video (and more): empties, decluttering, and birthday acquisitions

Firstly, a long overdue empties featuring a few items from Project Use it Up 🙂 (success!)

I also used up two fandom tea samples from Adagio Teas (decaf rooibos blends that were great for after dinner), and a pen(!). Being a pen hoarder, every pen is an accomplishment.


And, since I was on vacation, I decided to give my closet and makeup collection another cull. The result, 1 bag of clothes (mostly winter and workwear) and a few products that were lackluster or caused irritation (or both).



However, as it was my birthday on Tuesday, I did receive some newness, and made a few additions to my summer wardrobe.

Presents from the boy, new teas and a teapet (also Adagio), new treats, 1 tank, 1 blouse, 1 long-sleeve tee, a flashy necklace for flashy days, and a pair of strappy Crocs (my version of rain boots for work days).






Also, a travel size lippie from Milk makeup in O.G. Red (love it!), a tissue mask, and my birthday gift from Sephora; plus, a tube of Kosas lipstick in Royal (these feel so soft and nourishing, with brilliant color).



life: taking time off

It’s my birthday next week and, in the spirit of celebrating myself, I’m taking a week off. It’s part of a tradition I started when I finally got a full time job with benefits: take 1 week off for myself. No commitments. No work. Nothing but me, the cats, and whatever makes me happy. Usually, this means reading, writing, and seeing my city as a sort of resident tourist. This year, I have a couple of projects planned, but mostly I’m going to work on relaxing and letting go of things. I’ll write, but I won’t push myself to meet some lofty goal. I’ll read, or maybe I’ll binge some shows. Who knows.

on the eve of my 32nd year

That sounds so dramatic and Bridget Jonesy, but it’s true. I turn 32 tomorrow and, I have to say, I feel generally optimistic. Last year, I was in deep grief and mourning, letting the day pass with little fanfare. This year, I feel hopeful and encouraged. I want to make it a good one. It will rain, of course, as it always does, but it will be the solstice and I am nothing if not a moon child.

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Another year


My 30th year draws near and with it all the thoughts, doubts, and what nows of life on the edge of adulthood… because, let’s face it, it still feels like I’m playing at being grown up. I will say that I am happier now than I ever was at 20. I’m more confident in my own skin, more aware of what I want and more willing to go for it, even if it means putting myself in an unfamiliar place or role. I have a job that I like and can see myself working at for a good while; I have goals and ambitions that I’m willing to strive for, even if it means snatching at what little free time I have and looking forward to the ups and downs of rejection and revision; and I’ve found a certain amount of stability in being on my own. I have people I love and friends I miss, and a feline companion that wakes me up and gets me out of bed every morning (even if I don’t want to).

All in all, not a bad start.

On turning 29

… or being almost 30.

I meant to make a nice post about goals and aspirations and all the things I’ve done this year, but decided to do what I do best and make a list:

  • I have two novels in the works that I’m sort of mostly happy with… they need work, but the flesh is there. That is more than I ever imagined I would write in a single year.
  • I have made some serious changes to my general state of well-being by focusing on healthy habits and going clean inside and out.
  • I have become a runner. I can own that label now in my own way.
  • I feel comfortable in my own skin.
  • My hair is long(ish)! I never thought I’d let it go for so long, but I have managed to resist the urge to snip.
  • I have vacationed on my own…
  • And learned to live on my own.
  • I think of myself as a professional in my field… I’ve even started craving more presentation face-time.
  • I sold myself to my phone. I’m okay with that.
and I have a boy in my life who brings me nerdcakes.
and I have a boy in my life who brings me nerdcakes.

vacation, coming to a close

It’s been a great, extremely unproductive, sweets-filled week with lots of memories and special moments. It has not been a good week for my web connection. It has been a terrible week for uploading, blogging, or sharing said memories in any way, shape, or form. I’ve given up and am invading my local Starbucks to mooch off their connection while I latte-ify.

It was a week full of furry cuddles, unexpected surprises, tea, giant lattes, mountain adventures, flowers, and sneaky wildlife. I had my first glimpse of fireflies, wild rabbits, dear deer, groundhogs, wild pheasants, turkeys, and more critters. Also got to see some wild raspberries, currants, juniper, cherries, and peaches. All untamed! Auntie Em was a hard taskmaster and drove an action-packed tour 😛 so I got to see plenty of North Carolina in only 4 days.

The bchan also made my actual birthday rather unforgettable with a surprise birthday celebration and treasure hunt (there was a map in a bottle and a tiki man!). A very special 28th year of living 🙂

Fun times at the JujuHouse
A fanciful afternoon tea at the Olde English Tea Room. Very cute little place with excellent scones and fragrant tea.
Fun times with the four legged cousins… here they are making their escape in the early morn.
OMG! Hydrangeas everywhere!
And peaches galore!
Unexpected Asian treats at the giant Asian supermarket and a new lucky cat for my collection.
Had my Southern moment at Cafe Azalea with a delicious bowl of shrimp and grits slathered in a fantastic tomato rosemary sauce and full of goat cheese goodness.
Lots of beautiful scenery on the drive to Asheville.
Overwhelming but delicious lattes (mine was almond mocha coconut *drool*) at Malaprop’s bookstore. Definitely needed the caffeine after Auntie Em’s fast-paced touring 😛
And wrapped it all up with a detour for ice cream at the Maple View dairy farm. Ice Cream! From a real cow!

A special week indeed, including this bit of cuteness from the bchan…

A little Sailor Mercury with her own room full of books.

year in the life

I’m heading out to North Carolina to go on a pre-birthday adventure and it’s got me thinking of all the things I’ve experienced and accomplished this year. Some of my highlights:

  • I had my gallbladder removed once and for all. This was a pretty dramatic experience all around and I will never forget the terrible sensation that I felt when I came to and felt so AWFUL. Still adjusting to the changes, but I feel much better… digestively.
  • I went on my first conference! In May, I took a trip to Orlando all by myself and stayed in a nice hotel and explored everything I could while on my own. It was very liberating and gave me a taste for the independent life.
  • I went on a road-trip to St. Augustine and finally got to see a part of Florida that didn’t involve theme parks. It was kitschy in some areas but still fun.
  • I accomplished one of my resolutions by publishing a review in an academic journal. I’m on my way to becoming a proper academic.
  • I have been writing more. Though it’s not always “creative,” it has been a productive year for non-assignment related writing.
  • I’ve expanded my professional horizons, so to speak, by becoming much more engaged in library events, site maintenance, and other activities, and thinking about things I might do to keep my skills fresh.
  • I planned the NC trip all by myself! It was probably sparked by that independent living bug.
  • I’ve had one too many crises (personal, family, and work-related) and managed to pull through.

A lot more has happened in the last year, but these are some of the areas that I told myself I would work on–including getting out more, particularly out of the state. I hope to accomplish lots more before next year’s birthday.