Meep

While I’m not in sweatpants, I am dreading a future in the office again. And again.

I WFH from March until July and then was working hybrid Mon/Fri at home with the rest of the week in the office. My office is in a separate building from the main one, but I’d still have to walk down to the main one for specific daily meetings. Two weeks ago we got hit with a wave of COVID-19 in the office and on the shop floor, so I decided I’d not go back to the main building. And since there’s no point in my driving in to my office when I can remote in for the meetings I’d rather stay at home. So I’m home for the rest of the year. I did go get a test and it came back negative. When I was in the main office I was vigilant in wearing my mask while surrounded by people who only wore theirs half the time… and ended up positive. Watching people wear masks until they speak and then lower them grated on my nerves. I yelled at my boss in the middle of meetings to wear his mask properly.

I hated doing the hybrid routine so I’m glad to be full time WFH again. Z and I are lucky in that our home life is very easy going and we only have to worry about our cats being a bit unruly at times. I think Yuki likes having us home so she gets more pets and play time. Her routine now is to start screaming for her playtime from 10-11 am and 3 pm. She’ll roam the house, going to each of our “office” areas to see who will give her attention. All of the memes I’ve seen of cats wanting their owners to go back to the office… doesn’t quite match up with our overly social cats.

I’ve not written here in so long I don’t really know what to say anymore. What did I talk about before? Apparently I wrote a lot about clothes and while I do still like reading blogs about what people wear/buy I don’t feel as motivated to share much of what I’ve bought this year. I was supposed to start a ban in March, but totally forgot about that in the summer when I bought a lot of dresses. I have dresses now! That’s news (for me). Some of them I think were duds and I may get rid of, but most of them I like and will look forward to wearing again when it’s not 33F outside (like right now). I am wearing a fuzzy warm skirt I just got from Uniqlo and woolen tights. Oh, I wear skirts now too (more news!). I suppose when a vaccine gets out in distribution and I’m dragged kicking and screaming back to the office regularly I may share more of what I wear. I try to make sure I get dressed properly when I WFH. I at least put on day clothes right when I get up (most days). It takes me until around 10 or 11 am before I actually do something about my bedhead.

I’ve been cutting my own hair and while it’s choppy and crooked and ridiculous I at least still have my short hair to some degree. When it gets too long I start to feel off so I lock myself in the bathroom and chop at it until it becomes somewhat likable again. Right now I have a hilariously awful chopped bit in the back, but I know no one is judging so who cares…

I also stopped wearing makeup – even after I was working hybrid. I realized I didn’t need it and it only added to the time it takes me to get ready in the mornings. Since I am Professionally Lazy when it comes to getting up and going to work this time-saver was a nice revelation for me. I wash my face, put on my basic acid toner and some sunscreen. Done.

In other generalities: I’ve been journaling a lot more, which has been greatly helpful for me emotionally. I’m addicted to collecting washi tapes and stickers now. It’s hard to be all emo when writing while I’ve got dancing bears and kitten stickers on the page. I also started running again. While I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be, I’m still trying. I was doing really well until the weather turned too cold. I even improved my pacing by a full minute – after a month of work. I force myself to do sprints on the treadmill because long runs on it are nerve-wrecking for me. I play Animal Crossing New Horizons – a lot. I’ve got over 1K hours on the game and have changed the design of my island many times. I’m up to design 10.2 now. I think I’m addicted to creating new island design ideas and trying to figure out how the terraforming in my head pans out. I also don’t know what to do with a lot of the space on my island. My current design has a huge lake to take up part of it and a big weedy meadow.

I’ve no idea if this post will show up ok or not. WP has changed since I last wrote and I’ve no idea how to use it now. It took me five minutes just to figure out how to access my library so I could add a photo.

I hope everyone is doing well.

This is fine.

mornings

I’ve had a lot of thoughts swirling in my head and originally thought this post might be the longest post I would ever write. Then I uploaded photos from my camera and realized I had better things to write about. All of the swirling thoughts disappeared and what became important was right in front of me. So I’m just going to talk about these photos with a few random thoughts thrown in for good measure.

The above photo is my messy desk now. Every day I seem to have less space on it. Actually since this photo is over a month old, there’s even more stuff on my desk now. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about here. In this photo is a mug of cappuccino. I start off every work day now with a homemade cappuccino of coffee from my favorite roasters and unsweetened almond milk. I put in a teaspoon of sugar. It’s my new ritual after I’ve logged in for the workday. It’s one of the most comforting things I do daily during the week now. I usually use the spoon to stir the foam down a bit as I drink the coffee and then use the same spoon for my oatmeal + blueberries + honey breakfast.

blossoms and bokeh

These blossoms are already gone from the tree outside our dining room window, but I’m really glad I got to capture them this year. It was a beautiful day outside. In fact, the majority of all these photos in this post are from April 28th.

swirls

Even the weeds and annoying plants in my yard are beautiful.

puffs

When the dandelions started popping up everywhere Z would pick up the puffs on our neighborhood walks and blow them or have me blow on them. Now, we sneeze too much due to allergies to even think about doing that. I’ve had two sneezing fits while writing this entry.

lily of the valley

I got to capture these fleeting beauties on the side of our garage that faces a fence. We hardly ever go to that side of the garage since it’s next to the properly line and there’s not much there. But these lilies of the valley grow back every year and sometimes we’ll get wafts of them through open windows or when Z is doing car work outside.

azaleas

This azalea bush was 1000x larger than it is now. It took over that whole side of the garage and hid the lilies from us the first two years we lived here. When we chopped the bush down we realized there were lots of pretty flowers in the back and now I keep this bush trimmed down. I’m also not a huge fan of azaleas in general. They can be pretty, but they’re everywhere and can be very unruly if not cut back regularly.

Mr Bento

This was the day I walked Bento on a leash in the backyard! I did not renew my wordpress plan so I’ve got the basic one again and therefore can’t add videos, but if anyone would like to see me walking Bento, let me know and I can email the quicktime video Z took on his phone. It wasn’t far, but after so many years of trying to get him to go outside and walk he finally did it on his own!

All of these things we got to experience because we are at home. We have more time now to enjoy them. Z power washed the siding of the house that was getting moldy and cleaned the windows. He also washed and waxed my car! I’m still very much working every weekday so I don’t have as much time as Z to do things. Some days are more busy than others. On the days that are less busy I keep an eye on my email while playing Animal Crossing. Last week was a bit brutal and this week already feels like hell even though it’s a short week. I had two rather stressful conference calls today – Wednesdays are the worst. That being said, I still have time each day to take a few walks in the neighborhood as long as the weather is decent. I do a morning walk after the first round of work emails (if there are any) or before I need to start a project. It helps clear my head. I try to walk around noon and then mid afternoon as well, but usually some work stuff builds up by then. I’ll also try to take an evening walk, but am starting to transition those into my running time since the weather is getting warmer and it’s easier to run in the cooler evenings.

When I drove to work during springtime in the past I always lamented I couldn’t be at home taking a walk in the neighborhood or go to a park – after leisurely waking up without an alarm clock and eating a nice breakfast. The cool morning air, the silence, and the emptiness is comforting. I’ve been able to experience that now (generally – I still have to use the alarm clock so I clock in for work at a decent time) and I can honestly say: I’m fine with this.

Am I fine with the general state of affairs in this country? Fuck no. Of course not. There’s plenty going all sorts of wrong right now, but that’s not what I wanted to focus on. I have more time for myself, for my husband, my cats, my own well being and not going bonkers in the office or dealing with sexist, racist assholes I can’t stand there. Sure there’s stress every time I see Z leave the house with a mask and gloves to go grocery shopping and quite honestly going to a park nowadays is more if not just as dangerous as going to a store. Aside from that, which is the new “normal” at the moment, I realized I’m very fortunate right now to be able to enjoy all of this extra time at home while I can – so that’s what I mean when I say this is fine.

What is fine for you right now?

Abnormalize

tea

Z: Are you ok with a crowded desk for a while?

Me: I have to be.

This past Wednesday I went into the office to go get my plants and grab an extra monitor to use with my laptop at home. My personal computer is an iMac and I can’t get licenses for the software we use at work on it (limited & expensive) so I’ve been mostly using my little work laptop and only using my mac for the web-based email. Now I have another screen and my once nice desk area now looks crowded and cluttered with another monitor and my laptop precariously hanging off the edge. But this is what I have to do to work and I’m very lucky right now to be able to do so – so there’s absolutely nothing to complain about.

This is a time for letting our self-righteousness go and having people STFU with their entitlement. Forget aesthetics and minimalism and sustainability and all the other pop cultural keywords of the past decade. Right now, the only thing we need to be worried about is surviving. We are all in this together if we expect to get through it.

dumb people

A friend posted the above image on Facebook and I laughed. Use this argument if you come across any dumb people about the coronavirus. In fact, I really hope the government mandates a nationwide shut down and even enforces a curfew. It’s going to be the only way to truly “flatten the curve”. It may sound Draconian to our privileged, 1st world entitled sensibilities, but being harsh and realistic and strict will be the best way of getting us out of this crisis. It’ll help end the spread and relieve our overworked emergency services so they can focus on keeping alive those most at risk.

There’s nothing normal going on and nothing will be after this. So we better get used to it fast and figure out better ways of functioning as a society for the better of ALL people. I whole-heartedly agreed with Leah‘s post about this.

 

 

Upheaval of every kind

Everything is closing or closed. The markets are scary looking ghostly places with empty shelves. There was so little traffic this morning I felt a chill. This was slower than a holiday. It truly seemed post-apocalyptic in a way. 50, no, only 10 people are allowed to congregate now! But, what about business?

Tomorrow I get to work from home, but maybe not Wednesday or Thursday. I’ve already scheduled off Friday. All of the managers are confused and have no idea how to handle this or what to do. The day shift at the shop has 100 people working in it. Will we have to close? We have measures in place to stop people getting in (sort of), but what about those already inside? My office is in a different building up a slight hill from the main shop, but I can’t go to the main building for meetings: A) because I’ve recently been ill and B) I’d scare the bloody hell out of anyone down there who heard me coughing. People are skittish now and on edge.

Even our home life has been thrown into disarray.

coffee table dinner

Behold, our dining room table for the past three days. It’s our coffee table.

We were notified our new cabinet doors would be installed March 17th, so we only had this past weekend to accomplish one thing: paint the cabinets. Since we are not getting a full remodel – only new doors and some drawers put in – we are responsible for making sure the kitchen is ready. Saturday my recovering ass was put to work. Z did the majority of the heavy lifting by sanding all of the cabinets and painting the upper areas. My job was to help with a little prep (taping, wiping things down) and sitting on the floor to paint the lower cabinets. That little bit of exertion wiped me out and I slept better than I had all week. Sunday I did a thorough cleaning of the kitchen, which had me utterly exhausted by night. The cabinet company emailed customers today saying they will honor their appointments – unless the people don’t want them coming into their houses. We want them to come! We want our new doors so we can have our house back in order!

kitchen

This is currently our kitchen. We put some things back in for ease of use for the past 48 hours, but all of this needs to cleared out because the installer comes tomorrow from 8-9 am. The drawer on the right side of the photo is the old, yellow-ish color. We put the utensil drawer back in temporarily.

mock kitchen

This is our dining room where everything in the kitchen is being held. It’s been strange to look at a cabinet and know something should be there, but when I need a spice or dish I then have to stop and remember where I placed everything in the dining room.

glassware

All of the glassware is on the bureau, which I realized later was a bad idea. Bento loves that window sill and even though it’s covered, he’s found a way to jump his big butt up there and then carefully jump down. Whenever he does the glasses jingle and I’m stressed out waiting to hear them crash to the floor. Since our floors are old and creaky and uneven, even walking past this room makes all of the glasses jingle.

roses

Tomorrow I work from home, but the installer also comes. But I have a lot work to get done because today felt like a bust just trying to figure out what to do about everything and hear from the managers. But I know I’ll be distracted by the installer and need to give input for the hardware we bought for the new doors. But what about keeping Bento and Yuki out of the kitchen?

I went to the store to buy onions and a loaf of baked bread to have with chili I made tonight. I couldn’t help myself when I saw these roses. I needed something cheerful and calming. I also bought Z a dark chocolate Lindt bunny and bought myself a cute large iced bunny cookie.

It’s the little things right now.

A different kind of illness

I am still sick. I’ve been sick since last Friday. I don’t have the coronavirus (that I know of), but what I can tell you is this is one of the worst sinus infections I’ve had in many years. It crept up on me very suddenly and that scares me. We had little to no winter at all this year. No snow and the temperature barely stayed below freezing for more than a day or two at a time before jumping up again into the 40s or 50s.

Considering I have acute chronic sinusitis this scares me because I can’t afford to have illnesses this severe as I get older. It’ll take longer to get over them and they weaken my immune system. Right now, I am highly susceptible to getting COVID-19 because of how ill I’ve been this week. Am I worried about getting it? Not really. Other than the morning hours on Tuesday where I holed myself in my office, I’ve hardly been outside at all. I went home midday Tuesday and worked from home yesterday. When I talked to my boss about possibly coming in late today he said, “Don’t come in at all! Stay home!” He said I sounded horrible – I do. He then told me to stay home and don’t come in at all this week. I’ve been banned from the office. I am still getting work done though since I have my laptop with me.

Aside from the super stuffy sinuses, which has made breathing its own sort of game of chance (especially when trying to sleep at night), it’s now in my chest and the congestion is making me cough all time time. My throat is now more sore from coughing than from the post-nasal drip. I still can’t hear all that well due to the pressure in my head. I’ve experienced this all before, but it’s very easy to take for granted that it won’t happen again when I’m feeling better.

I hadn’t been listening to any news, which is what I normally do on my drive in to work each day. When I dragged myself in on Tuesday, I heard that the stock indexes were at their worst the day before. Everyone is worried about recession now. Interest rates on houses have plummeted to the same when Z and I bought our house (we got ours just before the rebound upswing). One of my emails was about the cancellation of the largest orthopedic conference in the world, AAOS. It’s a show we always exhibit at. Last year I was in Vegas at this time and spent nearly a full week there talking with clients, staying up late for business dinners and happy hours. Z told me two of his spring events were postponed to the autumn. Events are being cancelled all over. E3 was cancelled, so there was no news or teasers of games.

It’s strange how a different illness – one of paranoia – has taken over. Z went to the store to get some cough medicine for me and noticed a sign on the door: They are all wiped out of masks, rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer. It seems like we are all in a sort of lock-down of our own free will. But is it?

I’ve read about people prohibiting hand-shaking. My coworker said she heard of business people giving each other “welcome kicks” instead, which I said was a liability in itself. How about we just respectfully bow to each other the way the Japanese do. I would like to see that sort of shift away from the happy-go-lucky, touchy-feely American way going to something a bit more respectful of people’s personal space and unnecessary touching.

To end this dour stream-of-consciousness post, another form of illness I have is definitely addiction. It’s in the form of Animal Crossing because there’s 9 days left until New Horizons is out. Then, I won’t care about being self-quarantined. It’ll be heaven to stay in and hang out on my virtual desert island.

animal-crossing-new-horizons.900x

State of the plants

elephant plant

This weekend was supposed to be full of house cleaning and eating at a wonderful tea house and then wandering a beautiful greenhouse with it’s own arboretum and me using my gift card on some hanging pots and a princess philodendron.

None of that is happening because I am horribly ill. Like clockwork my throat got sore the moment I got home from work as if to say: You want a nice weekend? HA! Here’s another dose of shit stress! Be sick!  Between the drastic swinging of the democratic primaries, the COVID-19 freak outs, general work stress and my boss proposing more upcoming trips, the general malaise I feel from tapering off my meds and the generally dour news from mom,  my body decided: NOPE. At first I thought I was getting strep throat again, but I’ve not had a fever so it’s mostly due to weird allergies. We’ve not had much of a winter this year at all so people are getting sick all over the place. The weather ranges from 30F one day to 55F the next so allergies and pollens are all whacked out. It was 34F with rain when I got home on Friday and today it’s 60F and sunny. Ugh.

So instead of being out where I want to be I decided to take photos of my plants again. I’ve added a few more because I have a problem with buying plants and the Flower Show this year had some really interesting kinds I’d not heard/seen before.

serissa flore-plena

Serissa flore-plena – Double Snow Rose: This is a miniature rose plant that’s usually used in bonsai. I didn’t realize that until after I bought it (and a few others) and kinda freaked out because I’ve never had good luck with bonsai. There were two little white roses open when I bought it and many more have opened or are budding and about to open. No idea if I can keep this beauty alive, but for now it’s gorgeous.

serissa mt fuji

Serissa Mt Fuji – Variegated Snow Rose: This is a variegated version of the plant above, but smaller so it’s not grown any buds yet. The white on the leave got me. I’m a bit of a sucker for variegated plants.

pilea microphylla variegated

Pilea microphylla – Variegated Artillery plant: This is a type of miniature pilea that has green, pink and white marbled leaves. It’s ridiculously cute!

The above 3 plants are technically used for bonsai or miniature (fairy) gardens. I’ve not had plants like this before, so we’ll see how well I can keep them going.

plant topkokedamawatering

Kokedama – Japanese moss ball plant: I think the ivy-like plant on top is a hoya but I’m not exactly sure. I’d read about kokedama’s online and thought they were really neat sort of plants. There’s also a display of them at one of the nurseries I like visiting. It’s generally known as a “poor man’s bonsai”. It’s a moss ball with a plant stuck on top of it. To water it, you soak the moss ball in water for a while (online says 10-15 minutes but the guy who sold it to me said I can leave it in water all day at work and take it out when I get home). Then you squeeze the excess water out of the moss ball and let it drain somewhere for a bit before putting it back on whatever display it was on or in a hanging device, which I think is the most common. Mine came in a tiny Japanese pottery bowl. It’s very strange to squeeze the water out because it really feels like a sturdy sponge and I freak a little seeing the moss bits fall off, but apparently that is all normal. I don’t think I can keep this one in the kitchen window sill for much longer because I don’t want the sun to scorch the moss too much.

study junglesatin silver pothos

I moved some plants from the kitchen window sill to my study to make room for the new little plants. Now, my entertainment stand in the study looks a bit jungle-like. I plan on repotting the lemon-lime philodendron and the satin silver pothos in slightly larger hanging pots and put them up in the study. But those plans were dashed away from me this weekend. I’m really happy with how both of them look, especially the satin pothos.

jade stalks

My jade plant is 3-ish years old now and starting to get it’s woody stalks. This makes me incredibly happy. Over Xmas I visited a friend of the family and she has a jade that’s over 70 years old. It’s huge and gorgeous. She said it was gifted to her grandmother and has been passed down. The friend is 70 years old now, which would mean the plant is actually a fair bit older than that, but she’s not sure how old exactly. I find old plants fascinating. There were jade at the Flower Show that were in the 50-70 year old range and bonsai that were 90 years old.

pileabrazil phylo

My pilea coin plant is still hanging on. Sometimes it doesn’t look great and I think I might be killing it, but then it bounces back. I never know with that one.

Shaggy, my huge, messy brazil philodendron is still going strong. I’ve made so many baby plants from this one. The blend of neon and dark green on the leaves is always fun to look at.

monsterra

Lastly (for this post, I do have many more plants) my baby monstera is still growing. Little ones like these don’t have the holes in their leaves. It’ll probably take a couple more years before they show up.

Next weekend we need to paint the cabinets before our new doors show up. Z said we can go to the nursery then, but I think we’ll be too tired so it may be a while yet before I go get that princess philodendron.

Scheduling routine

neutrals

The remote for my camera is currently out of commission so I dragged up the workout mirror from the basement to take this outfit photo. I didn’t realize the mirror was so dirty until much later.

Lately I’ve been wearing jeans a lot, but today I felt like wearing a bunch of neutrals so I mentally put this outfit together in my head last night and I’m glad it worked out just as nicely in reality when I wore it today.  It’ll be much colder tomorrow and rainy all day so I’ll be back in jeans and a sweater and probably my Blundies.

Work is slowly getting better, but I’m still running myself ragged a few days out of the week. However, it came to light that technically certain management could care less about the extra work I’m doing to make sure stuff gets out and improve our delivery dates. Realizing this, plus the wave of people leaving due to said management has given me serious thoughts about dusting off my resume and looking elsewhere. While the immediate people I work with the most are really amazing and make working there much more tolerable, there’s only so much that can keep someone at a job when higher ups flat out don’t give a crap about the hard work being put into it.

My new planner has been keeping me on track much better than I thought. I scheduled out a routine, but realized some days I can’t do a certain activity. Instead of blowing it off like I normally would in the past, I’m now exchanging day activities so I keep the routine going and at a consistency that won’t allow me to give up. For instance, I’ve scheduled my workouts 3 days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri). Since the weather is nice I’ve been running outside more. However, due to all the rain coming in tomorrow I exchanged my facial day for my workout day so I ran today and will use my NuFace device tomorrow. I think this is what I’ve been missing all along when it comes to keeping up my routines. I never tracked them before, but now that I do I’m seeing how I can compromise on days for things that aren’t possible instead of throwing my hands up in the air and couch-potato-ing it.

I’m also tapering off my anti-anxiety medication. I’ve been on it for over a year and while I tried to taper off with the last script I gave up. This time the doctor left a note with the pharmacist to say: this is the last one. Got it. I’m being forced to really do it this time. Granted, I got some not so good news from my mom last weekend, which put me in a severe panic and made me question going off the meds at all knowing what may happen in the next few months, but I’m going to keep steady with tapering off for now. I’ve also already scheduled out dosages in my planner for that as well. I can’t compromise on this because the medication is a beast and being consistent is key. Whenever I start another low dosage taper I get what Z calls “applesauce brain”. He also was on this medication a few years ago and had to taper off it, which he said was brutal. He constantly had headaches. I’ve had more headaches than usual, but the fogginess or sort of bleh, mushy feeling I get is worse, hence the term applesauce-brain.

Start Date: Shopping Ban

light

After carefully writing out what I felt was necessary to achieve a shopping ban I felt comfortable with yesterday, plenty of other things came to mind today. Therein lies the problem: at what point do you restrict yourself? I will stick with what I wrote down, but will add a few cautionary items that I should be able to control by observing monthly spending.

The general goal is to not spend any money on clothing or shoes for the rest of the year. That being said, I have given myself some allowances. I created a specific wishlist of sorts and IF I happen to find something that falls in the specific wishlist category, I will allow myself that indulgence. I’m not going to disclose the wishlist here, but it’s very small and consists of a few items I’d been thinking a lot about but haven’t found what I truly want for those items yet. Instead of stressing out that I’ll find them once the ban starts, I’ve made them as exceptions. Other exceptions include an extra pair of exercise shoes and socks – but only if I need them. So far, I’m good on both and should be for several more months. If my exercise routine improves (here’s to hoping I keep up with my habit tracker), then I may need another pair of shoes by autumn. The socks also fall into the exercise category since they are thin, no-show kind and I tend to go through those rather quickly.

sweaters

Since the ban is predominantly about my wardrobe, I can see where I might slide into binging on other areas, which I should keep track of:

  1. In-game purchases (I need to stop being a slave to this)
  2. Plants and accessories (I can see this becoming a surrogate spending area to replace clothes quite easily)
  3. Journaling accessories (ditto on this one being dangerous for my wallet)

I’m hoping that exercising, habit tracking, journaling, and the new Animal Crossing game that comes out in 19 days will keep me busy enough to not bother with wanting to shop for anything or even bother looking for items on my wishlist like I have been. We’ll see.

Oh and just to geek out a little – I am that person who took off the game day for when I get Animal Crossing New Horizons so I get a three-day weekend to play it.

February Spending

sapphire

This month was significantly more expensive than last month. There are some things I’m leaving off because the biggest thing I’m trying to curb is my wardrobe spending, so most other things get a pass – to a degree.

  • Bass penny loafers – $67.99: Yep, I bought a pair. They had a sale on the factory outlet site that had the right color of brown with a rubber sole. Still breaking them in a bit, but I think they’ll be good slip-ons in time.
  • Muji clothes – $151.25 : Returned everything and lost money (shipping to me and shipping back). Doing returns for Muji feels horribly antiquated compared to most every other company. They don’t have a return website, you literally just mail back the items after hand-writing a note on the packing slip. WTF? Get with the program Muji – create a damn return page. I’ll most likely not be buying clothes again from them.
  • Lo & Sons Waverly 2 bag – $173.60: Returned this as well. Even though the dimensions on the site made it sound like I could fit my A5 size notebook in it, the bag didn’t come close to opening the zipper pockets all the way. Plus I couldn’t snap the inner pocket closed when my XR iPhone was in a slide pocket. So that was a total NOPE.
  • Italic wallet & candle – $92.00: Liking the smaller wallet a lot. It’s forced me to only keep what few cards I actually need and I don’t carry change anymore and now know I never really needed a coin section to begin with.
  • Norstrom Rack – $33.94: Bought two bras, but am going to return one because it was too small.
  • JetPens journal accessories – $79.64: While I’m not counting my Hobonichi purchase this month because I’m considering that a very good and worthwhile investment I’m using quite a bit already, I am going to dig myself financially for buying a bunch of stickers, stencils and washi tapes for decorative purposes.
  • Apple (in-game purchase) -$33.90: I’m still bad at buying Leaf Tickets for Animal Crossing Pocket Camp.
  • Etsy – $142.15: I bought myself a sapphire ring. I got a bonus so I used some of that to pay for the ring. I’d been wanting to get myself a nice simple ring with my birthstone for a while and when the KHIM shop had a good sale going on I jumped on it. My ring is with white gold, so it’s the bottom one from the photo above.

Total spent: $774.47.  Returned: $327.85. Actual monthly spent: $446.62.

Looking at those numbers is slightly terrifying and giving me a serious reality check. And that’s not even including the Adagio teas, the Hobonichi Techo Weeks, and a few other items that I’ve mentally put in my: “I would buy these things no matter what” category.

Part of me also knew this month would be bad because I’d been taking a hard look at things I’ve got and realized I am ready now to do a proper shopping ban. Knowing that I let myself got a bit wild spending to get it out of my system. I’m still working out the parameters of the ban so I’ll post about it later, but for now I’m realizing that this monthly spending report is a good way for me to kick myself in the ass and get my financial bearings back.

 

Oddly coincidental

I’ve had to ask myself the big questions lately: With regards to the one seemingly necessary women’s accessory – the handbag – am I one of those fancy tote-carrying types or do I prefer to be as casual as possible?

For the past month I’ve been on the hunt for a new handbag. The only thing I knew was it had to be a crossbody style. I want to be hands-free. Would it be leather? Would it be waxed canvas? (I was thinking extreme weather conditions.) How many compartments would it need? What would I carry? Do I really even need to carry half the stuff I do or think I’ll need?

What really drove home the need to get something ASAP was two-fold: A) I’m starting another shopping ban on March 1st [more on that later] and, B) I got really sick and tired of carrying multiple bags around for the past two weeks.

The admin at work was out on medical leave so I had to double-time as  her job and my job. I was swamped at work with new projects and clients coming in among other things and got very irritated by carrying my large, heavy Dooney & Burke purse along with my insulated lunch bag and then my laptop bag. This past Monday I had a breakthrough and remembered I bought a backpack for myself for business trips. It’s a very casual canvas bag, but it worked well enough for the few trips I’ve taken it on and it helped me out a lot this week. I don’t take my laptop home every day so some days it felt funny to be lugging a backpack with just my notebooks and wallet, but it was still lighter than the large leather purse and I could put my lunch bag inside so in the end I was still only carrying one bag.

bags

So then I thought, but what about weekends and when I don’t want to lug everything around? Well, duh Jen – you always use your little Baggu crossbody bag. It’s lightweight and fits what I need for running a few errands.

It sorta hit me: I really don’t like fussing with fancy things and carrying around more than I have to. So I put the D&B purse in my closet with my old Coach purse (thinking about selling them now) and I’ve only been  using the backpack I bought from Amazon and my Baggu crossbody purse. I honestly DGAF how I look when dressed up and carrying a frumpy canvas bag instead of a fancy leather tote or designer handbag. Practicality always wins me over in the end. My “search” for a new bag ended with my using what I already had. Today I went to the craft store and bought some magnetic buttons and velcro since the pockets in both backpack and purse are loose and are sometimes difficult for me to get things in and out of them.  The velcro now keeps the larger pockets in the backpack shut and the magnetic buttons keep my cards put in the purse.

The only issue I have now is my wallet. I’ve been using a $5 large wallet I got from Nordstrom Rack a couple years ago. It’s fine for the backpack, but it’s too big for the Baggu purse. My usual routine is to take out my DL and a few cards for the weekends.  Xin’s many posts of mini wallets to the rescue! I’ve seen so many on her site I knew I’d probably find something decent through her links and I ended up getting the Albee leather zip card case by Italic. I almost went with the green because I’ve been on a green color kick, but decided to stay with a classic color and got the saffianno leather one in tan.

hobonichi techo

Today I got my Hobonichi Techo Weeks. I’ve already written down some work items in the monthly planner section and a few other things. The paper is actually as amazing as reviews says it is. Since I’ve always used an A5 size notebook, the slim size Techo will take some getting used to, but I’m already a fan of how the weeks are organized. Some days I don’t have any notes at all or only one or two lines, so instead of wasting a whole page doing a one-a-day style with my old A5 Moleskine, I can look at the whole week and notes at a glance across two slim pages.

planner toys

I bought a cover for it so I’d have a pen holder and indulged in some planner stickers and stencils.

When the planner arrived in the mail I was so happy to look through it but then so sad because I knew it was a spring starting planner (April). But wait, what? The first page of the weekly planner section begins with FEBRUARY 24th! Meaning I can start using it for this coming week! There’s a hundred memes about stars and planets aligning that would work for how I felt realizing this, but google search is failing me right now in images to exemplify that feeling for this post. It felt seriously eerie and dare I say like some black magic was a work that I’d get the planner today and it just so happens to start on the following Monday.

his hand-me-downs

Lastly, a blurry outfit photo from this week. Other than the shoes and necklace, my entire outfit is Z’s hand-me-downs.