Saturday, January 4, 2014

vapid but important

Obviously, bronchitis really threw me off my blogging game this week. And also my fitness game, working game, and talking-without-coughing-until-I-gag game. But since I'm finally able to stay awake and breathe long enough to string a few sentences together, I figured I'd take a chance to write...especially since it seems that basically everyone in North America is similarly homebound this weekend, either by sickness or snow. So maybe you'll appreciate some fresh Saturday afternoon reading? Extremely vapid reading, that is. My brain hasn't been able to handle anything deep or complicated for the last few days. So my thoughts best.

1. I've been passing way too much time reading the complete archives of my new favorite makeup blog, Brightest Bulb in the Box. I love pretty much every single post, but this one BLEW MY MIND. It's her tutorial on how she covers up her 'bad skin.' Now, I've seen her mention before that she has 'bad skin,' which (based on her pictures, which are generally showcasing eye shadow looks) I took to mean that she possibly gets two zits per year. Because her skin looks flawless in her pictures. BUT I WAS WRONG. Apparently she got tired of people accusing her of not actually having/understanding bad skin, so she gave a step-by-step tutorial of how she disguises her bad skin. And there are 'before' pictures. And DANG. She actually does have legitimately challenging skin (I don't say that to judge or be mean-- I have bad skin, too!!! I say this because I APPRECIATE the challenges she is starting with and I'm blown away by how freaking fantastic she looks after she does her makeup magic every day!!) and her routine isn't even that complex, but her final results....staggering. I'm probably using too many strong adjectives here, but you can blame that on the fact that I'm on narcotic cough syrup and have been homebound for days. And I've reread this tutorial 80 times. And I'm going to buy every product she mentions (which isn't even a lot). Tarte foundation is apparently the key here, and since I'm a recent Tarte fan/convert (I've started using their lip products and blush, mainly...and I picked them because they leave out most of the scary chemicals I try to avoid these days!!! So I don't even have to compromise that to get this amazing new routine going!!), I'm extra-excited to get started. And I have an Ulta gift card. And Christmas money!! So basically, as soon as I'm well enough to leave the house...guess where I'll be heading? Alright. Now go read that post and ogle over how amazing her products/skillz are. 

2. In other important news, the new season of The Bachelor begins on Monday. Juan Pablo is the man of the hour this season, so both the network and the reality TV-focused Twittersphere are referring to this as Juan-uary. That cracks me up every time. I'm really excited about Juan-uary. I want to do a bracket again, like I did for the last season of Bachelorette. This is the only similar bracket I've found so far. It's totally workable, but I basically don't want to use it based on the poor font choice someone picked to write Juan Pablo's name in. Is that a dumb reason to reject an entire bracket? I don't think so. BAD CHOICE. I could probably make my own bracket (using more appropriate fonts) in about ten minutes, but I'm really lazy, so...we'll just have to see. Anyone else planning on watching? Of all the social media outlets, I tend to use Twitter the least...but MAN I love me some Twitter during Bachelor/ette seasons. It redeems itself for the rest of the year, in my eyes.

3. I went to the doctor yesterday in search of medicine to shorten the duration of bronchitis. Then I remembered why I hate going to doctors. Turns out it's not because you have to pay money to be told what you already know, or because you have to sit in a waiting room with sick (and contagious, unlike me) people.


Oh sweet Jesus, they weighed me. I felt compelled to give the nurse a thousand excuses. First of all, obviously my clothes probably weighed 10 or 12 pounds-it was a really cold morning, I was running a fever, and there were a lot of layers. Also, it's literally less than a week after 'the holidays.' We had a failed adoption less than two months ago, and there's been a lot of emotional eating since then. I hurt my back and couldn't exercise. Now I can't breathe and therefore can't really exercise. And finally, maybe there's something wrong with your scale??

Even I couldn't buy all my lame excuses. I just wanted to cry and leave. It would be better to have bronchitis for an extra month than have to be weighed. What was I thinking??! It was tragic, people. That was a number I never, ever needed to see. I was going to work out and eat right for a month and THEN weigh and get a 'before' number. This totally screwed up my plans. Ugh.

Now I HAVE to get well soon so that I can return to the gym. I have several friends that are members at my new gym that are texting me whenever they're going to group classes. This is going to be great. I JUST HAVE TO BE ABLE TO BREATHE. Gah. Do you ever feel like your body is conspiring against you? (Yes, considering most of you are friends with me because we have infertility, the ultimate body conspiracy, in do understand.) It sucks. I want to be healthy. I'm willing to work out. BUT NOW I CAN'T BREATHE (or do anything more strenuous than sitting without hacking up a lung). Stupid.

Let's bookend this with something more uplifting, shall we?

4. You know I'm a big fan of planners and keeping a physical calendar (in addition to the one on my phone. Double the fun!). Most years I spend a lot of time researching, shopping, and/or custom ordering the perfect planner to live in my purse and keep me straight throughout the year. Last year I had a May Books planner, which I liked, but it ended up not being quite as perfect as I needed it to be. This year I have a Plum Paper Designs planner for work (which I've discussed in great detail already), but it's WAY too big to use for personal use (or to carry around). To be honest, I just haven't thought about it yet. I wasn't ready for the stress of having to figure out what to get, so I just didn't think about it. But now it's 2014 and I've had no place to write down upcoming events (other than on my work planner, which is fine,'s at work. Not handy when I'm not there).

Anyway. Yesterday I was at Target waiting for my prescriptions to be filled and I wandered past an end-cap display of planners and calendars. And wouldn't you know it? They actually had the (almost) PERFECT planner just SITTING THERE!! 

I say almost perfect, because obviously perfection would require a much cuter cover and my monogram. But that's a lot to ask out of a pre-made planner, so as far as mass-produced planners go, this is about as perfect as I'm gonna get.

First of all, my main requirement is always that there's both month-at-a-glance and week-at-a-glance components. Check. Tabbed months? Check. (May Books didn't have this, drove me crazy) Spiral and/or lays flat to write? Check. Has major holidays noted? Check. (It never occurred to me that custom planners wouldn't have this, but neither May Books nor my Plum Paper planners do. Seriously? I had to look up and write in Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.? Lame.) Small and lightweight for my purse? SUPER CHECK. Here's a photo so you can see how tiny it is. I've never had one THIS itty bitty that also meets all the other requirements!

For the record, Where'd You Go, Bernadette? is a) a freaking fantastic book!!! and b) a standard-sized book that is serving as my size comparison tool. 

Small but mighty!

Sure, the writing space for each day is pretty tight, but that's fine. Most of my 'day' stuff with details goes on my work planner. The most I tend to write on the daily part of my personal calendar is like...if I'm having dinner plans, or which Sundays I volunteer in the nursery. Stuff like that. So tight space isn't an long as there is space. And there is.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find these planners on Target's webpage (fail), but the brand is Sugar Paper. They had a wide variety of sizes, so if you're still hunting for a planner and the $6 price point is more appealing than the custom-planner $60+ price point, I'd suggest you take a gander at these!! I know that my wallet was certainly appreciative of the cost savings.

And now I have more money to shop at Ulta. So BOOM, we've come full circle. Have a happy Saturday! 


  1. Whoa! I have an Erin Condren Life Planner and I am (almost) jealous of your Target Sugar Paper one. Except I would need to have more writing space. But for the $6 price point I could buy two!

    And yes, I totally hate how as soon as I get excited about exercising, and get going the gym regularly, my body betrays me and gets sick (usually a cold so I can't breathe) or my knee gives out (that was a new one yesterday. Thanks Knee!) or something amazing like that. It's like they know... I really do hope you feel better soon.

    And in case I haven't mentioned this already, I have "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" on hold at the library already. Can't wait to read it!

  2. I also don't have a 2014 planner yet. I need one. School is starting up again, on Monday, and all I have right now is a word calendar in a binder. This is not working for me.

    Feel better soon!

  3. My skin has taken an ugly turn recently. I'm so embarrassed by it that it's all I talk about. My husband had been encouraging me to see a dermatologist. I'll be reading that blog ASAP! (Something to do whilst I widdle away the time working tonight.)

    Scales should be outlawed when you're sick. 'Nuff said!

    I have that same planner. It's perfect for my purse. I'm a pen and paper kinda girl. Makes me happy! :-)

  4. I think a weigh-in at non-routine doctor visits is cruel and unusual punishment. I have been known to stand on the scale with closed eyes...ignorance is bliss, right?
    I love Target's selection of (everything) planners. We made a trip there on NYE just so I could get a new one for 2014!

  5. I decided to go with a Target planner this year, too. Mainly because my budget is on lockdown for awhile, but also because I feel like Target planners have stepped it up! I am really pleased with mine, as well!

    Also, now I must look into this Tarte make-up. My skin sucks, too, so I'm always looking for the best possible make-up foundation.

  6. I need that planner!!!!!! As soon as Snowmageddon ends and our temps go back into normal ranges instead of -18 I'm so going to Target!!! (this may end up being in June)

    I had to laugh as I have been reading that makeup blog back as well!! I've made it to March of 2013 right now. I am totes getting some of that Tarte foundation as well. Are you going to purchase the brush also? I've never put on foundation with a brush, just a sponge, so i'm slightly concerned.

  7. Boo for bronchitis and a doctor that makes you weigh in! I'd recommend the no carb route because I dropped almost ten pounds (without exercise) however, that was because I was previously eating A LOT of carbs... in your regular bird food life, I doubt there would be enough of a difference. Plus it's REALLY unfun... just imagine all the fun and happiness in the world and then suck it away... that's no carb. Fat and happy sounds pretty good to me right about now. If it makes you feel any better, I'm now gaining weight despite the fact that I'm still not eating carbs or sugar... stupid drugs.

    Hope you're feeling well enough to make it to Ulta tomorrow. I'm thinking that's the cure to what ails you!

  8. that tutorial is amazing. I really need to invest in some better make up and i think browsing her blog will inspire me. group classes with your friends will be fun! I highly recommend zumba if they have it. I go with one of my friends and I'm not the best dancer so we spend half of the time laughing at ourselves.


    I hope you feel better soon!

  9. Just wanted to say hi. Not sure if I have ever posted here but I love your blog! Not to mention I really love your planner. ;)
    Hope you are feeling better soon. Not that it counts for anything but I am a nurse and honestly, it really is just a number when I have to weigh someone. But when the tables are turned and I have to hop in, I'm sure that damn scale is broken. Every. Single. Time.
    Take care.

  10. Unrelated note- whenever I open any blogger blogs my lovely phone redirects me to my app store and some random game. Why does this keep happening all of a sudden? New Years gift? Is it only happening to me? Anyway, thanks for the Saturday reading material. Hopefully you're on the mend. I love that simple things like planners can severely improve your (and my) mood! Better get some vacations nailed down in there.

  11. I'm not a fan of doctors either, but glad you went and hope you got some meds to make you feel better!!! I wish I could stay organized as you. Even if I purchased a planner, I know I would never use it!

  12. "Vapid but important" would probably be an appropriate name for most of our blogs (not just the posts, but the actual blogs)!

    Also, a nurse at the A&M health center one time told me to go stand on the scale and just tell her the number… greatest approach ever because I could say whatever number I wanted and she could be lazy and not walk across the room, ha!

  13. 1. Oooh, I like a good new blog. Maybe this will give me some makeup inspiration.
    2. I have nothing to add here.
    3. The scale. I'm just glad at the ER this week that I couldn't see the number behind me, but I hate that my BOYFRIEND saw the number behind me. NOT COOL, ARMC. On the positive side, regardless of number that cursed machine said, you look great.
    4. Target owes you a commission because I read this post while on the road home this weekend (obvi not driving) and when we stopped at Target for coffee I went planner hunting for this guy.

  14. My planner is pretty much exactly like yours. The only differences that i can see is that mine has a solid teal cover (doesn't even say 2014, which is kind of sad... it needs SOMETHING!), and it's from Office Depot, not target. But i love it. :) I got an Erin Condren planner for 2012, and ... it wasn't the best ever. Of course i wish mine had a monogram & maybe some chevron or stripes, but at least it was only $10 (i think. can't remember!) and is much less bulky.

    I am sorry you've been sick! Hope you feel better soon! xoxo

  15. Planners are the absolute best! I love mine this year too. Sorry you're sick girly. Hope you get better pronto. Thanks for reminding me that I have a date to watch Juan Carlos tomorrow night. XOXO

  16. Ok, you were not kidding about her skin! I am super impressed and will probably need to pick up some of the items she talks about.

    Hope you are feeling better soon!


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