Dealing with Disappointment and Moving On…

This week wasn’t the best for me.

I subbed at my now very normal middle school in the kindergarten class and was basically run over. I’ve worked with these kids before on multiple occasions but we hadn’t even hit 11 am on Tuesday after a hard Monday when I had to ask a room full of five-year-olds (who decided karate in the library was a great idea), “it’s literally Tuesday morning and nothing special is going on; what’s the deal?” Of course, they didn’t have an answer for me as the teacher called us back to the classroom.

California has been in a heat wave which caused my runs to drain me after long days of chasing after twenty-two pairs of little legs through the same heat I wind up running through. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I interviewed for a job about two and a half months ago and it went really well. They were checking out my references, working on an offer (which they let me know), and then nothing. I heard back yesterday after a few emails which let me know that the position ended up being scrapped due to some other business related issues I can’t go into here. They apologized for letting the information fall through the cracks which I understand, but to top off an already frustrating week, the fact that I didn’t get the job which was two months in the making (with a lot of people cheering me on who now will want to be undated and join in on the pity party I don’t want) was a bit much.

But How do we get through these tough days?

To quote Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, “keep moving forward!”

For me, this meant I had a quick cry and then a 10 minute boxing and dance off session to work off all the frustration. Then, I sat down and went through all my old work tabs. My mom said (in her comforting yet totally not comforting way) that I get a day to feel sorry for myself but if you don’t know me, I’ll let you know right now, that’s not how I work. I haven’t fully stopped working on my options, just slowed down a little.

So getting motivated is not really my issue, my bigger issue is the pity party I know loved one’s are going to want to throw FOR me. I get it it’s all about love, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t work.

We’ve all been there. A family member is really sick, someone has died, you lost a job, the list of our major bummer yet everyday tragedies is miles long, and people are always willing to share their equally tragic story to show you we’ve all been there. We’ve all done it and we’ve all sat there thinking, ‘who was that supposed to help?’

With the announcement about to roll out in waves here’s my plan (and as always, it’s easier said than done):

1. Let people know flat out that you don’t want a pity party; you don’t need to talk about it and that you’ve put it behind you (or you are working on it). I’ve learned that you can’t feel bad if you have to walk away from a conversation if they don’t let it go. I remember my sister having to deal with the same pressure after the end her maternity leave (people at work kept asking her if she was okay or missing her daughter yet. Of course she was!). She was the one who really highlighted this issue for me.

2. Know that’s it’s okay to have a pity party. It’s not my style but I totally understand needing the time. Have a wallow day Gilmore style with pizza, ice cream, and sad movies if that’s what’s going to get you through it. Have a long bath with a beer and a few tears. do what you need to do and don’t feel bad for needing to get that frustration out with a pity party even if you have others telling you that you don’t get that time. I threw myself full on into my punching bag and while my arms ached today, I felt better.

3. Shake up your routine. This has been big for me across the board. Move your schedule around, your furniture, whatever you need to change up your perspective. I’ve rearranged my whole room and now I am rearranging my CV and the way I’m looking at jobs. It’s work and get’s your brain to shift focus – at least, that’s what I need.

That’s all for me and this accidental pity party (I know, ironic), but this is how I deal with disappointment and (as I said) keep moving forward. Let me know how you work through or even with disappointment, I really would love to know!

  • Taylor Gallagher

DIY Wall Art.

Last week’s post was all about catching the decor bug and since then, I’ve been putting a variety of the suggestions to the test! From gaining bruises and strained muscles while rearranging every piece of furniture that isn’t nailed down in my room (the room feels so long now!), to trashing bags of old clutter, to refiling papers that were otherwise misplaced, to making a new soft and fluffy body pillow to change the look of my bedding, to, finally(!) making my own fun and fantastic, nerdy wall art.

1. Start out by finding something cute but simple you want to frame. For me, this was two car window decals I bought at convention years ago – Joss Whedon’s Firefly based. These could be stickers, decals, or any odd thing you want to frame (I have a set of old rustic keys frames in a shadow box and I love it).

2. Buy a picture frame big enough to house whatever your “art” is. Have fun with this! I went with two black oval frames. I loved how they contrasted with my rectangular frames for all my other art yet keep to the same pallet.

3. Think about your backdrop in respect to the “art” you’ve selected for yourself. You can use wallpaper, wrapping paper, construction paper, fabric, or any other backing and cut it down to fit your frame. Since my decals are white, I went with black paper to give the best contrast. I used a highlighter pencil to trace the circumference of the inner portion of the frame. Remember, you can cut it a little small, however, be careful the you can’t see around your backing when it’s all put together or your work will just look messy.

4. Stick your sticker/decal to the glass and put together your frame. One piece of advice, check out which way your decal sticks. I always assumed that I had to face my decal so you could read it through the glass, however, it actually sticks to the outside. Also, these decals are sticky and are not really shiftable – once they make contact, they can and will start to adhere onto the glass. Still, make sure you really rub down each piece of the decal because bubbles can be visible and cause peeling later.

5. Now that the frame is together and it all looks good, hang your new art enjoy it – one of a kind art is quite a thing to have. Look at my set by step pictures below!

If you are looking for other kinds of wall art, look at melted crayon art (tons of fun and lots of tutorials) or cutting geometric shapes onto canvas for a 3-dimensional square of patterning. And if you liked the idea of the easy up wallpaper discussed last time, be warned that you need a flat wall rather than a textured one (so now I have white brick wallpaper ready and waiting for whenever I move into my own place).

But my next project? Reupholster my desk chair. I just saw a post on this by Amanda from the fabulous blog, Advice from a 20 Something, and it was a total inspiration! Once I’ve tried it out myself, I’ll be sure to let you all know how it went.

  • Taylor Gallagher

Easy Room Change Ups.

I am in a total home decor kick right now, however, unfortunately, I’m still living in a single, overstuffed room which I grew up in which means I really don’t have the ability to explore this passion. Also, I’m not in a possession to spend money on more decor even if I did have the room.

But, still, this is a need I’ve been feeling a lot recently so I’ve started to think of easy but cheap ideas that will let you change up your space with little effort.

1. Rearrange what you have.

There is a reason that Feng Shui is an art form that has lasted for centuries. If you start to feel like your room is stuck in a rut and you along with it, shift things around. This could be as easy as shifting where your desk or book shelves are, switching your wall art (this could be wall placement or the pictures or art themselves), or changing up the little bits and bobs you have on display.

For me, I can only move so much stuff – my bed is made up of kitchen cabinets along one of my walls and I have no way of moving it around. If I want big shifts, I’m mostly regulated to my wall hangings from pictures, art, or the creative jewelry displays I’ve created. Command strip hooks and frame Velcro are great resources if you are thinking about moving things around regularly – a lot easier than hammering nails and then filling holes later.

2. Change some details.

This can be as easy as adding or switching out a throw rug, some throw pillows, or curtains. I’ve been seriously loving Target’s college (and overall)  decor section. They have some great soft, furry throws and pillows that can give your room a nice, easy and chic change. However, this does cost money as each piece can add up more quickly than you would expect it to.

If you have to spend money, think about ways of adding things that can help you out later. I’ve recently bout some very cute office supplies like filing folders and a gold wire case to hold them. These have let me organize my files while I get on the road to adulting while adding a cute yet sophisticated air to my ‘clutter’. on the other hand, remember that space is limited of you an’t just keep adding without thought.


Target’s easy Peel and Stick Divine Brick Wallpaper.

*If you are looking for a bigger change and have a bit more money to spare, think about redoing a whole wall. I absolutely love Target’s easy wallpaper sheets. There versions of textured Peel and Stick wallpaper is amazingly lovely and is not permanent! Easily applied and easily cleaned up, this is a big change even if you just used strips to accent and offset other details!

4. Make it Yourself.

If you are looking for a slightly cheaper (if done right!) but unique touch, think about making things yourself. There are tons of videos and tutorials that teach you how to reupholster chairs, sew pillow slip covers and the like, but, to start out, I’m planning on tackling something much smaller.

I have had some car window stickers (Joss Whedon’s Firefly themed!) fro years, but because I’ve never wanted to commit them to a window or car and risk losing them in the endeavor. Now, I’m finally going to be making them into framed wall art.

You take a frame – I like the look of shadow box frames – around the size of your sticker and stick it to the inner glass. Next, create a backing using colored or patterned paper or material against the supplied back of the frame, making sure that there is a good contrast. Put together the frame and hang your beautiful, unique piece of art!

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be trying out each of these change ups and hopefully this will add a bit more energy to the rest of my day to day activities. If you try any of these out, let me know how it all works out.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.


Bring on the Fall!

I know, I know, I’m in Los Angeles so honestly there really aren’t any seasons worth a major wardrobe change but I absolutely love layering and all the colors that take over in the fall. Luckily, you can find many layers thin enough that you can fight the slightly cooler weather, not sweat to death, and still get all the chicness of fall’s best options.

For me, this means pulling out the yellows, browns and oranges contrasted with some navy and burgundy selections across booties, scarfs, and sweaters and textures from knits to velvet to corduroy.

Some of my biggest ‘can’t-wait-to-wear’ trends that work alongside the LA heat:

Booties, bright tights, and textured miniskirts – I love my burgundy and navy leggings but I can never figure out how to wear them in the summer without looking overdone – the next set I’m looking forward to adding is a mustard yellow pair! Throw on some booties and a short but textured skirt really plays with the focus. I love my Target-mini that has a paisley pattern on material that resembles an old couch cover – I swear it’s much cuter that I just made it sound. Top this with a light shirt and ultra light cardigan that you can bunch to your elbows and you will look balanced but not overheat.

Velvet jegging/skinnies (the kind with a proper button front), a loose and flowing  blouse, and a sleeveless jacket or blazer – I love mixing my textured skinnies which fit like a love with a slightly structured jacket and a unstructured top. Again, mixing in all your great colors and textures here is key. My sleeveless buster is a light but sturdy knit with a simple lined plaid in grey and black while my skinnies are burgundy in a lush but not shiny velvet. If you a bit colder, with about throwing a light cable knit sweater rather than a blouse. In a blouse, however, a great floral will add a great feminine touch.

Everything Plaid! – Yep, I am one of those. I’m looking forward to getting back to my ’90’s childhood roots and rocking plaid however I can. But how to do this and not look like lumberjack? well, you could totally embrace the trend but I love throwing oversize plaid shirts together with black or colored leather (nor worn out brows – too workman!) – preferably a skirt or vest. Avoid any really sturdy work boots – play with cut out or strappy booties for the feminine flair – or too much wool and you’ll be fine!

I know this is a really simple list, but think pieces when you are looking to shake up your wardrobe for fall; velvet pants, sleeveless jackets, sweaters, mini skirts, bight colorful tights, plaid staples and booties. You don’t need to change your whole wardrobe to embrace everything fall has to offer, just think about fresh ways to put items you have together that would otherwise feel like too much during spring or summer.

So if the sweater weather starts rolling in (or not!), get ready, get excited, and feel free to play!

  • Taylor Gallagher

Books on my List.

This summer, I was supposed to read all of Jane Austen’s masterpieces (read: all of them), unfortunately, life got in the way. While I’ve managed to dent my list – and I am still planning on working through these (I’m on Emma), I’ve also accumulated quite another mass of books for my Must Read Now pile.

You’ll notice I haven’t described the books, but go to the links for the descriptions and reviews – they’re better than I can do without reading them first! – but I have gone ahead and given you the reason I decided these were worth blowing a paycheck on with enough variety to hit something for most.

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling

I know, I know: I feel like a failure of a HP fan not having stormed through this one the second I got my hands on it – again, it was a busy summer. I’m also holding out a bit for a prize after getting through the harder Austen’s. I have heard positive and negative reviews but am holding out my opinions until I’ve managed to get through the book myself.

2. Burro Genius: A Memoir by Victor Villasenor

The eighth graders at the elementary school I substitute teach at started this memoir today and between hearing them giggle through reading the bits of awkward humor and getting to curse a little in class, or bemoaning this man’s tragedies (large and small), I am desperate to continue exploring this book. I love memoirs – the more poetic selection of the autobiography section. Every student said something along the lines of ‘I’m so excited to read this book!’ or ‘This is the best book I’ve gotten to read in a long time!’ as they left the classroom. If a book can get a class of 23 twelve year olds excited to read, count me in!

3. Part 2 and 3 of The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman

I think this may have been on an earlier reading list of mine but it’s still here. I did finish the first in this series while the TV adaptation was airing – the two are very, very different! – but haven’t finished the other two. I started this series because I won part three as part of a contest not realizing that it was part of a longer work. Now, at long last, I have book two so I’m looking forward to continuing this adventure.

4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I probably picked up this books five different bookstore trips before I finally gave in and picked myself up a copy – and this was after the book kept popping up in other places like magazines and my Tumblr dash. Between the bright colors, the reviews, the summary and an look of the equally intriguing sequel, I am so ready to start in on this piece of fiction.

5. Everland by Wendy Spinale

From what I can tell, this is a young adult novel that takes the world of Peter Pan and pixie dust, mixed with the world of steampunk, and tips it on its ear. With a touch of the blitz seen in the Disney Back to Neverland follow up film, Everland promises to be a roller-coaster ride of new unexpected adventures for readers who love Neverland and all it’s darkest turns. This was one of the featured books last time I went into Barnes and Nobles so I couldn’t resist picking it up. Not to mention, the authors name is Wend; Wendy, my darlings, is writing a new twist on Neverland and is willing to tell us all stories about it? Maybe it’s the meta in me, but I love it!

As you can see, my tastes in books is varied – I have (adult) fiction to YA to non-fiction to fantasy to script, but as they say, variety is the spice of life, right?

Anyway, I’m exhausted and I have more English classes to teach in the morning so feel free to share your most recent book buys, reads, updates to your needs lists, or recommendations for me below, but for now, good night (or morning) and have a great long holiday weekend (at least in North America).

  • Taylor Gallagher