#Throwback Thursday: Summertime 1990


Obviously I have a thing against the sun, even back then. #vampiresforever

So the Internet is doing this thing called #ThrowbackThursday, and apparently I’m the last one to jump on the bandwagon. I decided to post an old photo of me today, just for fun.

The year was 1990, it was around June or so. My good friend Alyssa Hoefener was moving away (Illinois or something, if memory serves), and she had a going away party at her house. I was 11-and-a-half years old, and about 2 months away from moving to Yokohama, Japan. This was the Summer I had been dreading for months.

In 3rd grade I had experienced a growth spurt, and by 5th grade I was the 2nd or 3rd-tallest girl in the entire grade (about 70+ students). Alyssa (left in the photo) was super-cute and petite, and I look at this photo and remember towering over everyone that Summer, and just feeling like an awkward giraffe.

My bangs were impossible so I was into this phase of just hacking them short periodically. Alyssa’s bangs were always cute and 80’s-awesome, but mine just didn’t do that. *le sigh* I remember I had gotten a camera for Christmas earlier in the year, an incredibly basic Kodak something-or-other, and I tended to use it so rarely that I went through a roll of film like every 4-5 months or so. “Photography” was not yet something that I realized one could do as a hobby, haha. I don’t even remember owning those shorts, LOL. Jelly bracelets were the new thing (as opposed to friendship bracelets – soooooo 1989 – and I think my friends and I had this thing about wearing ankle jelly bracelets on our left ankles.

We had ice pops and threw water balloons at that party. I really missed Alyssa when she left. I think I wrote her after she moved and I heard from her once but then that was it. Such was life before the Internet. Now you just Facebook Friend everyone and stalk them silently when you want to see what they’re up to. But I haven’t found Alyssa on Facebook yet. It’s now 24 years and I have no idea what happened to her since then.

You were a good friend to me, Alyssa. Hope you are doing well, wherever you are!



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My Terrible, Terrible Secret: Recovering from Hypothyroidism – Update!

workoutclothes1 So it’s now been quite awhile since I opened up on this blog about my hypothyroidism and issues stemming from it (including a sudden weight gain of 15 lbs). I wanted to share with all of you where I am now – almost 4 months later.

Not long after posting on my blog about the health struggles I’d been going through, I went in to see my Naturopath to go over my full blood panel results. (Funnily enough, even though I’d been seen by 3 separate doctors for my thyroid issues, no one had EVER ordered a full blood panel despite my insisting that I didn’t feel much better and something was definitely still wrong.) The blood panel reflected that my cortisol levels were extremely high (indicating adrenal fatigue), and despite my 3x per day thyroid medication regimen, I was STILL hypothyroid and my thyroid hormones were staggeringly low.


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My Terrible, Terrible Secret. And I Got Fat Too.

outfit9.02.13_cu3Yes, friends, it’s time to address the elephant in the room and say it out loud: I’ve gotten fat.

I’ve tried to hide it for so long, refusing to even mention it on this blog. But I feel like I’m pretending, constantly, by not even trying to address it.

It’s so difficult when I’m in the business of putting photos of myself out there, online, for all eyes to see – and weekly, monthly, my weight has been creeping…well soaring, really…upwards. It’s affected not only my ability to wear 90% of what was in my closet – but also taken a huge chunk out of my self esteem and confidence.

And we’re not talking something insignificant like 5 pounds, either.

We are talking a weight gain of 20 POUNDS in a year and a half. (Read on for the why.) (more…)

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Where’s My Red Hair From?

from Formspring.me:
Hi Carly! I just found your blog yesterday and I loved it so much I have been going through all your old posts! (Is that creepy? haha) This may seem a bit strange, but I was wondering if you are Irish. I LOVE your red hair!
The Internet is probably the best place for creepiness! Thanks for your kind words about my blog:-)
I am ethnically Scottish/Danish/Norwegian/Czechoslovakian. (“Cais” is a Czech name.) But both my parents are Australians and I was born in the U.S., so I was originally American/Australian… Well, technically American now since I dropped the Australian nationality off my passport (I have only visited there a couple times and though all my relatives are there, I really just identify as American).
The red hair probably comes from the Scottish and the Czech sides of my family; apparently I have a second cousin in the Czech Republic who has hair the exact same color as mine. It’s tough to keep vibrant during the winter – and as the years go by!! :..(
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Formspring.me Question and Answer Marathon Part 2

It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten to Formspring.me, and there’s been questions piling up.  Here’s a bunch that kind of pertain to me, & my opinions etc.:

hey carly! what do you think about lauren conrad’s book style? thanks!

Well, I haven’t read it (and I have never seen “The Hills” so have only an inkling of her claim to fame), but if there’s even one tip or idea in there that is helpful or new then it’s all worth it!  More power to her!

Socks or bare feet (and why)??

Socks…and legwarmers…and slippers!  My feet and ankles get really cold year-round.  Probably bad circulation or sumpin.’

how did you do the gradual glitter manicure that you have on your nails in the diy challenge tutorials?

Done by a gel nail professional in 3 layers.  She mixed gel with fine glitter, spread it on the nail, then hardened them.  Then she mixed more gel with medium-chunky glitter and spread it on the nail tips, and hardened them.  Then she sealed it all with another layer of clear gel and hardened it.

I love your photos – they look so professional..what type of camera do you use? Does it have a timer where you take your own shots or do you have a photographer?

Thanks for your kind words!  For most of my photos we use a Canon EOS 40D with a removable Speedlite 430EX II Flash and a 77mm (woops, my bad – edited 12/10) 24-105mm f/4 L lens.  The shots were I am visible or both my hands are in the shot (like my tutorials) are taken by my husband.  The rest of them are taken by me.  Sometimes when traveling it isn’t efficient to take this heavy camera and all its equipment, and so then we use a Sony Cybershot DSC-TX7.  The Canon has a self-timer but to our knowledge it will only take one shot at a time, so it’s just easier to wheedle my husband into taking my shots, though I am barking out directions on how to frame me and what details to take every step of the way.:-)

Hi Carly! I was reading you post about you Husband and you anniversary. I know you said you guys were fated for each other and I wanted to know if you believed in soulmates? Thanks for answering!

Sure I believe in soulmates – i.e., two people who feel so deeply connected they feel it’s at their souls.   I also believe that someone could have many soulmates; i.e., a different person who just fits perfectly with them at a certain point in their lives.  However, I don’t think one’s soulmate is necessarily the best person to spend the rest of your life with.  All of us change due to environmental factors, pressure from jobs, family roles, friends, changing situations, and maturity – someone who fits perfectly with you at a specific point in your life may not still fit with you 10 years (or even 5 years!) down the road as you change and mature.  I think the key to finding a successful long-term relationship is not to find the person who fits perfectly with you at the current moment, but to find the person who is a good-enough-fit for you, at present and in the future, and all the changes that you will weather throughout your life.  The median of all the ups and downs, if you will. And if that person happens to be your “soulmate,” then you’ve just won the lottery, lady!:-)

Hi Carly! I love your website and all your DIY’s. I’m an aspiring graphic designer and I wanted to know how did you go about getting/finding jobs like your recent one for Set Theory? I’m really interested into becoming a freelance graphic designer as well

Thanks for your kind words!  I haven’t had an exactly stellar record in the the getting/finding jobs arena, and have only looked in the obvious places (postings on Monster.com or Craigslist, for example).  The “Set Theory” thing was a fluke, really – I just happened to meet the creator of it, and volunteered my time doing whatever they needed for the shoot. Volunteering your skills or interning could be a great way to get people to vouch for you, to network, and to stay connected to your industry.  You could get involved with your college alumni group in the area to network that way as well, or see if there are professional associations in your field.  You could also check out Meetup.com for informal gatherings and groups that might be of interest. Also, definitely check out NubbyTwiglet.com if you haven’t already, as she is a freelance graphic designer and has a ton of tips for doing that, as well as advice on branding, portfolio-creation, networking, and marketing yourself.  It’s a must-read.

Part 1: What do you consider to be your personal favorite and least favorite of your own physical features?

I like my face in profile – I can see a number of my female ancestors in its shape.  Least favorite: a tie between my jawline and my knees…neither of which can be remedied by working out, diet, or anything else DIY.

Part 2: What are personal favorite and least favorite character traits about yourself? Emotionally, mentally, etc…. ????

Favorite: I’m really quick at thinking up solutions to problems…except when they’re my own LOL.  Least Favorite: I take everything reaaallly personally.  Comments on my blog, people who stop following my blog, people who don’t return email, family not celebrating a holiday that’s really important to me…  The ideas of “let things slide off your back” or “go with the flow” are difficult for me to master.

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Do you have any fashion/ or just blogs that you love to visit everyday?

I’ll visit TLo.com daily since I love their witty sense of humor, and I’ll always pop in and check …love, maegan to see what she’s been up to.  Outsapop.com I’ll visit every couple of days, along with a couple other style blogs.  But those are probably my big fave 3 right there.

Hope that satisfies some of your curiosity!;-)

Next up in Part 3: DIY’ing answers!

Ask me anything


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