Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What I'm Wearing & Other Bits and Pieces

I hate to admit it, but I've kind of been enjoying these outfit posts.

The below dress I bought from Chloe Loves Charlie a few months ago.  When it came I was super excited because it's super cute but unfortunately it was a wee bit short, and I have stubby legs.

So I ended up buying some lacy black bicycle shorts from American Apparel to make it into this little ensemble:


Yes, those are Chuck Taylors that I am rocking with this outfit.  Every time I buy a dress I ask Rob what shoes I should wear with it and he without fail says "Chuck Taylors."  He thinks, perhaps correctly, that they are the most versatile shoes ever.  I could also wear some cute ballet flats with it, but don't tell him I said that.

Want to guess why I changed out of my ubiquitous pajama pants and donned this outfit?  Maybe lunch with a friend? An impromptu shopping trip?  A trip to Hannaford to pick up my Nuvaring prescription and some deodorant?

I'll leave you to figure out which of those is correct. Sexy and awesome and oversharing, thy names are Caitlin.

Anyway here are some bits and pieces from this week:

1. I found out this week that I will be in Arizona for the entire month of October.  As in, no coming home.  Rob and I haven't been apart for this long since the Army, so I am developing some anxiety about this.  However, I've decided that contrary to other projects, I am going to make the absolute best of this time in Arizona.  I've already made plans with this girl, this girl, and this girl, and I'm determined to not stay inside my room and mope all month long.  I'm planning to make a whole blog feature about it, describing all the fun things I do in Arizona and posting a ton of pictures.  Anyone have any ideas of things to do while I'm in Arizona?

2. So Hurricane Irene hit, and if you haven't noticed it really wasn't that big of a damn deal here in Maine.  The wedding I photographed went off without a hitch and I was able to successfully get home at the end.  This particular experience showed me the point to which I tend to "awfulize" upcoming stressful situations and how they always end up not being all that bad.  I woke up the morning of the wedding sobbing from anxiety.  I plan on writing a post about this later this week or next week.

3. Has anyone see the show Mystery Science Theater 3000?  This is one of my and Rob's favorite shows and we're watching it now.  Just thought I'd ask because if you haven't seen it, you should.

4. I was surprised to find that more people stared at and commented on my tattoos in Daytona Beach and Boston than anyone ever has in my tiny Western Maine town.  I wonder why that is.

5. Guess whose husband is about to start his last year of college? So proud of him and excited to start this next chapter.

6. I'm thinking of vlogging.  Anyone have the slightest interest in seeing this?

7. Don't forget about the Flourish bracelet giveaway! You have until Friday!

This was a random post.  For those of you who made it through it, 3000 blog points and my eternal devotion.

Have a lovely week!

Monday, August 29, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Flourish Leather Bracelets {Closed}


If you have not yet seen Danielle's leather bracelets from her Etsy shop, Flourish, you have been missing out!  I bought one of these a few months ago and it is one of my favorite accessories!  These bracelets aresuper comfortable, works with any outfit, and since it's made of leather I don't have to worry about metal allergy issues. 

{All pictures courtesy of Danielle's Etsy Shop}

And now, because you guys are all so awesome, Danielle and I are giving away two bracelets of your choice from Flourish Leather! That's right, two of these lovely bracelets to stack on your wrist or wear separately!

To enter, all you have to do is be a follower of my blog and visit Danielle's shop.  Then leave a comment below telling me which two colors you would select along with your email address.  That's it!

For an additional entry, you can tweet or blog about this giveaway and post another comment telling me about it!  If you tweet make sure to mention me, @ElectricCaitlin and Danielle at @fancybiscuit.

Drawing will take place on Friday, September 2nd at 5pm EST! Good luck!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Work Trip to Daytona Beach

Quick aside: I realized that my last post might have been two depressing when I lost two followers shortly after posting it...so, my apologies if I upset anyone.

One thing I love about my job most days is the fact that it gives me the chance to travel to parts of the country that I wouldn't have normally seen on my own.  Sometimes this is a really good thing (Colorado) and other times not that great of a thing (Kutztown, PA - nothing wrong with the town per se, just no gluten-free options readily available).

This week my sister, who is one of my direct supervisors (and an avid reader of my blog, hi Meg!), and I traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida to meet with a client about some training materials we've been working on over the last few months.  First I traveled to Boston so we could catch our flight out of Logan the next day.  Megan still had a little bit of work to do on recording her voice for tutorials, but she looked pretty awesome with her headset:

The next morning we took the T to Logan and flew out to Daytona Beach Before you ask, let's get a picture of the huge eyesore racetrack out of the way:

We were fortunate enough to get our company rate at a really nice resort right on the beach.  The view from my room:

We didn't have to work until the following day so of course, we immediately went to the beach:

That night we found a restaurant that had an entire gluten-free menu.  I ordered some chicken dish and edamame, plus a flourless brownie sundae (and the obligatory martini...don't judge me)!

It was a really busy few days so I didn't get a ton of pictures until we were ready to leave:

We got in to Megan's apartment a little after midnight and crashed.  I woke up early to catch the train to Portland and drove home to my darling husband and beastie beast.

A lot of people tell me how envious they are of my job, and while I do enjoy the perks of consulting (money, travel, airline miles, sometimes working from home) it can be a little grueling to be away from your comfort zone for long stretches of time.  2011 has been a pretty calm year, but in 2010 I was traveling to and from Cleveland, and then Houston, for pretty much the entire year (coming home on weekends, of course).  I had some great experiences and met some great people, but my heart ached for home. Regardless, at the end of the day I'm really lucky to have a job (thanks Meg!) that allows me so much freedom and so many great benefits.  For now it's perfect, and I can't wait to see what I'll be working on next.

Also, for anyone who is wondering, I would not necessarily recommend Daytona Beach as a vacation spot if you're looking for a lot of fun things to do.  No offense to people who live there, but some parts are pretty ugly and there isn't a ton going on, at least that we could find.  It took us a long time to find a decent supermarket that actually had an "all natural" section or any gluten-free items at all (thanks Publix!). However, if you just want to beach it, which tends to be my and Rob's inclination while on vacations, I personally think it's a great spot to go.  The beach was positively deserted (though I'm sure it isn't during Daytona 500 time), and there were lots of nice resorts directly on the beach, some of them pretty decently priced.  And if you eat gluten-free like me, the Bonefish Grill and BJ's Restaurant both have gluten-free menus and there's always a Carrabba's if you're desperate.

Please keep me in your thoughts on Sunday as I have to photograph a wedding in Portland, where Irene is supposed to hit Maine the hardest.

Final note (for reals this time): this was another break where I brought my point-and-shoot instead of my Nikon.  I find that when I bring my Nikon I spend too much time getting the right pictures instead of just living in the moment.   I didn't want any pressure on myself and I don't want photography to be a chore.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stop and Take a Moment

I've been totally wrapped up in work and Florida and everything and haven't had a chance to even conceive of a post.  But I came across this picture recently and I absolutely had to share.

Hawkeye the beast laying next to his master, Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, who was killed when his helicopter was shot down earlier this month.

Read the story here.

Just a reminder to appreciate life, and the ones you love and who love you...furry or otherwise.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Working, Thinking & Awesome Husbands

I've had a bit of BCS (blinking cursor syndrome) of late so pardon the potential incoherence of this post.

I spent my entire day today locked away in our guest room-cum-office creating training videos for faculty.  I began to grow so sick of my own voice I thought my head would explode, but I managed to get all of them done by 6 or so and thus felt very productive.

What was far more exciting to me, however, was what was happening outside of my office.  My darling husband woke up, walked the dog, cleaned our sheets (which has desperately needed to happen), made the bed, washed the dishes, made a delicious dinner of rotisserie chicken (he picked off all the breast meat and gave it to me because that's the only part of the chicken I eat), sweet corn, and mashed potatoes, and didn't ask for any help.

Plus, he walked around without his shirt on all day.  Who could ask for anything more?

"You're welcome."
I wanted to get him a gift for being so amazing all the damn time, but what do you get the man who has everything? Answer: gelato. That sort of makes up for all the doubting and crying and bad-wifery, right?

Side note: does anyone else like to mix chocolate and fruity flavors? Rob thinks I'm insane.

I know I gush about my husband a lot on this blog, but as he told me, "Your blog is called To Make Love Stay.  I think you're allowed to write about love."

After a day of thinking far too much about work, traveling later this week, blogs, bitchy people, bitchy people on blogs, and a wedding I have coming up on Sunday, it was truly an amazing thing to just sit in the car on our way to an extra-long dog walk and let the happy just wash over me.  I felt quiet and I felt happy.  We passed a hotel with a sign that said Summer will end, but the memories will last a lifetime. This summer was truly an wonderful one despite the moments of anxiety and happiness-crushing depression.  I got to spend so much time with my husband and enjoy these days, the best of our lives so far.

I will apologize again for these posts not coming up to snuff lately.  My sister and I are off to Florida for work (yep) this week so the mediocre posts will at least be few and far between.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What I Wore Today & a Touch of the Weekend

First off, I wanted to thank you all for the amazing comments you left on my inadequacy post.  One of the many reasons I blog is the fabulous support I get from people all over the world, people who understand what I'm feeling and aren't threatened or frightened by it.  You are all amazing x1000 and you really made my day so much brighter.

Since you all didn't run screaming from my last outfit post, I thought that I might as well do another on this rainy Sunday. 

I got this dress from American Eagle a few years ago.  Interestingly, my darling husband picked his dress out for me, and even though I had initial doubts, he encouraged me to get it and I'm very happy he did.  This has become a summer staple for me (I've had many sunburns in the shape of this dress) and now it has a ton of sentimental value to me. The only ahem problem that is poses is when I'm cold, if you catch my drift, but that is quickly rectified with Bandaids. 

Pardon this muy awkward pose.
So there you go again, I hope these aren't as cringeworthy as they seem to me now.

This weekend Robbie and I went to Boston to visit my sister and to participate in CASHunt, sort of a Boston-based scavenger hunt, with my dad and stepmom.  It was a little awkward and goofy, but I was grateful for the opportunity to spend time with Megan and my dad.  I'll write more about our weekend and my sister's awesome new brownstown apartment later in the week.

I hope you all had a magical weekend full of fairytales and unicorns. And Chipotle, like mine was.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Best "In Bed" Fortune Cookies Ever

...in bed
This made my week, and I hope it made you smile too.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Check out this photography project: Split Family Faces.

I bought an awesome pink collar with skulls on it for Cypress at this shop.

Check out some of these high school fashions from the late 1960s.

This definitely kept me entertained for a good 30 seconds.

How awesome are these robot matryoshki? I want to buy them as prints.
(Thanks Lindsay!)

Someday Rob and I will throw a Super Mario Party.

I sure could use one of these in real life. A "Make Everything OK" button.

Jot down some virtual notes with this awesome site.

Not totally sure what this is but it creeps me out. And it's gorgeous. All at the same time.

This also creeps me out.

How about some elegant fonts?

Minor Differences, Part 4 - from The Oatmeal

Hope you are all having an amazing Thursday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Inadequacy, Mostly

Let me be the first to apologize for ignoring my blog of late.  Work took over like crazy and I'm trying (oh, how I'm trying) to get everything done.  Today I worked on two documents all day and after dinner, decided that I was going to turn my mind off and catch up on some blogs. 

I've been positively itching to write a blog post but it seems like everything I want to write is somehow inadequate.  Truth be told, I've been feeling a little inadequate lately.  I feel like I can't do anything right, that everyone sees me as the big awkward monster that I see myself as.  I feel that everyone hates me and begrudges my talkativeness and (of course) awkwardness.  I feel like know that I am half the wife that Rob deserves. Every positive comment comes immediately in one ear and out the other, while the negative or even slightly negative comments hang on for dear life.

Sometimes the thoughts threaten to overwhelm my brain and crush my sanity.  I end up withdrawing and disconnecting and I hate myself when I'm like that.

My therapist started me on a new thought process that I've been trying to use as much as possible.  She intially tried guiding me toward coming up with thoughts that directly contradicted the negative little ant-thoughts that pervade my brain on a daily basis.  This--perhaps not shockingly--had little to no effect and the thoughts kept on marching. 

So one day after a tear-filled admission of psychosis she handed me a notepad and told me to write down all of the proof I had that any of my fears and neuroses were justified. As expected, my list looked something like this:

[Insert blinking cursor]

This method was actually quite helpful.  It doesn't remove the thoughts or the anxiety, but it places a stopgap and keeps my anxiety from going from a 3 to a 9.  Instead it sits around a "healthy" 5 or 6. I don't know that it will ever go away, but dammit, I will try.  I owe it not only to myself, but to my husband and the people I love, to love myself and to be the best person I can be.  I hope I can reach that someday soon.

Are you all having a good week so far?

Monday, August 15, 2011

That's What I Like About You

Rob: Is it bad that I learned everything I know about talking to girls from "Top Gun"? It's also where I get my style, if you didn't notice.


Me: You always like really strange flowers.
Rob: That's why I love you. You're a strange little flower.


Me (after tossing and turning and seeing that Rob was also awake): Why are you awake?
Rob: If you're awake, I'm awake.


Me, after a particularly difficult day: What do you want to eat for dinner?
Rob: Whatever a lady wants. You can say any meal, I promise I won't say no.


Really glad I locked this one down.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Never Thought I'd Do This: What I'm Wearing

Yeah, yeah, an outfit post.  I don't usually do these because I feel so awkward in my own skin, but this morning Rob left for the gym and I thought, "What the hell?"

Because of my tattoo's placement, my artist told me that I should only wear shorts, dresses, or skirts, which was a pretty awesome sentence to bestow upon me in my opinion.  Today I decided to wear my Little Chief Honeybee dress from ModCloth.  I like it, and I think it's more flattering to my shape than these pictures portray. Also, I'm still learning the great skill of accessorizing, so the outfit below might seem kind of bare. AND FINALLY, these pictures are of much higher quality than Blogger makes it look, so click on them to see me in my full glory.

Behold, teh awkward:

To demonstrate the placement/relative size of the newest addition.
OH haii out the window
So, there you have it. My first outfit post. Breathe it in.

By the way, I had to change after these pictures into a longer dress.  Part of the sentence given to me by my tattoo artist was that the dress/skirt/shorts had to actually cover the thing to help protect it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Weekend Story So Far

This weekend has already been quite eventful.

On Friday, I decided at around 9 pm to make nachos, which necessitated a trip to Hannaford before it closed at 10.  Rob was in the middle of watching Top Gun, a childhood favorite, and was anxiously awaiting the scene in which Tom Cruise and that blond chick engage in lie-down kisses.  I told him I would go to Hannaford without him, which precipitated a great internal moral dilemma for Rob.  Sexy Tom Cruise, or time with wife?

I told him I was fine with going by meself, and grabbed my keys and wallet and ran for all hell out to the car so he wouldn't miss one of his favorite scenes. I frantically put on the first shoes I could find--which turned out to be my hiking boots, which paired fabulously with my NY&Co skinny jeans--ran out the door giggling and started the car.  I thought all the car doors were locked, but my sneaky-ass husband remembered that the back door was open and snuck in behind me. 

My husband is extremely adorable.

Later that night we got back into the car to drive to a big open field so we could watch the meteor shower.  Unfortunately we had a full moon, and only saw one or two actual meteors.  But the time spent together doing silly fun things is always a time I treasure. 

Note: The below pictures aren't taken with my fancy-shmancy Nikon, obviously.  Usually when I'm going on some sort of adventure with my husband I try not to bring it, because all-too-frequently I get so wrapped up in getting the right picture that I end up missing the actual experience.  Pictures are nice, but the actual memories are far more important for me.

I have a really cute picture of Rob and I but Blogger/Picnik is being a fart and isn't letting me rotate it properly. 

Today I went for session 2 of my matryoshka tattoo. I'm bandaged up but I asked Adam to snap the following picture with my phone:

Beautiful, eh?  This one hurt like a mothereffer for some reason, more so than my other tattoos. When I came home I actually felt sick and dizzy.  Whine, whine, whine.

Totally worth it.

I hope you all are having a great weekend so far.

Friday, August 12, 2011

End of the Week Positivity

Can I just say how happy I am that it's Friday? We have a very full weekend planned, what with session #2 for my matryoshka tattoo and getting together with these ladies again for some homemade Chipotle meals.

It's been kind of a tough week filled with poisonous thoughts about my own inadequacy.  I'd write a huge post about it, but you guys have seen many of those from me and this would probably be more of the same.  So in lieu of an epic depression/anxiety post, I would like to focus on what made me really happy this week:

1. Going hiking with Robbie and the ladies again at Saddleback Mountain. Because Amie is recovering from a sprained ankle, she and I only hiked the first two miles and then chilled out by and on a serene pond while Rob and the Sara(h)s hiked the remaining 3 miles, did actual work, and then hiked back to us.  It was a really relaxing day and Amie was great company.  Plus I like coming home at the end of the day and feeling actually tired, rather than feeling only pure mental exhaustion.

2. The fact that I said, "tell me what the rest of our life is going to be like," to Rob while cuddling and laughing on the couch and he responded with, "this." Exactly the answer I was looking for.

3. Our Hannaford has been selling corn from a local farm here and it is delicious.  You guys, seriously.  Sweetest, most flavorful corn ever. We've been modifying our meal plans to accommodate more local corn.

4. My husband coming home this afternoon from work saying, "I get a whole weekend with my lady!"

5. The fact that I cannot hide anything from Rob, and how he knows before I even do that I'm upset about something.

6. Getting pizza after our hike with some of the ladies, and Rob insisting that he make me a gluten-free pizza since our favorite restaurant was out of gluten-free dough.

7. Tattoo session #2 for the matryoshka lady tomorrow (yeah, a repeat, what?)!

8. Salad night with Robbie!  I had caprese salad inspired by this lovely lady.

9. Receiving really sweet, uplifting Twitter messages from Ashley, SarahMaryam, Joyful Sparrow, and Lindsay after expressing sadness that I lost a few blog followers (I know, wah wah wah). Thanks ladies, you are all so lovely.

10. This song coming on Pandora and Rob saying to me, "So are you going to dance with me and Cypress or what?"  Keep in mind that this occurred in the middle of writing this blog post.
What made you happy this week? I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Sing us a song, you're the piano man.

Check out this awesome photography project: Real Life Disney Princesses.

This photography project features women displaying their breast cancer scars.  Amazing and exremely moving.

Is anyone else super excited about the World War Z movie? Or am I a nerd?

All together now: AWW. I love sea otters.

Whichbook takes your interests/book preferences and uses them to recommend other books to you!

Found this via Maryam - 6 Fun Things to do with Dry Erase Markers.

We've been rewatching a lot of Mad Men lately and Rob keeps mentioning how something about Christina Hendricks (Joan)'s face reminds him of me. I don't see it, but she's amazing and beautiful, so here's a picture of her.

Check out these gorgeous pictures: The World's Most Beautiful Libraries.

Check out this gorgeous book nook. I want to do this now.

If you are friends with me on Facebook you would've seen this amazing quote this morning. It was exactly what I needed:

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy." - Leo Buscaglia

On a tip from Ashley at That is All, I bought this adorable lunchbox today!

I hope you all have had a magical week so far!