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Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Favorites

This has been a month of taking it extremely easy. Let's take a look back at what I've been enjoying!

October Favorites Kate the (Almost) Great

Listening


Taylor Swift - I've been a Tay Swift fan for years, so I obviously preordered 1989 and have been listening to it on repeat. My favorites are Blank Space and Style. What are yours?

Reading


I haven't done any fun reading recently. With my high pain, I've been having more trouble focusing recently. And then I took the GRE lit test last weekend, so the reading I've done recently has been overviews of important readings and studying for that test and the general GRE.

Wearing

Fall Fashion


Leggings, black pants, sweaters, and layers in general. I really love my motorcycle boots, Keds, and flats. The following links send you to items similar to the ones I actually wear, while the items in the above picture are approximates.


Boots // Keds // Flats // Flats 

Watching


One Tree Hill - I watch this in batches and I'm currently in the 2nd season now. This is the kind of show that I need to pay attention to when I watch it instead of just having it on in the background, which is why I don't watch it as much as I do others.

Doctor Who - I am many episodes behind! Catching up on the current season now and I'm very fond of Capaldi (but I think that Ten is my favorite).

Criminal Minds - It's no secret that I love crime shows. My current joy is Criminal Minds since it's on Netflix.

Tell me what you're loving this month! I love to be introduced to new things from my readers. So what are you listening to, reading, wearing, and watching this month? 

Past Favorites:


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

7 Ways To Make It Through Tough Times

Hi there! Steph and Sophie of Howlin’ Lamb here. Both of us work as analysts at a consulting firm downtown, and while that takes up most of our time during the week, we try to keep the rest of our lives (cooking, visiting new restaurants, trying our hand at new workouts, the pursuit of cocktails) up and running on the weekend.

7 Ways To Make It Through Tough Times


When we first discussed guest posting with Kate, we knew we wanted to do something wellness related. In case you are new to her blog, the girl is one tough cookie! This site is full great tips on how to persevere and take care of yourself when facing stressful health journeys. To pay homage to her attitude, we want to talk a little bit about self-care for those of you with other types of life and job stress. We all face those lifemaggedons sometimes, where it can feel like we’re barely keeping our heads above water. For us, this mainly happens during a 70+ hour work week, but most women today are trying to balance personal lives, sanity, careers, relationships, family, creative lives, and any number of other responsibilities. While this can be incredibly challenging, we're slowly developing strategies to help us get through the busiest of times ("oh I got out of work at 2am, what a treat!") to keep us as happy and healthy as we could hope. Hope some of these work for you as well!

1.       Treat your mental energy and willpower as a finite resource. You can’t be focused in disciplined in ten areas at once, so pick your priorities and allow for wiggle room in other areas. Steph loves training for races, but a month before her last half-marathon, she worked two eighty hour weeks. Needless to say, she couldn't follow her training plan exactly, but by lessening the mileage and trying to optimize (and therefore shorten) her workouts, she was able to stay awake at work and still run happy on race day. She didn't get the exact time she wanted but still had a good race (and was proud to finish strong despite skipping her two longest training runs). A female CEO whom she heard speak during college said it best, “You can have it all, just not all at the same time and in equal amounts.”



2.       Ask for what you need. It’s always nice when someone offers their help, but many times, we feel uncomfortable accepting it or don’t know what we want. Take the time to figure it out what kind of support you like, and don’t be shy to reach out for assistance. This is especially true in the workplace; if you don’t have the direction or support you need, it causes the entire team more work in the long run.


3.       Similarly to the point above, saying “no” is also important. This can mean turning down drunk escapades to stay in bed all day long, but you can also assert yourself in the office. If your boss is piling on assignments under deadlines that you know are unreasonable, you can always say, “Sure, happy to take that on. I’m working on A & B right now, and those need to be done by X time. Should I hold off on this until I finish the others, or do you think I should reprioritize?” Oftentimes, the people who manage us may not have a good idea of what is on our plates or how long those things take, so reminding them in this ways shows that you are organized and committed to getting them what they need, when they need it.



4.       Respect your body. Kate has several great posts on this, and it’s worth reiterating. Oftentimes, when we are stressed, things like eating habits, exercise, and sleep are the first to fly out the window. You make not have the time or energy to pack a perfect kale-quinoa-whatever lunch, but loading up on the grease and salt will only make you feel sluggish. Fine to enjoy some French fries occasionally, but even when we are stuck at work for dinner for weeks on end, we remind ourselves that eating pad thai for a week straight will not improve our focus, energy and happiness (believe us, we’ve done it). When it comes to exercise, again, be kind to yourself. If you are a person who doesn’t mind getting up for some intense workouts, great, but your body may need something gentler. Something like a walk or yoga still counts, and can give you energy and occupy your mind. Maybe you’ll end up strolling through a new neighborhood and finding a store to visit that weekend, or a park where you can sit and read (or picnic with some wine!). And if you are sleeping four hours a night, starting up a CrossFit regime is probably not the best move.



5.       Prepare for battle. When you sense a particularly busy or unpleasant week is ahead, take whatever time you can to make things easier for yourself. For Steph, this means bulk cooking and packing/freezing food on the weekend for the following week, as well as making sure she has clean workout clothes. Sophie prepares for a tough week of work by making sure her most comfortable workpants have been picked up from the drycleaner (nothing worse than having to wear tights when you’re at work late at night), and giving her sisters a call over the weekend, since they probably won’t hear from her for the next five days. Any little thing that can remove decisions or effort later (getting laundry done, hanging up work outfits, making snack packs) will help. Throughout the week, take 5-10 minutes at the end of the day to set yourself up for the next day (by drafting some morning to-dos, packing your bag, making sure your keys are in the right spot, etc). These little tricks make it easier to get out the door and make you feel that much more capable.



6.       Vent intentionally. Think of your stress like air in a balloon. If the pressure gets too high, it will burst, regardless of what else you do. Not only do you not want to burst (into screams, tears, whatever), but this will inevitably occur at the least convenient time. Rather than ruining your day (and other people’s), make intentional decisions as to how you’re going to let off some steam, whether by calling a loved one, playing with a dog, or (Steph’s personal favorite) a boxing class.  Whatever works for you, just choose something and make time for it so you don’t lose your cool at your infant niece’s baptism in front of your grandmother.



7.       Try to keep perspective. Nothing lasts forever, and your lifemageddon will also end eventually. Deadlines will pass, your apartment will be cleaned, and you might even find yourself craving that kale-quinoa casserole. One of Sophie’s friends has a note up on her desk that reads “However things are today, they will be different tomorrow” – acknowledge that there is a light at the end of the tunnel so you can be kinder to yourself while you get there.


What do you all think? Let us know in the comments how you deal with being at the end of your rope, and pop over to say hello at Howlin’ Lamb!

Talk soon,
Sophie & Steph

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Doctor Who Companion Halloween Costumes

I was getting caught up on Doctor Who episodes yesterday and had the brilliant idea that I could be Clara Oswald for Halloween (if, you know, I wasn't going to be recovering from today's infusion for the rest of the week and most likely unable to actually do anything for Halloween). Which brought me to the idea for today's post - Doctor Who companion costumes out of clothes you already have.

Doctor Who companion costumes

Clara Oswald


Clara Oswald Costume
Image Source


Needed: 

- blue dress
- tights
- cardigan

Amy Pond


Amy Pond Costume
Image Source

Needed:

- red sweater
- miniskirt
- tights
- converse

Donna Noble


Image Source


Needed:

- wide-legged pants
- gray top
- purple tank
- belt
- long-ish jacket

Martha Jones


Martha Jones Costume
Source


Needed:

- wide-legged (or at least straight-legged) jeans
- brown leather jacket
- tank


Rose Tyler


Rose Tyler Costume
Source


Needed:

- black leather jacket
- purple tank
- blank pants

Monday, October 27, 2014

Coffee & Tests

WOW look who showed up today! I went to Amherst over the weekend for the GRE literature in English subject test and it looked like I wasn't going to make it over to this end of the Internet today.

Pro: the test is over and the application process really is started and going

Con: the hours in the car, stress from the test, and the need for my infusion have made me in really intense pain

So on this Monday after a few weeks of high pain, lowered creativity, and plenty of stress, I am watching Doctor Who, drinking coffee, and getting the next few weeks planned out. Have an incredible week!

From my Instagram


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Currently Pinning

Probably one of my favorite forms of social media is Pinterest. I use it for everything from food to interior design, from yoga to outfits, and from holidays to blogging, and more. Here are some of my current favorites.

Original Pin

Original Pin

Original Pin

Original Pin

Original Pin

Which one is your favorite? How do you feel about Pinterest? 

Follow me and leave your link!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Little Update

Good morning! (Afternoon? Evening? Day? Whatever) I had planned to write this blog post ahead of time, like I always do, but my pain has been incredibly high the past couple of weeks and it's jamming my creativity and daily ability to function, so that's great.



1. I was due for my quarterly arthritis infusion a few weeks ago, but due to a scheduling error I'm not having it until next Tuesday.

2. Oh, and that surgery I'm having? Has to be pushed back to February.

3. I'm on a new medication for fibromyalgia, which is slowly starting to help my muscle aches.

4. But a side effect is fatigue, which I already deal with in my high pain.

5. The most basic daily activities - like making breakfast - now feel like running a mile or 5.

6. I'm taking the GRE literature test on Saturday. And I'm not psyched about it. At all.

7. Mostly because it's extremely specific and difficult, not the least when you're in a lot of pain.

8. This is NOT to complain. This is to explain what's going on with me and my life. Because it's also impacting my creativity, which is incredibly frustrating.

And now that we've gone through that ...

I'm also very happy to introduce you to the awesome Marielle! 



I'm Marielle, a twenty-seven year old dilettante.  This Flooded Sky is where I write about feminism, travel, culture, life, and assorted rants.  I used to teach English abroad in Asia, so sometimes I indulge in nostalgia.  But I'm bad at a lot of things, so don't expect tutorials or many helpful tips.  Mostly, I'm a thinker, cynical idealist, connoisseur of irony, and quiet smirker.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Harry Potter From Another Character's Perspective

Unless you've been off of social media/the Internet recently, you probably know that ABC Family played all of the Harry Potter movies this past week. As a long-standing Harry Potter fan, I've read the books over and over again. Watching the movies over the weekend brought up a thought that I've had frequently over the years: I would love to read the books from Ron or Hermione's perspective. So I put together what the first 2 books would look like!

Harry Potter from Another Character's Perspective


Book 1: Ron Weasley & Becoming Best Friends With One of The Most Famous Wizards Alive

Featuring:
- befriending Harry Potter on the train
- horribly insulting and risking my life for an annoying know-it-all
- becoming best friends with her, too
- going through a series of ridiculously difficult tasks to get a special stone

Book 2: Hermione Granger & The Year I Was Petrified By A Giant Snake

Featuring:
- my 2 best friends missing the train and arriving to school in a flying car
- 1 of them hearing things (and me fearing for his mental health)
- oh wait he wasn't hearing things, he can just TALK TO SNAKES
- discovering what was going on way before anyone else (per usual)
- being petrified for the rest of the year instead of dying because of knowing more than anyone else

From whose perspective would you want to read the books? Ron, Hermione, Draco Malfoy, a random Hogwarts student ...? Let me know! 

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