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“personal style”

Denim and Supply by Ralph Lauren

 

 

When it comes to fashion, most people seem to have a style philosophy that they gravitate towards and stick to. Their personal style. But here’s my problem–I like a lot of styles. Somedays I’m refined and feminine, other days I’m dark and edgy. Lately, I’ve been sort of military grungy. Like, Ryan Janes (who is back in my life, thank god), actually told me I looked like a Vietnam veteran.

So when I saw Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply collection, I knew this was the closest thing to embodying my personal style (at the moment) that I was ever going to find. I want one of everything on my body–from both the men and women collection–immediately if not sooner.

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this should cure anything

I cursed myself. When fall rolled around and one by one, all of my coworkers, friends, and family started to get sick–I scoffed. I’m not getting sick this year–I told them.

“Better knock on wood,” seemed to be the general response.

The reason I was so cocky is because I feel like lately, I’ve been healthier than I have been in many years–coming second place only to my glory days as a health and fitness blogger. I even started tracking my calories again and making green smoothies in the morning.

One night I was on my way out of the apartment to go to Body Pump wearing shorts and a long sleeve tshirt. I put on a jacket at my roommate’s urging and headed out in the 44 degree weather–which felt warm to me after being in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving.

Sure enough, the next morning I woke up with a sore throat and some other unwelcomed cold and flu symptoms.

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I immediately went to the kitchen and threw some orange juice, kale, and frozen blueberries into a blender.

“This should cure anything,” I thought.

But three days later, the symptoms have not budged.

So since I’m pretty much confined to my bed, I figured I’d update my much neglected blog.

A Weekend Getaway

Back in November, Brian and I flew up to Boston for the weekend. Neither of us had been before, and the flights to Boston for DC are pretty reasonable compared to other places we’d never been.

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We stayed in Seaport and spent two days exploring Boston by foot–taking in plenty of historic sites and plenty of amazing food and beer.

As we were exploring, it must have been obvious to the locals that we had no clue what we were doing. The people were so nice to give us directions without even having to ask, and they also gave us plenty of recommendations, too.

One man recommended eating in Boston’s Little Italy. He said the lobster ravioli was… well, he did that Italian gesture where he put his fingers to his lips and kissed them.

And yes, it was that good.

Plus, we hadn’t eaten lunch and it was too early for a dinner crowd, so we didn’t have to wait in a long line (which is what I’ve heard about restaurants in Little Italy–no reservations and there’s always a line).

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Walking home from Little Italy all the way back to Seaport was a bit tiring after a long day of walking, but seeing the city at night was definitely worth it.

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The next morning, we had brunch downtown at a place called Granary Tavern–which Brian claims is the best food he’s ever had. Everything from from the coffee to the biscuits to my food that I made him finish since I didn’t want to carry around leftovers all day while we explored. While I can’t agree with Brian that it was the best food I ever had, I am easily impressed by any restaurant that serves breakfast pizza. More restaurants should do this!

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This little (okay, she was actually not little at all) beauty had spicy sausage, tomato, Vermont white cheddar, two fried eggs on top.

We then took an Uber over to the Charleston area to check out the Battle of Bunker Hill monument–which looks a lot like a smaller Washington Monument. They let you climb to the top (no charge) if you want, so we decided to take all 295 steps up.

The climb wasn’t terrible, except towards the top when the staircase narrows and people are trying to come down as you’re trying to go up.

One of the best parts about our trip to Boston was being able to hang out with my old coworker Alister, who moved up to Boston a few months prior to go back to school. This guy is a trooper–it was cold with a capital C and he rode his bike 30 minutes to Seaport to go out with us for drinks both Friday and Saturday.

Next time I go to Boston, I will definitely be going when it’s warmer and definitely eating more lobster.

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My procrastination usually leads to really shitty Halloween costumes. I expected this year to be no different. When Jill asked me what we should do for our Halloween costume contest at work, I half joked that we should just go dressed as each other and see if anyone could even notice.

Our “costumes” turned out much better than I thought, and Jill dressed as me even ended up being the winner of the costume contest. I’m not sure what exactly that says about me that my style is eclectic enough to win a costume contest, but for now I’ve decided to take it as a compliment.

My other half-assed costume was a couple costume with Monica. I had originally planned to do a couple costume with well, my boyfriend (we were going to be Dexter and Dee-Dee from Dexter’s lab), but ultimately I decided that Monica and I should be Nacho Cheese & Cool Ranch Doritos. And yes, I had this idea BEFORE Katy Perry debuted her Halloween costume–a Cheeto.

Our Doritos costumes just basically ended up being red & blue dresses, but we at least made the effort to krazy glue actual Doritos to our headbands. As a last minute addition, we put chip clips on our necklaces and hung actual bags of Doritos from the clips. This basically made our costumes a raving success because people could take a chip or two every time we walked by.

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We hosted a Halloween/Housewarming party at our apartment on the Saturday of Halloween weekend, which featured a water cooler full of an extremely dangerous brandy-spiked sangria and a crockpot full of homemade spinach artichoke dip (wife skills outta control here). We had stocked up on wine from the Trader Joes in Virginia (the ones in Maryland don’t sell wine), but then everyone ended up bringing us wine anyway so now we have 18 bottles of wine and I’m not complaining one bit.

 

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On actual Halloween, the crew and I opted for a night in of watching scary movies. Even movies I’ve already seen before (the Conjuring) still manage to make me a terrified mess:

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My white girl fro (as visible in the photo below) is getting out of control these days, and I’m going to attempt to go put a brush through it. If you don’t hear from me in a week, there’s a good chance I’ve gotten lost in the rat’s nest on top of my head. Call for a hair stylist and/or an exorcist.

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i found a dead bug in my hair this morning

Not to sound dramatic, but this is how my life has been this past week:

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I can deal with the $60 ticket I got while parked at the Metro for having an expired registration. I can deal with two (false) compulsory INS violations that were blocking my renewed registration. I can deal with the red light camera ticket that is making its way to my mailbox. I can deal with the Chipotle mafia at my office that consistently dominates the free lunch Friday vote at work, despite the well known fact that Chipotle does mean things to my insides (I’m nice enough to at least go to the gas station when my intestines go into freak mode). But did I have to go and drop my favorite part of the banana on the floor?

Let’s take a step back. I moved this month. And our condo association has some bullshit rule where you can’t move in on weekends or holidays, so my plans to have my family come in from out of town on Saturday to help me move were quickly overturned. Monica and I put up some desperate signs around the warehouse at work before my boss agreed to let everyone come into work late that Friday so they could lend a hand. We got the entire 17 foot Budget Truck unloaded in an hour, and I was almost sad to return it. Who would have thought someone used to driving a chicken nugget car could master a 17 foot Budget Truck so quickly? I didn’t choose the truck life; the truck life chose me.

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I’m really loving my new apartment so far. It feels so much more charismatic but also grown up than my previous apartments. We’ve actually taken to decorating it and making it look nice, instead of just using it as a place to store our belongings, as I’ve treated other apartments in the past. Monica and I even went and bought some paintings on our lunch break like classy bitches. I’ve definitely been cheating on fashion with furniture, and my latest trip to Ikea has resulted in a 2/3 of the way built dresser that is pretty much the bane of my existence–not to be confused with the the bane cat of my existence (“I was bOrn in the darkness.”)

Of course now’s about the time for a low note. I didn’t see the point in bringing the chinchilla cage with me when I moved–mostly because I don’t see myself ready to get another pet any time soon. I still have some pretty upsetting nightmares, the most recent one involving me going back to my old apartment for a few things I forgot, only to realize that I’d forgotten the chinchilla. There he was running around my room, healthy as can be, and so happy to see me. “I can’t believe I forgot you,” I said as I scratched under his chin. And then there was the dream where I kept his body in the cage even after he passed, and I shook it really hard one day and he woke up. Oh you guys, he still has such a grip on my heart.

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Alright. Let me dig myself out of my pity hole to tell you what else is new.

I went to a wedding recently and went home with the best man. I guess I should tell you the best man was my boyfriend.

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I’ve listened to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” so many times that I’ve turned into a gay man. It’s seriously such a powerful and amazing song.

I don’t know if you caught it or not, but I made an appearance on the Kimye wedding episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians:

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There’s a farmer’s market right across the street from my apartment every Saturday. I am pretty much in heaven, because there’s a stand that sells homemade pickles.

The crew and I went to 9:30 club last night to see Vance Joy. When I woke up this morning, McDonalds breakfast was a necessity, not an option, and I found a dead bug in my hair. Hopefully that’s a pretty good representation of the kind of night I had.

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the fault in our bars

When was the last time you got something for a dollar? More importantly, when was the last time you got an awesome drink for a dollar?

Yesterday, Brandon, Leah, and I went to Adams Morgan and stopped at Medaterra for some margaritas. The margaritas are usually $3–which is a damn bargain on it’s own, but apparently between 4-6 the margaritas are only $1.

I’ll take a 10, please.

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The food at Medaterra is equally on point. I got the Roman Bruschetta with lamb, which was basically French bread with goat cheese, garlic, tomatoes, and roasted lamb. I will probably dream of this dish until the next time I have it.

After we left Medaterra, we walked over to 18th street to Muzettes, where Jackie was celebrating her birthday. It will probably surprise you to learn that I don’t have a TON of karaoke experience, but if you’re going to do karaoke, I feel like this is the way to do it.

Muzettes has a bunch of different rooms that you can rent out so that it’s just your party doing the karaoke in that room with your own karaoke machine.

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Backstreet Boys, Robin, Alanis, Lana, and Spice Girls happened. Pretty standard.

Of course the reward for making it all the way to Admo is….

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An end-of-the-night visit to Jumbo Slice.

A few random extra tidbits for you:

We had our office remodeled and now have a lovely, big white wall to project games onto while we work.

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In other news, if you don’t want me to drink champagne at work, don’t leave bottles of bubbly in the water cooler:

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The bosses being away also means I took charge of our free lunch Friday vote. The options included “Chipotle,” “Five Guys,” and “Four guys will suffice, thanks.” When it was time to go pick up our order, I ended the training call I was on with, “Ok I gotta go pick up five guys. And then I gotta pick up lunch.” My poor coworkers, I know. I never seem to run out of five guys jokes:

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Oh and one final gem from this week. Spotted: a smart car with a spinning turn key on the back:

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Well I’m going to go do what I do best on Sundays: patiently wait for the next acceptable meal time to feed myself.

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happenings

The other day I was thinking about how I wish I was one of those people who got up in the morning and went for a run. So I got up in the morning and decided to walk–just to see how I felt about being up early, outside, and moving. I was feeling good and an upbeat song came on my iPhone, so I went for it and ran. I ran until my lungs felt like they were going to explode before stopping. I had made it two blocks.

Eep.

To add insult to injury, I stepped in dog shit on my way home. I might not be getting up early and running anymore.

In other exciting news, my baby seestor passed her nursing exam and is officially an RN:

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She makes us proud. I guess that was worth all the studying she did on vacation while I spent the week catching up on Teen Mom 2 and drinking Bloody Marys.

Speaking of drinking, I’ve been drinking a ridiculous amount of green tea. I once read that drinking 3 cups of green tea burns 80 calories, so I’ve been averaging 10,000 cups a day. And did you know there’s such a thing as green tea vodka? I went to a hobbit-themed bar in Alexandria (Bilbo Baggins) and there was  a cocktail on the menu featuring green tea vodka. I wonder if the health benefits are the same? Either way, I’ll be back to Alexandria soon.

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So the last thing I should tell you is that I’m officially moving. Monica and I got approved for the cutest 2 bed/2 bath in Rockville Town Center. Our kitchen is my favorite:

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Ok so I realized I gushed about catching Tyler Moore’s homerun at the Nationals game in yesterday’s blog post, but I have another update. One of Leah’s coworkers sent her this video we hadn’t seen yet where John tries to steal the ball from me. Poor John is made out to look like a dick, but it was definitely all in good fun.

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Hmmmm–yesterday you said you let me catch the ball with my face, Johnny dear.

This “excited woman” is going to bed.

Later.

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if I had a bucket list…

I once made a joke that instead of a bucket list, I have a “fuck it” list. It seriously is just a list of people I want to fuck before I die. Of course, I then heard Jerry Seinfeld make a similar joke on Bill Maher soooooo he beat me to it and you probably won’t even believe that I made it first.

But if I did have a bucket list, I’d be able to cross this off:

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No big deal–just me catching Tyler Moore’s homerun ball at the Nationals’ game on Friday. And yes, I used my hippo mask as a glove to catch it (even though I had a glove with me–like a loser–the hippo mask happened to already be in my hand from earlier shenanigans):

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John summed it up pretty well:

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Ok so obviously I didn’t catch it with my face, but if you watch the clip of the play, you can see John move out of the way and me grab it with the hippo mask before jumping up and down like a kid on Christmas morning.

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Remember my theory that there’s such a thing as the Lexie Phenomenon? That just way too much crazy random often amazing shit happens when I’m around for it to be a coincidence? Do you believe me yet??

Enough talk–here’s the clip:

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catching up

Maddie joined me in Maryland last weekend for workout time, pool time, and of course, Ed Sheeran time. We both used this concert as an excuse to recycle our British flag tanks, though I guess not everyone knows their flags so well…

We went to Le Madeleine before the concert and one of the chefs approached us and asked us if we were Australian. Assuming he meant because of the matching flag shirts, I said “No, we’re going to see Ed Sheeran–he’s British.”

“Good, I thought I was going to have to denounce my citizenship.”

When he delivered our food, he scolded us for ordering healthy food at a French restaurant. To be clear, this man’s version of healthy meant cream-based soup, half a roasted veggie panini with goat cheese, and a side Caesar salad. We topped it off with what felt like endless small French bread slices with butter AND jelly, and I also couldn’t leave without a small strawberry cheesecake sample. All and all, his version of healthy was definitely 1200 calories.

As we left the restaurant, he told us to “enjoy the concert and order something fattening sometime.”

We theorize he may want to fatten us up and cook us.

After a short trip to target (I saw a toy online I wanted to get for Lily and neither of the Targets I’ve been to have had it. I said “awwww shit” in front of a baby in one of the toy aisles, so according to Maddie I can’t shop for children’s toys anymore), we were standing in a giant line that looped past Merriweather’s Dumpster not once but twice. At least it only went past the port-o-potties once.

Not soon after we got to our covered seating  (apparently there is a difference between row double zero and row double oh… I thought we were in the front and here we were almost in the back), the storm of all storms unleashed itself onto the peasants in the lawn seating. It kind of reminded me of Titanic, except in Titanic the people on the lifeboat didn’t whip out their phones to take photos and videos of the poor people still left on the ship, or in our case, participating in a mandatory wet tshirt contest.

While waiting for the opening act, I felt something sticky on my leg, only to look down and see a fair amount of blood with no visible source. Was it someone else’s blood? Was it ketchup that really really looked like blood? We’ll never know for sure, but Maddie the soon-to-be-nurse was disappointed in herself for not having alcohol wipes on her and we all know I’d rather hang out with blood-bourne-pathogens than brave the rain to get a paper towel or napkin.

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For me, seeing Ed Sheeran in concert is the closest thing to a spiritual experience I’m ever going to get. If you’ve never seen him perform, he doesn’t play with a band or backup singers–he instead uses a loop pedal to create his harmonies and back track.

The concert was only a little over a week ago but I’ve already looked into his tour dates to see when I can see him again. Unless I can make it to London, it looks like it won’t be anytime soon.

The morning after the concert, my mom picked me and Maddie up and drove us down to Virginia Beach for the week. Two out of six days, the weather was absolutely perfect. The other days, I mostly focused on consuming a strict Bloody Mary only diet and getting in some quality time with the family (especially my little Tiger Lilly):

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She’s a bit bigger than last year’s vacation, where I remembered being terrified of accidentally stepping on her. “Why would anyone leave the baby on the floor for you to step on?” Maddie asked me. I never said my fears were rational.

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I certainly wasn’t as disciplined as I was last vacation–walking five miles every day and blogging every day. I did manage to come back five pounds lighter though–which I guess I have to give some credit to Jillian Michaels videos, hot lemon water every morning, and only having what I will call one “fat night,” where Maddie, my mom, and I decided to share a pizza, cheesy bread, and fries with..you guessed it, more cheese. Oink oink.

We came back a day early, giving me some extra time for some D.C. night life. Natasha and I decided we’re going to start a blog called “The Fault in Our Bars” where we review all of the different bars in D.C. Any excuse to have liquid dinner–you know.

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As lovely as my past week has been, I must admit that Mags still remains in the back of mind. I was thinking about how last year when I went to Virginia Beach, I asked my friend Hiba to check up on the chinch while I was away. She had trouble latching and unlatching his cage, so I ended up coming home to an empty chinchilla cage.

“After about fifteen seconds of initial panic, I realized I knew just the place to look for him–under Carol’s bed. While I’m not sure how long Margaret Thatcher had free reign of the entire house, I am sure that he probably wishes Hiba would babysit more often,” I wrote last year.

I can’t say I’ve healed or that I even want to. Sometimes I see a picture of him and smile; sometimes I see a picture of him and cry.

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Give your fur ball a nuzzle tonight for me, because I sure am missing mine.

Thanks for being patient while we got caught up. I’ll try not to stay away so long next time.

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frugal

In case you happen to be a newer reader, you should know that I spent my first 2.5 years after college living rent-free in my stepmother’s empty Germantown townhouse. As we enter the month of September, I near the end of my first year paying DC area rent (which is nearly 3x more expensive than the Pittsburgh rent I was used to).

While part of me wishes I had taken advantage of the townhouse for longer, paying rent in this area has caused me to think about money in a completely different way–a way that I think is going to benefit me for a very long time.

Now that I’m more budget conscious, there are plenty of “luxuries” that I used to partake in that I can’t even try to justify these days.  Manicures? I’ll paint em myself. Happy hours? Once a week at the most, though it’s probably more like every other week. Eating out? Not if I’ve already paid for groceries that will go bad if I don’t use them. Cabs home from the bar? Are you crazy?! I’ll take the metro. Speed cam tickets? A few minutes of my time isn’t worth the $30 it will cost me to drive faster. Sale at Steve Madden? Okay, I broke down once. But for the most part, I have to prioritize dem bills! Hell, I needed a dress to wear to a wedding a few weeks ago and I shopped for that in Natasha’s closet. Being broke has made me thrifty! I’ve even resorted to getting my hair done on Jill’s farm:

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Truth be told, I probably bit off more than I could chew with the apartment I’m at now. While the rent was only slightly out of my budget, none of the utilities were included in the rent. I’m not going to make this mistake again–despite how much I loved that penthouse suite above Gordon Bierch in Rockville Town Center. A penthouse suite above a brewery that’s just barely out of my price range? Life is so cruel sometimes.

Even though I’ve developed a new frugal mindset after nearly a year of living life with rent, I would hate for you to think I haven’t been having any fun. The nice thing about learning to say “no” to the small things is that you can say “yes” to the things that you really want. Brown bagging my lunch is pretty easy when it means I don’t have to feel guilty about a crab leg dinner at Bethany Beach last weekend with four of my best friends.

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Plus, there are plenty of free things to do in lovely D.C. Botanical Gardens? Check. Window shopping in Georgetown? Totally free as long as you’ve got self control.

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One final financial revelation I’ll share with you? Groupons and Living Social deals actually don’t save you any money if it wasn’t something you were going to buy anyway. Who would have thought! As much as I love you Pure Barre, I won’t fall for that one again!

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my procrastination almost cost me $900

For someone who majored in journalism, where missing a deadline could mean not getting the paper to the printer in time, I’ve got a nasty procrastination habit. I remember one time reading, “if it takes 5 minutes, don’t put it off,” and thinking that sounded so smart. Yet, I just can’t seem to make it stick.

And admittedly, I’m the worst at procrastinating when it comes to paying bills. Thank god for autopay, because I’d be late for every bill I pay if it wasn’t automated at this point.

My procrastination almost cost me $900 this week when my roommate and I gave our notice to our property management company that we weren’t going to renew our lease. One of the agents let us know that since we didn’t give 60 days notice prior to the end of our lease, we’d be responsible for an additional month of rent at an elevated price.

Panic.

I was planning on moving out in September, and was already stressed about having to pay a security deposit, prorated rent at my current apartment, and one month rent at my new apartment. Having to pay two months rent in October on top of that would have been p-a-i-n-f-u-l. Like, going and laying down in traffic painful.

Things got pretty desperate:

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Ultimately, it ended up working itself out. Since I hadn’t signed a lease anywhere else yet, I decided to just start my apartment hunting again in October.

I can’t help but feel like 2014 hasn’t exactly been my year–and I also can’t help but feel like it’s advanced too far to turn it around. Maybe this is a pessimistic way of thinking, but part of me is somewhat anxious for the clean slate of 2015 to roll around.

You might take this the wrong way, but I really didn’t expect to still be so devastated about Mags nearly two months later.

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At the end of the day, it’s not like he was a person. But at the same time, sometimes he was the only one I had. Essentially, the only thing that had stayed constant in the past five years of my life.

I definitely have a void, and I’m also definitely not ready to try and fill it. Brian and I went into the pet store last weekend–just so I could test the waters. I left the pet stores in tears, very clearly not ready to move on yet.

I can’t even try to act like there aren’t a ton of good things in my life. The truth of the matter is, my life looks pretty ideal–at least from the standpoint of my social media profiles.

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The simple fact of the matter is, anytime something bad happens, I pile it on the top of my grief sundae and dig in with my self pity spoon. Just know that I’m trying to get my act together–from paying more attention to the legally binding documents I sign (like my leases), to calling my grandparents more frequently, to actually unloading the dishwasher completely instead of just taking out a fork when I need it, and to limiting my selfies to only when my makeup looks absolutely bangin’.

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