Friday, September 30, 2011

A Few Numbers

The great clean out continues and this is where I'm at:

Days spent cleaning 3

Pounds of paper shredded 57 (true story, took it somewhere to be shredded)

Hours spent yesterday with Katie cleaning 14.

Giants bags of garbage/clutter/nonsense taken out 6

Giants bags of goodies to salvation army 6 bags and 2 car runs.

Last night I barely slept. After Katie left I wandered my apartment just so happy at what it looked like. I honestly felt like I had lost 100 pounds and I sort of did. Well at least 57 I can account for. I dialed in details last night and finally made myself get into bed, but I tossed and turned just thinking of how much more I wanted to do and all the potential I saw. Just being able to clear out so much of the clutter has allowed me to see that potential because that huge obstacle is out of the way. I still have some stuff to get done today but pics soon because I am happy to show my home off now!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Every Handbag Needs a Home

It feels good to be cleaning everything out but one thing I struggle to giveaway to the Salvation Army is handbags. No idea why. I just love them so much I prefer to place them in a home. The three below have not been used in 800 years and therefore must leave me. If you would like one of them let me know before Thursday and it's yours. That's it, you can comment, or email me, first come first serve and only if you have no history of prior handbag abuse. Kidding. 

disco never died hobo

Jamin Puech hobo 

cute print interior

Michael Kors neutral hobo

Worth reading

I have come across these the past few days and thought they were worth sharing.

I love, love, love Kate at Eat The Damn Cake. She's smart, funny, honest and I have yet to read a post that I did not like or take something away from. I really loved this one.

Just found this blog and it's a visual delight, and has lots-o-good stuff.

My friend Theresa and her friend Tressa just started doing make up and blogging and they are hilarious and amazingly talented. Read about their exploits.

Interesting article on blogging:

Hannah Banana, you continue to inspire and amuse me. This post had me shaking my head in agreement.

Thought this article about a music artist who gave herself a makeover and became more of singing sensation and the music bloggers disdain for it interesting.

Things I Want to Ask My Past Self

I understand a lot of why I have done what I've done. I do however have a few questions for past Anna....

1. What was the thought behind the bright aqua cords? You have never worn brightly colored pants, much less ones WITH TEXTURE.

2. How many pairs of sunglasses does one face truly need? Not the 800 I have accumulated, or the box I somehow came by.
P.S. I am super seksi in clean mode

wasn't kidding about the box

Monday, September 26, 2011

Very Few Things

Are as annoying as organizing your apartment. The worst part, I need to organize the whole damn thing. Total honesty, I am about 1 bag of junk away from a hoarders episode. I have spent hours today going through the stuff. I am left with a bigger mess then I started with and my allergies going ballistic. The dust is out of control. I am super allergic to dust, as in I will full on bust out in hives and it's been recommended to me that I wear a mask when cleaning. I of course do not have one on hand. I am rocking a Pucci scarf someone gave me as a gift as a cleaning mask. That's how I roll.

My brother happens to be taking Thursday off of work and he is going to come over and help me. This is great but also a little scary because I have a lot to get done to be ready for his pick up services on Thursday. I am also pretty much guaranteed he is going to drive me crazy, but I need help and he's offering. He happens to be a neat freak and great in the home department. It seems unfair I did not get any of that, like not a drop. Not helping this entire situation is I picked up my stuff from work this weekend. I have four more boxes of crap to add to the pile. Great. My old business cards should come in super helpful it was so thoughtful of them to make sure they were included, she said dripping with sarcasm.

I am grateful I have the time to do this. That hopefully I can clean up my act for once and all and create some systems for organization so it never gets to this point again. I am over the chaos. It's not helpful trying to move forward, work from home, or even just feel like an adult. When anyone mentions coming by your apartment and you break into a cold sweat it's time to change.

The beginnings of my color coded bookcase. 

Sorry true crime books. Time for you to find a new home. 

Over it. All of it. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jewelmint Continued Love

I can not stop wearing my latest jewelmint lovely. The savoy bracelet. My bracelet obsession is not showing any sign of waning...
It's actually a little more silver in person then gold which I prefer. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

On a Health Tip

After very much being in a weight loss slump it would appear unemployment is excellent for weight loss. I have lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks. I try to stay away from numbers and generally I would not think 3 pounds a week loss was very healthy. It's a little much in a short period of time. That being said I have not been doing anything unhealthy. No restricting, over exercising, or other unhealthy behaviors. I have just been balanced. There has been wine, a smidge of vodka, tapas, an amazing cheeseburger, but there has also been tasty stir frys, low fat grilled cheese sandwiches, apples, long walks, a boxing class, and cardio business as usual, to round it all out.

 I am appreciating having the time to just be clear headed and focused it makes it easier to check in when the temptation to eat a few feelings creeps in. I was on my way to the gym the other day and I turned to go to this bakery. I did what I hate when people do, stopping dead in the middle of the side walk and said," What are you doing?" I had a quick convo with myself bringing up that I was heading to LA and not sure what I would be eating, but knowing there would be wine, I did not want to be super stressed about food, and not 100% clear on what my exercise situation would be. Did I really want to get a super caloric treat now when I could control what I could eat that could make me feel bad ahead when I couldn't? No I didn't. I wanted comfort. I wanted a reward for going to the gym when I did not want to. I wanted a lot of things that something from a bakery was not going to fix and never can. It would be nice to take an isolated event and think ah ha I've got it, but you never completely do. It's the hope that you can seize the moments when they come and move forward feeling so good about the choice you made you continue to make those choices. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

LA Round Up

Lauren & I. 

I am back from the West Coast and getting back into the swing of things. I spent most of yesterday feeling like a zombie. I got back super late and had to be up super early. Not the most optimal combo. I had such a great time in LA. It left me with more questions then answers but that is okay for now. Something I really took away was while LA may not be right for me as a move there was a lot I can take away from the experience. Life is easier there. There is a huge emphasis on quality of life. Everyone works hard but the point is to work hard to get back to your life. I feel like in NYC long hours are more of a badge of honor. You are more different being protective of your free time and striving to have pursuits outside your career. The work home life balance is not as easy to achieve here, because the support is not as present.

The meetings went well and the business style is very different. It's not as direct as here and I felt like I had a lot to learn if I do want to conduct business out there. I saw a client who is a friend as well and he gave me some great advice. He also said and it rang very true to me, " it sounds like what you want is independence." I do. I very much do want my independence. After years working for people I think I have that much figured out. It's not a lot but it is a start. Between connecting with people I got to spend a lot of time with friends. I got to watch Lauren have a total meltdown at the awesomeness of an estate sale, wander the Fairfax markets, have a tasty reuben sandwich at the grove, go to a BBQ and meet some of her friends, be in a house which is a novelty to an apartment dweller like myself, fall in love with chai tea boba, score some brilliant vintage finds, clear my head and know if I want to, I can live wherever I want and be okay.

I got my resume together, I started brushing up my linkedin profile, contacting people and treading water in this new life. I also felt like my head is clear for the first time in a long time. I am capable of seeing opportunity where it lies, being more inspired by my surroundings and appreciating simpler things and pleasures. Just being able to be in a different city with friends who cooked for me was such a great comfort and boost. I have very little figured out yet. I know I want to be creative and trust in my skills and talent. To have the confidence to represent what I know I have to offer and the guts to pursue it.

Some photos below:

all aboard the party plane, seriously Virgin what's up with the lighting?

I love the views flying out west. I am convinced everything is the Grand Canyon. 

In case you were unsure that is banana bread. Icing infographics. 

Lauren on our am rye bread bakery run. 

adorable house we wandered during the estate sale

cutest breakfast room I have ever seen

Lauren purchased this record player the second we walked in. Then she and our new friend Cheryl tried to make it work.

Lauren's estate sale spoils.

Now I know where to get a surfboard should the need arise. 

View of the hills from Melrose on our way to Urth cafe.

Vintage find. 

Dresser I would have bought had it fit in my luggage. 

buckets of photos of hooters girls. So random. 

Fairfax market, tables and tables full of old photos. This reinforced again to me why you do not take nude photos. Trust. 

Working lunch and heaven. Chai Tea Boba, and turkey sandwich.

Jo and I loading up the car.
Me in a sea of delightful Aussie girls. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Coast to Coast Friends

I can not wait to spend time with LJ, even if she is heavily campaigning for me to move to LA. We've had a countdown calendar going because we're 5 yr olds. It's been 100 years since I have seen her and she is super dear to me. She pushes me like few people I know and I let her and every time I let her push me out of my comfort zone I am not disappointed and have to admit she was right. Love hate that. She also makes me laugh to the point of wheezing every two seconds so there's that to look forward to as well. I can't wait to just hang, meet her boyfriend, friends and maybe if we're lucky have some adventures. We tend to always end up in some sort of trouble. Good trouble.

I am also taking several meetings while I am in LA. Two of these meetings have a lot of promise and I have a loose offer on the table. The offer is outside my comfort zone but not my skill set and could keep me out there through December. This has my family panicked I am moving out to LA. I am open to doing it but now that I am leaving tomorrow it's a little more real and therefore a little more scary. There's also the issue of not having a drivers license. I am bitter about that. I really thought I could make it through life without dealing with this. Really did. I guess making it to 31 is not a bad run.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Where I am at

I continue to be thoroughly overwhelmed by kindness. I keep getting comments, emails, texts, even on twitter messages from people. It's a great problem to have. I honestly think it's been something which has tremendously softened the blow. When I should feel down I feel incredibly up. People have gone out of their way to contact me, contact people on my behalf, and have just been amazing. It has really humbled and overwhelmed me.

It's officially a week now that I have been unemployed. I have yet to really set any sort of routine. My days have consisted mostly of being on the phone and enjoying my downtime. I nearly killed my dog taking her for a mega walk the other day. She may grow to not like that I am around so much and marching her around the city. I just walked around no iPod on and took in the fantastic city I live in. I do not even know that last time I got to just walk with no destination in mind. I have led a really busy fast paced life for 13 years here. I have always been go go go and on to the next thing with no time to waste and goals to reach. My goals are very different right now. I am taking each day as it comes because this is totally new territory for me. I have never not had a job, a concrete goal in mind, or a destination I was heading.

Today was the first day I woke up a little down. I just wanted to stay in bed and not deal with anything. I wanted to just pull the covers over my head. I felt very overwhelmed. I think some of this had to do with being a little worse for wear. I went to a really amazing party last night. The blog Advanced Style hosted a party and my 91 year old girl crush was performing. Ilona was amazing and I got to meet her! Leading up to meeting her I said to my friend Jen, I want to meet her and she said go up there go for it. I got really shy and nervous about it. Then I quickly dashed up on to the stage to shake her hand, tell her I loved her, and then quick as a cat was back with Jen. Jen said you were too fast I couldn't get a picture. I felt like that moment in some ways sort of sums up where I'm at. I feel a little shy and nervous but have to keep making dashes up to the stage. Maybe not to meet 91 year old women, but if I want to continue figuring out who I am, what I want to do, and how to make myself happy on my own terms there are going to be a lot of uneasy moments. Change is not comfortable. I think this morning that much of what lies ahead for me had sunk in.

Feeling a little bolder post Ilona meeting I asked this  fabulous lady for a picture. Check out her bangles, my hero. 

91 year old Ilona Royce Smithkin cabaret.

Ilona ready to meet her adoring public. 

Monday, September 12, 2011


Last Wednesday I was given a gift. A very complicated one I have a lot of feelings about but a gift nonetheless. What was this gift? I lost my job. The company I worked for restructured and restructured me out. The decision was explained by financial streamlining. I am sure this is a factor but the real reason in my opinion is different. I no longer belonged there. I no longer fit. I no longer was growing, prospering or doing my best work. I was checked out, unsettled, and frustrated. I could list all the negatives, and dwell on it but it won't help me or really change anything.

I am freaked out by what lies ahead. I have never been unemployed. I have worked with a chunk of the people I just left for almost 9 years and the majority of my career. I have no idea what is before me. I do not completely think I grasp what has happened. I am still in shock. All of that being said I am so excited. I am so excited to be free. To be free of old dynamics, old habits, and old roles. I have no idea what lies ahead of me. What I do know is my eating has been healthier and more balanced then it has been for months. I have been totally overwhelmed by the kindness and support people have shown me. I am going to LA this weekend. In the meantime I am going to pick myself up, enjoy some downtime, and tackle the scariest thing on my plate what do I want to be when I grow up.

These past few months I have felt jealous of the people around me. Their lives moving forward, having changes, and evolving. It hit me recently what I was jealous of. Most of these people were actively making choices, acting on them and carrying them out. I was drifting. I kept saying oh I can't do that, or I wish. Careful what you wish for. My life is moving forward and I have the chance to decide where.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Past & Present Colliding

I had a lovely long weekend and hope everyone else did to. I kicked it off by visiting friends in North Carolina. I got to meet their new baby Natalie who I am now madly in love with. She is adorable, and she taught me some good stuff this weekend. 1. Babies are not so scary, 2. If you are ready for babies they are a pretty amazing thing, and 3. Wanting to have kids and wanting to be a parent are different.

I expected my friends to look shell shocked and like they had been fighting some sort of war. They really did not. Natalie is a mighty 8 weeks old and they kept saying well we've had 7.5 weeks to adjust. Uhm...that's nice but I was thinking more of a 7 year adjustment might be realistic. I have known Natalie's Mom since we were 12 years old. She was my first friend when I moved to England. We've watched each other grow up, I was her maid of honor at her wedding, and now I get to see her as a mom. It's pretty cool. She is a great mom already and it was touching to see this transformation in her. Her husband who I also adore is hilarious and tries best he can to be supportive and helpful but he's also working on getting his MBA. This is not an easy household to bring an infant into the mix. Listening to them and learning about how their lives have changed and just catching up overall paralleled the work I am doing in therapy.  

I could not get enough of hearing what they are hoping for with Natalie, or want to teach her, and what was amazing is they did not make these grandiose statements they would have to eat down the road. They had plans, partnership and ways in which they wanted to do these things together and as a team. Something I kept thinking, seeing, and having shown to me is how much of a team they are together as a couple and as parents. They are committed to the same ideas, goals, and hopes, and have an incredible open channel of communication. I am 99.9% sure they know it all about one another, and exactly where the other stands on any given topic. They have looked at their own childhoods and parents and thought about what they want to do differently. They know their strengths and weaknesses as people and where they want to play on those together as a team. It's pretty amazing. This is what happens when two ridiculously smart people have a kid. Their ish is together. I love though that Jaime, Dana's husband went to Iraq and was shot, yes shot, and yet this tiny little 8 pound nugget can reduce him to panic. He genuinely wants to be a good Dad, and very much wanted a daughter, which is super endearing. We spoke briefly about the roles of Dad's with their daughters and I loved how he knew the importance of that, and valued it. Granted it's 2011 and we know more now about how kids develop and the do's and don'ts and I imagine that down the road it will all change again but it's pretty awesome to see people you have known a long time and love dearly be off to such a great start. They are going to be great parents, because they already are. 

What I really came away with when I mulled things over during Monday therapy is my parents really wanted kids, but had no clue how to be parents. They both had crap role models. My Dad's mom walked out on him when he was 8 years old and his father was pretty evil. My mom's mom was incredibly damaging, instilling a lot of terrible lasting self esteem issues. I think she kept my mom from really valuing herself until now. My Mom was tremendously close to her father, but that was not without some serious dysfunction.

 A huge part of my childhood and my early adulthood was completely overshadowed by their pasts and their reconciling it. My Dad never really did. He never dealt with anything at all. My mom learned skills but again never really dealt with it either. They were always in survival mode. There was also this everlasting and to this day competition, well at least I never did this my mom would say blah to me, or at least you never had to deal with x. It can be infuriating, and it definitely makes me want to start listing the BS of transgressions past but who does that benefit? Plainly put, I love my Mom, and loved my Dad, but they were just not the best parents. They understood parenting on a very basic level. They played to generalizations and stereotypes but did not understand really how to nurture, guide, teach and well, be parents. 

So what does all this mean to me now? Most of what I am dealing with right now is the childhood I have never really wanted to deal with. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't great. There was a lot which happened that put into place habits and coping mechanisms I use to this day which are no longer really working for me or healthy and conducive to forming healthy relationships with others, and fostering a healthier relationship with myself. Food is/was one, and so is disassociating. I put things into boxes and then shut the lids and put them on a shelf, never to be really felt, dealt with or looked over again. If they are in the box then I am safe and can remain in my bubble and keep up the veneer of having things under control. 

In losing a huge amount of weight walls had to come down. I sort of thought the lion's share of the work was done, but really the work which was most simplistic and safe was done. I had to first allow myself to grasp and feel any emotion by removing the binging.  I think the hardest work which I will benefit the most from long term and allow me to lead a mentally and physically healthy life is in front of me now. Part of what holds me back losing weight is there are a lot more walls which need to come down and as Marisa says, "my body is the keeper of my secrets." I still rely on my weight to keep me safe, shape my identity, and suppress how I feel. Things will come up in session, or pop into my mind at random and it's weird because it's still so abstract. Marisa and Christina urge me to keep going, hold on to that keep going, or how did that make you feel, or your voice changed why, and it's really challenging to be so exposed and be called out, and urged to keep going when you want to call end scene. These are memories, feelings, and sometimes just impressions I am to keep pushing and running with. I can not always grasp on to things because it's like a game of hot potato where I in no way want to catch the potato. In some ways what I have come to accept is you can only run for so long. I have run long and far but can run no more. For the changes I want in my life and weight I have to stop running, continuing thinking, feeling and connecting. It's completely terrifying but I am scared less of examining the past then I am of continuing to tarnish my future with it. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nugget Time!

Despite being a little under the weather, super emotional this week, and exhausted I am still so excited for this weekend. It's a long weekend which by default is awesome and I am off to see one of my nearest and dearest friends. I am not only going to get some much needed catch up time with her but also get to meet her baby! Her husband is also a great guy I look forward to seeing and catching up with. However the star of this vacation is the bebe. I can not wait for some nugget snuggle time. I also have gifts galore so we should be able to play dress up for hours with her. I love shopping for baby girls. Seriously should I have a kid one day and it be a girl I will end up living in a cardboard box with a walk in cardboard closet because I would spend everything on the adorableness that is out there. 

I am a little anxiety ridden because I have worked out once this week. I have just been exhausted and fighting a cold. I have figured listening to my body saying please let me rest has been more important then cardio. I am heading to North Carolina so I am a little concerned about food I mean it's the South and continued lack of exercise. I am just going to try to stay aware, not punish myself but not take a food vacation. North Carolina is not home but I am pretty excited to be headed down south. An old friend and my old homeland, that right there is some life comfort instead of food comfort I am in much need of.