Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tired Girl's guide to anxiety and depression -

There have been a handful of times that I have suffered from mild anxiety and depression. I qualify it as mild not for my own reputation or ego, but to differentiate between myself and those of you that have a chronic/physiological depression/anxiety. 

There is a difference - mine is real, but thankfully "situational." As it is real though I do have a few Tired Girl tips for those of you that may, like me, feel it happen. 

If you feel you are on the edge or in the throes of it  - either way -  here are my tips:

First - Get up and exercise (or just move). Have you cried on a treadmill? Because I have. Make your body move first thing (any movement will do) - absolutely no matter what (rain, snow, humidity - move your body indoors or out). It gets your blood moving and the anxiety out. 

Sounds about right. Actually I would call this "therapy."

Second - Drink some caffeine.  Not tons, especially if you are really anxious, but some. A cup of coffee or tea at least.  Again, don't go crazy with it or you will go crazy because of it.

Third - Get out.  Shower and leave the house. 
Have you ever cried in the aisles of Target? Because I have. Go anyway.  If you work out of the house then go to work.  Skip makeup if the day is that bad, and frumpy clothes never had long term affects either, just throw some shit on and head out.  

Four - Reach out. Email/text/Facebook five friends a day. Do not tell them you are suffering, instead ask what they are reading, what they are up to, how their new job is, how their daughter is taking to swimming lessons, what trips do they have planned, etc.  You may only hear back from one friend that day (everyone is busy so you have to send out more than you will get back).  Friends will write you back from other days though so you will hopefully always have a trickle of communication coming in.

Five - Be aware of your worst time of day and plan for it. Mine is in the morning - the thought of a whole day ahead of me, in pain.  For many people it's at night when they are tired and the world seems lonelier. And for others it's the 4-6pm time frame - kind of a weird in between time period (the armpit of the day).  Just to be safe plan for each of those times of day - move your body and get out in a.m., do something relaxing/comforting in the late afternoon (weirdly I like laundry at this time of day), and watch a show or movie you love in the evening - something like that. 

Six - Take a melatonin* (unless you are on a sleep medication) between 7-9pm at night. Please read about it here and talk to your doctor. My melatonin supplement is 3 mg and I don't take it every night. Here is the Tired Girl/non-doctor description of what it does: It helps your body get it's own melatonin going - simply telling your body it's time to wind down for the night.  It's a low key sleep aide,  and sleep is vital when being awake is hard. 

Seven - Do all of it all over again, every day. Some days will be worse than others.  You may take one step forward and two steps back.  I can think of three distinct times that depression/anxiety have gotten me. I have given myself a time period and said (to myself), "if I am not "better" by a certain date I will get help." Help, in my world meant going to a doctor. 

There are many other little things I recommend doing and reading and trying. But these are the biggies for me. Don't be ashamed if some things in your life have converged and you feel like crap. Don't suffer needlessly. Don't tell everyone you know either because people are weird and depression/anxiety can freak people out. 

Take care of yourselves out there Tired Girls.  What are some things you do when you are suffering from anxiety or depression?

An oldy but a goody.

*My husband is an attorney and when I type words saying to use a medicinal product I envision his eyes narrowing and him using words like “negligent” or something. 
I assume when companies make a claim they have a disclaimer as well – so this is my
disclaimer so my husband doesn’t glare at me or I don’t get sued when someone still can't sleep when using this product. This product helps me and therefore I think it could help others, but really I have no control over many variables.  I’m sure Joe would legal-speak this all up for me, but you get the idea.  Please talk to your doctor before taking any medication. Please don’t sue me. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My office -

Lately my brain does not work. One of my problems typically, as a Tired Girl, is that my brain works great,  (it is constantly turning and thinking)  it's just that my body can't keep up.  The ideas come in faster than can be dealt with. But recently that is not the case. I am not in hermit-mode. It just seems my creativity is taking a nap. 

In the meantime I have been taking photographs until the words in my head come back. One of my favorite things about the internet and blogs is the ability to spy on people. Just being honest here.

So I took photos of my office to share in case you feel like looking at someone's house (mine!). This is not to say that this room is beautiful or horrible - "aren't I clever" or "aren't I a cool slob who doesn't care" - not that kind of thing - but just more to show you around.

My disclaimer is this - I TAUGHT CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY.  I KNOW that you are not supposed to face a window when you snap a shot. But I just couldn't get it to work any other way. Lighting and I don't get a long well anyway. Please excuse the heinous lighting in every photo. 

Hello Miss Lady office. In true fashion/decor blog form I will tell where stuff is from in the other photos.

My easel - where I hardly ever paint anymore (thanks a lot real life). It's currently holding a white board where I write the word "laundry" after I do it each day. My goal is to have it written it 5-6 times in a week AND don't look too close or you'll see that it is written NEVER on this board when I happened to take the photo. Also on the easel is a painting my parents gave me for Christmas that I love and that made us all cry Christmas morning when I opened it and read the words in the painting aloud. 

 The window fabric was just staple gunned (by me) on top of the other window coverings that came in this room  - I like this fabric better. It was a remnant as well - It is "Dwell Studio Mazescene taupe" fabric.  Easel is from Michael's.

We bought our home furnished - as it was the "model home" for the neighborhood. Most of the furnishings in this room were moved out, but the long striped pillow and the two pieces of artwork of poppies stayed. Even though I am a novice art collector and prefer original art, I love these poppies.
Matelasse set is from Marshall's years ago, euro pillows are Tommy Hilfiger from ebay, ikat pillow is PB teen, houndstooth fabric is just a remnant from Joann's, my chair is from Ikea. Headboard is Potterybarn.
Teddy man saw all the fun I was having in this clean room and decided it would be a perfect time to make the bed his nest by messing it all up. It's one of his favorite office activities.  Look at those tired eyes. 
He promptly drug a couple of more pillows around and fell asleep.  He is my favorite thing about any room though.  Teddy's collar is from Target.

Moving on around the room - I started the blue and white picture for a friend of mine and long story short it didn't progress and another theme was selected and maybe will someday be finished as well.  The chair came with the house but I half-ass recovered it - don't look at the back of it or either of the sides - re-upholstery as a hobby is not in my future. I spray painted the sewing table white - years ago before they had good spray paint - and it doesn't look that great. 
My other poppy picture. I am afraid of real-life butterflies, but like fake ones. We saw this butterfly garland while in San Francisco and Joe got them for me for Christmas one year. They make charming little tapping sounds against the wall.  Next to the chair is a basket of craft hodge-podge (Teddy loves to pick out the perfect paintbrush to chew on), and a huge roll of white paper from Sam's Club. My sewing machine is stowed behind the chair. I pack this place full!! 

My desk.

My bulletin board. It's a big cardboard box, flattened and taped up to be smooth, covered in a curtain from the old house. Joe bolted this baby to the wall.

One of my very favorite tear-off calendar pages - framed.
Cracks me up every time I read it.

Everybody knows I love Paris. And what says Paris more than a little pillow thingy that I bought in Savannah and hangs from the closet door? Oui!

Canvases stacked - painted and blank

My HORRIBLE closet that I am only sharing, because you can't just show the neat parts if you are really going to show something.  In preparation for our move I pulled everything out a few weeks ago and eliminated some stuff and then ran out of time and crammed it all back in. Bleh. 

Wrapping paper in a wine cooler, I mostly just like the patterns.  

Shoes behind the door.  I really know how to weave the intrigue in to this post.

My dad made me this desk and I painted it. I love it. Perfect for work, sewing or big craft/paint projects.  This is under my desk - often Teddy's headquarters. Also old magazines I like to hold on to and some ankle weights. 

I happen to love love love this room.  Every corner I look in I see something that I like or have chosen or was given. It is a sanctuary to me where I also get to work everyday and used to get to listen to Ralphie snore sweetly behind me on the bed and now get to listen to Teddy breathe sweetly on my feet (he is not a snorer) underneath my desk. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pantry organization -

I recently fell in hate with my disorganized, messy pantry. I was fed up with the food chaos.  

So, I did my usual trick of not moving and instead scrolling through photos on the internet of organized and pretty pantries to get ideas. 

I did my next usual thing of setting a (teensy) budget, shopping around my own home for supplies and then heading out to the Wal-Marts/Targets/Hobby Lobbies of America to make a few purchases. The planning and buying are generally my favorite parts of a project.

Then, I happily pulled everything out of my pantry, making piles of things to combine, throw away and bring to the food bank. After that the fun was over and I was annoyed with the mess in my kitchen and had to force myself to actually organize everything that was leftover. 

After making this a longer process than necessary I am pleased with my results. All meals and snack-times are easier now and we have been able to keep the place neat too.  I hate when I over organize ( hah - as if) and then I can't keep it up - too many different things to keep track of and put away - bleh.  This is Tired Girl style organization.

Here are a bunch of boring photos. 

Before - yuck. Don't judge my food either.
During.   Also yuck.  Fun to start a project.....  and then I lose steam and interest. Boring.
So then I covered up Teddy with a blanket which he likes (read: puts up with) and then I took a whole lot of photos of him napping - this is one of seven. 
Tah dah - after!  And no marriages were harmed in this project.
Mostly because the whole thing occurred while Joe was at work. 
I also labeled my trashcan to make it look like it belonged and I liked those chalkboard labels. I wouldn't imagine that anyone would mistake a trashcan with a cereal box,
 I just mostly like the way it looks.

I won't bore with you pantry organization details (everyone will find their own way) except to share these few things:

- It just helped to clean the place out.  It was time to pitch/donate some stuff.

- I had two big bins I found elsewhere in my house (don't look in those closets - practically just dumped the stuff out of these bins to use in my organized pantry) and used them to house lots of small hodge-podgey things that fit in to two main categories:  "Baking Supplies" and "Dinner Supplies" and anything in either category gets chucked in to either bin for the most part. 

I also found some great containers at Wal-Mart that have nice lids and hold my "snacks" now.  

I bought the chalkboard labels - they aren't sticky but more clingy so if you mess up or want to take off they just pull off - at Hobby Lobby along with a chalkboard pen. My Tired Girl friend Jamie recently wrote me she was "cheating on Joann's (fabric store) with Hobby Lobby" and I had to agree with her. 

Is anyone still reading this?  If so I will share this last thing - having a neat (ish) pantry and a place to put everything makes meal time, grocery shopping list time, grabbing food and pushing it in my face time, running out the door but I need a snack to take with me time - so much easier.  And it feels relaxing to look in there and see that my trashcan has been labeled. What did I do before a labeled trashcan? 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dog Park Chic -

I have come across a few fashion bloggers who photograph themselves wearing amazing* outfits. I also follow a group on Instagram called "LikeToKnowIt" - if you like the photo posted, they email you the details of the outfit - brands and such. You won't be surprised to learn that these outfits are over the top for the most part, very un-Tired Girl, but super fun nonetheless -like the website I love called Southern Charm - just pure eye candy. Just going to get that link right now I lost seven minutes. 

Though I love looking at the photos and wondering about the lives these women lead I am forced to examine my own fashion in the process.  

So I have put together a photo journal of outfits I have worn over the last three months - since getting Teddy the dog. I call this "Dog Park Chic."  To be honest I don't like the dog park (just too many variables and personalities) and once we found a few other strategies for keeping him engaged and busy I quickly abandoned the dog park. But my clothes still reflect the puppy life I am leading and the 27 walks we take a day.  

I do not think you will wonder about my croc shoes or pajama pants but in the true spirit of a a fashion blog I have detailed every aspect of these "outfits." 

Just to draw a comparison - these are the beautiful ensembles that make up possible non-Tired Girls' lives. I wear similar things sometimes but just barely and not really. These are the images I scroll through on Instagram, while I am wearing outfits you are about to witness. Source 1 and 2 

Not me. Not that anyone would confuse me with this.  Source

Welcome to the Tired Girl Presents... Dog Park Chic:

Pajama Pants by Tart (Marshall's). Crocs - a gift from my mom - ha.
Actually Crocs by Crocs.

Jeans by Joe's Jeans, striped shirt by Chelsea and Theodore (Marshall's), Grey sweatshirt from Hanes at Target, Crocs by Crocs. 

Sometimes one shoe disappears when you have a puppy.
Yet a different pair of Crocs, same jeans by Joe Jeans, Jacket by INC. 

Boots by Bogs (gift from MIL), same Joe Jeans, same stripe shirt
( I think I wore this shirt for about a week or three).

Casio watch, Easy Spirit Riptide shoes, shorts by Mossimo at Target,
runners belt by Marika  (to house cell phone and waste bags and just to look extra bulky and a little dorky) don't remember what shirt this is. Sweet face by Teddy man.

Hello again Crocs, jean shorts by Mossimo,
I slept in this shirt that day - T-shirt from sorority function in college.

Different pair of jeans by Joe Jeans, top by Mossimo.
Don't even have toe nail polish on here - sometimes those toenails have to breathe. 

Shoes by Saucony, shorts by Mossimo, top by Mossimo.

I would really love to see your Tired Girl Dog Park Chic (or kid park or  grocery store or whatever) fashion.  Please email me at - or upload directly to Facebook

*unrealistic and very pretty

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