Unsatisfying Lucid Dreaming



I had my first truly self aware lucid dreaming experience this week. I've had similar experiences that were more on the nightmare-into-sleep-paralysis side, but this was my first completely normal (ish) moment of becoming aware that I'm in a dream.

It starts out as some days do - the dogs want out at five in the morning. I get up and take them to the back yard. My dad is up and in the kitchen getting breakfast before work. This is red flag one. He doesn't work on Monday, but I miss this one. I think I walk back to my bedroom for something, probably glasses, and walk back to the door. This is where I realize I'm in a dream. We have storm doors, and through the back storm door, I see Belle and Romeo, and a tiny tornado of a dog running around with them.

If you're new to this space, I've had three dogs. The baby of the bunch (still an old lady though) passed away from cancer earlier this year. When I saw Izzy running around, I suddenly said to myself, "Oh my God, this is a dream." Except I didn't want to be lucid dreaming, because like I mentioned, any previous near-experience with lucid dreaming has lead to.terrifying sleep paralysis. 

I immediately began to scream and run and break things - anything that might've made me wake up before the paranoia and shadows began to creep in. Eventually I did wake up, but I wasn't satisfied. I immediately wanted to go back into the dream to see all three of my dogs playing together again. I was sad, and I'm still pretty sad about it. Maybe one day it'll happen again, and I'll be able to make the most of it.


On a completely unrelated note; I'm trying to figure out how to comfortably do outfit posts. This was an experiment and a maybe. I don't know.

Today I've got to buckle down and schedule posts on various platforms and get some cleaning done. Tomorrow will be spent in the kitchen, baking pies and preparing hors d'oeuvres for Thanksgiving. Food prep is key y'all. Do some stuff in advance and save yourself the day of.


A Few of My Favorite Things


This week is going to be incredibly hectic, if not a little stressful, so I thought I'd kick it off by listing some things I've been loving lately. This is serving as a nice reminder to myself, and hopefully a prompt for you. So, some things I've been loving are: 

- The blanket in the top photo. I already featured it here, but I love wearing this as a shawl and/or scarf. I've been using is as such much more than I've been using it as an actual blanket. At this point, it's just a scarf.

- I stopped listening to music for awhile, with no explanation. That was actually really weird for me, but I've rekindled my love for Spotify over the last few days, and I've been listening to a pretty wide range of playlists and artists. Namely this playlist I made recently, and my trashcan of a yearly playlist. Um. I finally listened to the Harry Styles solo album. I'm a fan.

- Late nights. I love late nights. Over the last month or so, I fell into the responsible adult cycle of going to bed before midnight, but I threw that away over the weekend, and there's such comfort found in powering through the night to good music, be it on work or trying to finally clean and organize my little space. Some things fall through the cracks, but man, late nights make me feel alive. 


- The necklace pictured above. I've been wearing this for months now, and I tend to forget I have it on until I reach for it absentmindedly. 

- The bright points of the Holiday season. Though the actual days (ie Thursday - Thanksgiving) are a little bit stressful, they're wonderful. I'm so excited to make good food and drink and not feel guilt for it, and I'm so excited to decorate for Christmas Thursday night (and all weekend), and I'm so ready to work on Blogmas posts. FYI, all of the posts after this week through Christmas will be Christmas related. If that's not something you're into, sorry in advance.

What have you been loving lately? 


It's A Coat Edit!


(one, two, three, four, five, six)

I know, I know - another coat edit. Eh, coats are wonderful and why shouldn't every blogger compile a list of the coats they've got their eye on? I mentioned in yesterday's post that my own coat no longer fits, so I've been on the hunt for a new one. Honestly, none of these are actual contenders. They don't come in the right size, and they're out of my budget, because hello, Christmas shopping. Although $1,300 is out of my budget no matter the time of year. Not the point. My point is that I love these coats, I want these coats, and just go for the statement coat. 

Just live. Wear a bold coat.


What Unexpected Weight Gain is Really Like


Two years ago, my weight fluctuated around the 130-140 range. For context, I am currently 22 and only 5 feet tall (I haven't grown height-wise in a decade). Throughout most of my teenage years, I thought I was hideously overweight, but around age 19/20, I was finally able to love my body and accept it for what it was. I was happy with the way I looked. However, over the last two years, I've watched my weight pile on to an upsetting 194. 


This weight gain has posted a huge road block in my life. I know that sounds dramatic. It is. With this sixty pound weight gain, I have lost most of my self confidence. I stay home when I have opportunities to go out because I don't want people to see my body. I've grown to hate taking photos of myself. Seeing myself on camera instantly ruins my mood for the day. Sometimes just seeing myself in a mirror ruins my mood. 

Most of the weight gain has been within the last year. Autumn is well and truly here, and my only coat no longer fits. Most of my dresses no longer fit in the bust, because with weight gain comes breast gain. My dresses are now so tight on my chest that my breathing is hindered. I went up four jean sizes, and only just talked myself into buying a new pair last week.


I can't even tell you how I gained so much weight. I mean, there's the obvious - I work from home and rarely leave the house. That's not healthy at all. I went through a phase of trying birth control and antidepressants, but I've been off of both for roughly a year. I've tried cutting out dairy, cutting out meat, working out. I can't seem to lost the weight.

I have to keep trying though. My body is horrible and unhealthy, and I'll continue to try to lose weight, but I can't even tell myself that my attempts will be fruitful.  I just don't know. I think I want to talk about this openly to explain a few changes I'll be making around the blog. I'm going through a bit of a personal thing, you know?

Personal style is a big part of what I do and what I'm into, so I'm trying to think of new ways to post about it here. Flatlays aren't great, but I feel uncomfortable standing in front of a DSLR, expecting one thing but seeing another. It's a work in process. I'll try something else, and I'll see what happens next week.


Cupid



In this week's edition of "Things I Forgot I Had," I'm featuring these baby cupid earrings. Because I forgot I had them. They're literally baby earrings. The posts will close in my second piercings though, so I've been wearing them a lot. I want all the gold God and Goddess jewelry I can get my hands on. I'm pretty sure it's trendy right now, so pieces should be fairly easy to find...



On another note, I have had an absolute week from hell. I've had tech issue after tech issue, and I honestly wasn't sure when I would be able to post again. It feels like it's been weeks since my last post, instead of a mere four days. That's how crazy everything has been. I don't think I should go into every detail, but basically, always change your passwords on a regular basis, and sometimes you've just got to have two browsers for different things. 

I am so tired now. Okay. Back in business. Back to a more "classic" blog layout. I'll stop changing this so much eventually. I'm just ready for a change (for lack of a better word). You know? It's almost January. It's time for a change, I think.


A Book Gift Guide for All Ages



It's gift guide season! For the first time in my entire life, I feel adequately prepared. I've already done most of my Christmas gift shopping already! One of my personal favorite things to gift is a good book. I've rounded up a few here for all ages and multiple categories, to give you a few ideas for your own gift shopping this season.



The Classics

The (Annotated) Brothers Grimm - Many of us are already aware of the Grimms' fairy tales, but it's always nice to have a few on hand for a bit of whimsical rainy day reading. You can find the stories in a variety of books, ie here and here. My own copy is one of my most prized possessions. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - This is one of my favorite books/stories ever. In "Jane Eyre", the title character "becomes an independent and spirited survivor - qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice."

This is a great gift for any literature loving adult, but also for kids! I received my first copy (was eaten as a puppy by my now 15 year old dog) when I was in elementary school, and it was well worn and loved. You never know, you could kick-start someone else's love for reading. You can find a copy here.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - ""The Bell Jar" chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under -- maybe for the last time." This is one of those books that took me years to understand. It's fantastic though. Not the happiest read, but fascinating and worthwhile nonetheless. You can find "The Bell Jar" here.

Persuasion by Jane Austen - Who doesn't love a bit of Jane Austen? "Persuasion" "revolves around the lives and love affair(s) of Sir Walter Elliot, his daughters Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary, and various in-laws, friends, suitors, and other characters." It's a great cold weather read, and I've found a couple of nice copies here and here.



For the Kids

*Little People, Big Dreams: Audrey Hepburn by Amaia Arrazola and Isabel Sanchez Vegara - This is quite simply a sweetly illustrated book about the life of actress Audrey Hepburn, broken down in a way for children to comprehend. This book is a great way to spark an interest in the actress and classic film! You can find a copy here.

*It Starts with a Seed by Laura Knowles and Jennie Webber - In this beautiful book, you "take a journey through the seasons and years as we follow the seed’s transformation from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page." Educate and inspire a future plant lover here.

*The Snowbear by Sean Taylor and Claire Alexander - This book is darling, and an easy favorite with any child in your life. It's a sweet tale about Iggy, Martina, a snowbear, and "the magic of snow and the power of a child's imagination." You can find a copy here.

*Christmas Paper Play by Lydia Crook - This isn't a story book, but a book full of fun Christmas crafts and activities like Christmas decorations and mini-crackers. This would be a great way to keep the kids in your family entertained and distracted throughout the Christmas holiday. Find your own here.



For Glamour

Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser - I may have mentioned before that Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" is a favorite film of mine. I read once that this specific biography was a source of inspiration for Coppola in regards to the film. It's a fantastic and informative biography about the former queen, and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in glamour and (not so glamorous) history. You can find this specific copy here.

Life: Remembering Grace by Howell Conant - This is simply a beautiful photo book documenting the working relationship between Grace Kelly and photographer Howell Conant. This is a lovely gift for anyone interested in old Hollywood and/or the life of Grace Kelly. This is another personal favorite of mine, and a constant source of inspiration. You can find a copy here.




Miscellaneous

*Full Service Blonde by Megan Edwards - This book "follows aspiring journalist Copper Black, who meets Victoria McKimber, an outspoken prostitute at one of Nevada’s legal brothels. Victoria offers Copper the exclusive right to tell her story," and what follows is a thrilling Las Vegas set murder mystery. Personally, I've only just started the book, and I'm already enthralled. "Full Service Blonde" makes for a truly exciting gift, and you can find a copy here.

*CAST: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process by Jen Townsend and RenĂ©e Zettle-Sterling - "This gorgeous art coffee table book brings together the writing of seven different experts and over 800 images to create the first-ever, in-depth resource on the 6,000-year-old technique of casting." This is a gorgeous book, seriously y'all. "CAST" would make for a fitting staple in any living room, on any coffee table. There's something for everyone in this book, and it's sure to be cherished for ages. You can find out more here and buy a copy here.

*Be a Unicorn & Live Life on the Bright Side by Sarah Ford - This is a great little book for anyone with a sense of humor and/or an appreciation for unicorns and bright colors. "Be A Unicorn" is also for anyone who could use a fun pick-me-up. It would also make for a great stocking-stuffer! The ideas are endless. You can find a copy here.


*Titles marked with an asterisk have been gifted. I have not been paid for my words. All opinions are my own.


Soft and Cozy Layers




One of my favorite things about this time of year is layering all of the comfortable pieces I own. In this case, it's thick knits and linen trousers. And honestly, wear white year-round. Just do it. This is a great outfit for drinking tea/coffee/cider/etc and roaming around a yard and/or field. I have no field, but one day, hopefully. Anyway, this is a go-to right now. It's cold, but not quite coat-or-you'll-die weather. It's just right.

Love ya November.







Wearing a Blanket




I've been on the hunt for a versatile piece like this for ages, so when I found it on sale before Autumn even officially hit, I had to snatch it up. It was marketed as a blanket, but I'm much more fond of wearing it as a shawl or blanket scarf. It's better as a functional wardrobe piece. It's a little too flimsy to be used as a blanket. That's just my opinion though.

Basically, I highly recommend finding a blanket to wear as a shawl and/or scarf. Jazz everything up.

On another note; Texas weather is getting to me. I was sweating so much taking these photos (a mere three days ago), but it's finally the seasonably appropriate kind of cold. Now is the perfect time for layers and maybe the sneaky Christmas song or two. I'll just be on my way now...









Creating Distance



I've done it again. Or should I say, I've overcome it again. I lost sight of my love for this space. 

I think I was caught up in too many things, but I feel like my life is a bit more organized now, and I'm super inspired all over again with/by blogging. That's vague, I know. It's just all too easy to become discouraged. I'm also trying to figure out a new direction, style-wise for this space. It's good to be in a constant state of growth, creatively in particular, but it's important to keep going. Stay busy, stay creative, take personal time, but stick with your ideas.

Disenchantment with blogging occurs (personally) every few months, and I honestly wish I knew how to avoid it. Or is it normal? Maybe it's normal. You tell me. Either way, I've distanced myself lately, but I'm in love again, so hi.

Actually, you know what? I think it's just the whole introvert trope. I have moments where I don't want to talk to anyone, and I suppose I have moments where I just don't want to write. Or I just can't. Anyway...




Things I've been up to whilst distanced: 

Listening to Aly & AJ. I was the biggest fan girl at age ten, and suddenly I'm the biggest fan girl at age 22. I love them. Wow. We've all been blessed by their new music. (Take Me, I Know) Honestly, what icons.

Planning Blogmas content. I'm not very far on the planning front, but there is a sweet gift guide coming your way on Friday, so expect that. I haven't shot it yet, but I'm so excited to pull my decorations out of storage. Blogging is a great excuse to do so a few weeks earlier than "acceptable."


Taking copious amounts of photos. I've been experimenting with 120 film, and of course, using my trusty old Cannon T3i on a daily basis. I want my photos to be grand and dramatic, so I'm working on subjects and editing. I'm happy with the results so far.

Christmas shopping. So much shopping. My closet floor is full of boxes. I'm actually almost completely done with my gift shopping. I have no idea what to get my grandparents though, and I've still yet to buy my dogs' gifts. I'm thinking clothes. I'm always thinking clothes. I also keep buying decorations. I should stop that. 


What have you been up to?


Photo Every Hour - October 31, 2017


9 AM
It begins.


10 AM
However, Romeo had other ideas.


11 AM
Catching up on the Halloween films I missed throughout the month. Or I saved the best for last.


12 PM
Time to sit the jack-o-lantern out. I carved it the night before. It was raining at this point in the day.


1 PM
Sorting out the candy into bowls. For my parents though. I didn't actually hand any out.


2 PM


3 PM
It was cold and rainy, so naturally I had all of the windows open. These are re-purposed beer bottles. I have plans for them.

4PM
Missing. Whoop!


5 PM
I roasted the pumpkin seeds from the previous night's carving. I honestly wasn't a fan.


6 PM
The lights of my life. Handling them on Halloween is so strange now. Everything used to set them off, but they're old, and their hearing is terrible. I think Belle's is nonexistent. I let them out at this point, and they never even heard the trick-or-treaters that were beginning to fill the neighborhood.


7 PM
Again, mood lighting!


8 PM
The candy was gone and the jack-o-lantern brought in. Halloween was a success. Honestly, mine was the best it's been in years. If you celebrate, I hope yours was too!


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