California Dreaming

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I’m at a stage in my life right now, where I feel compelled to answer whenever opportunity comes knocking. Whether it’s a job offer, an invitation for a night out, or a chance to travel, I try my best to always respond with “YES! Sign me up.” Sometimes it works out for me, other times, not so much.

Recently, I was offered a plane ticket to San Francisco, California which I accepted. What could be better than escaping Texas temporarily for a Spring Break trip? The answer is NOTHING, especially since the main element of adventure I was most excited for was meeting a guy I started talking to through Okcupid… Don’t judge me.

When I began boarding the plane, it was impossible to stop my mind from racing. What was going to happen once I finally arrived? Was he going to look the same in person, would he show me his city, could I get murdered and tossed into the ocean? There were just so many possibilities!

I am happy to report I’m still alive, and he wasn’t catfishing me. It was relaxing and refreshing to spend time with someone that didn’t expect anything from me, and just let me be myself. Seeing the Full House house and eating a brownie sundae at Ghirardelli Square were definitely fun things I won’t soon forget.

 

The highlight of my two days in SF though was simply being somewhere completely different and experiencing that life has a lot to offer. When you’re seemingly trapped in a small town, spending all of your time doing school assignments and working a retail job, it’s all too easy to forget there’s a whole world out there waiting to be conquered.

I’m grateful to him for allowing me the opportunity, and I’m proud of myself for going for it despite my fears. To me, it was more than just a vacation or a rendezvous. It was a lesson to live life to the fullest, even though it’s scary sometimes. Amazing things can happen for you if you let them. I am keeping my heart and mind open, because adventure awaits!

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Self Discovery

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It’s crazy that after years of knowing someone and living with them, there can still be a ton of things that you’re completely in the dark about. What’s even crazier is that there are probably things you don’t know about yourself either. The last six months have been a huge period of discovery for me.

The turning point was when I had to deal with the loss of my sweet fur baby, Max. Once he was gone, it became extremely obvious that I relied on him, and needed him a lot more than he needed me. Any time I was upset or anxious, he was always there to comfort me. Without him, I had to overcome sadness and anxiety all on my own. That’s how I found my inner strength. I had it in me all along, and now I know how to utilize it.

After I found my long lost inner strength, everything else seemed to fall into place. A few years ago, I was enrolled in college but it did not go well to say the least. I never gave it another shot because I had a negative influence constantly telling me I wasn’t smart enough or capable. With the voice of negativity permanently muted, I decided to bite the bullet and register for a few basic online classes. In the back of my mind I was thinking, “What if he was right? What if I can’t do this and I fail?” Then I scored 100% on my first assignment. All doubts disappeared, because apparently I’m a lot more capable and smart than I thought.

When my newfound capability surfaced, all the doors that I previously thought were closed, suddenly swung wide open! Behind door #1 was a shiny new car I felt comfortable driving without a constant fear of wrecking. I am able to make the car payment with my second amazing opportunity – a job as a stylist at Michael Kors. Fashion and sales have always been my passion, so now I feel closer to my dreams that originally appeared to be unachievable.

Lastly, and most importantly, I learned that I am in control of my own life. As an 18 year old newly married girl, living across the country away from everyone I knew, with no transportation or income, I inadvertently handed over the reigns to someone else who did a terrible job of steering. It didn’t bother me at first, because I was too young to fully see what was happening. Before I knew it, Anorexia took hold of me hard. My desire to have an ounce of control threw me into the depths of a life threatening disorder. If I decided to eat, or not, it was my choice. Disturbingly, I was addicted to the feeling of hunger. If I chose not to act on it, it seemed like I was making a huge accomplishment. It was almost a sick kind of game to see how much more weight I could lose. The way Anorexia works though is that it’s impossible to win the game. If you gain a pound, don’t lose enough weight within your deadline, or find fat anywhere on your body, you have lost. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into not playing; it’s my choice.

For the first time in a long time, I can truthfully say that I’m proud of myself. I’m still a work in progress, but isn’t everyone?

Goin’ Through The Big D And Don’t Mean Dallas Pt 2

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When two people are truly in love, marriage is the most beautiful thing this world has to offer. I was lucky enough to experience it for a brief moment. Over time, there was a gradual shift until slowly everything started to turn horribly ugly. Now that the love is gone, I’m left in the middle of a hideous mess. This is divorce.

Nothing in my life has ever been conventional or simple. My marriage was no exception. I didn’t get to have the typical fairytale wedding that every girl dreams of. I got married in a plain white dress off the clearance rack while I rocked wet, frizzy hair. The whole experience was a complete disaster. We got lost on the way to the court house, it was pouring down rain, and we only had a few witnesses whom I barely knew. Afterwards, we had a less than fancy dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and went on a thrilling shopping trip to Walmart. We had a super romantic night playing Candy Land and watching Step Brothers on the hotel TV. This pretty much set the tone for the entire relationship. The day my husband and I separated, we both walked away with a mugshot. We could never do anything the normal way.

I don’t blame him or myself for any of the events that unfolded that day. Our relationship was far from perfect and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see that the end was rapidly approaching. It all happened like an earthquake. We could feel it rumbling underneath our feet until our foundation split in two, and we were left standing on opposite sides.

In the days that followed, I was practically comatose. I couldn’t eat or sleep and I didn’t shower or even change my clothes for longer than I care to admit. Lucas was living in the barracks and I was left alone in the large empty house haunted by our memories. I had one close friend in North Carolina that I met on the dance floor at a local bar and she was my first and only call. Sarah came right over, brought me an energy drink, picked me up off the floor that I had been glued to, and compiled a very detailed To-Do list. I was reluctant to get anything done at first because I felt traumatized, but she didn’t put up with my shit for five seconds. Sarah was like a petite, Christian music listening slave driver. I will forever be grateful to her for crashing my pity party.

Once I became a functioning human being again, I came up with the brilliant idea to have a 14 hour garage sale on a Sunday. I sat in my lawn chair in the garage equipped with my two page long check list of things to sell, just hoping for the best. Meanwhile, Sarah packed everything in the entire house. The news of my upcoming move spread like wildfire, and people started pouring in to my sale. Every single girl I had ever sold to in the past, came by to show support. Some of them bought stuff, but mostly they just donated to my moving fund without expecting anything in return. Emotion struck me like lightening with every single hug I received, tear that was shed, and goodbye that was uttered.

The road back to Texas stretched endlessly, and was lined with more pine trees than I ever wanted to see. I spent three terribly long days in a bumpy moving truck with a grouchy old man (my dad), and a hyper puppy. My driver refused to turn on the radio, so we rode in deafening silence and I was left to sit there and contemplate recent events. Every mile that we drove weighed down on me until I felt like I was being crushed by every negative thing I’d ever experienced. Frantically, I made several phone calls to my therapist but was never able to reach him. My survival instincts started to kick in sometime around day two, but to this day I’m still not really sure how I managed to get through the trip from hell.

Now, Maximus and I are safe and sound at my parents’ house. The transition hasn’t been easy to say the least. We are resilient though, because we have to be. Through all of this, I’ve learned that there are two different types of people in this world… People that just let things happen TO them, and people who MAKE things happen. Looking forward, I’m choosing to be the latter.

Goin’ Through The Big D And Don’t Mean Dallas Pt 1

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My marriage is officially over. My life has been turned upside down. I thought I would have a lifetime with the man I love, but it turned out that two years was enough for him. I completely gave myself over to him, body and soul. I gave him everything I had. Now I am empty, I have nothing.

Being alone has made me realize that I don’t even know myself anymore. I got so caught up in being “Lucas’s Wife” that Dana is totally lost. Where do I go from here? How am I ever going to get past this?

I feel like I’m just a shell of who I once was. Everyone expects me to just bounce back and be the same outgoing girl I was when I left Texas. I can’t be that person anymore. I’m too broken. My life used to be full of crazy adventures, but those are all just distant memories.

Currently, I’m seeing the world through blurry tear filled eyes. It’s terrifying. I have to get a job, a car, new friends… I have to get a life. Hopefully the world won’t eat me alive, because now I’m braving it all on my own.

OOTD: Kimono W/ Distressed High Waist Shorts

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Kimonos are a must have for summer. The light weight material and short sleeves make them perfect for layering in warm weather. If you have a simple little dress or a plain tank, just throw on a kimono and you’re good to go! It’s the easiest way to dress up any outfit.

I paired this kimono with a basic white tank top and super distressed high waist shorts (Another must have!). All three items were on clearance at Tilly’s. Now is the perfect time to buy summer clothes because stores are getting ready for fall and back to school season.

Any time I see a kimono on clearance, I buy it. I don’t care how many I have, it will never be enough. I may have what some people (my husband) call “a shopping addiction”, but I’m not concerned. The more clothes I have, the happier I am. What’s wrong with that? If your closet isn’t caving in, then there is always room for more clothes!

Turn Your Closet Into Cash

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For almost a year, I have been selling used clothes right out of my house. It’s an incredibly easy way to make money if you do it right. Used clothes have paid for some of my furniture, my entire wardrobe, and even our groceries. I’m basically running a business at this point!

I sell all of my clothes through Facebook yard sale pages. There are a lot of other options though if you don’t mind shipping. Personally, I prefer people come to me. Most of the time, the clothes I sell weren’t originally mine. I spend every Saturday morning going to garage sales and gathering inventory. Another way I acquire stuff to sell is by purchasing clothing lots of 100+ items at a time usually for around $20. People often just want to get rid of stuff quickly and I’m happy to take it off their hands for them. It is more of a risk that way though, because you never really know what you’re going to get. The gamble always excites me and while I’m sorting through it I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

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My assistant Maximus helping me sort through a clothing lot (:

Before I list anything, I always do a little research on the pages first. I look for what styles, sizes, and brands people are interested in at the moment. That helps determine how I’m going to price my items. Supply & Demand! Another factor that goes into the pricing process is the condition of the clothes. Something that appears to have been worn a lot is obviously going to have to be marked pretty low. With that being said, I never sell anything with rips, holes, stains, missing a button, etc.. If something isn’t up to my standards to sell, I donate it. My reputation as a seller is important to me, so I try to only have things that are high quality.

Once I have everything sorted and I’ve decided on prices, I begin the next step. I take pictures of everything I’m going to sell. This is the most important part because presentation is everything. If your pictures are blurry and the lighting is dark or your clothes are wrinkled, buyers are going to skip right over you. One thing I’ve noticed is if you model the clothes so people can see what a shirt looks like on or how to style it, you’re going to get a lot more interest. People also like to see an outfit put together so they can purchase it all at once. Not everyone is a fashionista and they appreciate you showing them what goes together.

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After all the pictures have been taken, it’s time to list everything! It is important to always include a description, but just keep it simple and informative. All the buyer needs to know is the size and price, and brand if it’s name brand. How many times you’ve worn it or the original price are irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that it’s used regardless. All you have to do once your clothes are listed is sit back and wait for someone to comment. I call this “getting a nibble”.

Potential buyers will often ask questions like “Could this fit the next size up?” or “Will you take less or make a bundle deal for me?” If this bothers you, then selling clothes online is not the right business for you because the questions WILL come. When responding to these questions, it’s important to always be professional. Use proper spelling and grammar, fully and clearly answer whatever they’re asking, and be polite. If you’re shopping at a store and the sales associate isn’t helpful or responds rudely, you’re less likely to buy something. The same thing goes for selling things online. You are the store manager, and everyone that comments is your customer. The key to success is having repeat customers!

Another thing you need to take into account when selling, is how you’re going to store your items until they are sold. If you just wad everything up, throw it in a trash bag then put it in the back of your closet, your customer isn’t going to be very happy when they receive their item and it’s wrinkled and not presentable. I keep all of my inventory on a rolling clothes rack so that it’s organized and I have easy access to it.

11709628_1116342631712752_3437724125804152918_n   In the past year, according to my records, I’ve made close to $2,000 just from selling used clothes. All I really had to do was take some pictures and answer a few questions. There really isn’t much to it!

Take some time to sort through your closet. Do you have some stuff that doesn’t quite fit, or that you’re just tired of? Sell it! With the money you make, you can buy yourself something new. You’ll be happy with your new outfit, and someone else will be happy that they were able to get a great deal. Everyone wins, and your wallet will thank you!

Maximus Found his “Fur”ever Home

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IMG_3470   Have you ever felt like there is an emptiness inside your heart? A hole that you absolutely must fill? That’s exactly the way I felt until I adopted my dog, Maximus.

I had always wanted a dog. I yearned for sweet cuddles and to not feel so alone all the time. My husband’s job requires him to be away from home a lot, and being all by myself for weeks at a time was driving me crazy! Then I spotted an adorable puppy with big brown sad eyes on a Facebook yard sale page, and that’s when everything changed.

The ad said he was a Yorkie/Chihuahua mix, 6 months old, and free to a good home. Apparently the girl getting rid of him didn’t have enough space for both of her dogs in her apartment. Her loss! I quickly jumped on the ad and made arrangements to meet the puppy she called Leo.

As soon as I saw him in person, it was love at first sight. He jumped in my arms and licked me all over until I was covered in puppy drool. He was perfect, and everything I had ever dreamed of. Why would someone just hand over this precious baby to a complete stranger? I will never understand. My husband and I asked the girl if she was sure she wanted to give him away, and she just handed us the leash like it was nothing. We scooped him up, got in the truck, and left before she had time to change her mind.

IMG_0459   The day after I brought Maxie home, he was playing in the backyard and then randomly started limping. I freaked out, to say the least. I only had my puppy for a day, and I already broke him?! I immediately made a tear filled phone call to the vet, and got him the next available appointment.

During his appointment, the vet had a few interesting things to say. When he came in the room and saw Max, he just started laughing! He said” Well, that’s the biggest yorkie I’ve ever seen…” Obviously I was confused, I know next to nothing about dog breeds. I was informed he is an Australian Terrier and was going to get a lot larger than I had been led to believe. My dreams of having a tiny lap dog were crushed, but all I really cared about was if my baby was going to be okay. Maximus had a sprained knee because his muscles were underdeveloped. The vet told me it was caused by living in a cage. My heart broke for him as I thought about what his life must have been like before we rescued him and took him into our home and our hearts.

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Now, there isn’t a dog alive that’s more loved than Maximus. I like to call him my fur twin because we are so much alike, right down to our facial expressions. His favorite places in the house to be are in the laundry room with me, or in my closet. He is strangely obsessed with clothes, which I think is the cutest thing ever. We have a lot of movie nights together, but since he is extremely spoiled he always has to pick the DVD. He will prance right up to the shelf and bring me whatever he wants to watch. I discovered that his favorite movie is The Lucky One, and he will cuddle all the way through it while watching attentively.

IMG_0215  No matter what I’m doing, Maximus is right there doing it with me. Even though he can be quite the rascal, that’s one of the things I love about him because he has such a huge personality. He is MY rascal, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Friday Favorite: Jeff Buckley on vinyl

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For Valentine’s Day, my amazing husband bought me the record player I had been dying for from Urban Outfitters. There is seriously no better way to listen to music than on vinyl. I’ve slowly been building my record collection, but Jeff Buckley’s album Grace will always be my favorite.

If you’ve never listened to Jeff Buckley before, what have you been doing with your life? No song will ever be greater than his version of Hallelujah. Especially on vinyl! Nothing compares to the the gritty sound, it’s a whole different listening experience entirely.

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Grace came out in 1994, and sadly it was the only album he had a chance to record. Jeff tragically drowned in a river three years after his album debuted, but his music lives on. My theory is that he was just too perfect to live. If you’ve seen his picture, then you’ll know what I’m talking about… I guess it’s not possible for someone with so much talent to look that good, the world just couldn’t handle it.

Jeff Buckley’s voice is haunting and beautiful. No matter what I’m doing, or what kind of mood I’m in, his music is always the perfect soundtrack. The first time I heard “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” coming through the speakers on my record player, it was like proof that heaven does exist. I still get that same feeling every time I’m listening to him. That’s why his album is at the top of my favorites list this week, and every week.

OOTD: Diamond Print Romper w/ Steve Madden Wedges

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If you want to appear as if you have your life together while putting in absolutely no effort, then I suggest you buy a romper.. or four. You can’t have too much of a good thing! I love rompers because you can look sophisticated and fun at the same time. The only draw back is that you basically have to get naked to use the restroom, but it’s absolutely worth it.

I am the Clearance Rack Queen, and I got an additional 30% off this Romper from Tilly’s. Score!! Everything about this outfit is flattering. I’m all about trying to make my legs look longer, and the flowy short style definitely helps me achieve that. I’m going to let you in on a little secret… I have no butt. At all. You wouldn’t know that by looking at me in this outfit though! Rompers are like an optical illusion, especially from the back. If that’s not reason enough to own one, then I don’t know what is.

What’s a good outfit without a little lip color? Today’s lip product is NYX Matte Lip Cream in the shade Copenhagen. This lip cream lasts for HOURS. It’s super easy to apply and it’s only $6. If I had to rate it, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars. I’m very picky about my make up too, so that’s saying a lot.IMG_1405

“Thin”spiration

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anorexia-bulimia-treatments3-14-15-   One of the many things I love about blogging is being able to interact with people through comments. On several of my outfit of the day posts, I received comments from girls telling me that I was their “thinspiration”. I must admit, I had no idea what that meant. Of course I googled it, because I was too curious not to. The search results were surprising and slightly disturbing.

The Eating Disorder Glossary defines thinspiration as, “Any form of media, print, pictures, videos, etc. that are utilized in an unhealthy manner to promote continued weight loss.” Please listen to me as I’m telling you, I do NOT want to be your thinspiration. I am anorexic.

I was diagnosed with Anorexia in January this year during a week long hospital stay. I can honestly tell you that there is nothing glamorous about crying on the bathroom floor after eating, while concerned nurses look on. There is nothing inspiring about being unhealthy and fighting a war against food everyday.

Anorexia is like having a bitchy roommate that wants to follow you everywhere. You walk downstairs to the kitchen, and Anorexia is there standing in front of the pantry saying, “Do you really need to eat a sandwich right now? You do know it’s bikini season..” You want to go to the mall to get a new outfit, and Anorexia follows you into the dressing room. “I can’t even believe you’re trying on those shorts, it’s like you want the whole world to see your thunder thighs!” Does Anorexia sound like something that you want in your life?

When I started this blog, I had no intention of talking about my disorder. Now I feel like it’s important to address the issue. My posts about fashion are just that. The outfit posts are about showcasing the clothes, not my body. I realize that when you put something on the internet for everyone to see, you’re opening yourself up for all kinds of criticism and opinions. I’m used to people telling me that I’m too skinny and I need to put some meat on my bones. What I’m not accustomed to is people seeing my obvious malnourishment and saying, “Hey! I want to look just like that!

If you’re considering skipping a meal every once in a while, don’t. If you’re exercising to the extreme and putting strain on your body just to fit in an old dress, stop it. Buy a new dress. Cut calories if you must, but don’t cut out meals. Exercise to stay healthy, don’t obsess over it. Most importantly, don’t look to anyone else for inspiration on how your body should look. Exactly who you are is good enough. Try to focus on loving yourself instead of the scale. That’s what I’ll be working on.