Friday, February 28, 2014

Finally Friday!

Oh boy it's been a busy week. I had training for work, I got my hair re-colored, I coordinated a dog adoption (more on that later), I had a consultation with a painter so we can get our walls redone, I had a doctor's appointment, I auditioned for a musical theatre group, and Tyler's parents and brother are in town. So whoops, I didn't have time for any meaty posts this week! Also, please enjoy these videos of me singing the songs I sang for my audition in lieu of favorites.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sex Ed Sunday

  • If you have a vulva, and you're feeling anxious about whether your genitals are okay, might I direct you to body-positive Tumblr blogs such as Cute Pubes and Labia Love? They have fun names and they'll reassure you that you're totally normal! (Very NSFW! Cute Pubes includes pictures of penises, too.)
  • Here's a great post on female condoms, also known as internal condoms or "innies." Even I learned a couple of new things, and I used to work for Planned Parenthood!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

  • The best possible time to be in a plane crash: you and all the other passengers are sky divers. Amazing video!
  • 12 signs that you have difficulty being "a lady." According to this, I don't have that much trouble being a lady. (Except those pesky home manicures.) According to various family members, I do. Who to believe?? (Buzzfeed)
  • There exists in the world a game show where contestants have to guess which items in a room are made of chocolate. (Starts around 43 minutes in.)
  • This translated guide for Japanese tourists visiting America actually made me feel more fond of my country, horse laughs and all. (Mental Floss)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How to get a lot of free food and feel swanky

Pretend you're a planner and get on the list for fabulous open houses! Last night Taite and Tyler and I attended the MOHAI Events open house, and it was wonderful.

Oh hey, Toe Truck. Long time no see, old friend!
I hadn't visited MOHAI since they moved to South Lake Union, and their new space is absolutely gorgeous! As soon as I walked in I was already planning so many parties in my head. I tried to convince Tyler to tell his office to host its annual holiday event there, as well as his 30th and 50th birthday parties, and my 26th birthday party, and every single wedding of every one of our friends. That's how often I want to be at MOHAI. All the weddings, all the parties, all the marveling over old things and silly musicals about the Great Seattle Fire.

And it certainly didn't hurt that MOHAI was full of delicious snacks and drinks and pretty, sustainable flower arrangements last night.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

For a few more minutes, anyway. This takes the place of Friday Favorites! Tyler and I had a low-key date at home. We made a quiche and a fennel and citrus salad (couldn't find blood oranges so we settled for valencia). I surprised him with pink highlights in my hair (because he really cares about that stuff.. not), and a lovely dinner table setup with candles and such.

Beguiling face, mean face. Why is mean face so attractive to me?

And.. then we watched "House of Cards," because we're fancy like that.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Boudoir photo shoot

It all started when the Seattle Ladies Choir hosted a fundraiser one night - and the prize for the choir member who lured the most people to the event was a boudoir shoot with choir member and professional photographer, Dana Kae.

I wanted it. Ohhhh, how I wanted it. For weeks I plugged the event mercilessly, by turns cajoling and threatening friends and family into attending. Ultimately my efforts were unsuccessful, though a good friend of mine did win that most glorious of prizes, so I couldn't be too disappointed.

I couldn't move on, though - once I had the idea in my mind, I knew I had to have it. I looked up a handful of local boudoir photographers with less expensive rates, but none of them were of the same magical quality as Dana; their portfolios seemed cheesy and forced. When she posted a pre-Valentine's special, I pounced.

While Dana and I planned our shoot, Tyler sneakily went behind my back and paid for it, the cad. That meant that I was only on the hook for the location, the makeup and hair, and the wardrobe. I used Pinterest to inspire the style of my shoot, found a beautiful loft on Vashon Island with lots of natural light, and spent a small fortune on new lingerie. I was ready!

I used so many starter blocks trying to get that fire going, and I still failed. I am not a very good scout.

Tyler and I took the ferry to the island the night before, so I would be ready early the next morning. We spent a restless night in the loft while a storm raged overhead. I woke up at six only to find that the power was out on the whole island! In addition, Dana texted me to say that she had missed her ferry and would arrive forty-five minutes later than the makeup artist, whom I had not met before. It was pitch dark and still raining, and I worried that the makeup artist would show up and we would have nothing to do until power was restored.

My fears totally came to fruition, but the makeup artist who came was a funny and friendly lady named Nikoma, and she was so easy to talk to that everything was okay. The power came back on half an hour earlier than expected, and then Dana showed up. She fed me oatmeal with fresh raspberries and plied me with mimosas while Nikoma teased and curled my hair.

So much makeup! And look at all the delicious snacks Dana brought - I was totally spoiled. So fancy, even the champagne got dolled up.
Dana brought the lovely bouquet on the left; the owner of the loft provided the beautiful and fragrant orchids.
Though it was still windy and cold, we decided to go outdoors for the first few minutes.

I felt silly and happy, even though my feet were freezing in the mud!

I was definitely ready to go inside and warm up when Dana gave the word! We touched up my hair and makeup, and moved upstairs for some classic bedroom shots.

Then back downstairs for some flannel shirt time.

One thing I really love about these pictures is that they feel really true to me. I'm not forced into anyone else's idea of what "sexy" looks like. I'm allowed to be goofy or serious, sultry or playful, all according to my whim. I think my personality shines through.

I told Dana that I liked my shape in this picture - that I looked like "a sexy piece of fruit, maybe a pear."

Another thing I love is that although the photos are slightly retouched to make me glow that much more, Dana and I chose to celebrate, rather than disguise, my curves. Two of my favorite pictures from the set are full body shots. In one of them, I'm sitting down - and not holding my stomach in or straightening my spine.

I feel really beautiful when I look at these (and the others that I didn't share - we took a couple hundred and narrowed them down to forty-four great shots).

What a happy and satisfying experience!

1001 in 101 challenge #32 complete!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Now & Then

I found out through At Home In Love that a bunch of bloggers are doing a fun little retrospective and comparing their lives eight years ago with their lives now. I decided to join in!

I have the dubious benefit of being able to go back to online journals I kept in 2006 to see what I was reading, wearing, and thinking back then. Honestly, 17-year-old me makes 25-year-old me cringe a little. But I'm sure 33-year-old me will feel the same in eight years. It's nice at least to see evidence of some evolution! And I can definitely laugh at my teenage navel-gazing.

I can say with authority that I listen to much better music now than I did in high school. However, I read a lot more when I was younger. I still love to read, but my library queue is so long that it stresses me out and I mostly just keep my holds paused all the time! I was obsessed with anime in high school and I had a pretty extended nerdy phase. Not that I am not still a nerd, because I totally am.

I crush really hard on my partners. I told Tyler last night that I'd thought about marrying every single person I've seriously dated, and that's true. Thank goodness I've never acted on that feeling, but I think it means that I feel really fiercely devoted when I'm in a relationship, and that's nice.

I'm much better at hair and clothes than I was in high school. I remember really disliking teen-oriented stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, but secretly wishing that I was cool enough or thin enough to look good in their clothes. One benefit of not being able to rely on that kind of store is that I did a lot of shopping in mixed bag stores like Nordstrom Rack or Goodwill, and now I'm good at recognizing great style and quality. Most of the time.

I spend a lot less time with friends or doing sporty activities as an adult, and that makes me sad. But I get to do a lot more stuff independently, and that makes me happy, so. I don't really remember any specific dreams or life plans when I was 17 - I knew I was destined for college and I didn't think a whole lot further than that. I considered a lot of jobs in kind of a silly way, imagining myself as a big rig truck driver or a mortician. It wasn't until the middle of college that I figured myself out. But that's how it goes!

If you do a "Now & Then" post, I'd love to see it! Leave the link in the comments.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sex Ed Sunday: Valentine Edition

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pretend engagement

My sister emailed me the other day with a very important question: "Do you want to pretend you're getting married and go to this?"

The invitation promised complimentary food and champagne tastings, so naturally I was keenly interested. Taite was unfortunately out of town, but I knew that my friend Laura would be down for something so ridiculous. She and I slipped my most convincing rings onto our left fingers and headed to West Seattle for a bit of pre-bridal pampering.

Forgive the quality of this and every other picture to come - I only had my phone with me.

We almost lost our nerves when we rolled up and saw how pretty and fancy the venue was, but we took a deep breath (and solidified our "engagement stories," should anyone ask - she'd received her proposal on June 9th ("Get it?") and I had been surprised with an extra special Christmas gift) and projected all the confidence of two brides-to-be. Our ruse worked, and we were rewarded for our subterfuge with two name tags.

It. Was. Amazing! I should always pretend to be engaged! There was so much good food and the wine flowed generously with nary a tip jar in sight (and I looked, I really did).

Only one person who worked at the open house even asked us what kind of event we were planning. I confidently opened my mouth, only to realize that I had only prepared an engagement story - not wedding plans! But words tumbled out anyway.

"I'm getting married! Well, theoretically," I said. Immediately, I mentally kicked myself.
"Theoretically...?" the nice lady asked.
"The date's set, but you never know!" I replied, laughing breezily as I had been proposed to every day of my adult life and a jilting were hardly worth fretting about - there's always another beau waiting in the wings, after all!
"Oh! Well... if you know your date, you might want to speak with [I didn't catch the name because I was too busy willing our conversation to be over]."
"Thank you! I'll do that," I said, and immediately returned to my wine.

Sensual about-to-eat-a-cupcake pose with fake engagement ring displayed prominently.

Eventually we felt that we had imposed too much on the hospitality of Foodz (even though they have an unnecessary "z" in their name, they were quite nice and they made good food) and Sanctuary At Admiral, and we left. But not before I attempted to ride a motorized elephant.

Moral of the story: always pretend to be engaged if it will get you free swag.

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