Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe.

So, I decided to make a Capsule Wardrobe. I'm mostly using the guidelines from this site, with a few modifications to make it fit my situation. Before the tornado, if I'd had to pare down my wardrobe to 30-40 pieces, I don't think I would have been able to do it. That is probably about 10% of the stuff I owned, if not less. After the tornado it would have been quite a bit easier, but by the time I moved away from Tuscaloosa I still had quite a bit of clothing. And now, in Germany, I have a lot less, but still more than a person needs. Although, Hunter and I are able to fit all of our clothing in one dresser and one closet, which I think is pretty good. All of Sadie's clothes fit into a carry-on size suitcase.

So anyway, why am I doing this? A few reasons. Since Sadie was born, I don't really get into dressing up the way I used to. I have only gone out in sweats maybe twice (and it was just to the bakery to get breakfast), but I also haven't spent time like, planning an outfit very often either. I think if I have the challenge of having a limited number of items and needing to actually style and accessorize them, I will be able to have some fun with fashion again. Also, I have a lot of graphic tees, and find myself just throwing the same ones on all the time. In my capsule, I limited myself to only four, so I'll be dressing a little more stylishly/like a grown-up.

The guidelines I linked to are for a 37-item wardrobe. Mine consists of only 31 items currently. I figured this way, I can add something in if there is an item I really miss. I have a few things that need repair that I may add in. I'm also not including clothing I've made in the count. If I want something new, instead of buying it, I'll just make it; I'm hoping it motivates me to get onto some of the projects I have planned. I planned my wardrobe for fall. Since Sadie was born, I run pretty warm, so I don't have my very warmest clothes in there. If it gets super cold, obviously I'm going to add in an extra jacket or something. And a little limitation I'm setting for myself is not to wear the same outfit twice. I'm going to try to post my outfits on Instagram when I think of it, although I don't know if that's something I'll be able to do every day.

So, what's in my wardrobe, you ask? I'll show you! The pics are all phone pics because both of my real cameras were dead :(

6 Bottoms:
From top: Jean skirt (H&M), Gray drawstring pants (H&M), Olive cropped pants (H&M), Tan cords (H&M), Black cords (Loft), Straight leg jeans (H&M)

4 Sweaters:
From left: Green cable-knit v-neck (Old Navy), Navy cashmere cardigan (H&M), Black pullover (H&M), Red cardigan (H&M)

3 Dresses:
 Black and orange dress (ModCloth)

 Houndstooth dress (H&M)

Camera-printed dress (ModCloth)

4 Long-Sleeves
From left: White long-sleeve (WalMart?), Black-and-white-striped long-sleeve (Old Navy), Black-and-green-striped 3/4 sleeve (Old Navy), Burgundy turtleneck (H&M)

4 Short-Sleeves
From left: Brown t-shirt (Loft), Navy t-shirt (Loft), Black v-neck (Old Navy), White/navy polka-dot scoop neck (H&M)

4 Graphic Tees
Clockwise from top left: Pulp Fiction/Doctor Who mashup (Teefury?), Neutral Milk Hotel concert shirt (concert), Mountain Goats concert shirt (concert), Brown "adopt" shirt (fundraiser)

1 Jacket
Olive Jacket (H&M)

5 Shoes
Red bow pumps (H&M), Brown sneakers (Converse), Red sneakers (Kangaroo), Brown boots (Rieker), Owl print flats (Dogo)

I also made this handy little Polyvore collection. It doesn't have the jacket or the graphic tees, and some of the items aren't exact, but I think it gives a good overview of my selection.

Capsule Wardrobe

So, as I said, I'll try to post outfits on Instagram when I can, and we'll see if I can stick to this.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What is Sadie Like?

I know you've all seen lots of pictures of Sadie, and you may have some idea of her personality based on those. But it occurred to me that for those of you who don't see her on a regular basis, you might not know a lot about her, so I decided to do a little post about her personality. I didn't set out for it to be an acrostic, but when two of the words were letters from her name, I thought that would be a fun way to do it.

Sadie loves to snuggle and give kisses. She especially loves giving kisses to her glow-worm, and a few pages of the books she likes, but she will occasionally give Hunter or me a kiss, too.

Sadie has always been up for trying new things. Almost as soon as she could crawl, she had started to pull herself up to standing. I saw a baby the other day that was pretty much the opposite of this; she stayed close to her parent and didn't seem very motivated to explore. Sadie will go anywhere she can get to. She even tried to crawl right off the edge of the bed! Somehow, she figured out it would be easier to go feet first, which completely amazed us because we definitely didn't teach her that!

If Sadie wants something, she WILL get to it. Particularly if it's something a baby shouldn't play with, but even if it's just a book that's on a table or something. NOTHING IS SAFE! Especially now that she has object permanence, she remembers where we've hidden or stored something she isn't supposed to play with.

So, I guess probably everyone thinks this about their own kid, but it's true! Sadie is so smart! She can "read" pages in her books (words she has memorized) and if she can't read them, she can maybe point to the object they represent. She really loves reading and will just sit with a book, turning the pages over and over. I read her probably at least five books a day; her current favorites are Oliver Twist, Go, Dog, Go, and Who's a Bunny?

Well, I mean, she's a baby so obviously all her needs are provided for. But she really isn't patient when she sees something she wants and doesn't immediately get it. If she sees us getting out her food, she might scream until it's brought to her. And the other day, she grabbed a toy out of another baby's hand. Honestly, that one kind of amused me and I think she probably would have given it back, it's just a game to her to pass things back and forth, but the other baby did not like it. I understand that crying/screaming is her main way of communicating she is hungry, until she has more words for that, but sometimes she will scream and cry if we take something dangerous out of reach. She just wants what she wants, I guess!

Anyway, as you can see my little princess has so much personality already and it is so fun discovering all of her likes and dislikes!

Monday, October 13, 2014


I had the idea for this post last night while I was reading (and couldn't sleep because I had a headache). In the book 11/22/63, the main character is struck with a crippling migraine, but still has to go and complete a really important task. One of the things he wonders is how people can live with getting headaches like that regularly. It's kind of the opposite of a thought I have had: how can there be people who don't know what migraines are like? It's amazing to me that there are people in the world, a lot of people, who haven't lost days of their life to blinding pain.

So, I thought I would post a bit about how migraines make me personally feel. I am guessing they are different for everyone and honestly I know mine aren't that bad on the scale of things. I don't get auras, and I really have only been getting like, a maximum of one a month since I moved to Germany. But then again, it's still a lot worse than someone who doesn't get any.

So anyway. One way that I described it to Hunter was this: imagine that the normal state of your brain/skull/head is that it is filled with evenly distributed iron filings. You don't normally notice these, they are just in there, floating around and it's just the status quo. Then, someone holds a magnet to the side of your head. Thousands of tiny pieces of metal are pushing to get out.

But maybe that doesn't really evoke the necessary desperation. Because ok, that's just a little pressure, right? Not just a little. The pressure is such that it feels only cracking your head with a sledgehammer could possibly provide the necessary relief. I push at my temples with my fingers, trying to push this pain away. I notice how hard my pulse pounds and wonder if it always pounds that hard. I don't know, because who touches their head when it feels fine?

The nightlight, normally unworthy of its moniker becomes a searchlight, burning through my eyelids into my retinas and charging the power source that energizes the pain. When I was a kid, I thought of my forehead as my "solar panel," because I thought it was the light hitting my head that made it hurt so bad.

I try to sleep and a song comes into my head. Whether or not I know all the words, the same few words or phrase just repeat themselves in my brain. It conspires to keep me awake and feeling. And then, upon waking, the first few beautiful seconds where it's gone and then the sinking realization that it isn't. When I was in college, I often got phone calls while trying to sleep away these headaches and when they woke me up it was so disappointing because I'd have to start all over again.

So, anyway, these are just a few of the thoughts I have during my headaches, and I shared them because what else is a blog for?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Whole Haag (picspicspics)

Last Friday Hunter had the day off. On Thursday, he messaged me asking about going to The Hague for the weekend. I thought it was a great idea because we hadn't gone anywhere since our London trip in July. It's about a 3.5 hr train ride, which Sadie handled pretty well. This time, I managed to get us a hotel near the train station. This is super convenient for us; since we usually leave our bags at the hotel on the last day, it's easy to just pick them up and walk to the station when we are ready to go.

On the first day, we went to the M.C. Escher museum, which is one of the reasons I had wanted to visit The Hague in the first place. The cost was a little steep for a pretty small museum, but it was pretty cool. They had one of the wood blocks he actually used and a ton of his prints. It was pretty cool to look at the prints up close. They also had a few sort of interactive things: a glass ball you could look at your reflection in and things with weird perspectives where if you took pictures would look cool. I was hoping the gift shop would have like, a small kids puzzle like the Magritte one I got for Sadie, but there wasn't really anything like that. The only puzzles they had were huge ones. I didn't get any pictures there, because the camera was still in the suitcase and my phone battery was dying.

We went back to the hotel to rest and decide what to do about dinner. By this time, I had a pretty bad migraine. I'd had a headache since the night before and had managed to power through but it was getting to where I couldn't do that anymore. I took a bath and rested and then we decided we should think about dinner. We wanted to try Indonesian food again. We had it in Amsterdam and it was pretty tough with Sadie because the restaurant was really crowded, as was the table. This time we went to a place that actually had a high chair and we had a 4-person table so there was plenty of room for everything. It was pretty delicious. I didn't get any big pics, but here is one I posted to Instagram of Sadie eating some Bami Goreng. It's comparable to chow mein, if you've never had it. Indonesian food seems to be as popular in Holland as Chinese is in America. If I understand correctly, it's also the main place in Europe where peanut butter is a thing that people eat. In the German grocery stores, there are two jars of peanut butter, one creamy and one crunchy, and the jar has an American flag on it. There was also a fried banana thing that Sadie liked. I don't even like bananas and I liked it, but I let Sadie eat most of mine.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel. We watched some Archer Vice on Netherlands Netflix and drank a couple of beers we had picked up at the grocery store.

The next morning, Saturday, I got up and went out to get some breakfast for us. We had seen a few bakeries the day before. It was about 8:00 am when I went out. The bakeries were closed. Of the ones that were open on the weekend, they didn't open until 9:00! In Germany, you get there at 9 and stuff is gonna be pretty picked through. So I got stuff at the grocery store. It was pretty dead out there, I guess The Hague is not a city of early risers! Our plan for the morning was to go to the Mauritshuis, which is the major museum in The Hague. The most famous painting they have is "Girl With a Pearl Earring" and they have some other major works as well. I also wanted to see "The Goldfinch," since Hunter and I both read the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel earlier this year. They also had a bunch of my favorite thing, which is the sort of grotesque still-lifes with lots of food in them and probably a clock. There was a surprising lack of paintings of religious scenes with the patron inserted into them; I only saw one confirmed. Really there wasn't as much religious art as some of the other museums we've been to. I was able to get Sadie a children's book featuring most of the art in the museum as well as a rubber duckie with a pearl earring!

After that, we decided to walk around and check out a few sites. There are a few churches, that you can't really go into, and a palace.

There was this canal with a big fountain; I figured we should get a picture by it.

In front of the palace. Sadie is asleep in these last few if you couldn't tell.

I wanted to get closer to this statue to figure out what its deal was. Getting closer didn't help.

We had fries for lunch, walked around a bit more, then stopped for a drink and a snack. We got Sadie some "poffertjes," little Dutch pancakes with lots of butter and powdered sugar. She enjoyed them, as you can see from the pictures!

Saturday night for dinner, we continued our tradition of eating Ethiopian (well, ok, in this case Eritrean) food in cities around the world. I called to make a reservation, because it was a Saturday night and I'm used to Germany where like, the burger place around the corner takes reservations. So, we got there and it was completely empty. But really, that's probably better for Sadie, so OK. Also, they were out of several of the things we wanted, so we ended up just getting some pretty standard stuff. It tasted fine; my theory is that the taste was partially affected by our perception of the place and its emptiness. I had hoped that Sadie would have a bit more fun with the injera, but she wasn't super into it. The proprietress was really nice; she showed me the kind of baby carrier they use in Eritrea and even gave us an umbrella since it was POURING outside. We planned to bring back the umbrella the next day, but the wind kinda ruined it so... oops.

Once we got home we watched some more Archer Vice, but were too tired to finish off the season, sadly.

Sunday, we had two things we wanted to do: walk through this park that was across the street from our hotel, and visit the beach. 

View of the park from our hotel room

We walked through the park and I had thought there might be cows there, since I had heard something like a moo-ing a few times, but it was actually what I think was a bull reindeer--I can't be certain because I couldn't get really close. Here are the best pics I was able to get:

I'll be honest, I didn't know deer made noises.

We saw some other wildlife as we walked through. I felt like a person from the city who had never seen an animal before! (For those of you who don't know, I'm from the country. I grew up with deer in my backyard. There is nothing really new about these animals to me, yet I was still compelled to take pictures. I don't even like animals, so it's a bit confusing even to me).

After the walk through the park, our plan was to go look at the nearby beach and eat some pancakes. We took the tram up and walked down to the water. I felt it because it looked super cold, but it wasn't that bad. I mean, for those of you who are used to the gulf, yeah, it would be pretty frigid but I'd say it was comparable to a California beach.

I'm not typically a beach person. I would never, like, choose to go to a beach for vacation. But if I had to, I'd probably go to this one. It was nice and cool and everyone was wearing long sleeves and pants, even the little kids wading in the water.

The artsy shot, courtesy of Hunter.

After the walk down the beach, we continued one of our more shameful travel traditions. We ended up eating an overpriced meal at a touristy place. We kinda messed up knowing where the pancake place we wanted to go to was, and it wasn't anywhere nearby, so we ate at a place that was right down on the beach. So, that was cool, but it was nothing special. We basically always end up having one meal like this. We got Sadie a pancake and of course I couldn't resist taking a bunch of pictures.

Since Sadie slept through our first foray down the shore we took her down to play in the sand. I took off her tights and sweater so we could put them back on and they wouldn't be sandy. 

Another collage, since I took way too many pics.

She seemed to like it. She was pretty unsure what was going on at first; I guess it was a new texture for her little feet. She also was eventually shivering, which was pretty much the first time I'd ever seen her visibly cold. As you can probably tell from the pictures of me, it was pretty windy.

I have a few other random pictures of things I saw.

Several views of the giant bike parking facility outside the train station.

 Some skyline

 Our hotel

Public library. It looked super nice on the inside, too.

We had a pretty good time. We don't feel like we need to go back; we saw the things we needed to see, but it was fun and probably a little more relaxing than some trips. Sadie was so good and she didn't really start fussing until the train ride home. I wore her on my back during the trip, which is easier than on the front now that she is getting big! Hunter said every time I put her into the backpack people looked at me like they thought she was going to fall. Honestly I didn't think it would be possible to put her in the backpack myself, but I'm getting pretty good at it. 

I'm not sure when our next trip will be, but Hunter has a lot of vacation days. Like, a lot. Like, he thought he had 29 that would expire at the end of this year, although they probably won't. So even though he doesn't have official time off until Christmas, we may take another few days to go somewhere cool. We both really want to see Vienna, so that's an option. Anyway, until next time!