Prison Pants

The past 7 weeks, due to lack of foresight and the extreme desire for comfort, I’ve run into a clothing conundrum. I volunteer at the women’s prison and there is a strict dress code. Most of the rules around clothing are not a problem but I’ve been struggling with one.. we’re not supposed to wear pants with spandex in them. Of course this is to try to prevent people who are wearing only Leggings as Pants. Or even yoga pants. But as you can imagine, it’s hard to enforce if there’s not a fairly strict stance on it.

So, I usually go straight from work & you might be thinking, “well you are a business professional, aren’t you wearing prison appropriate attire to work?” NO. As it turns out I am wearing mostly ALL SPANDEX or highly stretchy pants. WHO KNEW?! Not me until I was forced into this type of reflection.

I didn’t know how bad it had gotten until I have realized the need to change before I go every week. I knew I maybe was wearing a lot of Lycra but I didn’t know the extent of it. I’ve gotten myself into the position where there’s now the horror of functioning in REAL, not stretchy waisted, PANTS for several hours. And NONE of said pants actually currently fit me. Even the ones that almost or mostly fit, feel so restrictive that I have to unbutton them until I drive across town. My poor waist is being cinched in so tightly, is this how life used to be?! Even my go to “volunteer pants” are not as great as they used to be.. ūüė¶

This also explains why I only wear about 4 pairs of pants to work and have shunned most of my ‘normal dress pants.’ Don’t get me wrong, I love the flair at the bottom of those pants that make me look more proportional, but my waist protests all day long. Not worth it. Back to wearing something that has some “give” to it ūüôā

I think that the solution to my prison attire problems could be JNCO jeans. They are low-waisted, should be comfortable while sitting. Look like a man, almost. Good to go. I wonder if mine are still at my parents house…

These are more like what mine looked like.. man, I actually do wish that I still had those.. not that they would fit. I think that mine were literally a 0 in juniors. 

Another solution is DRESSES. [Confession: this is what I almost wore this week so I wouldn’t be late trying on pants but didn’t want to get one dirty]. As long as I have closed toe shoes and of course I wear leggings under them anyway, good to go. As it turns out now that I think about it, dresses & skirts are the only other thing that I comfortably wear to work most days .. in addition to the stretchy pants.

— this is the best I can do, life is too hard to fight against nature …
Remember when I was fighting the good fight against jeggings & skinny jeans? Well, that battle has clearly been lost and I’m fully on to the dark side. Now I know what it feels like to wear them & we know that I’m 90/10 on the form over function in fashion. I don’t know what it would take for me to go back. I’m starting to think I can just go ahead & buy the cute maternity clothes on the clearance rack & wear them to work also since I clearly have no shame any more, right? If I’ve already given up, why not go a little further down this path ..

Thumbs up or down on that one?

FTR, I also still have my gaucho pants. I was saving them for when they came back & style & guess what, I think it’s happening? The printed fabrics seem to be a bigger thing but I’m feeling as though I can safely bring my brown gaucho pants back out from under the bed, what do we think? It’s time.

[They won’t fly for the prison but maybe they can get into the rotation of spring and summer work pants – which are nearly the same as my winter pants except I wore them with boots instead of flats this winter]

Well, my poor waist will figure out how to deal with my prison nights and it clearly is living wild & free most of the time, so it will be okay for a few hours once a week. Sorry if I’ve caused anyone else to evaluate their wardrobe as my volunteering has caused me to do ūüėČ


My Journey into the World of Coffee

Today, I think I took another big step in my descent (or rise) into the [potentially snobby] world of coffee drinking. I made my first pot of pour over coffee by myself.


Sidenote:¬†I just realized that this is my second out of not that many blog posts about warm beverages. Sorry, okay not really, cause you’re not held captive to reading my musings.

Making a pour over is not a big deal in the hipster, coffee-loving, wealthy world where I’m living; however, for me it was eyeopening and a marker of¬†where my coffee journey has gone and a bit of a game changer.

First off, let it be known that I still am a tea lover too, I’m kind of cheating on tea but I’m still sticking with it. A cup of English breakfast tea every morning is still my #1 morning jam.¬†I’ve always been more of a tea drinker and intentionally tried not to get hooked on coffee. I figured that if I didn’t like the taste, why would I get addicted to it. Also, then if I actually needed more caffeine & I wasn’t addicted, the effect of drinking a small amount of coffee would be much bigger. So I haven’t ever invested myself in trying to like it. Even through college & working full-time + part-time+ grad school, though I have gulped it down on occasion when in desperate situations.

My new found coffee love started in Europe. Go figure. I drank my first cup of coffee that I fell I was head over heels for in Germany and then got addicted to cappuccinos in Italy. I mean, if you’ve had one, you know.

I can’t even adequately described how good this beverage tasted. The coffee was so smooth. It tasted almost like tea in it’s purity and was so flavorful, slightly bitter but not anything like the bitterness of the coffee I’ve had in the US. Then add some steamed milk, bam. No sugar needed! (for the record, I drink black tea but could not really handle the black coffee I’d had in the US because it’s so bitter) No wonder Europeans seem to all be managing their weight better ūüôā We stayed at a friend of my travel companion’s home in the Italian countryside and there I was introduced to the Moka pot. It seemed so easy to make delicious coffee ON YOUR OWN STOVE. I stocked up on coffee and bought a Moka pot, one of my few souvenirs.

When I returned to the states, I naively tried a cappuccino at Starbucks hoping to once again experience the glorious taste of European cappuccino. That was a mistake and it tasted like burnt coffee with milk. I also tried to use the Moka pot but didn’t fully pick up on the habit enough to have fresh coffee on hand or get in a habit of perfecting the art. So I remained a tea drinker. On occasion, I would drink a flat white from Starbucks because¬†it had a lot of steam milk and I got used to the burnt tasting bitterness.

A brief synopsis of how I went further down the slippery slope: met my now husband who liked coffee and has had more time on his hands this year ūüôā so has really gotten into making it, got hooked on fancier brewed coffee at some local coffee shops and my family’s houses, etc. We also took a trip to the PNW (pacific northwest) & had some delightful coffee there which pretty much solidified the growing love for Good coffee. Husband bought a Chemex and makes legit coffee on the weekends. I still drink tea and at some point started having a cup of early afternoon coffee from our pretty upscale coffee machine at work. <<<Thus, here I am.>>> Joining the club with the rest of the world and am now feigning the aroma, the taste, the warmth of a “cup of Joe.” Wait, that anecdote doesn’t sound fancy enough for the coffee that I am craving. It’s more like a “Cuppa Java” or something. If you want to know the meaning of cup of Joe, I just got curious too (

The point of no return and reason I found myself googling “how to use a chemex” is that we¬†had a snow storm & I got 3 days in a row of delish made-with-love pour over coffee courtesy of my husband. And when I got a craving for it today – I decided that watching a instructional¬†Youtube videos¬†and going home and making a cup is the perfect lunch time activity. I made the cup and it was fun!¬†And I may Still be running off of energy from it, woo.

The most stressful part was honestly that I didn’t watch a video of how to fold the filter or dump in the coffee (you literally just pour the fresh grinds into the filter lol).

But I figured it out. Tonight, the husband asked me ALL about it and enthusiastically shared his tips.. I had obviously never really bothered to learn enough about his process to make it myself. But now we can be coffee nerds together, I ‘spose. It’s kind of an expensive hobby but in moderation, it’s actually cheaper per cup than splurging on a latte. After our long discussion with all the details I would’ve normally not listened too, I realized that we are SUPER NOVICE in our preparation of fancy coffee. Okay, he is moving towards an intermediate level but apparently people know the most appropriate water temperature is for brewing a bean depending on the altitude in which it was grown. WOW. These people know so much. They are crazy. I want to know all the things that they know about coffee. I should also say that we are already behind in our technology for pour overs, there’s some sort of fancy contraption that’s better than the Chemex or V60 but I can’t remember the name for the life of me (after hearing it probably 10 times).

My next steps are as follows:

  • practice my pouring technique
  • learn more about different types of coffee beans
  • read up on coffee tastes and brewing methods to know the words to say about the coffee-related things
  • follow all of the crazy coffee people on Instagram

Feel free to judge or secretly curse me for making time to brew¬†fancy coffee and also finding a bit of time to blog about it. People use their time for worse things & I’m currently fulfilled/feel good about my life schedule ūüôā¬†

2015 Things

I really enjoy reading what other people I know are into versus random pop culture things. So I compiled a list of a few of my favorite things and what I wasn’t feeling in 2015, for what it’s worth. I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about “stuff” but it’s fun reflecting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of Oprah’s favorite things but I like the idea of it!

Random things that I fell in love with (or fell further in love with) in 2015:

  • I was inspired by the books For the Love” & “The Last Lecture – I already loved Jen Hatmaker, author of For the Love, and this book just further pushed me towards one of her many adoring fans. She’s everything we want to be yet feels like our bff. Savored this book and was sad when it was over.
    And I’m super late to the party reading Randy Pausch’s inspiring yet heartbreaking parting words but it was so worthwhile and was relevant 8 years after he wrote it. And I think it will challenge readers on how they’re living their lives for years.
  • The Leftovers TV show: We’ve watch a lot of HBO this year. The husband got me into this show after we marathon watched season 1. With the True Detective Season 2 disappointment, I was a little bit worried about The Leftovers Season 2 but I was thoroughly entertained by it. It’s still as weird as ever and that’s cool with me.
  • The Martian movie: Though I only saw this once in the theater, I didn’t breathe most of the time but I loved it. Such a good story and beautiful production, in my non movie snob opinion.
  • the Pacific Northwest:¬†this isn’t really a thing but it is.. on our honeymoon we finally got to adventure there and I’m in love with the clam chowder in Seattle, the friendliness of WA & OR and all of their cheese, salmon and fresh food, the OREGON COASTLINE except when we’re driving it at night, Sonoma, and having uber in San Fran because that city is exhausting to get around otherwise.
  • Environmental Working Group: I’ve gone in an out over the past decade of trying to find beauty products and the like that aren’t harmful to my body (but that I can afford). And gone around and around with the whole lot of conundrums surrounding personal hygiene, skincare, food, vitamins, etc. I fell back into a pattern of at least checking my beauty products on this great resource and trying to sort some things out. More of that in 2016.

For me it’s still the SIMPLE things that are doing it for me like: playing the guitar & piano, bonfires or grilling out with friends, my husband’s pour over coffee, Saturday morning at the farmer’s market with my husband, days on the lake, yoga, etc.

Also worth noting:¬†Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,¬†Empire, Instagram, Stash Tea, LEFT SHARK (AND RIGHT SHARK, I guess, since I’m mostly right shark haha), wake surfing, Thriftsmart (and Buy/Sell/Trade on FB & Craigslist -pretty much anywhere I can buy other people’s stuff that is not Goodwill)


Random things that I began to dislike (or further dislike) in 2015:
(if you love these things, no judgement, well maybe a little bit of judgement for some of them but I still love ya)

  • Grocery shopping at Publix. I spent way too many trips going there for “convenience” (it’s literally 2 blocks/stop lights more conveniently located to my house) and ending up super disappointed. Very little organic food and so expensive including their generic brands. I am always happy with their <<bakery, deli, and their sushi>>, randomly; thus, I will try to only shop for those items there in 2016. It’s definitely such a nice feeling to walk through the aisles but we have a really nice Kroger by our house and it’s serving me just fine. I really like the employees there too.
  • Professional Sports¬†– the less I watch professional sports, the NFL in particular, the less I like them. This may be another blog post, I feel like we all know some of the downfalls of them. They’ve just become less appealing to me though I still enjoy following them in a more passive sense, I just can’t seem to invest myself in them as much.
  • Shellac nail polish¬†– if I need a chisel or paint thinner to remove this stuff from my nails, no thank you. And it always ruins my nails. I’m falling out of love with nail polish in general because it seems so chemical-y (I only really ever painted my toe nails anyway).
  • Home Depot¬†– We bought a house and therefore, spent way more hours at this store than I would’ve liked in 2015. Oh, it’s also like .5 miles from our house. I hardly have the energy to say all the reason that I dislike this place. Summary: there never seems to be anyone working except at 8:30 pm right before they close and then everyone wants to help me when I don’t need help. Half the stuff we wanted from there we had to order online anyway so that will be my approach next year. Or drive further for a local hardware store. The only saving grace of Home Depot is buying a house plant to make it more worthwhile : )

Honorable mention dislikes: Apple, True Detective Season 2, Papa Johns, Chewbacca, Moles (which I almost hate more than Opossums), USPS

The jury is still out for the following:

  • Making my own natural beauty products¬†– I will create a whole blog post about this.. I can’t stand spending a fortune on these items (see above) but there’s got to be a better way than the cheap products with all the chemicals [outside of going to Europe to stock up every few months]. Still sorting this all out.
  • Shopping online:¬†I love walking around stores for exercise and to fill my senses (I have a weird gift of looking at things & not buying them, most of the time); however, this year I bought a lot of stuff online. I think I like buying stuff I actually need online roughly when I need it for the convenience then I can be more of a casual browser/shopper and still run errands and get “out & about” as time allows.
  • Serial:¬†I don’t have the energy to fully dive into this subject at the moment. I recently finally got on this train too and couldn’t get enough of Season 1. But then I read about how people were stalking “Jay” and I didn’t like the ending but most days I think I’m glad for the attention that it gave to the “justice system” and though it was kind of a sick form of entertainment, if white people will care more about the cause of justice, I’m down. Not a fan of Season 2 thus far. Has anyone else been listening?

  • HGTV:¬†Don’t get me wrong, I obsessively watch Fixer Upper & Flip or Flop any time I have access to cable but I don’t want my priority to be overspending for trendy things for my home. I’d rather travel & have experiences. But I love pretty things & trash being turned into treasure. And Chip & Jo.

Other things I’m still on the fence about:¬†Game of Thrones, “essential oils” (and I don’t want to talk about it hah), Meghan Trainor


just 10 minutes..

So I’m feeling all reflective and stuff the past few weeks. Time for a more serious blog post. I don’t really believe in new year’s resolutions but sometimes it feels good to shake things up in your life and work on developing some new habits. I’ve totally had a hard time coming back to real life after our amazing wedding and honeymoon! One change is that I don’t currently have a membership to a yoga studio for the first time in probably 2 or 3ish years? And partially because of limited yoga,¬†I’m just not feeling great. I’ve been walking for 30 minutes at least 6 days a week, usually for longer. That’s been good but I still just feel blah-y a lot of days, some is allergy/sinus related I think. And my ribs keep moving out of place which is painful and frustrating and makes it hard to breathe. Anyway, the adorable new husband is trying to make time in his day to get to the gym regularly so we’re implementing a few new house rules:
* No screens in bed (so far my husband¬†just lays there hah but he’s going to start using the time to crochet cause he’s THE CUTEST MAN IN THE WHOLE WORLD & I’ve been slowly reading For the Love,¬†I’m milking it for what it’s worth because I love it and Jen Hatmaker so much)
* Setting a bed time
* Earlier wake up time : )

It’s a slow but steady process where we’re getting to bed a little earlier each night and waking up in the mornings. I’m still snoozing a bit but I’m trying to do yoga every day in the mornings. The past 2 days I’ve only done a few sun salutations and some stretching. But slow and steady wins the race, right?! I’m going to keep pressing on and try to do yoga every morning and hope that I can turn it into a habit (even if it’s brief practice to start).

There have been some advantages to a home yoga practice that I’m enjoying.
1.) I haven’t wasted gas or time driving to the yoga studio 2.) I can hear myself breathe really well & it’s awesome << I can also hear everything POP. Everything. Every joint, most times that I move. I’m 31 going on 81 >> 3.) I can do exactly what my body is feeling 4.) I am discovering a lot about my body
There are a lot of pros to going to a studio but I’m just making myself feel better & going with the positive (+) here.

Not all that surprisingly, I’m super stiff in the mornings and moving around feels so amazing and gets my blood flowing

I was curious of how long it takes to form a habit. There’s a myth that it takes 21 days. However, this article from Huff Post said the following: “On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.”

So I need to make it almost to the new year I guess!


I could use any support here. Does anyone have a favorite yoga flow for mornings or otherwise?
Does anyone have a book recommendation for my bedtime routine? I would prefer something that won’t make me too wound up to sleep.

Also, I find myself feeling guilty for having free time vs. people who have children << thank you everyone lately who has been implying that I have no life because I have no children >> I’ve decided instead of continuing to be bitter, I am going to turn it into something positive and be grateful for the time. And use the time in my day a little bit better and make room for some of these good habits. I also want to “schedule” a night each week where I do a guitar lesson on youtube or with myself. Thank you anonymous readers who don’t like, comment, etc. but keep reading. I love it & maybe you’ll warm up someday (or stop reading but having fun for now). Peace and love.



That time I was too big of a hot mess to blog

Apparently, every June I decide to have an annual blog post.

There are some funny things that I’ve decided that I have to try to capture for anyone who is still following this piece of work.. or blank blog.

Coming up soon, the story of how the “Where the Wild Things Are” monster thing ended up in our yard & why I will not judge anyone’s landscaping (as harshly)¬†ever again.

#wherethewildthingsare #beinghotmessdotcom