Friday Five

Remember the Pia Wallen Crux blanket I bought and was super excited about? It’s been living comfortably on the back a chair in our living room ever since, and has come in handy when I feel like lounging (read: always). Last night, after a great dinner at my mom’s house visiting with my aunt who had flown in from Australia, I came home to discover that Fitz, in his infinite jerkdom, had eaten a perfect hole in it. A HOLE. THE DUDE ATE MY BLANKET. I’m going to level with you, I was inconsolable. Boyfriend kept saying he’d buy me a new one, and while that is extra sweet and totally unnecessary, it isn’t the point. The point is my dog is a jerk and I now have one entire cross missing out of the blanket. Thankfully it’s near the bottom seam so by folding the blanket in half and tucking the back of it behind the chair cushion, the damage is completely invisible. But the moment someone tries to use it they’re going to see his handy work. UGH, FITZ.

(I don’t plan on calling my kids jerks when they do stuff like this later in life, I swear. Maybe just on my blog. Never to their faces.)

Aside from that, dinner was wonderful and my mom sent me home with far too many leftovers, including an entire cake I picked up on the way over since she went all domestic-goddess-y and made homemade ice cream and chocolate lava cakes. I’m honestly still full this morning, but luckily the increased sugar intake didn’t have any affect on my teeth; I had a dentist appointment this morning to kick off the weekend, and passed with flying colors (no cavities!). Tomorrow morning Boyfriend’s parents are coming in to visit their (jerk) grandpuppy and spending the weekend with us. In the meantime, here are five things tickling my fancy this week:

1. Duvet set / 2. Shampoo & Conditioner / 3. Tank top / 4. Macaron Soap / 5. Plates

I am perversely excited for the new IKEA PS 2012 line. This duvet set will be making an appearance in my home as soon as I can get my hands on it. The collection launches in Europe in May, and then in the states in August, but I’m already mapping out where the closest Belgian IKEA is. What? Going to IKEA on vacation is lame? Don’t judge me. If you’re going to pass judgment for anything, let it be that I spent $60 on the Kevin Murphy plum shampoo & conditioner at the hair salon on Tuesday after my haircut. It was more than the haircut itself! I got talked into it without knowing the price of either, and was too wrapped up in how shiny and delicious my hair looked and smelled (respectively) to put them back. I don’t know, I was high on endorphines or something. To be fair, the packaging is amazing and my hair really does feel way better, but that’s probably because this is the first non-drugstore hair product I’ve ever used. Yikes! Admitting that made it sound worse.

It’s no secret I’m a stripe-aholic, and this tank from H&M meets more than one nautical requirement, and comes in at under $13. What’s not to love? I have to run some errands in town today anyway, so it wouldn’t hurt to check the store to see if they have it in stock, right? Right. And while we’re on the subject of cute strips, can we take a look at the Daschund in the striped bathing suit? Or maybe the jaunty hat and drink with a straw? Or maybe the Daschund surfing? Come on. West Elm hits it out of the park yet again with these adorable plates. Their only downfall is that they might just be too cute to eat off of.

And I know, I know, macarons, again. God, I’m so predictable. But these aren’t just any macarons, no no. They’re bars of soap! You guys, I have at one time in my life asserted my love of macarons runs so deep that I’d rub them all over myself if I could. And now I get to without it being creepy and unhygienic! In fact, now it’s the exact opposite. Etsy has a million different kinds of macaron soap, which just goes to show you I’m not the only one obsessed with the French delicacies. It’s oddly comforting.

Alright lovelies, what are you up to this weekend? I said I’d make curtains last weekend but then I had really important naps to take and never got around to it. It likely won’t happen this weekend either, but I’ll keep you posted! So, tell me your plans. Anything fun going on? Have a good one, kiddos!

Like a Picture

I TOTALLY FORGOT TO TELL YOU yesterday, but guess what song came on during my haircut on Tuesday night?? “Africa” by Toto! The very song I said was one of my all time favorite 80s songs just earlier that morning. The stylist was in the middle of drying my hair and I could still hear that iconic drum beat over the blow dryer. “Is this Toto?!?” I asked him. “Um, I don’t know?” he replied, looking mildly terrified. “IT IS! IT’S TOTO “AFRICA!”,” I shrieked. And then proceeded to sing along, not just to the words, but to the drum and synth lines as well. Don’t worry, I tipped the stylist well for his trouble.

Anyway, the inspiration for this post was this picture, which I found during one of my many internet-scourings, and fell instantly in love with. It’s so moody and evocative. I wanted to incorporate it in some way into a post, and the idea came to me to find home decor elements that matched the color and tone of the image. But this post almost didn’t happen, because I couldn’t for the life of me capture the texture and warmth of her sweater in anything that I found.

And then last night, I was laying on the sofa in the den downstairs, and I pulled a blanket over me and snuggled up while Boyfriend and Fitz were playing on the floor. I made the same comment I make every time I use that blanket, which is that it is unbelievably soft. It’s an Assiro Herringbone throw, which I wrote about in a Friday Five here and which Boyfriend bought me for Christmas (yes, I received many presents that I’d written about on my blog, like these boots, this lens, watch, and book. This sets a bad precedent for next Christmas, and Boyfriend is totally aware of that fact). It is without a doubt the snuggliest and most luxuriously soft blanket I’ve ever felt. Unfortunately I can’t use it on the sofa in the upstairs living room or even on the bed because Fitz has claimed those areas for himself and I don’t want to have yet another blanket ruined with dog hair and dog stink. The downstairs den is generally an off-limits area; we keep the door closed when we’re not in there.

But that blanket reminded me of all the other colors it comes in, and I vaguely remembered a warm chestnut brown. Sure enough, it was a perfect match to the picture. And thus, a post was born. And once I finished one picture, I immediately wanted to do a second.

1. Blanket / 2. Candle

 1. Blanket / 2. Candle / Picture

I went with blankets and candles because, well, I’m a Crazy Candle lady and you can never have enough throw blankets. If you’re in the market for a new one, I cannot recommend the Herringbone throw enough. If my dog wasn’t such a (lovable) smelly jerk I’d have 3 of them, one for every sofa and chair in the house. I think I’ll make this a weekly feature, what do you say?

Tuesday Tunes

This post is dedicated to my hilarious friend Audrey, and is intended as an apology for the time she gave me a savvy tip about some cheap tassel garland and I later went on to say the post was “thrown together, poorly executed” and that “no post might have been better” than that one. Audrey, darling girl, you have to know that as a Very Serious Blogger sometimes I take things too, well, seriously and am ultra-hard on myself. Looking back, that post was just fine. In fact, it was better than just fine, it was great. And I wouldn’t have had a post at all without you and your magical skills! Insert a random Parks & Rec quote here (“Ben is that your real name? Oh you can do better than that, I’ll help you out right now. Your name is Angelo. Angelo, thank you so much for coming out. Get a thicker tie, it looks weird on you. It makes your head look like a fish…Lastly, I hate the name Angelo. I’m going to switch it up for you right now. Your new name is Jello Shot. What do you think about that, J-Shot?”), and we’ve got a bonafide apology. Just to seal the deal, here’s a Jean-Ralphio gif, since the crux of our friendship is based on this wonderful character:

 (You don’t even know how hard it was for me to narrow it down to just one)

Last week, on the way back from lunch this song, by 80s band Go West came on her car radio. Audrey and I started belting it out, and then because we had to park the car but the song was officially stuck in my head, I proceeded to listen to it 3 times on repeat at my desk. Not only is this my hommage to Audrey, it would totally work out well if she didn’t actually forgive me for being ungrateful for her garland-sleuthing, because lines like “I’ll never never never shed a tear for you!” pretty much make this song the perfect post-break-up anthem:

Is there a better era of music than the 80s? I don’t think so. The original music video is absolutely bonkers, but embedding was disabled (Theresa, I know you feel my pain!). Check it out if you can; there are tons of fake Julia Roberts look-alikes, and zebras. Yes, zebras.

Favorite 80s song? Tie between “Africa” by Toto, and every New Kids on the Block song that came out before 1990. You?

Getting Anxious

The other day, Rooth posted a drool-worthy picture of a box of Ladurée macarons, with a question on the pronunciation. Since I have dubbed myself the unofficial Queen of Macarons (evidenced by my many posts on the delicious subject here, here, here, and here), I decided to weigh in with the correct answer: it’s maca-ROHNS in French. And then, because I’m a total nut job and spend an embarrassing portion of my day googling macarons, I found this poster on Etsy which answers the debate even better than I could:

from here

If that just isn’t the most darling print I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is. I feel like I need one printed wallet sized so I can break it out whenever I run into the same debate, which is surprisingly frequently. Macaroons and macarons are not the same thing, and I get more than a little defensive when someone assumes they are. Mostly because I think macarons are Gods gift to cuisine and were put on this earth to make me happy. Yes.

Of course, all of this macaron talk is just getting me more and more excited for my trip to Paris & Belgium in May (6 weeks to go!!). In fact, I had a dream about Paris the other night and actually woke up crying. Happy tears, obviously. And it wasn’t like the dream was anything specifically magical, I was just walking around the city. That’s all. And my heart swelled so much that even dream Erin got all weepy. I’ll pause while you judge me.

Dream Erin is also as neurotic as Real Erin, so there was one part of the dream where I was freaking out because I hadn’t remembered to take a shirt-dress to the dry cleaners to be pressed in time for our flight, and oh my god what was I going to wear? My subconscious is finding ways to remind me of all the stuff I still have to do before we leave. I’ve made list after list of things to pack, things to see, outfits for each day with alternatives for weather, but I’m still super anxious that I’m going to forget something. I’ve been pretty good about sticking to a budget for this trip, made easier by the fact that we’ve only had to pay for 1 sleeping accommodation so far thanks to tons and tons of hotel points, but I’m sure all my brilliant planning is going to backfire somehow. Here are some things I still need:

1. Trench / 2. Train tickets / 3. Lipstick / 4. Ballet flats / 5. Chill Pill / 6. Outlet adapter

I’ve been waffling over whether or not to buy a trench coat, since I don’t know if the weather will warrant it, but after talking with my friend Aisling about it, she convinced me to buy one to have just in case. Neither of us are the type of people who can roll with the punches, so if I didn’t buy one and it was chilly in Brussels one day, I would have a nervous breakdown trying to find one to buy. It’s better to just save myself the stress and be prepared. Thanks, Aisling!

I’m not going anywhere, not even to Paris, unless I book train tickets soon. Thalys has a route-monopoly on the train from Brussels to Paris, but tickets are only €39 per person each way. Considering we’re staying in two luxurious hotels for free in Paris, I think I can handle the cost of the train. But I actually need to buy tickets, and I’m a nervous wreck about it for some reason. Obviously I need a chill pill, so that little ice cube tray set is meant to be a joke at my own expense.

I realized halfway through my packing list that remembering to bring my laptop/camera/iPod chargers was useless unless I had a way to plug them in. This inspired a crazy stint of research trying to figure out if the outlets in Belgium and France are the same, since I know UK outlets are totally different. This all-in-one outlet adapter is under $4, which is all well and good but the price is irrelevant until I actually buy one. Get on it!

And while things like an outlet adapter and train tickets are vitally important, there are also less vital but exceedingly vain items I still need, like black ballet flats and poppy lipstick for looking chic and European. I had forgotten all about Poppy King’s collaboration with J. Crew, and last I checked that signature lipstick had sold out. Not so! I hesitated last week on buying it and missed out on free shipping. Drat.

I’m not the only one who compulsively makes packing lists and still finds ways to get anxious over forgetting something, am I? What’s your travel-secret for making sure you pack everything? Anyone ever traveled to Belgium in May? Any weather tips you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated!

Friday Five

I got a phone call from my doctor yesterday, the results from the biopsy had come back. As I suspected (slash googled furiously in between Monday’s endoscopy and yesterday), I’ve been officially diagnosed with a condition called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either, but from what I’ve been able to find out online, EE is an allergic inflammatory condition in the esophagus that causes food impaction, difficulty swallowing, and heartburn-like symptoms (basically everything I’ve been experiencing). It’s common in children and people with asthma, but can be triggered by a food allergy or environmental allergy (my doctor thinks it is a gluten allergy). It’s often incorrectly diagnosed as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, and is therefore resistant to any sort of heartburn medication. Which explains why the prescription of Nexium he gave me leading up to the procedure didn’t do anything to help. It only gave me one more thing to be neurotic about Fitz finding and eating.

I’m happy it isn’t cancer or something and I’m happy to finally have a name for what I’m dealing with. Part of what was so tough about these episodes is that they made no sense. It was confusing to deal with and not be able to call it something other than “OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP.” So there’s that. The downside is that the first line of treatment is to take an asthma inhaler and pump it twice into my hand and then LICK IT. Asthma inhalers are corticosteroids, and since you can’t apparently get a prescription for a liquid corticosteroid, this is how it has to be done. I had to have the doctor repeat that to me a few times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. “So you want me to take an inhaler, but not inhale it?” “Yes.” “You want me to pump it into my hand, twice, and then lick the liquid out of the palm of my hand?” “Yes. Oh, and you can’t eat or drink anything for an hour afterwards.” “Uh…” “And you have to do it twice a day.” “This sounds awesome.”


But, I’m looking at the positives, and hopefully this will treat my symptoms and I won’t have to spend any more nights arched in pain and unable to breath or swallow or vomiting reflexively. But I mean, come on. Who has ever even heard of Eosinophilic Esophagitis, let alone been diagnosed with it? Seriously.

Obviously I’m consoling myself with material things. But you probably could’ve guessed that. Without further random medical interruption, here are this week’s Friday Five:

1. Scarf / 2. Necklace / 3. Perfume / 4. Duvet / 5. Bag

It’s clear from this collection of things that I’m very happy it’s officially Spring. Lots of bright colors, lots of florals, a straw bag for wandering around farmers markets and carrying home peonies, and a perfume that smells like candy. I first sniffed this Prada scent in this month’s Vanity Fair and instantly fell in love. Usually I find those perfume ads in magazines olfactorily offensive, so this was a rare feat. Unfortunately the smallest size they sell is way more than I’d ever spend on perfume, but that hasn’t stopped me from huffing that one page of the magazine every morning on the subway like some big weirdo.

Between that gorgeous scarf by Ash & Anchor (totally bought it for myself as an “I’m sorry you have a stupid problem with your esophagus” present) and the floral duvet cover by Urban Outfitters, I’m really embracing florals so far this season. I didn’t really peg myself as the type of girl who would pine after a Grandma-style bedspread, but it’s just so pretty and colorful. It reminds me of the type of bouquet you’d carry home in that tote bag from J Crew. I see those straw bags everywhere in the summer, and they seem perfect for the beach or just for a stroll around the city.

I’m so sad that necklace from seller Son of a Sailor on Need Supply (still obsessed!) is sold out. I signed up to be notified if it comes back in stock. I love the color combination on it and I bet it would look great with any outfit. I’m also making an effort to be better with accessorizing, because as it stands I don’t accessorize at all.

Okay, dudettes. What are you up to this weekend? I think I’m making curtains! In between licking medicine out of my hand. IT’S STILL WEIRD. Have a good one, kiddos.

A Guide to the 17eme

Remember when I went on that super weepy spiel about how much I love blogging because it fostered this wonderful little community of incredible people? And how I can’t believe that a year ago I didn’t know anyone and know I have friends? Well, I’m totally justified in being so sappy and sentimental about the amazing world of blogging, because Süsk of Süsk & Banoo sent me an email a few days ago saying she had something for me for my upcoming trip to Paris. Me, being the greedy little turd that I am, totally gave her my mailing address in expectation of a physical package, and then had to back-pedal and hang my head in shame after she awkwardly confessed it was “just a pdf.” But you know what, she didn’t have to apologize at all. Because that thing she called “just a pdf” turned out to be this absolute gem:


What’s that, you ask? Oh, just a personalized, made-for-me map of the arrondissement we’re staying in with all of her favorite local shops and restaurants numbered, described with the cutest Süsk-isms (“NOMFEST!”) and sweet recommendations based on my likes (“Little quirky shop with lots of things with French writing on them – I know you love that stuff!”). YOU GUYS. I just about lost it. How thoughtful is that?? Süsk used to live in this neighborhood and will likely be returning at some point, after she and her math-genius husband sell their gorgeous cottage in London (go take a look!), so I trust her judgement when it comes to where to get the best boeuf tartare or cup of tea in Paris.

This sort of map is what tourists like me kill for. Not, um, literally. But you know what I mean. I now possess an insider’s guide to my favorite city in the world. Hopefully it makes me feel like less of a tourist, but I might be a lost cause because I will undoubtedly be hopping up and down and flapping my hands out front of Ladurée. Possibly shrieking. Who knows!

Thank you again, Süsk (ladies, if you aren’t reading her blog, you’re seriously missing out. but don’t expect her to make personalized Paris maps for just anyone, you know). Try though you might to feign modesty, your design-skillz are amazing. You made my dreams come true. I will now forever associate you with this beautiful ballad by Hall & Oates:

Two of a Kind

No, not like in poker. Although, side story, I am really good at poker. My dad taught me to play when I was younger (like, 9) when we were staying at his friend’s cabin on the Susquehanna river one winter and there was nothing to do but sit inside and enjoy the view. He even bought me a set of poker chips one year for Christmas. These days the most exposure to poker I have is when Boyfriend plays Texas Hold em down in AC while I treat myself to a manicure in the hotel spa. And okay, fine, occasionally I’ll throw $20 into the Wheel of Fortune slots.

Anyway. With as much time as I spend on the internet, certain things like colors and patterns show up repeatedly. I’ve been noticing a lot of similarities and common trends recently with clothing and accessories, especially with all of the spring and summer palates making their appearance. There are two of a kinds popping up everywhere, from sandals and bracelets, to t-shirts and clutch bags.

1. Bracelets / 2. Sandals / 3. Tee / 4. Bag / 5. Sandals / 6. Necklace

I don’t know how I hadn’t discovered web retailer Need Supply before, but I think I’m in love. It’s a hipper, more authentic Urban Outfitters, the models are covered in tattoos, and most stuff is reasonably priced. Also, I am beyond ready to wear sandals again, and thankfully with yesterday being the first day of spring and the temperature this week hovering in the 70s, I might get my chance soon enough. Mama needs a pedicure first, though. That’s just common courtesy.

Tuesday Tunes

So about that big scary day at the hospital yesterday. First off: I’m alive! I’m sure you all had your doubts. I went in at 8:45 and was home on the sofa by 11:30. But that isn’t to say the whole experience wasn’t rife with terrifying bits, because it totally was even though I didn’t die. I’m sure you probably know this about me by now, but I am a humongous baby about everything. I think I’m missing the gene responsible for the basic human will to live; when faced with even the most minor of complications, my immediate instinct is to say, “Okay, well it’s been real” and lay down in defeat. This happens whenever I’m in an elevator and the doors take just a second longer to open then they should. My brain interprets the situation as, “You’re never getting out of here. You will die here.” To even get to the procedure yesterday I had to take two elevators, one in the parking garage and one in the actual hospital, so my limited coping skills were completely depleted by the time they brought me back to get changed into the fancy hospital-issued gown and socks. They might as well have been playing a death march or something.

Then, because why should things go smoothly, the nurse couldn’t get the IV in my right hand as I was back there getting all my intake work done. He hit a valve but decided to keep on pushing the needle in JUST IN CASE, and when he finally gave up and pulled the line out, a squirt of blood shot out from the end of the IV needle and across my lap. Do I need to tell you that the sight of blood makes my legs feel like they are piles of goo and my heart squeezes itself into my ears? In that moment (and there was maybe a drop of blood at most but I saw a gushing river pouring out of my body) I thought, you know what? I always knew this is how I would go. I was chattering nervously about who knows what, just talking at a mile a minute to my poor nurse to keep myself distracted.

They finally get the IV inserted in my left hand, use about 20 alcohol wipes to clean up the crime scene, and then explain the procedures to me and have me sign a bunch of paperwork authorizing everything. I was very aware that I was basically signing my life over to them and giving them consent to murder me, which I was sure was happening because the lead anesthesiologist took a look at my intake paperwork and goes, “You’re getting Propofol. That’s the drug that killed Michael Jackson.”



I mean COME ON. Just show me where you’re hiding the chain saw and tools to torture and dismember my body, why don’t you. Things You Should Never Say to a Patient About to Receive Anesthesia 101. At that point I was seriously debating booking it into the waiting room, grabbing Boyfriend and my mom and fleeing for my life. I could live with the esophageal spasms, right? They weren’t so bad. Anything was preferable to this.

They led me back to the procedure room, this terribly scary and sterile white room (the least beautiful all-white room I’ve ever seen) that looks like every operating room you’ve seen on tv. I got to lay on my side, and they hooked me up to all the heart and pulse monitors. My doctor talked to me about photography for a few minutes while they hooked my IV up to the anesthesia. They put a thing in my mouth to keep it propped open and fastened it around my head. The anesthesiologist asked, “Do you feel anything yet?” “Nuh uh,” I said, through the plastic mouth guard secured to my face. And I didn’t. I just remember feeling like there was a hair dryer running somewhere near my ears, because everything got sort of fuzzy. I was so proud of myself, though, thinking I was immune to Propofol. “Psh, I’m not even tired. I don’t feel anything. My body is so powerful!…..I guess I’ll close my eyes, since they want me to go to sleep. I’m not even tired but I—”

Cut to half an hour later and I’m waking up in recovery. I was expecting to be groggy and out of it and was sort of looking forward to all the ridiculous things I would say, but instead I woke up thinking, “Did they do it already?” There was no drowsiness or any sort of delayed cognition. I was alert and acutely aware of a long, thin tube running down my throat and out of my nose, connecting to a small black box in my lap. Oh, right. So the endoscopy was a breeze, but I’d totally forgotten about the manometry portion of the program. AWESOME.

I was only in recovery for about 10 or 15 minutes before they let me get dressed (YOU try maneuvering a pile of tubing coming out of your face under your t-shirt without accidentally yanking on it and feeling it all the way down in your stomach) and signed all of my release forms. The doctor came to talk to me and said everything looked fine but he sent off some samples to be biopsied. Then the discharge nurse gave me perhaps the grossest and least welcome gift I’ve ever received: pictures of my esophagus from the inside. There’s like a full page of small pictures that could easily be the cover of any number of slasher horror movies. When Boyfriend saw them later he said, “I actually love you a little bit less after seeing that.” MYSTERY, our relationship doesn’t have it anymore. Instead of scarring you all for life, here are some pictures of a ridiculous looking cat:

You’re welcome.

I was led upstairs (a third elevator ride!) and right into another doctor’s office. I should mention that the long tube coming out of my nose had interval markers with numbers all along it. I had a hunch this part would suck, and I was right. The Meanest Doctor Ever proceeded to pull the tube out little by little, so that the end inside of me lined up with certain sections of muscles in my esophagus. She would squirt a syringe full of water into my mouth and tell me to swallow. The little black box on the end plugged into her computer and recorded the results. She would pull the tube out a little more to test another section of muscles, and then squirt some more water in my mouth like I was a nursing baby farm animal. This went on for what felt like an hour, and I wasn’t permitted to swallow in between sips of water, even though the urge was overwhelming; I could feel the tube in the back of my throat and in the back of my nose and it burned.

I’ll spare you the gory details of what happened when the tube finally came all the way out, but I basically ran out of her office and into the arms of my waiting entourage. After making a follow-up appointment for April 11th to get all the results, I went home, had some soup and lots of gatorade, and tried to take a nap. At around 4 the doorbell went off, sending Fitz into a tizzy. Boyfriend answered and a delivery man handed over this wonderfulness:

Shock of all shocks, it wasn’t even from a relative. They were from Boyfriend’s office (my old job). How sweet and unnecessary is that? I haven’t worked there in 14 months, they were in no way obligated to send flowers. And it wasn’t even like the whole procedure was that serious, despite the tragedy I tried to make out of it. The flowers are absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to suck the helium out of that balloon. They were a very welcome treat yesterday.

I’m back at work today feeling sort of achey in my chest. Thank you all for your sweet and concerned comments yesterday. Before I forget, this is a Tuesday Tunes post. Clearly after my harrowing experience, the only appropriate song for today is this old school gem:

I apologize in advance for this song getting stuck in your head.


This morning I’m undergoing an upper GI endoscopy as well as esophageal manometry (even I had to google it) at the same hospital I ended up in almost exactly one year ago when I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my big toe (that will never not be simultaneously humiliating and hilarious to me). I talked about the reason for today’s procedure briefly over here, but to make a long story short I’ve been having weird and debilitating pains in my chest caused by my esophagus spasming, which feels about as awesome as it sounds. Other symptoms include the inability to breathe or swallow and involuntary vomiting. I know all vomiting is pretty much involuntary unless you’re bulemic, but in my case it’s not like my stomach is upset or I’m even nauseated; my esophagus just forces food out of me in these super violent episodes where it feels like my chest is being hijacked by a really pissed-off, red-hot brick. Apparently endoscopies are super routine and common, but I’m 100% convinced I’m going to die today. This is probably just starvation talking; I wasn’t permitted to eat anything after 10pm last night, which is torture considering there is one last piece of Aero bar sitting my kitchen just taunting me. I’m looking forward to finding out wtf is going on with my esophagus, and also for the free day off from work, even if I will be loopy and sleepy from the sedation.

Obviously a welcome distraction has been all the outfit planning I’m doing for my upcoming trip to Belgium and Paris that I’m not going to live to see because I’m dying today. I bought this surprisingly chic red & pink colorblock top at Forever 21 for Brussels (and plan to wear it with simple black leggings and a black cardigan), and then I kept seeing examples of pink and red colorblock all over the place. Colorblocking seems to be a waning trend, but there are plenty of beautiful pieces that have caught my eye, especially in this color combo.

1. Top / 2. Bag / 3. Bra / 4. Socks / 5. Skirt / 6. Shoes / 7. Dress

It’s not like I even wear a ton of color, so making the leap from a monochrome wardrobe to a dress with three colors on it is a little more than I’m capable of. I’m impressed that I even bought the Forever 21 top; I’m really making an effort to give my wardrobe some POP for this trip. But how whimsical are those socks? They remind me of a Dr. Seuss character or something. And it goes without saying that Marc Jacobs bag is gorgeous.

Alright, kiddos. Happy Monday! What are you up to today? Feel free to regale me with stories about your own medical issues so I have something to read in bed today when I get home.

And in case my hypochondria is finally right and I do in fact drop dead, at least I can die happy and validated knowing that I was linked to on West Elm’s blog over the weekend. (Jennifer, you were too!)

Friday Five

You guys are the best. Thank you so much for your excitement over the past few days for my hotels in Paris and Brussels and Bruges. I don’t know how you guys are going to feign interest for the next two months, let alone when I come back from the trip and then bombard you with millions and millions of pictures.

I’ve been thinking about the week and a half I’ll be gone and how I’m going to manage posting for those days. I think I can commit to keeping up my 365 while we’re over there, since it’s something as simple as posting a single photo per day. But there are a full 7 weekdays when I know I won’t be able to post regularly. If I opened those days up to having guest bloggers, would any of you be interested? It wouldn’t have to be anything fancy or elaborate; I’m thinking maybe you tell us about your favorite vacation and include a few photos. I know it’s a long way away still, so I’m just trying to gauge interest. Let me know if that’s something you’d be up for, but no pressure if you’re not.

I’ll let you lovely ladies stew on that while we take a look at this week’s Friday Five.

1. Nail Polish  / 2. Shirt / 3. Alphabet Trays / 4. Lipstick / 5. Duvet

I went to Sephora after work yesterday with my friend Anna, and we found a giant display of brightly colored nail polishes, all named after streets in London. I went home and researched Nails Inc., and found that they’re a UK based shop, so the street names make sense. For someone that loves the UK as much as I do, this is positively delightful. With color names like “Portobello,” “Jermyn Street,” and “Sloan Square,” I’m itching to head back to Sephora and pick up a few bottles. The same can be said for this orange-poppy shade of NARS matte lipstick. I tried it on with Anna and loved it, even though it is slightly garish. I talked myself out of it since it’s $24 a tube, but I think all of the pictures of me in Belgium and Paris would be made even more chic if I was sporting a bright poppy lip.

We’ve already established that I’m a sucker for anything with French words printed on it, so this Zara t-shirt is just begging me to buy it. Zara finally started offering online shopping for the US, with free shipping both ways. The only thing that’s keeping me from buying it is the size; it’s only available in Medium and Large, and it might be too big. Can’t hurt to try it though, right?

While I was in West Elm last weekend scoring a sweet deal on a new chair, I came across these little monogram glass trays. They’re sort of like oversized coasters, but with enough of a dip that you can toss a necklace or ring on them. They’re only $8 each, too! I don’t even know where I would put them, but since when has toeing the line of hoarding ever stopped me?

In case you hadn’t caught on, these Friday Fives are going to bankrupt me. Especially if I give in and purchase the Draper striped duvet set from Dwell Studio I’ve been coveting for more than a year. But there is no justification I can find for spending almost $300 on a duvet cover, when my dog insists on sleeping sprawled out on his back at the bottom of the bed and sheds everywhere. Do you know how many lint-brush sheets I go through on a daily basis trying to stem the dog hair from overrunning the bed? Despite my best efforts to keep him out of the bedroom and off of the bed, he has weaseled his way in time and time again and hogs the entire thing. This is seriously how he sleeps:

What a weirdo.

And on that note, I wish you all a very lovely weekend. What are your plans for St. Patty’s Day? I’ll be spending the day trying to avoid it, personally. Despite my name actually meaning Ireland I am not even 1% Irish. Have a great one, kiddos!