Category: Year of Intention

This Weekend – An Ode to Moxifloxacin

It’s Monday. A new week. A new dawn. But I not necessarily feeling good, like Ms. Simone. I’m feeling just okay. Why? Well – I spent a good chunk of my Saturday morning in an urgent care waiting room with a nasty bout of pink-eye…in both eyes. Yes, both.

February just isn’t my month. Because I was basically quarantined from the rest of my family, I spent a lot of time alone reflecting feeling sorry for myself. I’ve been in a funk lately and my past few weeks of sickness and all around not great luck has pretty been messing with usually positive attitude. Although truth be told, life has been chipping away at my positive attitude for the past couple of years.

The nurse practitioner at urgent care prescribed moxifloxacin for my condition. I rocked my best Corey Hart impression in Walgreens as I waited for the pharmacist to call my name and scrolled through social media. Through the magic of technology, I witnessed friends living their best lives at exotic locations around the world. I looked at people I’ve never met in person as they documented their active Saturday mornings. I was looking down at my leggings and old sweatshirt when I heard my name.

Once home I eagerly put in my first round of eye drops and set up shop in the guest bedroom. When our children had pink-eye a few years ago, the prescribed antibiotic took effect almost immediately so I figured that after resting for a few hours, I’d pop up with improved eyes and ready to take on the rest of the weekend.

Yeah – that wasn’t the case.

When I emerged from the dark cocoon of the guest room, my eyes looked even worse – Clay recoiled when he saw me (in the most loving way possible, of course). We wondered if I was having an allergic reaction to moxifloxacin and I realized just how crucial non-swollen and white eyes are to my overall look. I spent the rest of the evening alternating my eyes with a warm compress and popping ibuprofen – it was quite the Saturday night.

Thankfully when I woke up yesterday morning, my eyes had improved slightly and they were no longer swollen. While my eyes resembled the color of pink sherbet, I no longer looked like I was carrying the plague and my reading glasses helped camouflage the illness. By the afternoon, I was no longer contagious due to being on antibiotics for 24 hours and I was feeling good enough to re-enter the world.

This morning my eyes are still red but improving, which means that the moxifloxacin is working. I was looking for a super quick fix so I could return to normal but unfortunately, the medicine needs time to do its job. It’s not unlike life in general – quick fixes don’t really work in personal development. Sure – the internet is home to thousands of websites promoting life hacks intended to make our lives that much easier, but when it comes to actual change, we have to put in the work.

I mentioned that I’ve been a bit down lately – I’m not denying this fact. I do think I’ve been wallowing too much in self-pity. I’m not quite to the point of singing Linda Ronstadt’s Poor Poor Pitiful Me, but I’m looking forward to slapping Nicholas Cage and saying “Snap out of it!”

So here’s to Mondays, clear eyes, and a new attitude. And moxifloxacin.

How I Came Up With My Style Uniform {Adventures in Closet Cleaning}

Minimalism is one of those concepts that seems has a million different definitions. To me – minimalism is all about reducing the desire to want more and embracing the idea of being happy with less. While I do not consider myself a minimalist – Clay and I have definitely been dipping my toes into the simplicity pool over the past few years and we’re enjoying the temperature of the water. For example, we’ve learned that we prefer a dwelling no bigger than 2000 square feet. We are now much more appreciative of clear spaces. We now value experiences over tangible items. And we’re donating a lot more (thank you Marie Kondo) than we’re bringing back into our home.

An area of my life that just doesn’t really bring me much joy is my closet. Hi! My name is Karen and I am just meh about a lot of my wardrobe. There was a time when I filled an entire walk-in closet with clothes, shoes, and purses but over the past few years, I’ve managed to reduce my collection to half a closet and five drawers. And you know what? It is still too much because I don’t wear about 3/4 of what I own on a regular basis.

I’ve been intrigued with idea of a ‘uniform’ for a little while now. While I don’t see myself wearing the same exact outfit everyday (although it’d be cool to try!), I do love the concept of sticking to what makes me feel the best while being comfortable and looking great. I’m not one who enjoys shopping for clothes on a regular basis and I am much more inclined to jump on accessory trends rather than purchase the must-have wardrobe piece each season. So having a few staples that I rotate between very much appeals to me.

In order to figure out what I want my ‘uniform’ to look like, I first had to go through every single item in my closet and figure out what I really liked to wear and what was just collecting dust. I took everything out of my closet and put on almost everything. I only placed it back into my closet if I loved the way it made me feel. If I only liked the article of clothing on me, I set it aside in a separate pile. And of course, if I wasn’t feeling the piece at all, I put in another pile to donate.

I maximized Clay being TDY and accomplished this task last night after putting the kids to bed. I watched Hulu, sipped on sparkling water with fresh-squeezed lime, and had my own little fashion show in front of our 80s-era closet door mirrors.

womp womp

I rotate between four pairs pants on a regular basis – dark wash skinny jeans, light wash skinny jeans, black skinny jeans, and black leggings. I am happy with my pants game – although I could use a nice pair of black dress pants. The top half of my body? Not so much. I have a closet full of fall/winter tops that I don’t love and none of the above tops made the cut for what I am looking for in a daily uniform – a couple of them were placed in the ‘like’ pile though.

The donate pile.

The ‘like’ pile. I hung these up in the guest room closet. I’m not quite ready to part with these pieces but if I find myself not incorporating them into my regular everyday wardrobe over the next couple of months, I will gladly pass them along.

Okay – so by trying on every single piece of clothing in my closet, I was able to quickly determine the pieces that I love and make me feel the most like me. I learned that I much prefer a solid neutral top instead of a pattern. Honestly – there is nothing better than a white shirt in my current world. I love layering so it was no surprise that I much I prefer wearing two thinner pieces instead of one thicker top.

So if I had to choose a daily uniform for this time of year, I think it’d be skinny pants, a thin soft top (tank/short sleeves/long sleeves), and an open sweater/indoor jacket. I like more simple clothes and to experiment with bolder jewelry. Neutrals are my jam and and I don’t care if this makes me boring. I like what I like and I’m so happy that my slightly emptier closet now reflects my daily uniform instead of being full of pieces that I only wear out of obligation.

My wardrobe may not be the envy of fashionistas and the size of my closet may be appalling to some but I quite like it. My goal is to not buy any more clothes (with the exception of some more white shirts and a pair of black dress pants) for quite some time because I have more than enough. Wearing the same type of outfit over and over again may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’m pretty sure it is going to be mine. Hi! My name is Karen and I love having a style uniform.

Have any of you experimented with a style uniform or a capsule wardrobe? Do you enjoy clothes shopping or do you find the entire process exhausting and sort of a self-esteem killer?


Below are some blogs and articles that helped me conceptualize how I want to dress and change my outlook toward my wardrobe:

You Are Your Breath

I feel like it has been awhile since I’ve sat down and wrote a conversational piece on this blog. So here I am this afternoon – armed with coffee (should probably switch to water but ahhhh well), warm fingers, and a mind full of half-finished thoughts. The kids are playing at a friends’ house, I’ve got risotto simmering on the stove (I should probably be stirring right now…), and our house is finally clean and back to normal after this past weekend’s festivities. So basically – I have absolutely no excuse not to write. So why am I having trouble?

Stop trying so hard.

Like many other women in my age bracket, I devoured Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love soon after it’s release. It’s been years since I’ve last re-read the book (fun fact – I’m an avid re-reader) so I’m a little fuzzy on the details but her book was my first introduction to the concept of a mantra – at least in the meditation sense. I don’t have a personal mantra per se – I probably should. But there is phrase that I’ve been repeating to myself since the onset of 2019 – stop trying so hard.

I read something on Facebook (of course) the other day that really resonated with me – “you are your breath”. For as good of a person that I’d like to be – I don’t think that I am a terribly mindful person. I rely too much on background noise (podcast or TV show – in fact, I’m watching Project Runway – All Stars while typing this stream of consciousness) and you know what? I don’t think I am very present in most of the moments that comprise my day. I am too focused on what other people think of me. I am motivated by what I think I should be doing rather than what fulfills me and puts good back into the world. I have a few ‘let’s see if this works…‘ ideas to help me in this arena – I’m sure I’ll write about them in the coming weeks.

So here’s to being more mindful. I’m not quite sure what that means exactly but I’m determined to figure it out.