Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rock that Frock

This summer, I had a dress made by a very lovely seamstress.

My first piece of couture was completed just about a week and a half ago.
Isn't it pretty? It's so fun and flouncy and bouncy.

"Would you ever wear it to work?" One of my coworkers asked.

"Sure! Maybe!" I laughed, definitely not serious.

But last night, as I was choosing my outfit for today, I thought, Why not rock that frock? 

Since my seamstress made the dress two separate pieces, I decided to pair the purple, tulle skirt with a button-up shirt.

Fairy princess meets Meg Ryan à la Kate & Leopold meets Carrie Bradshaw meets career woman.

"Whoa! Heading to the prom?" Adam asked this morning.

"Is it too much?" I replied, beginning to have doubts as I stared at my giant, poufy skirt in the bedroom mirror.

He smiled and shook his head, "Nope. Not for you. You look very pretty."

I know I say it a lot, but Adam really is the greatest.

So I grabbed my lunch bag and car keys and headed out the door.

Driving to work was a little difficult as the tulle took up most of the front seat.

I sat in my car a few minutes once I arrived at work, suddenly anxious all over again.

Would people think I was a total weirdo? Or perhaps that I desperate for attention? Or a total weirdo desperate for attention?

Rock that frock, I reminded myself.

I took a deep breath and exited the Corolla, my gym bag slung over my shoulder and as much confidence as I could muster in my step.

An older woman was exiting the elevators, coming from the hotel next door, and she gasped.

"I love it!" she said, pointing to my skirt.

Her adult daughter smiled at me, "You look really pretty."

Those gals gave me the final bit of confidence I needed to walk into work.

And the day couldn't have gone better!
Coworkers I am friends with and coworkers who are total strangers alike all complimented my skirt.

No one was mean or made fun of me (at least not to my face). And no one seemed to think I was a total weirdo desperate for attention.

It actually ended up being a very fun day.

I mean, it's kind of hard to let anything at work get you too stressed out when you're wearing a huge, tulle skirt, you know?

So while I don't think I'll be wearing the ensemble again anytime soon (bathroom trips were a bit tricky and a tulle skirt isn't the most comfortable thing to wear for 10 hours), I'm happy I set aside my fears and rocked my frock.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tumultuous Tuesday

What a day of ups and downs!

This morning, I got to work from home for a few hours before my dentist appointment, which was total bliss.

At 7am, I sat down at my dining room table and opened my laptop. The sunshine was streaming through the windows, and my yellow curtains made the effect especially happy and bright. I brewed a pot of hazelnut cream coffee, and Clem nestled into her bed beside my feet.
Gus moseyed in around 8 o'clock.

"Well, well, well! Look who decided to show up for work," I pretended to scold him.

Except Gus is super sensitive and got really bashful and ashamed, so I had to remind him I was only teasing.
My morning glory was short-lived because at 9:45, it was time to venture to the dentist.


I hate, hate, hate the dentist.

I think and worry and dread going for days before my appointment.

Today, I had an appointment with a new dentist (Adam's family dentist), so I was hopeful but maybe even a little more anxious. For all I knew, this DDS would be worse than my previous one, who always found problems in my mouth and then would boast about all of the fancy things he was buying.

More than a little suspicious, if you ask me.

I'll bet my million fillings and crown funded some of those purchases, Dr. Distrustful.


I arrived a bit early for my appointment and filled out the new patient paperwork. Under the section where they ask about any medical conditions they should be aware of, I wrote all shouty, "I HAVE A CROWN!"

You see, one of my biggest fears is that dumb crown falling out, especially during the scraping part of a dental cleaning.

My dental hygienist came out and could not have been any friendlier.

"Are you from Cin—" she began to ask.

"IamsonervousbecauseIhatethedentist,andI'mjustreally,really,reallyanxiousrightnow!!!" I interrupted her, my voice hurried and panicked.

She smiled, "That's okay. I'll talk you through everything."

And she did!

She explained everything she was doing to my mouth along with a scientific explanation and why it was important. For the first time in years, I felt my anxiety in that dentist chair melt away.

Sure, the scraping part is still uncomfortable, but the hygienist was gentler and didn't make it feel as bad.

When the dentist came in to visit me, he said my teeth were beautiful and strong. He told me to floss more often and said they'd see me in six months.

How easy was that?*

I was practically walking on sunshine as I drove to work. I called my mom on the way and reported how my new DDS practice rocked and bragged about my cavity-free mouth.

My jolly good mood quickly faded when I pulled into the parking garage at work.

Every. Single. Spot. Was. Taken.

I circled around the garage for 25 MINUTES along with four other cars looking for a spot.

Finally, finally, we all found spots on the very bottom basement level. Which is incredibly scary and creepy since you have no cellphone service down there, and there is obviously no sunlight.

My workday continued without any further inconveniences, and I even fit in a workout at the end of the day. I wasn't in the gym for as long as I'd have liked, but I don't think I'm feeling quite back to 100% after yesterday's stomach troubles.

I drove home and warmed up some leftover P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps, which was mecca from the heavens, of course.

"This day is finishing off strong!" I declared to Gus and Clem and Adam. "Now you guys can watch me try on my Bean Boots."
Ah yes, did I mention how I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a pair of L.L. Bean Boots?

Giddily, I opened the cardboard box and beheld their hand-sewn-in-Maine beauty.

I slid my foot inside.

Too easily.

Despite my thorough sizing research, I had made the ultimate mistake and ordered my Bean Boots too big.

"Do they fit okay?" Adam asked, surely sensing the terror beginning to show in my eyes.

"I mean, boots are supposed to be a little big!" I said quickly. "To fit knit socks...right? RIGHT???"

"They shouldn't be too big. Or else you'll get blisters or hurt yourself," Adam said, reasonable as ever. "Do your feet slide in them?"

Oh, God, yes. They slid all over the place.

I wanted to sob.

So now I'll be returning these beautiful, beautiful boots and exchanging them for a smaller pair.

I believe it's time to pour myself a glass of wine and end this rollercoaster Tuesday on a relaxing note. My emotions could certainly use a break.

*God, I love Ina Garten.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Current Mood: BLAH

I'm writing this blog post from bed where I'm hunkered down with a box of saltine crackers and a cool Diet Coke.

My stomach has been all out of whack today.

An hour or two after I had finished breakfast (which was a simple strawberry and pineapple medley), I began experiencing terrible stomach pains.

Since I'm a lady, I will refrain from going into further detail.

Plus, I mean, who wants to hear about that sort of thing?*

I figured my morning coffee hadn't sat well or perhaps I was nervous about my dentist appointment tomorrow (because I HATE the dentist) and continued on with my day.

I went out to lunch with a few of my team members at one of the restaurants below our office.

The food there is so fresh and delicious. It's one of those places where it's difficult to decide what to order since everything looks good. 

I chose the burger but switched out the fries for a tossed greens. I felt quite smug and proud of myself for the healthy side substitution. 

Go, Jenna, go!

Lunch was divine, and I carried on with my workday afterwards fine and dandy.

But then? A few hours later?

The horrible stomach pains were back! Except this time, they were accompanied by sweating and light-headedness! 

Once again, I'll be polite and just say that man oh man, was I feeling ill.

I contemplated going home, but I only had half an hour left of my day, and my German Heritage can be a real bear when it comes to these sort of things.

You can last 30 more minutes. You need to finish out your full day's work. My German Heritage told me, all serious and gruff. Don't be a slacker!

So I wrapped up a big project before finally venturing to my little Corolla and journeying back to my abode. 

I've spent most of the evening sleeping, and it doesn't look like saltines are even going to stay down tonight. 

I'm wondering if I caught some food poisoning from something I ate yesterday (I recently heard that most people have food poisoning when they think it's a stomach bug). I also just learned that drinking soda is like one of the last things you want to do. 


Just the sort of thing to happen on your first Monday back from vacation, I suppose. Murphy's Law and all that jazz.

*...and yet here I am blogging about it like a weirdo

Sunday, August 28, 2016

See ya later, Summer!

I realize most people, love...sweet summertime.

But I am not one of those people.

Sure, I like certain decidedly summer things:
  • Thunderstorms (We are having one right now! It's even hailing!)
  • Dining al fresco (this excludes outdoor dining where the bugs are especially bitey or include any insect that's out to sting me)
  • Fun and fruity drinks
  • Tory Burch "Miller" Sandals
  • Swimming
  • The smell of sunscreen
Everything else? Meh. 

After arriving home from cool Michigan late last night, I feel especially "over" summer.
Beautiful Lake Michigan
There were a few days up in Harbor Springs and Petoskey that I actually wore a sweater and rain slicker! So coming home to 90° temperatures and Cincinnati's oppressive humidity only worsened my wrath for this time of year.
Proof of my fall-like ensemble. This is me standing in line outside of Tom's Mom's Cookies in Harbor Springs. FYI: They're worth the wait.
Is anyone else out there ready for fall?

It probably doesn't help that I went a bit crazy today at Target.*

Their fall collection is amazing!!! I ended up with a few turtlenecks, this AWESOME beige vest for work (it's so chic), and a dress. 

Tra la la! I'm going to look so posh this autumn!


September arrives this week, and I couldn't be happier to bid farewell to summer! ;) Bring on the cooler temps! 

*Said millions of women everywhere

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Vegging out: HBO-style

Last night, I poured myself a glass of cab and nestled into the coziest spot on the couch, amongst the blankets and animals.

Animals meaning Gus and Clementine.

We aren't running a zoo here, I swear.

I flipped open to where I had left off in the mystery I've been reading, but I just wasn't in the whole "missing woman, murderer on the loose in a small town" mood.

So instead, I grabbed the Apple TV remote and navigated to the HBO Go app.

Does anyone else consider disturbing documentaries a guilty pleasure?

I skipped over a few true crime films before landing on Americans in Bed.

Disturbing, indeed.

I started the documentary, sipping my red wine thoughtfully, and waiting to be shocked or scandalized.

Except I felt neither of those emotions.

Instead, I found myself charmed, laughing, and even crying at some parts. The documentary wasn't really about sex. It was about love and relationships. Some of the couples left me sad and depressed, but most of them made me feel happy and hopeful.
This couple was AMAZING.
It was a really well done film.

In typical Jenna-drinking-wine fashion, I was not ready for bed yet.

Usually tucked into bed and quickly heading toward dreamland at 10pm, the moment you give me a glass of wine, I am suddenly a night owl with a severe case of FOMO.

What movie would I watch next?

Since Adam was busy doing freelance work, I chose a more female-centric film that I'd had my eye on for a while. Brooklyn.
You guys, my eyes literally hurt this morning! That's how many times Brooklyn made me cry! The acting, the was all so beautiful. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, the protagonist is a young, Irish woman named Ellis Lacey (pronounced AY-liss, not ELLE-liss, which really confused me, by the way) who immigrates to the United States.

And let's just say there is the most swoon-worthy love story on top of some epic self-actualization on Ellis' part.


I highly recommend both movies if you happen to come across either.

They'll make you laugh, cry, and look at life in a new and exciting way.

Exactly what excellent storytelling should do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Tuesday Pun

"Look how pretty my apple looks beside my frame!" I marveled to my coworker, distracting us both from our current tasks. "Isn't it beautiful?"
She nodded thoughtfully, "Your apple beside the apple of your eye."

Obviously I wasted no time in texting that pun to Adam, pretending it was my own brilliant thought.

While he responded with a satisfying "Hahaha," he was probably just relieved to see that I was fitting in a piece of fruit after my Ina Garten brownie binge last night.

Making brownies is the best because you get to lick the bowl before they go into the oven and then enjoy little squares of chocolatey goodness after they're done baking.

They're the dessert that just keeps giving.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Balloons & Storm Clouds

After work this evening, I popped into Kroger for a few items that would help pull off a special birthday surprise for one of my most favorite colleagues.

In addition to A LOT of butter and chocolate (I baked Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies tonight—have you ever tried them? If not, please refer here), I purchased balloons to tie to my coworker's chair.

Balloons are problematic.

They're incredibly silly and fun, yet they're very frustrating to transport just about anywhere.

Oh my GOD, I thought, staring out the front windows of the grocery store as huge storm clouds gathered in the distance.

I put the pedal to the metal and rolled my shopping card outside like I was an Olympian competing in the 100 meter sprint.

Lightning streaked across the sky and thunder roared as I finally neared my little Corolla.

I threw my grocery bags into the backseat and then went to untie the balloons from the shopping cart's handle.

Except they wouldn't budge.


Boom, boom! Lightning, lighting!

My stomach felt sick and tears actually welled up in my eyes (seriously) as panic set in. I could not untie those birthday balloons for the life of me, and now I was set to die in a Kroger parking lot via lightning strike.

Finally, I fished my car keys out of my pocket and sliced the strings free.

The plastic clips went flying, one landing beside a nearby car and setting off its alarm.

"GAH! You've got to be kidding me!" I actually shouted aloud (like a crazy person!) before stuffing the boppity balloons in the car and hopping in the front seat.

Thank goodness I made it inside my car when I really poured!

I had to sit in my car for a bit once I arrived home. I took Snapchat photos of myself to remain entertained. I only stopped when a very athletic (and dedicated) runner jogged by, and I felt stupid.

I'm feeling very grateful to be in our cozy house tonight, with Ina brownies baking in the oven, our bedding tumbling about in the washer and dryer (meaning fresh sheets tonight, meaning the best thing ever), and no more balloons dancing in the wind.

Storms are better enjoyed from inside.

Just ask our wet golden retriever.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lucky Number 9

My lucky number is 9, so it's no surprise that today was such a grand day.

At lunchtime, I walked over to the seamstress for another dress fitting. Karen of Sewendipity is an absolute magician. She's making me the loveliest dress in the world. It has all sorts of ribbons, tulle, and even a bow. And today when I went for my fitting, she actually needed to take the waist in a bit, which is always a reason to rejoice.
This is the inspiration dress. Mine is pretty similar, but it features purples and a lot more sparkle!
Since I'm apparently sooo skinny, I stopped by Lala's Blissful Bites on the way back to work and picked up a "Foxi Brown" cupcake. It was chocolate heaven.

After work, I popped into Anthropologie to return a bottle of perfume I had bought online. I bought it thinking I was ordering a set of mini bottles, but it turns out, I just ordered one big bottle.

Naturally, Anthro was still having their "25% Off Sale Items" promotion, and naturally, I spent three times as much as the returned perfume cost me.

But I don't even feel guilty (yet) because I snagged a super flattering dress, a versatile t-shirt, an AMAZING wrap/kimono/scarf thing, lotion, and perfume (...because of course I would pick up more perfume after returning perfume. MEH).

When I arrived home, I climbed into my most favorite place in the world (bed) with one of my most favorite dogs in the world (Clem).

We plan on watching HBO Go tonight and politely asking Adam if we can have our supper in here.

He isn't going to say yes, but you can't blame a gal for trying.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Book of the Month Club Bliss

"Oh, a package!" I thought excitedly, as I strolled up our front porch steps after work. "Maybe it's my August Birchbox!"

It wasn't my Birchbox, though. It was my other monthly subscription and one of the most delightful services I've ever signed up for...


Last month, I read Missing, Presumed, which was a mystery book that took place in England. In addition to my hardback novel, BOTMC also included a tote bag, sunglasses, and crazy straw because they're just that neat.

My August book is called The Woman in Cabin 10, and it's written by Ruth Ware. I actually saw this novel quite a bit in the various airport bookshops during my recent trip to Austin. The cover art alone has me intrigued!
I call this my "wearing zero makeup, worked out, look rather underwhelming, so hide behind your book" pose
Liberty Hardy described the novel as a "delightfully fun mystery," so my hopes are high for this one.


I mean, how cute is that?

Cute enough to demand I wrap up my querying and editing for the evening to curl up with some red wine and a book instead? Yes, I believe it is that cute.

Off I go! 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Saturday Morning Trip to the Vet

When I went to bed last night, sometime around midnight, I was exhausted.

I spent last weekend in Austin—ending my trip with a 15-hour travel day on Monday (no fault of Delta's, all fault of my poor and inefficient flight planning)—and I returned to work bright and early that next Tuesday morning.

By the time Friday rolled around, I was feeling pretty les miserables.

So this morning, when I rolled out of bed around 11, I was all happy and refreshed. Adam had the coffeemaker brewing a fresh pot of hazelnut coffee, and it was a sunny Saturday.

I planned on hunkering down at the dining room table for a day of query letters and editing work. Maybe I would even artfully arrange my new Kate Spade tumbler (Thanks, Lib!) beside the vase of fresh flowers for a lovely Instagram picture.

The options were endless.

But when I went to army crawl beneath the bed to wake Clementine (who is deaf, and must be physically awakened), I was alarmed to see a pink discharge leaking from her "problem" eye.

When I adopted Clementine a little over a year ago, she came with two bum eyes. She has cataracts, and one of her eyes (the "problem" eye) leaks a clear discharge more often than not. She's been to the very expensive animal ophthalmologist to be checked out and cleared of any serious ailments, so it's just a Clementine quirk we deal with.
You can see her "problem" eye pretty well here!
This morning though...eeeeeek!

Even though Clementine was acting completely normal (and even let me wipe the pink discharge away from her eye with no flinching or agitation), I immediately called the vet who was able to get us in straightaway.

So off Clem and I went, zipping down the road to make it to the office as soon as we could.

Clementine's vet is wonderful. They took her back the moment we walked in the door. After some pretty uncomfortable eye tests (including the one where they stain the dog's eyes yellow), the vet determined Clementine had a pretty awful abrasion across her already cloudy eyeball.

Poor Clem!

We were sent home with antibiotics (with steroids...intense!) that Clem will have to take three times a day for ten days.

So while Adam and I will need to keep a close eye (ha ha) on her, I am just so relieved it wasn't something more serious.
Our little patient resting comfortably.
I swear, each time Clementine has a medical scare, it reminds me that I'm nowhere close to being ready for children.

If I get this worked up and emotional with my geriatric dog, how would I behave with a sick child? I was on the verge of sobbing in the examination room during Clementine's tests!

Now as I sit down with my mug of hazelnut coffee and search for literary agents, I'm feeling quite thankful for my little Corgi-Beagle mix and am so glad she's going to be okay.

How would I work without both of my writing dogs at my feet?