Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Frugality Diva-Style

Most women don’t realize that you can dress like a fabulous diva without spending much money. I am on a tight budget, but always manage to look Diva-riffic. Trust me. Even when I dress the family all matchy matchy for newspaper photographers.

The holiday party season is all but over, ladies, and my mind is wandering to new outfits for the new year. This year is all about grays. Dark gray, light gray, mid gray, bright gray, and always paired with a candy color.

So you need a new pair of jeans, and you are dreading the dressing room mirror? First of all, always remember to wear the size that fits; if that means going up a size, do it. Sacrifice your pride in your size tag, and you will look all the better for it. In fact, start with the larger size; if it fits, you won’t have to ask for the next size up. If it is too large, you get to ask for the next size down. And, for God’s sake, leave the skinny jeans on the shelf, channel your inner Katie Holmes, and grab the wide legs. SOOOO cute, sooo flattering, and MUCH more comfortable. Trouser cut are awesome, just avoid the pleats.

Things you can still use from last year: anything trapeze cut; soft sweaters and brown pants; babydoll dresses and empire-waisted tops. We are moving into a phase of more layers, but with less extravagant detail on each layer (think large solid bags instead of logo-ed, glitter-ed, buckle-ed and bling-ed large bags), and I truly believe we are only seeing the beginning of the comeback of the chunky heel. I myself am hoping for variation of cheapo Uggs for Christmas, so I will be wearing those all winter/spring.

And the most important rules of being a Frugal Diva…only buy things you love, make sure they go with more than one thing, and ALWAYS have fun with your clothes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I think I just became Charlotte York.

I finally sent in my wedding announcement today. I’ll post it next week when it is printed, but suffice it to say I tried to infuse as much rebeccy-jasonness into it as possible. Sarcasm and smart-alec comments, in other words.

An hour after I sent it in, I got an email from the Features Editor. Apparently, they pick an announcement to do a feature story on every week, and this week, they pick us.


Good gracious, I hope I am as fascinating on paper as I am on email.



My excitement and nervousness is abundant. I think my wedding story is fascinating, and I hope everyone else does as well.

Jason is home on seasonal leave, playing house husband. He and Violet have spent the entire day cleaning in preparation, and will tomorrow as well. I will be laying out all of our clothes tonight so as not to clash on the FRONT PAGE OF THE LIFE SECTION.

*faints with feverish excitement.*

Friday, December 14, 2007


There is something about a sunny Alaskan winter day.

The sun slowly snakes up between 10 and 11 am, giving me a full view from my office window of purples and oranges against an ice blue sky. It hits the clouds so the edges glow as if electric currents run through them.

The sun glows white up here. Everything is clear and crisp. When you see the sun Outside (as in not Alaska) for the first time after months here, you can see it has a distinctly yellow glow. Alaskan sun burns clean.

It tricks you into thinking it is warm outside; then you step out and the first blow of bracing cold takes your breath away. When you can breathe in again, the cold travels all the way to your stomach. However, instead of horrible, it feels wonderful: like you are breathing your first breath, ever.

Life is covered in freeze-dried perfection. The trees are preternaturally still, all slender branches and waxy winter berries. The roads are packed down from millions of studs from thousands of tires. Telephone poles and street lights glisten with a thin layer of frost. It is preserved in a Currier and Ives picture print.

Night ascends quickly on Anchorage. Light turns to dusk in the blink of an eye, dusk to dark in another blink. The last bits of orange and blue hang on as long as they possibly can, before they are pushed out by the deep purple that will remain throughout the Alaskan night.

These are the days that make Alaska legendary.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Being Jolly

I adore Christmas.

As a child, the tree would go up the day after Thanksgiving. Dad would put the wire branches into the plastic slots of the tree they had had since before I was born, then he and mom would wind colored lights and silver garland around each layer. My parents Christmas records, Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, would take turns with the Chipmunks record I wish I still owned. We would all be drinking Boiled Custard from Holiday Stemware that was purchased from Fast Food Joints in years before.

Ma would sit on the couch and hand out ornaments, while we each clamored for our favorites: the soft ones shaped like Cinderella’s mice; the Styrofoam and sequin balls made by my baba. She would guide us to the spots least populated, and make sure each of the four of us had a favorite in the front.

When all the baubles were hung, Ma would hand out the silver tinsel with the instruction to Watch for Clumping. I pulled the tinsel across the branches and left only a few strings, while my brother favored the toss-at-the-tree method.

The angel was placed on top of the tree by a different kid each year. I remember when I was 16, my father lifted me up to place on the angel for my last Christmas before heading off to college. The Angel itself is a memory: for the first 15 or so years of my life, it was a porcelain-headed beauty about the size of my palm. She wore a filmy white dress and was attached to a plastic star. My Aunt Carrie made us a new one, much taller and more elegant; I still kind of miss the old one, though.

After the angel was placed, we plugged in the lights, and turned off the overheads. The four of us sat on the couch and stared at the tree while my father explained the symbolism behind the tree: the Angel who told the good news; the Candy Canes representing Jesus the Shepherd; the lights for the Star of Bethlehem. It still makes me feel fuzzy inside.

It has been 4 years since I have decorated a tree with my family. The trees in my home are beautiful and coordinated; they light up the house and cause my guests to exclaim. However, they don’t have that soul of a tree decorated by children. Violet is still too young, and though she tried to help this year, she mainly just tore the tops of the bulbs, then demanded to be put to bed. She does love to stare at it, though. I cannot wait for her to clamor for ornaments and throw tinsel at the tree.

Christmases will just keep getting better and better.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Geesh, I am such a drama queen.

I have been out of my blogging loop for a bit. I have been reading faithfully, ya'll, and thinking about commenting or, heck, even posting at my own site. But I have bit a bit too down at the mouth.

I don't talk about my job. It is one of the blogging rules: you don't talk about your job cause you could get fired if the wrong people read. I won't break that rule now except to say I am...unsatisfied. I am taking measures. When I see how those measures work out, I will let you know.

The thing is this: I am smart. Honors student. Creative. Theatre major. Funny. Trust me on this one. And I care about people. And none of those muscles are being flexed.

Instead, I feel like an imbecile. Like a caricature of a secretary. It causes me to doubt my own particular talents, though I know they are true.

I know most people are unsatisfied in their work, and yet are able to muscle through it. I know I am not this type of person. I need to feel I am accomplishing something. That I am an integral part of the team.

So please forgive me for the morose tidings. Please forgive me for not being here. I put so much effort into Happy Family Time in order to combat everything else that I never seem to have the energy for glibness.

Keep me in your thoughts, and know I am thinking about you all. I am here.