Posts Tagged ‘autumnfall’

December Favorites 2013

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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collage of december 2013 favorites including home ownership, vitabath lotion, julep, wrapp deals, sweaters, reading, wireless mouse, red lips, cat time, and snowI nearly forgot to get this together before the month was over! Oh boy, it’s already time to think about Jan favs and I’m still putting together the Dec ones…

1. home ownership – As of Dec 13th, 2013, we officially became homeowners. The keys were handed to us and since then we’ve been slowly planning the move. Meanwhile, all our neighbors are in and everyone is wondering when we’ll finally get into this condo they keep hearing about. πŸ˜›

2. VitaBath lotion – I got this in my Influenster Rose VoxBox in the fall and boy do I love it! I’ve been using it frequently after showers and I absolutely adore the lightly sweet scent that is also cooling and fresh. Even with frequent usage, I’ve barely used up a quarter of it and it’s wonderful how long it’s lasting me.

3. Julep – I finally caved and got Julep when they came out with a mystery box I couldn’t resist. I was totally impressed by it and will definitely get more, plus I’ve subscribed as a Maven to get some new nail polish colors every now and then. I actually really like the beauty products that Julep makes and will use my subscription as a way to explore them.

4. Wrapp deals – When I first found these shoes, I took that picture to remember to look for something similar. Then I got a great Wrapp gift card deal for something like $12 at Charlotte Russe (which cost me and Panda nothing to send to each other) so I ended up getting that exact style of shoe for a fantastic price. I only take advantage of the free offers in the app, which saves me a good amount.

5. sweaters – Well, my first proper winter in over a decade prompted me to go out and buy some sweaters to wear. I was also goaded on by Autumnfall, who laughed when I showed her what I considered to be a sweater, all proud that I finally bought one. I’ve since gotten ones that even she can’t dismiss as not “real” sweaters. πŸ˜›

6. reading – For that period when my life was a hot mess of confusion, I escaped into reading again. My childhood was filled with books and it was nice to get back into it. I hadn’t read fiction in many years, whenever that 4th Harry Potter book came out. I was surprised that I blew through the 50 Shades series the way I did (I thought I’d long since lost patience for fiction since it’s not a business book that I can learn a ton from).

7. wireless mouse – The touchpad on my new laptop gets wonky at times (kind of often). Thankfully, a wireless mouse makes it easy to move the mouse around and strains my fingers, hands, and wrists less. I’m rather particular about the feel of the mouse and I’m glad I found this one for my personal use. I even have a blog post drafted for my pickiness when it comes to this and what I look for in the perfect mouse.

8. red lips – I went through a few weeks when I experimented with bright red lips. It was fun, bold, and playful. I even tried making lip prints like this one on Panda’s cheek. Prior to getting that red lip crayon in my November Ipsy bag, I probably only used red lipstick twice before. Now I’m much more comfortable with something attention-grabbing like that, but usually only at night, special events, and the weekends. Still not a normal thing for me.

9. cat time – Going home for the holidays and spending time with Missy again was amazing. I can’t wait to settle enough to bring her over here. Having a cat around calms me and gives me something relaxing to do whenever I’m home. There shall be no ennui when I can cuddle with my kitty or play around with her. I absolutely love waking up to a cat on my chest or next to my legs, though I may never want to get up for work (or anything else) again.

10. snow – This was before the intense polar vortex/arctic chill madness. It was exciting to get snow again and get to sit by the window and watch it fall down. I’d be happy to get stranded indoors for a few days from a snowstorm so long as I have heat and food. πŸ™‚

Oops, I left out a picture from frolicking at the beach, but I had a whole blog post on that so you can check them out. Returning to Los Angeles was wonderful and a much-need reprieve from everything else. What did you find to be your favorites in December?

Weird. Wonderful.

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Yesterday. What an… unusual day. Today. Another oddity. (But scattered in between were precious moments of wonder too.)

Let’s start from the beginning. I got to sleep in a bit yesterday because we had our condo walk-through scheduled for 10. It wouldn’t make sense for me to go to work first, so I just met Panda there. I originally planned on going to Target first to go return some stuff and get a notebook, but the time I allocated for that got taken up by a challenging deicing process. I’d completely forgotten about the icy rain the night before and found my car encased in one solid layer of ice.

tree branches completely encased in layer of ice

I woke to a very frozen world!

car door handle completely covered in layer of ice

I couldn’t even open the car door by pressing the button.

top of car covered in ice with small stick pointing straight up encased in ice too

Haha, there was even a bit of ice standing straight up around that little stick thing. Nothing can escape the layer of ice!

iced over pine trees with tops missing from breaking off due to the weight of the ice

As I was cleaning off my car, I heard crackling and I thought someone was pouring hot water on ice, but it turns out the trees were breaking apart.

When I finally got it all off the windows, I headed to the condo. Along the way, I was careful to keep a distance from the other cars. The van in front of me started shedding ice sheets when it picked up speed and eventually my own came flying off too. We met at our new home and were taken inside by one of the guys who manages all the construction. He showed us all the light switches, faucets, doors, rooms, plugs, appliances, windows, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, etc. We have a lot of low flow options to help save water, including the toilet, shower heads, and kitchen faucet. I played with a bunch of the windows, which flip inwards so we can easily clean the outside. Smart! The demo guy was baffled that I wore a heavy jacket and multiple layers, yet bounded around barefoot, even stepping outside like it wasn’t freezing out. I’d never thought that was weird and suddenly I felt like a nymph or something after that, haha. It was fun to see everything brand new and ready for use! This is our new place!!

new kitchen in condo with stainless steel appliances, wood cabinets, and granite countertops

I’m so glad we went with stainless steel appliances. Lovin’ the kitchen!

large open space of living and dining room with cherry hardwood floors

I joke about turning this into a dance studio… wouldn’t that be cool?

master bathroom with standing shower, bath tub, sinks on opposite sides, and toilet

I can’t wait to have a shower where I don’t have to deal with a curtain!!

master bathroom sink with vanity area, dark granite countertops, and light wooden drawers

This sink is mine and the opposite one will be Panda’s. I might need some of his drawers though. πŸ˜›

master bedroom in new condo with tray ceiling

The master looks smaller when it’s not the model home, but we don’t want a giant space anyway.

paperwork for new condo with manuals for appliances and other instructions

They provide us with a ton of manuals so we can figure out how to operate and maintain everything.

hallway of new condo with hardwood flooring

On the opposite end is my favorite room, the most massive one that’s about the size of a two-car garage. I would love to get a grand piano and pool table in it, lol. Totally not happening anytime soon, if ever. But the dream lives on… From this room you can see straight down to the kitchen.

hallway bathroom with standard countertop and tiles

The hall bath is for the other bedrooms and guests. It’s the only counters that aren’t granite – the upgrade just wasn’t worth it.

new condo porch with white railing and view of houses in back

Oh I’m going to love hanging out on the porch when it’s warmer.

evergreen oil lamp from homegrown collective november 2013 box made with pine cones, evergreen clippings, berries, and parrafin oil in mason jar

I brought along my newest craft as a house warming gift to bring some holiday cheer to the place!

bush with leaves completely frozen over

It’s so fascinating how the ice created that layer over everything.

front door entrance of new condo

I doubt we’ll be using the front door all that much, except to pick up packages that don’t fit in the mailbox!

front of new condo with frozen driveway, one garage door open and one closed, and brick facade

Hello beautiful. I can’t wait to move in!

By the time we finished, it was about 11:30 and Panda and I went to get an early lunch together before going to work. Apparently I’d missed a fire alarm at our office that morning and not long after arriving, I was heading to the restroom when the doorbell rang. Since I was on my way, I went to answer it and found a guy from the power company telling me he had orders to shut off our power. I thought I’d been pranked and the shock of that announcement had me completely baffled. A lot of people weren’t in the office due to the weather, so I didn’t even know who to get. We eventually got that sorted out… whew!

melting icicles on car's mirror

By the time we went to lunch, the icicles were nearly all melted.

footprints in snow on grass next to path

Some people decided that walking on the grass was better than the path, I guess.

trees branches covered in layer of ice from winter storm

Good thing these trees were trimmed last month, or the branches might have broken off. This looks so surreal.

Later in the afternoon, Autumnfall asked me to accompany her to the local grocery store to get some candy canes for a promo we’re going to run. Along the way, we had a ton of fun admiring our surroundings, getting pictures of iced over plants and the scenes along the walk. That’s when we saw that breathtaking hawk make a pit stop. As we were nearing the store, a random guy said, “Hey ladies” in a rather creepy way and as we were checking out, this old man stood waaay too close to us even though the line was for four possible registers. Just adding to the strange occurrences of the day. Back in the office, we took some time for a photo shoot with the candy canes and got some pretty hilarious shots. More to come on that, when the promo starts (we’re giving away candy canes)!

walking path flooded with muddy water after winter storm

Our walk turned out to be quite the adventure, with giant puddles and hawk sightings and tunnels to go through. Oh, and creepy men too.

bush with all leaves iced over from winter storm

More iced up plants!

red berries and green leaves of plant covered in layer of ice

Iced up berries!

plant with brown branches and black berries covered in layer of ice from winter storm

Ok, ok, just one more iced plant picture!

thickening fog obscuring cranes atop new construction building

The fog was thickening and starting to obscure the cranes up top.

rectangular ice fallen from pine trees onto pathway

I promised no more iced plants, but here’s just some ice that fell from pine trees!

After work, I made that Target run I’d meant to do in the morning. I ended up exchanging one item and realizing that the other was from Charlotte Russe – oops! And of course I left, completely forgetting that I wanted to get a notebook too. There’s another Target on the way home, so I figured I could go there and also swing by a gas station for gas, but I completely blanked on the exit and missed it. I reeeeally need to write out my thoughts though, so I decided to make a slight detour to yet another Target. When I arrived, there was a girl crying her heart out near the front. It reminded me of how I’ve been feeling lately and I sort of wish I could bawl it out too. But for now, the tears won’t come even when my heart is heavy. Maybe the writing will help. While browsing notebooks, I found a really fun set of festive ones. Even better is that they’re eco-friendly. Always a plus in my book!

colorful bunch of towels hanging out to dry in target store

I thought this looked funny so I took a picture and then a Target guy happened to come to collect them and he explained that they use them to wipe off the carts. Since they don’t have a dryer, they just hang them where they can. How nice! A wet cart is certainly no fun to shop with.

very foggy night with street lights glowing yellow and blurry on the road

Ooh, the fog is really settling in now.

set of three notebooks by green inspired in blue, green, and red with gold dots and quotes

My newest thought-catchers. πŸ™‚ So pretty!
The blue one says “Looking at the stars always makes me dream.” -Vincent van Gogh
The green one says “Happiness is a bright and shining thing.” -Unknown
The red one says “Joy delights in joy.” -William Shakespeare

So finally, I made it home and was watching The Voice and The Sing-Off. After about an hour of the air running, I started to wonder why it wasn’t heating up. I tried resetting the thermostat with no success, so I just turned off the air and bundled up. After doing some writing, blogging, and news watching, I went to bed. I didn’t sleep very well, waking up frequently once it started to get light out. Around 7, I looked out to see the snow blanketing everything. The plow trucks hadn’t made it in yet. I kept going back to sleep and waking up to check on the status of the roads… things didn’t seem to improve much so I decided to work from home today. I had trouble getting up and really working because of the chillier air. I waited a few hours before calling management to send someone to look at it. I learned that there’s an emergency option that uses the heater in the closet rather than whatever’s outside. They figured the outside one got frozen over (no surprise there) so it wasn’t working. I just need to wait for the ice to melt to use it like normal again.

layer of snow covering all ground, cars, and trees

Why good morning, snow.

barefoot on porch in sunlight with shadows of railing

I went outside once the skies cleared and appreciated the sun for a bit.

sun shining brightly through tree branches

When the sun came out, the snow melted from the trees quickly!

During what normally would have been my lunch break, I decided to take a shower. Now that’s one perk I like about working from home! When I want to refresh myself, I can just hop in the shower AND still have plenty of time to eat some lunch. Come 3 in the afternoon, I was getting antsy being alone with no one to talk to for so long while I tried to pound through work. I took advantage of another benefit of working from home and got changed into some workout gear, then went running! I can’t remember the last time I did that (sometime in college probably) and in snow? Gosh, that would have been over a decade ago. Still, it felt good to clear my head even if I was rather out of shape. I listened to some music and just tried to stay in that zone for as long as possible.

brown fungus growing on tree branch

It looks kind of gross, but it kind of reminds me of a fungus I like to eat called wood ears.

sofa sitting by side of road covered in snow from storm

Somebody had left some furniture by the side of the road, like this sofa. Would make for a pretty cool photo shoot!

When I decided to slow for a bit, I found a playground with a little climbing arch and climbed up to sit on it. It was so nice to peer into woods, groove to my music, and shut out the world for awhile. When it got too cold, I got up and jogged back. I had put the key to the apartment in my leggings thinking they were tight enough to keep it in place. When I was going up the final set of stairs, I stopped to pull it out only to find it was gone. I patted all the way down my legs and started to get worried… I guess I’ve learned a lesson about sticking a key in your pants. Doesn’t work so well when you’re jolting it around while running. Luckily, it had stopped falling down right around my ankle. Thank goodness! I then picked up with work again (albeit with slightly shaky fingers).

metal playground equipment with bars in arch shape

Saw this and couldn’t resist. I just had to climb it.

dblcam image of person with headphones in ears against blue sky and feet stepping on bars of playground equipment with snow on ground

Sitting on the bars, enjoying the amazing air as I watched a squirrel in the distance.

running trail covered in snow broken up by footprints

My running path was a little treacherous but I didn’t slip once. What a serene place.

I’ve felt off ever since returning from my extended Thanksgiving break. Last week was cut short since I got back halfway through the week, which kind of threw me off. Now this week has only been two days and it feels like the week should be over already. My internal clock must be all out of whack. I hope tomorrow brings a more normal day; I could certainly use some boring old normalcy in my life right now.

Storytelling

laelene Posted in stories,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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I’ve had some pretty random and interesting experiences in my life. There are the moments when I had crazy encounters with strangers, the cool things I got to experience as a result of living in Los Angeles, and wonderful childhood memories. I’d like to share more of these, since a good story can be captivating, entertaining, and powerful. Perhaps I can hone my writing skills enough to write short stories!

long stretch of flat desert road

Driving, driving, driving, til she needed to go.

Today I was chatting with Autumnfall and our conversation reminded me of an experience I had back when I was working on the set of Wristcutters. I was interning for the first time and found myself taking on all kinds of roles, including buying food, managing staff (and wrangling extras), and taking care of the actors. When we were up in the deserts of Lancaster, our hotel was a good 40 minutes from set and I got called to go pick up one of the actresses. I got her from our hotel and we started racing down the long stretch of road. She asked to smoke in my car, and being the accommodating person I am, we cracked the windows open a bit so she could puff away. About halfway there, she wanted me to pull over. There was not much more than cacti and tumbleweed for miles in all directions and she needed to pee. So, there I found myself, pulled over on the side of this two-lane road as the actress squatted next to the open passenger door of my car and relieved herself (all the time still enjoying her cigarette). It was completely out of the blue and the type of startling experience that sticks with you for how random and odd it is. It also makes for a pretty hilarious tale to tell others. Autumnfall is going to take some elements of the story and write up a little fictional story from it. πŸ™‚ I look forward to seeing what she does with this fodder!

This, in addition with Katana’s recent request that I read over some ideas she has for a book, make me want to share more of my life stories and grand adventures. I could share the times I took rides with strangers in foreign countries, the wacky times I spent with rich guys, the amazing things I got to do as a child, the fun experiences from college, and so much more… I just wish I could put together words as well as the writers I know (Autumnfall & Katana). Alas, I’ll do my best and hope to provide some worthwhile reads. Stay tuned!

Back in the groove

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,
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Ever since I started work, I’ve been meaning to find a yoga place to pick up my practice again. A few days ago, after hurting my back, I really needed to start strengthening my back again so Panda started looking for me. He found a great deal on Groupon that included 10 classes and a yoga mat and bag! That’s perfect since I didn’t bring my mat with me when I moved out here and it will be nice to have mats on both coasts so I don’t have to worry about not having mine.

floor of the ayurvedic path entrance with welcome mat and shoe rack

Hello new yoga haven.

After registering, I signed up for my very first class with this yoga studio, which is really close to my office so I can easily swing by after work to enjoy some meditation, stretching, twisting, and strength-building. It’s been a year and a half since I stopped attending yoga classes, so I went for a beginner’s level this time around. That way I can ease back into it and I can go easy on my strained back as it heals. I was surprised at how excited I was to get to the class – must have been all the anticipation. It’s tucked away in a really quiet area and the room size is meant for upwards of 15 people. I like that the classes won’t ever get big and that it’s so intimate and cozy. The warmth inside was very soothing and the teacher leading the class was really nice and welcoming. I changed into my yoga gear and joined another dozen or so women and two men in the class. It was great to get time to meditate and relax while going through various poses. The challenge level was medium and I found I was stronger than I had expected, which is excellent news!

When I first started yoga, it was a free class held in the movie room at my apartment complex. We had an average of 6 people each time and I loved it. This place gives me a similar vibe, where we get enough one-on-one attention if needed. One thing I wasn’t used to was the mirrored wall… it was strange to look at myself in the mirror but I didn’t want to stare at others either, so I usually watched the instructor or looked towards the ground. I did like that I could ensure better posture and alignment when I could see my positioning, but I generally didn’t need it. I’m very happy with my experience so far and I can’t wait to try out some of the more challenging classes! I look forward to the day when I can manage a handstand.

After class, I met the owner of the place, who’s also very nice. I finished off my paperwork with them and got my yoga mat, but they didn’t have bags today so I’ll pick it up another time. I felt great afterwards – empowered, more limber, and with greater peace of mind. I’ll be reporting back to my coworker Autumnfall to let her know in case she’s ever interested in joining. I think having a friend in class would be fun!

selfie taken at entrance of yoga studio after class, with new yoga mat in tow

After class, I took a quick selfie. Got my new hot pink yoga mat now!

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