All the Single Ladies and My Thoughts on What This All Means: Part One

Recently, I finished reading “All the Single Ladies, Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation,” by Rebecca Traister. In quite a cliche way, the book was recommended to me at a work event with Girls Inc, by none other than the co-President of my company’s Women’s Network – an employee resource group. Herself, a single thirty-something said that the book made her feel better about being her age, unmarried, without children, and yet VERY successful. Maybe I was caught up in the feminist feeling I had that evening (I don’t say this in a derogatory way – I just don’t often find myself  having super feminist opinions), but I went home and downloaded it immediately. I have since been enthralled by it, even bookmarking pages which clearly indicated that I was actively reading the book – something I feel like I haven’t done since I was in grad school.

I decided to gather the pages that I flagged and reflect on some of them here in the blog.  This book has ignited in me a defense I think I’ve been seeking in the ability to say, “It’s OK that I’m thirty-four, not married and don’t have any children.” It’s also given me the opportunity to say, “And, I’m also not the only one.” There is a ridiculous amount of pressure, almost unseen, but definitely existent, to check the boxes to “life’s achievements.”

Got to college – Check

Get a good job – Check

Get married – Check

Buy a house – Check

Have a baby – Check

Life is over – Check (just kidding!)

In All the Single Ladies Traister begins by sharing, “Throughout America’s history, the start of adult life for women – whatever else it might have been destined to include – had been typically marked by marriage. Since the late 19th century, the median age of first marriage for women had fluctuated between 20 and 22. This had been the shape, pattern and definition of female life.” This was an accepted and normal reality in the 19TH CENTURY. We are now in the 21st century where things are very different. Women can vote, they can go to college, they can be CEOs, they can buy their own home, they can be independent. So, my question then is this: Why are so many people’s perception of what a woman should be still stuck in the 19th century? Where did society miss the the train on this?

I come from a household where my mom stayed at home and raised us until I was a freshman or sophomore in high school. My dad worked and my mom made our lunches, did our laundry, cleaned the house, dropped us off and picked us up from school, and made dinner every night. I frequently played house and had the full play kitchen and every baby doll accessory you could imagine. But, I also had a mom who found ways to make her own money (provided day care, sold her arts and crafts), and eventually went back to work when I was in high school. I think that taught me something. Also, The Mary Tyler Moore show was basically my go-to every night before bed when I was a pre-teen so there’s that strong womanly influence as well – I thought she was the coolest thing ever, and still do!

Going to college was never a second thought for me – and I came from a household where neither of my parents went to college (dad went to a trade school). But yet, I knew that college would be my path, and subsequently I knew that a master’s degree would also be part of my path. Because of this, I found the portion of Traister’s book that she dedicated to women who put education and career first the most relatable. Traister shares the story of Yllka who is twenty, living in New York City and attends a public university, “Yllka’s priority is her school work, she said, precisely because ‘I don’t want to be reliant or dependent on others.’ If she someday meets the right person, she can imagine getting married. But, she emphasized, ‘If I do decide to go on that path, I want to provide for myself so we can be equal in the relationship.’ Women now graduate from high school more often than men; they receive about half of all medical and law degrees and more than half of master’s degrees. The percentage of not just bachelor’s degrees, but also master’s, law, medical, and doctoral degrees being awarded to women is the highest it has ever been in the history of the nation.” This is important people. It is indeed changing the history of the nation, but no one is really talking about it.

This may seem like a normal 21st century female response, but critics are still out there. Traister references Elanor Mills, a married mother, who wrote in The Times of London in 2010 (yes people, in 2010) of her professionally driven, unmarried friends, “‘As they stare into a barren future…many singletons wish they’d put some of the focus and drive that has furnished them with sparkling lives into the more mundane business of having a family.’ Mills reported that many of her cohort realized ‘too late…that no job will ever love you back,’ and added menacingly, ‘the graveyards are full of important executives.'” Traister rebuts by saying, “A job may very well love you back. It may sustain and support you, buoy your spirits, and engage your mind, as the best romantic partner would, and far more effectively than a sub-par spouse might. In work, it is possible to find commitment, attachment, chemistry and connection.” Here’s the thing, I have a good job, I also have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, but work doesn’t always love me back, but isn’t that the case with any relationship? The life I have built, the friends I have made, and all that affords me to “furnish my sparkling life” is thanks to my career. So, I like to think I’m blowing Elanor Mills’ presumptuous quote right out of the water (she’s just jelly). I think that where we choose to find our satisfaction and love shouldn’t matter, and the choice shouldn’t be criticized. I also think that I will end up with the best of both worlds, my “sparkling life” as well as a family at some point. One doesn’t have to come before or over the other.

Traister shares yet another story of a single thirty-nine-year-old woman named Stephanie who is an importer of Guatemalan art who described her work as “like a love affair.” “She travels the world, partners with NGOs in artists communities, and aids in the aftermath of natural disasters, all of which she sees as ‘vehicles designed to make a global impact.’ Stephanie’s mother has suggested, ‘Honey, maybe you shouldn’t tell men all of the things you’re involved in, because I think it scares them.'” It scares them? This struck a chord in me.

Not too long ago I asked someone I had been in a back and forth, tug of war, relationship with, if I scared him. I was laying on the couch and had this moment of clarity where I realized that he wasn’t giving me what I needed or wanted and I was getting so upset that he wouldn’t just man-up so-to-speak, so I just asked him, “Are you scared of me or something?” His response, “Yeah, kind of.” I knew then that it would never work. My success, my confidence scared him. I’m better off alone then with someone who is scared of me. The amount of  money someone makes doesn’t matter to me, whether they went to college or not doesn’t bother me. Are you a kind person? Are you honest, committed and faithful? If the answer is yes to all of that then I’m happy. The monetary stuff and accomplishments don’t have to be equal (those are personal goals), but how committed you are to the relationship does. It was an eye opener for me. As Susan B. Anthony said, in her interview with Nellie Bly, and shared in Traister’s book, “once men were afraid of women with ideas and a desire to vote. Today, our best suffragists are sought in marriage by the best class of men.” As it should be, Susan B., as it should be.

“Female professional success has often come at the cost of the attention of men, or at least the kind of men threatened by high-achieving women.” BUT, here’s the kicker, according to Traister, “Remaining unmarried through some portion of early adulthood, especially for college-educated women, has been revealed to be intimately linked with making money.” The “Knot Yet Report,” published in 2013, reported that a college educated woman who delays marriage until her thirties will earn $18K more per year than an equivalently educated woman who marries in her twenties. Women who remain single until their thirties, but are not college educated also  gain a wage premium – though only an average of 4K a year.” Regardless, single women will make more money if they stay single into their 30’s. If that’s not incentive enough then I don’t know what is!

Here is the double edged sword of all of this, according to Traister, “For men, marriage, and presumably the domestic support derived from wives, boosted professional focus. For women, the lack of marriage and its attendant responsibilities is what allowed them to move ahead at a faster clip. Maddeningly, having children enhances men’s professional standing and has opposite impact on women’s.” This can go down the slippery slope of the gendered wage gap, which I don’t want to get into – I told you all I wasn’t going to take this super uber-feminist stance. We all know the gendered wage gap is there, and it sucks. It’s gotten better, but it’s not there yet. I think that topic is for a different blog. But I digress…

While reading further, I discover that singledom has become a worldwide phenomenon. According to Traister, “In 2013, on November 11, a day that the Chinese have turned into an unofficial holiday acknowledging unmarried people, celebration quickly translated to purchasing power. Online sales at China’s biggest online retail site, Alibaba, surpassed the United States’ 2012 Cyber-Monday tally, hitting $5.75 billion by the end of the day.” If the United States had a day that acknowledged unmarried people I think it would probably be the best day of the year. Cheers to China for finding a way to acknowledge and at the same time capitalize on people’s choice to be single (yes, there is a touch of sarcasm there).

As journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates has sensibly observed, and Traister pointed out, “Human beings are pretty logical and generally savvy about identifying their interests. Despite what we’ve heard, women tend to be human beings and if they are less likely to marry today, it is probably that they have decided that marriage doesn’t advance their interests as much as it once did.” I’m going to stop right here, because I don’t want it to sound like I would never get married. I want that, someday, with the right person. Likewise, if the right person doesn’t come along, then I’m perfectly happy walking this life without a life partner. And, I’ll be damned if that will stop me from having a family (I’ll address that a little later).

Reading further into the book, and specifically around women in the workplace, Traister brought up the lack of women CEOs at fortune 500 companies. This prompted me to think about something I experienced recently. Late last year, I had what I like to think was the rare opportunity to sit in the auditorium at work and witness the announcement of my company’s first female and Latina CEO. Let’s think about this…my company was founded in 1905, and in 2016 they announced our first female AND Latina CEO. I was proud to be sitting there, I have also, in my 7 1/2 years working for this company, never heard the auditorium erupt in such excitement. It was history making, a little late if you ask me, but history nonetheless. According to Traister’s research, “Women made up only 4.8 percent of Fortune’s top CEOs in 2014.” I decided to see what 2017 looks like, and here’s how it stacks up, “As of 21017, there are 32 female CEOs on the list, meaning that 6.4%  of U.S.’s biggest companies (by revenue) are run by women. This is the highest proportion of female CEOs in the 63-year history of the Fortune 500.” It’s rising, not that quickly, but nonetheless trending up. By the way, I might add, when I took a look at the list I was impressed to see how many female CEOs work for energy companies.

It is no surprise that remaining single longer makes it harder to find a mate when you’re actually ready to settle down. According to Traister, “One of the challenges as people remain single later is that the contexts in which they are likely to encounter other singles, narrows. There’s not the romantic marketplace of college or fresh-out-of-college social life for people who don’t like to date colleagues, or who work remotely, or who work all the time, there are few places to seek mates. Apps address this need.” Oh, the sweet (or not-so-sweet) world of dating apps.

I haven’t been on a date that wasn’t initiated through a dating app in well over a year and a half. It’s the new norm, but it’s also the most frustrating thing in the world. According to Traister, “On Tinder, and other apps like it, including Hinge and Happn and OKCupid, men and women present versions of themselves that are photographed for maximum impact, describe themselves in just a few words and catchphrases, bringing the mid-twentieth century art of the singles ad or, for that matter, the centuries’ old business of matchmaking, to a new technological age, making the process of pursuit and rejection swifter, the plume of potential choices higher. And because women remain more sexually objectified and less sexually empowered than men, troubled by more double standards, and harsher aesthetic evaluations, the dehumanizing impact of dating apps, of sex apps, can be very real.” I feel like this might be opening Pandora’s box but really, dating in the 21st century is not for the faint of heart.

In the online dating world, there is more rejection than acceptance. There are so many options out there that you have to have a leg up on others, therefore you have to figure out how to be a little bit smarter, a little bit better looking, a little bit more fit, a little bit more successful than the other women. Because, inevitably, some dude is going out with another chick later that week who is thinking and doing the same things and because, quite frankly, he is going to make the comparison. It’s exhausting and at times a complete blow to your self esteem. In the book, Traister mentions a widely circulated 2015 piece, that I embarrassingly didn’t know about called, “The Dickonomics of Tinder,” written by Alana Massey which chronicled her use of Tinder after a heart-wrenching breakup, describing her approach to Tinder as hinging on one resonant mantra: “Dick is abundant and low value.”

I cannot tell you how much I wish this article would have been around before I ever embarked on online dating. “Dick is abundant and low value” is a phrase that Massey cribbed from another woman whose words she read on Twitter, a lawyer and writer named Madeleine Holden. According to Traister, Holden had written that, “there’s this cacophony of cultural messages telling us that male affection is precious and there’s a trick to cultivating it. They’re all lies. To any women reading ‘how to get a man’ franchises or sticking around in stale dissatisfying relationships: dick is abundant and low value.” According to Traister, it was an idea that enabled Massey to use Tinder to treat men as disposable, to give her the power of rejection, of being picky, knowing that the technology was presenting her with ample choice, and that ‘the centuries’ long period of dick overvaluation is over.'” I realize this probably sounds awful to some of you, but I understand it. Do you know how many online dates I have been on where I could tell the dude just wanted to get into my pants? And, the assumption was that I should have been flattered that he even wanted to? Or, how many guys I have met online who thought it was appropriate to send a dick pic within the first couple of days of “talking.” And I put “talking” in quotes because it’s actually texting…most guys won’t pick up the phone nowadays (most, not all). I was supposed to be accepting of that behavior? I was supposed to think that makes me valued? Hell no. So, I find it refreshing that Massey and Holden acknowledge this…many men are treating dating apps in this way, so why couldn’t they?

I cannot say that I turned a leaf and started treating dating apps in that way. In all honesty, I’m really not the type of person to do that. Nor, am I actively on any apps at the moment anyway, but I feel like there is a sense of comfort in knowing that the way online dating made me feel wasn’t singular. A lot of women feel this way. But, the bigger question is not lost on me…if we all start treating online dating the way that Holden and Massey have suggested, doesn’t that break it for the small percentage who are actually on those apps looking for love?

And on that tantalizing note I’m going to wrap this blog entry up. I have so much I want to share about this book that I decided to break the blog entries up into a series. Next up, I will talk about the topic of having a family and how even that has changed…that a family isn’t necessarily a husband, wife and children, but that it can be just a mom and baby, that you can be happily committed to someone and have a family without being married – all of which are a direct result of many women waiting later in life to get married and have children.

Hopefully this entry prompts you to pick up the book and check it out for yourself – whether you’re a single lady or not!    🙂

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The Closet Clutter Challenge: Weekend Roundup – Week 16

Happy end of October and beginning of November! I feel like this is the time that I take inventory every year and think, “where the heck did the year go?” We are riding fast and furiously into the end of the year and the beginning of 2018. As most of you know, I’ve been trying to be more conscious of things like, spending money on clothes – which I’m not exactly succeeding at, but nonetheless I’m conscious of what I’m doing and that I probably shouldn’t or at least, think about it before I click “confirm purchase.” I have also continually tried to make smarter decisions when going out to eat. Am I choosing to go through the drive-thru? Then, having a salad instead of a burger is the right choice to make. But, am I on a road trip – either for work or personal? Then, more than likely I’m stopping at Chic-filet or In-n-Out – that’s just the reality. But, I’m also realizing that’s OK! I am also working hard to get myself to the gym more than the two days a week I commit to because I have a trainer. In addition to that, meal prepping my lunches on Sunday. Not only does it save money, BUT it’s healthier. These all seem like little changes, but isn’t that the point? The little changes often lead to big results.

I have a fun little blog entry I’m working on right now about being single and in your 30’s. I’m reading a great book that is inspiring this for me and it’s bringing about a lot perspective. It’s called, “All the Single Ladies, Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation,”  by Rebecca Traister. The book is really for anyone to read – not just single ladies – in that it gives you a better understanding of the history behind the pivotal movement that has happened and continues to happen within women choosing to stay unmarried and single. So, keep an eye out for my thoughts on this topic – as you can imagine I have a lot to say about it!

Anyway, now – for the Weekend roundup:

Finally – the weather has changed so I’m slowly working the light sweaters into the wardrobe, and soon enough boots and thicker sweaters! Warms my heart just thinking about it.

Don’t forget to follow me on IG and Pinterest: Wishbonedreams

Happy closet de-cluttering!

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The Closet Challenge: Weekend Roundup – Week 13, 14 & 15?!

So, my weeks are starting to run together. As I’m sure most of the folks who read this already know, there have been devastating wildfires in Northern California – specifically our beloved wine country. It has been a tragedy with great impact for me in a couple of different ways. To start, we experienced a lot of smoke and poor air quality for most of the duration of the fires burning – wearing a mask while out and about in San Francisco and the surrounding East Bay cities was not uncommon. Also, I volunteered with work to head up to our Santa Rosa base camp to help my department deploy records management resources to other lines of business. I have never seen anything quite like it before, and though at times I feel like my morale is in the gutter, and I’m just swimming around in circles, those 4 days I spent at base camp last week made me proud to work for the company I work for, and invigorated me to be a better version of myself both at work and at home.

With all of that going on, I kind of fell off of my blog/closet challenge escapade. It did help that while at base camp I basically wore boots, a zip up fleece and a safety vest the whole time 🙂 Regardless, below is snapshot of the last few weeks. Also, important to note – as I did laundry this weekend I was able to set aside enough clothes to fill up a donation bag.

 

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The Closet Challenge: Weekend Roundup-Weeks 11 & 12

Hi all! Again – a little behind here. Things have been crazy busy – both in work and in my personal life. I  had a lot of traveling both for work and pleasure last month which is shared on my Instagram – so if you aren’t already following Wishbonedreams definitely check it out. There you can see my daily outfits posts, as well as any travel I’ve been up to.

My brother got married on Saturday, September 30. I was in the wedding so as you can imagine that was quite a busy time as well. Below are the outfits from the last couple of weeks as well as some of my travels 🙂

Top photos are from my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding at Cerruti Cellars in Oakland, CA, Sqauw Valley Oktoberfest, the Madonna Inn and a selfie during a work roadshow in San Luis Obispo. Busy Busy!

Don’t mind the complete chaos of a mess in the background. On my major to-do list this week, now that I have a free weekend for the first time in 5 or 6 weeks! For the closet clutter part of this, I came across a couple of tops recently that I wore once, maybe twice at the most, probably a handful of years ago. Tried them on and immediately remembered why I never wear them. So, I caught myself hanging it back on the hanger and in the closet and thought to myself, what the heck am I doing? So, I took it off of the hanger, grabbed a bag and tossed it in the bag. I now have what I like to think of as an “active” donation bag. So, as I come across things that I don’t like to wear, don’t fit, or simply isn’t my style anymore, I can just toss it in the bag. So far, there are two blouses and two pairs of pants in the bag!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a quieter October full of pumpkins spiced everything and hopefully cooler weather!

Happy decluttering!

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The Closet Challenge: Weekend Roundup – Weeks 9 & 10

So, I’m pretty behind here. And the reason for that is because I was extremely sick after the Labor Day Holiday weekend. Let me tell you, strep throat as an adult is no way to spend an entire week out of the office and laid up on the couch! And, I guess one of the beauties of getting older is that your body decides it is suddenly allergic to things you weren’t allergic to before, like Amoxicillin.

Anyway, here are weeks 9 & 10 – though I must warn, they are scarce.

To add to this blog post, I decided to look up some tips and tricks to cleaning out your closet. Let’s be honest here, I have one small closet in my bedroom that houses my dresses and coats, and an external one that houses my blouses and my pants – and it’s easier access for work days so that is a plus as well. The external closet is more or less under control. All brand new velvet hangers, pants all fit and I wear on a regular and semi-regular basis, and my blouses/tops the same. But, the honest truth is that the closet I need to attack is the one hidden in the corner of my room covered by a curtain.

BuzzFeed had this awesome article titled 17 Invaluable Tips for Anybody With Too Many Clothes. This was published in 2014, but I think there is still some really valuable information here.

  1. To begin cleaning out a messy closet, take every single thing out of it. EVERYTHING.
  2. When choosing clothes to keep, ask yourself a few vital questions to immediate weed out the weak items. (WARNING. This may seem like everything you own. Probably).
    1. Does it still fit?
    2. Have I worn it in the last 12 months? – A good way to determine this is to flip your hangers in the opposite direction once you’ve worn an item so you know it’s an item you wear.
    3. Would I wear it again?
    4. If I saw it in a store now, would I buy it?
    5. Do I love the way it looks on me? Just recently, I put on a blouse that I thought would look so cute with my outfit. I’ve had the blouse for some time, and I am certain the one and only time I wore it (about 3 years ago), I fought with it the whole time (it kept falling off my shoulders). But for some reason I kept it. So, I gave it a second shot, and not 30 seconds in to having this thing on it was annoying me. I immediately started a new donation bag.
    6. Is it damaged?
  3. Hang as many items in your closet as you can. (NEATLY). If you can see it, you’re more likely to wear it.
  4. Use the backwards hanger strategy when putting clothes back into your closet to get a better idea of the items you actually wear often. How-to: face all of your hangers away from you and replace each one the “right way” after wearing the item hanging on it. Check back in six months and then a year to see which hangers are still facing the wrong way. Maybe it’s time to get rid of those articles and clean out your closet again?
  5. To keep everything looking fresh and neat, get new hangers so that everything in your closet looks uniform. This is also a very good way to have to touch every single clothing item and determine if you’re going to keep it or not.
  6. Use garment organizers to separate your clothes into categories that work for you – seasons, occasion, type of item, etc.
  7. Fold heavy clothes, especially sweaters and loose knits that may lose their shape on hangers. A little tip here, is I have plastic drawers on the floor of my enclosed closet that house all of my sweaters.
  8. Organize your folded clothes in a way that makes sense to you.
  9. Assess your reject pile and decide which items can be sold.
  10. If there isn’t anything wrong with the items that you do not want to keep, consider giving them away or donating them.
  11. When you look at an item of clothing and just think “nope,” then maybe it is destined for the trash. Toss an old item of clothing if:
    1. It’s torn or broken
    2. It’s underwear
  12. If you’re really on the struggle bus, refer to the decision tree in this article to help you decide whether you still need that neon blue sweater from 1996.

  13. For extra organization, you can use dividers to end drawer chaos. Drawer dividers, can help you manage the things in your drawers that often get too messy to deal with (unmentionables, socks, ties, belts; the drawer is your oyster!). If you prefer to DIY, try PVC pipes lined up as dividers!
  14.  Don’t let your floor space go to waste. Many people use their closet floor space for shoes, as I mentioned before I use mine for more storage for my sweaters.
  15. Decorate your closet/room with wearable items. Have a super sexy, cute pair of shoes that are just sitting in a box? Put them on a shelf and show them off! Turn dead wall space into shoe shelving and feature your favorites for a display that is both practical and decorative. This would work with bags and accessories, too!
  16. Maximize shelf space and be super organized by using shelf dividers. Dividers are great for creating a smaller space to stack items like bags or other loose accessories that would normally create a mess without using boxes as storage. If you can see your items directly on the shelf instead of in a box, you are more likely to remember it exists and actually use it.
  17. Don’t just use closet doors for opening and closing, use them for extra storage. Over-the-door shoe bags can be used to store not only shoes, but belts, socks, accessories, and more. If you don’t have enough room for a full shoe bag, try hooks, or a towel rod to hang items.

To see the full list and related images, click here.

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The Closet Challenge: Weekend Roundup – Week 8!

So, it has been 8 weeks since I started the closet challenge. I have to say that I am not doing as well as I would have liked. I am definitely pulling things from my existing closet, and I’m having an easier time putting outfits together, but I’m definitely still having trouble keeping my online shopping in check. Here are a couple of my favorite online shops that always seem to kill my bank account (and not because they are expensive, but because I LOVE them).

ROOLEE: http://www.roolee.com has the cutest peplum tops! They have great prices ranging anywhere from $25 onward, and the material the shirts are made of is heaven.

Evy’s Tree: http://www.evystree.com – looking for unique hoodies? Like, the kind you can wear to the office? This is the place! I’ve been an Evy’s Tree customer since it was a little store on Etsy. They are always coming out with something new and exciting, they have fantastic sales and overall I’ve always just been over the moon happy with their product.

Madewell: http://www.madewell.com – Well, what can I say? I discovered Madewell jeans and now that’s all I want to wear. Like I have two pairs and I might throw out every other blue denim skinny jean I own because I don’t love them like I love my Madewell jeans. Well worth the price tag my friends.

Anthropologie: http://www.anthropologie.com – I’m sure you all know what Anthro is, but it’s my weakness. However, I do my best to only purchase items when they are not only on sale, but have an additional 30 or 40% percent off. I have been able to get some really nice things from there for what I think they are actually worth. Also, my bridesmaid dress is from there and I’m in love with it – can’t wait to share and post photos from that day (coming soon – September 30).

Anyway – I digress again, but I highly recommend checking out my online shopping weakness sites 🙂 Below is the weekend roundup for week 8 – only 5 outfits as I spent Saturday in lounge clothes with a migraine – and Sunday was much of the same.

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The Closet Challenge: Weekend Roundup – Week 7

The Closet Challenge Week 7-

Hi all! So, another week has come and gone, and I’ve been working really hard to get my Insta followers up. I’m taking classes toward a social media marketing certificate (gotta keep myself relevant in the ever changing world of communications and social media presence), so with that said I’ve been trying to post more, and be more consistent. And, just like with this blog and finding a niche, I’m having a hard time finding my “theme” so-to-speak on Insta. AND, do you know how hard it is to keep your followers engaged and not lose them?! Wow! I had no idea!

Also, who saw the solar eclipse?! I was here in SF extremely worried that I wasn’t going to be able to see it, but I actually think the clouds and overcast sky helped us see the eclipse pretty easily. I know this is a closet challenge post, but I have so much to talk about this week (I posted a couple of my eclipse photos below too).

Anyway, I digress. Last week was pretty easy to put my outfits together. I did splurge and bought myself a pair of Madewell jeans, that I have to say hold true to their name. I absolutely love them! They are just stretchy enough to be comfortable, but not too stretchy that I need a belt by the end of the day. While I hate paying more than 80 bucks for jeans, I feel like these might have been worth it. Below is the week’s roundup. I’m missing an outfit from Saturday night – but it was a repeat offender anyway 😉 and Sunday was a gym and yoga pants kinda day – not usually photo-worthy hah.

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The Closet Challenge: Weekend Roundup – Week 6

The Closet Challenge (1)

Happy Monday all! Below are the outfits I put together this week. This week had a mess of different things going on…gym a few nights, class one night, happy hour another and then over course Lady Gaga on Sunday night! She was GREAT!

To help with some of my closet storage issues, I bought velvet hangers from Tuesday Morning. I bought two packs of 25 for under 25 bucks! It was great. Not only do these hangers keep your clothes from falling off the edges, but they also somehow manage to create less space! Everything just hangs next to the other perfectly. I am definitely going to be on the hunt again this coming weekend for additional velvet hangers. My jeans and work pants could happily benefit from such hangers! Happy closet decluttering!

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10 Things My Dog Has Taught Me

10 things my dog has taught me

I adopted Ruby about 3 1/2 years ago. I was looking for a cat on Craigslist, not a dog, but there she was all scruffy and rescued and she had to be mine. I think I’ve written about Ruby in the past, but she has more attitude than any one dog should ever be allowed to have, and she for sure belongs to me! Anyway, I thought I would list the 10 things that my pup Ruby Sue has taught me over the last few years.

1. Unconditional love – and what it really means: We have our families who HAVE to love us, and we have our closest friends who choose to love us, but our dogs they SERIOUSLY love us. Ruby loves me when I’m laid up in bed with flu, she loves me when I haven’t showered in two days, and she just generally loves me, as I am. How can you not appreciate that? And, how can you not learn that unconditional love like that goes a long way, even in your personal life? I need to take more tips from Ruby’s ability to love that’s for sure.

2. Sometimes you just gotta get dirty: Ruby has an, albeit annoying habit, of digging in the dirt and then shoving her face and beard right into the hole she dug, drool and all. But it’s made me wonder…she just goes for it, all out, giving zero f*cks, and maybe I need to recognize that. Either that or she enjoys getting her beard wiped down with a baby wipe every night (insert eye roll here). Whatever it may be, it makes her feel good in some way, she enjoys it, and quite frankly doesn’t care if she’s going to get in trouble after the fact. I have learned you just gotta do what YOU want to do sometimes.

3. Just because you’re smaller doesn’t mean you’re less strong: Ruby has been, and always will be the smallest dog in the Delucchi clan. But she can keep up with any dog bigger than her, and between me and you I think she prefers to play with bigger dogs. She can give them all a run for their money. Just because I’m 5’4″ doesn’t mean I’m any less tough than the dude at the gym looking like Thor.

4. Being vocal is always a plus – even if you sometimes annoy the people around you: If you have never heard a terrier bark, it is the most obnoxious thing. I mean, honestly. I asked the vet about her barking and his response was, “She’s a terrier.” Ummm…great! But, I’d rather her give me that “whoa whoa” growl when I enter the house every night then nothing at all. But her issue with the UPS man is something I haven’t quite figured out yet. Nonetheless, I have learned from Ruby that I’d rather have the hard conversations with people in my life than stay quiet, I’d rather bring something up that maybe we don’t want to talk about because it’s better than leaving it unsaid.

5. Being fiercely protective of your family is normal: I have always been fiercely protective of my family. As a matter of fact, it comes out so naturally when you aren’t even thinking about it most times, but Ruby has shown me that when you find your pack, you have it, you protect it, and you love it unconditionally, just as she does with me and my family.

6. Sometimes you fight with your siblings, but they still love you: Sadie (my mom’s rescue) and Ruby have had a couple of tussles in the past. Some resulting in hurt feelings in which they separate from each other for a couple of hours and give each other sideways looks. But, they always put it aside quickly and get right back to being pack buddies. I’ve learned it’s best to forgive fast when you have ups and downs with your family.

7.  Going on a diet sucks – even for dogs: Ruby and I sat in the vet’s office sadly hearing that she was overweight. I want a healthy dog that will live the longest and fullest life so I took it seriously. Poor Ruby eats very rationed portions twice a day, no more random toss of a french fry anymore, she’ll get a slice of apple instead. She has lost weight! And her hard work has paid off, but it’s also taught me that the struggle is real, but just like us supplementing the good for the bad does make a difference.

8. But the hard work paying off is always exciting – especially when people notice: Since Ruby has lost the little bit of weight she clears the ottoman between the two couches and my mom swear’s her legs don’t touch the ground when she’s running at the park. Even her park buddies have noticed she’s lost weight. She feels better and that’s all that matters, but I’ve realized that taking care of yourself and your health really does make a difference in how you look, feel and perform.

9. We all need to be snuggled, held, touched and loved: Ruby has a tendency to either sit RIGHT next to you, all weight leaning in, or not at all. There is also the occasional belly rub that she will initiate by rolling on her back and of course don’t get me started on the butt scratch. I mean, who doesn’t love a good butt scratch? Anyway, she reminds me that we all need to be snuggled, held and touched, whether human or dog – it warms the heart and soul.

10. If you love someone, show them: Ruby has distinct welcoming noises and reactions for certain people in my family. For me it’s this uncontrollable cry/whine and if the other dogs want to say hi to me first that is a no-go. She even sounds like she’s talking sometimes, it’s strange. She also has the same uncontrolled reaction when my 5 year-old niece comes over. Those two are almost, if not just as connected as Ruby and I are. And, boy does Ruby let us know. It’s a good reminder for me to show people how I feel about them, even if it’s through uncontrollable whining – HAH!

Bottom line is this – my dog is my furbaby. I would do just about anything for her, and she gives me the opportunity to think deeper about the things that she unapologetically does. Yes, yes, I realize she’s a dog and not a human, but still she makes me stop and think and for that I’m grateful to have her goofy butt in my life. Cheers to Ruby Sue!

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The Closet Challenge: Weekend Roundup – Week 5

Week 5, come and gone, and somehow I have managed to only have 4 outfit photos. Not sure what happened this week, however I did spend one day at home fighting off a cold I was ignoring all week long, and the weekend consisted of yoga pants and flip flops – nothing worth noting. Either way, the outfit roundup is below.

When I start to feel in a rut about outfits lately I’ve been turning to my handy Pinterest account where I have separate boards for work outfits, weekend outfits, and seasonal outfits. I only try to pin outfits to those boards that I know I can recreate in some way. May sound like a lot of work, but it really does help me!

Week 5 outfit 2Week 5 outfit 3Week 5 outfit 4Week 5 outfit 1

What are some inspirations you use for outfits?

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