Wendigo: My Home Office

You may be wondering how I come up with all these names: the Stronghold, the Great Hall, Jaquasse, Wendigo.

I don’t know if it’s a Cancerian trait to have a penchant for naming items or giving nicknames, but my husband used to tell me that I’m like George W. Bush because I really enjoy giving people and inanimate objects nicknames.

Perhaps by giving items names, I have imbued a specialness to the item. Once giving a person a nickname, that friend is truly a friend. There is always a story as to how my friends have gotten their nicknames and it’s an inside joke that provides a start to a good conversation.

Friend Sam* recently asked me how I would explain to Baby Brandon how his mom got the name Ninja Assassin. In due time, Baby Brandon. Maybe when you’re five.

I mentioned before that the Stronghold was empty and felt cold when we moved in, so an explanation that R2** came up with for why I named every room and certain objects is because I wanted to treat them like they were my friends.

Like the other rooms in the Stronghold, my office, too, has a name: Wendigo.

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I came up with it after watching a Haven episode of the same time. I had never heard that word before that episode and I remember asking Chort Face about it after watching the show. He mentioned that it was like a yeti or an abominable snowman. How he knows these things, I have no idea. He is truly like a walking encyclopedia. He’s also the only person who knew what a yurt was when it was used in passing conversation. (Note that the historic story of the Wendigo is much more gruesome. For purposes of this post, my Wendigo is both friendly and beastlike.)

I wanted my office to be pretty traditional: lots of wood, a banker’s lamp, kind of Mad Men-ish.

I discussed before the working styles of people and what it says about them. My desk tends to be pretty cluttered. I am the type of person who needs physical items around me so that I can be reminded of what needs to be done. I also have a digital system for reminders. I generally have redundant systems that while may seem inefficient, generally ensures that nothing slips by undone because of all the backup systems (i.e. digital reminders, physical calendar reminders, physical item reminders).

MCM Chairs

I’ve shown Ozzy and Harriet previously. They’re my newest finds (friends?) and I’m very pleased with them.

The cabinet in the back is part of a hutch that was given as a gift to us by a family friend. We’ve decided to separate the hutch and turn the top part into a mini bar—another project that we have not started working on quite yet.

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The credenza was donated from my dad. He had used it for the last 25 years. I like the Mad Men look of it and the drawers definitely come in handy.

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The Game of Thrones canvas is one that I asked Chort Face to get. He was not convinced, but I made it a little more special.

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The Casablanca poster on the back wall is one of the Chort Face’s first gifts to me while we were dating close to 11 years ago. We had only been dating for three months before we had to start a long distance relationship. We went to different undergrads, so saw each other maybe once or twice a week. I then ended up studying abroad in Vietnam, so we were definitely long distance. He gave me that film poster as part of a Valentine’s Day gift package shortly before I left the States. It was my favorite movie at the time.

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Also on my desk is a photo I printed out of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The photo was taken shortly after Hillary had dropped some papers and everyone was having a good laugh. I like having that picture around because it reminds me that everyone makes mistakes and to work hard and stay positive.

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I’m one of those people who have all their awards from high school hung up on their walls. They are not there to show how much I’ve achieved, but serve as memories of where I’ve come from—a history of my life. I also have a gallery of photos of family and friends that I face. Another weird quirk about me is that I do not like having my back to doors. I like being able to immediately see who comes into a space, whether it’s a restaurant or my office.

My next home office project will be to put in a side table, the mini non-alcoholic bar (I suppose it would then just be called a beverage area with glassware), and if I can swing it, a coatrack.

I’d really love a wooden coatrack to hang my coat and non-existent hat!

*Name has been changed.

**Name has been changed, but that is a name that is actually used in real life. It stands for Roommate 2, our affectionate moniker for our former roommate, who we still occasionally call R2 out of habit.

Cruising

My girlfriends and I went on a cruise to Ensenada a couple of months ago. We were celebrating friend Sam’s bachelorette party.

We went on the Carnival Cruise Imagination. It was the first time I had been on a cruise.

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We had a time window for check in, and found that the best time to check in for our 5 pm departure was between 1-2 pm.

The room itself was rather small and our window was really a faux window where a curtain covered a wall.

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See the curtain covering what looks like a window? Yup, it’s just a wall.

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eShakti Trapunto Trim Chambray Dress (c/o, 2013), Mia Jimena Sandals (2013), F21 Belt (came with a dress, 2013), Convertible Crossbody (found at Ross, 2012), Claire’s Brown Chandelier Earrings (2007)

I did get a bit seasick, so I borrowed some medication from friends. I found that the medication made me a bit drowsy. Next time I will try to just fight the nausea. Walking around really helped—when focusing on an activity, I was less likely to feel the turbulence.

My favorite part of the trip was the bachelorette party games (how well do you know the bachelorette, scavenger hunt, guessing games).

The Bachelorette also provided and made an assortment of swag.

T shirts (made):

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Back of T Shirts

Glassware (decorated) and socks (provided):

Decorated Glassware

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I always love receiving socks as party favors. I think my nicest looking socks are all from parties or are gifts. The rest of my sock collection generally contains athletic socks.

We opted to attend a stand-up comedy show the first night. Because I had taken the medication to prevent seasickness, I was very drowsy and ended up sleeping through the show. Womp womp.

The cruise provided an all you can eat buffet, but the buffet was only open during certain hours. We did have access to pizza and ice cream 24 hours a day though.

Typical vacation wear:

Maxidress with Gold Belt

Maxidress (hand-me-down, 2013), Gold Circle Belt (from Ross, 2012), White Convertible Crossbody (from Ross, 2012), Mia Jimena Sandals (above, 2013), F21 Taupe Sunglasses (2012)

Our dinner was served in the dining room, and I thoroughly enjoyed the fare. I picked the chocolate molten lava cake three nights in a row!

On the third day of the cruise, we docked in Ensanada. It was my first time in Mexico! The food was so delicious. Sadly I don’t have any food pictures to share, but I would definitely recommend the ceviche from the food carts along the street–the freshest ceviche I’ve ever tasted.

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Dress (gift, 2011), F21 Strappy Platform Gold Heels (2013), Necklace (found at garage sale, 2013), F21 Mirror Studs (gift, 2010)

We decided to go to the nightclub for the last two nights of the cruise and had a blast.

Have you been on a cruise? Any tips for cruising?

Messy Bun Hairstyle

I usually wear my hear straight and down in a wash-and-go kind of way.

Up until a few years ago, anytime I got a compliment on my hair was generally due to the fact that I had brushed it that day and/or had used a blow dryer. For a very long time, I didn’t even own a blow dryer.

It was only beginning a couple of years ago that I started using conditioner regularly and started using argan oil and smoothing milk (this one) because of all the baby hairs and fly-aways that kept sticking out like unwanted weeds.

I’ve been experimenting with some nicer casual updos as opposed to the ponytail halfway pulled out style that I usually favor. I really like this “Pretty & Simple Updo” look and tutorial.

My take below:

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I had to adapt the tutorial a bit to fit my hair texture.

First, I started by putting my hair in two French-braid pigtails and leaving them in overnight.

The next day, I unraveled the pigtails and sprayed my hair with a DIY sea salt/texturizing spray. I used this recipe with a few tweaks.

My girlfriends have a holiday tradition of doing a Secret Santa every year. This past year, they instead decided to do stocking stuffers where all combined gifts had to be under $20. I didn’t participate, but fortunately, was still able to get the stocking stuffers. (Whoo hoo!) Among the stocking stuffers: socks, potted succulents, flower arrangements in a little vase, a hot chocolate kit with peppermint candy and marshmallows in mason jars, and friend Lola had created bath salts for us.

The bath salts were created using Epson salts and some type of really good-smelling perfume or oil, so I used the bath salts in place of the Epsom salt and essential oil that was called for in the DIY recipe. I also used twice the amount of conditioner (I have the same coconut Organix one) and substituted hairspray (the TRESemme non-aerosol travel hairspray) for the aloe vera gel. I added the optional sea salt and put the entire solution in a spray bottle.

For spray bottles, I would not recommend the ones found at the Dollar Tree. The nozzle is not variable in regards to settings and instead of a spray, the solution squirts out like it would from a water gun.

I think the Target spray bottles found in the travel section work a lot better in regards to the mist-like spray, but upon checking reviews, looks like the nozzles break after a few months for most of the reviewers (though that has not been my experience), so proceed with caution.

I then continued with the “Pretty & Simple Updo” tutorial as mentioned above. I really liked the way it turned out and am looking for more updo tutorials to try.

Where do you find hair inspiration?