Wanna help with something?

Ok, so on the heels of that accidentally serious post, I got some interesting news: I was selected as one of Rent the Runway’s style awards nominees this week!

Wanna help me win? All you have to do is “like” the picture of me on Facebook. Click here to vote.

I’ll let ya know how it goes. And a super big THANKS if you vote!

How’s it hanging?

In general, I am not the most reliable when it comes to sewing promises.

Remember that dress I said I was going to make? And then said I was giving up on and was going to make into a skirt instead? Those are two examples of sewing promises I have yet to live up to. I’m a sham seamstress.

So when I said I was going to make curtains, I would not have blamed you at all if you had held some doubt it would ever happen.

EXCEPT I DID DO IT SO SUCK IT DOUBTERS.

Except, well, I didn’t actually sew anything. Here’s how it went down.

Step one: Collect fabric (roughly 100 inches long and 1 yard wide…YOU do the conversion, I’m tired from all the crafting), scissors, iron-on hem tape, an iron, and an ironing board. (Say “iron” again.)(Iron.)

image

Step two: Work your way around the rectangle of fabric, ironing the edges with the tape to create a roughly 1.5-inch hem. (Be sure to check your hem tape for specific instructions…mine required a bit of steam and about 10-20 seconds of heat.)

image

I know, I’m totally wasting my potential as a hand model. Also, taking a photo with one hand while you iron with the other is harder than it looks.

Step three: Hang the curtains!

That sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Well, I don’t want to brag, but my husband and I are kind of warriors in that we got this done.

The main issue was that we were changing out the curtain rod. We wanted to use a double rod (heh heh…rod) so we could hang sheer panels during the day to let light in without flaunting ourselves at anyone who happened by the window. (Ah, the trials of a garden apartment.)

So first we had to remove the old curtain rod. Easy enough. (We recycled it to the dining room. More on that when it’s photo-ready.)

Then we had to install the new curtain rod. I wanted to install it as high as possible.

Design tip (that I read online somewheres): If you hang your curtain panels high and wide (even if it’s higher and wider than the actual window), it makes the whole room look taller and therefore bigger. Plus it makes it look like you have gargantuan, gorgeous windows, even if you just have averagely large windows.

The main reason why this step took so long is because we had to use a power drill at a height about a foot (or more) above our heads (after standing on a chair). Your arms get tired, it’s hard to drill straight, you keep dropping the screw and having to get off and on the chair, you’re trying to make everything level — it’s basically a nightmare.

But long story short, we DID it. (Joey did most of the drilling because my pathetic arm strength decided to embarrass womenkind everywhere. Way to go, pathetic arm strength.)

But just look at it!

image

And let’s say it’s a sunny day and you want a little natural light AND a little privacy?

image

Oh, hello there. It’s like the window is flashing a little leg. Sexy, right? Let’s get an overall room shot.

image

Mmm.

You can probably tell that the curtains are a little long. I do plan on remedying this, but quite frankly, I’m exhausted after a busy morning, bleaching and scrubbing my kitchen and bathroom floor, creating giant curtains, and hanging up three sets of curtains. So you’ll have to pardon the slightly baggy look for now.

In all seriousness, my living room is looking mighty fine right now. It just feels cozy and delightful. I’ll post more pictures later this month when the dining room is in order. (I can’t take pictures of the living room from the opposite angle because the dining room is in the background, and it is looking all kinds of jacked up right now. Give it time.)(When I ask for more time before I post apartment pictures, I’m really talking to my friend Erin who has officially stopped believing me that I’m ever going to post pictures of the whole place.)(She’s probably right.)(Except NO I will get it done!)(Erin.)

The credenza we were supposed to get this week sort of fell through (the truck we were borrowing broke down), but I will have furniture updates soon. (Here’s a hint: It’s no longer just a credenza.)(You’re on the edge of your seat, right?)(What is WITH all these parentheticals?)

Anywho, that’s all I’ve got for right now. More on the way!

Check me out!

So remember my promise that I’m going to be in Glamour? It’s on newsstands!

My buddy Jess just sent me a pic of the article. Check it:

Gahhhhh kind of crazy. But it’s me! If you can read the little snippet there, it’s a pretty edited version of the full story I submitted. Which I actually have the complete version of (go figure). Read on for my True Life: I’m Happy With My Weight story:

Up until about a year ago, the last time I could remember being completely happy with my weight I was in the eighth grade. Ah, the blissful life of a perpetually skinny 13-year-old.

I would eat roast beef sandwiches the size of my head and shovel mountains of ice cream into my bowl each night, confident in my genetics and the fact that the scale never budged even a centimeter. Until the day it, well, did.

It wasn’t until the summer before I started college that I first really noticed my body changing in a way that I couldn’t blame on a growth spurt. My cushy job as a nanny left my body, ahem, cushier. And my spotty attendance at the gym didn’t do anything to slow my expanding skin.

No matter what I did (hours on the elliptical, nights of feeling my stomach ache with hunger after a day of starvation, hours of berating myself for not sticking to the extreme diets I continually put myself on), the scale continued to climb. I was averaging ten pounds a year by the time I graduated college, and a last-minute doctor visit before I moved to New York to pursue my dream job left me biting back tears when the scale registered squarely on the highest weight I had ever been.

If I was honest about it (which I never was), I knew why my weight continued to climb. I loved food. And I had convinced myself it loved me back, something I couldn’t say I even did anymore. So when I was sad I didn’t have a boyfriend, I ate. When I was lonely because all my friends went to school hours away from me, I ate. When I was stressed about grades and internships and jobs, I ate. I ate even when I wasn’t hungry, even when it felt gross to shove more food into my mouth. As long as I could point to my weight and say, “There. That is why you’re unhappy,” then at least I didn’t have to look any deeper into my problems.

Whether I ate because I was unhappy or I was unhappy because I ate didn’t really matter. What mattered was, I wasn’t happy. And one day, I decided I wanted to be.

I started on the inside. I created and repeated a series of mantras I would repeat to myself when I was feeling down. (Yup, I’m the crazy girl talking to herself in her car.) “You are a good person. You are a kind person. You are better than this.” And I guess I started to believe it.

Next I moved on to making myself feel physically good. I started taking yoga classes at a gym near my apartment in Brooklyn. I’d picked that gym because I literally couldn’t get home without passing it, so I figured I would be more likely to actually go. Turns out, I was right.

Then I bought a nice pair of running shoes and told myself it would be a waste (especially on my paltry salary) not to use them. The next thing I knew, I was running six to eight miles a week.

And then, miracle of miracles, I even found a boyfriend (now my husband) who without even knowing it, fell for me at my biggest and has continued to love me no matter what size jeans I wear. And then, perhaps even crazier, I learned to stop arguing with him when he told me I was beautiful.

The thing is, after almost six years of being on some kind of diet, I stopped dieting. I trusted myself, listened to my body, and ate whatever I wanted—and then I stopped when I was full. Crazy, right?

One day, one of my new friends in New York told me how thin I was getting. Was I? I felt the same. A few months later, a friend’s mom told me I was her inspiration. Then, a friend who had started incorporating more fitness into her life said she wanted to be “Justine skinny.” She wanted to look like me? When I last went to the doctor, I was 30 pounds lighter than that fateful visit before I moved. Thirty. On accident!

For my wedding last spring, I continued my “plan” of not trying to lose weight. I bought a dress that fit perfectly and kept living a healthy life. Now I’m training for my first half marathon, yet another thing I never imagined I would be capable of. I actually like how I look. I love how I feel. I’m happy.

I think my 13-year-old self would be proud.

Dare to dream

I dream big, you guys.

I have dreams. Goals. Ambitions. And they. Are. Huge.

How big, you ask? Really big. Really, really big. Case in point: My main goal for the weekend is to organize my front closet and the cabinet in the bathroom.

Whoa, whoa, WHOA, you say! Justine, slow down, you caution! This fast and loose lifestyle will catch up to you, you plead!

Well, you can take your warnings and stuff them, I reply.

Because I’m doing this. And I’ve got $40 worth of Target organizational goods that says you can’t stop me.

Don’t believe it can be done? Think I’ve taken on just a bit too much this time? Well, your skepticism ain’t gonna bring me down.

And on Monday, when I post glorious before and after photos, we’ll see who was the wise one. We’ll see who knew what was up.

And maybe we’ll all be just a little more inspired to dream.

You’re the greatest. Yes, YOU.

I’ve been writing this blog for almost three years, but I have to tell you, it still thrills me whenever I get a comment from someone I don’t know or (miracle of miracles) when someone I don’t know subscribes to my blog.

Seriously, you guys rock and roll, and it completely makes my day when I get one of those emails.

So, to celebrate your awesomeness, I’m giving away a FREE $20 Starbucks gift card to the 30th subscriber!

I know what you’re thinking:

Justine, is this a bribe?

What? Wha…no! Bribe?? Never. It’s a giveaway for your awesomeness. It’s me giving you something so you do something for me.

So…not a bribe? Just don’t think too hard about it.

If you are already a subscriber…I’m sorry. I really appreciate you even if I’m not sending you free things. You were the originals, and I love you all the more for it.

So anyway, if you don’t want to enter, just don’t subscribe. But if you like me AND free coffee, please click that lovely grey button on the homepage to subscribe.

Patch it up

This weekend was quite productive, if I do say so myself.

For starters, I cleaned a LOT. And the apartment really needed it. I have a lot of plans in the works for upping the decor factor since we’ve decided to stay here another year, but all of those plans start with getting the place clean enough to figure things out.

Next, I finished a project I had started last week for my blogger exchange care package. That bad boy is all set and ready to go. Over a week early! I know, I’m pretty awesome.

Then, I decided to do something I’ve been thinking about for a while. You know my love of grandpa trends? Well, comically large glasses aside, I am a huge fan of elbow patches. Seriously, I think they are so freaking adorable on guys, and pretty darn cute on girls. Alas, until recently I have owned plenty of sweaters, but none of which that boasted those sweet little pieces of felt. UNTIL NOW.

First, I took a blue sweater I’ve had for a while. I like it, but it’s definitely something that needs to be dressed up to avoid looking bag-ish. (Sorry, I don’t have a before picture…but trust me, the after is not so drastic that you won’t be able to use your ImAgInAtIoNs.)

Next, I put it on and marked little X’s on my elbows with a marker.

image

Then, I cut two squovals (square + ovals = squovals) out of light brown felt. (What’s that you ask? Was I crafting in my pajama pants? In the middle of the day? I can neither confirm nor deny.)

image

Then I sewed each squoval over its corresponding X.

image

And ta-da! A sweater with elbow patches.

image

Pretty impressive eh? (Not the actual photo…I’m beginning to think shoddy photography is my blog’s calling card.)(Besides, you know, narwhals.)

I’m basically in love with it. You know I’m a sucker for a craft that takes fewer than ten minutes.

Only time will tell if I’m bold enough to double up the grandpa effect by wearing this lady killer WITH my giant glasses. Only time will tell…

Anyone else do any easy crafts this weekend?

Just when you thought you were rid of me

What’s that? You feel like you haven’t heard from me enough today? You say one post’s worth of listening to me ramble on just isn’t enough for you to get through the day?

You want more, you say?

You don’t know who I’m listening to right now because you have heard plenty from me today?

Well, too bad. Because a former co-working has a blog where she features a wife every Monday, and GUESS who she’s featuring today?

Guess you’ll have to click here to know for sure, wontcha? WONTCHA.

Please don’t hate me.

(And if you’re interested in being a Meet A Wife Monday subject, let me know and I’ll send you the deets. It’s fun!)