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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 March 16, 2014

in + & -

+&-This whole post is a roller coaster

  • It’s starting to look like my dad won’t be building my house.  I’m actually not that upset about this.  First off, we won’t know 100% for another week or so.  The surveyor was told by the city that his rough plan looked great and to submit the finalized version.  Then the city rejected it for the 3rd time last week, asking for some more drainage calculations (was told to just take a wild guess by a city official.)  So, the surveyor did what he was supposed to do and submitted it again and we’ll find out soon if it’s good enough to get the seal of approval to break ground.  My father and I are so completely sick of the whole thing and agreed that if they don’t accept this last plan, we give up and he’s just going to sell the lot and be done with it… and I will start looking for a house again.  I mean, seriously, this has been going on for months.  There are a few reasons I’m not totally bummed. 1) the location wasn’t 100% doing it for me but was tolerable 2) my dad likes to start things and not finish them and doesn’t like to explain things when I ask questions so, I’ve had some anxiety 3) I still wasn’t 100% sure how everything was going to be financed since it wouldn’t be a conventional mortgage and there were all sorts of conflicts with the 1st bank we talked to from this being done by family for family 4) my dad bought this lot before I even started thinking about buying a house, it’s not my problem.
  • I’ve already started looking at houses again.  I’ve eliminated a few more neighborhoods and added some, driving around after work and this weekend, checking things out.  My dad wants me to get something super cheap that needs a lot of work and frankly, I don’t want that hassle and further expense (some things are within reason).  I’m buying what I want.
  • If my house isn’t built by my dad, I’m out a bit of money. I still have to pay the surveyor.  My dad is going to raise hell and try to get a refund for the application from the city (doubtful) and get the sets of plans back.  The plans cost a fortune but; I may be able to sell them on eBay.  I can return my house numbers to Lowes and I’ll keep the 3 sets of faucets I bought to possibly replace in the house I do get (or sell later).   Everything else I bought was just decorative stuff that I’ll still need/use.
  • I did my taxes and had to pay $100 (I have less taken out every pay check) but I get evaluated in a month and will definitely get a raise.
  • My firm is moving to completely renovated 20th and 21st floors this Summer. It’s been a whirlwind of scanning old crap into the system and shredding and consolidating. Everyone was promised their own office and then I found out all the assistants may just get glorified fancy cubes.


  • Living alone has really satisfied my hermit tendencies. I’ve turned into a day person.  I’ve only had 2 drinks in 2 weeks.  I have barely seen anyone outside of work and my dad the past few weeks.  I’m not complaining.  I’m saving a ton of money and I really don’t like many people. Ha!
  • I started that new painting with gusto and then stopped.  It’s been staring at me in my living room for over a month now and has become my personal shame.
  • One of those interesting people I went on a date with but felt nothing for turned into a sub-tweeting, passive aggressive facebooking, guilt-tripping fool because I don’t want to see him again.  Just because I don’t feel a connection with you doesn’t mean I’m a terrible person.  Also, desperation in a man is a HUGE turnoff.
  • Movies on demand at night are my thing right now.  Last night I watched Singles again for the first time in over 10 years.  Still relevant.  Still amazing.
  • It’s Sunday night and True Detective isn’t coming on.  How amazing was that show? Rust Cohle is pretty much my dream man.

Rust Cohle

  • I wore nothing but black/white/grey/touch of red or yellow for 2 weeks for the hell of it and felt really comfortable and put together.  I’m completely obsessed with this crepe blouse I got at Target and would wear it every day if I could.


  • I’m growing my hair out again, all one length. It’s to my chin now and about to enter the shitty stage. Not looking forward to it.
  • Why is everyone losing their mind over the new “Cosmos”? Did we not all grow up with NOVA on PBS? This is for kids!


+ & –

by Lara on February 8, 2014

in + & -



  • There’s not a damn thing I have to do this weekend!
  • I’m broke AND happy!  It’s fabulous!
  • Y’all know I’m a big fan of the Lorac Pro Palette.  Well, I was almost out of my fave color “Pewter” (a shimmery taupe) and I was starting to freak out a little (because I’m broke and not paying $50 for only one shade I need).  I searched to see if they made a single pan of it.  Of course not.  BUT! Apparently this is also everyone’s fave color so for the last Black Friday, they did a limited edition single pan set w/ an eyeliner at Sephora.  I managed to score one for cheap on eBay!  It truly is the perfect lid color.

Lorac Pewter set

  • In an effort to save money and eat healthier, I’ve been bringing my lunch to work 4 out of 5 days a week.  I get a bag of spring mix and a bag of shredded carrots lasts forever.  Sunday is my prep day and I get everything divided up in little snack bags and plastic containers.  I switch between a pack of chicken tenders (seasoned and seared, 2 per salad) and the 3-pack of tri-tip steaks from Trader Joes for less than $10. So there’s chicken Caesar salads one week and steak and blue cheese the next. I also pack some type of fruit for a snack.  Everyone at my office brings these stupid lunch bags so, I hopped on the bandwagon and got one at TJ Maxx – just like this one by Nicole Miller, only in leopard.  Some days I leave it at work and have to throw everything in a Target bag… and it works just as well! ;)
  • Nicole Miller lunch bag



  • You know how boxers will throw a match?  Well, I threw a date this week.  God, I hate forced dating.  Well, dude had been circling like a vulture as soon as D and I broke up.  In fact, he had been a little flirtatious when D and I were together which instantly put a bad taste in my mouth.  And I’ve heard some things.  Anyhow… let me lay it out right now – anyone I’ve ever wanted, I’ve had.  I’m not trying to sound pompous.  I go after what I want and if the timing is bad, I’ll wait; but if I’m not initiating something with you and you’re the one who is constantly having to bug me, then I’m really not interested.  I’m an alpha female who likes alpha males.  Sooo… this date… I finally agreed to meet for drinks to just get it over with, since I had been putting the guy off for months.  Maybe this would be a great friendship?  I gave myself a 2 drink limit before I planned to bail.  I was hoping he would show up and I would feel some instant attraction and all my gut feelings would be unfounded.  Nope.  I don’t know what came over me but I started acting a fool.  I was crass.  I was a pain in the ass.  I just started acting really weird.  I usually can maintain my alcohol but I let the booze flow through me.  I let myself feel it and was a mess.  Hell, he ended things after 2 drinks!  I was sure this would be the end of it and I got in my car and laughed my ass off and met up with friends.  Well, he asked me for a second date the next morning!  Wow.  Only this was wine and a movie at one of our homes… and we all know what that means.  I mean, please.  I called him out and he said I had seemed out of my element (this pissed me off righteously but maybe throwing the date backfired?) at the 1st place and he wanted me to be comfortable.  How kind.  Well, how about asking where I would like to go, not try to get me alone on your sofa?  So I had to just come clean and tell him there was no connection and that was that.  Lord have mercy – no more bullshit dates!


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by Lara on October 27, 2013

in + & -,decor



  • In need of a new series to become obsessed with, I started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix this weekend.  In these trying times, Jax Teller is getting me through.  God bless.
  • I picked out my house numbers!  They float above the siding.

house numbers

  • I scored and got 8 of these pressed glass goblets for $4 at Goodwill!  They’re going to look so pretty on the open shelving.

green goblets

  • Speaking of shelving, I sourced these iron shelf brackets but will get them later.  I need 6 at $8 each.Shelf bracket


  • Last weekend I finally made the trek to Class and Trash.  What a great place! I found an old apple crate that belongs to Virginia Senator Byrd’s apple orchards… just like the pic below!

Byrd applesI also got an old metal Pet Milk crate and a 1961 yearbook from Ozark, Missouri.  I had my eye on a sweet old wooden turkey coop that would make a great coffee table with a glass top and casters… like this chicken coop but taller:

coop coffee tableI really need to go back and grab that thing.

There were so many wonderful old photos:

old pics

  • I can’t believe I spent hours online hunting down kitchen cabinet pulls.  I decided on one style that will go horizontal on the drawers and vertical on the doors.  They’re selling for a lot more elsewhere but I finally found them for $1 each at some random site!


  • This weekend I finally went to Caravati’s Architectural Salvage.  They go into old homes being renovated or torn down and save all the old fixtures (and iron fencing, hard wood floors, tile, sinks, everything).  The place is massive and so depressingly expensive.  I couldn’t even afford a doorknob but, I guess if you’re desperate to match something in an old house, that would be the place to go.

Caravatisjust a tiny fraction of the warehouse

  • So yeah, it’s been all house all the time.  I’ve also become obsessed with Bellytimber’s black bean nachos (smothered in thinly sliced fresh jalapenos) thanks to Terra!  I crave them constantly.


  • All this planning and shopping and I still haven’t broken ground on the house yet, which is driving me insane.  The city of Richmond’s building permit office is full of incompetent morons, and add to that the surveyor in May neglected to draw on the plot plan a small area in a back corner of the lot that is part of the Chesapeake Bay protection area.  The city is losing its mind and well, I kinda am too but; it will all work itself out.


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by Lara on August 29, 2013

in + & -



  • Lord have mercy, I started working on this post on Wednesday of last week and everything quickly went downhill with an awful Summer cold.  I’ve seen a ton of sources talk about how often people get a terrible cold shortly after they stop smoking.  No idea what the science behind all that is but the stuff I’ve been coughing up is nightmarish! I’m finally starting to feel like myself.
  • So yeah, it’s been 3 weeks of not smoking!  I have taken a few drags off cigarettes when the urge was so all-consuming I couldn’t take it anymore and… it was disgusting and burned my throat and I was glad I stopped!  D started Chantix almost 2 weeks ago so, I’m crossing my fingers we’ll be a smoke-free home soon.
  • I’m so close to eating vegetarian (vegan some days).  Tons of raw veggies and fruit (fresh and dried) and nuts (obsessed with chia seeds) and omg I’m so bloated and have so much gas I actually farted in front of a coworker last week.  I may as well be propelling myself around by my own gas.  Plus, quitting smoking is constipating so, it feels like I’m being punished for all of this good behaviour!
  • I’m feeling confident that these healthy changes are going to stick and well… I’m kinda done talking about it for now.  I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it too! Ha! :)
  • So, what’s up with this Fall weather?  We were supposed to go tubing last weekend and had to cancel because it was so cold.  We went to Maymont Park instead and saw this little dude just running free, making the park his home.  Groundhog?


  • I was at about 1.5 packs a day – that’s about $50 a week of paying to kill myself so, I treated myself to some new fancy lipstick – Urban Decay’s new line of Revolution lipstick in Fiend and Jilted.  Jilted is a surprisingly wearable fuchsia with a blue shift to it – click here for the dark swatches as well as links to the rest!
  • Urban Decay - JiltedI haven’t really bought any new clothes lately.  I got my fave ankle pants from Target in a dark grey but, I’ve been trying to shop my closet and I’ve generally been dialing it in with simple basics.  I don’t know why I keep fooling myself into buying dresses.  I am NOT a dress person but, I convince myself to shave my legs at least one a week to get some wear out of the ones in my closet.
  • Have you seen any of this mess about “hair part theory”?  I think it’s a bunch of garbage but, I hadn’t changed my part in over a decade and I decided to switch my part from right to left yesterday because I was feeling kinda cruddy about how my short hair is growing out.  It feels like I have a a brand new haircut!
  • I’m on level 326 of Candy Crush.  This may not be a good thing.



  • I’m worried that I may get saddled with also being assistant to a new attorney who’s joining my firm soon.  This guy is kind of a big deal and works in a completely different type of law.  While everyone says he’s “low maintenance” I’m calling bullshit and wondering how one goes about asking for a raise when a slew of new responsibility is added to their already hectic day.
  • Is anyone else starting to feel like any time anyone says something against a female, they’re then accused of being sexist, subscribing to rape culture or they’re slut shaming?  Anna Gunn, who plays Skyler on Breaking Bad just wrote a NY Times article that blames society’s complex sexism for why her character is so hated, while her husband Walt is supposedly revered.  I think we can all agree that Walt’s a monster.  So, when did it become politically incorrect to call a woman a bitch?  Because that’s what her character amounts to.  Before she knew what Walt was doing, when she only knew that he had cancer, she treated him like shit.  She cheated on him.  She later wished him dead.  She COVERED for him and helped conceal all that sweet sweet meth money (and tried to control it and his access to his children, when she had no problem with the money).  Sounds like a hypocritical bitch to me!  I must be sexist.  I think she’s concerning herself with the opinions of people who think that Walt’s a hero and anyone who gets in his way is the enemy… and that’s kinda like rooting for the gangsters in the mob movie, because that’s just what you do.  Also, while I can’t quite put my finger on it, and I’m still very sad for her, am I not allowed to think that something is very odd about this whole Hannah Anderson abduction?  Is that victim blaming?
  • You guys… my dad has a lady friend and I’m having ALL of the feels about this.  There are aspects to him, his past and this whole thing that upset me so much… it took me 5 days of quietly mulling it over before I even talked to David about it today over lunch.  I’m not ready to go onto a tangent about my father, his character and all the issues I’ve had with him since childhood.  He’s still my father and he’s pretty much all the family I have so, I’m trying REAL HARD to be mature and kinda aloof about it because it’s his life.  But seriously you guys… omg.