Friday, November 25, 2011

Lulu Cracks Me Up - Part 3

I thought I posted this ages ago, but realized I didn't.  It's too funny not to share.  This is Lulu and her snow boots. :)  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving!  I often think that my life isn't all that great, but I do know that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my family.  We are a big group of crazy and sometimes exasperating people, but we are always there for each other.  In good times and in bad, we are there.  I get to spend every holiday with my extended family and for that I am very thankful.  There have only been a couple times when I wasn't with everybody on a holiday and those times were incredibly difficult for me.  I can remember each of them.  Once in high school, my parents and sister were gone for Kristen's soccer tournament, or something, at Thanksgiving.  I was with the rest of my family, but it was still very sad for me.  I felt like we weren't complete without them at Thanksgiving.  Another time, we spent Thanksgiving with Jeff's family instead of mine.  I was so sad - I missed them all so much.  One year, Kristen couldn't make it home in time for Christmas because of a blizzard here.  That was incredibly depressing.  And most recently, last year two of my cousins weren't here for Thanksgiving.  It was too quiet and felt incomplete.  When they called to talk to everybody during dinner, I actually cried because I missed them so much.

Dulacki Family at Kristen & Stacy's wedding

I am thankful for my friends.  Near and far.  New and old.  The support and love I receive from them is incredible and amazing and I couldn't do it without them.

Dana, Meah, me, Jeannine, and Luciana
me and Michelle

I am thankful for my job.  I know I often complain about it and frequently hope for a different job, but I know that I am lucky to even have a job in this economy.  I get to work with beautiful furniture and fabrics, and in amazing homes.  People value my opinions on their surroundings.  My designs make people happy.  Sometimes you can't ask for more.  Because of my job I can afford food and shelter.  I am warm and my belly is full.  When I am sick, I can afford to go to the doctor.  When my car is sick, I can afford to fix it.  When I want beautiful shoes, I can afford to buy them.  For all these reasons and more, I am thankful for my job.

me working hard

I am thankful for my Lulu.  She has been my constant companion for the past almost 12 years.  I adore and love her like no other.  It may seem ridiculous, but she gives my life purpose.

my precious Lulu

There is so much more to be thankful for, but these are the big ones today.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Defending the Twilight Saga

For some reason I feel the need to defend the Twilight Saga.  The first installment of the last movie, Breaking Dawn - Part 1, just came out and I've noticed quite a bit of disgust for it on Facebook.  Full disclosure - I love the books.  And I enjoy the movies.  In fact, I just got back from seeing the movie for the first time (I do plan to see it again, too!).  No, they're not the best movies ever.  They're definitely not going to win any awards for acting or cinematography.  That's not what they're about or striving for.  But the books are great.  I've read them all many, many times.

Now, I know not everybody is going to enjoy this story.  Take out the supernatural stuff and it's essentially a love story.  Yes, the characters are young and in this day and age, it's uncommon to fall in love and determine you want to spend the rest of your life with someone at eighteen years old.  And with how liberated women are now, it's also a bit uncommon for a woman to "throw her life away" for a man.  That's what I've seen going around on the internet.  That Bella is not a good role model for young women because she throws everything away for her boyfriend.  That her life revolves around her boyfriend.  I can understand how some people see it like that and of course that's not for everybody.  But hello - it's a book.  

That's what is great about our world, we don't have to agree with somebody else's life choices - because it's their choice.  The couple that is having their 20th child?  I think they're crazy.  I would never want to have twenty kids.  But it's okay, because nobody is telling me that I have to.  Celebrities that spend millions on a wedding and then divorce 72 days later?  Shallow, self-absorbed people with no respect for the sanctity of marriage - maybe.  But it's their life, not mine.

Putting aside the fact that this is a book and therefore fantasy, lets think of the other things the character does that might be more like appropriate role model behavior.  Bella and Edward wait to have sex until they're married.  Though it's not something I did, that's commendable for young people.  Right?  And when Bella finds out that she's pregnant and the child will likely kill her, she decides that she loves this child more than her own life and will therefore not terminate the pregnancy.  I would think that most mothers feel similar immeasurable love for their unborn child.  That's pretty huge.  And why is loving somebody completely and immensely a bad thing?  I think it's pretty awesome to love someone as much as these two love each other.  I strive to find even a small portion of that for myself.  All of those things are good role model behavior, I think.

Yes, these life choices are not for everybody.  And that's okay.  If you don't like them, don't see the movies or read the books.  But please respect other people's choice if they do.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More White Jeans in Winter!

This look is from Chicos and I love it for how to wear white jeans in winter.  Gray and white is beautiful and on-trend this season.  The long sweater and the knee-high boots over the jeans are very in-style right now, too.  And I think you could change this up, too, substituting brown for the gray elements.  I don't have gray suede knee-high boots and don't plan on buying any, but I do have brown, so I'll work it that way.

Things I Love!

I love the things this artist does!  Erin Smith's art is a mixture of original painting, digital imaging, vintage family photos, and her own prose.  She cracks me up!  I first came upon her work while on my California vacation/expedition.  I stopped at a cute little shop in Cambria and they had her cards for sale.  I'd never seen anything like it and bought a bunch.  Since then, I've seen her stuff everywhere.  Check her out!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crazy Clients

I really think some of our clients are a little bit crazy.  Seriously.

We had gotten approval from a client to access their home with the garage code and alarm code when they're not home.  John and our curtain maker went over there to discuss some things one day and as they're walking up the stairs to the main level, John hears the husband say "WHO'S HERE?  I'VE GOT MY RIFLE OUT!"  Seriously.  (And that's the crazy.)  He actually wasn't supposed to be home and because of that the wife had failed to mention John was stopping by.

I would've shit my pants if that happened to me - thankfully I wasn't there for that bit-o-fun.

Today, John and I were back there.  The wife had again given us permission to access the house, but she told John that her husband would probably be there for a few minutes while we were there.  At least she told her hubby we'd be stopping by this time!   John and I were there for probably 30 minutes before he yells "WHO'S HERE?"  (Thankfully he didn't mention the rifle this time!)  He then didn't come out of his room for another 15 minutes to say hello.

I've never actually met this man, though I have been in his presence in his own home before.  But I am but a peon in his world - I don't matter.  There's no real reason to bother to introduce yourself to me.  When he came out of his room, I was of course the first person he saw.  He doesn't introduce himself or say hello.  He only asks where John is.  John comes out from behind the corner, says hello, and then introduces me.  Only then does this man deem me slightly important enough to speak to and shake my hand.

He's so super excited about this MONSTER tv he just bought that is supposed to be installed later.  He has to show it to us, show us the other new tv that has 3-D capabilities, and actually make us watch part of a football game in 3-D.  Like we have time for this.  Though it actually was really cool, I'd absolutely hate to have to watch tv wearing those glasses.  (Another little bit of crazy.)

Finally he leaves and John and I can go about our business.  Crazy clients.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Best Bra in the World!

Yes, I really am going to blog about a bra.

I am constantly on the look-out for a bra that is everything I want it to be.  For some reason it's been a much harder search than I ever fathomed.  I want a bra to be comfortable with underwires.  I want my boobs to look good with and without clothes.  I want it to fit well.  And I don't want to spend an arm and a leg on it.  I know, that's a lot to ask of one bra, but I had faith that one day I'd find it.

I've tried a lot of bras that people say are great and have found them lacking.  I tried the bras that had 1/2 cup sizing, hoping for a better fit, but I haven't loved them.  I've tried non-underwire bras, hoping they'd be more comfortable, but didn't feel like I got enough support.  I tried the Spanx bra, which they advertise as "so comfortable you'll forget you have it on!"  I have it on right now, and I actually don't like it at all.  The underwires dig into me both on the outer edges of my boobs and between my boobs.  The all-hoisery band that is supposed to "banish back fat" by not being too tight tends to bunch up instead of laying flat.  And the cups are a bit stiff and they don't form well to my boobs - they're a bit pointy for my taste.  And the cups are incredibly covering - any low cut tops are out with this bra because the bra would show.

But I finally found the best bra in the world!  The Incredible Bra from Victoria's Secret.  Kristen and Stacy extolled the virtues of this bra this summer and I didn't believe them.  They said it was so comfortable and it made your boobs look great.  But both of them have pretty good boobs to begin with, so I wasn't sure that was completely accurate marketing.  But I was getting sick of constantly buying bras and then hating them and wanting to take them off by mid-day.  So I finally bought one.  It's the best $45 I've ever spent on a bra.  I intend to buy more of them.

Honestly I wanted to use a pic of the bra without a model in it,
but of course I couldn't find one.

Per VS, the attributes of this bra are:
- cushioned underwire won't dig, bind, or pinch
- wide band slims and smooths under all your tops
- self-adjusting straps fit perfectly every time
- flat back closure for a seamless look
- lightly lined

It comes in the regular variety of fits - demi, front close, push-up, strapless.

All of those things are true.  It's really amazing.  The first day I wore it, I wore it all day without having to adjust it what-so-ever.  And it was so comfortable that I didn't feel the need to take it off immediately upon arriving home after work.  In fact, when I went to get ready to go to bed, I was surprised that I still had it on!  Another thing I love about it is that it doesn't cover too much.  I can wear a slightly low-cut top and not be concerned that my bra might show.  The demi has enough up-lift without being too sexy.  The cups are comfortable and move enough to fit my boobs well.  There's enough lining so that there's no nip show through when it's cold.  I think it makes my boobs look good with and without clothes.  And apparently, the story of this bra goes - a man designed it and had his wife try it out.  She exclaimed that it was Incredible!  Hence, it's name.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Talking About Depression

I recently found the blog of a women who has written about her struggles with depression.  Though she's had some really shitty things happen in her life (her teenage parents abandoning her to be raised by a crazy grandmother and alcoholic grandfather, two terrible divorces, her home being destroyed by the floods in Nashville) that completely warrant her depression, that's not always the case with people who are affected with depression.  In an effort to take some of the stigma out of depression, I thought I'd write about my own experiences with it.  (Please excuse the liberal use of quotes in this post.)

My worst experience with depression happened when I was 21-22.  It requires a bit of background story.  I was in college and was living with my fiance, Zach.  I had quit my sorority in order to live with him and I was without the constant support of the women who I had come to love and depend on.  I thought that living with Zach was more important than all that.  We were having a tough time - who wouldn't be when you're 21 and playing house?  Zach felt like he needed to "live" more before ultimately settling down.  I felt like I had "lived" enough already.  We were constantly arguing, avoiding each other, not having sex, avoiding having "THE TALK".

One day Zach called me up at work and told me that he had moved out of our apartment.  Just like that.  Honestly, we hadn't ever talked about that.  (How could we?  We were avoiding each other!)  I was devastated.  I went home to our half empty apartment, stood shell-shocked in the entry hall looking at framed photos of what was our life on the wall, and finally collapsed sobbing on the floor.  I finally dragged myself to my now single bed and cried myself to sleep.  I think this happened at the beginning of November (it was a LONG time ago!), and for the rest of the year, we continued to "work" on our relationship.  I stopped wearing my engagement ring on my finger, but instead wore it on a necklace.

Zach didn't spend Thanksgiving with my family, nor Christmas.  We did exchange gifts, though.  Zach gave me what must be the most impersonal gift you could give your sort-of-not-exactly-fiance.  He got me a VCR.  Really.  I also found out that he had applied to law schools in California, without ever discussing it with me.  Shouldn't you discuss something this serious with the person you plan to spend your life with?  This is when I finally began to realize that things probably weren't going to work out.

One day we went to the mall with Zach's best friend to do some shopping.  We all had different places to go so we split up.  I was done early and went to find Zach.  And oh, how I found him.  He was talking to a girl in the Hallmark store.  Not a big deal, right?  But you know how when you REALLY know someone, you know exactly what each nuance of their body language means?  I knew that Zach was into this girl.  I KNEW it.  And not just into her, but had dated her.  I went up to them, stood by him for practically a full minute before he looked at me, and finally asked him if he was ready to go.  He looked guilty and embarrassed.  In the middle of the mall I confronted him.  Yes, he was dating her.  When we were "working" on our relationship.  I punched him.  (Yes, I really did.)

That was the real beginning of my downward spiral.  I freaked out.  I felt like a crazy person.  I couldn't concentrate.  I couldn't sleep the majority of the time and when I could finally sleep, I slept like the dead, and could barely get out of bed.  I couldn't eat.  I couldn't do anything.  I was obsessed with what Zach was doing at all times.  It didn't help that he now lived across the parking lot.  I had to get away.  I spent a week in Boulder with one of my best friends, sleeping on her floor and going to her classes and hanging out with her friends.  I couldn't face my own life.

I was interning for a company in Longmont, and on my drive back to Ft. Collins, I'd always pass this lake.  The road curved around it without any barriers and the speed limit was pretty high for such a sharp curve.  I thought that it would be so easy to drive right into that lake and have it look like an accident.  I had this thought every day.  I didn't want to be there anymore.  The life that I had planned was gone.  The person I had loved more than anybody else, more than anything else, more than myself, was gone to me.

It was then that I realized I was depressed.  Seriously, suicidal-ly, depressed.  And I needed help.  I told my friends how bad it really was.  They were so incredibly helpful.  Some of my old sorority sisters offered their support again.  I went on anti-depressants.  I decided I needed to see a therapist.

Because I was in college, I could go to on-campus therapy for a very decreased cost.  There would still be some cost, which would go on the bills that my parents paid.  Which meant I had to admit to them that I needed professional help.  My mom was very understanding.  She didn't want me to be so bad off that I needed professional help, didn't like that she couldn't help me, but she understood that it was beyond how she could help and would support my decision and pay for it.

My first session with the therapist was intense.  I was probably at my worst.  I was freaked out about discussing all the intimate details with a stranger.  I was shaking and crying and desperate.  They video taped the session because I was suicidal and they needed to cover their asses in case the worst happened after I saw them.

What's ridiculous is that I cannot for the life of me remember the therapist's name.  I do know that I saw her for a few months and I quickly grew comfortable talking to her.  I also don't remember exactly what we talked about and what kind of therapy she used.  I'm sure she wasn't the kind who constantly asks questions and she obviously didn't become like my BFF.  But I do know that she really helped me get through this horrible time.  With her help, the anti-depressants, and my wonderful friends, I got past the suicidal thoughts and the crippling depression.

Depression has never been that bad for me since.  Every so often, I feel a slight depression creeping up on me, but it's never gotten out of control.  I've grown up quite a bit and somewhere along the way I must have developed better coping skills.  And honestly, nothing in my life has gone so wrong as that experience.

I hope that people out there who are dealing with depression realize that they don't have to do it by themselves.  We are so rarely really alone in life, and there are people who can and who want to help.  Depression is actually so, so common.  There is nothing wrong with admitting to it and seeking help to overcome it.