26 observations for 26 years of life…

Today, I turned 26. So, in honor of my aging, I thought I’d share 26 observations for the 26 years of life.

  1. What you wear is almost always as important as what you say.
  2. Ibuprofen is the same thing as Motrin.
  3. Always carry a scarf. Even on a 100+ degree day, it’ll be hot outside and cold inside.
  4. Relationships are about setting expectations. This is includes your relationship with yourself.
  5. A pint of frozen yogurt is only marginally better for you than a pint of ice cream.
  6. Just because you have a bigger bag does not mean you need to put more stuff in it. Self-induced scoliosis is not funny.
  7. Speaking to yourself negatively perpetuates bad moods.
  8. Macarons are the worlds most elegant treats to overindulge in. Just looking at them will make you smile.
  9. If the Game of Thrones series follows the books exactly, it could take a decade to finish. Not complaining, just saying.
  10. Sharing can be hard.
  11. “Natural” in reference to food and products is a silly marketing term with no meaningful regulation.
  12. The word “literally” no longer means literally. (Seriously, here’s proof!)
  13. If it looks bad on the mannequin or the model, it is unfailingly going to look terrible on a real human. Move along.
  14. Packing up your things and moving to a new home gets more difficult by multiples of 10 for every year you are alive.
  15. Nike’s slogan can be applied to most everything in life. So, just. do. it. Even if you don’t feel like it.
  16. Wear shoes you can walk in for more than 15 minutes.
  17. Leaving dishes in the sink for the morning will start your day off terribly. Don’t.
  18. Trends suck. Do, and wear things you like.
  19. Hosting a dinner party themed à la pinterest is basically impossible.
  20. Every year, from now on, you will only get older.
  21. Accept that you will change your mind. Often.
  22. Your friends probably have the same guilty pleasures as you do. Embrace the shame, together.
  23. Being kind to others is important. Being kind to yourself is too.
  24. Muffins are cupcakes without frosting.
  25. Sleeping in on weekends is totally acceptable, unless the clock hits the double digits (you’re safe until 9:59).
  26. Moderate vanity is better than becoming unkempt.
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Pros & Cons: The Cleveland Color Run Edition

Cleveland Color Run Pros and Cons

This Saturday, I completed my very first 5K, The Color Run, a just-for-fun type of event that travels around the country with no pressure or timers so I thought it was a low risk introduction to races. In The Color Run as told by me, my heart would be beating in my ears with excitement. When the sound went off, magical bursts of color would rain down (à la snow making machine) and, as we all rushed out to start our 5K, everyone would be running, really fast. That, is not what happened. Sadly, there was no color-distributing snow-making machine, it rained from start to finish (which really is not a problem for me normally because I prefer running in inclement weather, but it made the color particularly difficult to remove later), and the runner-to-walker ratio made it hard to actually run. Unmet expectations aside, a lot of the pros and cons are the same, depending on what you’re looking for out of the race.

Pros

  • Not competitive
  • It’s only a 5K
  • Friendly
  • Fun idea (I mean, when is the last time you had colorful cornstarch thrown at you?)
  • Chance to be silly (costumes are encouraged)
  • Accepts walkers, runners, and all other forms of movement
  • Cute gear/swag bag
  • Water is consistently available and there are lots of decent porta potties

Cons

  • Messy (my blond friend still has pink in her hair 3 days later)
  • T-shirt is white and kindof a requirement for the race (so if it’s raining, watch out!)
  • Not competitive (More leisurely walkers than runners)
  • A little disorganized
  • Does not support a charitable cause
  • Potentially hazardous (sunglasses and a bandana are a wise choice)

So, would I have done it all over again if I could change time? Yes. Should you do it next time? If you’re not looking for a serious run, and just want to have fun with friends (and an excuse to dress-up), then yes.

This is not my Whole Foods…the truth about change.

Two months ago I had this moment of utter panic when I walked into my new grocery store and realized, THIS. IS. NOT. MY. WHOLE. FOODS. Sure, it was a Whole Foods, but not my Whole Foods. The aisles were stocked differently, the people moved around slower than molasses, and I was operating on a mere 4 hours of sleep. Yes, it was panic. The kind of panic that reverberates up and down your spine. We’d only just moved to a new place the night before, everything I owned was in boxes, and my little dog was seriously suffering from separation anxiety as was evidenced by the fact that her crying could be heard across the street, (an uncomfortable note that was pointed out by our neighbors). Considering she weighs all of 6 lbs, it was an impressive feat…and the list continues, B had just started a new position which had him coming home in the wee hours of the morning (we’re talking 12:00AM and later). But this was the historic district. A place we’d been trying to move to for the last 4 years. We’d even scored a covered two car garage. This is what I’d wanted, right? RIGHT? So, why the melt down at Whole Foods? Change. It was change. Loads of change, everywhere I looked. Good change. Bad change. Frustrating change…exciting change. It doesn’t even matter what kind of change really, because change is hard until you normalize. So you either bend or you break, or you have your very own flavor of a mini melt down in Whole Foods.  Which ever path you choose, you will normalize eventually, or something like that. And normalize I did. Two months later, I love our new digs and my new Whole Foods (admittedly, it has a better floral and deli section anyway)…So now that it doesn’t feel so much like change anymore, the change itself was pretty much the best decision, ever.

Multiple clock window display | The Polka-dot Maven

Out of order? You’re out of order.

Plain and simple, I’ve been absent…ignoring my blog the same way I ignore plant life. I’ve wanted to write…but, I couldn’t seem to decide where I wanted the Polka-dot Maven to go. And, to be fair, life’s been busy! We’ve moved (as in, packed up boxes and moved domiciles), I’m running a 5K, having surgery soon, you know, just the usual. But still, it’s no excuse. I wont bore you with empty apologies but I will share the good, the bad and the absolutely ugly details of the last several months. So, in short, I’m resuscitating this blog and I invite you to read along. There will be food. There will be fashion. There will be observations. And, it’s definitely going to be out of order.

Flowers on a wall

Succulents: The plant that just won’t die…

Today marks the one year anniversary of my succulent plant’s life. This is no ordinary feat. Unlike my grandmother who has always had the most beautifully lush gardens–no matter how hardy the plant, its death has been eminent in my care. Peppers, tomatoes, scallions and copious amounts of basil have been a staple in her menagerie. Delicate and fickle, edible or not, whatever the plant, it would surely thrive under my grandmother’s green-thumbed care. Despite my best efforts; orchids, herbs, a small tree, rosemary plants…may they rest in peace, have all perished under my supervision. I imagine plants in nurseries tremble when I walk by. Leaves likely start to turn brown and fall off…But not anymore! Over the last year, I have discovered that succulents are virtually indestructible. These guys retain water so well, allowing for minimal attention and sort-of bulbous squishy looking features. Considering they often live (and I might add thrive) in desert like climates, I’ve only had to water them once every 3 weeks. They even once survived a watering of day-old green tea. Any way, if like me, you want the soothing benefits of seeing greenery in your office but are tragically inept when it comes to plant care, opt for succulents.

 

"Fail, Fail and Fail Better" The Polka-dot Maven

Stay creative, be inspired…

With the advent of eReaders, I rarely come across books (apart from the leather-bound variety) that I find the need to have physically. The convenient act of one-click purchases and the associated instant gratification usually wins out. But not always. “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be” by Paul Arden absolutely must be held and paged through in person. I am not one for the self-help genre, but this book inspires. When my brain feels like an extra porous sieve, I find that the simple and elegantly packaged words that quietly reside inside 127 pages serve as a continuous source of encouragement. You need only leaf through the pages, letting your eyes scan at random because each page stands just as well on its very own. Best of all, in this relatively tiny book, Arden marries two things I love: the art of simplicity and the command of a Helvetica-type font.

Hey, spring, are you here yet?

I want it to be warm out, really, I do. It feels like it’s been snowing for ages, and by ages what I mean is 4 months. For the last week and  half, we’ve been experienceing spring. Albeit late spring with high humidity, but it was spring none the less. And then today happened. 42 degrees and raining sideways. So, instead of letting it get me down, I grabbed the one thing that I love most about cooler weather: a scarf. I have written other posts professing my unfaltering love affair with scarves. Chic, elegant, comfortable, and best of all easy. I still can’t name another accessory that can dress up a t-shirt in 30 seconds flat. Any way, along with rubber rain boots, I guess it’s still not quite time to stow away my favorite winter scarves. The Polka-dot Maven in a Burberry Scarf

Sweater: J. Crew Scarf: Burberry (similar)