Polka dots and butterflies and mean girls

planets aligned

The planets may have been out of alignment for me today; things did not start out right.

Like I do most days, I went to the gym for an early morning Boot Camp class.  It turned out that a lot of the people from the prior weightlifting classindoor-fitness-boot-camp-classes-now-forming stayed for Boot Camp, so there was less available floor space for us to mark our territory with steps and risers, not to mention the mad feeding-frenzy dash for weights.

I have my favorite spot, just like everyone else does, and I saw that two very aggressive girls had taken “my” spot.

I like the right front corner location, which I figure eliminates people and their germs if no one is in front or to the right of me. And I like to be in front ‘cos I’m only 5ft tall.

Well, these girls had an attitude about sharing space.

I swear, if you were a mean girl in school you must never really outgrow it.

So, because I didn’t like the lay of the land and in order to avoid unnecessary confrontation, I left the gym. It was not going to be worth it to fight for a spot anywhere in the room as it was very crowded. It just was not meant to be, whatever.

I decided to do some grocery shopping and then headed over to the Nordstrom Rack.

I was minding my own business, looking for a new pair of white skinny jeans (which I didn’t find), and I strolled over to the sleepwear section cos I always like to have a couple of cute new sleepwear outfits for my tugboat man’s return.

I had just started exploring one of the racks, totally in a Zen mindset, not bothering anyone, in my own little world of polka dots and butterflies (which I got) and I heard a voice say,

“Do you ever give any thought to how your actions affect others?”

I looked around, thinking it was a random rhetorical question, did not know to whom it was directed or if it was just a philosophical thought I had overheard in someone’s conversation.

It registered in some part of my mind that the voice was attached to a giant-bellied post-menopausal gray-haired polyester-wearing troll. I thought to myself, “hmm, that was a very profound question for a shopping excursion.”

The next thing I knew, she bellowed, “Well, I’ll show YOU” and shoved the rack of clothes violently in my direction.

Oh, OK, I get it; a crazy person, a lunatic. Well, she WAS in the XL size which was to the left of the XS sizes where I was looking; perhaps that huge post-menopausal giant belly leached out all of the remaining estrogen from her body and caused her to have a lack of oxygen in her few remaining brain cells, because there was no way that I had interfered with her search for a pair of pajamas that could stretch wide enough to cover that fat ass.

No way at all.

Prior to that, I was in a very peaceful place– for me, shopping is a very serene occupation; feeling the texture of the fabric, enjoying the colors…so, what did I do?

butterfies

I did not take the bait and exchange ugly words because she would have been no match for me and my sharp wit, and although it would have been satisfying for her because she was obvs itching for a fight, I chose to continue to ignore her and found one of the many helpful Nordstrom employees and told her what the mean lady did and the manager guarded over me to make sure I continued to have a lovely experience.

Which I did.  Cute, right? The polka dots don’t show up very good, but it’s really pretty.

 

And since I did not work out at the gym, later in the day just before sunset, I walked to the beach and back from home (a six-mile round trip), stopped at Rite-Aid, bought a Elin Hilderbrand novel, summer people, and a 6-pack of Oreo Cookies for dinner.

It’s all about portion control…

oreo cookies

 

Attachment Parenting: Are YOU Attached or Detached?

Oh guurrl, pleeze!

Y’all don’t know WHAT “attachment parenting” really is.

Y’all just be amateurs if you think it ends when they start school!

time-magazine-breastfeeding-cover-time-magI’m sure by now everyone has seen the Time magazine cover of a breastfeeding four-year old, or here’s Wikipedia’s definition of attachment parenting: Attachment parenting, a phrase coined by pediatrician William Sears,[1] is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology.

According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences.

Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child form a secure attachment style which fosters a child’s socio-emotional development and well-being.

In extreme and rare conditions, the child may not form an attachment at all and may suffer from reactive attachment disorder.

Principles of attachment parenting aim to increase development of a child’s secure attachment and decrease insecure attachment.

Although there is research which shows that when mothers are taught to increase their sensitivity to an infant’s needs and signals, this increases the development of the child’s attachment security,[2] there are no conclusive empirical efficacy studies on Sears attachment parenting.

I believe being a stay-at-home mom creates the best foundation for growth and creativity and builds a happy, secure child. In fact, when I volunteered in his class during his elementary school years, I could pick out every child who had a stay-at-home mom.

They were able to stay on task longer, and were not clingy because they received the appropriate healthy unconditional love from their parents, not a series of paid strangers.

I believe this is the best way and Nature’s Way to raise a child; however, it is kind of a shame that we have gone so far astray from our natural bond with our children that we have to be educated about how to nurture a beneficial connection.

Sad.

My son ended nursing right around his first birthday. I wasn’t ready, but it was his decision,  his time.

I think it reveals his exceptional level of confidence that he was able to instinctively know that it was time to grow as autonomous individual.

But…I win the prize for limitless attachment parenting. Advanced AP, as it were.

When my son was planning his (university) junior year abroad to Germany, I told him I would come and visit him.

Being a healthy, confident, secure (snotty teenager) child, he asked me if I would come and visit him if he changed his mind and went to Japan for his year abroad.

Of course, I replied.

He then asked me how far away would he have to go so that I would NOT visit him (i.e. check up on him) to which I responded:

“The umbilical cord is like a rubber band; it can stretch — but never break — and there isn’t anywhere on earth that you possibly go to get that far away from me.”

And to make sure he understood exactly what I meant and to indelibly inscribe it in his Muscle_RubberBand2brain, I pantomimed the action of stretching a rubber band between my two hands, and then mimicked the breaking of a stick.

And I have science to back me up in the article, Babies Never Leave You, or at Least Their Cells Don’t. (Jezebel)

You might think that once you give birth to a child that they’re no longer a part of you physically—except, of course, for the complete control they retain over your heart and mind.

Well, think again, because it turns out that during pregnancy some of their cells scatter in your body and stay there for years, maybe even forever.

So they are literally a part of us, like FOREVER.

It’s hard to decide whether that is magical or deeply creepy. While it’s been known for a while that fetal cells migrate into a mother’s body during pregnancy, it hasn’t really been understood what types of cells stick around and what they do.

Diana Bianchi, Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, and her colleagues have done a new study that sheds some light on what exactly is happening during this little alien invasion.

How much do you want to bet that they’ll eventually discover that it’s those crafty little cells that allow kids to exert control over their moms for life.

Need a hug? A ride to the mall? Some money?

Just activate your sleeper cells and suddenly your mother is physically incapable of resisting you.

See? Nature knows what it’s doing and is always looking out for you.

Baby’s Cells Mix and Mingle with Pregnant Mom’s [Live Science]
Postscript: There is a really funny AbFab episode in which Eddy talks about her son, Serge, the same way I did in real life. I watched this years after my comments, and I could not. stop. laughing. Art imitating life?

Don’t count the miles, count the I love yous…Christina Perri

Here’s a sample of  (women’s) locker room talk at my gym when they ask what my husband does for a living; “You mean he’s only around part of the time? You are soooo lucky, I wish my husband was gone for weeks at a time”  I really, honestly, for reals–wish they would shut the f—ck up. If I did not like being around my husband, that would be one thing, but the fact is that I do like him, I like being with him, I miss him when he is gone, and those kind of stupid asinine comments really say more about the dismal state of their marriages than they think they do with their snippy, passive aggressive comments. On the other hand, here’s what I can say that I do appreciate while he’s gone: I don’t have to shave my legs quite as often, I don’t have to endure World War 3 if I want to watch one of the Housewives, I never, ever, ever, ever have to watch boxing, or MMA, or any other form of man-on-man violence, and I can watch a movie like Beauty and the Briefcase without practicing high level  negotiations.

Bits and Pieces
Here’s a crafty cute way to re-purpose old crocs and logs—use them as planters for succulents.

 

 

Check out this crazy mutant apple!

 

 

Kate Spade bag on sale, love it! So summery and fresh. I think it would look great with this well constructed t-shirt from Banana Republic and a pair of white skinny jeans from White House Black Market.

The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. ~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

The thirty-five minute drive to the airport is bittersweet. It’s like going cold turkey; one day he’s here and the next day he’s not. There’s the rush before we leave the house; reviewing the pre-trip list one last time to make sure he has everything for the flight: passport, Merchant Marine documents, boarding pass, and enough money (to buy me a few presents, ha ha). We talk about the assignment he is flying towards and I know he tries to temper his anticipation for the next adventure, the next frontier to conquer, because I want him to be sad and already missing me! After all, I am the one being left and I am the one who waits, right? He is the one who will have new experiences and see parts of the world most people never do. We talk about what my plans are; I would be flying back east for my son’s commencement and how sad that it was just impossible for my MM to be there, as he would be half way around the world by then. And just like that, it’s time to go; he gets out of the car, I switch over to the driver’s side, and we have a final kiss and hug and a promise to call when I get home.  I return from the airport exhausted and the house is a mess.  This is probably when I am the most aware of being alone.  It’s a sad and forlorn feeling to return to an empty house. He fills up the entire space, and his absence is very real. He won’t be back tomorrow or next week or even next month. He calls several times before he has to turn his phone off, and then I am completely on my own.

On the Real Housewives of New York, one of the wives-she is not actually a wife so I don’t know why she’s there-said she does “missing” well; in her case, she has a boyfriend who is some sort of rock star on the road all the time and they are apart a lot. If by that she means that she is confident enough to be on her own and the reunions are nice, I can agree that the reunions are very nice. But I think what makes this not ideal situation work for us is the seamlessness of our relationship. It is as if it were just a couple of days we spent apart, not weeks and weeks. I don’t know if this is true for anyone else or if it is a way for us to cope with being apart, but it is just so weird, albeit wonderful, to make that thirty-five minute drive to the airport alone, park in the cell phone lot in anticipation for the call to say he has just landed and will call again when he has claimed his bags, and finally see him waiting on the sidewalk surrounded by his suitcases. I stop the car and get out and switch over to the passenger side unless he is too tired to drive, and the drive home is a continuance of the conversation we had on the ride to the airport as if the intervening time never happened. There is no awkwardness whether he has been gone a few days, a couple weeks, or for months. It is so strange! Literally, it is as if we are picking up the thread of a conversation just like we hit pause on the remote and then play. What is immediate is the happiness; and an imperceptible sense of relief that yes, it is still good, we are still connected. It is like the time apart never happened, a minor blip on the radar that is the continuum of our relationship. There is always a little niggling feeling in the back of my mind (I have not asked him how he feels, but I will) and I wonder if it will still be that easy; that exciting and happy but comfortable feeling, and it always seems to be so. Today is day 65, he should be back in about 3 weeks, and I miss him very much–I think it is not an entirely unpleasant feeling to miss someone and anticipate his return. It is the belief and trust in the fact that someone wants to be with you as much as you want to be with them and miss each other equally. It makes me feel safe and protected even when we are apart.

Hair Product Review: I am between coloring and thought I’d try a non-permanent product to cover my roots until the next appointment. I went to Ulta and tried Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Colore Root Touch Up & Highlight Pen. It was expensive at $23 and just about the worst thing I have ever used. It looked artificial and did not at all match up to my color and was very messy, def not worth the $$. I took it back and drove to Sally’s Beauty Supply and picked up a $6 Instant Haircolor Touch Up Stick called Tween Time by Roux.  It looks like a fat crayon and all you do is wet it and rub it on your roots. I found it to be very easy to use and very natural in all types of lighting.

No, I can’t go with him when he goes out to sea. Please. stop. asking.

When I was at the gym today, one of the girls asked me the question I have been asked literally hundreds of times…”Do you ever go with him?” NO, I can’t ever go with him, nor can I meet him and spend a few days sightseeing! In the middle of the ocean? He is working ALL the time. The way MMs are paid is on a “daily rate” basis which means he literally is on the clock 24 hours a day. Sometimes it’s 8 hours on and four hours off, or 6 hours on and six hours off. In the “off” times, he has to eat and shower and sleep, so that schedule is rife with potential sleep deprivation issues. When he comes home after a long sea assignment, it takes about a week to regulate his body to a more normal sleep pattern.  I guess there are still some situations where spousal visits to ports are possible, but that has never been my own experience, and since I get seasick and tugs are super noisy and smelly, I am not sure it would that much fun. Def not an idyllic scene like a charter boat moored near an island in Greece, for instance…

If you are new to the MM life, I can share some of our experiences that have worked for us.

Here’s a picture of how we prepare for MM going out to sea. We discovered that having a departure routine is also a coping strategy, as it helps us work as a team. The prep is a major undertaking, although a reluctant one on my part, because it ends with a drive to the airport. When our beloved pets were still alive (a border collie named Victor and our adorable cat, Bandit), just getting the suitcases out of the garage actually caused them to become depressed, as they both came to associate that action with their daddy going away. So sad!

We make a lot of lists so he’ll have enough supplies of personal items to last the duration of his assignment. He’ll often gone for about 2-4 months and there are no stores in the middle of the ocean!  There is always a cook aboard the vessels, so he doesn’t have to worry about food, but he has to have enough toothpaste(4), dental floss(4), vitamins, the kind of tea he likes (Yogi Antioxidant and Ginger), underwear, socks, shampoo (Kiehls is the shampoo of choice), sunscreen, and the supplies for his marlinspikemanship, which is the kind of ropework that merchant marines do to pass the time on those long voyages.  I usually pack some raw almonds, raisins, dried (unsweetened) mangos, and papayas from Trader Joe’s so he has some healthy snacks to last a while. He fills two large suitcases, two medium suitcases, and a backpack that contains his computer, iPod, other personal items. A tug is a noisy place and he tried some noise cancelling headphones but they really didn’t seem to work, but we didn’t get Bose, ‘cos they were almost $300.

I think that it is important to have a discussion about serious matters, just in case. It’s something no one wants to think about, but the reality is that a tugboat is a dangerous place, and it’s smart, not to mention empowering, to be prepared in the event of a worst case scenario. I suggest making sure you each have current powers of attorney, and easy access to all financial documents. (I’m not an attorney; this is just what we have found to be a good idea), He always checks our two cars to make sure they are in good working order, fills the gas can for the lawnmower, and completes any house repair jobs. It’s these little things that he does that make me feel like we are still connected even when he is an ocean away. I think it is also very important to know how to reach him in case of an emergency. Cell phones will often not work in remote locations, and there is a definite course of action to take if it becomes necessary for him to come home. I make sure that my son and our friends have that info just in case something happens to me and they need to contact my MM. I’m off to a Spin class, and then a doctor’s appt. I got stabbed in the arm by a vicious blue agave, and it still hurts like I have a broken arm.  I remembered too late to snip off the sharp ends…

Father’s Day

I sent a package of brownies and apples from our tree to my son and daughter-in-law who live on the east coast.  For their 6th wedding anniversary in December, I created a cookbook of my son’s favorite foods and family recipes. It’s a project I intended to present to them as a wedding gift, but it took a bit longer than that to complete! I added lots of pictures from their childhood and throughout the past six years. I titled it Mommy Love. Best Loved Foods of Most Loved Angel Boy. This is the cover photo:

Here’s the brownie recipe; it’s one of my most requested! I usually make a simple cocoa-based frosting but I was out of butter, so I spread a thin layer of Nutella over the top and sprinkled chopped raw almonds so when I packed them for mailing, they wouldn’t stick.|
Brownies
½ cup vegetable oil (you can use part melted butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp each vanilla and cold coffee
1/3 cup cocoa
½ cup flour
¼ tsp baking

Grease 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Whisk oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla/coffee. Combine dry ingredients, add, and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until edges pull away from pan. Don’t bake too long or they will be dry.
These are great plain or try my easy Nutella topping!

Our fruit trees are doing great this year; lots of apples, strawberries, and mulberries. It is a never-ending pleasure to go outside and pick apples just a few steps away from the back door. The mulberry tree was a volunteer; I didn’t actually plant it, but it bears a lot of fruit.  The only disappointment is the plum tree–take a look at the $25 plum (the only one on the tree!) I planted the veg garden late this year, so my MM would be able to enjoy it all. Last year, he was gone the entire summer and missed it.  When I got back from my son’s graduation, I planted cucumbers, tomatoes, chard, kale, spinach, zucchini, peppers, and 3 different kinds of lettuce. Everything sprouted, including dill, cilantro, basil, fennel, and sage.

But garden bounty isn’t the only thing my MM misses—there are birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, Mother’s/Father’s Day. The first few special days that he wasn’t home for were gloomy and depressing, but his solution to that is to make up for it all when he comes home, so we just plan delayed celebrations, and that is fine with me! I haven’t talked to him since last Saturday but he was able to call today, and we had a brief conversation that lasted exactly three minutes. He didn’t remember that it was Father’s Day, but he is actually a day ahead, so it is Monday for him.  I think it makes everything a lot easier all the way around to be or to become flexible and not get upset about little things.
Hello Kitty…I am not sure if I can pinpoint the exact moment when I first became aware of Hello Kitty. With a son, it was never really on my radar as he was growing up. Shelves full of dinosaurs and skateboards were the aisles we aimed for at Toys R Us.  I guess it was more of a gradual appeal;  a (grown-up) friend wore a Hello Kitty watch and I was drawn to the Swarovski crystals surrounding HK’s face, I walked by a Hello Kitty display at Target (great point of purchase placement)– or maybe it was always hovering in my subconscious, fermenting and fomenting—until one day I succumbed. I was hooked. I fell in love with that adorable face. One watch led to a ring and to a matching bracelet and then slippers, and OMG the cutest hat with an anchor! (!!!! had to have it, right? It was a nautical theme) OK, most people associate HK with little girls, but did you know that there is a secret society of adult women who collect HK?  More often than not, when I wear my HK t-shirt, I’ll be approached by women I do not know who will ask me if I “collect”. It’s like the Skull and Bones society intended for women “of a certain age.” Haha. An ADULT COLLECTOR OF HK. I was recently at the Baltimore Airport during a layover and a Southwest employee saw my HK watch and struck up a convo about her collection, which includes the HK toaster, which I really need to get. We were whispering, “Are you one of us?” “Yes, tell me what you have” and we each listed the items in our collection. There we were, two college educated women of adult children, I am not kidding. It was surreal. I mean, who wants to talk about the depressing economy or the upcoming election? BORING!!! Hello Kitty is a sweet, innocent diversion that makes us happy. Since I am relatively new to the whole HK phenomenon, and I really can’t  for the life of me understand the appeal,  I wanted to explore the psychology of adult women who are drawn to HK and thought someone should write their dissertation about the marketing genius of this huge pink kitty head with a bow. And sparkles. And I just now found a blog on WordPress that seems to be a dissertation,check out http://hellokittydevotee.wordpress.com/dissertation/
BTW, HK is worth about $500 BILLION yearly in licensing. And finally the ultimate…did you know that HK teamed up with one of Taiwan’s biggest airlines? What a great experience–a Hello Kitty extravaganza; from meals to mascots to boarding passes. Here’s pix of my very small collection:

“…we sail tonight for Singapore, don’t fall asleep while you’re ashore” Tom Waits

This is my deja vu–my first blog re-do–obviously my life is a deja vu redo Groundhog Day repeat. The captain was gone again, I was alone for a very long time…I’ve learned to use tags since then–maybe THIS time it’ll get read!

My First Blog Post

“…We sail tonight for Singapore, don’t fall asleep while you’re ashore” Tom Waits

Day 60: Alone again! It’s 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening and I just completed a copy editing assignment for a brilliant young neuroscientist. Since my first pink lock and key diary at the age of eight, I’ve filled notebooks and journals with my thoughts and observations, and even minored in creative writing in college, but the hardest thing in the world for me to do is to let go of my own words. (I’m a word hoarder. Hah!)

Update: Now I’m a word spewer–since I started blogging, I can’t STOP writing.

Although I easily re-write and proof and edit the work of others (and love to do it), my own words seem to be trapped somewhere; I am never quite satisfied with the finished product; I always feel that one more re-write is always needed—just one more, and then another and another–and I am determined to overcome this obstacle by blogging about my life as a wife of a Merchant Mariner.

To other MM wives, I’d love to share our experiences, problems, frustrations, and solutions. There are thousands of us around the world—let’s create a community and help one another. What do we all do when our guys are gone? In what ways do our lives change when they are away on assignment and when they are home? How do we cope with the work-related absence of a spouse, whether it is due to the military, MM, or any other career that involves a lot of travelling? Are you sad? Maybe relieved sometimes, if you were to be completely honest?

Update: Still hoping to create the community of Merchant Mariner Wives. I’ve met a handful and they’re wesome, but there has to be more! Come out and play! 

Here’s a mini-version of my back story:

I’m a (was a) stay-at-home mom; when my son left for college, I stayed home. Don’t you think that’s funny? I do. That’s my standard joke/response when I’m asked what I “do”.

Some people think it’s funny, some people think I’m obnoxious. Story of my life.

I’ve been married to a Merchant Mariner tugboat captain for about eighteen nineteen years. For the first fourteen years or so, our life was pretty ordinary and except for a few assignments that took him away for a week or so, his schedule kept him working in local ports.

In 2009, he changed companies and became the kind of mariner who goes out to sea for extended periods of time and travels to the four corners of the globe. When I tell people that my husband is a MM, most either think he is a “Marine Marine” or they don’t know what a Merchant Mariner is or what they do. My guy’s an academy graduate (he won’t let me say which one ‘cos he’s paranoid that someone will figure out who he is) and has been working in the industry since graduation.

What exactly is a Merchant Mariner?

What do they do?

For those of you who don’t know, the United States has a fleet of  Merchant Marine vessels,  ships which are owned and registered in the US and fly under our flag, but are separate from the military. (We are proud supporters of American-flagged vessels.) For example, car ships carry cars (obvs!), container ships hold cargo of TVs, bananas, soda ash, or even sand and gravel.

The Merchant Marine supplements the military in times of war, transporting goods and equipment to areas where it is needed. The people who crew Merchant Marine vessels are known as Merchant Marines.

Perhaps you remember hearing about the Maersk Alabama, a container ship seized by pirates a few years ago? Tom Hanks stars as the captain in the soon-to-be released film of the Navy Seals’ rescue of the ship and her crew. People who work on tugboats are called Merchant Mariners.

My guy is a Tug and Tow Master, although he has decades of experience on yachts, passenger vessels, and just about every type of boat, EXcluding fishing. No Deadliest Catch stories here!

Tugboats pull (or push) barges all over the world, assist all types of ships in and out of their berths, and work in marine construction and the oil industry. It is really more complex that than, with a rich history and great anecdotes, but I am only the wife of, and my perspective is a different one.

Update: I made my captain audition for the Tom Hanks pirate film–even was sent sides (that’s a script to those of you who are NOT in the know like I am), but he didn’t get the part. He really should have. They cast a professional actor, which is  not what the casting director said they planned to do. Darn!

Back to my story…this lifestyle has been quite an adjustment. When he’s home, he’s a 24/7 at-home husband, just like being retired, with an adjustment period of compromise and diplomacy. I have to remember someone else lives here and sleeps here and he has THINGS THAT HE PUTS EVERYWHERE.

When he’s away at sea, I become a sort of “grass widow”, and have learned to structure my time alone to stay occupied while waiting for my best friend to come home.

We modern merchant marine wives are really no different than wives of a few hundred years ago whose husbands went out to sea.   We might have email access and satellite telephones, and are able to stay in touch more frequently than the occasional letter posted from faraway ports, but we are essentially on our own for a great deal of time.

We have to be comfortable with being completely independent and solve problems and fix broken washing machines and cars and take out the trash and mow the lawn by ourselves, unless we have kids still living at home on whom we can foist these chores.

My confession du jour? I fully rely on retail therapy to help me cope. That doesn’t mean I actually PURCHASE a lot and spend a lot of money, rather, I am an accomplished fashionista BROWSER, (which should be an Olympic sport, as far as I’m concerned.) I have endurance and I possess stamina. I’m a hunter AND a gatherer. A shot of wheatgrass and I’m good to go for hours in my quest for a treasure, a good deal, or something I just have to have, and can’t live without; the next get. You know that Shopaholic film? I’ve seen it about a dozen times; it’s like a training film for me!  A day or so after my MM leaves, I fortify myself with a protein drink, a double shot of wheatgrass, and lay out my itinerary with quasi-military precision. I first make the rounds of my local stores; TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Target, Homegoods, just like a warm-up in my boot camp class, and then move on to H&M, Anthropologie, White Market/Black House. After that, I venture further away to the Nordstrom Outlet, DSW (yes!!!), and then our local mall for Bloomies, Nieman Marcus, and the boutiques-Tory Burch, Hermes, and the holy grail at South Coast Plaza in the OC…Chanel…Chanel…Chanel. I want/need a Chanel 2.55, the original black quilted bag with the chain strap. I am saving for a pilgrimage to Paris to pay homage to Coco at the original location. I. can’t. wait.

Update: I just can’t do it to y’all again, I know I’m probs on your last nerve with the whole Chanel thing, but it was cool for ME to tell myself, “Hey girl, your dream DID come true! Way to go to think it, believe it, and it will happen!”

Today, I was on the hunt for another blazer; blazers are super trendy and forever a classic fashion staple,  but it has to be the right blazer in the right color and cut. I ended up at a local consignment shop and while I didn’t find the desired blazer, I discovered the treasure of a Tory Burch sweater with gorgeous logo buttons. I found a similar style for around $250, and I got it for $40. It’s in perfect condition and looks like it’s never been worn. The pic doesn’t do it justice; it’s a rich cocoa brown, and totes adorbs.

Well, it’s back to editing for me and building my Etsy store where I can sell all the ropework jewelry and beachy décor we create. I hope you’ve enjoyed this first glimpse into my world.

Update: STILL working on that Etsy store! I can’t get all the pix just perfect. Almost done tho, hopefully so I won’t miss the holiday season!