Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! Today is one of my favorite holidays. Plus, I now have a little piece of Halloween in my everyday life with my little black kitty!

He may be tricky, but mostly he's a treat!

We had a Halloween lunch at work today and while most people didn't go all out, some people did. We had people dressing up as each other, a samurai, American Gothic and more!

I dressed up as, well, a retro girl I guess. I decided to wear a poodle skirt this year. I like retro and vintage styles anyway, but I also thought it would be a cute, modest, work appropriate costume! Plus it was easy to make.

Not visible: my sassy argyle scrunched socks!

I made a simple circle skirt out of felt by following this tutorial, but instead of elastic, I used a split waist and velcro. I paired it with a white collared shirt, scrunched pink socks, Keds and a cardigan. Pearls and a neck scarf were optional, but I found they added some extra flair.

For those who aren't really into the "costume" thing but also want to be festive, I also made this jack-o-tee-shirt for a party I'm headed to this evening!

I took some sparkly black felt and cut it into a jack-o-lantern face. I made two large triangles, one small triangle, and a little mouth. Then, I took some heat-n-bond and ironed them to an orange tee shirt. Quick and easy!
A literal happy halloween!

Before I knew we were doing costumes at work, I considered wearing my Lilly Pulitzer "Fancy Fest"cat scarf. I wear this scarf all year round, because it's adorable, but with a black bottom and an orange blouse, it could also be festive without breaking the bank, or going too crazy.

What did you do for Halloween? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cat-sual Friday

I may be too casual this casual Friday, but for once I don't care. I have had a week.

Monday my car broke down. So the week has been pretty hectic on that factor alone. I have a party this weekend that I've been planning for and looking forward to for a whole month and it almost got muddled by my silly car.

Luckily, the fix turned out to be simple (three shops later.... sigh!) and it's back in my parking lot, longingly hoping for a joy ride.

Wednesday and Thursday were somewhat trying days for me, as work completely kicked my butt. There was so much there but also not much there. I can't even explain it.

And of course, the one week I would really like Friday to be the beginning of the weekend... I have a shift tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I love money and I love my job, but man I could have totally used a morning to sleep in.

Oh, did I mention? Cairo has been un-banished from my bedroom. He now sleeps with me (because it's getting SOO COLD and my heater doesn't exactly work) or in his little bed on the floor. While this is cute and precious and I love it, he also wakes me up at 6 am for pets by licking my eyelids with his scratchy tongue.

Zzzzzzzzz... for now.

But it all could be so much worse. I'm grateful I've got a cat who has learned not to bite me and can behave in my room now, I'm glad I have a job that not only gives me hours but also money, I'm glad my car is fixed and I'm glad I have a roof over my head, even if the heater is a little behind the times.

What was your week like? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Planning to plan: paper or digital planners?

As the year comes to an end, I feel like I'm at a very weird cross road: My planner is almost used up.

I've been using a Lilly Pulitzer planner for about 2 years now, but now that I'm not a student and don't need/want an 18 month agenda, I feel like it is slightly wasteful. But is a paper agenda as a whole just as wasteful?

I have a serious problem.

I like the environment. I like trees. I like living on Earth and breathing air. I like that there may be water on Mars but it's not vital to our existence if there isn't any water there because Earth still has tons.

So, as an adult who is obsessed with their iPad, should I just skip out on the paper planner all together? Think about how many trees wouldn't make me feel guilty. And what do you even do with a filled up planner? Digitally, you can just delete.

The big downside to the digital planner is you have to take whatever it's on everywhere and my iPad is a little heavier than my past planners. Then, you have to sync it to your phone and computer and all that.

So which is better? I like writing stuff down, it's soothing. But seriously, what the hell do I do with a used up planner!? And just how many trees sob as they watch sorority girls scribble on their family members each year?

Are you a digital or paper planner? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Turning over some new leaves

I began this blog right before I graduated college. It's hard for me to believe that in less than six months, my whole life has completely changed. 

I've been working on finding a balance between my college self, high school self, middle school self and so forth. I've gone through a lot of changes (especially fashion-wise) so the real question I'm trying to answer is, Who the heck am I, anyway? 

I've been really introspective lately. Who are all these versions of Alyson and how do they all fit together? It's like a puzzle. And really, that's what being a post-grad twenty-something is about. 

So really, this is a warning to my readers. There are tons of "preppy" and "southern" blogs out there and I'm starting to think I don't really belong in that category as much as I belong in a "life advice and lessons" category. So expect to see some changes, including a possible name change! Now that I've secured the job and am really settling into adulthood, I don't feel like I'm exactly who I've been trying to brand myself as.

Before I go, I will tell you who I think I am so far: I'm an unmarried woman who's just finished being a girl and is still getting used to life on her own. I'm a homebody who likes to take walks. I'm learning a lot about life and patience from my first pet cat after a lifetime of dogs. My wardrobe is fluctuating as I figure out what makes me feel confident and my nail colors have gone back to middle school- dark and crazy with lots of glitter. 

I still plan on focusing on the young adult life after college and the life lessons and experiences that come with it, as well as how to transition from college to work, including fashion, social norms and work ethic. 

It's important to stay true to you, after all, I sign off each post with that reminder. However, I don't want to lie to my readers either: sometimes being true to yourself means changes. 

Have you gone through a transitional time? Share with me in the comments below.

Stay true to yourself,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kitten Caboodle

I took my cat, Cairo, to the (surprisingly expensive) vet this morning. He was amazingly well behaved and only meowed once when then vet went to examine his, uh, manhood.


Even after two vaccines, blood work and being prodded by some people he didn't know but knew meant well, he was still well behaved. His ears were alert and he was cautious but he also flipped his tail happily.

For a vet visit, it was quite pleasant. I think the last time I went to the vet was to put my good old dog, Snowy, down after a long 16 years. He was also a good boy.

The elder statesman, Mr. Snowy.

So what can we learn from Cairo's trip to the vet today? The nips, pinches and sticks in your skin will hurt temporarily, but it's no reason to act out.

Have you learned anything from your pets today? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Monday, October 14, 2013

The perfect morning

This morning was almost perfect. Here's why:

  • I got to sleep in.
  • I woke up slow, checked my email and discovered nothing detrimental was happening at work.
  • I released the kitty cat from his room and we spent 20 minutes cuddling (complete with purrs!) on his favorite chair.
  • I made peanut butter toast for breakfast, then opened the fridge and remembered I had gone to the store - berries and juice were waiting for me in the fridge!
  • I ate my hearty breakfast of berries and peanut butter toast and drank a full glass of water, all while Kitty Man sat with me in the chair opposite of me.

He's quite polite.

  • I made the bed (just because it makes me feel productive.)
  • I got cleaned up. My hair was still looking fierce from yesterday. (I blow-dried it straight)
  • I used the last of my dry shampoo... but still had just enough.
  • I put on one of my favorite dresses
  • Finally, I grabbed lunch with my Daddy!
Who said Monday's had to be glum? I've had a great day so far... let's hope it stays swell!

What did you do this morning? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself, 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday folks! I have to apologize for my recent absence. I've been on the move!

For starters, I've been reconnecting with one of my best friends from college. I've never really been a "text your friends all the time" kind of girl but I've really been missing this friend and it's really been working for us! We're not texting back immediately (except on lunch!) so we can still get our work done!

Second, I've been picking up some more tasks at work. Both this week and last week I've had assignments - events to cover outside of the station - but both weeks I've been bumped up to two assignments a week! These assignments are often additional to my work hours, so I get a little extra cash, and it helps me work on my writing and reporting skills.

On top of assignments, I've also been dabbling with some advertisements at work. I think they're super easy, so I've been helping out with their input.

Up next: Kitty Mews

Finally, I've been trying to connect with my little Kitty Man more. I ended up adopting the cat I was sitting, so we've been learning together. Last night he even got to sleep in the bed until 2:30... then he started prowling. I had to put him in his "bedroom" - my office that's cat safe and filled with his necessities.

I've also been watching "My Cat From Hell" for kitty tips and also to appreciate my calm but curious little man.

The weather is also getting chillier here! It makes my outfit choices a bit of a struggle... but I'll get the hang of it soon!

How is your week going? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Life lesons from Kitty: Patience

Yesterday I received a call from the coworker I had been cat-sitting for. His daughter has officially relinquished her ownership of the cat, Cairo, and I was allowed to send him to the humane society I volunteer with.

But... Cairo is really growing on me. He drove me CRAZY for a few weeks, but after bringing him home to meet my family dogs, I learned that it wasn't him who was being crazy.

I wasn't executing any patience. He would jump on the counter and I would scream. He'd bite me in the middle of the night and I would scream. He would meow and I would scream back. I was at the end of my rope! But it was because I didn't know how to talk to the cat.

I realized that dogs and cats are actually very similar, but cats don't understand punishment like dogs do. Cats need patience, just like puppies do. It doesn't end with litter box training.

I learned that he was jumping on the counter because he knew I would chase him. He knew that if he rattled the plate I left in the sink or knocked over the papers I had on the table I would pay him attention. When I took away the papers and washed the dishes and put a little food in his bowl, he stopped jumping on the counter.

Cairo, halfway to Mt. Cabinet.

I also learned the "Ow and Down" technique. When kitty bit too hard during play, or when he bit me lightly while I slept to wake me up, I made a high pitched "Ow!' sound, similar to a yowl, and place him on the ground. He got the message very quickly.

Patience is a serious virtue and a very difficult one to master. I decided to keep Cairo because I knew I needed a lesson in patience and he needed a home willing to love him. I want him to grow up and be a fat, happy cat. I don't know if a humane society would give him that opportunity right away and as a kitten, he is in a critical stage of development. Without the proper nurturing, how could he be expected to be a "good" pet?

I still wouldn't call myself a "cat person" and I'm definitely still a dog person, but I felt that this was the right choice. So welcome home, Cairo! We've got a lot of learning to do!

Have you learned any lessons from pets? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ripe for the picking

Some people bite their nails, some people never paint them, some people keep them long, some short. Me? I pick at imperfection.

I must get this from my daddy, who picks at his cuticles under stress, anxiety or boredom. But I pick at polish. Dent? Smudge? Chip? Pick it off. All of them. Good bye polish!

I guess it's because of stress, anxiety and boredom, but unless my nails are perfect, they are subject to the picking monster I keep within. And I refuse to be seen with chipped polish or half of a mani... if one goes, they ALL go.

I think my nail picking shows people that I'm a perfectionist and perhaps a control freak. I like things to always be pulled together effortlessly, and bare nails are better than chipped nails.

Do you pick at polish? Any home remedies to stop? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,