Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Real Review: May Designs

About a week ago, I did a post about things that bug me about how bloggers make money. One thing that I didn’t include because it isn’t a way they make money, per se, is reviews of products that they receive for free. 

Again, it’s not that I don’t understand why companies want to market their products this way AND duh, if I were a famous blogger, I wouldn’t mind free stuff showing up on my door step, but as a reader, it makes it hard to know which reviews are genuine and which are just fueled by the desire for sponsorship. 

 I’m thinking of starting a series of REAL reviews. These are products I’ve spent my money on and my real thoughts on them—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Kickin’ this potential series off with some off the most instagrammable planners around: Maybooks by May Designs.

In August, I purchased two Maybooks, an academic planner (still pretending I’m in college) and a budget notebook, during their 50% off sale. I got a monogram on the academic planner because I’m #basic af, so my total was $29.40. Here they are:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#TBT Shel Silverstein Edition

To celebrate #Throwbackthursday,  I’m honoring a favorite childhood author of mine, Shel Silverstein. I was first introduced to Mr. Silverstein by my first grade teacher, who was an absolute rock star. She read us poems from Falling Up each morning before we started the day. I have a vivid memory of our class begging her every single day to read Christmas Dog. No matter the season and no matter how many times we heard it, we howleddd with laughter each time she read “I’m barking, I’m growling, I’m biting his butt”! I remember crying with excitement when my mom gifted me my very own copy of Falling Up that Christmas, and it wasn’t long before the pages began to nearly fall out of the binding as I read each poem over and over again.

image via

Saturday, October 18, 2014

3 Gripes About How Bloggers Make Money

I’m not a famous blogger….duh. I don’t have sponsors banging down my virtual door for me to post things, I have basically no insta followers, and I don’t use rstyle links. This blog is not a #sidehustle for me to supplement my pitiful entry-level job income. But I do read a lot of other blogs. Like a lot. And many are famous bloggers who make a lot of money via the aforementioned methods. Like a lot.

Generally, I don’t have much of a problem with this. I like reading blogs, and in order for people to put the effort into creating content, I get that there needs to be a monetary reward. There are some times when it’s annoying though. Let me list them because I’m a MiLlEnIaL*~ and I can only communicate my thoughts in list form.

1)   Duringthe shopbop friends and family sale:  My entire bloglovin’ feed this week was filled with style and lifestyle bloggers rushing to tell me that shopbop is having it’s semi-annual sale. It seems innocent enough, but my problem is this. It’s not original—literally every other fashion blogger is doing it—and it’s really effing obvious that they’re all doing it for the affiliate link clicks. If a blogger were to mention the sale as a part of a bigger post about say, investment pieces, I’d buy into these type of posts more. At this point it just is lazy. My other problem is that I don’t believe you have 85 favorite picks from the sale. I think you are just trying to trick me into clicking at least one of your pretty images so you can make money off of me. Pick your ACTUAL favorites, you fakers!

2)   When a brand makes the rounds: I HATE when I see the same item or same designer peddling their products to like fifty bloggers at the same time. I don’t need to see sixteen posts about how to style a Kate Spade Beau bag within the same two week period. It actually really turns me off those brands. That being said, my boyfriend works in media planning, and I understand that brands use special formulas and data to reach out to certain demographics via different bloggers, it’s just annoying and again, comes off as not genuine.

3)   When a sponsor does not blend with a blogger’s persona: I would compare this situation to Mcdonald’s being an official Olympic sponsor. Like sorry, but a blogger who wears exclusively designer duds being sponsored by Old Navy rubs me the wrong way. I’m not falling for that! Do a post about mixing expensive items with more affordable pieces, or actually prove to me that you wear those pieces outside of the one post that you received compensation for.

So that’s all I got. Is there anything that bothers you about the way bloggers make money? 

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Do you ever have a week where you just feel completely off for no reason at all? When there is no other word to describe your mood but: fussy? That was me last week. I skipped all five of the workouts I scheduled for myself, blew my roommate off for our laundry date in order to lay in bed and watch criminal minds, and just generally was a veryyy crabby lady all week. 

I couldn’t put my finger on what was going on with me. I wanted to blame homesickness…but I literally JUST bought a ticket home, so I don’t think it’s that. It’s not hormonal (always with the TMI on S&A). And I actually had a good week work-wise. By Friday I was grasping at straws looking for something to blame my bad mood on, when I finally found the perfect scapegoat.  Now technically Mercury wasn’t retrograde until Wednesday, but whatever, I just got a head start on the craziness to come.

To be honest, I actually didn’t technically know what Mercury retrograde was before I started blaming my attitude on it, but I figured if I’m going to use this excuse for two weeks, I should at least be able to explain it. According to about.astrology.com, Mercury retrograde is an optical illusion caused by Mercury slowing down and appearing from earth to be moving backwards.

In astrology, Mercury is the messenger so this becomes a time of little mishaps that can cause us to get frustrated. The silver lining is, Mercury retrograde provides a time for us to see things in a new way and to gain different perspective and insight on the past.

Now I’m not saying I totally buy into all this astrology stuff, but it sure is nice to not only have a two-week justification for my mood or my mistakes, but also to actually use this time, as suggested, to embrace new perspectives and ideas.

p.s. here’s a cute guide for how to survive

Friday, October 10, 2014

Why Do We Hate Read?

Like most of you, I have a morning routine that I have fallen into during the two months at my new job. I wake up, contemplate calling in sick, press snooze sixty two times, get ready in three minutes, climb into my car, and…turn my radio to The Woody Show and hate listen for the next forty minutes while I sit in traffic. The Woody Show is a morning talk radio segment on 98.7 that truly boils my blood—most of the segments are sexist or offensive in some way and all of them are just plain dumb. But each morning I faithfully tune in and let myself get more and more riled up. I hadn’t thought much about my strange compulsion to “hate listen” until I was complaining to a good friend of mine for the umpteenth time about something Woody had said, and he asked me: “Why don’t you just stop listening?”

And so I tried. I vowed to never again contribute to the high ratings of that particularly horrendous morning show. But…I couldn’t do it. Within a week, I was back at it; happily hate listening away, but this time keeping my anger to myself so as not to be called out again. This whole failed experiment got me thinking: why do we “hate listen” “hate read” or in the case of facebook “hate stalk”?

I realized that The Woody Show is far from the only thing that I love to hate. I have a few blogs and columnists that I hate read, and I’m definitely more prone to fb/twitter/instagram stalk people I don’t like. I know I’m not alone in this. One, my very liberal dad has been hate listening to Rush Limbaugh for years, much to my mom’s annoyance. And, two, there is an entire site called Get Off My Internets pretty much dedicated to airing grievances about bloggers that people hate read. I can’t seem to figure out what exactly it is that compels me (and everyone else) towards this irrational behavior. Do we like being annoyed or angry? Does it make us feel good to point out another person's irrationality or irritating habits?  Do we feel vindicated when that blogger we hates post something stupid again because HA we were sooo right about them? Or are we just eagerly awaiting their downfall...

Any ideas anyone? I’m hoping if I figure out what’s driving this maybe I could stop it…not likely. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gone Girl

Everyone and their mom is talking about Gone Girl including, in fact,  my mom who is currently pissed at me for ruining the movie for her because I called her after I finished the book and told her the whole plot. I feel bad, and I wouldn’t have done it if I had known that it would become this super popular movie, but the thing about this effed up tale is after you read or see it—you’ve GOT to talk about it.  The characters are so twisted and conniving and, frankly, real that it’s almost as if you have to purge the story from your mind before it stays in there too long—and I mean that in a good way if you can believe it. 

image via

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

No Shop Check-In

Ahh, at last, October is here. Back when I started my No Shop September goal it felt like this day would never come. In the beginning, I found myself endlessly cultivating wish-lists or walking into stores “just to look” AKA effing torture myself. But now, it’s officially October and I don’t even have the urge to sprint to the nearest NordstromThat is what I call progress.

 I stuck to my goal for the most part though. Besides my vince camuto slip up, I also had to purchase an emergency outfit for work due to some very poor planning on my part. I was helping a friend out by driving him to pick up his new car on the absolute other side of the city, and it took so long that I ended up just sleeping over. Couldn’t exactly go to work in the same outfit as the day before, so to Marshalls I went. I tried to be very intentional while at Marshalls, even though I was in a rush, by only picking out things I would wear again and not getting caught up in how OMGstressed I was about finding something to wear for the next day. Side note: I also got my head stuck in a Kate Spade shirt during this little excursion—as in my head was actually too large to fit through the neck hole—kind of an odd blow to the ego?

This whole shopping cleanse has actually led me to re-evaluate my wardrobe as a whole. I’m definitely not ready for the whole capsule wardrobe thing, but I could definitely benefit from the idea of seeing my wardrobe as a cohesive unit, rather than just a collection of items I like or impulsively purchased. I’m not sure if any of you read Thought Catalog, some of their content can be tired or offensive—kinda comes with the territory since it’s a pretty open forum—but I’ve been a pretty big fan of Chelsea Fagan’s for a while. Her writing is witty and consistently funny. Through reading one of her articles on Thought Catalog¸I discovered her blog The Financial Diet. It’s actually awesome. So many blogs can be so hard to relate to her because they are intentionally vague, portray an unrealistic lifestyle, or are just a medium to spew Rstyle links at me, but I feel like Chelsea has an honest handle on the woes of being out on your own for the first time and trying to figure out your budget. She’s really inspired me to re-evaluate my wardrobe and figure out exactly what I want my personal style to be. I actually took my first trip to Buffalo Exchange as a result of her post on cleaning out your wardrobe, but that experience deserves its own post—coming soon, I hope.