baseball

I Declare a Snow Day

It's March 25, and I just opened the curtains... to find yet another layer of the fluffy white   wet and cold stuff. I've had a crazy work load, brewing up an exciting project- (coming to you April 9!), and I'm declaring today a snow day! snow day

I've made some tea and a fire, and spent the early morning on Pinterest. I'm dreaming of Spring and have faith that it's JUST about to make it's debut!

I'm psyched that opening day is days away! What are you most excited about for the break in weather?

XO AJ

 

Adios February

Sometimes life runs according to plan, and sometimes is doesn't at all. My February was full of surprises. FEB RECAP:

Travel hair I drove down to Florida with Sammy for Spring Training. Hard to believe it's Spring Training when Chicago is getting lambasted with snow right now.

Union Hotel

We stopped in Nashville along the way for a night of live music and authentic BBQ. We stayed at the Union Hotel which I HIGHLY recommend.

FLA

Florida was magic. I ate at my same favorite restaurant like four times in a matter of days.

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I was back in Chicago for less than a week, but worked two full work weeks in that time. Then, it was off to Vegas for the Project & Magic apparel shows for Bonnie & Clyde. We wrote some fresh new lines, attended seminars, and even had a second to dip our toes in the pool. All good "I miss Sammy" distractions.

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While I was out west Kina took some photos of me in the desert! We had too much fun hiking in heels and singing Sara Bareilles as the sun set. Love that girl.

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As soon as I got back I spent two days revving up the courage to apply for the Allure Magazine Beauty Blogger competition. Part of the submission asks for a video, so I finally worked up the courage to post a video tutorial after two years of terrifying anticipation.

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The NEXT day I got a call from Goody. They had just seen my video and were interested in shooting tutorials with me in NYC for the weekend. So I refilled my suitcase for the third time in three weeks and headed to the airport with my gorgeous and talented friend Lindsey for the weekend. Friday was a long day of consulting and test shooting, and then yesterday during the awards we recreated looks we saw the celebs rocking and released them right away. You can view them all HERE.

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As soon as I was done, I learned my flight for this morning was actually cancelled. I've spent a combined four hours on hold and still won't be getting into Chicago before 9pm. So, I'll make the best of it with amazing coffee and even more amazing spoons. (Photo by #EATPRAYPHOTO)

THINGS I LEARNED THIS MONTH:

Ask and you shall receive.

Put yourself out there, you have nothing to lose. Really.

Friendship is weird. In a good way.

NYC has the best latte I've ever had. If you visit check out Happy Bones.

The camera adds ten pounds but I clearly have more than that to lose. Back on the paleo grind effective immediately, but more importantly, excited to get serious about working out. I'm craving that healthy routine and feeling really good and light. Who wants to go to yoga and Flywheel with me this week?

I appreciate Chicago.

My family is pretty awesome. They acted like I was actually a celebrity instead of just mimicking celeb hair.

I'm continuously blown away by Sammy. I have learned so much about life and hard work from that man. So proud of him.

How was your February? Cheers to March!

XO AJ

The Best Advice I've Ever Gotten

Emilia Jane Photography If you know me, you know I take on a lot. I work double work weeks and have my hands in a lot of hot pots!

I work full time at Thomas West, work weddings on the weekends, blog in between, buy apparel for Bonnie & Clyde, and date long distance. I give 100% of my time and attention to my career, because I want to.

I started getting some grief from clients about being too booked and chatted about it here, but it's only gotten worse. And by that I mean better! I have a 4-5 week waiting list, which means I'm doing something right, but clients can sometimes be frustrated that I'm not available.

So when I want to travel, to do something for me, or my relationship, I feel beyond guilty. I feel like maybe I shouldn't be posting pictures of a sandy beach when I know clients are waiting to get their color touched up. In my mind, I work double time to be able to do those things, but I fear that clients following on Instagram or the blog won't understand both sides.

I wasn't going to come down to Spring Training with Sammy this year. This will be our fifth baseball season together, and I almost didn't take the 22 hour road trip down with him. I thought it might look bad.

Until one friend gave me the best advice I've ever gotten.

You must invest in yourself and your relationship as much as you do your business. 

Duh. Why didn't I think of that? I'm so thankful for that advice. An important reminder I really needed to hear.

So here I am. Blogging from Florida while Sammy's at the field. We have two more days together until weeks will pass with only the phone and iChat to feel connected. And then, in about five weeks, I'll probably be traveling again. Only this time, I won't feel guilty. I work my butt off to be able to travel. I'm 25, madly in love, LOVE what I do, and love to be stimulated by variety and adventure. It's healthy, and I have balance.

My career will always be my focus. It's what I live for. That being said, my personal life deserves just as much dedication and attention. Yours does too.

XO AJ

photo by Emilia Jane Photography

 

January on Paper

It is already January 13th. Sammy leaves for Spring Training on February 2nd. You do the math. This time of year is so confusing. I am thrilled that it's a new year, with business on the agenda, but I'm also sad that Sammy is about to leave, but I'm also so excited to road trip to Florida with him. Basically my brain is tired. It's so bittersweet.

I'm trying to jam so much into the next three weeks with my love. Early mornings making breakfast together, and late nights at our favorite restaurants. Guitar lessons and rom coms. Him making me laugh until I cry and and also crying that he's leaving.

Meanwhile I have lots of lady dates with some amazing women on the calendar, three weddings this month, and full books at the salon!

So January, which is typically the slowest month of the year for my industry, is anything but!

I leave you with this Trevor Hall song, which has become my anthem for our relationship, and my love for Sammy.

XO AJ

One Day at a Time

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By now you know Sammy and I are in a long distance relationship. What many of you don't know is why..

Sammy is a professional baseball player in the minor leagues with the Washington Nationals organization. Sucha mouthful. 

When we met, I knew NOTHING about baseball. I didn't know the difference between a ball and a strike, I assumed the Washington Nationals were in Washington state, and when Sammy said he was a catcher, I pictured him in the outfield trying to catch the balls guys hit. Told you, I knew NOTHING about baseball.

Sammy played guitar, and that was cool enough to me, the baseball thing didn't get much of my attention... until he left.

We lived in the same area and dated for only two months before the long distance life kicked in. I came to Chicago, and Sammy headed to Florida. He's lived all over the country the past four years, and we live together in the offseason, for four short months out of the year. As awful as it sounds, we make it work, and it's pretty freaking awesome.

During baseball season, I travel to see him, and he's never been able to come home and see me during those 8 months he's away. This year, we had a flight booked for him to come home this week for three days. I've probably never been more excited for anything. He's never experienced Chicago in the summer, he hasn't even been to our new apartment yet, (we moved March 1st- he left for Spring Training February 1), and three days of no baseball sounds like a dream for this girl.

Days before his trip, I was finishing up our apartment, hanging gallery walls, buying new towels and stocking the fridge. I was out for margaritas with some girlfriends when I got a rough phone call, "I have to tell you the hardest thing I've had to tell you yet..."

Now, baseball life isn't easy. The minor leagues aren't exactly glamorous. We've been through a LOT. So those words, mean business, and I immediately feared the worst.

Sammy explained he'd have to play for another team within the organization temporarily, as they were making lots of moves, and he wouldn't be able to come home. As brutal as that is, it could be worse, way worse, so we tried to find the silver linings.

We're really great at keeping each other positive, and are both super determined people. Sammy embraced the opportunity the best he could, and I was proud of his determination.

Two days later I got a crazy phone call. Sammy's team, the Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A Affiliate for the Nationals, collected money to fly me out to instead go see Sammy. Humanity sometimes leaves me speechless.

So that's why I didn't blog the last couple days. I was busy being serenaded, laying at the pool, going on donut dates and being the proudest girl at the ball park. I got to watch as Sammy offensively went 2-4, with 3 RBIs and called a game in which Pedro Encarnacion went 6 innings only giving up 2 hits and 1 run while recording 8 k's and 0 walks!

Thank you to the Chiefs, for giving us a few days together, they go a LONG way, and mean so much.

XO AJ

 

Love is everything.

zzoloAs I type this, my suitcase is at the door, I'm in those perfect yoga pants I mentioned yesterday, I'm drinking David's Tea, and I have butterflies Pterodactyls in my stomach.

I'm headed to Columbus, to see the love of my life. By 5:00 EST today, I'll be whole again.

Being in a long distance relationship isn't always easy, but neither is living in the same place or under the same roof as the one you love.

Many question how I trust Sammy, or how we maintain the excitement, communication... normality. How do YOU? Near or far, relationships are work. It's about finding that person who is worth it to you. And more importantly, you're just as worth it to them.

It's not always glamorous being in a long distance relationship, but lemme tell you, for me it's a HELL of a lot better than settling for someone in my zip code. Sure I could date someone in Chicago... but they're not Sam Palace, therefore, I am not interested.

It's hard to really put the memories into text, but before Sammy, I thought I understood love and commitment. I thought I knew security and what it meant to share a life with someone. In a sense, I really did. I was in a long relationship, five yeaaaars long. I didn't realize until being in a healthy relationship, how UNhealty that nasty one really was. Believe me when I say... I was a product of some stupid verbal abuse. I was foolish! We had a joint bank account, (judge me, you should!). We moved across the country together more than a couple times. We had something that could have been the real thing. I hoped for it. I worked for it. BUT HEAR ME! It wasn't IT. This isn't easy to document. I'm absolutely embarrassed. BUT. There are more of the "old me" out there. You MIGHT be reading this! And IF you are... IF you're in that... IF you know a girlfriend who is... you have the power to end it.

There is such a thing as that IT! IT is REAL. I am in IT. I know I am young, I know I have so much to learn, and I know that there is that chance that I am wrong. I am not naive to the world and today. But I am undoubtably with the most amazing match for me.

Life is so stinkin' short. We are only given one shot you guys. We aim to get married one time...

I'm so thankful for being with such a remarkable human being. The guy I can't help but fantasize about being the perfect dad. The boy with the most beautiful family. The soul that my family accepts and appreciates. The one who cherishes ME.

Long distance isn't always glamourous. But it isn't about distance at all. It's about loving and being IN LOVE with YOUR PERSON.

You have the power to be picky. To really want nothing less than your dream man...

DO. NOT. SETTLE.

If you do... you've just decided that at some point, you'll start over. Let's end that. Lets wait it OUT. Lets be patient for THE ONE.

Love LOVE. It's so magnificent. LOVE IS JUST EVERYTHING. It's not something to downplay. Or need to  justify. It IS PURE, but flawed, and deserves to be reciprocated.

XO AJ

Growing STRONGER

A In the beginning of relationships, it takes time getting comfy. You don't know if he'll like your taste in music and he doesn't know if you're truly THIS awesome or just on your best behavior.

Then things shift a bit, you both get comfortable, maybe even too much so. But it's a beautiful place of security, an unspoken understanding that you have a companion. You're SHARING your LIFE.

I give up my preferred side of the bed four months a year, and then before I can even get sick of him, he's gone again. Missing someone is one heck of a strong feeling. I try to remind myself that patience is passion, tamed. Sammy's lifestyle playing baseball has really become our lifestyle. We're constantly checking flights and I'm always reworking my scheduled clients, (you're all SO understanding and I'm forever grateful). I know it's hard to imagine a relationship like that working and being incredible, but it IS.

When he leaves I usually struggle and mope a bit. Actually I mope severely. This year, I've been ok. I'm at peace with our situation, and it surely helps that baseball season and wedding season are the same season.

I'm in a new relationship with old Chicago. We flirt and go on dates and get giddy bragging to our friends. We're in lust, and though we do miss our Sammy, we're going to be just fine.

XO AJ

Emilia Jane // Sammy & AJ

One of my dearest friends Emilia documented the love I have for Sammy, and the love he has for his guitar ; ) Emilia not only captured our love, but had some SUPER sweet things to say about us on her blog with more images!

Thank you for the sweet photos Em : )

XO AJ

Washington Post // Sammy Palace

As much as I love talking about nail polish and cap sleeves, one of my favorite things to deliver is inspiration.

My love was posted in the Washington Post a few days ago, and I can’t help but share it! [CLICK HERE FOR GOOSEBUMPS] 

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to be a Sam Palace fan. When we met, baseball was the last thing on my mind—- I didn’t even know the difference between a ball and a strike. But Sammy was this dreamy guitar playin flirt, who at the time was the perfect candidate for my summer fling. We’ve been long distance for three years now, and he inspires me every single day. 

Sammy’s story is a long one, it’s incredible, exhausting, RARE… and his own. It’s not one that he shares, or I share even. It’s too long… hard to understand it if you’re not in it. The minor leagues are so close yet so far from the glamorous televised big leagues.

No matter what kind of day I’ve had, it’s nothing compared to his- yet he NEVER complains! No matter how much work goes seemingly unnoticed, he doesn’t slow down. He’s beating the odds every game, every homestand, every season.

This article is just a TINY itty bitty glimpse at Sammy’s story. I hope it inspires you too! STAY TUNED.

XO AJ