The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

How to Dress for Work September 9, 2010

Filed under: Life in General — Erin Joy @ 12:49 pm
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A few months ago, I was faced with a very frustrating phone call. The temp agency I’d been working with had discussed a few potential improvements I could make on my job. One of them had to deal with my attire. As I’ve always had a difficult time accepting my appearance, this came as a rather difficult piece of information to swallow.

I’ll admit: I cried. The day after I received the phone call, I didn’t speak to a single person in my office unless spoken to. I stayed in my cubicle and wallowed in my anger.

I knew I couldn’t act like that for very long if I wanted to keep my job, so I decided to take some action. I recruited my friend Egan to perform a “What Not To Wear” intervention on my closet. It was one of the hardest, most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t recommend having anyone but the closest of friends help you with this. I know I came very near punching her once or twice with some of the insults she threw at my closet. (The episode of “My Boys” a couple weeks ago is a perfect example when Kenny tried to organize P.J.’s closet.)

Since then, I’ve been looking for “work appropriate” clothing. I bought myself a few shirts that should be better, and I’m making sure not to wear things after they start looking a little raggedy. I started wearing make-up (and have since declined in my usage due to my tendency to be a little later getting around in the morning than I’d like).  I take time, however, to look at my hair. If I don’t have time to dry it and straighten it, it gets thrown into a bun with chopsticks. I’d prefer those over a ponytail any day.

Shortly after this intervention, however, I went with Ashley and Michelle to have our photos taken. Ashley and I were getting ready together since I was staying at her house. We were trying to go through some clothes and decide what she was going to wear, and in the middle of it, I had an epiphany.

People have told me many times that I look great when I go to Indiana or to friends’ houses, but to have this fall on my lap confused me. The one major difference, I realized, is cameras. When I visit friends with new babies or who take many photos (which are most of my friends), I expect to have my photo taken, so I make sure I look nicer. I don’t want to be remembered as “Auntie Erin, the scrub”, do I?

No. So as Ashley and I concluded, every day you should dress as if you’re going to have your photo taken.

Go to work expecting a photographer to show up and use you as a model for cubicle furniture or a printer advertisement. Visit your friend expecting to see yourself in scrapbooks down the line. Always be on guard for that camera.


Epiphanie Bags & Why I Love ‘Em March 31, 2010

Filed under: Photography,Photos — Erin Joy @ 12:41 pm
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Normally I don’t post twice in one week, but the chance at winning one of these bags at or a Canon 5D Mark II made it worth it. The airline coupon wouldn’t be bad either. Maybe then I’d get to see some more of Europe! 🙂 Anyways, here’s why I want to win one of these bags:

Let’s just say that I think these bags are genius. I bought a giant brown purse from Maurice’s about a year ago so that I could carry my camera in the same bag as my wallet, but it’s obnoxious, and there’s hardly any protection for my camera in there. (Just imagine: it’s in the same pocket as my keys!)

So, when I found the Epiphanie bags site, I fell in love. Not only are they big enough to hold both my camera and my purse items, but it also looks more like a purse than a camera bag. How great is that? Every other camera bag I’ve found is so blah and looks like a guy should carry it.

Now I really want one … but it’s being put on my “wants” list rather than my “needs” list until I can figure out where I’m getting the money to pay for it.

So, here are the photos I’m deciding between for the red bag contest. I need votes to decide which one I want to post for the contest:


What do you think?

Oh, and have you seen all the beautiful new products & contest for pro photographers on I want to win stuff from them too.


Whatever happened to December?? December 17, 2009

Filed under: Journaling,Life in General,Photos — michellehuegel @ 10:37 pm
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If you’ve been avidly following my December journaling adventures (hah!), you may have noticed that they suddenly ceased. Well, there’s a reason for that. But I’m not telling. I will, however, provide you with the missing Day 5. 🙂

Dec. 5th

Practicing for the church Christmas musical today helped restore a little of my elusive Christmas spirit. Although “practice” may not be the right word for Josh, Cai, and I did: entered the stage when told, sat on a bench, and accepted gifts from the four wise men and women (didn’t know there were four, huh? Guess you’ll have to come see Bertrand Bible Church’s Christmas play on December 13 to hear the story!). Then we exited stage right. I think. No, it was our left, so stage left. Right? Good thing I’m not an actor, that always confused me. Cai had a blast crawling up and down the stage risers when he wasn’t sitting (not) quietly on my lap, and I think the whole musical will turn out great. Tim Blake always does an awesome job of writing and directing!

After practice and a quick emergency stop at Wal-mart to find a shirt to wear for family pictures later, I checked out Brandywine High school’s Christmas bazaar. Actually they called it a holiday bazaar, but that’s a personal pet peeve of mine. Although I didn’t find any Christmas gifts, I did connect with a couple area writers who are forming a Niles-area writer’s club! What perfect timing! God truly works in mysterious ways—I’m so glad I followed His prompting to go scope out the bazaar!

Due to my serendipitous meeting, we barely squeaked into our appointment at Picture People, which was absolutely swamped. Everybody and their mother-in-law came for family Christmas pictures today! Cai didn’t cooperate all that well—he either raced away the minute we posed him or wailed. I’m very impressed with our photographer, who still managed to capture some adorable shots. She has a very quick trigger finger.

And speaking of mothers-in-law, we met up with her and my sister-in-law after the photo shoot, and she helped with the monumental task of choosing just a couple of pictures from all the amazing ones. I dread that part. I just want them all! We had a great visit with them and Josh’s grandma that evening. Cai sure enjoyed all the attention! I wonder if he’s getting spoiled. When he doesn’t get his way, he screams and growls. Which, of course, everyone finds hilarious and laughs at him, which doesn’t really reinforce the “no.” Oh well. We’ve got time. Did I mention it’s his first Christmas? Nothing better for Christmas spirit than watching a child experience Christmas lights, trees, ornaments, Santa, Christmas cookies, and presents for the first time! I’m loving it!


December: Day One December 1, 2009

Filed under: Journaling,Life in General — michellehuegel @ 11:05 pm
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Ever wonder how the holidays seem to creep up then fly by? In an effort to pin them down and get my full month’s worth of Christmas spirit and enjoyment, I’m endeavoring to keep a December daily journal. The plan is to take pictures every day as well, and create a mini-scrapbook. Since this is Cai’s first Christmas, it should make a sweet keepsake for him to look at later! Plus then we’ll have solid proof that December is actually one full month long, not just two and half days of whirlwind relative visiting, present buying/wrapping/opening (sometimes all in the same day), and Christmas story reading. Why don’t you join me? Here’s my entry for day one:

Tussling with tinsel, lassoing lights, and arguing about ornaments: we sure know how to deck the halls in the Lewis/Huegel house! Although we picked out our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it’s taken three more days to get the tree in the correct position (a large desk, chair, rolling cart, and several boxes of stuff had to be moved and an entire shed cleaned out first), one strand of lights hung, and four ornaments placed just-so.

I’ve also managed to string up some lights and garland between our living room and dining room, unpack and display a nativity set, two angels, a couple bunches of fake greenery, and several silver taper candles left over from our wedding. Despite our best efforts, it’s starting to look festive around here, if a little spotty. I even dusted! Sad that I can’t remember the last time I dusted certain shelves!

I was feeling pretty frustrated tonight with our lack of Christmas-decorating progress, until I turned on some Christmas music and remembered why we do all this crazy stuff—because Jesus came as a sweet baby boy to live among us and then gave his life for us. Kind of puts my pouty mood in its rightful place—out in the trash can with all the strands of dead Christmas lights!


Wizard of Oz Fun October 19, 2009

Filed under: Photos — ashleybarrett @ 11:45 am
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Writing my last post on The Wizard of Oz got me thinking about all the cool Oz memorabilia out there. I have my own personal collection (largely thanks to Michelle) of knick knacks and each piece has meaning. But here’s some other stuff I found while perusing the internet.

Here’s an Arabian style “test slipper” MGM played with several designs before choosing the ones you see in the film. Debbie Reynolds own them now.


highmetallicrubyslippers These gorgeous ruby slipper replicas were made by Fairy Dust Shoes you can even get them in green, for when Dorothy was in Emerald City or silver, the original color in Frank L. Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

slippersofoz-c If you can’t get enough of the ruby slippers (or can’t afford the replica’s) here’s a book that tracks each known pair of slippers and where they are today.

frightenedfoursometshirtThis t-shirt, print and cute journal were my favorites of the Oz items sold at the Warner Brother’s Store.



I could do a whole separate post on some of the awful Oz merchandise, raunchy adult costumes, talking clocks and flying monkeys salt and pepper shakers. But I’m choosing to stay positive.

What are some of your favorite things to collect and how do you keep them from getting unwieldy?