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My younger sister didn't quite get why I bought the domain. Simple, I said. Millennial woman brand recognition. Well, okay, she sa...

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New Year's Goals #1: Keeping In Touch

January 28, 2019

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I've really never been one for making New Year's resolutions. However, this year was a bit different. I wouldn't quite call this a list of resolutions or goals but more of a roadmap of how I wanted to better my life this year. I made lists of improvements I could make at work, at home, in my personal life, etc. It wasn't all bad either. I made sure to list what I was happy with in my life and on top of the list are my friends and family. 

Truly, it's easy to keep up with friends & the folks thanks to social media but to me there's still something lacking. There's a void of emotional connection that no amount of likes or followers can fill. I think that's one of the reasons I'm really not active on social media (which is why it's taking me forever to set it up for this blog). Either that or it's just that my friends and I are in our 30s and if I'm being truthful, we're all just kinda boring. 

One of the issues I want to work on this year is staying in touch with my dangerously boring friends and family. Looking at my main circle of friends, siblings, cousins, etc., we run the age gauntlet from about 26 to knocking on the door of 40. Most of us have children with the oldest in their first year of high school. A majority have more than one kid. Let's toss in the fact I live 800 miles away from everyone so contact is pretty much just scrolling through Facebook and throwing up a couple of likes or generic comments.

One way I've kept in touch is through letters, cards, and horribly-drawn stick figure cartoons. My best friend from college, Jeannette, gets several issues a year of a comic I started drawing for her over a decade ago. It's called "Jeannette the Spy" and it obviously features the adventures of Jeannette and her exploits as a spy. These are usually accompanied by a multi-page letter of my ramblings (which I'm trying really hard not to do here but I think I'm failing). Despite the fact I don't have kids and my job has a super loose schedule I really don't have the time to draw comics featuring Soviet dictators or describe the weird dude running around in corn fields at 3:30 am in Cairo, Illinois. 

So what's a gal to do when she needs to lift a friend's feelings from 800+ miles away? She sends her pal an invitation to her wedding to George Clooney. To be held this November in Lexington, Kentucky next to the dumpster behind a Waffle House.

pls pls pls don't forget to rsvp so you can get a penthouse po box!
p.s. sorry amal

I made this invitation using Paperless Post. I've used Paperless Post for all sorts of things in the past, most notably my department's long-tenured administrative assitant's retirement party (she was there for an astonishing 42 years!). There are tons of designer options (Kate Spade, Mr. Boddington's Studio, Oscar de la Renta, and Rifle Paper Co. among many others) for all occasions, including the Kate Spade invitations to my upcoming nuptials with Mr. Clooney.

Paperless Post costs about as much as send a card through the mail. Some might hesitate at the cost of sending an online greeting card but A) the user experience is SO much nicer than any random e-card site and B) sometimes being able to send something right away is a nice gesture. I sent the card above to my friend when she admitting to having a hard day at work. While I'll always love sending a card via snail mail there really is a place for being able to send something exquisite right away. Not only can I send something designer, there's a place where you can upload your own designs. This allows me a new way to continue sending Jeannette spy comics. At least eventually, once I learn how to use my Walcom tablet. 

This post was sponsored by Paperless Post.
 Thank you for supporting the brands that support Sweet Lemon!

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crayons in the bathroom

August 29, 2018


I like to do my thinking in the shower, as many do. I like it so much that I bought bathtub crayons so I can write lists and do some quick math on my shower walls. They're from Crayola and they're basically just colored bar soap in stick form.

Most recently, I had scribbled "stop spending $$" in an effort to well, stop spending $$. Ha. I ended up with some extra funds so I went on a shopping spree over the weekend and now not only does my shower tell me stop spending in lime green and purple lettering it also bears the list of what I've bought. In no order:

Adidas AlphaBounce sneakers: these were a genuine need. Since I bought them from 6pm.com they were under $50. Also? The CloudBoost (CloudBounce?) are nowhere near as good as the AlphaBounce.
Anthropologie Florilla quilt and shams: You heard it hear first: lavender is the new millennial pink. I already had this planned out in my budget as my birthday gift to myself in October. But it was on sale and had free shipping. The free shipping alone saved me $20. And holy shit I just found out there's a matching shower curtain. I know what's happening next pay day.
Pioneer Woman flatware: my previous set of Room Essentials from Target were actually rusting. WTF. So yeah, another need.
Pioneer Woman knife set: Don't judge. I have a former friend--we're still friends on Facebook but really, we haven't talked since Obama's first term--who works for Anthropologie. Since she comes from Snobriety she typically doesn't step foot in Walmart until her car blows a tire on a road trip and she's stuck there for two hours. She posted multiple pictures of the Pioneer Woman line while she was waiting along with a caption along the lines of "We could easily sell this at Anthro."
Tory Birch key chain: On one hand I can't believe I spent $20 on a fucking key chain. On the other I nearly spent $38 on one from Lilly Pulitzer so really I'm saving myself here.
Doormat: Long story short my living room colors are no longer in vogue (that's another post for another day) so I've been searching for two years for a matching rug. Finally found one on Amazon and finally bought the matching doormat. It was only $15.

Then there's been a lot of pointless shit from Target. Thankfully I'm at the point where I no longer really need or want anything. I know for a fact a lot of the shopping comes from poor coping skills RE: my depression BUT the side effects are hella better than the ones from SSRIs. It's also the tail end of the hardest month for me work-wise. College football starts up this Saturday and hockey season is just around the corner. That will help keep the shopping compulsion to a minimum, as well as upcoming holidays, a road trip to Minniesoda, and the fact I can't stay awake past 5 pm come November.

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sweet lemon

August 18, 2018

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My younger sister didn't quite get why I bought the domain. Simple, I said. Millennial woman brand recognition. Well, okay, she said. But won't people think you're just copying the previous website?

Nah, I replied. Rebranding can work wonders. It wasn't even going to be the same thing.

Well, whatever. She shrugged. Have fun.

And I did have plans for the site but ultimately I decided to focus on other things. When I decided I wanted to scream into the void online via blog I thought about branding, what to name it, etc. I decided to stick with the Sweet Lemon since I already had it set up the branding, social media accounts (I really don't plan on using them), and all that jazz. Looking back on it the branding was a little much with bright tropical colors, flowers, and yes, some lemons. Yeah, I need to totally rework the branding or at least get rid of the some of the colors because the more I look at it the more my retinas burn.

One of my favorite times in my life was when I ran a very small personal blog in my early to mid-20s. I would spy on my neighbors and write of their comings and goings as if they were Soviet embassy employees. I wrote about the excitement of finding an Anthropologie quilt for a mere $20 at a discount store. Looking back it's hysterical to see how naive I was about life or what simple things brought me joy.

So Sweet Lemon: without the tart, life just ain't as sweet. 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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August 16, 2018

The beginning of August is the busiest time for my job. This week was made extra hard due to schedule constraints, people underfoot, and people simply not listening. It's frustrating but thankfully the light is on at the end of the tunnel.

I'm spending my weekend finishing a powerpoint presentation for work. It isn't needed but at the same time I think it will make my life so much easier I think the hours will be worth it.

I'm also going to work on reorganizing my bedroom. I hate folding clothes so there are clothes everywhere in my room. Since my apartment is small and my closet is huge, it pulls double duty as storage for more than just my sweaters and jeans. I had thought about hanging my everyday shirts/jeans/yoga pants and putting the other stuff in my dresser. I got about halfway through that project before realizing it wasn't going to work out quite like I thought. So, now I'm going to rearrange some furniture. I don't think it will help with organization that much (the massive clean out of clothes I did Monday will help with that) but I think it will be easier for me to function in the space.

I've been eyeing some storage bins at Target but earlier this week I found some similar ones at Aldi's for half-price plus it was a set of two. I went back earlier today and bought a second set because I love them so much. So, I have plenty to do this weekend. That includes making this incredible-looking Bruschetta Chicken recipe.

God, I could go for a grilled cheese right now.

The Younkers at the local mall is closing. In case you're not in the Midwest, it's the Bon-Ton and I think they're all closing. There's only a week left of their closing sale so and friend and I went to see what they had left. There wasn't much in the way of clothes or other merchandise left but there were tons of store fixtures. There were also piles of perfume gift set boxes you could purchase or  GWP cosmetic bags. They were even selling used binders, one of which was marked "Christmas 2007." A box I peered into contained what looked to be the contents of someone's desk: a stapler, erasers, various pens and Sharpies, a half-used roll of Scotch tape.

The woman ahead of me in line knew the two cashiers at the service desk. She asked them what the future held. The older cashier said at the moment she wasn't really looking to do anything else; this had just been a fun part-time job during retirement. The younger cashier said she had picked up a holiday position at Penney's. Neither seemed concerned at all.

Despite the low selection of junk I found a marvelous phone case:
It's a Vera Bradley phone case from last Christmas and I got it for slightly over $10. It has suspended glitter and snowflake confetti giving it a snow globe appearance. I have it at my desk right now and I simply can't stop playing with it. It's very soothing, maybe I should throw a bird songs playlist on Spotify and just play with this case. Ohhhhhhhhh sparrrrrrrkles.

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STORIES | sephora, 2009

August 11, 2018


the following is a true story | identifying details have been changed

Jackie shrugged. "Seriously, we really don't care." She knelt down in her all-black uniform and opened a drawer. She took out a handful of tiny, empty clear tubs and handed them to me. Standing back up, she gestured towards the mostly empty store. 

"Take whatever you want. I mean you can even get the sample jars yourself," she pointed to the drawer, "I mean, we've had women smash lipsticks in them, or crumble up powder eye shadows into them." She chuckled. 

"I think that's taking a bit too far," I responded. 

"Well, yes and no." Jackie shrugged again. "We're supposed to make a sample of anything in the store if asked."

"At least they're not stealing the tester."

"That's true. Be right back." Jackie stepped away to go greet an older woman whose immediate demeanor screamed high maintenance. She was cross of Bea Arthur and Anna Wintour; there was no resting about her bitch face. The outfit was the latest Ralph Lauren from the Macy's across the food court. Jackie clearly knew this woman because I could see the brave face that she put on upon approach.

Godspeed Jackie, I thought. My attention turned to the colorful bottles in front of me. What did I want? A cleanser? A moisturizer? I wandered down a few aisles to the Philosophy display and picked up a bottle of their moisturizer Miracle in a Bottle. Squirt, squirt, squirt. I filled about five of the tiny tubs which would last me about a week. My next stop was the Fresh display for a few more squirts of their soy face wash. A few more squirts of this & that and the tubs went into my purse. With a wave and a smile I said goodbye to Jackie and caught the bus to my job at Lowe's.

Despite working at Lowe's and basically living on slightly higher than minimum wage pay, I often had designer skincare and cosmetics thanks in part to friends like Jackie. Well, her and the other slightly higher than minimum wage cosmetic counter employees at the Capital City Mall. In nice weather, I would read in the park or by the river. In bad weather, I would head to the library or the mall. As a result, I learned quite a bit of Russian and when stuff would go on sale at the mall.

I really had nothing to offer the folks at the mall except the occasional discount at Lowe's but I like to think they valued me for the friendship. I also helped them out as best I could. I'd give fake names and addresses to the girl at Orgins in exchange for free mini facials. I did that a lot, actually, to various cosmetic counters. I'd fill out credit card offers with more fake details...one was somehow approved at I think Old Navy and it scared both me and the cashier (a drinking buddy). Yes, we canceled the card.

The one thing we all had in common was that we were stuck in the recession with college degrees and zero job prospects. We were pissed and Jackie's small, meager way of trying to spite the forces that be was to overlook my shoving most of the Fresh balm tester into a sample tub. I would routinely mark down plants for Jackie and the others at Lowe's. Roses that would be marked at $19.99 would magically get slashed to 9.99 with a few keystrokes. Markdowns in the Lowe's nursery are constant so it was hardly unusual. I remember we'd get mums in a Monday and they'd be marked half down by Wednesday because another order of mums was coming in and we didn't have the space.

Were we abusing our (lowly) positions? Of course. Did any of us get caught? Not that I'm aware of. Does it matter?

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