Hi, my name is Alyson. I'm a shopoholic.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Not really though.

Well, maybe kinda.

Truthfully, I used to be a tomboy. Fashion wasn't ever a big thing for me until I was well out of high school and I still don't read Vogue or any other style magazines. But now I like to look pretty - I even have big pink tattoos. I watch What Not To Wear. And now that I am dating a man who actually has decent taste in clothing (very impressive, actually) and doesn't look under-dressed next to me, I am given an even better reason to tighten up my wardrobe.

Though I have a pretty large closet, it has most definitely not been enough space to house my huge collection of clothes and shoes. Losing weight over the past year has been a blessing, since it meant I could jettison all the clothes that were too big for me now, though realizing some of my favorite items aren't worth being altered to a smaller size is a bit sad. Lately, I've found myself constantly editing my closet and dresser, removing stuff that I have to admit I will never wear again. All in all, it amounts to about 10 garbage bags worth of stuff.

I know this because it's all sitting in my living room right now.

On the right I have piled almost everything that is going directly to Goodwill (except the cat). On the left, I have almost everything that I am going to try to sell to a local thrift shop/ebay.

That's probably at least $1k worth of clothes and shoes, and I'm just hoping to get at least enough to pay for the Guess shoes I'm bidding on right now. Thankfully the Olsen inspired revamp won't be too costly since I already have a number of key pieces (they're the classics every girl should have) and I've been pretty lucky to find other items very similar to their designer things but with a much cheaper price tag.

The new etsy addiction is a whole 'nother story.

Shameless Plug Sunday: Helle

Sunday, January 24, 2010
I've known Danielle Decanti for a number of years now, and though she has been an UH-mazing friend one of the things I most appreciate about her is that she created the circumstances that allow me to tell people to "go to Helle" on a pretty consistent basis. I met Mrs. D about 5 years ago when I was working at an awful salon in Belltown that experienced an abrupt exodus of employees that resulted in me being promoted from receptionist to manager in a few short months. We had a tiny room for our esthetician and when the upset sent one girl packing, Danielle found her way to us.

She is incredibly talented at what she does and incredibly fun as well, and since we left that godawful place we have remained friends. Not too long after she left, she put her heart and soul (and bank account) into opening her own "skin sanctuary" in June of 2006 in the Georgetown neighborhood - a place that is as cute and full of character as she is.

"Are you looking for an alternative to the same old spa scene? You know where to go. Helle
is a sanctuary from urban grime and pretentiousness. We provide clinical grade skincare in an it’s-o.k.-if-you’re-not-feeling-quite-so-zen environment. Maybe you’re no angel, but, baby, we’re gonna make you look like one"

It may be cheeky, and it's the perfect presentment.

Helle has an uber talented staff, including Danielle, who is a Skin Guru and able to perform miracles on seemingly stubborn skin and probably entertain you very much at the same time, if you are so inclined. She uses and has gotten me addicted to Dermalogica products, as well as her own occasional concoctions, such as an unbelievable product that was immediately deemed "snake oil." Amy is a triple threat - a Licensed Massage Practitioner, Reflexologist, AND(!!!) Tarot Reader. Word from many of her clients that I have run into is that she is really really really good at what she does. All of it.

Now they have a fantastic new location opening in Georgetown (6253 13th Avenue South) on February 1st aaaand as if they didn't rock enough, as of February 2nd they will be offering Happy Hour from Helle on Tuesdays - discounts on their express treatments, with delicious noshes and beverages to ease you through those rough after work hours!

My new style icon: The Olsen Twins

Thursday, January 21, 2010
No, seriously.

As I was catching up on one of my favorite blogs recently (On Common Ground) I came across a post the Missus had written back in November about how she felt Ashley Olsen was "the prettier and more fashionable of the two Olsen twins." I didn't understand how anyone could think of either as "fashionable" until I scrolled down to see this picture:

Um, WHAT? I love that outfit. Classic, casual, pretty...I immediately started mentally taking stock of my current wardrobe to figure out what I would need to pull it off.

This is not the slubby stuff I normally see them running around in on the cover of gossip rags, but I can relate to having a very casual side to my wardrobe. Considering I wear jeans, flats and a hat to work everyday (with no make-up) my coworkers would probably tell you that my sense of style is questionable. Ask my friends who see me on the weekends prettied up, hair down, heels on and they would probably say they appreciate and/or admire my taste.

Last year I found myself striving to locate and purchase "signature" pieces and promised myself no more t-shirts and less jeans - everything I bought would be quirky and eye-catching. This year I find comfort in heading out to the bars in a nicely cut t-shirt and a blazer on top of cute jeans. I'm almost 30, and though I don't need to dress like an old lady, there are some trends that are just too young (or just plain unflattering) for me.

The twins may only be 23, but they have developed a great taste for casual and attractive clothing (that picture is from 2007, but the outfit could still be rocked today with nary a dirty look from self-proclaimed fashionistas) and dammit - I want to be like them (at least clothing-wise). After I got over the shock, I spent the next hour googling them and found that people actually devote entire blogs to the Olsen's fashion. Yes, really. And I am kind of in love with ♥Nohemi♥'s Olsen Twins collection on Polyvore.

Pardon me, I'm off to jettison half my wardrobe again to see if I can sell it for new duds (maybe now the remainder will finally all fit in my closet).


Wednesday, January 20, 2010
My hiatus was obviously much longer than I anticipated and now I don't even know where to start to catch up...So I probably won't in some cases. Just sayin'.

Let's work backwards for a moment and see what I can cover quickly.

NaNoWriMo: Wrote about 40 pages. Technically, I was writing about 30 days in my own life and eventually I realized that is a pretty crappy format to try to keep up with while actually living your life. Also, at the time I had some pretty heavy stuff going on and some major distractions. All in all, I understand this just amounts to poor excuses, but I've never written 20 pages for a novel let alone 40 so I don't see it as a total failure.

Char's reading: I actually do have the psychic reading transcribed now (thanks in part to NaNoWriMo) and will be able to publish it throughout the next few weeks (it's loooong).

Training and balance: I just recently started my second round of 5k training, which has been pretty easy since my lovely boyfriend has been uber busy with his music and recording the past few weeks.

Ohhhh yes. Part of the distraction in my life lately has been the introduction of a new beau and amazing new friends, as well as a lot of change happening for my long-term buddies. I feel like it's the end of an era in a lot of ways for many people I know, but when one era ends another begins and I can't help but look forward to the things ahead for all of us.