Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'll just keep it to myself in the sun

I LOVE this shirt! I know there are boyfriend jeans, so since this is oversized and soft just like boyfriend jeans, could it be a boyfriend shirt? Well, with the crochet detail, maybe not. Still... super comfy and perfect for these warm spring days.

I also love wearing my hair like this when I'm busy and I don't want my hair getting all sweaty on my neck. TMI? Sorry. Hey, it's hot down here. In fact, my city's slogan is "Famously Hot." Yes, I'm serious. And yes, I think it's incredibly corny.

I'm so excited about this weekend because it's K's birthday and to celebrate we're going to the beach! Of course the water is still probably too cold to swim, but hanging out at the beach is so nice anyway. Plus, we're gonna be super hip and go to Medieval Times. What, that's corny too? I guess this place has rubbed off on me. Personally I'm totally looking forward to eating chicken without a fork and watching jousting, and you cannot convince me that there's a better way to de-stress before finals.

I hope you all will enjoy your weekend too!

top - Belk / jeans - dunno, old / sandals - Payless

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Purple Kinda Day

Here's my latest handmade dress! I used an airy linen blend for it. I thought it would be a nice contrast with the retro-inspired shape of it.

Let me just tell you, this pattern was NOT the easiest thing I've ever worked with. I can't believe the dress even came out, I thought the stupid pattern was cursed. The first time I bought it, I took it home only to find that someone had already cut out the skirt pieces and taken them! (?!) Honestly, who DOES that? Then, when I tried to return it, I got Customer Service Lady from Hell who literally, I kid you not, got right in my face and yelled at me for trying to return it and told me she wouldn't do an exchange, but would only give me a gift card worth 50% of the lowest price they've ever had for that pattern. I think there's just something about my face that says "Be mean to me! I'm a wimp!" cause K was with me and he said he'd never seen such nasty people who are supposedly in customer service. Unfortunately it happens to me all the time. That's OK, I found out the name of the store manager and reported her, and then took the pattern to another store of the same chain which happily (and politely) gave me an even exchange.

Then, it seemed like every time I wanted to start cutting the pattern out, something stupid happened and I had to take care of that instead. Once everything was cut out, I started doing well, and then got confused and accidentally sewed the back to the front backwards. So I'm shocked that it even turned out looking like a dress at all, even if it is rather large in the chest area. Although, truth be told, I have that issue with a lot of clothes -_-***

The cats kept creeping into the shots today. How come when I want to take a picture of them they run away or look stupid, but when I don't, they're suddenly all photo-happy??

Then K got creative and started playing with some filters on my camera, hahaha.

The other night, K made some of his yummy pizza from scratch! Hand-made pizza crust just beats the pants off of any frozen or restaurant pizza that I've ever had. We topped them with leftover summer squash and eggplant, and K put some cottage cheese on his. Doesn't it look tasty?

Right now I'm finishing up coursework for the semester, ugh. That last rush and flurry of activity before exams is getting more and more annoying. In the meantime, we're gathering our visa documents for the move to Korea. I had forgotten what a hassle applying for visas is, oy. I think we're on track, though. Mine are mostly together and K's are getting there too. One step closer!

And now, I leave you with a picture of Boscoe, debuting his lovely new tie from Target. Very chic, no?

dress - me! / tights - Steinmart sale $6 / shoes - Target

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stripes and fences

I haven't gotten my hair thinned in almost a year now, and it's really starting to show! I've been letting it dry naturally lately so it's super wavy. I used to hate it like this, but I've learned to embrace it.

It's much cooler outside today, but dark clouds are rolling in and K just told me there's a tornado watch. Hurrah! At least I won't be tempted to blow off my work to go outside, right?

I love love LOVE this oversized top. I have a feeling I'll be getting a lot of use out of it this summer.

My total cost for this outfit is around $70 including shoes and accessories. It's a little higher than I like to go, but the jeans were only $20 and I've had them since 2006. Not a bad buy, huh?

By the way, thanks again for all the kind comments and e-mails. Even though I've never met most of you personally, it's still nice to know that people are kind enough to drop a little note. I am truly excited about the move to Korea. I'm starting to prepare mentally and make all the necessary arrangements. I'd much rather do all of that with plenty of time to spare. I am soooo not a last-minute person when it comes to things like this. As part of my mental preparation, I think I should visit my favorite local Korean restaurant more often. Which means lots and lots of bibimbap in the coming months. Hey, it's a sacrifice I guess I'll just have to make ;)

top: JC Penney / necklace: JC Penney / jeans: Filene's / sandals: Target

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Today is Easter, which is of course a Christian holiday, but also falls around the same time as many non-Christian spring and fertility celebrations. This time of year is all about new beginnings and hope. That makes it just slightly easier to deal with all of the changes that I've been dealt.

I don't like to put too many personal details on this blog, but it's going to become obvious that something is different over the summer. No, I'm not pregnant, thank goodness.

The story started over winter break when I was in Okinawa for a research field trip to gather information for my thesis, which was mostly written at that point. My thesis director informed me, out of the blue, that I hadn't gotten approval from some board that was necessary for working with humans subjects, even though all I wanted to do was interview them and I had already asked many people who had agreed to participate-- most of whom, I might add, were very enthusiastic about my project. She told me that since this wasn't done, that I was not to conduct any interviews because even if I did, the board wouldn't- and she wouldn't- let me use them to finish my thesis. No matter that I had funded the whole thing on my own dime since I could not get funding from the school because of budget cuts. She said I would go back the following year, and there was plenty of time since I am now a Ph.D. candidate anyway.

I was set to graduate with my M.A. and TESOL certificate this May until that point, which was the track my director had put me on. I had been doing my program for the past year and a half with a part-time assistantship, no tuition waiver, and working an additional part-time job to make ends meet while taking a full schedule. Even when I was admitted as a Ph.D. candidate in the fall, I was not offered additional funding. And since I've already taken out the maximum amount of student loans that my university approves for graduate students (which is much lower than the government has approved me to borrow, but that's beside the point), after this semester school is not an option for me. Especially in light of K's hours getting cut at work due to the lovely economy.

Since winter break, I've been grappling with the fact that I will not be graduating this year or possibly ever since grad school credits are only good for a few years, even though my GPA is 3.85 and I graduated from undergrad with a 3.88 and from high school with a 3.9. Not to mention volunteer work, clubs, and working part-time and summers during those times. Sorry, but it's hard not to be bitter about it.

K and I have thought long and hard about what we can possibly do since his job seems to be little more than a sinking ship and I can't find any full-time positions that pay more than minimum wage in our area, and forget about benefits. Gardening is really therapeutic in times like this.

Well, we came to a decision about what we should try to do. We've been working on it for the past couple of months, and now it seems that the wheels are definitely in motion. Here it is.

This summer, K and I are moving to South Korea.

The best jobs that we can find are in Korea. Pretty amazing, huh? Well, at least it will be a great adventure. I'm excited and nervous and scared and happy all at once. This is the second time in my life that I'll have moved abroad. I'm so happy that this time I won't be alone. It'll be so much fun to explore a new place with K. 

I'm hoping that in a couple of years I can save up enough money to come back and finish the last 6 credit hours of my M.A., or even try to do it from a distance while still in Korea. It's not an ideal situation, I know. But this is the best financial move that we can make right now. And I'm trying to make the best of it. I mean, I love Korean food, Japan is just a stone's throw from Korea, and I get to learn a new language! (Yes, that's a positive for a linguistics nerd like me :) )

This week we're starting the process of gathering visa documents. Just about four months to go at this point. So if you've ever been to Korea or know much about it, I'm open to any and all advice!

In the meantime, check out some of the steals I found at Easter weekend sales. Were the sales not amazing this year?!

Definitely minimal hair, makeup, and even clothing today-- 91 on Easter, good lord! Sorry if my pasty skin offends you :)

Total cost of this outfit: $40. Love it!!

By the way, my city is covered in wisteria these days. It's so beautiful! I've never lived anywhere else where it grows wild everywhere. It smells like heaven in the evening. Is your city or town in full bloom too?

romper - New York & Co. / sandals - Payless / necklace - JC Penney

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hitchin' a ride

Except for the time I accidentally hitch-hiked, this is the closest I've come to nabbing a ride with a stranger. What, you don't believe you can hitch-hike on accident? Trust me, it can be done.

Just kidding! About trying to hitch today, I mean. I really did accidentally hitch-hike once. True story.

How amazing is this mural? One of the things I love about this city is the random murals around town. This one has a special paint so that in the evening it looks like the sunset in it is glowing!

Another hot day today- 91! Summer really has come all at once. I was really happy I decided to buy this lightweight top last summer. It made it a little easier to deal with having to wear pants to cover the last of the bites...yucky.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the weekend and Easter~

top - Forever21 / pants - New York & Company / bag - Target
shoes - Ito Yokado (Japan) / sunglasses - Filene's Basement