Odds and Ends


1. One of the latest pins on my Beard Porn board. Yep.

2. I love Emily’s connect-the-dot technique for lining your eyes.

3. 6 things happy people never do. A must-read.

4. What are your thoughts on reading novels on backlit screens at night? Studies show it can suppress melatonin and cause insomnia. Since I’ve been dealing with a bout of insomnia for the past 5 weeks (REALLY, WHO’S COUNTING, THOUGH? *sobbing*), I’m a little nervous to bust out my Kindle Fire these days. What do you read on at night? Old School Kindle? iPad? Physical books? Looks like I’ll be making a trip to the library soon. Also, please humor me and tell me how many hours you sleep a night on average.

(I will say….I fell fast asleep for the first time in forever last night while watching this week’s episode of The Bachelorette. YAWN.)

5. Why is this adorable dress 600+ bucks? Do you think it’s a typo? Geez.

6. Okay, you guys. You simply must watch Wita practicing her kicks at dance this week. I mean, STOP IT.

I hope you all have a very happy weekend with lots of RESTFUL SLEEP. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Nicole

    July 19, 2013 at 5:57 am

    I wish that was a typo on the 600 dollar dress. Unfortunately, it’s not. Band of the Outsiders is up there. I love that dress too. It’s funny on Asos how everything is pretty much a decent price and then all of the sudden they throw the 600 item in. Oh well, still love their clothing.

  • Ginger

    July 19, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Oh, my! Wita is adorable

  • Lori

    July 19, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Wita is too cute! Love the hopping around at the end!

    I NEED at least 7 hours of sleep but I never get it. I do find that for some reason if we sit down and watch TV on Friday night, I literally PASS OUT. Best. sleep. ever. on the couch. I hate when DH wakes me up telling me to go to bed.

  • Erica

    July 19, 2013 at 7:26 am

    7 or 8 hours a night (sorry..). I need a lot of sleep. I get up at 5:15 every day and try to be in bed reading by 9:30. Speaking of reading I totally believe a back lit screen makes it harder to settle your brain. I use my old school kindle and a book when reading in bed. I try to keep the iPad for the train and couch only.

    I hope your health/insomnia gets better soon.

  • GreenInOC

    July 19, 2013 at 8:12 am

    8 hours is what I need and typically get.

    Have you thought about audio books? Generally I’d rather read but I find listening to something, on low, really knocks me out.

    Keeping the volume on low means that you have to concentrate to hear which prevents your mind from wandering and worrying.

    Do you have the OCPL Overdrive App?! You can check out e-books from the library and not have to go!!

    If you listen to KPCC, their App is great too. If you don’t have a book to listen to you can listen to a show – they’ve got a great library. At night I usually listen to The Moth, Snap Judgement, This American Life, storytelling instead of things that will make me want to go write emails!

    If the sound will bother your husband, put in one ear bud.

    While I don’t suffer from insomnia very often so I’m no expert, when I do experience it, if I’m not asleep in 15 minutes I get up and watch tv. Same thing, volume really low. For me, I find that not fighting it generally is relaxing (no inner dialogue on a loop about not being able to sleep), and that surrendering helps me fall asleep.

    More importantly, Wita is so stinkin’ cute!!

  • Lindsay

    July 19, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Ugh, I hear ya on the sleep problems. Until fairly recently, I honestly thought everyone woke up at least a few times every night. I think I’m just bad at sleeping? On a good night I’m in bed for 7 hours, though I suppose with all the waking up I’m probably at something more like 5.5-6 hours of sleep? That doesn’t sound like enough. No wonder I’m tired! As for reading, I have an old school Kindle (it just seems nicer on my eyes) and a huge stack of paperback books. There’s a decent Kindle cover with a tiny light in it that I love for night reading.

  • sizzle

    July 19, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I’m in bed for about 7-8 hours a night but I don’t sleep soundly through. I tend to wake up a lot to pee or to stress about something or one of the cats is pestering me for food (at 4:30am like an asshole). I’m getting a FitBit and hopefully I’ll be able to chart my sleeping patterns. I’m sorry you’re still suffering from insomnia. It permeates everything.

  • Jen

    July 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I always read in bed before I sleep in order to down-shift my brain. (Otherwise, it’s at risk for flying around uncontrollably instead of sleeping.) I read either regular old books (my favorite) or my old-school Nook. Screens at night do affect my ability to sleep well. I aim for 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. I usually wake up in the night for one reason or another.

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with insomnia. Have you tried melatonin? I don’t recommend using it on a regular basis, but it might be worth it for a good night’s sleep. If you’re sensitive to meds, start with only 1mg. I hope restful sleep finds you soon.

  • Amy

    July 19, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I need 8-9 hours per night and that’s what I typically get. I have always read before falling asleep and I know it plays a huge part in getting me to relax and enjoy a restful sleep. I avoid TV and the iPad before bed, I just don’t sleep as soundly when I use them.

  • Elizabeth

    July 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Ok, I have some insomnia advice. I don’t know you or your health issues, so this might be way too simplistic for what you are dealing with, but just in case… Here is how I cured (CURED!) my regular insomnia:
    I had total insomnia about once a week, and half-insomnia (not falling asleep until hours into the night) at least one other night of the week. I probably caused myself to have trouble sleeping quickly other nights because of the fear of insomnia. It’s horrible not being ale to sleep. I am a teacher, so knowing I would be going into the classroom on little to no sleep…horrifying and overwhelming. This went on for a long time. I couldn’t figure it out. Taking a good dose of calcium-magnesium and drinking some keifer before bed helped sometimes but it wasn’t a solution. Here was my solution: water. I read that insomnia can be a by-product of dehydration. I drank water…I aimed for 6 glasses a day…but I also wasn’t terrific at making sure it happened. When I began to drink water fanatically, beginning right away in the morning…so that my PEE is CLEAR MORNING TO NIGHT, I suddenly started falling asleep the minute my head hit the pillow. Amazing. I have to really be on top of it, really have to force myself to have water in my hands all day long, but it really has changed my life.

  • Jessica

    July 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I too get a lot of sleep – I think I average between 7-8 hours although lately my toddler has been waking up periodically with bad dreams – so I suppose it’s kind of interrupted. I read on an old school kindle or a book but I have this problem that I fall asleep reading and then the simple act of sitting up to turn off my lamp wakes me up again! Insane right? It’s right next to my bed and I go from full on sleeping while trying to read…to wide awake in the dark. It takes me over an hour to fall asleep most nights so I go to bed nice and early!

  • Jessica

    July 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    P.S. LOVE the beard porn.

  • Anna

    July 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    OK, I love the beards. My husband has a beard and I LOVE it. As for the backlit screen I definitely agree that it contributes to sleep issues. I read real books and I’m also careful to dim the light and not read anything too exciting. I try to read old, slow novels, biographies, or short stories. Nothing page-turning, intriguing or stressful. I used to have terrible insomnia. Just awful. The two things I credit with curing me are a) gluten-free diet and b) majorly turning down the air conditioning at night. And lastly, your daughter is adorable. I love bangs and bobs on little girls. And leotards and tights. So cute.

  • Pamela

    July 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Aw Sarah, I seriously feel so bad for anyone with insomnia. I had it for ONE night when I took some evil cold medicine and I think it must be the worst thing to deal with. I installed some kind of light on my laptop so it fades in the evening, but I swear it still bothers me. So I read for at least an hour on an old school library book in bed. I sleep about 8-9 hours a night. We have three little kids, but they don’t wake up early and I stay home with them, so neither do I. Oh, I finished Cutting for Stone at your recommendation (LOVED) and am on Night Circus now.
    Have you tried the beach salt spray j.crew said is to die for?

  • Lori

    July 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Okay Wita is too cute! And the beards?! Sigh. There’s a guy on my bus occasionally who has the perfect beard and I have to be careful not to stare openly. Sigh. Oh, another nice dose of bearded men: the Brooklyn Tweed Men look book (knit designer/yarn company). (https://brooklyntweed.net/blog/?p=1752 )

  • Amber S.

    July 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I don’t have kids (someday…) so that’s not an issue… If left undisturbed, like on vacations, I can easily sleep 13 hours. Or more. It’s divine to feel that rested. Most nights I get 8-9 hours. And always wish I had more. If I get less than 7 I CAN.NOT. function. Which is funny considering 6-10 years ago in college, I prob averaged 4-5 hours/weeknight and functioned just fine with a Fri & Sat night sleep of 8-9 hours.

  • JeanneW

    July 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I usually can’t fall asleep til late, late at night but I’ve been having more issues falling and staying asleep this last week or so. I’ve also been reading on a backlit Kindle Fire. I wonder if that’s making it worse!

  • ShyLittleViolet

    July 22, 2013 at 11:31 am

    No kids so I can (ostensibly) sleep if I ….can/want to. I figure Its one of the very very few pluses of infertility :) HOWEVER, I did suffer from severe and basically constant insomnia for the first …drumroll…27 years of my life, so I am pretty aware of the Things one should never do – and for me, reading at all, much less if there had been a kindle type situation, meant = I was going to up up till 3 or 4 am. Sleep suggestions for me are: A very very dark room, not too hot, and no computers etc in it if at all possible.

    $600 for that dress is…painfully absurd. Its cute, but let’s face it, we could find a cute replica at Anthropologie for under a hundred. Or one at Ross for $20.

    Beards = not usually my thing unless my husband grows one, he is the best bearded man evahhh (to me) but Liam Neeson is looking AMAZING in that shot, so I will concede that is a Good Beard.

    Wita = I’m dead. She’s so ….WITA!! :)

  • Susan

    July 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I have suffered extended cycles of insomnia off and on my entire adult life, so I feel your pain. For me, it’s usually caused by stress, but after a few days I start to stress about the insomnia, which just makes the problem that much worse. I aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep on a good night, but it averages more like 6-7. If I’m in an insomnia cycle it’s more like 3-4.

    TV does not help me sleep at all, but I do read every night. I recently switched from an old-school Kindle to a Fire, and haven’t really noticed much of a difference in my sleep. However, what I’m reading does play a huge role in how sleep goes (I’ve sworn off thrillers & mysteries for this reason). The trick is to find something just interesting enough that you still want to pick it up every night, but not so interesting that you can’t put it down. Romance novels, while not the most interesting of reading, are good. I’ve also found biographies or historical fiction (think Ken Follett) to be good bedtime reading for me.

    If I haven’t slept well in several nights, sometimes I will take one Benadryl before bed. It’s enough to take the edge off and let me sleep, but not make me groggy in the morning. Not a good solution long term, but sometimes taking it for a couple nights helps break the cycle and I can sleep on my own again after that. Also, alcohol totally affects my sleep cycle, so if I’m not sleeping well I will avoid it or just have a small glass of white wine early in the evening. Red wine always impacts my sleep cycle, so I avoid it altogether.

    I hope you get some good sleep soon!

  • Grete

    July 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Things that have helped me sleep better at night:

    (1) I have f.lux on my laptop (which tends to be the last thing I do before bed at night, and we also only watch TV by hooking up our laptop, so it carries over to our TV-watching, too). It adjusts the light/colors on your screen to make it more reflective of nighttime lighting. http://justgetflux.com
    (2) I also have embarrassing red welding glasses I wear in our flourescently-lit apartment bathroom at night to block blue light from re-triggering my wake-up hormones. (Like these: http://amzn.to/15LofmU)
    (3) I recommend a quickly-absorbed magnesium dose right before bed (like this: http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Vitality-Magnesium-Calm-1×16/dp/B000GJOZWE)… I’ve noticed that it helps me stay asleep during the night (as opposed to waking up at 3am and never falling back asleep – SO FRUSTRATING!).
    (4) I stop eating anything – especially avoiding sweet foods – at least 2 hours before I plan to go to bed. And I never drink caffeine past 10am.

    That’s what’s helped me – hopefully there may be something you haven’t tried yet! I know from experience that sleep-deprivation can rule your life, and I’m so sorry to hear you have been suffering with it.

    P.S. Any pic with Christian Bale in it would go on a Pinterest board for me. ;)

  • Olivia

    July 25, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Love the beards and the bracelets!

    I don’t sleep through the night because I still have a nursing baby, but to maximize the sleep I can get I try to have my light out by 10:30. I read a basic, e-ink nook with a dim light AND I take 3 mg of melatonin. Most nights I can’t keep my eyes open after 30 min.

  • Alexandra Aimee

    July 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Ooohhh Bale beards really well.

  • claudia098

    July 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I go for 8 hours a night of sleep if I can get it.

    I just recently good-willed 2 dresses really similar to that one. It was part of the floral Celia Birtwell collection at Uniqlo, and had the same drop-waist and tie shape. Super cute so I bought in 2 patterns (of course) and they were $40-ish. Ultimately not very flattering on my pair shaped bod, so in the good will bag they went. My wedding dress didn’t even cost $636!

  • Denae @ Adventures On

    August 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I read at night on my kindle fire every night. I sleep 8+ hours. I say a good book you dont want to put down is more of a problem than a backlit screen. Read on. =) Oh and Witta is adorable!

  • Elise

    October 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Have you tried a white noise machine? I used to have trouble falling asleep and then the lightest noise would wake me up but ever since I bought a basic white noise machine I have slept like a baby. The awesome go to sleep and just wake up in the morning magic. I highly recommend it! Good luck!!!