Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Non-Buyer's Remorse.

So today wasn't the best day. It certainly wasn't the worst day... but it just wasn't the best.

{My highlight of the day at 2 PM- best afternoon pick-me-up ever}

Whenever I seem to be a bit confused or frustrated, I like to spend time alone in stores. I could spend hours browsing the pretty things, grazing my finger along the lace hems and the patent shoes and getting lost in my thoughts- not in an Emo way or anything, just in a distracted way.

On such a venture today, I tried on 3 things at Nordstrom Rack:

I tried on the above jeans and I ended up getting them because the dirty, boyfriend-esque wash won me over (ps- keep in mind this is a post-gym picture, the dirty-old-man tank top is what I wore to work out and the work-out hair speaks for itself).

But... in the spirit of sticking to a budget, I walked away from these 2 items:

7 skinny jeans and a maiden-ey white top stayed at the store.

What do you think?

Should I go back and get the outfit right above or am I just letting my love for ripped jeans paired with white tops blind me?

PS- Happy Thursday :) Lot on my mind so a shallow light blog topic post today seemed perfect.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wearing her Italian Smile.

Today is a day of remembrance for me.

5 years ago today, My Nana passed away.

{My Nana: Italian: yes. Guidette: no.}

It's indescribable to explain how much I still miss her huge hugs, suction-cup kisses on my cheek and her effervescent smile. She was thoughtful, humorous and loved to laugh and I was beyond blessed to fall from her apple tree.

My Nana was Italian through and through: grew-up surrounded by immigrants, could cook a mean chicken cacciatore and would smack you upside the head if she saw you cutting your Spaghetti (real Italians twirl it around the fork).

{The Italian in me enjoys her wine}

I have been born and raised on the West Coast and my Nana was an East Coast girl to the

very end. However, this didn't stop her from being in my life in little ways- besides her visits to us or our visits to Pennsylvania to see her, she always found a way to be present. She emailed and called me constantly and during my years in college, I often would arrive at my dorm or sorority mailbox to be greeted by a sweet letter from her.

Yes, she always had a way of making my siblings and me feel special.

In fact, in an effort to familiarize her granddaughters with her strong Italian roots she referred to me as: "Caito-Alfredo" and my Sister, Jocelyn as "Joce-lini-Tortellini" - and this often was delivered in a sing-songy way much to our utter delight. She instilled in me a strong pride for our Italian background and if there's one cultural lesson I learned from her it's this: "Dress well and be a good hostess".

{Left: My Nana and Papa on their wedding day}

{Right: My Mom and My Nana... love their dresses}


It is hard to believe that it has been that long since I have seen her but I hope, wherever she is, she does see that there's still a bit of her floating around in all of us.

In me? I think I got the smile.


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Monday, June 28, 2010

Love Food but don't be a "Foodie"

I have a guest post today- NO: I'm not on vacation, NO: I'm not unable to Blog... I have my friend Jordan guest posting because he is one of the most hilarious people on the planet. Give him 2 paragraphs and you won't want to stop reading...Chris Rock meets Food Network

Hi my name is Jordan and I've know Caitlin for a very very long time. We met freshman year of high school and ran into each other here and there: the magic of the internet has helped. But now we are very close friends and I am proud to say that she will always be my friend. I am now a cook at Bridgeport brewpub in Portland. While this is not going to ever turn into a career for me, I have learned one very very important thing in the last three years that i have been making food for money: food is everything. And I'm going to tell you why.

{Jordan and Me}

I now look at food from a very cliche standpoint: food brings people together. Food to me is being with people I love. I rarely see the important people in my life without consuming some sort of food. Duh, there is Christmas and Thanksgiving and Valentine's day and all that sh*t but if you really think about it, it's everyday, all the time.

Sometimes I don't get to see my best friend, Jay, as often as I'd like. But guess what I do (and you do it too)? If you have a busy f*cking Saturday and you only have an hour to be with your best friend, you're probably going to get a slice of pizza or a yogurt or some sh*t. I have an hour tomorrow in my day and I'm going to have lunch with my friends. What else would I want to do?

{Jordan and his love of food accompanied by his love for his best friend, Jay, and his lady love}

I see my mom all the time. One thing that my mom and I share in common is our love to eat. If my mom wants to see me, all she has to do is ask me to go get some food with her. If i go on vacation anywhere, anywhere at all, the thing i think about first is what I'm going to be eating once i get there.

The term "foodie" get tossed around a lot, especially here in Portland- so much so that it has become almost slander. A foodie to me is a pretentious person who wont go to f*cking Burgerville because it's fast food. But Burgerville is a great place. One tremendous aspect of Burgerville's marketing strategy is that they are very open about how well they treat their employees. If you work twenty hours a week at Burgerville, you can get your f*cking daughter to a doctor for cheap if she has an ear infection. I feel good about that when i eat there.

{Jordan and food picks all across the board}

My friend JJ's mom is a general manager of a local salad buffet chain restaurant called Sweet Tomatoes. JJ loves to talk up his mom and tell about the outstanding things she gets to do for her employees if they are jammed up in a mess. She's done all kinds of sh*t. For instance, I think she organized some kind of give drive for one of her cooks because their spouse lost his leg or something and couldn't work. Some "foodies" will tell you to go f*ck yourself if you tell them you went to a lunch at a place like Sweet Tomatoes. Well guess what you d*ck foodie, Sweet Tomatoes provides jobs to A LOT of people. Sure, they probably get their lettuce from some massive corporate farm that uses crazy unhealthy pesticides but in this day and age, sometimes you gotta walk on the f*cking bright side of the road. And if a place like Sweet Tomatoes or Burgerville offers a bunch of okay jobs for some ordinary hard-working people, then that's a wonderful thing.

I really hate when food becomes this pretentious thing that people so easily judge and it happens often in places with populations of "creative" types (whatever that means) like Portland. Are you really going to put me on blast because i got a Starbucks coffee when there is a small coffee shop ten yards away? I just need my f*cking coffee. i wasn't really thinking about it, get off my sh*t.


The reason why the term foodie is off-putting now is because basically it has turned into pretentiousness. Some people would call me a foodie but I'm not. They call me this probably because I cook and sometimes I like expensive food and I hunt out restaurants that sell weird sh*t.

But guess what, last Saturday i had a McDonald's sausage biscuit for breakfast and then I had fourth meal at Taco Bell. I had no time to go get some organically produced salad. I had to get something quick: I was hungry and hungover... again please step back Mr. Foodie, you're standing on my d*ck.

I guess this all probably sounds a little aggressive but it all comes back to the fact that we have to eat and we usually do it with a small time frame so we sometimes choose what is convenient. I love farmer's markets. I love organic fresh cut french fries but I also love, and will always be faithful, to the Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich. That's the thing with food: you can have it both ways. You can eat it all and you should. This is America and if you have the privilege of being able to feed yourself, then you should do it anyway you can. Just try to have some grapes or something every once in a while, corn on the cob is off the hook-get some of that. It's good for you. Put some butter and an a*s load of salt on it if you want, just be grateful that you have access to it.

{Our friends: Stephen, Jordan, Jordan's love- Lindsey, Megan, Jay and Me}

You should be so lucky to share a meal with people like Caitlin and the other people that i have in my life. I'll be eating with these people til I die. I hope your meals are just as good as mine.

hollllerrrrr,
jordan
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brew, Bangles & Paperclips

Well the weekend came and went faster than you could say "Lauren Conrad dresses better than anyone else in the world".

But that's probably because Saturday was too fun..

{Shanin, Miranda, Surya and Me}

I kicked off our first Summer Fest this last Saturday in the sun. Festin' is a term coined by my friend Miranda and me (we call ourselves 'Festers') in which we attend various festivals available in our area. They provide a fun place to eat, drink and be merry all the while putting you in a new location and introducing you to local vendor's lovely treats.

{Blonde, Brunette & a Redhead: Shanin, Me, Miranda}

So because we must fest, we decided to head to the North American Organic Brew Fest which promotes organic food and sustainability. All the beers were created completely organically and everything there was nummy, nummy, nummy.

I started the day ready to fest. I was fresh off a good night's sleep from a low-key Friday night and had a solid workout early in the morning Saturday at the gym to get my blood flowing. Then it was crucial to drink large quantities of water to sustain myself for the rest of the day.

{Festin' is a habit- put it in the air}

The festival was wonderful- music, sun, copious amounts of incredible local beer, amazing food and just a spanking good time with my friends.

{The festival lasted longer than my hairstyle}

We even tried Bacon beer! It was interesting to say the least but I think I'll just stick with Bacon next to my eggs instead of in my Cosmopolitans...

{I asked a guy at the festival to take a pic of my friends and me. This is what I got...at least he captured our summer outfits.}

My dress (far right) is from a consignment shop around town and was cool until the strap broke and I had to spend the rest of the day with a makeshift attachment Miranda fashioned for me with a paperclip. Thank you Mir!

As usually goes, the day turned into the night and before I knew it, it was time to go to bed.

{Wrapping up the night}

Anyway, that was my fun day of the weekend- I hope you got to play too!! Now it's back to the daily Monday - Friday grind of low calories, work, sleep and gym... is it Friday yet?!?!

Happy Monday!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Embody the Black Pumps

This week has been black, black, black.

No! Not because the weather has been bad (it has picked up a bit much to my complete and utter delight) but because our office has been swarming with... dum dum dum... bigwigs from our corporate home office.

I personally believe that every Boss in the history of time likes when he/she sees that their employees put some effort into how they look at work. It may be a casual atmosphere and you might not see clients in your day-to-day but damnit, I swear Bosses appreciate seeing you making an effort to look like you're at a job and not at a backyard grilling (why are people still wearing Fleeces & Doc Martens to work?- explain this to me.)

And when your Boss' Bosses are in town-- I guarantee they appreciate you dressing a bit more appropriate and put-together.

I took that to heart this week as our sweet little office has been swarming with suits from the East. I wanted to remain as I usually am at work (dresses, slips, blouses, etc) but remove loud trends that I sometimes add (large necklaces, bright-colored dresses). And, I have found over the course of these last few (documented) days- that to me, "work summer semi-formal" is Black & White.

Okay- the one in the dead center was worn for drinks after work but it works with my whole "only black this week vibe".

Few things of noteworthiness:

  1. I think simple, black, pointed pumps are necessary for all girls: they're classic, elegant and work when you don't need or want your shoes to speak for you- they're understated style.

  2. I am obsessed with my Calvin Klein full, polka-dot skirt. (shown in 4 images). I love the work-appropriate length, I love the diminishing design... I l-o-v-e it (it has pockets!).

  3. Belts are so great in the office.

(I took the above shot on my drive home from work 6.24.2010 and even though it was a Thursday, I think it looks like a Friday 5 PM shot. Also, my Sister has told me my whole life that I have the ugliest feet she's ever seen - so I dedicate this picture to you Jocelyn.)

Well, today is Friday! And that means that at 5 PM sharp... I will no longer care about dressing in a formal manner without trends- I will be ready to kick off the black pumps, slip into something more comfortable and relax... weekend, weekend! :)

How are you spending your weekend??

PS- thank you to the lovely, talented Holly for awarding me in her "Tickled Pink" series!!! I love her artful, creative, warm blog and love that I'm part of her Tickled Pink series- thanks Holly!

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Glamour & Vanity: never useless.


Oh Gagaloo - another hit, though this one comes in the form of merely words sans rockin' beat and insane 9-minute music video.

I read the quote above last night while I got my hair done and it instantly struck me- "what a cool thing to say". As I moved from that page (Lauren Conrad had an article later in the magazine... must flip pages fast!) and eventually left the hair salon, I started to really think about those words.

In my real life (and my blog life), I am surrounded by women who can relate to what she said. Now I love reading a variety of blogs- seriously: Men's blogs, Housewives' blogs, Blogs about crime, etc. but I do also read a plethora of blogs of girls just like me: 20-something, new in career, old enough to be stable and on our own but not (yet) drowning in money. We use our blogs to express what we like, what moves us, what entrances us with its beauty, art and femininity (or masculinity!).

To the untrained eye, these dalliances in vanity whether it be displayed on our blogs or merely the conversation topic at lunch with your friends; can seem to be nothing more than shallow banter among smug circles.

...But to the contrary- our "glamour and vanity" (thanks Gaga) are what we're creatively holding to. We wanted to be Beekeepers, Marine Biologists, Pilots when we grew up but as we aged, we realized that there's great comfort in a secure job and a steady paycheck, even if it's not the job we always envisioned.

So where does the creativity go? How do we bring art into our lives at a time when we have to balance it with our rent payment?

We dress ourselves, we decorate our spaces with the means available to us- we make what we can, where we can and how we can- glamorous.

And the joy that comes from this freedom of self-expression, is so far-removed from shallow and so wonderfully necessary to our very beings that it would truly be a tragedy to deny it.

Dress On...

Image via Weheartit

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Just Keep Swimming ♥

It's funny how getting away into the "wilderness" can help you to appreciate the city and work and day to day life the wilderness

{Left to Right: Brian, Me, Hoggy jumping off the dock}

As I mentioned below... I spent a long day Saturday early morning to Sunday afternoon at my Dad's cabin. It's a very nice cabin and one I feel blessed to be able to use but it's still a bit rustic by present-day standards: No cell phone service and it runs off a generator. However, it's a beautiful place to go and visit. It resides a 2-minute jaunt from a lake and it's wonderful for boating, tubing, swimming, canoeing, fishing etc. I am lucky to have it in my life.

Our time included lots and lots of dogs and cowboy hats

{I blow-dry my dog after the lake, nothing but the best for my little lady}

We spent time on the Dock and with the dogs in the water

My dog is the black/speckled one and she can't get enough of the water. It is SO cute. We do have to pull her up as you see me and My friend Jeff doing on the logs we swam to.

{I love Summer, my friends and my Dog}

And importantly... we spent time exploring the outdoors and hanging out with one another

{Love my Volcom sweatshirt for camping! And I love my friends immensely}

Oh, I forgot to tell you- this is an outfit post!!!

Just kidding- but the blue, skirted Juicy Couture swimsuit I'm wearing is located here (though I have 600 lbs on the model): swimsuit

And finally because I need sleep and Tuesday is coming up way faster than I would ever hope... here's one of my favorite images of the weekend of me and My little Otter, Maddie.


{Maddie is such a doll}

I hope it's warm where you are because it's gray here and NOPE, I'm not going to stop complaining about the weather until it's so hot that I start complaining about the heat :)

Very truly yours!

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy-O

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads.

I hope everyone finds peace today whether it be celebrating as a Dad, spending time with your Dad or remembering the Dad you miss.

Dad:

I love you very much and thanks for all you do.

When I think of you, I think of:

Pancakes for breakfast
Donkey Kong face
Duct tape
Astronomy
Backpacks
Neverending Lands End boxes shipped to the house
Your love for the summer days
Voicemails where you still slowly repeat your cell number to me, as if I don't know it...
Never beating the ending of Mario World
Pot Roast with Vegetables
Your never ending supply of Aqua-blue windbreakers.

xoxo

(This is a timed post and I'm still at the cabin as you read it, be back soon... )

What's on your mind today about Father's day?

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Friday, June 18, 2010

French? Oui

I don't know about everyone else... but I was getting sick of my face on my blog.

I am not- however, sick of my clothes (why do you think I buy them if I don't like them!). Here's what I wore to work on Friday and I loved it (excuse the blaring red ID badge... I can't even go to the bathroom without that at my work.)
Only downside was that when I got to the office I quickly noted that I forgot it was Friday aka Jeans day and that means I wasted a perfectly good day in a pencil skirt when I could be sporting my Citizens. Gosh dangit.

Banana Republic Skirt
J.Crew top
Hinge white tank
(can't really see it but it's the best so I'm giving it some cred')
Urban Outfitters Belt
Who knows where all the accessories are from.

It felt a little French Chic to me though I have absolutely no clue how I came to that very lofty conclusion.

Anyway lovies, I'm out!

It's 10 PM on a Friday night and I'm home in pajamas because I'm leaving at 7 am for a long day and night at my Dad's cabin with my friends- that means I'll be out of cell range/out of internet range- I'll be locked outta the matrix. But I will get to do things like you see below...

{Fun at the cabin- it's on a lake. It's beautiful.}

I'm looking forward to it (and to the night's sleep I'm about to get on a weekend night!)

Have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Saturday- from me to you.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Man in Me.

I'm a pretty big girly-girl.

I live by stereotypical girl law: I like doing my hair, obsess over clothes, have less fun if I don't feel pretty, cry when I'm upset, drool over dresses and need to get a fan and a towel whenever I see Josh Duhamel.

But that's not every aspect of me- I'm not a delicate flower... I do chores and yardwork, I wash my car manually and I always, always did sports growing up as opposed to dance club or cheerleading etc.

Some of my "masculinity" is cool (see: I did Sports) and some is just... not attractive.

Herein lies a few of my masculine traits:

I rarely have painted nails

{My non-related-by-blood cousin and me with essentially, the same hand}

Trust me, nail polish is cute, cute, cute and I love it and you would sooner see me willing myself to gain 10 lbs than having my toenails unpainted. But fingernail polish? Such a hassle, typically chips after a few hours (for me anyway) and I always choose paying for a Pedi over a Mani. I sometimes paint my nails but for the most part- they are unpolished, unbuffed and un-pretty.

I love Bugs and Creepy-crawlies

{Channeling Britney}

Ever since I was a little girl, bugs have been my friend. They're everywhere, fun to find, fun to watch (have you ever watched a colony of ants?? Fascinating!) and I have never not been interested in them.

Exception: Bees. I hate, hate, hate Bees because they are basically the Taliban in flying form: ruthless, militaristic and disarmingly cruel. (Don't feel too complimented Taliban, at least Bees serve a purpose...)

I'm a Dive Bar/Beer Girl.

(Beers while camping at DMB concert? Natch! Me, Tracy, Megan}

I drink cocktails sometimes when I go out mainly because I wear tighter clothes at night and don't need 20 lbs of cheap ale nestled right below my bosoms but hard alcohol is not something I really enjoy nor are insane clubs. Don't get me wrong- I go to them sometimes (I'm not the downer friend who can only go where she wants) but I don't have that much fun. Where I do have fun? Pubs, sitting at a table with my friends, talking over beers.

Don't cuddle me while I sleep

Cuddling has its place: while watching TV, upon the morning light, for a bit when you first get into the bed and after a little romance and passion (if you know what I mean..) but when it's time to sleep... please stick to your side and let me starfish out.

Where does the opposite sex shine in you???

{You have to be stereotypical when you play}

Last image found here

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chicago: Where the Heart is.

Who in Oregon slept with Mother Nature and never called her back?

This rain is really bumming me out today. After last weekend's sun fest (shown here & here), the sun has ceased to show her face and it is making me want to heave on out of this city. I am not willing to endure months on end of rain (as we gladly do here in the NW) without being able to cash in on that investment in June and enjoy our usual orgasmic summers.. I have thought about moving for a few years now but today, it's really making me want to act on it.

On my lunch break today, I literally was in my car waiting for a storm to pass before I went in because it was pouring movie rain and blaring thunder.

Where would I go?

A big, northern, cold-weather city (no dreams of moving to Cali for this girl)- one with tank-tops in the Summer and down-parkas in the Winter. NYC would be nice but Chicago would be ideal.

I fell in love with Chicago a couple summers ago when I had to fly there numerous times for my job. I spent weeks in the city in the Winter and the Summer, and fell in love with not just the enormity of it but the culture of its residents. The area was swarming with attractive, kind, fun people. I loved the architecture, I loved the parks... I loved everything.

To move there would require a large investment in time, relationships and change and I have yet to make a step of such nature but I think I have to. Not tomorrow, not in the coming months.. but on a 1-5 year plan.

{2008. Navy Pier, Chicago. Conor (bro), Me}

I work for a Fortune 500 company (we're in the top 100). I am not saying this to impress anyone as it holds no bearing on me, but to demonstrate that there's a vast network within my organization to help me grow professionally and get to a place where I could make the move to another city and stay with my company.

{On the L-train platform with my co-workers on our free night-I'm on far right}

I looked today at the location of our office in Chicago- and it's smack.dab.in.the.middle.of.downtown.

{Gotham City, Chicago. Conor (bro), Me}

That little bit of knowledge has helped me gain insight today that there's a potential opportunity down the line for me to try and do what I've wanted to do for so long.

And that knowledge, my lovely bloggy friends, is the sun peaking through the clouds after an unwelcome Thunderstorm in June...

Where would you go if you were to move tonight???

All images taken with my camera in Chicago while my little Brother visited me during my work trip in 2008. Non-Candyfloss & Persie marked B/W Chicago portrait found here.

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