Things I Wore (and Did) in December 2017

Last December, I complained about not taking many outfit photos throughout the month, and it seems some things don’t change. Whoops!

Here are a few things I wore throughout this brutally cold month (and I do mean just a few).

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I wore this 90s-inspired look to see my favorite boy band, Backstreet Boys, perform at Mohegan Sun casino.

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Forever 21
  • Skirt: Forever 21
  • Boots: Rainbow (I think?)
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com

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I had been coveting a crushed velvet dress for months, so I finally bit the bullet and got myself one for my office holiday party. (I definitely also splurged on a crushed velvet pencil skirt but I haven’t worn it yet.) No regrets!

Outfit details

  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Cardigan: Forever 21
  • Boots: Rainbow (I think?)
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com

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After a successful day of shopping with Grandma (one of my favorite things to do), I ended up with these AMAZING slippers and needed to document them. Alas, this outfit was just for around the house. 😉

Outfit details

  • Fleece: Old Navy
  • Leggings: Kohl’s
  • Slippers: Forever 21

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Not my favorite outfit or even the most flattering, but so ridiculously comfortable.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Ann Taylor Loft
  • Scarf: Payless (I think)
  • Boots: DSW

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Outfit details

  • Dress: Marshall’s
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com
  • Boots: Rainbow
  • Necklace: 25 Central

And here’s what I did during December!

xo.

Things I Bought That I Love: Urban Decay Eye Liner and Essence Lash Princess

I love makeup, but I’m pretty bad at applying it. For years, I swore by Avon’s Glimmersticks for eyeliner and whatever drugstore mascara I felt like buying and called it a day. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that but, in recent years, I’ve grown restless trying to find a better eyeliner and mascara for my daily look—so restless, in fact, that I was strictly no-makeup for a bit. (I may return to it. Who knows?)

I found a few worthy contenders (including benefit They’re Real! Lengthening MascaraMaybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner; and ColourPop Crème Gel Liner), which were all great.

But now I’ve gone from great to OH MY GOD, which is the dream.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (in perversion) and essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara (in black) have become my go-to eye products and I’m so excited to have reliable products that actually last and look good on me that I had to gush.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Important things to know about my face before I dive in: I have hooded eyelids that tend to give me trouble with eyeliner on my top lid. Despite using matte primer AND a layer of nude eyeshadow, the eyeliner I typically put on my top lid is mostly gone by the afternoon.

NOT SO WITH THIS BAD BOY.

I made it through an entire workday and subsequent holiday party without it wearing off! What kind of witchcraft…?

This eyeliner offers the smoothest application I’ve ever experienced. It goes on like I imagine smudging soot would, except this is more controlled and overall better (obviously). One of my biggest complaints with the Colourpop gel pencil liner was that sometimes the soft tip would break off when I was applying it (probably because I don’t have much finesse).

But this isn’t like that. It’s heaven on my MFing eyelids.

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This is what the eyeliner looked like around 3 or 4 p.m. (nearly the end of my work day) and just before I left for the holiday party. I’m still very clearly wearing eyeliner! And you can see it! And it’s not all smudged! All good things.

This eyeliner is well worth the $20 (and the extra $10 for the sharpener, too).

essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

I’ve always wanted long, luscious lashes. Who hasn’t?! But, alas, my eyelashes are stubby and it is what it is.

There have been tons of different types of mascaras I’ve tried—mostly of the drugstore variety, but also a few that I’ve received from my Ipsy subscription, too—and none have ever really made an impression on me.

But I read about the essence Lash Princess mascara on Reddit. I saw a before/after photo of someone using it and desperately wanted to try it, too, and I was ultimately sold when I saw the price tag (less than $5!).

YOU. GUYS. I have eyelashes!

Here’s the brush:

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Pretty straightforward (though I did nab two other types of essence Lash Princess mascaras that I’m eager to try, too).

The result is pretty good for me, though! The eye on the left (my right) has mascara; the eye on the right (my left) doesn’t.

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Not bad, yeah?

It certainly makes me feel kind of luxurious, and sometimes that’s all that matters.

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Although my makeup skills are not beauty guru-level, there’s something so satisfying about finding a product that works for you. I’m pleased! If you give these a shot, let me know what you think!

xo.

Things I Wore (and Did) in November 2017

I don’t have the perfect life—and some months are harder to get through than others. November was a tough one: my mental health is suffering; my job is, at times, challenging; and the month ended with some particularly disheartening and upsetting family drama.

I think, too often, we all get caught up in depicting a picture-perfect life with beautifully curated photos (that we’re reluctant to admit are only a few among dozens we took before we got the right one to post and share) and cherry-picked anecdotes (that leave out all of the messy, unflattering things that happen in between). We only show parts of our lives, partly because it’s completely unrealistic to share everything and partly because who wants to admit they’re struggling?

But we’re all struggling, at least in some way, and we’ve all got things going on in our lives at any given moment that may be vexing us, hurting us, or challenging us.

I try my best to keep this in mind as I scroll through my social media feeds day after day, seeing only the highlights from the lives of friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, high school classmates, and celebrities, but sometimes it’s can be tough to keep that in perspective.

So, this is me, reminding myself that it’s all right if everything isn’t all right.

And also reminding myself that there’s nothing wrong with having a highlight reel if for no one but ourselves so that we can look back on the time (which goes by too quickly!) and appreciate the things we have. As someone who struggles with mental illness in the form of anxiety and depression, I often have trouble keeping things in perspective, of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes of just making it through the day. But I know that these monthly check-ins, where I look back on the month I’ve just experienced, are providing me with the ability to feel grateful for what I have even on days that feel dark.

With that said, there were many beacons of light that I experienced in November, which I’ve got to remind myself of: a perfect trip to Portsmouth with Bill; the satisfaction of a job well done on a massive project I worked on at work; beautiful sunsets; a rainbow; a book of poems I devoured; warm hot chocolate; a glowing Christmas tree in my wonderful home; a new therapist; a drag show featuring a few of my favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race queens; hundreds of happy moments with Bill; lots of dog kisses from Obi; making new friends at work; thoughtful daily texts from my Grandma; meme-sharing with my wonderful brother; laughter with friends, both online and off.

Amid all of that, here are some of the outfits I wore.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Fashion to Figure (has anyone else felt like their style has completely changed recently?)
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Boots: Rainbow

This is of my fave classic winter looks.

Outfit details

  • Sweater: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

This dress is so creamy soft!

Outfit details

  • Dress: Ann Taylor via 20 Below Boutique in Portsmouth
  • Tights: We Love Colors
  • Boots: Payless

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Target
  • Scarf: Unsure!
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

Cozy, winter sweaters were what I lived in this month. I’m not a huge fan of the look of this one, but this is the same exact sweater (except for color) as the photo at the end of this post. In that photo, I think the sweater looks great. What gives?

Outfit details

  • Sweater: Old Navy
  • Leggings: Kohl’s
  • Boots: DSW

Outfit details

  • Sweater: Forever 21
  • Leggings: Kohl’s
  • Boots: DSW

Bill called this my “Lorelai Gilmore” look, which delighted me.

Outfit details

  • Sweater: Forever 21
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

Not really an outside-of-the-house outfit, but still! Festive!

Outfit details

  • Sweater: Walmart
  • Leggings: Walmart
  • Sweater boots: Payless

This is one of my new favorite shirts! I added a Hocus Pocus patch, which I nabbed in Portsmouth (the patch itself is made by Laser Brain Patch Co.) to a cheap, black crewneck sweatshirt I grabbed on Amazon for $8. I got a ton of compliments on it and feel super proud even though all I did was iron the patch on.

Outfit details

Outfit details

  • Sweater: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

And, here are some of the things I did.

xo.

Portsmouth, NH Might Be My New Favorite Place

Sometimes you fall in love with a city, and that’s what happened with Portsmouth.

Last December, Bill and I decided that we would forgo traditional Christmas gifts and instead try to gift each other memories in the form of weekend getaways. We would each pick a place that we felt the other would enjoy visiting and, as part of the gift, hand-pick a few places to visit that we thought the other would enjoy.

Bill knocked it out of the park.

While I gave him a weekend in Portland, Maine, Bill gave me a weekend in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a place neither of us had visited before but that we had heard good things about. As part of his gift, Bill actually put together a presentation (!) showing me all of the reasons he thought I’d like it, including quaint gift shops; delicious places to eat; and books, books, and more books.

He knew I would love it and he was right.

It started with breakfast, which technically wasn’t in Portsmouth, but that’s okay. We stopped at Eat, in Springfield, Mass., where I ate a grilled blueberry muffin and drank pumpkin coffee and everything felt right in the world. (There was also a delicious omelette and hash browns but I’m really here for the muffin, guys.)

The drive up was as foliage-filled as it could be. It’s no secret that the foliage this year was subpar, but the drive up to New Hampshire at least gave us a small taste of what the foliage looked like.

And what’s not to love about downtown Portsmouth? It felt like a quintessential New England town, living up to all of its to-be-expected descriptors such as “quaint” and “darling”, while managing to be eclectic, weird, and witchy (yes, witchy).

We visited so many shops that had interesting items for sale and I spent way more money than I intended, but by and large my favorite thing we did all weekend was spend time at the Portsmouth Book and Bar. Its name speaks for itself—it’s part-bar, part-used book store and I was obsessed the moment I walked in. I scoured the store and ended up with an armful of books, enjoyed a glass of wine, ate some delicious food, and Bill taught me how to play chess. I lost, but it was so much fun that I didn’t care. We spent hours there on Sunday morning and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it anywhere else or with anyone else.

Some of my other Portsmouth favorites:

For Sight-Seeing

  • Portsmouth Athenaeum—A 200-year-old library that every book lover or enthusiast absolutely must visit because oh my god it’s a 200-year-old library!
  • Prescott Park—A beautiful park by the water, which I imagine is even better in the summer. Be sure to stop by the docks (for views of the water) as well as the garden.
  • Pickwick’s at the Banke—Technically a store, but it’s also part of Strawberry Banke Museum and you don’t have to pay to get in. The best description of this place comes from its website: “[A] shopping experience reflecting Portsmouth’s colonial maritime heritage, welcoming visiting schoolchildren as well as museum visitors and local shoppers with a uniquely theatrical shopping experience.” Also, you can buy a giant pickle if that’s the kind of thing that you’re into.

For Shopping

  • Portsmouth Book and Bar—A perfect (YES, perfect!) place for book and booze lovers.
  • Bull Moose—A must-visit music, video, book, and video game store. I scored a “Hocus Pocus” DVD for $5 and the entire “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” series for only $45 and yes, it was worth every penny, thank you.
  • Gus & Ruby’s Letterpress—The shop is a bit pricey, but the wares are really cute, especially if you’re into office supplies like me. My $16 Beyonce mug was absolutely worth the cost. I use it every day!
  • 20 Below Boutique—Who doesn’t love affordable clothes? This is like a TJ Maxx or Marshall’s in that it offers name brand clothes at a steep discount, but without the florescent lights and chaos. I scored two beautiful sweater dresses from Ann Taylor for just $40 total.
  • Diversions Puzzles & Games—If you like games and/or puzzles, definitely stop in here. I’m not even a huge game or puzzle fanatic, but it was so great inside! Bill and I picked up some new dice for our ongoing Dungeons and Dragons game that we play and I also snagged a Harry Potter Christmas puzzle, which we absolutely will be assembling before the holidays.
  • Off Piste—Another pricey, but very cute shop that’s worth checking out. They offer an eclectic mix of things for your home, books, pins/patches, and more.
  • Macro Polo—We wandered into this shop not knowing what to expect and we were laughing at how weird everything inside it was. They offered everything from joke mugs to butterfly hair clips (yes, from the 2000s!) to books to miniature plastic hands. It was great.
  • Pickwicks Mercantile—A very cute shop with books, jewelry, perfumes, and more. I loved it, especially its Harry Potter section.
  • Deadwick’s Ethereal Emporium—A witchy shop featuring all things related to folk magic, crystals, and more. If you love witches or Halloween (which I do), this is worth checking out.

For Food

  • La Maison Navarre—An unintimidating, modern yet warm place to stop for a bite to eat. Bill spotted this place and when he saw that they served crepes, he knew we had to visit. (I love crepes!) We got one with butter and local maple syrup, so it tasted like a pancake. We also got half a dozen macarons and they were delicious!
  • The Friendly Toast—This place has weird decor, but the food is on point. We went for breakfast and we both loved our meals. Bill got MAAAAAAAAAA, Meatloaf Benny and I got the French toast (on cinnamon raisin bread) with caramelized apples and bacon. So good! Service was a little slow, but the food made up for it. Go early to avoid the long wait!

In all, it was an incredible weekend in a fun little city and I can’t wait to go back. Portsmouth, we’ll be seeing you again soon.

 

There were a surprising amount of great signs in Portland, too. Here are some of my favorites.

 

xo.

Things I Wore (and Did) in October 2017

What a great (but busy!) month. In October, I…

  • Decorated pumpkins with friends
  • Decorated pumpkins with Bill
  • Visited my brother in Boston and spent the day at New England Aquarium
  • Spent time with friends
  • Celebrated Bill’s 29th birthday (I outdid myself this year with the gift, which was entirely Star Wars themed and included a weekend of watching all of the Star Wars films—in machete order—and tickets to the midnight showing of the newest movie, out in December)
  • Went to a show featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race queens
  • Celebrated Halloween

It was a good month.

Here are some of the outfits I wore.

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: Marshall’s
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

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(Photobombed by my furry child, Obi.)

Outfit details

  • Sweater: Forever 21
  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Pants: Old Navy
  • Shoes: Tieks

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Outfit details

  • Dress: Fashion to Figure
  • Cardigan: Old Navy
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Shoes: Tieks

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: H&M
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Shoes: Tieks

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Doing my best impression of the 90s with this one.

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Dress: Old Navy
  • Shoes: Tieks

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Outfit details

  • Dress: 25 Central
  • Leggings: Kohl’s (They’re by Lauren Conrad who, as you know, I love!)
  • Boots: DSW

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Sometimes you gotta do a joint outfit pic. We took this pic on the way to dinner for Bill’s birthday! (Photobombed by Obi again, too.)

Outfit details (for me)

  • Dress: Amazon.com
  • Shoes: Tieks

Outfit details (for him)

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Shoes: Target

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And one more double outfit photo. For a friend’s Halloween party, we went as “casual Princess Leia and Han Solo”!

Outfit details (for me)

  • Dress: Amazon.com
  • Belt: Forever 21
  • Shoes: Payless

Outfit details (for him)

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Vest: Amazon.com
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: Target

And, some things I did this month!

Things I Wore (and Did) in September 2017

September makes me think of new beginnings. For that reason, the month brings me comfort.

I kicked off this month with a visit from my mom, who was in from California. It was so nice to see her, though hard to say goodbye! With her and my grandma, Bill and I visited my little brother in Boston. We wanted to see his new place (beautiful) and also to see him because we don’t get to see him enough. It was a fun day in the city and he was an awesome host.

In September, I also spent time with friends eating good food and drinking wine (obviously), for which I was grateful. Bill and I visited the Big E—him for work, and me to watch him work. The Big E is a giant fair with tons of food and it’s essentially mandatory for everyone in the Connecticut/Western Massachusetts area to attend at least once every year. We did and, for the first time ever, we watched a burger-eating competition. The winner ate 52 burgers in 10 MINUTES. It was so gross and I don’t ever want to watch it again, but what an experience, right? (Fun fact: I was once in a buffalo wing eating competition for charity! Our team lost.)

And, of course, Bill and I visited DragCon NYC and spend the weekend in New York.

Here are some of the outfits I wore.

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The only appropriate thing to wear on Beyonce’s birthday is a #LEMONADE-inspired dress.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Shoes: Payless

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I didn’t actually wear this dress yet, but COME ON. How great is it?! In October, Bill and I will be attending a spooky rendition of Sleepy Hollow and I’m hoping to wear this AMAZING Halloween dress.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Amazon.com

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Outfit details

  • Blazer: Target
  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Shoes: DSW

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Dress: Old Navy
  • Shoes: A gift from my beautiful grandma

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Aside from my Converse shoes, I’ve never had a pair of sneakers I felt super cute in. This solved that! I splurged on some Nike Rosche Twos, which are stylish and comfortable. (The only problem is they got dirty quick. Wish me luck in trying to clean them!)

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Shoes: Nike

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I love, love, love this RuPaul’s Drag Race dress from RedBubble. It was the perfect outfit for DragCon NYC, and the queens I met all seemed to love it.

Outfit details

  • Dress: RedBubble
  • Jacket: Marshall’s
  • Shoes: DSW

And, some things I did this month!

 

Thanks, September, for being good to me!

xo.

Things I Wore (and Did) in August 2017

Sometimes life goes by faster than you realize and, before you know it, it’s mid-September and you haven’t posted your August outfits yet. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In truth, August is not one of my favorite months, as by then, summer has gone on a touch too long for me. I get tired of the heat and find myself getting antsy for some cooler weather. Also, politically, life is a real shit show right now, so I’m just trying to make it through.

Work-wise, August was a busy month, a month in which I started to really sink my teeth in at my new job and lead my first big project. It was exciting, terrifying, stressful, and rewarding, and I’m glad to have done it.

Bill and I had a few adventures, too, the most notable being our wonderful weekend getaway with our dog, Obi! We also ate some delicious food (as we always do), celebrated our two year anniversary in our beautiful home, and made the most of the rest of our summer. Independently, I met up with my old colleagues and enjoyed the incredible solar eclipse that reminded me that it’s important to look around and appreciate the world around you every now and then.

Here are some of the things I wore and did, in photos!

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I became obsessed with these dresses in August, so much so that I ended up with three of them in different colors. This hot pink, Barbie-inspired dress is so flattering and easy to wear. I love it!

Outfit details

  • Dress: Amazon.com
  • Shoes: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Top: Amazon.com
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Shoes: DSW
  • Cranky expression: Yours truly

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This dress is Barbie pink dress’s best friend! Isn’t it lovely in navy, too?

Outfit details

  • Dress: Amazon.com
  • Shoes: Target
  • Necklace: Target

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Not quite a traditional outfit pic, but I do love this dress. It served me so well this summer.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Target
  • Shoes (not pictured): Target

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: LuLaRoe Perfect T
  • Skirt: LuLaRoe Cassie
  • Shoes: DSW

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This is an Eeyore onesie because I deserve it.

Outfit details

  • Eeyore Onesie: Target

And, some things I did (in photo form!).

xo.

It’s Not Personal—It’s Drag(Con NYC)

I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again: I. LOVE. RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE.

In April, I was lucky enough to attend my first-ever RuPaul’s DragCon, where I experienced the magic of drag in person and got to meet one of my favorite queens, Trixie Mattel.

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Met my fave queen, Trixie Mattel

It was also my first real convention experience, so it was overwhelming in all its beauty and excitement and taught Bill and I a lot about what to expect for DragCon NYC.

We splurged on the VIP option and honey, ohhh honey, it was worth it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself because we kicked off the weekend with another drag-related event: the Hater’s Roast!

Haters Roast

Haters Roast took place at the Beacon Theater on Friday Night. The event featured queens as they shaded, insulted, and joked about one another. (Think Comedy Central roast.) The event featured Jinkx Monsoon, Trixie Mattel, Thorgy Thor, Kim Chi, Phi Phi O’Hara, Darienne Lake, and Ginger Minj as host. Latrice Royale, who was supposed to be there, was unfortunately stuck, but safe, in Florida due to Hurricane Irma (but she Facetimed in during the show to say hello!).

We’d been to one other Murray & Peter show before, War on the Catwalk, and we loved it. Haters Roast was amazing, too! We loved seeing the queens say horrible things about one another. The RuPaul’s Drag Race episodes that feature roasts, as well as the show’s Reading is Fundamental challenge, are some of my favorites, so this was an event made for me.

I was expecting solid performances from most of these queens, and they all delivered—but Thorgy Thor stole the show! It was her first time performing in this type of format with the other queens and she was going on 40 hours of being awake, but she killed it. I could not stop laughing at her very clever jokes.

Other fun things about the show:

  • It was great hearing Trixie’s scream-laugh in person.
  • Latrice Royale missed the show but was able to FaceTime in, which I loved.
  • Several queens who were going to attend DragCon were at the show in the audience, including Ivy Winters, Jiggly Caliente (who was invited up on stage to sit in Latrice’s empty seat), Mrs. Kasha Davis, and Naomi Smalls.
  • I stood RIGHT NEXT TO Naomi Smalls in the lobby, but I drank too much and got too scared to go up and say hello so tripped my way back to my seat.

It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend.

DragCon NYC: Day 1

There’s nothing better than being VIP at DragCon. Nothing! Although VIP at the NYC con was quite a bit more expensive than VIP in LA (which we did not get), it did include several additional perks, including a tote bag with a sweatshirt, enamel pin, button, patch, VIP lanyard, and a surprise that I didn’t even realize was part of it until I got home… scroll down for details.

As VIP, you’re allowed into the con 30 minutes before everyone else. If you use your 30 minutes wisely, this can easily be the best part of your day!

But before we were let in, we waited in line and anxiously watched queens as they arrived: Ongina, Acid Betty, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, India Ferrah, Mariah Balenciaga. They all looked stunning and each queen I saw made me more nervous and excited to get on that pink carpet.

Then they let us in. The thing about being VIP is you’re there so early that lines to meet the queens don’t really exist yet. Which means you can just walk up to a queen’s booth and meet them—incredible and terrifying!

We walked right by a few booths to sort out our nerves before finding Bob the Drag Queen’s booth and hopping in line. While most queens required a purchase in order for you to meet them, Bob didn’t require anything for VIPs; you could just get in line and meet him.

But with Bob’s assistant, Luis, in charge of the merch table, how could you not buy something?! My husband and I ended up with two Bob pins; a Bob shirt; and a Luis print. Luis was so, so sweet and graciously signed a print for me and the shirt for my husband. I wish we’d thought to ask for a photo, but we didn’t. Instead, we got in line to meet Bob and about 10 minutes later IT WAS OUR TURN.

Meeting Bob the Drag Queen was magical. First, her outfit was on point, and she was serving beautiful, mesmerizing clown realness. Second, she was hilarious and amazing and stunning and I’m gushing and I don’t care.

Bob called me beautiful and said the dress I was wearing was fierce and asked me what it said. I told her it was a dress from RedBubble that depicted the iconic Aja/Valentina fight on Untucked. (“You’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you’re a model…”) and she laughed and said she loved it.

I told her I loved her nails and she said, “Do you want to hear a story about these nails?” And then told me the nails were the ones Alexis Michelle wore in her promo video for season 9. Bob asked to borrow them and never gave them back, to which I said of course because they really were dope nails. I asked her to sign a photo for me and she did, then apologized for her writing looking like a serial killer’s. I love Bob.

It was my husband’s turn to meet her next and she greeted him by saying, “Hey, I heard you were Crystal’s husband?” which made me die a thousand times because BOB KNEW MY NAME.

Bob and Bill talked about signing merch and how it’s weird that some fans ask queens to sign merch that actually represents other queens. Bill was equally thrilled by his interaction with one of his favorite queens.

Meeting Bob left us both flying high and we took a few minutes to recover before wandering over to Cynthia “Cucu” Lee Fontaine‘s booth. Given that it was still within the VIP-only window, her line was relatively short. We bought a bracelet and a drink koozie, which Cynthia branded as a #cucuzie (amazing). 

When it was my turn to meet Cynthia, I told her she was beautiful and I loved her and she gave me a hug. She thanked me for coming and also told me she loved my dress (!!) and pointed at it and said, “Ooh, I see Valentina!” and I showed her Aja and said, “Yes, it’s from their fight!” and she was so so sweet. She gave me another hug and then we posed for a photo and she asked if I was going to be back the next day because she was really, really excited about her outfit. I said yes, that I couldn’t wait to see it, and thanked her for being such an incredible, supportive queen. She hugged me again and said it was her pleasure, proving that Cynthia is the most deserving Miss Congeniality of all time.

When it was my husband’s turn to meet Cucu, she grabbed his chest (!!) and said, “I just love touching…” and then posed with him like they were at prom. IT WAS AMAZING.

We were both reeling from the excitement of meeting two queens we loved, so we spent the rest of the con walking around, buying merch, ogling over queens, and checking out the runway. We stopped by Ru’s booth (but the line was so, so long) and admired all of her beautiful gowns on display and her Emmy, which I took a photo with.

We also saw the entrance show by the winning queens (and as they left the stage, a ton of queens walked right by us, including the nearly-nude Violet Chachki) and we caught Joanne the Scammer‘s show on the runway, which was honestly truly ICONIC.

No panels for us, but we did do a few things after leaving the con:

  • We visited Wrecking Club, a demolition room which allows you to smash glasses and break things FOR FUN while your favorite music is playing. We loved it and smashed a bunch of things while listening to Frank Ocean.
  • We trekked along the High Line, a “linear park” that takes you above the city and lets you see it from a new angle. Beautiful views and it was nice to check this one off our bucket list!
  • Ate dinner at Shake Shack because of course.

DragCon NYC: Day 2

I MET PEPPERMINT, Y’ALL.

She is just as stunning and perfect in real life as you’d imagine.

Her booth was lovely and candy-inspired and her staff were honestly really funny and energetic and fun. But it was all about Pep. We hopped into her line first thing (although I wandered around while my husband graciously waited in line and met a few other queens, which I’ll get back to in a minute) and her team told us she’d be there at 10, which was “a drag queen’s 10:30.” She ended up arriving closer to 11 but IT DID NOT MATTER BECAUSE PEP IS PERFECT.

Watching her walk in was like what I imagine it’s like watching an angel descend from the heavens, except Pep’s hair is bigger and her outfits are more fierce. Obviously.

I was third in line to meet her and she was SO sweet and warm and welcoming and gave me a big hug, called me beautiful (this is all going to go straight to my head), and I told HER she was beautiful. She gave me a hug (!) and then we posed, dahling, while the wind whipped in our hair. As you can see from the photo below, my hair was not loving the wind but not a strand in Peppermint’s is out of place because she’s fucking Peppermint. I thanked her so, so much and THEN SHE GAVE ME AN AIR KISS.

The best part was probably Pep’s interaction with my husband. We bought her album earlier and he got her to sign it to “Bubby”, a nickname we both call one another, so that was very sweet. But Bill was respectful and didn’t want to touch queens without asking, so would stand away and take a photo next to them. Pep laughed and told him to get closer and then put her arms around him! The smile in his photo is everything. (Our professional photos will be available soon, too.)

As I mentioned, while we were waiting for Pep, I slipped out of line and met with two other queens. First was Jaymes Mansfield, who was adorable. When I told her she looked beautiful she said, “Thank you, but I know.” Perfect.

Then I visited Mimi Imfurst‘s booth. I was obsessed with her outfit! She was dressed as a handmaid from The Handmaid’s Tale. I told her her look was one of my favorites of the weekend and she laughed and told me she could hardly see a thing—then let me try on her hat!!! It was so surreal. Mimi was very sweet and down-to-earth and I honestly loved chatting with her. After I purchased a poster from her, she even through in a personalized signed a photo for me and wrote “Peace be with you” (a phrase from the book). It was great!

After meeting Pep, my husband wanted to go grab something to drink, so I got in line to meet Kimora Blac. Kimora is fucking stunning in person and she told me she loved my dress! She said she loved the material it was made out of it and I told her it was from Amazon.com and she high-fived me and called me Prime Fish, which is my new favorite thing. She was very personable and gave compliments freely!

Lastly, we checked out autograph alley, where I met none other than Britney Spears Derrick Barry. Derrick changed my life forever by telling me that when people ask how to spell my name, I should just say, “Crystal—like Swarovski.”

I had SO MUCH FUN at DragCon and I really, really hope Ru continues to bring it to NYC. I loved being a VIP so much and would absolutely do it again next year, especially because I went through the swag bag when I got home and discovered AN AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO FROM MAMA RU HERSELF. I can’t wait to hang this up in the house!

I love you, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Thanks for loving me back!

xo.

Weekend Getaway to the Connecticut Shoreline with Our Dog

Summertime gives me a serious case of FOMO. I scroll through everyone’s lavish photos from their elaborate vacations and I want to be there, too. That feeling has been elevated lately with the current political climate keeping my husband and me at our wit’s end, and with new jobs for the two of us (AKA no time off in the foreseeable future). We found ourselves both almost surprise-booking a weekend getaway on the same day. So we decided we needed to just do it and try for something low-key. One caveat: we wanted to take our dog with us.

We managed to cobble together a dog-friendly weekend on the Connecticut shoreline, which made for our dog’s first vacation ever (!).

I think the weekend was exactly what we needed. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect (despite the forecast in the early week calling for thunderstorms all weekend) and we got to try a few new things, too.

On Saturday, we left the house early and went straight to New London, where we caught a ferry to Fisher’s Island (part of New York). I’d never heard of it before, but it was recommended on BringFido.com as very dog-friendly, with shops, places to eat, and beaches to walk along, so we figured: why not?

The ferry ride over offered some beautiful views, as did the island. But Fisher’s Island is a very small town… which unfortunately means there’s hardly anything to do. The walk to “downtown” took about 20 minutes and, when we got there, there was only one place to eat (a market and not a restaurant), a couple of shops with knick knacks in it, and an ice cream shop. It was super residential and not so tourist-friendly. Overall, the island is very pretty, but doesn’t offer much substance.

Once we were back in Connecticut, we drove to Mystic, where we stopped at the Jealous Monk for dinner and drinks. We take our annual anniversary trip down to the Niantic/Mystic area and we’d been waiting for this place to open for two years, so it was exciting to finally go! Their beer garden was awesome, the food was delicious, and they even offered a make-your-own s’mores option for dessert (which is always a resounding HELL YES in my book). Then we settled into the hotel and called it a night.

We started the next day with some breakfast at Muddy Waters Cafe, where we got breakfast sandwiches, a bagel and lox, and a cinnamon bun because it was vacation and we deserved it. The views of the glittering ocean from the patio of the cafe did not hurt one bit.

After breakfast, we went to Harkness Memorial Park, which is easily becoming one of my favorite places to visit. It’s part park, part conservatory, part beach, and it offers views of beautiful gardens, too. When the weather is good and there’s a beautiful breeze (like it was today), it’s everything. Doesn’t really get much better than being with the person and dog you love looking out at the ocean.

We wrapped the afternoon with a picnic lunch at Jonathan Edwards Winery. Then we went home, I took a long nap, and now we’re binge-watching “Insecure.” I’m about it.

Here are some photos from this weekend.

xo.

Things I Wore (and Did) in July 2017

One of my favorite parts about looking back on the month’s outfits is that it gives me a good sense of all of the things I’ve done recently.

I sometimes find myself feeling like I don’t “do” anything, like I spend far too much time on Twitter retweeting jokes or on the couch rewatching “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

But Bill and I have some pretty awesome adventures, which can be easy to forget when I’m lazing about the house. This is such a nice way for me to be reminded of all of the little and big moments I have with him and that I have with myself.

July 2017 was a big month for me. I wrapped up my time working at a job I mostly enjoyed, and that was tough. I had to say goodbye to colleagues I really cared about and respected and friends I admired and loved. I said goodbye to a 10-minute commute and super short work days. I said goodbye to my first-ever office. I said goodbye to the job that helped my husband and I realize that western Massachusetts was the right place for the two of us to settle down. But I needed to go. So I left because I was treated very, very unfairly by my boss and I knew I deserved better, and because the light on my future there was slowly dimming. It was not an easy decision.

And I started a new job, one I was very excited about, a brand new role as Diversity Communications Manager that would combine my love for communications and writing with my passion for social justice. It’s the first job where I can be my whole self, where I won’t have to shield parts of me. I can bring the social justice knowledge I seek outside of work into my actual job. It feels liberating. I’ll admit it was scary—absolutely terrifying—to make the leap from a job where I felt comfortable to a job that would make me begin anew. But sometimes the scary thing is absolutely the right thing to do, even if it’s hard. My first three weeks have been incredible; they’ve pushed me to exercise skills I haven’t used in years and I feel like I’m really valued and heard and respected. I’m so happy I made the leap, and I hope it only gets better from here.

As for the rest of July, I took some trips to the beach. I found myself enthralled by poetry. I read a bunch. I spent time outside in the sun. Bill and I went to a drag show, we traveled to the Berkshires, we were inspired by art, we explored western Mass a little.

All in all, life is good.

And here’s what I wore.

My last day of work. Sadly, this also means it’s the last photo EVER with that polka-dotted wall. I shall miss it!

Outfit details

  • Dress: Marshall’s
  • Shoes: DSW
  • Necklace: Target
  • NEW GLASSES: Zenni Optical

I feel so beautiful in this dress. It reminds me of the flamenco dancers we saw when we were in Barcelona. (I literally cannot believe that I got to type that sentence. Who even am I?)

Despite feeling beautiful in this dress, it’s not exactly practical. But what better event to wear it to than a drag show?

Outfit details

  • Dress: Marshall’s
  • Shoes: Target

First day on the new job! I had been stressing about what to wear. I wanted something professional, but not too formal… and I also wanted something that wouldn’t make me too hot. It is the dead of summer, after all. I settled on this beautiful dress, WHICH HAS POCKETS! And shoutout to my first selfie at my new job.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Amazon.com (which I am realizing is pretty awesome for cute, affordable dresses)
  • Shoes: Target

Outfit details

  • Shirt: LuLaRoe Perfect T
  • Skirt: Charlotte Russe
  • Shoes: Payless

Outfit details

  • Dress: LuLaRoe Amelia—still can’t tell if these dresses look flattering on me or not, but they do have POCKETS!
  • Shoes: DSW

A scorching hot day made for the perfect opportunity to wear this new Marshall’s score—only $15! The pattern is little ships in boats. Very summery.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Marshall’s

I bought two of these wrap dresses from Forever 21 about a year ago, but they really hold up.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Shoes: Payless

Outfit details

  • Dress: LuLaRoe Julia
  • Shrug: Marshall’s
  • Shoes: Payless

And here’s a peek at what I did in July.

Anyone else excited for fall, the best season of the year?

xo.