Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Upside Down

With just a few handfuls of hours (!!) left in 2014, it's time to check in on our training goals. I can't believe we've been hosting this linkup for four months now! Thanks a million to all of you showing up with Tracy and I. I don't want to speak for my cohost (though I'm sure she'd agree) but I've loved bringing this linkup to life this and seeing all of your posts, as well as sharing my goals with you all.

When last we linked, I, the running yogi, made a couple of claims as to what I would work on over the following few weeks. They were heavy on the yoga and light on the running, as far as itemized "to do's". How did I do? Well...

Goal 1: Run, damn it. PASS. But barely. I've run more in December than I did in November, but that wasn't very hard to do, considering how little I ran last month. I also celebrated my runiversary, and clocked in about 508 miles in my first year of running.

Goal 2: Find and begin a new half marathon training program. PASS. Sort of. I'm sort of going rogue. If there's one thing I've learned about myself as a runner — who am I kidding? I knew nothing compared to what I know now — it's that I need flexibility. Once it feels like a chore or an obligation, I'm out. I don't need to run. I like to run. And I'll only keep doing it as long as that's true. So now that I've run one half marathon and know I can do it, I feel a little more free in my training system. So I found a training plan, adapted it to suit my schedule and how I like to run, and officially began training for the March Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon last Monday, December 22.
Headstand used to terrify me. I could spend days in it now. The power of practice.
Goal 3: Work on arm balances in yoga. PASS. Oh yes. But I could punch myself in the face because I have one GREAT video of myself getting up into handstand so smoothly and holding for a good 10 seconds... except I'm only wearing a sports bra and pants and the angle I shot it at makes it look like the girls are coming out to play and that is SO not something I'm about to post on the Internet. BUT... I nailed handstand!
Through a lot of trial and error.
(In case you're curious, I warm up with at LEAST 20 minutes of flow before beginning handstand practice. When I'm ready to go upside down, I record the whole practice on my computer and pull screencaps for these images, and also to watch what I'm doing wrong/right. It helps tremendously to see what I'm doing and what I need to adjust.)

I'm still working on pose dedicated to the sage koundinya II (that's a mouthful), but haven't hit it quite yet. Ditto for flying pigeon and side crow.

Goals 4-6 focused on my yoga practice. I have successfully added to my practice, throwing an additional 40+ minute flow into the evenings at least once a week, on top of my daily morning 20-minute-max practice. It's made such a huge difference in how my body feels, just day-to-day, and it's noticeable when I go too long without a good practice. (Like right now. The holiday and not working have thrown my schedule totally out of whack, and I'm feeling it from head to toe!)
However, I've not yet journeyed into any of the jillion studios nearby to begin finding a new yoga home. Time has been the biggest hurdle there. But I'm hoping to check out this one very promising-looking studio around the corner from me this week, and have plans to try another sometime in January.
I've been asked what I do once I get upside down, since I've mentioned I hold headstand for a few minutes a day. I do this. Throw shapes with my legs and try to hold balance — the best and least boring core workout there is
Moving Forward
Moving forward, my only goal is to... move forward. This past week has been really difficult for me in terms of running. Pains appearing as if from nowhere (though, now I'm sure I've realized it's partially due to my slacking practice) plus windy weather (which feels like running through marshmallows) plus a lack of discipline has all added up to runs I really need redemption from. So that's my primary next goal. Train for RnR. Feel better. Get better. Be faster. Put in the work. And ramp up the confidence to share my race goal for the March half marathon here on the next Training for Tuesday.
alyssagoesbang
Your turn. Let's hear how you're wrapping up 2014 and getting started in the new year! (ICYMI, click here to find out what Training for Tuesday's all about.)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Glances Backward: Part IV

Here we are at the end of the road: The final installment of the 2014 Review Extravaganza.
(Part I // Part II // Part III)
I'm on vacation mode (off til January 5!), and this quarter starts a mere two months ago, so I thought I'd do this one photo-spill style...

October
A trip to Cape Cod...
a weekend retreat with my favorite yogi...

My first half marathon...

November
A promise to myself...

December
A Christmas playlist...
An anniversary...

And an un-recapped Christmas week:
It took like four hours, but we finally got some hot chocolate :)
NYCB The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center // St. Patrick's Cathedral // Magnolia Cupcakes // Rockefeller Center
Christmassing in the city with Kristen and KC. (Please come back soon! xoxo)
A family Christmas Eve tradition (we did the best we could...)
A Christmas Day that was light on the photos but heavy on the amazing memories (and the PERFECT and most unexpected gift!)
Baby cousin (second cousin, maybe?) mushy and me.
And mom's second annual Christmas party — an wonderful day with family.
____________________________

Thank you again  to our incredible hostesses (Melissa // Karen // Shane // Angie // Kenzie // Amanda  // Emmy // Nicole // Amy) for letting me take this trip down memory lane with them. It's been amazing. || Also linking up with the beautiful B for a holiday edition of weekending!
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alyssagoesbang

And don't forget! Tomorrow is the last Training for Tuesday linkup of 2014! Join Tracy and me in sharing all our training wins and woes. In case you missed it, find the details here. We can't wait to see how you're closing out the year and starting off 2015!

Friday, December 26, 2014

500 Miles

One year ago, I pulled on some leggings, a yoga bra, and some random long-sleeved shirt. I grabbed a hoodie and laced up my old Saucony gym shoes before heading out the door and driving to a new friend's house. I pulled on my gloves, wrapped a tie around my long hair, and we started to run.

I ran for a few blocks — two, maybe three? — before I had to stop. I looked over to my friend apologetically, embarrassed that this guy who had more than 20 races under his belt would have to stop running so quickly because I couldn't manage to keep going. He assured me that it was okay: We all have to start somewhere. In that mile-and-a-half run we went on that day, I can't have actually run for more than half the time. I was winded, it being that I had just begun the quitting-smoking process, and it hurt. We got back to his house, stretched, and he suggested I try to run a mile tomorrow on my own.

I had never tried to run before, though I knew I wanted to, because I knew I would fail as badly as I did that first night. And I knew that once that happened, it would only take minutes for me to convince myself that it would always be that hard. That I would always be so bad at running. That it would always hurt so much. And I would never try again.

An hour later, I got a text message: "You did great tonight. Be proud of yourself. You'll do great tomorrow too. I can't wait to watch you do this."

Turns out, encouragement, motivation, and a support system was all I really needed to run twice. So the next day, I ran by myself. I did only slightly better than I had the night before, but that I ran at all was a mountain I never thought I'd climb. The next day, I was sore like I'd never been before. But the day after that, I ran again.

It's been one year since my first run. 
It's been five finish lines, countless personal bests, and 508 miles since my first run. 
It's been four 5ks and one half marathon. 
It's been three wrong pairs of running shoes and one right pair. 
It's been three bouts of shin splints, two double quad strains, two skinned palms, and one skinned knee. 
It's been a year filled with tears of pain, defeat, frustration and of joy, pride, and pure glee. 
It's been a year of growing, learning, meeting wonderful people, sharing life's greatest moments, discovering new strengths, seeing new places, and becoming a new and better me. 
It's been the best year of my life.
Minutes after I crossed the finish line of my half marathon.

Thank you for letting me share all those wonderful and terrible moments here. Thank you, fellow runners, for all the advice and commiseration. I can't wait to Rock 'n Roll with some of you. :)
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Don't forget to share your training stories — whether they be triumphs or trials, wins or woes, whether they be about your weight training goals, your upcoming race, your yoga practice or anything else you're working toward — with Tracy and me this Tuesday, December 30 for the last Training for Tuesday linkup of 2014! In case you missed it, find all the details here. We can't wait to hear how you've been doing!
alyssagoesbang

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

At Christmas

Just because it's Christmas—
(and at Christmas you tell the truth)
To me, there's something unmatchably sweet about coming home in the dark and finding a thoughtful card from a lovely friend waiting in your mailbox.
To me, friendship and joy can always be found in the most unexpected of places if you're careful enough to keep your eyes open for them.
(Thank you to B & M for hosting this fun link up, which introduced me to a lovely new blog friend, 
Lauren from Lot 48. This was so much fun <3)

To me, Christmas spirit gets harder to capture and hold onto as you get older. The magic of the season gets lost when you come to associate it with holiday traffic, blown budgets, obligation gifting, struggling to quiet family quarrels. So whatever you need to do to find yourself in the spirit of the season — years-old traditions, Christmas music, favorite movies — I say do it, enjoy it, embrace it.

To me, the arrival and passing of the shortest day of the year (happy solstice!) (also happy Hanukkah to friends I haven't given a holiday wish to yet!) is a reason to celebrate. I used to become sort of depressed that winter, my least liked season, was officially here. But a yoga teacher I had in college told me from December 22 on, we get one minute of daylight back every day until the summer solstice. More sunlight is something to be happy about, even if it's barely noticeable until February.

To me, though it might not technically be a Christmas movie, You've Got Mail is one of my favorites to watch this time of year. And any time of year, because Tom Hanks is everything to me. Thank you, Netflix, for finally bringing it to streaming.

To me, the work and worry I've put into the holidays this year is not what the season is about. Confusion over plans, dread over certain reunions, and internal debate about holiday traditions are not what Christmas means to me. To me, it's okay to choose your family. Beginning in 2015, I'm taking my holidays back and celebrating them — all of them — with the family I choose, in a fashion that brings out every bit of good in the season and leaves me free to forget about the bad.

To me, it's worth spending $3 on a beloved movie from childhood when you're feeling less than Christmassy and want a jolt of joy. It's not, however, worth the extra $1 for the HD version of a movie made in 1994.

To me, this time of year can be incredibly painful or incredibly joyful. Some people think it depends on your relationship status, bank account balance, or career success. I think it depends on your perspective. Never forget that you can feel as content while alone as you can feel isolated while attached, that nothing endures but change, and that you have the power to choose your feelings.

To me, all that matters is that we're doing the best we can.

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, 
become a child again at Christmas-time.” 
— Laura Ingalls Wilder

Merry Christmas, my friends. And if you don't celebrate, I hope the joy we're intended to feel throughout this holiday season still meets you anyway.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Glances Backward: Part III

Things really heated up around here this summer. At times I have to say it was even a bit too hot to handle. (January, February, & March recapped here; April, May, & June recapped here.)
In July, I reacted to the Hobby Lobby decision, and your responses awed me. I had an amazing time celebrating the Fourth of July with my family. I officially started training for my first half marathon, and let you in on the bizarre thought process behind running a mile. I unplugged and it felt great, so I decided to stop feeling bad about unplugging over the weekends. I came clean about what it's like to have two reproductive disorders and talked about life with endo. Again, your responses awed me.

In July, I met someone, and I fell. I found a way to put "what love is" into words — well, what love is to me, at least. I got a little stupid, as I usually do when it comes to matters of the heart.
I took part in an annual tradition and revisited a place from my past, both involving exceptional sights that left me with a feeling of weightlessness and smallness, but in the best possible way. There is so much more than what I know.

In August, a walk in the woods left me with some newfound clarity, as walks in the woods tend to do.
I threw the brakes on what could have potentially been a disastrous affair, and figured out the most important thing: I actually have learned my lesson, finally — a lesson that took more than seven years and a thousand tears for me to fully grasp. I opened up about my yoga practice with you guys and shared some favorite postures for my runner friends.

I celebrated 100 blog posts with a little bit o' TMI. I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the third or fourth time and, for the first time, I actually liked it enough to read beyond page 20. (Then I read all seven books before cracking the spine of anything else.)
In half marathon training, I broke every distance PR week after week, but one was particularly encouraging. Somewhere in all that, I moved.
Officially, on September 1, I moved to a new apartment and began my solo-living experience. No more roommates, no more different problems. But it was the best decision I ever made.

It became ever apparent that one of the reasons I run is for the revelations that come to me while pounding the pavement. I had a great run, and Tracy and I decided we wanted to create a space for us all to talk about our best and worst training moments. And so, Training for Tuesday was born. (Next linkup is next week, on December 30!)
alyssagoesbang

For the first time ever, and way sooner than I once would ever have thought possible, I ran double digit mileage in one run.
I got emotional. I had some trying experiences with family and friends and long lost loves, so I turned to my blank page and put words where they had always fit. Again, your responses awed me. And with that, I put the past behind me and pushed on ahead. I got crazy and vlogged about fall, and I closed out the month by hosting my very first linkup.

_______________________________

In the past two installments of this linkup, I've responded to so many comments from you sweet readers saying something about how much I've done this year, particularly with respect to running. And it's had me thinking over and over about how short time seems before you take a pause to look back on it. I knew that 2014 had been such a busy year for me, I knew how much had changed, I knew that I had gone through a lot of overwhelmingly positive and some very negative experiences. But until I sat down to write it all out, I didn't quite realize how much.

So thank you to our incredible hostesses (Melissa // Karen // Shane // Angie // Kenzie // Amanda  // Emmy // Nicole // Amy) for inspiring me to take a real look at just how incredible this year has been. I can't wait to recap the last quarter with you too.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Have Yourself a Merry Little Playlist

And I am firmly of the belief that the best way to enter such a state of mind is by listening to Christmas music every chance you get. And as a gift to your this holiday season, I have painstakingly sifted through hundreds of recordings to find the very best of them all.

I had to make a lot of hard decisions to compile this list. If I left in the runners up, it would be approximately 75 items long. There are so many great recordings of original songs and the classics, countless lovely renditions really. But without further ado, here are my 15 (this started as a list of 10 but I just could not help myself...) picks this Christmas.


15 Best Christmas Songs & Favorite Renditions

"All I Want for Christmas is You" — Mariah Carey
Yes, you're tired of hearing it by December 1. Yes, Mariah should not be allowed to perform this at tree lighting ceremonies anymore. Yes, this song is the biggest earworm in the world. But tell me it doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit, I dare you. Just once a year, this tune has to get a spin.

"Baby it's Cold Outside" — Darren Criss & Chris Colfer (Glee Cast)
By today's standards, sure, the lyrics to this song are absolutely creeptacular. My favorite is the line about homegirl getting pneumonia and dying. HOW CHRISTMASSY. But this adorable duo's performance on the Glee season two Christmas episode is just so sweet, and even though Colfer's vocals mostly annoy me, they work well when paired with Darren Criss' boyish, impish delivery of his lines.

"Happy Christmas (War is Over)" — Celine Dion
When I was a kid, I was a HUGE Celine Dion fan. Hearing this song sung in her beautiful voice is kind of an other-wordly experience. It's at once nostalgic (for me) and transcendent, the latter I credit entirely to her almost haunting and lovely voice. Other renditions of this song are nice, but none give me goosebumps like this one.

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" — She & Him
This is another tune that's got more renditions out there than I can count, but there's something just right about Zooey Deschanel's voice that's kind of solemn but also pretty enough to carry this song and make me feel all the feels.

"Merry Christmas Baby" — Colbie Caillat, Brad Paisley 
It's rare that a Christmas song has such an upbeat and playful tune. I'm not a huuuuuge fan of Brad's (I'm kind of not over the whole "Accidental Racist" idiocy, to be honest) but I adore Colbie and her voice is so breezy and fun and pretty. They go well together for this ditty.

"Last Christmas" — Wham!
I confess, I do very much love Lea Michele's rendition from Glee when Rachel is creepily trying to create a Christmas courtship with Finn (RIP Cory), but I gotta hand this one to the original songbirds. Holy '80s. And don't even come near me with Ariana Grande's recording.

"I'll Be Home for Christmas" — Harry Connick, Jr. 
Is anyone actually with their significant other around Christmas? The songbook would suggest not. But I'd listen to Harry Connick Jr. sing about tax collection, so his rendition of this Christmas classic works for me.

"O Holy Night" — Lea Michele (Glee Cast) 
I just dare you to listen to this and not get goosebumps and/or want to cry.

"Merry Christmas Darling" — Christina Perri 
My coworker lobbies hard for the Carpenter's rendition, and I must admit it is strong. But there's a quality to Christina's voice that's just a little bit sad and sweet that makes it perfect for these slightly sad and sweet lyrics.

"White Christmas" — Michael BublĂ© & Shania Twain
Do doot do doo, doot doot, doot doo doot. #nailedit. It's just fun. Christmas is fun. Snow should be fun. (It only is when you don't have to drive in it OR when you have 4WD.) A song about snow on Christmas should be fun, and this recording is. Plus I heart Bubble. PLUS this makes me think of The Santa Clause and the Denny's scene rocks.

"Winter Wonderland" — Harry Connick, Jr. 
WITH HIS DAUGHTER!? I mean, come on. Harry Connick Jr. might as well be Father Christmas himself to me. And you can just hear the two of them smiling through this track.

"Santa Baby" — Colbie Caillat 
Colbie's is literally the only female version of this song I've ever heard that doesn't creepily fetishize a fictitious character made to bring joy to children OR sexualize the little girl/old dude dynamic for the mainstream (I'm lookin' RIGHT at you, Madonna), so four for you Colbie, you go Colbie.

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" — Michael BublĂ© 
As much as I am dismayed by all the apparent long-distance lovers-themed songs that make up the Christmas music genre, Bubble makes this one tolerable and in fact quite peppy and lovely.

"Wrapped in Red" — Kelly Clarkson 
If you don't have this Christmas album on repeat, you're making a huge mistake. Kelly's got some classic holiday tunes and some fun original songs and she shows off her vocal chops in all of them. I love this song.

"Carol of the Bells" — Mannheim Steamroller
I debated really hard on whether I wanted to give this one to Mannheim Steamroller or Trans Siberian Orchestra. Both are unbelievable. Both are Christmas in musical form. I do very much love them both, and even give a slight edge to the TSO version for showmanship. But my mom used to listen to Mannheim Steamroller at Christmastime when I was a kid, and I see this album cover whenever I hear "Carol of the Bells." So to Mannheim the win goes. (Second runner up is obviously Pentatonix.)



Now believe me, I'm only stopping at 15 because I feel like that's already excessive enough. But my actual Christmas playlist has a few hundred songs. What are your favorites?

+ Linking up with Amanda for a holiday-themed Friday Favorites!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'm Getting Cheese Fries

Is this thing on? Are we here? Is Humpday Confessions Redux with Melissa a go yet? Whatever, I'm getting cheese fries I'm going for it. And if I'm early, it'll be the first time in five years so I'm calling it a check in the W column. On to the soul cleansing, yes? Yes.

Thing I don't think is cute: People in relationships constantly acting like they're bothered by the fact that they're in relationships, or like their significant other is just a hinderance to their life. Calling your girl "the old ball and chain" or the whole "yes dear, whatever you say dear" song and dance or calling your boyfriend/husband an idiot or acting like he's a dolt who can barely tie his shoes without your help is not cute or funny; it's demeaning and rude. If you're not happy in your relationship, get out. If you are, stop complaining about sharing your life with another person and having to compromise once in a while. I'm not suggesting you pretend relationships are pure bliss all the time, (because even as a #singlelady I know it's not) but come on. Doing something nice for or with your significant other really shouldn't be such a burden to you, and if it is, then perhaps you aren't mature enough to have an adult relationship.

My coworker was having something done at her apartment yesterday, so she brought her little baby kitten into the office so he wouldn't get trampled or accidentally turned loose by the workers in her building. And I operated at roughly 19% efficiency all day because LOOK.
He snugged like this for an entire two-hour conference call. By the end of it he had more of the chair than I did.
(I'm not even a cat person.)

On Monday night, I made myself a perfect cup of Lady Grey tea, ate some peppermint gelato, screened Elf and wrapped all my Christmas presents. It's like Mrs. Claus threw up on me or something.
This Friday will be my last day in the office in 2014. After the 19th, I won't come to work again until January 5. This is partly because my bosses generously gave us off a few days over Christmas and New Years — we work with K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, so it doesn't make much economic sense for us to be open. But I'm also able to take off another few days because I have those vacation days saved up. And I HATE it when people comment about "how lucky" I am to have "such a nice long vacation" with the hint of oh it must be nice attitude. Must I point out that having those days saved up at the end of the year indicates that I took pretty much NO vacation all year long? I'm still losing like three or four days that don't carry over. I work my ass off and am in the office almost every single workday from January–December so yeah, I'm cashing in on a holiday break so I can breathe for the first time in 12 months.

There was one person left (on my too-long to-buy list) that I needed to buy a Christmas gift for, but then I decided to remove them from my list altogether. See, I give gifts for two reasons: the first (and preferred) is as a good-will gesture for friends and family who are loving, supportive, compassionate, and kind to me throughout the year, and who I want to thank by giving them something I think they'll enjoy. The second reason is, honestly, out of obligation and to spare myself a lashing from someone who won't respond to logic. I never want people I love to equate the amount of money I spend on them with love, because I don't have a lot of money to spend, but I have more than enough love, empathy and help to give.
Anyway, a person who was on my gift list has worked their way out of that first category. All through shopping season I was debating what to buy, couldn't come up with something, waffled on what I should spend, and then I finally decided... I'm not going to. What are your holiday/birthday rules for gifting with family and friends?

(Related: Do you tip your super? My last building didn't have one; my landlord owned the building and was the "super"... and he was also useless and mean and weird and creepy so, nah. The super in my new building is a very nice and friendly guy though. Is this still the custom?)

I probably sound really angry, but I swear I'm not. I just spend a lot of time thinking and these are some of the results. That's just one of the perks of being a life-long insomniac. I also just have Resting Bitch Tone. It's just as bad as Resting Bitch Face (with which I am also afflicted), but it happens when you're unbreakably sarcastic and have a naturally deep and sharper tone to your voice. And writing voice. That latter part would be helped if I used more emoticons and exclamation points, probably.

Part of the reason I'm re-watching all of 7th Heaven right now? I've always had a thing for David Gallagher.

Oh and lastly... I still haven't ever watched Home Alone. Please don't hate me, Michael!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Big Girl Specs

When I was in fifth grade, I became overwhelmed with the need for glasses. By that I mean...I really, really wanted glasses. I'm not sure how much my eyes actually needed glasses, but 11-year-old Alyssa? Desperately. I'm not totally sure why, except maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was kind of a weird kid. And I also didn't really love my face in fifth grade. (I don't always love my face now, but 25-year-old Alyssa is allowed to wear makeup and 11-year-old Alyssa wasn't.)

Somehow, I convinced my parents and an optometrist that I needed glasses too. I'm honestly not 100% sure at this point that there were real prescription lenses in there or if everyone was just humoring me (I may have cheated at the eye exam...) and figured if I was going to "act out for attention" that it was best that I was doing it by demanding eyewear, rather than smoking. (The smoking would come in middle school.)

I remember my first frames. They were — are you even ready for this? You aren't — Bugs Bunny glasses. No, I'm not kidding. They had little carrots on the hinges where the frames connected to the legs (terminology? Whatever.) and the legs... Oh man. So the legs were Bugs Bunny legs. The ends of the arms (does that work interchangeably with legs?) where they wrapped around my ears were rabbit feet. The frames were gray. My brother made fun of me. I wasn't even like some huge Bugs Bunny fan or anything! I forget when I stopped wearing them but I don't think they made it to middle school with me. Money well spent, indeed.

Then in my senior year of high school, in a last-ditch effort to get to the bottom of my headaches, after CT scans and neurologist visits offered no explanation, and well before I discovered the magic of chiropractic and a gluten-free diet, back to the eye doctor I went. The thing was, I could see, but I could also un-see really easily. It took just slightly more effort to focus than it did to drop out of focus. That's where I learned that I had "tired eyes." Meaning I spent all day in school and work straining my eyes to read, so by the end of the day, they were tired of trying to focus and that vicious cycle kind of started wrecking my vision.
So I got these. And I wore them to class through college and sometimes when I didn't feel like doing my makeup, but they did nothing for the headaches and, like most things in my life, I kind of just phased them out.

For the past three-plus years, my job has consisted of looking at a computer screen for the better part of my waking day. For the past year I've been putting "See eye doctor and get glasses" on my To Do list. For the past year I've been putting it off because glasses are expensive, yo. But I finally got tired of dropping my computer screen in and out of focus and put "see eye doctor" on my December To Do list and even budgeted for an exam and glasses! Because December isn't a spendy enough month as it is, ya know? But then Firmoo actually saved the day.

They reached out to me because they know I'm blind and poor, apparently, and their offer of a free pair of glasses honestly could not have come at a better time. Because not only did I need new glasses, I needed a reason to take a whole bunch of selfies for you to enjoy.
And by enjoy, I mean cringe at along with me.

I went to the eye doctor a few weeks ago for an updated prescription, and I learned two things: I have exceptionally dry eyes that need drops a few times a day, and I have astigmatism. Why I've never been told before that I have astigmatism, I don't know. But I've been wearing the new frames over the last few workdays and while I still see some blurring issues now and then, there's a dramatic improvement too. Hell. Yes.

Truthfully, I was going to buy my glasses from Firmoo even if they hadn't generously offered me a pair. On the site, you can see dozens of different styles of glasses and sunglasses and the pricing is seriously budget-friendly. Because 25-year-old Alyssa still isn't crazy about her face 100% of the time, I (switching back to first person now, keep up!) loved the feature where I could upload a picture to "try on" the frames before ordering. Ordering was easy, shipping was fast (less than a week from order to delivery), they send a hard and soft case to protect your specs, and my new glasses are ca-ute, if I may be so bold.
What do you think? Do they suit me?

If you're in the market for some new frames, you can get your first pair from Firmoo for free using the code "FREEFIRMOO" at checkout on select pairs. Just head over and upload your snap, select your frames (prescription, fashion, or sunglasses) and it's a done deal. Let the studious selfie session commence.

And now you can just call me Four Eyes.

PS: For anyone with old glasses they no longer need, I'd love to point you toward New Eyes for the Needy as a resource for recycling your old frames. I know someone very close to this nonprofit organization and know the great work they do. I'm happy to help you donate your used glasses however I can!

Firmoo generously provided me with a complimentary pair of glasses in exchange for a review, but all opinions and Looney Tunes-related anecdotes are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.