventures and wear giant flowers in my hair : )

Monday, March 12, 2012

geek glasses

Warby Parker is the TOMS of glasses... except TOMS sells glasses so I guess... TOMS is still the TOMS of glasses, but they share a similar view. If you buy a pair of frames from them they will also give a pair to a child who needs eyewear. The super amazing awesome clincher is that you can pick 5 frames and try them on for 5 days and then send them back - ALL FOR FREE! 

I heard about the site a couple months ago when my friend in MN modeled her glasses on Instagram. I went to the site... picked out my glasses and just forgot to press "hey... send these to me!" Katherine reminded me of it a few days ago in her post and all I had to do was go to the site and literally press "send" and they were on the way! It was kinda nice getting the grunt work out of the way haha - I remember I lamented over which ones to try for a few hours. I'm special.

I'm gonna take a moment and talk about my own face. Yeah. This is happening. It's square... and oval... and heart shaped... ALL AT THE SAME TIME. My face just transcends shape apparently. I knew I wanted "geek" glasses though. You know... the Ray Ban-esque square frame slightly thicker and slightly more awesome? The bad thing is I have... weird high cheekbones so the distance between my ears and my eyes is longer than most peoples. Every time I try on someone's Ray Ban's I feel like an idiot with fat cheeks that ENGULF glasses. Turns out I just need longer sides! I've seen the light!

The 5 frames I picked were: the Willoughby (just the name alone made me pick them. Jane Austen makes me swoon), the Roosevelt, the Zagg, the Japhy, and the Pierce. I kind of want to get 5 more! But I think I have the basic shapes down, and what really works for my face.

Speaking of face... here they are on mine! I totally had people vote, cuz I'm like that in real life.
the Willoughby - 2 votes - Jane Austen geek in the house!
the Roosevelt - 3 votes - I feel like a tried and true graphic designer geek in these
the Zagg - 7 votes! - I feel like a sexy lady geek in these
the Japhy - no votes! womp waaaa. - these are also really similar to past glasses I've had & too narrow
the Pierce - 6 votes - I feel like a sexy business lady geek in these. Pretty amazing.

There you have them! The winner ended up being the Zagg! I really like them. NO one liked the Japhy. Super sad haha. The frames are $95 which isn't TOO bad (especially for my eye doctor who carries stupid designer frames for 270 BUCKS. stupid. STUPID!) and I think I want to get the Zagg and the Pierce (or the Zagg and the Willoughby... or the Zagg and the Roosevelt. ARGH!) Sending a pair to a little buddy somewhere in the world justifies it though. I just need to save my pennies and help out my eyesight and over all fashion statement AND make a child happy. Dude. Win/win here. 

Which ones are your favorite?

I had a BLAST doing this! I hope people (cough... EVERYONE) does this and posts pics - it was pretty fun : )

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I briefly mentioned my foray into Joy the Baker's new cookbook a few posts ago and I wanted to tell you how it was!

I made her Extra Crumble Coffee Cake and it turned out... exactly like it was supposed to.

That being said... I am going to immediately change pretty much everything that goes into it except the cake part of it. hah!

When she says "extra crumble" she really isn't kidding AT ALL. There's like a pound of crumbly bits on the top AND filling in the middle. It's insane. I think there is too much cinnamon in it. Coffee cake and cinnamon go together like peanut butter and jelly but the BAD thing about cinnamon is it can tend to sit on your palette without really adding to the depth of the dish. Between the crumble and the filling there was about 3 tablespoons of cinnamon. It was... really PRESENT in kind of a bad way.

I did test it on Kate and my family and they enjoyed it which made me happy, but I know what I need to change now

While changing a bunch of things I finally realized that cookbooks are more of a guideline rather than the law. No one person has the exact same tastebuds as the other. This recipe just happens to suit Joy the Baker, but it doesn't suit Abby the baker. I actually prefer a crispy, more buttery topping filled with pecans. And! I like the crumble part on the bottom so it caramelizes and gets all gooey and AWESOME.

But that's my prerogative. Thanks Bobby Brown.

I'm so excited to make more of Joy's recipes and know that I can put my own spin on them to make them distinctly Abby.

Did I mention I'm MEETING this woman in the flesh in 13 days? Did I ALSO mention that she told me she's excited to meet me?! CHYEAH. REAL LIFE GUYS. real life.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

single lady status

I think I want to start a new section in this random blog on being single. I rely on Kate for my mama lady status. I rely on Katherine for my married lady status (though Kate is also married so she really does double duty). We need a single lady voice. Who knows if I'm ever gonna be anything OTHER than a single lady - promise this is not coming from a bitter place it's just real.

Almost 100% of the blogs I read are set up by married ladies who want to document life, design, crafts, and general awesomeness and I LOVE IT. I've become a guru of mom and children products because it's all I read. Sometimes... it's creepy when a mom comes to ME for advice. Overkill much? I love gaining perspective on marriage and how to make it work, how to work children into the mix and I'm looking forward to that new phase of life when I get there.

My reality is I am a single lady.

There is no voice for single women out there. I don't want to know how to catch a man cuz... maybe I don't WANT a man. Life's not all about that and I'm pretty over that mentality being pushed on me from all sides. Thank you to all the cooking blogs out there made by single women but maybe I DON'T wanna bury my feelings in food anymore (although I love to bake... i'm gonna chalk that up to genetics haha). I want to be a voice of practicality and enjoyment for single people. I have NOT donned my leotard and long weave and begun to dance to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" I'm just sayin! Where all the single people at?! Are we lame in real life?!

What do single girls do nowadays? Bars are pretty lame. Anyone can go to a bar. If you cook, why aren't you hosting a dinner party to feed people?! Single people have all the fun! Stay up and out late, do whatever, whenever because we can! Why be jealous of the married folk when I can have just as much, if not MORE fun.

Should be interesting!

I'm telling you this red lipstick has some kind of brain changing power.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


So in my blogging frustrations I've realized a lot of them surround the name of my blog. I've changed it from "Abby and the Jets" to "On Being Personal" to... i don't even REMEMBER and then Abby in the Arts. I keep spending time trying to define "me" on this blog and it changes every time i write a post haha.

I think I just want to name the blog Abbyblujay.

That's cool right? It's my first name and my middle name all smashed together. My mom calls me AJ all the time or Abby-Jay (Abigail JoAnna) and I just merged them one day and it stuck!

Why didn't I realize this before?!

If I actually can get this into Illustrator and lookin' okay (aka NOT drawn on paper, taken a picture, live traced and uploaded) do you think this could be a header? I'll work it out... no bigs. 


I am on vacation for the next SIX. DAYS.


that's like.. ALMOST SEVEN DAYS. (and I'm not sure if you thought about it that way...)

I'm very excited to take a break from work before it gets STUPID crazy for the rest of forever. I took it at just the right time : )

I may do all or none of the following:

  • bake up a storm - I baked my first thing from Joy the Baker's cookbook today! woo!
  • finally finish this dang scarf
  • watch She's the Man, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Juno AND Away We Go... and then start all over again
  • go downtown and be a socialite (heh... high hopes...)
  • sleep til 4pm and stay awake til 4am
  • paint!
  • search for the perfect french fries - this is a noble and REAL quest
  • create a podcast a la Joy the Baker 
  • stare lovingly at my own feet for minutes on end
  • take a bath!
  • shave my legs! (I really should NOT tell you how long the stretch is between my last leg shaving and now... you will side eye me SO HARD. bein a single lady has it's perks)

So, I mean, I have a lot to choose from. Then again I might just lay on the couch for 5 days and dream of the adventures the new iPad and I could have (SO many adventures).

I'm so excited...

On a different note... last week I branched out a little bit and suddenly had the intense urge to buy lipstick from NARS. They're all the RAGE on the blog-o-webz and they seem so cute. I ended up getting 2 nude-like colors and 2 reds. RED! Oh man... I don't even know who I am anymore. I don't wear makeup! Ever! But I... I kind of love it! Turns out red lipstick makes you feel like SUCH a lady. Like a SEXY lady. Like... a lady that can HANDLE her liquor... and her man. She can handle ALL the things. Sometimes when you feel like things are out of your control red lipstick lets you feel in control again.

get it guuuurl! is what this lipstick says to me. (called Fire Down Below from NARS)

pretty sure this is my new profile picture for everything. yep.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

living by the train

All my life I've lived by trains. When I lived in South Holland we were about a block and a half from a train station and could hear the freight trains rolling along at night. When we moved to Flossmoor we were about 4 blocks from a train and that house didn't last long (due to... other circumstances). When we finally moved into our downtown Flossmoor apt we were smack dab ACROSS THE STREET from the train station. I used to wave to my friends on the platform cuz they could see my apartment. I feel like I can spit out my window and hit the train sometimes.

For most people living by a train is a huge inconvenience. It's loud, it rumbles your apartment (my apartment literally shakes a bit sometimes), you get woken up by horns and dings and brakes and starts... and I can't live without it. It is hands down the most comforting sound in the entire world to me. It's my personal lullaby when I sleep and my natural music in the day time. Hearing the train on a beautiful day makes me smile.

Crazy right?! don't judge.

sunsets in Flossmoor

Monday, March 5, 2012

where you been?! really, Abby. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!

I think I have some 'splaining to do.

well... um....

February became March and I had ideas for this blog and then they went away. I really wanted to talk about how abstaining from social media trends like Glee... and March Photo-a-day doesn't make me any less of an awesome person. By the way it really doesn't. Life totally goes on... the Glee kids will somehow still be in high school and there will always be someone to take pictures on Instagram so never fear!

I baked some good things last month. I got the Joy the Baker cookbook! I'm MEETING Joy the Baker in 19 days (she told me she's excited to meet me! *faints*). I took a GIANT leap at work into the unknown - and I have to be vague about it - but I'm EXCITED and NERVOUS and grateful for the opportunity. I'm trying to settle into being visual lead at work. I think every time I talk to my Operations manager I get a headache and have to sit down.

All in all I'm just a little overwhelmed with life right now. So this blog has suffered for it. I've been thinking about deleting it... or at least discontinuing it. As much as I'm spouting "do your own thing! for you! not anyone else!" this blog needs a MAJOR overhaul in my brain and hate that it doesn't have a purpose or theme or direction. I feel like I'm a Jack (Jackie? Jacqueline?!) of all trades and I just talk about... RANDOM CRAP! Maybe I just need to organize it into sections. Food. Knitting. Design. Random stories about my life.

I would love some input on this cuz I feel lost with this blog. Writing into spacial void.


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