+ & –

by Lara on November 29, 2014

in + & -,life



  • I’ve been in a walking boot for almost 2 weeks.  Work has calmed down thankfully.  It’s amazing to be able to walk and drive.  I’m taking all my vitamins and trying to take it easy but seriously, who has time to slow down?  I go back on December 8 but who knows what they’ll say.  I could be in this damned thing for another month.
  • I put my little white tree up!

white christmas tree

  • Thanksgiving was a fast affair.  My dad and I aren’t very sentimental with one another so I cooked an easy holiday lunch, he came over and ate and was out in 30 minutes.  I’ve had leftovers 4 times.  (Also, my roof is leaking a tiny bit into my attic.  More dad investigation to come.)
  • I went shopping on Thanksgiving day at Old Navy.  Everything was 50% off!  I learned my lesson last year going late on Black Friday.  The whole store was picked over and I waited in line for well over an hour for a bunch of nothing.  This time I was in and out in 45 minutes and of course, got more than I intended to buy.  So many pretty necklaces there!


  • Do you wear vests?  I never have but hate feeling constricted by and lugging around jackets and coats so I always end up being poorly dressed and cold.  After seeing some fashion blogger looking really put together in one, I bought two at Old Navy and holy smokes they are game changers!  Freedom and warmth!  Who knew!

Quilted Tweed Vests  Old Navy

  • I’m all done with my x-mas shopping!  Dad, select coworkers and friends… done!  I really dialed it in this year… scarves, candles and lotions, etc.  My male bosses are getting bottles of whiskey and those giant Hickory Farms smoked sausages.  Total “man” gifts.  I wasn’t feeling very creative this year.
  • I’m finally having a housewarming/holiday happy hour for my immediate work team in a couple weeks.  One lady usually does it but she lives 45 minutes away (!!!) so, this makes sense.  I’ve already planned everything and bought everything I could get ahead of  time (namely booze) so, I feel like I have it under control.
  • I needed some sort of console/shelf/buffet piece of furniture against an empty wall next to my dining table and bar cart.  World Market was having a 25% off furniture sale so, I picked this up in store.  It was a flat-pack assembly piece and they loaded the box into my car.  Once I got home, I had no idea how the hell I was getting a 55 lb box into my house by myself, with a boot on.  Welp, I did it.  I walked it on its end and walked it up my front steps and got that sucker in the house and put it together!  It’s styled a bit differently now and I wish it were a little lighter but whatevs.

Verona shelf

  • I loooove period movies.  Last night I watched The Dutchess and all day I’ve binge watched a CW show on Netflix called Reign.  It has a young adult innocence to it but just trashy enough to keep me interested.  And the costumes and eye candy… swoon!
  • You know those one-in-a-million songs that make your heart soar?  Newest one for me is “Lionhearted” by a darling little DJ/Producer prodigy from NC, Porter Robinson.  It takes me back to my old raver days… I get the sighs every time I hear it.


  • Not complaining!  Life is brilliant!

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by Lara on November 17, 2014

in beauty

Today was the day from hell.  I crutched myself to my car this afternoon in pouring rain to get it warmed up before my dad came to go with me to the ortho specialist.  I wanted to try driving with my left foot in my neighborhood and see if it was possible.  Welp, my car wouldn’t start.  My ex had come over on Saturday to sell his motorcycle that he left in my backyard and moved my car for the guys to have room… and didn’t turn the key back all the way.  Drained the battery.  I rage screamed in my car.  Then the phone rang and the Dr.’s office was postponing my appointment by an hour because my Dr. had an emergency surgery.  Then I somehow managed to lose my house key in my car in the span of 5 minutes. So, when my dad did show up I was a shivering wet mess on my front stoop.  He had time to go buy and put in a new battery in the rain.  Then we make it to the Dr.’s office and waited an extra hour, where he, in his old school, socially unacceptable Serbian ways, proceeded to make inappropriate comments about everyone in the waiting room within earshot.  God bless him.

So I was finally seen by the most heartless jerk of a Dr. who basically told me I was on my own and to hop up on pain pills (of which I’ve taken NONE) to get through the pain of walking in the boot, which I could not walk in.  Devastating.

Miraculously, I managed to baby step without crutches all over my house an hour after finally getting home.  I cried tears of joy when I hobbled a bowl of ramen to my sofa from the kitchen without having to scoot on my ass.

Seriously, the liberation was indescribable.

I have no idea how my mom managed with being bedridden and 100% dependent on others for every single thing for so many years.

So… there’s hope.

Work is apparently falling apart without me, texting and calling in panics, and well… they just may have to deal one more day.  I’m still not sure of my safe driving abilities.  I may have to get rides or cab it.  I don’t want to overdo it either.  We’ll see.

Now… I want to talk about some fun stuff.  After working so much overtime I treated myself to two things I’ve been scared to pull the trigger on at Sephora and the box just arrived!

I bought OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim.


One bad thing about searching for Lip Tar swatches online is that they’re all inconsistent in a bad way, making most shades not worth the gamble.  Strumpet was on sale in a combo pack with matching nail polish – a deep red/plum color that  looked good in all swatches either way so, I got it.  It’s basically a highly pigmented lip gloss you apply with a brush.  I’ve always read that a little goes a long way so, I put on the teeniest dot and it wasn’t enough.  You don’t have to be so conservative.  It also bled a wee bit at my cupid’s bow so, I recommend liner and some blotting.  (I did not use their primer base.)  I really like it.  It has pretty decent staying power but is not a long-wear product.  It transfers onto drinking glasses like any normal lip product.  It also left a nice stain behind that I could amplify with gloss in the interim.

Would I buy it again in another color? Nope.  It provides nothing that a drugstore liquid lipstick can’t,  and it’s without a built-in applicator.  There is something special about applying lip product with a brush.   I used to when I was younger but gave up that high-maintenance noise a long time ago.  With all this extra time on my hands, it was nice to really do my makeup – like for real for real.  I need to get back into that habit because I think knowing I looked great really helped me make it through this crap day.

Next up – Hourglass Ambient Powder in Dim.  You guys.  I will never not use this stuff for as long as I live.

I did my usual moisturizer and foundation and then applied the powder to half of my face and went to the bathroom to see it in full light.  The difference!  The main selling point of this product is that it makes your skin glow without accentuating pores, looking pearly or covered in fine glitter.  It’s not a true highlighter but is an all-over face power and is supposed to blur imperfections, yadda yadda…  All I can say is you just look better.  Not in a “I just put some powder on my face” better.  It’s a better better.  I can only recommend the Dim shade.  Some are more shiny, more yellow, more pink, etc.  Run to your nearest Sephora and try out the samples and pull the trigger if you really need to treat yourself in a “I need some pricey make-up” kind of way.  (If it doesn’t work out, flip that shiz on eBay.)  I’m tempted to get the Mood shade next!

And watch this review by a MAN who I absolutely love!  He explains the different shades in a lovely way.

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by Lara on November 17, 2014

in life

After working a few 70+ hour weeks, the universe had a special treat in store for me this past Thursday night.  I broke my goddamn foot.

The particular case my team and I have been working on was supposed to go to trial in Federal Court today and after killing ourselves with trial prep, the Judge decided to continue the case indefinitely as he has too much to read regarding some make-it-or-break-it decisions.  My team was elated and immediately started drinking.  I only had two glasses of wine and a bunch of snacks.  Everyone else was pretty toasted except for me and two young female attorneys so, we went to another bar.  I went down some steps to use the restroom and landed wrong on my right foot.  It curled under and sounded like popping all your knuckles at once but didn’t really hurt at first.  I went back upstairs feeling fine, had 2 more beers over a couple hours and then we all walked back to our cars.  That’s when the limping started.  I got home, curled up in bed and in the middle of the night I needed to pee.  As soon as I put weight on my foot, an excruciating pain shot through my foot and after I managed to hop to the bathroom and pee, I started getting clammy and pale and laid down on my bathroom floor and passed out cold for an hour.  Friday morning my dad took me to Patient First and a couple hours of waiting and 3 x-rays later, they told me I had a “dancer’s fracture” – a hairline fracture of the 5th metatarsal – the bone connecting your pinky toe to your ankle.  It’s aligned but I hear this type of fracture takes an especially long time to heal.

They sent me home with a painful temporary cast that was put on by an idiot and some crutches.  I took the temp cast off and have kept my foot wrapped snug with a bandage.  It doesn’t even really hurt unless I bump it into something.

Needless to say, I’m devastated.  Crutches are the worst.  I’ve had to scoot across my floor on my ass just to get a cup of coffee to my sofa in the morning.  My underarms are sore and I’m terrified I’m going to land wrong and break my other foot!  I’m convinced I’m going to eat shit on these crutches soon enough.  My left leg gets to shaking from fatigue so I’ve managed to leave chairs in strategic spots around the house.  You can’t carry a damn thing with crutches either so, I keep a plastic shopping bag stuffed in the back of my pants and my cell phone in my bra in case I need to take something from one room to another.

I’ve already started to go stir crazy being stuck in my house all weekend, too depressed to even make the most of the situation and cook or paint or read or write.  I did shove the laundry basket across the house and do two loads of laundry, empty the litter box and give my cat a ton of crunchies.

My work situation scares me the most.  I wore a pedometer about a year ago when everyone was on a different, more consolidated floor, and clocked 2 miles on a slow day!  I can’t even imagine getting from the parking deck to my office and getting around in general on crutches for a month or more.  So, I had a major crying fit yesterday.

I go to an orthopedic doctor at 1pm today and find out if I can get a walking boot.  I honestly don’t care if I have to be in the damn thing for months… I just need to be able to walk and drive.  If I can’t weight-bear for a while, I may get one of those fancy knee scooters.  Seriously.

So… has anyone else had a similar experience with this type of fracture?  Any advice?  I’m losing my mind over here.

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by Lara on October 14, 2014

in life

Years ago when I was young and wild, I took that Myers-Briggs personality test and was told I was an ENTJ – extroversion/intuition/thinking/judgment.  Boy was I wild.  I jumped head first into everything, regrets lasted all of one night of crying and I was bouncing back harder than ever.  I was feral.

Taking the test again over the years, the E and the N have morphed to Introversion and sometimes Sensing.

Thinking and Judging never changes.  I’m always in my own rational head and always wanting things to be a little bit better.

I guess I have my parents to thank for the neuroticism of judging.  My mother was as OCD as they came without it interfering with being a functioning human and no matter what I did, no matter how excellent or photorealistic of a drawing I did, my father would point out a flaw.  It was his way of encouraging me to always strive to be better.

I’m the woman who will tell you that there’s something in your teeth, that will pick shed hairs off the back of your cardigan, that will grab the scissors and trim the string hanging from your dress.  It’s not to be critical, but to help you be your best.  I want you to keep your word, to give me your all, to be your best – because I’m busting my ass in life, overly generous and trying to anticipate your needs.

So after patiently and not so patiently wasting 5 years of my life in a relationship where I was always striving for very basic things to be better – things that are necessary in a healthy relationship – at 35 I’m finding myself absolutely intolerant of human flaws in my love life.  I can’t stand the thought of throwing away another 5 years on someone who isn’t meeting up to what I want.

Is what I want unreasonable?  Am I not a good partner?  What’s the difference between settling and compromise?  Am I the kid on the playground who refuses to share?  But I give and give and give!  Do I get blinded in the beginning stages of a relationship and not see the warning signs that are now so glaringly obvious?  Do I chronically attract man-children?  How do I even begin to attract the right men?  I have no fucking idea.  Because of this, I’ve come to a conclusion.

I think I need to be alone.

He’s moving out in a week or two and the sense of relief is so palpable I’m giggling.  I caught this one in the early stages of decay and I can honestly say the break-up will throw us into life-tests we both desperately need.

I need to be alone for a good long while.

I don’t think I’m humanly capable of living with someone ever again.  I think I’m getting too set in my ways.  Or not.

Alone sounds so good right now.



He’s taking his furniture and I will soon have a lot of gaps to fill… lots of decorating and enjoying my new house on my terms.  This excites the shit out of me.

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+ & –

by Lara on September 14, 2014

in life



  • It’s been a while since a + & - post!  So what’s new?!  I deleted my facebook account a week or so ago and there are some definite pluses and minuses to that.  The most important benefit is not having that time suck in my life anymore. It’s a pleasant relief.  No matter how much I tried to tailor my feed, I wasn’t seeing the things I wanted and was getting pulled into unpleasant childish comments and arguments and those stupid quizzes and buzzfeed posts.  It was like watching a train wreck.  The sad part about no more FB is that I have absolutely NO idea what the hell is going on anymore.  Part of this is my fault.  There are plenty of online resources to see what food festivals and whatnot are happening around town.  I need to use them.  I was lucky enough to hear from a friend that a mutual friend had been in a horrible accident.  So… not knowing the major personal events of my friends is a bummer.  I’m barely online as it is though – finally finished going through over a month of backed up posts in my Feedly this weekend – so I probably wouldn’t  be too up-to-date on friend happenings anyhow, so I’m now begging friends to keep me posted on the important stuff.  I want connections to be real.
  • I’m becoming a hermit, completely happy to pad around the house, cook on my expanse of countertops and slowly organize those little piles of crap lingering in closets.  My current view:

my happy place

  • See that pumpkin on my dining table?! I’m pretty excited about Fall.  I do most of my winter shopping throughout Spring and Summer – finding bizarre clearance items like sweaters and jackets at 90% off so I have a nice stash of tags-still-on cold weather wear to dive into.  Sweater dresses have been speaking to me and I’ll probably take the plunge and grab a cream and/or grey one like this:

cable knit dress

  • I finally got some color added to my back tattoo on Thursday and took both Thurs/Fri off.  It’s been a slow, lazy four-day weekend and I feel recharged and ready to kick some ass at work, after being seriously burnt out.


  • Work has been killing me lately.  Actually, this 3rd year at my firm has been full of challenges and frustration.  Just when I felt fully confident in my position, we moved to another floor which was a horrible process, and we got a huge case that’s tearing everyone on my team apart.  I am the sole admin support for the 6 attorneys working on the case and I’ve been completely overwhelmed, made some small mistakes, been yelled  at mercilessly and have been on a roller coaster of emotions, wondering if I should start looking for another job.
  • I’m having a hair crisis.  Growing out long and all one length (when I promised I would never have long hair again) is driving me mad.  I almost cut blunt bangs again this morning, just to have some personality and edge.  After looking at some old pictures of my bangs separating and being unruly… and generally reminding myself of the hassle, I put down the scissors.  Pray for me.
  • Is it bad of me that I don’t want to have a house warming party?  My coworkers, my father and my friends are all asking when the party is going to be.  First off – these are too many different worlds colliding.  My dad wants to invite HIS friends to show off that his daughter is making out okay in life.  My lawfirm coworkers and punky friends will most likely not get along.  My dad suggested an “open house” which would be less pressure.  I suppose I could prepare a bunch of food and sit around all day while people come in and out and random times.  Sounds like a blast!


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