Holly after dentist

The lower part of my face has been swollen for days. I look like Quagmire from Family Guy!

The lower part of my face has been swollen for days. I look like Quagmire from Family Guy!


This past week, I took my second vacation. No trip planned this time, but 10 PAID days away from work sounded equally as appealing. So how exactly did I choose to spend my much anticipated stay-cation? Recovering from oral surgery, of course. I had all 4 of my impacted wisdom teeth removed in one visit, an intensive surgery requiring the oral surgeon to cut into my gums. I’ve heard many horror stories about the after math of this surgery, so I wanted to do it in one shot rather than splitting it up into multiple traumatizing experiences. One and done, folks!

The surgeon put me to sleep so I don’t remember a thing about the procedure, but I’ll never forget the recovery part of it. My face has been swollen for days, and at times it feels like someone punched me in the jaw. I have a hard time opening my mouth to shovel in food, but most of it I can’t even chew. I’m eating better than most oral surgery patients, though – turkey soup, congee, steamed rice rolls, hand pulled noodles with tripe, sticky rice wrapped in a lotus leaf. It makes me appreciate my Asian heritage even more. Man cannot live on bread and mashed potatoes alone!

The following is a series of photographs I found on my phone after that fateful dental visit, reminiscent of the “David after dentist” video on Youtube. My husband says I made him take these after my surgery because I wanted to see what my face looked like. I don’t even remember!




Storm weather woes

Farewell, Hurricane Sandy! Peace out, brutal Nor’easter! I just got my power back this week after nine days without electricity, so I’m going to celebrate by writing a short post. I spent most of those nights playing board games by flashlight with my sister. Then a friend offered to host a “girls’ night in” at her place (which had full electricity, heat, and hot water) last Friday night, so we spent our time eating pizza, enjoying wine and cheese, and painting our nails. Just wanted to share a few snapshots from this week of bad weather.


For a first-timer, my friend Jen did a pretty spectacular job of painting strawberries on my fingernails. She used a toothpick for the details, then painted on a matte top coat for a frosted, rather than shiny, look. Just in case anyone was contemplating inviting me to a lacquer party, I have over 70 bottles of nail polish. I kid you not.


Wine and cheese, please! Pinot grigio, with a selection of cheeses: smoked brie, white cheddar, and Swiss.


At home, first night of the blackout caused by Hurricane Sandy, playing the Game of LIFE with my sister by flashlight and lantern light.


Snow at the beginning of November? *sigh* It’s going to be a long winter.

Epiphanies from my closet


One day last week after a particularly irritating conversation with my boss, I was in a rotten mood, once again questioning my direction in life and contemplating the future. After taking a shower, I proceeded to get ready for a date night with my guy. I wanted to pick a cute outfit and put on some makeup; just because I was feeling bad, it didn’t mean I had to look it. Well no joke, I stood in front of my closet, staring blankly into it for a good 40 minutes. Even when he arrived, I still hadn’t decided on an outfit to wear. I ended up just choosing a comfortable but plain long sleeved tee and jeans.

I realized a couple of things as I gazed into my mishmosh of stuff. I have a pretty nice sized closet, which spans nearly the entire width of the wall and has multiple shelves – but the contents are sorely lacking. I have a few fabulous pieces here and there, but mostly my wardrobe consists of boring basics and a whole lot of crappy stuff I can’t bring myself to get rid of. I never really buy anything new anymore because I just don’t have the extra space. I have boxes and boxes of folded items that I put out of my mind for months at a time. The hanging rod is sagging from the weight of all the clothes I never wear. And above all, I can’t figure out how to put anything together to make fashion blog-worthy outfits.

Strangely enough, my closet is a metaphor for my life. I have a lot of excess clutter, and I hang onto things I should have tossed ages ago. Therefore I can’t let in anything new. I can tell someone how to style a good look, but I just don’t know how to apply that to myself. Similarly, I have a lot of different dreams and ambitions, but I can’t seem to piece them together to figure out the bigger picture. I drew this conclusion from just staring off into my closet. Yep, it was that kind of day.

Where, oh where, is my birthday suit?

I have exactly one week of being 24 left. After that, I’ll be checking off a brand new age range category. I’ve dreaded turning 25 since I hit my quarter life crisis over a year ago, and now that moment is just around the corner. But time stops for no one, so it’s time to just accept facts and age gracefully. On the bright side, I still have five years to turn my 20s around.

To make this difficult transition into the mid-20s a little easier, I decided to have a birthday party and invite all the people I’ve met at different moments of my life, both big and small. If even a fraction of the people I invited show up, I’ll be meeting people I haven’t seen in one, five, ten, fifteen years, all in one night. So obviously the big question is…what on earth am I going to wear?!? No, despite, the title of this post, I won’t be making an appearance in the buff, though I might bare some skin. At least I’ve got the shoe part figured out, though.


Recently bought the turquoise Nine West AroundTown platform mary janes I’d lusted after all fall, so I won’t pass up a chance to wear them, even if it means prancing around in painful 5 inch heels. Hey, for one night I get to be 5’5!!!


I’d love to buy a new dress, but being that I don’t know when it is I’ll land a full time job, maybe I should refrain from  spending on something I won’t even get to wear everyday. The one rule I have for my birthday outfit is that it cannot be black. I refuse to ring in 25, a number I’m already struggling with, clad in the color of mourning. NO! I’m gonna give it some thought this weekend. Should I go with these tried-and-true pieces I’ve worn before, or raid my sister’s (decidedly way more glamorous) closet? Both of the following pictures were taken at weddings. Seems I only get dressed up for weddings, and I’m a slob the rest of the time.


Me, second from left with my siblings, in a one-shoulder XOXO dress I got on eBay, and the red wrap I wore to prom.


I’m wearing a plain magenta Forever 21 flower dress and Mossimo pewter sandals.
My sister, right, is wearing a gorgeous blue graphic print Alexander McQueen for Target dress.

Who ‘nose’ what’s next?

This week I exhibited a lot of uncharacteristic behavior. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I’m turning 25 in less than two weeks, and I haven’t done any of the things I wanted to do by the time I reached this milestone birthday. I never pursued singing opportunities. I didn’t learn how to play the guitar. I’m still living at home. Heck, I don’t even have a clear view of my career path right now.

That may be the reason I’ve been lashing out – in the best way possible. This week alone, I did a handful of things I’ve wanted to do for years, but only just now felt the urgency to actually carry out. I started wearing (bright!) red lipstick, just for the hell of it. I attended a free concert/event party at Williamsburg’s Public Assembly, whose goings-on I frequently put in the events calendar back when I was still a newspaper editor, but never quite found the time to check out. It was so much fun! Furthermore, I finally, finally got the nose stud I’ve wanted for almost a decade.

I know some might say it’s not wise to get a piercing when you’re looking to make a career move (and hoping to score some interviews), but I think the most unwise thing of all would be to let another one of my goals end up on my list of regrets. I never got my nose pierced in high school because I was afraid of incurring my dad’s wrath, and in college and at my newspaper job, I resisted because I didn’t want to appear unprofessional. I could’ve gone for it when I left the paper a year ago, but I was afraid of being judged by the parents of my after school students. I’ve since realized that it’s never quite going to be the “right time.” I’ll always find some reason not to do it, and let’s face it – I’m not getting any younger. So I went for it, and I love it! Just like I always knew I would.

There’s still a lot I’ve yet to do, and most of it probably won’t happen before I turn 25. It’s unlikely I’ll ever sing on a Broadway stage. But, at least now I know what it feels like to step outside my comfort zone, so I’ll try to do it more often. Gotta say, it feels dayaaamn good!


Got the tiniest of nose studs since I have a rather tiny nose and face. Can’t wait for it to heal so I can get this hammered heart stud (right) from Etsy that I’ve had my eye on for awhile.

Rocking crazy-red lips, lace, and links with my girl Steph at a Public Assembly party for the new MTV show “I Just Want My Pants Back.”