Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging

I started Honestly Modest, like all bloggers do, with great intentions of updating it on (at least) a weekly basis. As I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, I haven’t even come close to that, but things happen. Life happens. Also, I am an accomplished procrastinator. I’m sure you’re curious (probably not, but I’ll tell you anyway) about all the things I’ve managed to distract myself with.

1. Folding clothes and cursing humanity. What? No, how could I have anything but love for the women (yes, it is always women) who watch me spend thirty minutes folding an entire table of shirts, yet somehow seem to have no problem walking over to that very table pulling shirts from the bottom of the stack and shaking out all my methodical creases? The only people who could hold more of my adoration are tweens and moms who leave their half-empty Skinny Peppermint Mochas for me to find shoved behind a stack of yoga pants. Lovely. 

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2. Indulging in a Netlflix binge of dark dramas. I’m up to date on my favorite serial killer, convict, ad man, Rick’s group of survivors etc. Now starting House of Cards (thank you, Becky.) Kevin Spacey is great in it, by the way; I’m a fan of the speak-to-the-viewer angle. I watch way too much televisions. I really shouldn’t be trusted with a Netflix account.

3. Reading, of course! I’ve learned a few things about myself through my literary adventures. For one, Veronica Roth would have probably placed me in Amity (I’d like to think Erudite, but I’m being realistic). Second, after reading Orange is the New Black I have concluded that my comparisons or dorm life to prison were really not that far off.  I would like all of those who called me over dramatic to retract their statements. Thank you. way too much television.  I just really shouldn’t be trusted with a Netflix account.

Now that I have confessed how I have failed to make this blog a priority. I am making a resolution to post at least twice a month, which is, I believe, quite doable.  I want to thank all my readers for being loyal and amazing these past two years! Love you all!  I wish you all a Merry Christmas 🙂

Fall Fever

fall

When I was in college I hated being there, so I took to daydreaming. I guess I didn’t think of it as daydreaming, but more of a visual plan for the future, and it was among these “future plans” that I stored plenty of mental slides of what autumn would look like  as a newlywed. Of course in all things imagined instances I was dressed fabulously with one of those tasteful pattern-mixed ensembles PInterest addicts everywhere would approve. Also, my hair was that perfect length  where the ends are five fingers above the elbow ( yes, I just used “fingers” as a standard of measurement) and they’re curled into perfect spirals.  My husband always looked great too, in a blue gingham shirt with a pumpkin under his arm that we just bought from an orchard, and we would walk hand in hand to a nearby Starbucks to pick up some lattes.

Truth. It’s Autumn and my hair still sucks. Not really, I still have some of the highlights from my wedding, but it’s a few inches off from being that perfect length. I was always too lazy to curl my hair in college, marriage hasn’t changed that about me either.  Due to my new job most of my outfits have consisted of red and khaki so, while I do try to look cute for work I’m sure I’ve let the imaginary fashionista-pinners down with  my boring Target uniforms.  I dress up for church sometimes, but I do miss having friends that tell me my outfit look nice. Is that totally lame? Probably. Moving on.

But we do have pumpkins! I bought them, at Aldi’s. I was so stoked to see them there.  In fact, I was so excited to buy these pumpkins I found myself pushing two elderly women out of the way as I dove headfirst into the large cardboard stand.  I had to find good ones after all. Don’t worry about the old ladies, we became friends after I made two pumpkin dives for them as well.  They wanted cute pumpkins, and I wanted jack-o-lantern worthy ones, so after we all found what we were looking for we drove our grocery carts our separate ways. Both pumpkins are on my front steps. While they add a small amount of visual appeal to our entrance as is, we haven’t been able to carve them yet.  My husband I bought a pumpkin at an orchard while we were dating with plans to carve it. It didn’t happen. First we attempted to draw on the pumpkin with a sharpie until we discovered how horrible we both were at simple art.  Naturally, we decided that the best fate for the vegetable was to be rolled down the college bowling lanes. We had a grand old time, and I’m pretty sure I bowled a strike or two.  As much fun as it was, I do my Aldi’s pumpkins serve the purpose I bought them for. October isn’t over yet, so I still have hope.

Now lattes. I enjoyed my first pumpkin spice latte a few weeks ago, and now I’m convinced that stuff has crack in it. My mother (also a Starbucks addict) has often joked that the vanilla and cinnamon shakers provided for the customers to alter their drinks are actually laced with addictive substances to keep their customers coming back for more. I used to laugh at her. Now I don’t think she’s that far off.  Ever since that taste of heaven I’m back at the in-store Starbucks every chance I get. I’ve found myself pushing $4.01 across the counter in change with withdrawal-induced shaking hands. Why? I’ve even memorized how much it costs with the employee discount! I’ve gone without eating to indulge myself with that sweet elixir of the harvest season. I mean I’m fine now but what am I going to when winter comes? I don’t like peppermint!

All that said, even though my newlywed autumn isn’t exactly how I pictured it, I love it! I wish my husband and I had days off together more often, but it’s okay because I celebrate my October days off with some horror flicks and errands, by errands I mean mapping out my next couponing expedition.  It’s been great, being married is the best thing that’s happened to me!

Until Next Time.

Honestly Modest

So, I Got Married Two Months Ago…

When I was engaged the one piece of advice that everyone wanted to give me was “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Not that I fault these people for trying to keep me from having unrealistic expectations for my wedding, but my husband I got married a little over two months ago and I can’t think of a single thing that  went wrong. It was beyond perfect!

As you can see from the pictures, the colors were yellow and gray with a vintage-literary vibe. Literary in the sense that my flower girl scattered paper heart cut outs from old books, and my program was titled A Tale of Two Hearts, but all joking aside it was amazing. The  ceremony was flawless. I had an excerpt read from a children’s book titled “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg had everyone laughing and Frank Sinatra’s “That’s All” was sung  while we lit the unity candle (my hand was shaking so bad I couldn’t light the candle and everyone in the front row was laughing at me.) After the ceremony, we took pictures by a local lake with the bridal party. It was ridiculously  hot, which was hardly a surprise for Southern California in late summer, but after an hour of posing for pictures my husband and I were parched. We stopped by a gas station to pick up some Big Gulps in our wedding attire (lucky for us  they were on the house. Yay!) Unfortunately, when we did arrive at the reception I forgot to take our gas station cokes out of the pictures, and  look a little out of place.  After what seemed like a million family pictures and a battle of the wedding toasts we drove off to our honeymoon.

My day was perfect.  I wish I could take the credit for it and say that it was because of my impeccable planning and attention to detail. Anyone who really knows how frantic I am, knows how far from the truth that is. My day was flawless because I had God and  people who helped me look over all the small details.  My photographers were also the best! If you don’t know where to start with wedding planning, I implore you to get good quality photographers so you can remember your day. I’m glad I did.

Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Decor 018 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Procession 065

Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Ceremony 039 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Ceremony 077

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I Love Gossip Girl and Don’t Care Who Knows It

Thanks to Netflix millions of us have happily succumbed to the dangers of having entire television series and movies at the touch of a remote. It was through this drug I stumbled upon Gossip Girl.

Chuck, Blair, Serena and NateGossip Girl, seeing the title gave me flashbacks to high school when the young adult book series was popular. It seemed like every girl carried around a copy of Cecily Von Zeigesar’s books like a hot accessory, but I was never really interested in reading them. Pictures of girls in plaid skirts whispering to each other above titles like All I Want Is Everything didn’t appeal to me at a time when I had Orwell and Golding chapters summaries to turn in for Lit.

Then the show came out. I was definitely-not-in-a-million-years allowed to watch it. We had strict TV standards in our house. The only shows we watched were Jeopardy, Survivor and The Amazing Race. A show like Gossip Girl with common themes of underage drinking and drug use would not last five minutes under my parent’s roof. Thus, all talk of “Blair” and “Serena” was something I was completely out of the loop on in high school.

Now, four years out of high school I find sucked into Von Zeigesar’s world of the Upper East Side. Why?

  • I’m sure part of it is a case of I-Gotta-Do-All-The-Things-I-Wasn’t-Allowed-To-Do-Growing-Up-itis.  It’s a pretty common condition among children with strict upbringings, but if my acting out is watching a show about social climbing teens, then I’d have to say that my case is fairly mild.
  • The Clothes! While Mad Men was the first show to draw me in strictly on costume design, it was the script and story line that kept me a loyal viewer through the seasons. With Gossip Girl, the clothes are definitely still a strong pull for me coming into season four. Part of the allure of Gossip Girl is the portrayal of these characters with ridiculously extravagant lives, and what the characters wearing is always going to play a big part in that.

 

  • The soundtrack. I love everything about it. They’ve had Florence and the Machine guest star along with others, and with bands like The Bravery, The Kooks, Cold War Kids playing in the background, of course I fell in love!

 

  • The subtle nods to literature and classic movies. I appreciate that all the episode titles are plays on works of literature or popular films, such as The Serena Also Rises and Damien Darko. Also, one of Blair’s redeeming qualities (and she doesn’t have many) is her appreciation of classic movies. There are a few episodes that begin in Miss.  Waldorf’s nightmares which are almost always plays on old movies like My Fair Lady, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Wait Until Dark.
  • Chuck Bass. ’nuff said.

My poor husband married me thinking I had a high standard for quality entertainment (which I still believe is true!), he’s had to learn that every girl needs her cheesy, totally-predictable, unbelievable, soap opera dramatic, chick-flick shows to watch. He’s also getting pretty excited that almost done  with all the episodes of Gossip Girl (too bad he doesn’t know I have Pretty Little Liars next on the queue!)

You know you love me,

XOXO

Honestly Modest 😉

From California Girl to Pittsburgher

The best thing about moving is starting over.  I loved the “clean slate” feeling.  I loved the fact that nobody knew me.  Nobody asked me what I was planning to do with my education degree.  I don’t find myself explaining that between the limits of my degree and utter lack of desire to explain punctuation to ungrateful high-schoolers, teaching is no where in my near future. (Looks like I got that off my chest! haha)

On the other hand, there’s the part of moving where I have to figure out where everything is.  Luckily, I had my husband to show me around, but Pittsburgh was quite a move.  I realized that I had to not only get used to a new city, but a new culture.

pittsburgh

  • Sports culture.  For the small time that I cleaned houses, I came to the conclusion that everyone has framed picture of some Pittsburgh stadium in their home. I’ve never lived somewhere with such loyalty to local teams. Californians don’t like one specific team when it comes to anything. Not everyone in San Diego was a Chargers fan, not all people in LA like the Dodgers etc.
  • Driving. I live off William Flynn Hwy, that ‘s what all the signs say anyway. Nobody calls it William Flynn Hwy.  They call it Route 8. I have yet to see any signs that say Route 8. Whatever.  Not to mention the lack of left turn lanes. As a newbie driver, there is nothing more terrifying than stopping my car with my left turn signal on  as cars maneuver their way around me at  forty miles per hour while I wait for a break in traffic big enough to make my turn. Not to mention the fact that now I have to worry about deer jumping in front of my car when I drive home from work, that’s definitely a first.
  • City pronunciation. Not too far from where I live are the cities of Carnegie and Versailles. Carnegie is not pronounced like Andrew Carnegie, or like a Carnegie Library, it is instead pronounced car-NEG-ee.  One would also assume that Versailles is pronounced just like the palace in France. False. It’s said ver-SAILS.
  • Talking the Talk. I really don’t know everything about the “Pittsburgh accent”, but there are some things I have noticed:

– the long O’s. “So, I went hoooome at four-thirty.”

– It’s not “you guys” or “y’all” it’s “yins”. For real.

– The sentences that sound like questions. Some people have this upward inflection at the end of their sentences. It makes “You went to the gym already” sound like “You went to the gym already?”

And, I love it here! It is beautiful. Every route is a scenic route. The people are really nice (When I’m not wearing my Dodger shirt anyway.) Pittsburgh is a great city; I’m excited to make a life here.

What are some new things you had to get used to after moving?

Word count: 340 Draft saved at 9:38:41 pm. Last edited by honestlymodest on September 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

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Sorry For Being “That Woman Driver”

woan driver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything has a history. Here’s this one.

 

 

First Attempt

Eighteen. In my defense, family rule was no driving before eighteen. So there I am, nervous and scared out of my mind, A cross, matronly woman steps out with a clipboard and sat in my passenger seat. My first goal is to pull out of the DMV and merge into traffic. Now, I had read somewhere that  hesitation is the number one reason people fail the driving test, hesitation isn’t what failed me. Nope. It was eagerness. I see my shot and take it. The car behind me slams on their brakes. My next goal was to turn right back into the DMV where I started.

Failure: Dangerous Maneuvers (I didn’t mind telling people about this one because it sounded very Jason Statham-ish)

 

Second Attempt

A couple of weeks later. A younger, nicer-looking woman gets into the passenger seat. I make it out of the DMV. “I might actually have a shot at passing this!” I think to myself. Then I start daydreaming about what I’m going to do with all this freedom I’m going to have. I hear the instructor say “Turn left here.” I glance up, see a green light, and start turning left. I think I’m doing great until I hear a honk, a scream, and the instructor takes the steering wheel away from me. Guess that’s what happens when you skim over the “right-of-way” page on the manual.

Failure: Intervention by the instructor. (Not as cool-sounding as Failure 1, so I’m not too keen on telling this story)

 

Third Attempt

A couple of months later. A very young, Asian guy comes out. He skips a lot of the preliminary questions. “Yes! I got this!” I think to myself, again. I make it out of the DMV and a successful left turn. I’m in the right turning lane.

“I want you to go straight” he says.

I point straight ahead, “Like ‘over there’ straight?”

“Yes. Straight”

“You sure?” I ask.

He nods.

I drive straight through the intersection, right over the large white arrow pointing right.

Failure: Lane Violation (I still think the Asian man tricked me. Shouldn’t have counted)

(And he took my permit away)

(And, I might have cried all the way home)

 

–Three Years Later—

 

Fourth Attempt

Twenty-one. Pretty boring story. I passed!

 

Now

I’ll end this post by apologizing to all the competent and experienced drivers I’ve made angry in the past two years.  I  have not mastered merging and switching lanes, but I have mastered the apologetic wave and the mouthed ‘sorry’ in the rear view mirror. Sorry!

 

Mean Things I Say to the Dog, But Hopefully Never to My Children

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Note: I’m not a dog-hater, and this was written exclusively for humor

It’s a really good thing you’re cute, cause you’re really dumb

As I’m eating   “Why are you smiling? You’re not getting any.”

“You are the stupidest dog there ever was.”

“That’s it! You’re getting neutered!”

“Shut up! Breaking Bad is on!”

“Move, you flea-infested animal!”

“Fight! Fight! Fight!”