Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Profile of a Tired Girl - VANESSA!

Our next Tired Girl profile comes from someone who at first glance does not seem like a Tired Girl, but she is, and I like both sides of her - the tired one and the spunky one.  I really agree with her on the idea of dresses - pregnant or not  - and her use of microwaveable brown rice.    I did not proofread this too much, so if there are mistakes don't blame Vanessa, blame me.  She wrote this last fall for me and has since had her baby - just to keep you in the loop.

First name: Vanessa

Tired Girl product(s) recommendationI think I’ve already told you how much I love Lancome’s Effacernes - Waterproof Protective Under-eye Concealer (in Clair II).  I have really dark circles around my eyes, and they are aggravated by congestion, hormones and lack of sleep…three things I am pretty much dealing with all the time.  Perfect, right?  This concealer is one of the only things that prevents me from scaring the small children at my daughter’s daycare.  I use it not only under my eyes, but also in the corner closest to my nose and on my eyelid.  I truly get dark “circles” rather than just half-moons under my eyes.  I do make sure to avoid putting any makeup around my crow’s feet though…the makeup tends to end up settling in those pesky fine lines and emphasizing them even more.

The other products I rely on to make me look more awake are my eyelash curler and waterproof mascara.  I use Lancome’s Waterproof Hypnose mascara.  The waterproof is key for me because it helps keep the curl in my lashes.  Non-waterproof formulas tend to weigh my eyelashes down and that defeats the purpose. 
If I have a little extra time in the morning, adding a thin line of black eye-liner to my top lash line makes my lashes look way thicker, and again, makes me look more awake.  If I’m really trying to impress someone, I will add some Nars blush in Orgasm to the apples of my cheeks.  It’s a little pricey, but I’ve been using the same one for years (like, probably over four years…is that gross?) and still haven’t run out.  It is that perfect peachy color that somehow makes me look healthy and glow-y, without being sparkly.  Then I top it all off with a little lip gloss.  My current favorite is Fresh’sSugar Rose.  It feels like a slightly amplified version of my natural lip color.

Favorite non-tired activity:  As lame as it sounds, I really do feel so much better when I work some exercise into my routine.  I’ve really struggled to make the time for it though.  There are only so many hours in the day, and after work my husband and I take turns playing with, feeding, bathing, changing and wrangling our daughter, or cooking, emptying the dishwasher (blech), and doing dishes.  Once she’s in bed, I’m either too full or too tired to even contemplate working out, plus it’s nice to spend an hour just hanging out with my husband.  I’ve found that the only chance I have of working out is if I wake up 45-60 minutes earlier than normal when everyone else is still sleeping.  It’s nice because  I get a little alone time that doesn’t involve me working, and I can listen to cheesy pop songs to my heart’s content with no judgment. 
*Best workout song ever
(that I would never listen to in front of my husband)

Least favorite chore and how you work around it: Ugh, that’s a toss-up between emptying the dishwasher and doing laundry.  I have no work around for the dishwasher, other to leave the dishes in the dishwasher until my husband finally breaks down and does it himself.  As for the laundry, my major issue is taking the clothes out when they’re still hot and folding them before they get a chance to wrinkle.  My problem is that I tend to try get through two loads at a time, and I inevitably end up procrastinating on folding the clothes in the dryer, so I end up leaving the clothes in the washer for too long and they get stinky and I have to re-wash them.  The only thing that seems to work for me is to do towels as my first load, and follow up with clothes as the second.  I’d much rather fold seven towels and put them away than try to find the mates for what feels like hundreds of tiny toddler socks.  So if I do towels first, I’m more likely to get the towels out of the dryer and put the clothes in a little faster, saving myself (and the environment) from having to re-wash.  I will admit that the load of clothes then sits in the dryer for the rest of the week, occasionally getting re-fluffed when I need a shirt.  So if someone has a solution for that, please share.

Your go-to most tired dinner (take-out doesn’t count because as we know that is our MOST most most favorite):  Back when I was single, most of my dinners consisted of a salad topped with either some Publix rotisserie chicken or a fried egg.  That was seriously my dinner for at least four nights a week.  When I got married though, I had to step it up a bit.  My most favorite is when my husband, who is an awesome cook, makes dinner.  But when it’s my turn to cook and I’m beat, I’ll pick up some chicken thighs or breasts (whichever is on sale) and make some man-pleasing chicken It’s always a hit in our house, only has a couple of ingredients, and we typically have the ingredients on hand (minus the fresh rosemary – we just sub in dried or omit it entirely).  While it’s in the oven, I’ll microwave up some Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice, and toss some frozen broccoli in a microwave safe dish, add a tablespoon or so of water, cover and microwave it for about 3 minutes.  The pros are that it takes very little effort, and the dish cleaning is minimal if you line your baking dish with foil (thank you Tired Girl!).  The only problem is that you have to wait like 45 minutes to eat. 

Man (woman and toddler) -pleasing chicken
If it’s late and we’re all starving, then I’ll grab some salmon, top with a little Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Salmon Seasoning, and bake or broil in the oven for about ten minutes.  I will also pair it with rice and whatever frozen veggie we have on hand.  Alternatively, it takes very little time to toss some olive oil and garlic in a pan and sautĂ© some spinach.  I like kale too, but it takes a little longer and I have to use a bigger pot, which means more dishes.  Boo.

Your most tired work outfit (whether your work is away from home or at home (please share brand names and feel free to add pics):  Right now I am about six months pregnant and feeling like a huge walrus.  The easiest, most comfortable and put together outfits I have are all well-fitted, A-line dresses.  They’re nice because they involve no thinking in the morning.  Also, the well-fitted part is key, because anything that is loose just tends to make me look bigger, but the A-line helps skim over some areas I would not like to emphasize too much. 

*These dresses are both from Motherhood Maternity and are less than $40.00.  There is no reason to spend good money on outfits you only get to wear for a few months.

*That being said, this dress might be worth it.  It’s from Seraphine Maternity, and is the same dress Princess Kate wore in her pictures with Will and George.  It’s *only* $79 and is good for nursing too.  Although I somehow doubt this model is actually pregnant.  I think she just stuffed a pillow under her dress.

I also have taken some style cues from Jessica Simpson (yes, I know, but hear me out), and have been pairing black pants with a black fitted top, and adding a blazer or cardigan and scarf or long necklace.  The black is slimming and makes me feel less like a blimp.  I have been going more the maternity trousers than the legging route, but the effect is similar.  And I can wear my regular-sized blazers and cardigans, so long as I don’t try to button them.

*Note – I do not suggest pairing this look with Green Hunter boots or long fur-lined coats.

Biggest Tired Girl splurge Currently: travel.  I know I’m going to be in hibernation mode after this baby is born, and won’t be able to go too far from home after my 34th week, so I’m trying to get out into the world while I still can.

What is your most Tired Girl comfy uniform: If I’m leaving the house and it is less than 90 degrees out, I think leggings, a cute and comfy tunic and boots or flats look pretty cute and ready for fall.  Plus, the tunics cover my rear end and thighs, which also think they’re pregnant.  Otherwise, I end up just wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt around my house.  My poor husband.

Current toenail color:  Pale pink, only because I couldn’t find any fall-appropriate shades in my nail polish bag. 

Tired Girl philosophy:  Life is short - outsource whenever possible.  If you can afford it, hire someone to clean your house or mow your lawn or take care of your pool, or whatever big chore eats up your weekends.  You will free up so much valuable time …time that you can spend with your family or exercising or learning Mandarin or perfecting your soufflĂ© or volunteering, or on whatever else it is that you like to do with yourself.  When we moved, we hired a lady to clean our house every other week.  She does the really annoying and time-consuming things, like cleaning the bathrooms, and scrubbing out our microwave.  We had to re-prioritize our budget a little bit, but it has been so worth it.  Now we can actually go out and do FUN things on the weekends, rather than stick the toddler in front of the TV and argue about who has to scrub toilets or mop the kitchen floor. It has really been life-changing.      

Comments/ other things to share:  The Tired Girl has really taught me a lot about setting priorities.  We all have limited time, and most of us have at least some budget limitations.  By prioritizing the things that matter most to you, and streamlining the rest, you can really make the most of your precious time and money.   

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Where did you get that?

Recently I have been looking for something that doesn't exist in the universe.  It is: a purse that easily holds my laptop, zips across the top, is not huge, has a cross body strap, has top handles as well, looks like a purse not a bag or a briefcase, is feminine, is reasonably priced (like under $150 - ha!), I can sleep in it if things go wrong for me, is black and brown in parts, and is pretty.

Bought this one on ebay from China and love it,
but a very complicated reason prevents it from working
with my laptop. Here it is on Ebay.
I have become obsessed with finding this Big Foot type purse.  I know it's out there - if I just look at twelve more sites or try a different search on ebay or quit my job and dedicate more time, I will find it.  And in truth I did find it, almost - if I want to compromise.  A $1,200 bag came close, but whatevs.  A $25 purse came close too, but it didn't zip across the top and was cute, not pretty, so if I am going to compromise with the zipper I can consider other pretty things I didn't consider before.  AND cut to me 2 am with blood shot eyes glaring at my ipad and rocking and back forth to self soothe, while Joe innocently sleeps next to me not knowing I may accidentally buy the wrong purse and the whole world will stop.

Currently holding on to this one.
It's not super sturdy and no zipper, but I like the it.
This is the "Big Buddha Cabana Shopper" from Macys.
So, one good thing that has come from this fixation is that I go up to women in public and ask where they got their purse!  I am not shy - I am a little shy actually, but I suck it up.  I have asked five different women so far about their purse and one even let me put hers on my arm and look at the measurements.

I know I could stare at their purse and then try and match it online with magic, or I could just ask them and save 32 hours.

So, now I ask people (really just women) about all kinds of stuff.  Their earrings, their comfortable work shoes, their blush color, their black ankle pants, etc.  It cuts down on tons of energy of wondering and looking. When you see something working in real life it is too good of an opportunity to pass up. It's a very Tired Girl thing to do. 

Returned this and I regret it. May re-purchase.
It's a Dooney and Bourke nylon "shopper.' 

I start with moving closer to them naturally - not bee-lining over to them.  I smile and then act surprised when I notice their purse or whatever. And then I continue to smile and say "Excuse me, I love your bag, do you mind telling me what brand it is."  They are caught off guard rightly so, and then we discuss their item, and then I thank them and tell them how I have been looking for something that size and style.  I usually say to " I need something hold my laptop, but is still pretty," so they don't think I just don't know how to use the internet and look for purses.

So far, everyone I have ever approached has been flattered, friendly and helpful.

In the end NOTHING is perfect - my mom told me that recently about something else and it was like I heard harp music. Nothing is perfect. I have purchased a few (many, many) bags and returned almost all. I have two I am holding on to right now, and I returned one and then almost asked my mom to go back and get it for me - I returned it to the Marshall's close to her. But then I found it on ebay for cheaper so I have that in my pocket too. And also it doesn't matter if I find the right bag because I may have to drop out of society anyway because I am like way preoccupied with this hunt. 

Currently own this and I love many aspects of it, but there are issues.
 Bought this at the Men's Coach Factory Store in Orlando.  

This looks less briefcasey and more cutesy in person.
Men's Tattersal Bleecker

Unfortunately, all the purses I have asked women in public about will not work for me for one reason or another.  So the search continues. 

I need help. If you know of a purse like this you have a moral responsibility to put me out of my misery and let me know.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tired Girl loose sense of time -

Tired Girls (mostly me) have a loose sense of time.  Me, specifically, am not perpetually late, but rather time has little meaning when it comes to accomplishing things.  I get an invite in the mail to attend a party.  I want to attend and think "Yay fun! I will RSVP tomorrow."  Three weeks go by and I realize it's two days till the party and I am just now getting around to RSVPing. Bleh.  "I'll call her back" will happen in about 2 weeks.  "I will write a thank you note" - one month. I started
reading a book last night that I "just bought" two years ago.  It took me two years as well to get around to trying out a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake - and I felt super proud of myself for doing it then!

An 8 second clip that always makes me laugh (and one of my favorite movie quotes) - from the movie "I Heart Huckabee" - I feel like this guy:

I could give you a list of like 23 things that this Tired Girl time problem affects.  The frustrating part is that I don't want to hurt people's feeling and sometimes this happens - my good intentions and suspended time frame don't always mix.

It is important to be really nice to people anyway (unless they are jerks and then that is a whole other issue), and especially for this purpose.  When you text your BFF back five days later it's important that she knows you love her. I write about the importance of Tired Girls being nice here.

I do not have any solution or explanation to lack of time sense.  Why does three months feel like "right away"? I don't know.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

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