Wednesday, November 5, 2014

{about} true beauty

It doesn't make sense to call ourselves ugly,
because we don't really see ourselves.
We don't watch ourselves sleeping
in bed, curled up and silent
with chests rising and falling
with our own rhythm.

We don't see ourselves reading a book,
eyes fluttering and glowing.
You don't see yourself looking at someone
with love and care inside your heart.

There's no mirror in your way
when you're laughing and smiling
and happiness is leaking out of you.
You would know exactly how bright
and beautiful you are if you saw yourself
in the moments where you are truly

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An Open Letter to Anthropologie

I spent last Saturday with the loveliest Katherine and we went to Jeni's ice cream, died a little bit from its amazingness, endured a lot of bumpy train rides and went to Antrho as well. Having Katherine here made it the best day ever but I couldn't shake how out of place I felt in Anthropologie. I came home and furiously typed this crazy rant that I will share with you now. Also, I totally own that bedding in the picture above. I am part of the problem, I know. Argh. 

Dear Anthropologie,

After frequenting your stores for some years now I've finally figured out my feelings towards you.

Those feelings being dislike. Gentle dislike.

Here in this detailed letter I will tell you why. This letter serves no purpose but to rant, and who doesn't love a good rant.

Let's start with your clothes. Your clothes make me feel like, at any given time, I'm coming from or going to Coachella as a VIP. They're sophisticated yet inherently bohemian, young and adventurous for the workplace yet an easy transition to dinner and drinks. Who can resist casually throwing out in conversation, "Oh I got this at ANTHRO." I think your clothes are fairly expensive, overly expensive, though many a size 2 girl gets a lot of your clothes on sale and loves it.

Which leads me to my next point. Why do you only carry tiny clothes? And then ALSO have a PETITE section of your website?! I have never actually WORN an article of clothing from your store because you refuse to carry plus sized clothing on principle it seems. I think it's against company policy. It's my fault I'm overweight right? Or at least that's how every sales associate makes me feel when I walk through your doors. I get stalked by the sales girls to make sure I'm not stealing but when I actually need help I get blown off. This has happened every time I walk in and I just realized the unnecessary stress it adds.

I do like your kitchen, home and office decor (mostly cuz they don't have to fit on my body), sometimes they're exclusive and it's cool to find trinkets and things. Though, do I REALLY need measuring spoons that look like vintage spoons? (umm yes I do. ugh.)  I've gotten great gifts, stationery, and books from you. Ah... your candles though. All the scents of your candles are way too  overpowering, like they're trying to FORCE my nostrils into liking being punched by a heady bouquet of flowers. I don't like any of the scents. I'm sorry (EVERYONE). And your accessories - 45 dollars for a HEADBAND?! Is it made of JESUS!?

Here's the thing. I WANT to love you! I want to be your biggest fan and buy all the things and live happily ever after in my overpriced, everything was bought on credit, but that's okay it looks vintage, home! It seems like something I should WANT to want, as a 20 something who thinks herself kind of cool. But I don't.

You perpetuate an elitist attitude. You have made your brand a status - good job - but you make me feel like I'm lacking something in my life, like I'm an inadequate person, not worthy of affording your goods, and like I don't fit the demographic. That's not cool and as a company you shouldn't think it's cool either.

So... gently? Eff off Anthro. I'm kinda done with you. I AnthroPOLOGIZE.

(Hah, also watch me be in there the next time I'm downtown, because I'm dumb.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Have you ever felt like if you lose control of a part of your life, you lose control of EVERY ASPECT of your life? Things beyond control are frustrating. You see them, almost like they're a tangible thing, yet you can do nothing to change its status. All you can do is keep living your life, but it's a stunted life. Like walking with a pronounced limp, you can function it's just not at 100%. That's been life for me for the past few months.

This is not to say I'm unhappy or stuck or whatever millennial words or phrases we love to use - QUARTER LIFE CRISIS - it's just how things are at the moment. I haven't read a good book, I haven't been to the gym, all I've been doing is getting from day to day so I can get from day to day. The lovely (and surprising) thing is I've never liked myself so much as I do now. I've never felt so comfortable in my own skin, sexy even sometimes (whaaat). But I know for my health, much has to be done and I haven't done that at all.

It's been an interesting summer we'll just say that.

All of my blog hiatuses start with a 'OMG HAAAY SO I WAS GOOONE FOR A WHIIIILE' but I'm not feeling that at the moment. I don't even know what to call it - the state I'm in, this lack of control, will be an on going thing, and I'm just now getting to a point where I can even write a good sentence. So here I am. Hello.

But! How are you? How was your summer? Is blogging even really a thing anymore? Can you recommend any good books for me to read cuz this reading dry spell is real. Also is anyone going to the Chicago Open House on the 18/19th? It looks stupid cool.

Updating isn't necessarily a priority, but I'll try to sneak back over every once in a while to give you a book to read or a story about aaaabsolutely nothing, as I do.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Reader's Nook: Unconventional Love Stories

This week is about loooove. That was corny - apologies - but I think love stories are probably my favorite books to read. I don't tend to go for obvious love stories, I'm more about love conquering all in the end, ya know? Eleanor & Park, The Fault in Our Stars... Pretty sure this might be why I'm single. We'll discuss later.

By the way if you're ever looking for amazing book recommendations follow Casey's Pinterest page, she always pins good ones there!

Let's dive right into it.

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston - a recommendation from the lovely Abbey Nova from Abby Goes Design Scouting. I've been reading Abbey's blog for a while and remember doing a specific search for "design blogs" (back when I thought reading design blogs and being "creative" all the time meant you were a real designer - oh how times have changed) and her blog popping up. I think that was 2010. She said, "If you have a thing for magic and love READ THIS!" and I was on my library's website within seconds. It does involve magic and mystery and wide open Welsh plains and love... conquering all. : ) It's hard to describe the book without giving away the book so I'll leave it at that. I think you'll like it!

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - I NEVER give in to bestseller recommendations because, um, GOLDFINCH. And I've always been very against "this is what's in right now DO/READ/EAT/WEAR THIS RIGHT NOW!" That's like a surefire way for me to do the opposite forever. The description of the book drew me in though and the story leaves you sobbing by the end (in a good way). I actually ordered 2 more bestsellers to read and review soon. Things are gettin' crazy y'all! Anyhoo, the story is about Louisa who becomes a caretaker for a quadriplegic man named Will. They form a unique friendship and weave a different kind of love story. UGH JUST READ IT ALREADY, DANG.

Have you found that when you read a really GOOD book you can't describe it to someone? I feel like I just told you to read these books but also told you nothing at all. I'm sorry! OH! I finally saw The Fault in Our Stars (affectionately shortened to TFIOS) in theaters and cried like a freakin BABY. Like wracking sobs, snot everywhere, massive headache afterwards because I lost 12 liters of fluid. Lord above will you go see it? So we can be sad/happy together? Mmkay thanks.

The Reader's Nook is a place I've carved out just for readers and to talk about my favorite books every week. If you have any suggestions on books to read or would like to submit a review email me at thebirdsfly{at}me{dot}com. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Great, Amazing, Wonderful, and Spectacular MONTH OF MAY

I'm just now getting around to writing the wonder that was my birthday because I just cleaned my room. This is relevant. I promise. Just bear with me.

I'm not one to dub a birthday other than what it is - A DAY. Friends on Facebook love to talk about their birthday month like it's an actual thing. It's not. It's not an actual thing you guys, but this month I did a LOT. Most of it was birthday related! It made no sense! I'm gonna tell you about it because a lot of it was really cool. By the way everyone who has a birthday in May happens to be really amazing. Coincidence? NO. IT IS NOT.

Warning: this post will be long and I apologize but there are some moments I just have to gush. And gush I will. Because I'm 28 now.

Can I put it in bullets? I wish my life were laid out in bullets. Goodness.

  • I got my hair did! in what's called Marley twists and they look preeeeeetty freakin' sweet. The girl who did them is/was crazy and I won't be seeing her again but I DID adventure all the way to Uptown and walked around in leggings (!!) and a t-shirt up and down Broadway. I couldn't make this up if I wanted to.
  • I saw Kate like... 3 times in a week and a half because a) she took me to Big Star for one of the best meals ever and a nice long chat about life and babies and Groundhog Day. B) her youngest, Alba, turned 1! And we had more tacos* about it, and c) I watched her oldest, Sofia, dance and definitely NOT dance in her tiny tots dance class at Hubbard Street. I could pretty much see Kate daily and have it be the best day ever every day. I value her friendship as gold. 
  • I'm gonna put periods on these bullet points because they are full sentences. CHECK IT.
  • I spent my birthday with my BFF forever, my momma. We got pedicures, and bought shoes, and I got my mussels and fries for dinner! There is no food picture because I was feeling classy (or maybe I ate them all too fast).
  • Downtown swanky sushi affairs happened. Okay 1 downtown swanky affair happened with some of the coolest co-workers (who don't know I never have anything new going on somehow). And after all the swank was swanked we went to Trader Joe's for pie. Yes. 

This is the part where I'm gonna gush about the Kinfolk dinner for a few paragraphs. Okay, thanks. 

Kinfolk Chicago dinner. *exhales* I don't even have enough words to articulate how cool this was. I decided on a pure whim to buy a ticket to a thing I've never been and I'm so glad I did. I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda Jones, co-founder of Kinfolk, design role model of mine and Instagram queen, her husband, Cree, and her baby, Jane. The weird thing about blogging and Instagram is when you meet someone you admire you already know a TON about them right off the bat, and they know SQUAT about you. So I played it slightly dumb and asked her husband for his name and was like, "Ohhh your baby is cuuute what is her naaame?" while inwardly I'm like, "OMG IT'S CREE AND JANE, IT'S CREE AND JANE, HI CREE AND JANE - HIIIII!" Amanda is super sweet and loves Gilmore Girls. I tried to get her to come home with me but it didn't work. Not sure why.

The theme of the night was "The Spirit of the Sea" and the food was themed to match. Really, it was just a chance to mingle and network a bit - a thing I am not the best at. I did meet some pretty awesome people in the little 2 hour window, though. An architect, a billion event planners, a restaurant event assistant, art teachers - just the coolest people ever. And me. The only black girl there. I am my mother's daughter. Among the swirling mass of late 20's there were 2 (TWO) over 40 ladies there who were my absolute favorite. They found out where I worked and called me a celebrity. They do whatever they dang well please and go where ever they like and the intimidation of the 20-something hipster did not daunt them. I have made them my role models. Did I mention that was the coolest thing I've done in forever? THE COOLEST. Oh! and the cafe we had dinner at was right next to the Robie House built by Frank Lloyd Wright. No big deal. I had to tell myself to play it cool a LOT.

I'm pretty proud though, because through the whole thing I was myself. I didn't feel like I was trying to insert myself into the Hyde Park way of living. I can't compare myself to everyone else all the time. For one thing, it's tiring! There is a niche for me, exactly as I am, somewhere in this world, right? Yes. Back to the bullets.

  • I went on an architectural boat tour of the city with my most goodest friend, Anisha. It was cold and there were A LOT of pre-pubescant children but we survived. I also miss her face already.
  • I witnessed a homeless man try to attack someone with a tiny axe. It did not end well for the homeless man because the guy he attacked seemed like he knew Krav Maga. Pretty sure...
  • My niece graduated high school, and my whole entire family got to be there, which was GREAT. It's rare that we all get together. We went out to eat afterwards, it was just a really nice time. Also I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to enroll in the same university as Autumn - I'm just trying for some Financial Aid at the moment. Small hurdles! 
  • I had my first semi-surprise party! Yeah! I was supposed to meet up with a friend in Naperville and it ended up being my friend AND like 4 other friends, we got ice cream, and Starbucks, naturally, and they gave me a few presents! Seriously it was the sweetest thing. Also, I told my mom this and she cried (happy tears?!) like I told her she won the lottery. Can someone explain this to me?
Things I've learned a bit: it's kind of nice to be celebrated every once in a while. I like making a person feel like they matter, who doesn't want to feel like they matter in this ridiculous world? Buuut I also have little regard for myself or my well-being sometimes (all the time) so having someone say, "Hey! We like you and we're celebrating that," was actually uncomfortable. Stupid right? YEAH. I am very grateful for the people in my life, I feel so blessed and privileged, almost selfish, that I get to have them. 

Woo! Bring on 28. 

*I truly believe the world's problems can be solved over tacos. That is all.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Reader's Nook: Summer Reads pt. 1

*imagine me wearing a sweater vest and a tie with my hair very slicked down*

Thank you for joining us this week on WFMT's The Reader's Nook. This week we'll be talking about a collection of short stories that prove to be an anecdote for the soul and a post/pre-apocalyptic novel about a girl named Prenna. This week's special guest is book editor and connoisseur, Abby Mallett. Let's get started.

*classical music plays*

I'm not sure if you guys know this but it is my goal to be best friends with the dude that does all the super fast monotone intros to the classical music and features on WFMT. And then also get to do an intro to This American Life on WBEZ. If I had a podcast that would be my intro every week and somehow find a way to get Reggie Watts to be a guest star every week... all while coercing him to love me. THESE ARE THINGS I THINK ABOUT.

Let's get into it!

I've been on such a good book streak lately! For me book reading comes in waves, I'll read like 7 at a time and then read NOTHING for a month, which makes me so sad. During that time I'm browsing websites and looking to see if my favorite authors have published anything lately. So I kind of have a lull coming up since 2 of the books I requested to read... have not yet been published. Yeah. I am that lady. Tis fantastic. These two books below are perfect for light summer reading. One is short and just the right amount of intense and the other you'll be laughing so hard people WILL stare at you. Perfect for a day at the park or the beach (to which I never go) or anywhere that involves a cold drink.

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares - This would be the Ann Brashares who wrote the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. We're gonna pause here for a second so I can say unabashedly that the Sisterhood series is among my favorite books in the world. I know. I KNOW what I just did to myself but I just loved that they were best friends, more like sisters! My siblings are so far apart in age and I have never had a best friend (do you know how many posts I've started lamenting over that very fact? a LOT. The answer is a LOT) and I just... love the series. I digress. The Here and Now is about Prenna who lives in the year 2096 and the world is falling apart because mosquitoes carry deadly disease through the transmission of blood. They find a way back to 2014 to change the course of history but they can't get close to anyone. It's a short read but a really good one. Another one read in just a day.

One More Thing by B.J. Novak - EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. This was one of those books I browsed and found at the library and I'm so glad I skipped the Goldfinch* and picked this one up. I loved B.J. Novak on The Office and also love that he's best friends with MY best friend Mindy Kaling. Obviously, it's a collection of short stories, but they're so, so hilarious. Like crying silently, shoulders shaking in a Starbucks hilarious. Stories like the tortoise and the hare rematch, after the hare has gone to therapy and taken up yoga and really found himself, or the guy who invented the calendar, originally with 40 days and 25 months, but couldn't make it through the rest of the months after December. I'm not even finished with the book yet and I know I will buy it to sit alongside Tina Fey's and Mindy Kaling's book, so they can talk and stuff. You know.

*WHO does The Goldfinch think it is?! It's 1295 pages long! And people are reading it because EVERYONE ELSE IS. Even I know that I'm gonna get super effin bored reading 1295 pages of WHATEVER. If I end up devoting my life to reading this book and my entire life isn't drastically transformed at the end I'm gonna call up SOME authority.

By the way I will be recapping my birthday WEEK next week. Every day this week, including my birthday yesterday, has been (and will be) super interesting. It'll be a party! With words.

The Reader's Nook is a place I've carved out just for readers and to talk about my favorite books every week. If you have any suggestions on books to read or would like to submit a review email me at thebirdsfly{at}me{dot}com. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Reader's Nook

The world's most beautiful scarf and a copy of Alice in Wonderland from Anthro
I have always been a reader, I honestly think it's genetic. My mom forced me into early reading by reading me lots and lots of books, and skipping ahead to figure out what was happening leaving poor me to wait until she read it to me. I was into chapter books by 5. Books are a way of escaping for me. I can immediately be transported into a world of magic and love and travel without having to leave my living room. Books also can't talk back to you, or interrupt you and ask, "What are you reading?!" (That is the absolute WORST thing to ask an avid reader - would you stop and ask a football player exactly what he's doing in the middle of a play? Exactly.)

At work I'm always finding a corner of somewhere to sit and read while on break. It's a real feat since I work with 110 people always in my face, so you'll find me in hallways and stairwells reading silently. Most people really don't get it - I get so many questions like, "Have you always liked to read?" and, "How many books do you read in a month?" or, "I should really start reading more..." I think the long short of it is I've made a discipline of reading just like avid runners make a discipline of running. I can't brush my teeth after every meal all the time but somehow I find time to read 5 to 7 books a month. If I could fashion some sort of headgear/page-turner I would probably take up running. Audiobooks are a little bit of an oxymoron to me and don't get me started with electronic books. What's the point of reading if you can't hold the weight of a book in your hand or hear the pages turn?! Ugh. I'm a book snob.

I figure I read SO MUCH and I truly do enjoy it that I would unveil a new section here on this small space I call home: welcome to The Reader's Nook.

Every week or so I'll update on what I've been reading, what I think you should read RIGHT NOW, and my all time favorite book I basically read every year. Plus a list of classics to have in your arsenal. I really could talk about books all day. Why don't I work in a library again? Oh right, more school. *hangs head*

Today I'll just start with the two books I just finished reading. Both YA fiction. Because my name is Abby and that's my M.O.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira - I just finished reading this today and it was one of the most melancholy books I've read in a while. It's a well written, emotional journey of a girl named Laurel who just lost her sister. The story is told through a series of letters to her favorite people, now deceased. People like Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Amelia Earhart and Judy Garland. It progresses through stages of grief paired with the awkwardness of growing up and going to high school for the first time. In the end she finds pieces of herself that never left and learns to live her own life. I had to watch cartoons afterwards to feel better.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - I will probably buy this book sometime soon. I read it in a record ONE DAY, which only my mother does usually, but I couldn't put it down. It's the right combination of love, magic, strangeness and triumph. It explores every aspect of love and loss - also the main character, Ava, has wings. Literal wings. If you like getting lost in the magic of a book this is a good one.

OKAY LONGEST POST EVER. Gosh. I'll try to keep these up and I'm pretty sure I will never run out of things to talk about. I'm kind of excited to share stuff I love with you guys.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SLW: Guest Post - Casey

We haven't had a guest poster on here in quite awhile! Meet my awesome friend Casey - I met her while at Olivet and it took me forever to figure out if she was mad at me or not. She is reserved at first glance but one of the coolest people I've ever met. I'm so happy to have gotten to know her over the years because as it turns out we MIGHT be the same person. From the Young Adult fiction novels to her intense love of crafts and blogs, she's pretty much amazing. 

I asked Casey to guest on here a couple months ago, being a fellow single lady, I asked her to write whatever she wanted about single life or not. And she didn't say no... but she also didn't quite say yes, but she finally emailed me. I'm so happy to have her post here today!


When Abby asked me to write a guest post for SLW, I almost wondered if she had asked the wrong person. Like Abby recently shared, I never have anything to say when people ask me, "What's new with you?" Therefore, I feel like I had NOTHING to write about. I figured I'd give it a shot though. 

As a single lady, I read A LOT of blogs. Therefore, I decided to pull an idea from one of my favorite blogs, Sometimes Sweet. I’ve been borderline obsessed with blogs since I was in college, and Danielle Hampton’s blog was one of the first ones I remember reading. To give you an idea of how obsessed I was (read: still am), I gave up blogs for lent one year in college because I was spending entirely too much time reading them. It was bad. Anyways, Danielle writes a “Currently” post from time to time, where she talks about different things she’s enjoying in her life. Here’s my attempt at a Currently post…

Reading: I started reading/listening to To Kill a Mockingbird, via an audio book, on my drive to and from work. I live about 20 minutes from the school I work at so I always try to get an audio book from the library to enjoy on my short commute. Go ahead and shun me now, but I have never read To Kill a Mockingbird. For years, my mom has tried to get me to read it, saying that I would love it, but somehow it just slipped through the cracks. Anyways, I requested it from the library, but the 7th disc ended up being so scratched that it wouldn’t play. I didn’t want to wait to request another copy of the audio book so I’ve been reading the physical book. I’ve also been listening to The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow, via an audio book, on my commute to work now. And I recently borrowed Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan from the library. I have yet to start that one. I’m not usually one to read multiple books at a time, but lately I’ve been juggling 2-3 books at a time. Things are getting wild over here!

Eating: Cinnamon Toast Crunch…in a rather large bowl. I can never get enough of that stuff. I go through phases with cereal. I’ve enjoyed large quantities of Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, Life, Frosted Mini Wheats, etc. For the most part, I literally eat nothing other than cereal during those phases…and I love it. Also, sunflower seeds are one of my main food groups.

Thinking about: Summer. One of the major perks of working in a school is the schedule a.k.a. summers off. I have a big trip planned this summer and I.AM.EXCITED. My friend and I are going to DC, NYC and Boston. I will be crossing quite a few things off of my unofficial bucket list, as well as my 26 Before 27 list. Man, oh man. Did I explain how excited I am? We are planning to visit The Today Show, which is basically my main goal in life. Ed Sheeran will be playing for The Today Show’s summer concert series while we’re there. (Insert heart eyes emoji here). We’re going to try for Jimmy Fallon and/or SNL tickets too. There will be food. There will be fun. I’m tempted to countdown with a paper chain.   

Listening: Podcasts. Recently, a friend reminded me about the wonderful world of podcasts. Comedy Bang Bang is my current favorite. The other night I was trying to fall asleep while listening to it and one of the guests was Amy Poehler. Basically, I laughed myself to sleep. It was grand. They were rapping about butter. Enough said. As far as music, my playlist is always all over the place. Currently, it includes: Ed Sheeran, Manchester Orchestra, Jake Bugg, Talk Dirty to Me by Jason Derulo, Do You Want to Build a Snowman by Princess Anna, etc. I had to throw those specific songs in there if I’m being 100% honest in this post.

Watching: This is a silly question. The answer is always Gilmore Girls. I have a running list of shows that I want to watch, but somehow I always end up engrossed by one of Lorelai and Rory’s long-winded conversations. Those two, I love them. I used to pick a random season when I was in the mood to watch, but I’ve preferred watching from start to finish over the last few years. If only I could tell you how many times I’ve watched the entire series. Honestly, I wish I knew the number. Also, if you’ve read any of Abby’s amazing live tweets related to Gilmore Girls, you’d notice that I’ve favorited 99% of them. I would also be watching Parenthood, but the season just ended. There were tears, lots of tears. For some balance, I’ve been watching The Mindy Project too, which always provides me with a good laugh. 

Loving: Excuse me while I get a little sentimental, but I love my friends. This really isn’t anything new, but I’ve just had some good moments with my pals lately. Most of these moments have been so simple too. Conversations over coffee. A quick phone call after work. Running errands with a friend. I’m just very thankful.

Well, that’s it. There’s your peek into what’s going on in the life of your average single lady. A big thank you to Abby for asking me to write a guest post and putting me waaayyyy outside of my comfort zone.


THAT ROAD TRIP THO! AAARRRGH I wish summer break was still a thing. And Gilmore Girls - ugh, Gilmore Girls *clutches heart.* I love the "reading, loving, watching" posts - it's a good way to catch up and actually gives you a little perspective on what you might call "nothing." Someone's "nothing" is someone else's amazing adventure. Also I totally want to listen to podcasts now!

I am always up for a guest post - thoughts on single hood from a married standpoint, advice, recipes for one (or recipes for 2 that I will eat alone and not tell anyone) ANYTHING! Email me at thebirdsfly{at}me{dot}com.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SLW: life lately + Gilmore Girls

Almost every Wednesday, in a sincere effort not to drive anywhere, I get Chinese food from this place in front of my apartment. I can walk to it and the food is cheap but good and the combination of those things is a slam dunk, home run. The only drawback is I have to walk by this fitness place, you know the pop up ones that kinda yell at you in all forms? "NUTRITION 24. GETTING FIT IS THE NEW SKINNY. SWEAT IS JUST FAT PEEING OUT OF YOUR PORES." I make special care not to look into the place because I'm afraid strong, overly hyped up on steroids guys will pick me up and carry me into the place and force me to exercise when all I want is the sweet and sour chicken lunch special. I try to look very menacing and determined when I pass, which just mostly comes off as "pissed because I'm constipated."

Thought I would just share that with ya...

I'm just really trying to avoid the question, "What's new with you?" It makes me wish I had a kid to talk about, because there is never a lack of conversation when you have a kid. There is always something developing or school or SOMETHING to talk and bond over whereas I'm over here like, "Well, I just got over a stomach virus soooo my poop's finally no longer liquid!" and that's how I lose friends. But it also makes me a little down when I haven't seen friends in a long time and they ask what's new and NOTHING is new. Even after years of time. I'm not saying life has to be this roller coaster of adventure but it's easy to feel boring when you're single and you work and do little else but read YA fiction in your spare time. And then you start to BOND with other people over the fact that you're super lame! No really, the other day I saw this girl I knew from like 7th grade and we lamented over the fact that our friends are married and buying houses. In fact, her friend was in the process of buying a good chunk of Pottery Barn and she went to Starbucks to get away from it all. I always say life's weird, but I mean can we just agree today and say life's WEIRD?? Other than that weird run in, I've been good! Promise, hand to God. Besides that whole stomach virus thing. That was a real thing that happened last week. Blech.
Oh hey let me introduce you to my best friends in the world, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. (Please still be friends with me, please.) 

Anyways, I've been watching a lot (an understatement) of Gilmore Girls. Like a TON. I forgot how amazing that show is and how much my mom and I are Lorelai and Rory. Why aren't shows written like that anymore?? It's so intelligent and funny! Like why can't actual life hold conversations with obscure cultural references in them all the time? AND why can't Stars Hollow exist?? It makes me want to up and move to Connecticut and then I rememberrrrr that would be a bad idea. Alexis Bledel isn't there waiting for me with coffee. THAT makes me sad.

I keep trying to relate everything in my life to that show and my brain is on HYPER speed with quick witted quips now. It's like when you hear someone speak in a British accent and you can't help but start to say 'banahhhnahs' over and over again. You can find all my GG thoughts on Twitter (@abbyblujay) since I've decided to live tweet every episode I watch. This decision is sound right? Of course it is.

Happy Wednesday my dears!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SLW: reads

I made a mistake. I've been reading, slightly embarrassingly, this book about how "It's Not You" in terms of being single. It's by Sara Eckel and it's just dispelling the thoughts every single person has. "I'm too picky" or "I'm not trying hard enough" or "I'm too sad" or "I'm too focused on my career." It makes you feel like a normal human again and even helps you skirt past single shaming questions of "why are you single?" and "what's wrong with you?" with the response of "well, why are you married?" and "leave me alone." It was an insightful book with a lot of laugh out loud moments and some moments that made me FREAK. OUT.

For example: she meets her husband at 41 *gulps and moves on* and has to come to terms with the fact that she can either choose to have biological children or wait for the one. I stopped, put the book down, and went in a corner and cried for a while, because at 27 it never crossed my mind that I may not marry until well into my 40's or 50's and way past child bearing age. I want a literal brood of children, I've always wanted a lot of kids and that just... rocked my world. It's something I'm not ready to come to terms with yet. Hence all the tears and I KNOW I know. It's weird of me to freak out about something that hasn't even happened yet, events that haven't come to pass at ALL but! It IS something that hit me square in the face with a bit of reality.

I always think about Rachel, Jacob's wife, who prayed and prayed and prayed for a son only for her to finally have one and give him right back to God. I don't even know if I would have the strength to do that, but I do know that God hears me when I pray and I just need to trust him. Even while I continue to freak the heck out.

Also I think I'm gonna stop reading "self-help" books for... forever. and maybe just go live at church.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SLW: a recant

Remember a while ago when I said, "When I leave my house I always look cute because I never know who I'll meet"...?


I had no idea the GUILT associated with saying that! As soon as I wear yoga pants out of my house I'm like "Aw I just missed my husband," or wear my ratty TOMS instead of my cute Gap flats, "Well you just missed your husband," or I didn't do my hair and went to Dairy Queen, "Dang girl you could have met your husband today." THESE ARE THINGS I THINK ABOUT. And it is TERRIBLE.

So here's a new statement. DO YOU GURL. Wear whatever the heck you want, maybe don't be naked, but let's all thank God that meeting "the one" isn't dependent on the fact that you went with generic glasses instead of Ray Bans. Actually I don't know if meeting someone is dependent on anything but just living life.


That is all.

p.s. You know the cute layered outfits pinned on Pinterest? Are they homeless, cuz they clearly don't spend their money on anything else BUT CLOTHES. I just... needed to say that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SLW: living life to the fullest!

There are a lot of adages for single people. Our manifesto if you will. Live life to the fullest (because you are alone). Accept happiness (because you don't have a person to make you happy). She turned her can't into cans and her dreams into plans (cuz eventually you'll just die alone). I believe there is a whole Pinterest category of hipster typographical phrases with either a background of mountains or stars or books. Pretty sure I've looked at all of them, late at night, while thinking about buying something from Anthropologie online at the same time.  

What about when you're in a bad place? When you're feeling a little lost? What if THAT is your fullest you can live at the moment? And can't that be enough?! A friend sent me an article that said accepting you're not happy isn't saying "Yes, I wanted this," it just IS what's going on. But you'll move on from there when that time comes. When that is... I wonder that every day. My manager is always upset that my response to, "How's it going??," is, "meh," followed by a shrug. It's the truth! I'm at a job I don't like and I'm not necessarily SAD but I sure as heck ain't jovial so a "meh" for your life is what you get. 

The thing I know is I WILL move on from this even though I'm in the thick of what seems like a forever transition period. Don't know what I should do with my life, maybe I laid down in the middle of the floor the other day and admitted to myself, that yeah I do REALLY want a frickin boyfriend. All I can do is get up, go to work, come home, shower and sleep only to do it all over the next day. This is how I'm getting through. This is my fullest and I'm okay with that. 

But also here are some quotes I found on Pinterest to lift your spirits a bit.





Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SLW: the lady doctor

Oh yes. We're about to go there.

I have read a few funny accounts of going to the gynecologist and they're all full of expletives. Who can blame them because you're effin naked in front of an effin stranger getting felt up. Things get real is all. 

Nurse: "Do you wanna get screened for HIV or any STD's?"
Me: "...Dooo you have to have sex to get those?"
Nurse: "Um. Yeah."
Me: "Mmkaythen noo."

This is my yearly bout of action I get - the closest to a "good time" I've ever been. Really, my doctor is super nice and very to the point, which in gynecology is a blessing. (I feel like small talk should just be banned until your fingers are OUT of my insides.)

"Have you ever fainted from the... Ya know... Odor down there?" I ponder silently. I tried to all but plant a rose garden in my Netherlands this morning. There is a special place in Heaven for people that willingly stick their face inches from hundreds of genitals that may smell really terrible for medical reasons. It's a really clean place in Heaven. Odorless. Lots of clouds. 

I always end up in fits of uncontrollable laughter mostly because the entire thing, while it's wholly medical, is also wholly ridiculous. The nurse points to the gown and says, "Opening to the front," and I was down for at least a minute when she left. While on the table, normal conversation is just... very much inhibited by the fact that her hands are on my boobs yet she's congratulating me on losing weight since I've seen her last. I opened my mouth to ask her out for maybe some coffee since we're so close but I thought against it. 

"Maybe I can qualify this as 'Go on a date' for my resolutions for this year..." 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 Anthem Songs

So it's March. That's pretty real and I'm not actually sure how to handle it properly because YESTERDAY was January 1st. Yesterday.

I've been meaning to post my "anthem" songs for the year because a) I love music and b) it's fun to have a song you can belt out boldly. For example, all of Beyoncé's album I belt out in my CAR because maybe I'm slightly uncomfortable yelling about skittles (omg) in front of my mother mmkay?

Happy - Pharrell

I think this song is GROSSLY overplayed but it's so dang catchy that I'm almost mad at it.

I do this dance a LOT.

Golden - Jill Scott

This is just... THE JAM FOREVER. 1. Jill Scott is flawless 2. I like the message of the song 3. Have I mentioned that I want to BE Jill Scott?

Imagine me doing the running man to this and may it bring you JOY. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SLW: social media + being single = early exhaustion

Navigating social media as a single woman is tiring.

I would like that to be the entire entry cuz that sentence speaks VOLUMES. Social media has become the driving force on how we make friends, maintaining relationships, STARTING relationships and it's just... a lot to deal with. I have friends who freakin love it and use it their advantage but just listening to them talk about it, again, is tiring.

If the Internet was a class I would totally get an A in it. As much as face to face communication can stress me out I do okay on social media - and there is definitely a balance.

Behold, a breakdown.


It is really easy to over share on Facebook because no one can see you without pants on and your hair all ratty. I am a serial defender, wielder of righteous anger. This status "......" INSTANT DEFRIENDING. Don't do that... don't be that person! I'm getting angry already just thinking about it! The ones who understand how to use Facebook place well timed, evenly spaced statuses or photos. It isn't a place for selfies. For example, I use Facebook to talk about food mostly because that's common ground and it isn't an over share. To the over sharing, over complaining posters? I see you and I'm side eyeing you.


I overuse Twitter, I will admit. I end up using it as an outlet for quick thoughts, quips and general witty things. When work is annoying me but I can't say "hey I work at this place and THIS PERSON is the worst" I tweet something vague and I feel better about things. It's a great way to repost something cool and interesting you see (whereas on Facebook it's an annoyance). It can be a way to market yourself but you really have to understand how to use it. There are a lot of people trying to break into social media marketing and... failing. Twitter is about timing. 3 to 4 things a day. Unless you're watching an awards show. (#OSCARS2014) Oddly enough people get to know me the MOST on Twitter. I've even made real friends through it. A+ for Twitter.


The ultimate way to show off a single person's perfect life. Ooo look at this fabulous food! Oooo I'm at Anthropologie! Oooo coffee shops in the sunlight with a pastry! I like the visual but I hate the pressure to never show the messy parts of life. Try to limit the selfies - in reality we care a lot less than you think. There's something to be said about commenting too. A well timed comment sometimes makes you a new friend. It's weird! EVERYTHING IS WEIRD.


For the attention starved. That's the only message I'm getting from it really. Except my nephew has it figured out and sends the most hilarious stuff! He learned all he knows from me.


Um...? Snippets of your life. I... yeah there's not much I can say about vine except I watch a lot of it and post very little. Give people a video snippet - even 6 seconds - and somehow a lot of them try to talk about sex. How does that work!?


I have a weekly, sometimes daily battle to join or not join OK Cupid or Tinder. I just get really lonely and I wanna download it. Then I wake up and realize IT'S NOT WORTH IT PEOPLE ARE CRAZY and I don't. Rinse, repeat, all week long. If I end up joining you will know. Oh, you'll know.

Please excuse me while I put tape over all my camera lenses, don a tin foil hat and lock myself in my house for forever. Send a carrier pigeon for help.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SLW: two.fourteen

I wasn't going to share any thoughts about Valentine's Day because I'm single and that's so cliche for me to write a post every year about how everything is terrible (or something). And then when I finally get married (or something) I would write about how I had no idea how good Valentine's Day could be and how EVERY DAY is Valentine's Day and I just threw up a bit in my mouth.

I'm not even a little bit THAT GIRL. Praise the Lord.

Honestly my Valentine's Day was pretty good! I wore the brightest pink flower I could find in my hair which brightened my mood considerably. It is possible I was feeling a little lonely but we will not expound on that. Uh, I'm single! That happens. You just move on ya know? Like any other day.

More good things that happened: Forever 21 in the mall has plus sizes now and I got to buy my first summer dress of the year AND it was PAYDAAAY. I also took myself to Target after work on a date! With myself! It was WONDERFUL. I let myself roam the aisles - ALL the aisles - and buy whatever I felt led to buy, which ended up being a case of La Croix sparkling water, organic milk, and a bottle of Cholula. I freakin love Cholula. And because I am single, and I for that one moment I did what I really wanted, I totally just crop dusted the aisles. Yeah I just used the phrase "crop dusted" in this blog. New frontiers guys, new frontiers.

I wish I had taken a picture of the wine aisle, it was like a bomb had gone off including that single bottle of wine spinning on a shelf by itself as if someone had JUST run outta there.

All in all it was a lovely day because I refused to let it be anything else.



spring is coming

my living room at 10 this morning

Every day at 10AM we get about an hour of direct sunlight between apartments into each room. It's the con of apartment living, spending most of our day in the shade, but it's wonderful in the summer. We haven't had to buy an air conditioner yet because the heat of the day never reaches us. So I try not to complain too much. But when the light hits... it makes all the difference.

My little part of the world is finally thawing and melting a bit; stretching its arms heavenward and working out all the winter kinks. Preparing to wake.

FINALLY I feel like spring is coming.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

SLW: being an adult is weird.

I'm not sure when I'll qualify myself as an adult because I never feel like it EVER. I call my mom way too much - I mean she's like 1 of 7 people I actually enjoy so the rounds are small - and, probably just like everyone else, I feel like my life isn't TOGETHER. There really never is a point where you can put a flag in the ground and proclaim, "MY LIFE IS TOGETHER!" though I would totally love to for even a split second sometime in my life. *makes a mental note to buy a flag to put in the ground*

Sometimes I forget that gender equality is something to strive for and that Beyoncé exists because there are some things that I really want a GUY to do. Like... kill the roach the size of my foot or fix my car when it breaks. It happens in a minute, I suddenly have the vapors and wish I had a big strong MAN to take care of things. Of course I remember that Beyoncé DOES exist and I start singing "Independent Women pt. 1" and "Grown Woman" simultaneously and I feel better about my single hood. I think, more than anything, I hate feeling uncomfortable about things I'm not sure of. Yeah okay bugs scare me but I WILL kill them - just knowing they're alive means I will not SLUMBER or rest until that thing is VANQUISHED. Also I start talking like a person whose best friend is Shakespeare when I get righteous.

If we're being honest (and we always are), I still can't say the word "sex" without cringing/giggling/getting hot all over (but I mean I should be fine right?!). I had to tow my car and take it to a new mechanic today then came home and TOOK A NAP because that much action literally laid me low. Maybe eventually I'll meet a guy who understands the complex mystery that is exhaust pipes but I'm not gonna stop handling my own business - even if I have to lie down afterwards.

Because Beyoncé exists. hashtag//Yoncé 4eva.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

SLW: finding summer

First of all, look who has Wednesdays off again! But the trade off is I work Sundays now and that has made my heart sad. We can get into that later.

I feel like I, like most Chicagoans, have had a HUGE case of cabin fever this winter. This has been one of the hardest winters, not only because of the weather but because of plain BOREDOM. I'm so dang tired of snow drifts and the wind literally howling through my house and the perpetual dimness that hangs around. You can totally go away winter, you've overstayed your welcome.

Everyone, really, everyone, has been trying to beat the winter blues in their own way. Going to museums, scooting towards any beam of sunlight, or just plain denying the weather as a hinderance and going out to bars and clubs.

This morning I opened all the curtains in my house and welcomed the tiny bit of sun that peeks between apartment buildings. I picked up summer fruit from Whole Foods, like pineapple and watermelon and have been munching on that for a snack. Vitamin D aside I think pineapple is my winter pick-me-up. It's like biting into actual sunlight. I also bought raspberry lemonade and seltzer water - uh the best combo ever - and put it into a tall, thin glass… then I added an umbrella. I could have been on the beach at that very moment and you couldn't have told me otherwise.

There isn't much going on in Single Lady Land but the weather has fostered many a deep talks over drinks and food at bars and restaurants nearby. It's been nice getting to know new friends. Also, lots of Chinese take-out from the place I live behind. I just like… FORGOT I lived behind a Chinese take-out place for almost a year. No bigs.

The little bit of sun we're seeing today makes me want to be prepare the house for spring. It's coming, little house, don't lose hope. Why does my house get so messy in the winter? I throw everything on one chair and it stays there forEVER. It's so bad! I may actually put up my curtains in my room today, it only took almost a year. Again! No bigs. Stop with the judgy face.

This horrible season will pass. It's actually necessary for spring and new life to bud. I'm just veeeery ready for it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

warby parker... again. again.

I think I have a problem. I love trying on glasses and never buying them. This will be my third round of the Warby Parker at home try-ons and I have so much fun and send them back only to find more styles again and the cycle continues. It's really gotten out of hand. But as a person who solely wears glasses this is the struggle I endure. Hashtag//thestruggleisreal

Alas, I did the same thing again because I can't help myself, but decided I wanted all black frames this time. What usually does me in is I'll get 3 black frames, 1 crazy color, like yellow or red, and one tortoiseshell pair that I absolutely fall in love with. Happens every time. Also I already OWN a tortoiseshell pair so I mean come on!

So I stuck to my guns and ordered all black. My whole life I've been wearing square-ish frames because apparently my face shape is a mystery to me and this is what works. I ordered a little more round frames on the last one and of course that's the one I adore. Naturally.

Take a look for yourself.

I have ordered the Zagg and the Roosevelt before but keep coming back to them as if they'll be different the next go-round*. I don't hate them but I don't love them - though I feel like a very serious designer in the Roosevelt every time. Why do I keep ordering them? Gah! The Catalina is very much like the glasses I own now but the frames are wider and a tad daintier, which I like. But... then there's the Duckworth. I feel like a sexy librarian in the Duckworth, which is my ultimate goal in life - in both profession and attitude. Just sayin.

Maybe eventually I'll order a pair or two and quit bothering everyone. Maybe.

*I realize I just said the phrase "go-round." I've been watching a LOT... a LOT of Sherlock. Not that I'm ashamed I just find myself using certain phrases... and talking in a British accent for approximately 30 minutes after I've finished an episode.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I'm so PUMPED about this year! I'm just… I can't even contain myself how excited I am about 2014. Did you know 14 is my favorite number? I'm the worst cuz 14 is the day I was born (in May) and I just glommed on to it and every other derivative of 7 but 14 is my homeboy. Every other year I've been pretty opposed to jumping on the diet bandwagon, ANY kind of bandwagon claiming it to be another day, another opportunity. While it is, I FEEL different this time. I feel like this is a good time to get things RIGHT for some reason.

I've realized a few things:

1. I want to do a lot. I have goals and a voice and I matter.

2. I CANNOT do this on my own and my need for God must outweigh everything else.

And that's it! I don't want this year to be a "I really wanna focus on ME…" year - meaning I want to really figure out what I want, what I need, what my body needs because at the end of the day it's very SELF centered and I don't want to be. If all my focus is on the one who made me then everything will fall into place. BAM. Simple as that!

Happy new year everyone! This year will be SPECTACULAR!

p.s. I'm gonna talk about God a ton more - if that causes me to lose readers well I only have 21 so… I'm not too bummed. Sometimes I really want to talk stuff out is all. So there is that.


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