Friday, April 25, 2014

This Week in Thoughtful Consumerism, Vol. 12: Five Personal Wardrobe Truths

 So Organized_I Know!

I’ve always been a pragmatic shopper, but this year in particular I feel really inspired to be very intentional with my purchases.  Because I’m making ends meet with unpredictable freelance work, I feel the weight of my purchases more deeply.  It’s a good thing, I think, to be so conscious of what consumerism requires of you in terms of time and effort.

I am still allowed to shop; I didn’t put myself on a shopping ban or anything drastic.  But as I’ve been making additions to my closet for spring/summer, I’ve also been thinking about what are the truths that shape my wardrobe and how I get dressed.  Here are five of them, in no particular order. 

{ONE}  I have major and minor color palettes in my closet.  Major palette colors: blue, purple, pink.  Minor palette colors: green and red.

{TWO}  I want the same color palette for all four seasons, which means summer and  winter versions of sweaters in the same colors.  I’ve been kinda denying this truth because I feel like I have so many clothes already.  But realistically, I need a few more long-sleeved cardigans (grey and red in particular—minor colors to balance my major color palette) to round out my winter wardrobe on a long-term basis.

{THREE}  I think cognac and grey are my new favorite neutrals.  I used to wear a lot of black, but it’s become a secondary neutral to cognac and grey.

{FOUR}  I have strong, visceral reactions to shoes.  These reactions are either love or hate at first sight, and rarely do my feelings change.  The one exception in recent history?  Wedges.  I used to think they looked absolutely goofy when worn with skirts or dresses, but now I love wearing them that way.  (Paul finds my wedges very strange and kinda ugly, especially this pair.  One time, when someone complimented me on them, he was sure that they were mocking me!)

{FIVE}  Pretty patterns make me happy.  Falling in love with a pattern is, to me, the perfect reason to buy something.  Here’s a photo of my favorite pattern of all:

Lucy Loves a Good Reading Pile Too<3

What are some of your personal wardrobe truths?

(And up next: my French wardrobe approach to buying new items for spring/summer!  I tell you that so that I will actually follow through with writing that post…sobusypleasesendhelpandchocolate!)

Friday, April 18, 2014

It’s Friday? Time for a high five!

Hey, hey!  As a Friday treat to myself, I’m carving out some time for a Friday High Five.  Life is good.

{ONE}  This month is B-U-S-Y with work.  It’s April, so that means in Texas, it’s mating season for bees and the honeybee lab is a flurry of activity.  It’s also the final month of the semester, so it’s the last push for students to finish their courses with a good grade.  I’m happy to be working, especially with my tutoring students, but I’m also in danger of losing my mind.  Keep it together, Rose-Anne, just keep it together…


{TWO}  The wildflowers have been particularly gorgeous and abundant this year.  Also, anyone who has lived in Texas needs to check this out…too funny.

Short Hair

{THREE}  I got my hairs cut!  I’m loving my short ‘do—it feels very light and spring-y to me.

Bike on an April Day

{FOUR}  Today I rode my bike in the sunshine for a lunch date.  Our spring has been rainy and depressing, but today was warm and beautiful.  I’m typing this with the patio door open and rays of sunshine streaming inside.  Lovely!

{FIVE}  I’m getting excited for my upcoming trip to Michigan.  My sister Theresa is getting married, JD and I are running a 10K race together, and Paul is meeting my family for the first time(!).  It’s going to be an epic trip.  I’ve been pretty anxious about it, but I think I’ve come to the realization that I can’t control everything.  Life happens, and so will this trip.  We’ll figure it out as we go.

Happy weekend, friends!

PS  Check out Chrissy’s High Five for today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On Making Room

At Lake Bryan Together

This weekend, Paul and I were supposed to go camping with friends.  Instead, we skipped the two-hour drive to Bastrop State Park and ended up at Lake Bryan.  Spring wildflowers have bloomed all around us, including the hillsides at the lake.  I asked a friend to take a few pictures of us—I have surprisingly few, considering how long we’ve been together now—and this photo was my favorite.

In between work and the everyday tasks of life, I’ve been trying to get my apartment ready for Paul to move in with me.  Once I started brainstorming ways to clear out the second bedroom, I felt a burst of energy to get it done, now.  Which was not really possible, but I did move my desk into the living room, and that’s where I’m sitting now, typing this post.

Desk in Living Room

I’ll tell you a secret: before Paul, I would have guessed that giving up my personal space for a partner would be really, really hard.  I have lived alone for a long time, and I like my space and private time.  Even with Paul, I find that I am better able to appreciate our relationship if I have time alone.  Since Paul isn’t a runner (he has one running speed: a full sprint), running is an easy excuse for alone time.  But for the most part, I love being with him.  I enjoy it when he stops by unannounced—that always feels like a special treat.  It feels good having him around.

I sometimes wonder, even worry, about the longevity of this relationship.  It’s natural to worry, I think, and I question everything, including my own doubts.  I am a doubtful person; it’s why I became a scientist.  But making room for Paul in my heart and my home feels like the most natural thing in the world.  I welcome the changes that are happening; I wish I had more time now to make them happen faster.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that Paul and I have been waiting our whole lives to find each other.  After many years alone and wondering, “Is there someone for me?” it feels like nothing short of a gift to share my life and, very soon, my home with him.

(But we are still keeping separate bedrooms!  Best decision ever?  We’ll see.  That was a fun post to share.  I loved hearing different stories and perspectives on that question, so thank you for sharing them with me.)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

This Week in Thoughtful Consumerism, Vol. 11: Two Transformational Ideas

Welcome back to “This Week in Thoughtful Consumerism!”  Lately, I’ve been motivated to unpack a lot of my mental baggage around the issues of money, autonomy, and partnership.  You may recall that I have two jobs: a part-time lab gig and private tutoring.  My income is up and down this year, depending on how many tutoring hours I’m booking during a given month.  Being a freelancer forces you to deal with your money fears, and being a freelancer who is dating a freelancer?  That REALLY asks you to unpack your deepest beliefs about money and its role in your life.

I’ve always been pretty responsible with money, but I also have chronic anxiety about it.  I used to do all the things a real grown-up does with money: track your expenses; stick to a budget; save money for retirement, a house, a rainy day, a new tooth for when you break your old one.  I did all these things when my income was sufficient to cover them.  But now?  Now I am lucky if I break even each month, which, for the record, I am not doing.  I am covering most of my expenses with current income, but each month, I pay for the remaining bills with savings.

It’s not my ideal situation, but I trust that it’s temporary as I transition out of research and into a more teaching-centered career.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to find some peace around the issue of money.  Truly, money comes and money goes, just like jobs.  We live in uncertain times.  But maybe there’s a way for me to stop worrying incessantly about money.  Here are two ideas I had:     

* “Have I missed out on anything because of a lack of money?”  The answer is no.  Paul and I had a wonderfully adventurous year of dating, with tons of travel and friends and date nights.  On my own in the last year, I’ve run my first marathon, had four trips to Michigan (where my family lives), bought new or replacement items as I wanted (new boots come to mind, as well as a gorgeous dress from Ann Taylor Loft), eaten well, and adopted the best kitty in the world.  Life is good.

My Favorite Officemate   

“Money is a game.”  I saw this on a post someone wrote about marriage, and I liked it a lot.  Paul and I aren’t married, but we do share expenses and resources.  I believe that his good fortune is our good fortune and vice versa.  How we choose to spend our time and our money really is a game.  What do we want to do?  Do we have time for it?  How busy are we going to be that month?  So many puzzle pieces to consider.

For us, the time question is usually more important than the money question.  Despite both being freelancers, we have substantial work commitments—“freelance” isn’t code for “unemployed” here, even if I feel under-employed right now.

I’ll be keeping this idea in mind as we prepare for our move to Austin.  Game on!

Have you found any money-related ideas to be transformational for you?  If so, what were they?