Sunday, July 12, 2009

Let Wedding Season Begin

In the next month and a half I will be in:

New York
Columbus again

Bachelorette Party
Vacation (thank god)

So, it's the best time in Chicago, Summertime, and I'll be missing the last month or so. Am I mad? No. Do I love my friends and family and would I travel to wherever to celebrate their wedded bliss? Yes. But, am I a bit frantic about how I'll fit how busy I am at work into the equation and how much $$$ I'll be out by the end of this all? Yes. 

We're at that age, everyone's beginning to take that leap and I'm so happy yet, ugh, are my summers for the next 3 years going to revolve around weddings? My sister, two years older, has/had 6 weddings this year. Puts a lot in perspective considering my bitching about 4. So, I guess I'm just going to have to man up and realize how lucky I am to have so many great friends that want me to share their big day with them. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

One thought though...can someone have a destination wedding sometime soon? Wouldn't so much mine the bridesmaids dress, hotel cost, etc. if it were in the Bahamas. 

Also, I'd like to think of this post as a warning: with my upcoming schedule this blog will have to take even more of a backseat than it's taken this month, which is bad, I know, but think of all the great stories I'll come back with.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"You are your Father's daughter"

Growing up I never really understood this statement. But now, as I get older, I'm starting to realize why my mom said this to me so many times. There are so many similarities between my Dad and I, in the way we think, the way we react to things, the way we handle certain situations, the way we deal with people, and...the list goes on. Although at times, I think our similar psyches may have led us to arguments and misunderstandings, I see now that I am so fortunate to have been born my "Father's daughter." 

So today, like I did when Mother's Day came around, I'm going to celebrate Dad. Because, like he always told me, it is necessary to give back to the things (or people) you love so dearly.  

Without further adieu, I present you the top 20 reasons why I have the WORLD'S GREATEST:

20.  He survived an all female household. Thank you dad for dealing with the bobby pins, the razors on the shower floor, the piles and piles of clothes and overwhelming amount of tears and emotion.
19. He taught me how to ride a bike, throw a softball, ice skate, swim, and play every sport imaginable.
18. He sat through hundreds of gymnastics meets for my sister and I (and thousands of versions of the level 5 floor music).
17. He taught me what it means "to be aggressive," which led me to win "best defensive player" on the high school soccer team and eventually led to a full division one scholarship.
16. He took me to places all around the country -- Disney World, California, the Carolinas, Vegas (multiple times) and worked hard so that we could have wonderful vacations.
15. He allowed me to explore the world of fashion and never lets me forget to this day that he's partially responsible (at least financially) for me being voted the "best dressed female" at Westlake High
14. He introduced me to the world of philosophy and allowed me to impress onlookers with my memorization of Tolstoy quotes: "The meaningless absurdity of life is the only incontestable knowledge acceptable to man."
13. He joined Indian Princesses with my sister and I and showed us the importance of being outdoorsy and never being too afraid to get a little dirty.
12. The summer before I entered college he trained with me, timing me on the SEBCO test on hot 90 degree days and introduced me to weight lifting (ugh).
11. He treated my boyfriends with kindness (except for answering the phone "speak") and trusted me to always make the best decisions when it came to who I let into my heart.
10. In tough times, he taught me that "life goes on"
9. He set a high example for the man whom I marry, with the overwhelming amount of love and respect he gives my mom.
8. He taught me the importance of education and hard work and always let us know that if it weren't for the hard work my mom and him put in day in and day out my sister and I wouldn't have everything that they've been able to give to us.
7. He takes interest in the things that I love and will read US Weekly, Perez and RHOC just to keep up with me and the ongoing celebrity gossip world.
6. He's open and honest and has always made me feel comfortable enough to tell him anything, even when my hearts been broken and in my hardest times.
5. He drove and flew miles to make as many college soccer games as he could. And, at the games where he knew I needed him most, he never failed to be there at Chattanooga and Davidson.
4. My whole life he has made time for "Dad daughter time." I couldn't imagine a life without my long talks with dad and pondering life and the "meaningless absurdity of it."
3. He is the single most intelligent person I know. Not because he's never missed a Jeopardy question, but because he has a deep and knowledgeable understanding of life, love, religion, philosophy and all the things that really do matter.
2. I know that he's had a hard life or at least growing up was hard for him and he is who he is as a result of that. For someone who had the unfortunate situation of not having a Father himself for most of his life, he sure made up for it by being who he is to my sister and I. 
1. He always puts us first. He's selfless, kind, caring, hard working, ethical and is the "WORLD'S BEST."

So, here's to you Dad, Happy Father's Day. I wish I could be there with you, but I know you had a great day yesterday with Christa. I love you and am so blessed to be my "Father's Daughter."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Please Excuse My Laziness

Apologies, blogosphere. I've been MIA and I hate to say it, but it was rather nice. Since my last post I've:
  • Worked on my tan

  • Bummed around Chicago street festivals

  • Spent sunny days drinking and playing soccer in the park with friends

  • Cleaned out my closet (yes, you read that right)

  • Traveled to Cleveland

  • Hugged my mom, dad and sister tight

  • Survived my sister's bridal shower (wayyyyy too many women in one location)

  • Visited with my favorites from high school

  • Slept, read and ran...a lot

  • Contemplated life with Scoot and...

  • Last but not least, TURNED 25

As my dad would say, "A QUARTER OF A CENTURY." And....I feel no different. However, I did get a nice bday treat: a vacation back home to attend my sister's bridal shower (which was on my birthday...I will get her back someday) and celebrate with my family, whom I don't see enough.

The 5-day weekend was filled with long, delicious dinners, runs with my mom and sister and workouts with my dad, shopping and showering (bridal that is) while the boys golfed, pool time at the country club, manis/pedis, haircuts and lots (of much needed) R&R. It's always SO NICE to go home.

Here are some pics from my fabulous flee to the cleve:

If you can't have a real Rebecca Minkoff, why not get the "cake" version...

The beautiful bride to be at her shower...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sticking My Nose in Other People's Business

It's recently been brought to my attention (thank you Scoot and others) that I have a tendency to stick my nose in other people's business. Who, me?

So I thought, where better to address my problem, then on my blog. Let me start out by saying that this only happens with people I care about. If I don't care about you (you being the entire human race, except for a select group of people), I could care less about what you do. To each his own as my good friend, Gil, would say.

But, if you are a good friend, and someone's either hurting you or about to (history repeats itself) I just can't help but add my two cents. But, for doing this, I get the "stay out of's not your place" all too often.

And, the recent circumstances have all had to deal with friends' romantic relationships. When do you step in and when do you say "OK, throw yourself back in the fire and of course, yes, I'll be here when it all goes awry AGAIN."

Now, I know that people can change. I've seen it in my own relationship. I know people make mistakes. I know when you're young, both people in the spoken relationship can do stupid, stupid things to hurt one another very badly and regret it. Then eventually forgive and move on. It's happened in my life and I've seen it with friends. But, when it's not your heart on the line, it's the heart of a good friend's, why is it harder to just sit back and see what happens?

And, in another circumstance, what if it's someone whom you don't know that well, and you know that what they're not seeing (what they don't know) is what's hurting them? What do you do then? It's not your best friend, it's not even a "good," friend, it's just someone, being hurt (who doesn't know) and you just have to sit there and act like nothing's going on.

Has anyone else struggled with this before? When is it your place to say something? And, if you do say something, will it just end up hurting you and your relationship with the inset couple? I'm trying really hard to live by "not my pig, not my farm" motto, but it's just not that easy. At least, for me it's not. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Peace and Quiet

Last weekend we took our annual BD reunion trip to the Lakehouse. We've been going every year now for awhile. For some reason we always go around Cynco de Mayo. I don't know why. I guess it's a good excuse for bottomless margaritas, all you can eat tacos and usually too much sun (I'm still peeling). 

Aside from the beautiful house situated right on the lake in a gated South Carolina community, I love going there because of the memories it brings. My senior year pre-season our entire soccer team went down to the lakehouse for some "bonding" in between 3-a-days and our first game. We actually split the underclassman into groups, made them pick a song out of a hat and perform a dance it while we seniors judged. I'll NEVER FORGET Jess Hartman as B. Spears or Tina doing Baby Got Back. 

Now that we're "adults"(I use that term loosely), we go to the lake to relax, get some sun, act a little ridiculous and bask in one another's company. We hadn't seen one another (except for Red and I) since Emmy's wedding in August. But from the minute we all landed in ATL, it was if time had never passed and everything stood still. That's the thing about our "family"....we always pick up right where we left off.

Night one was filled with lots of wine and lots of laughter. Emmy, Lacey and I stayed up to almost 6am...outside on the rocking chairs, talking about things we did, things we're doing, things we hope to to do someday. It's so interesting that we're all in such different places (figuratively speaking) as we head into our quarter life crisis'.

We spent the entire next day diving, flipping and twisting off the dock. We had a quart of vodka, a boom box blaring country music, a lake that was all ours. 

Every night was filled with cocktails, more talk of life and love and lots of laughter as we circled around the table to tell stories, and play games (I'm officially obsessed with Cranium and Loaded Questions...if you don't own them, GO BUY THEM NOW). 

We watched the sunset, hugged one another tight, talked about things we don't talk about with anyone else but one another and listened. Listened to how quiet it is there at night. For one weekend there's no one else in the world but us. No cell reception, no blackberry checking, nothing. Just us. 

So, to a wonderful year at the lake and to the girls who are my insides, my soulmates -- may there be many more to come. 


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Here’s to you, Mom

My sister and I used to ask my mom which one of us she loved more. She would say you’ll never understand the love a parent has for their children until you have your own. My sister and I thought it was a cop out.

As I get older, I’m realizing that it’d be impossible for my mom to love one of us more than the other. Hate me if you want, but I had (and have) the type of parents who put all of my sister and my needs before their own. I won’t go into detail on the woes of how they ate spaghetti and tuna every night to put my dad through law school, but it’s true they’re the most selfless people I know.

I remember going through my “dark stage” in middle school (you know the Jenko, Airwalk phase) and my mom wasn’t thrilled about it, but she never judged me. She’d let me wear my big, baggy, black Jenkos if I wanted, but she would make me wear a Limited shirt with them. Compromise she’d say.

I remember how fuming mad she’d be after soccer games when I was little and the coach wouldn’t play me. BUT, she was never one of those moms to walk up and embarrass me by screaming at the coach – she wouldn’t put me through it.

I remember my mom working 12-14 hour days and then driving miles just to take me to gymnastics practice or soccer an hour and a half away. We didn’t have very many dinners at home, but she always made sure that we were doing everything we wanted to do -- ballet, soccer, softball, swimming, you get the drift.

But the thing that sticks out most from when I was young is that my mom always trusted me. She never read my notes that she found in my pockets when doing the laundry. She never read my diary. She never listened in on my phone conversations or checked on me in the basement when I had a boy over. She trusted me and because of that, I trusted her. I told her things and confided in her.

In college my best friend Emmy used to make fun of me for missing my mom so much. I actually used to drunk dial my mom. Some call their high school friends, or a crush, I drunk dial my mom. But, regardless of how many natty lights I’d downed, my mom loved to hear from me and listened to my gibberish for as long as I went on.

I remember going through a very, very hard time in my life and I remember my mom being there in the middle of the night, early in the morning, whenever I needed her. I remember her crying with me on the phone because she truly felt every little inch of pain that I felt. I remember her telling me that it would get better, and it did. But most of all I remember that I would have never gotten through it all if it weren’t for her.

My senior year my mom came to North Carolina from Ohio for 8 home games. Whether she flew in for just the night or drove 8 hours, she was there, for as many games as she could be. My mom loved watching me play soccer and even though she’d frustrate me at times by saying things like “couldn’t you have kicked the ball just a little harder,” or something along those lines, I knew she was my biggest fan.

And even now, in my professional life, there’s no one I depend on more than my mom (and dad). She’s the businesswoman who can do it all – she’d work all day, but never miss an important meet, game or race. She instilled in my sister and me the importance of hard work, but always let us have fun. She’s responsible for the successes I’ve experienced in school and in my professional life. She is and always will be my mentor.

So, here’s to you mom. For loving me, accepting me, guiding me and for being the best mom a daughter could ever ask for. I love you and Happy (late) Mother's Day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thank GOD for Channing Tatum

Finally, Channing Tatum has a new movie out.

“Fighting” is the story of a homeless Manhattan boy (Tatum) who becomes an underground street fighter under the management of a scam artist (Terrence Howard). I don’t care if he’s a dancer (Step Up), soldier (Stop Loss) or street fighter (Fighting), I’M THERE.

Now let me get one thing straight. I’m not that celeb-crazed when it comes to guys. I could go on and on about Britney, Jessica, Lindsey, etc., but celeb guys don’t really do much for me – where’s the drama?! I could care less about Brad, George, Matt, etc.

But my good friend Jill and I will be catching the Channing movie sometime in the next few weeks – she’s equally obsessed and went to see both Step Up and Stop Loss with me.

My obsession with Channing got me thinking though, who are the hottest men in Hollywood? Here are my top three:

1. Channing Tatum (obv) - I can watch Step Up over and over and over and over and over again. And, I'm biased -- his fiance's name is Jenna.

2. Mark Wahlberg - Normally not my type, but I'm totally into him. I don't know if it's the bad boy persona or that fact that he produces Entourage and it's based on his life, but I love him.

3. Clive Owen - Some say he looks like Scoot so maybe that's why, but for some reason I find him incredibly attractive.

Wow, I had no idea this post would be so fun -- looking up these gorgeous men on Google was a blast. I'll get back to everyone with my review on the movie, but in the meantime, let me know who your top three are.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From Dad...

I feel the need to mention a few things before posting the loving email I received from my father this morning. First of all, I've been convinced for all 24 and 3/4 years of my life that my dad wishes I were a boy (hence my need to burp, swear, live in sweats and be overwhelming aggressive on the soccer field). Sidenote: Did I ever tell you that when it was snowing and I was seven my dad wouldn't let me wear long sleeves under my soccer jersey like the other girls? TRUE STORY. Second, my dad - like other men in my life - feels that the sport he played is THE ONLY sport out there and that everyone should like it as much as he does. I like hockey for one reason: my dad played in college (and still plays) and I love him, so therefore I will lay with him on the couch and watch center ice and/or go to games with him (I do admit that there isn't a better live sporting event, especially when you're right up against the glass). And last but not least, I'm not in YUPPYVILLE, I just happen to live in Wrigley and it's hard not to support the Cubbies. This, however, does not mean that i'm unaware of the other sporting teams I support: the Indians MURDERED the Yankees last weekend (thank you, Sizemore) and the CAVS are gonna win the NBA title this year. Oh, and as you'll read below, THE HAWKS ARE IN THE CUP PLAYOFFS!

Subject: S&S poor excuse for blog about Chicago

My darling daughter,

FYI the Blackhawks (they play in Chicago, right?) are in the Stanley Cup play-offs against Calgary. No other sporting event in the world even comes close to the intensity or excitement of the Cup play-offs. No other sporting venue in Chicago is as exciting as a "Hawks game.

A "Cubbies" game in yuppieville pales in comparison to a Cup game. Saw a guy take a stick to the mouth and lose NINE TEETH the other night and he came back to play the rest of the game. If God came down to Earth to take care of business (see Revelations in the Bible) he would do it after the Cup play-offs were over. If the Hawks are in the finals the Chicago you know today would be indistinguishable from the mayhem (or mishap) of the game finals in Chi-town.

I have labored for almost 25 years to raise you and your sister are the pride and joy of my life...for God's sake take in a Cup play-off game and you can really write about something of note in your blog. It's the least you can do for your gray-haired old man. I'll even split the ticket price with you and Scoot (a price within reason) as an extra B-day gift (along with the computer and the bridesmaid dress you conned your mother into).

Wow, glad I got that off my chest.

Bag the Cubbies crap by the way.

Go "Canes.

I love you,


Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunshine, Rain and Miss USA - Weekend Recap

So sad the weekend’s over. For the past few weeks, I’ve had zero plans and it’s been wonderful. I absolutely love going into my weekend knowing that I don’t have much to do. Yes, there are always things I want to get done, but no set plans, which is nice.

Friday was BEAUTIFUL in Chicago. Sunshine all day AND a Cubbies home game, which always makes the city a bit more drunk…errr I mean fun. After work on Friday, I met a good friend on Southport for some drinks and dinner El Fresco. One of the best things about Chicago is the number of outdoor patios and beer gardens. Since it’s only nice four months of the year, EVERYONE lives outside, meaning every restaurant caters to our (Chicagoans) need to not spend one second inside.

We sat down at Southport Lanes & Billiards expecting to enjoy some good bar food and a few cocktails. Little did we know we’d be enjoying the best kind of people watching around – all the stragglers walking back from Wrigley after the game HAMMERED DRUNK. It was magnificent.

We saw:

  • A boyfriend/girlfriend argument that ended in the boy literally stomping on his girlfriends phone smashing it into little pieces on the sidewalk while she cried and yelled.

  • Two guys who could barely WALK trying to figure out which way was “East.” For any Chicagoan, this is absurd. The lake is East and its very hard to forget. Everyone knows that.

  • Old fat men in cubbies muscle shirts circa 1990, women getting way to excited about the warm weather and wearing short cut-offs and belly shirts and a few diehard fans dressed head to toe in full uniform, including cleats, the tight pants, pull up socks, the works.

Saturday was even nicer – much warmer and officially the weekend. I woke up to a long run by the lake. I know I say this every post, but there's nothing better than running by the lakefront. It’s breathtaking and continually reminds me why I live in this amazing city.

Then I had some shopping to do – all in one week I have mom’s bday, sis’ bday and mother’s day. Shoot me now. And, surprise, surprise, they want clothes. So, I walked around Lincoln Park and found some cute things for mom and sis.

My teeny tiny mom wanted a skirt to go over her “bikini.” Yes, my mom’s still running every day and has a 27” waist – has always been like that. What can I say, good genes.

Thank you Gap Body:

Sis, wanted to be equally difficult and requested a pair of pants. I was all “let me just get you a gift card and you can get your own pants.” But no, she wanted me to pick them out. I found these coral cuffed skinny jeans and was instantly in love (for myself and also as a potential bday gift for her):

Gave sis a call but she didn’t want them so I picked up a pair for myself and went on my way.

Saturday night me, my burn from the surprisingly warm weather and my coral pants got ready in a whole new kinda way. You know that excitement you feel when it’s finally warm out and you actually WANT to leave the house, have a couple cocktails, get a little crazy. I love that feeling.

Scoot and I went to Adesso (my favorite BYOB) with our good friends Carrie and Jackson for some wonderful Italian food and two bottles of wine. Thank GOD the coral jeans are stretch – I definitely had a four-course meal.

Sunday is for sleeping in, a large brunch and a mix of laziness and productivity. And, I did just that. We woke up to rain and, although I’d usually be upset, I couldn’t complain after two days of glorious sunshine.

Annoying thing was Scoot and I tried to go to brunch at Southport Grocery AND Wishbone and both were PACKED. So, we ended up grabbing Einstein’s to go and picking up “The Reader" at Blockbuster. Now, I’m not much of a movie critic, but this movie was crazy weird. There was so much sex that Scoot and I felt awkward watching it. Anyway, in the end it was an OK movie, but I wouldn't necessarily go on recommending it.

For the rest of the day I did laundry, relaxed, ate myself into oblivion and watched countless hours of television. Enter Miss USA competition. We only watched about 20 minutes, BUT OMG. Where do these girls come from? Scoot and I sat and critiqued each one of them while Red yelled at us. I had a very good defense for being so finicky about their stomachs, broad shoulders, wide hips, etc. – THEY’RE PARADING AROUND IN BIKINIS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION BEING JUDGED BY CHOICE, I THINK I CAN ADD IN MY TWO CENTS IN THE COMFORT OF MY OWN HOME. Best part of the competition, the girls’ interests. Here are a few of our favorites: archery, playing the fiddle and my favorite, online shopping.

Happy Sunday all – have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Love for Real Housewives...

Just keeps getting stronger. I can't help it. I thought Bravo mastered it when RHOC came out. BUT, then NYC and Atlanta (my least favorite of all) and finally New Jersey.

Four different cities, many very different - yet all crazy - women, but one me, glued to the TV every Tuesday night. I can't help it. I know it's trashy TV, but it's like a car wreck for me, I can't look away.

I've always ranked them:
1. Orange County (you'll never find another Vicki)
2. New York (gotta love the Jill/Bethenny duo)
3. Atlanta (don't tivo this one, but if it's on, I'll watch)

When I saw the previews for New Jersey, I was all COME ON, CAN WE GET A LITTLE MIDWEST LOVE?! I totally thought New Jersey would be a more trashy version of New York (it's the armpit of America, right?!). But, no, Bravo you did me proud yet again with these lovely ladies:

IT'S LIKE THE REAL LIFE SOPRANOS, following the women instead of the men. What could be better? I love Sopranos. Who doesn't? Scoot and I are 100% addicted -- watch the reruns non-stop. Don't believe me? We were Tony and Carmella for Halloween. Well, sort of...

Ok, I know we don't look anything like them. Scoot refused to put a pillow in his shirt and I refused to wear a blonde wig (I wore one last year as Kendra from Girls Next Door and it was way too itchy). So, by the end of the night, we were Chrissy and Ade, or Tony and his Goomah. Either way, I had the leopard shirt and gold jewelry and he rocked the leather jacket, slicked back hair and cigar all night.

Anyway, back to New Jersey. Did anyone catch the little taste that Bravo gave us the Tuesday before last? These women are unreal! The accents, the houses, the cars, the "blood is thicker than water" in my family deal. I can't believe all of them are related - it's the perfect real life sopranos - construction company, loaded, huge Italian family. 

And, even better, the upcoming scenes for the season look amazing -- not just cat fights, full on fist fights and throwing tables. I love it. Tuesday night just got even better then Gaslight $5 salads and $5 glasses of wine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

No Plans = Bliss

For the first time in awhile, we have ZERO plans this weekend. No basketball, no engagement or birthday parties, no friends or family in town. While many may think it sounds lame, i'm over the moon about it.

What to do, what to do? Isn't that the best? There are so many things I say I never have time for and now, 2 full days to do whatever it is I need to do.

First on the list, try a new restaurant tonight. Scoot and I have a deal: I cook during the week and then on the weekend nights he treats. Last Friday we went to Terragusto and it was amazing. It's a BYOB family style Italian restaurant that only uses the freshest local and sustainably grown ingredients. We had the mixed salad, baked polenta with sage, gorgonzola & pinenuts, ravioli di magro, gnocchi di semola con gamberi e cavoletti and the organic free-range half chicken as our entree. It was amazing and so cheap without the alcohol charge (we brought an $8 bottle of cab).

Tonight, I'm thinking of trying Think in the Wicker Park area. The cold water cured smoked salmon look delcious and Scoot will love the homemade lump crab cakes (although being from Maryland, he's always leery about crab that's not straight from the inner harbor).

Second, some much needed exercise. During the week it's hard to find time for a full workout -- I usually go to a quick class or jog a few miles, but never have time for Bikram or a long run. I'm going to bite the bullet tomorrow and pay $15 to rid my body of all the toxins -- Bikram Yoga Chicago, i'm coming back.

Then on Sunday, before endulging in a huge Easter dinner (cooked by Zach and myself -- i'll share recipes later) i'm doing the boat run. It's a familiar term used by my friends. All of us who live North of Fullerton do the boat run, which means running to North Avenue Beach and back. It's about 6 or 7 miles.

Third, spring shopping. The weather's finally getting to the point, where it's not bad walking around Michigan avenue or Halsted and Armitage. Although the money's not there, I feel like I need a few more things to kick-off spring: 1. A trip to Lori's for some new Sandals (thoughts on the below?) and 2. New workout clothes (treating myself to a few things at Lululemon).

Aside from these three musts for the weekend, i'll be out enjoying the weather (if it's nice), cuddling up on the couch with Knit Two (hoping it starts to get better because right now it's not comparing to The Friday Night Knitting Club) and spending time with the usual crowd.

I hope your Easter weekend is as wonderful as mine's looking to be.

p.s. My most memorable Easter moment is in college when my parents had sent me an Easter basket (hey, what happened to that?) and coming home one night to find that my best friend had eaten my entire chocolate bunny from Malley's (you'd understand if you were from cleveland) excluding the ear. Oh, how I want to put my college pants back on and jester in E104.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jean Dilemma

There's nothing better than finding the perfect pair of jeans. A few years ago, I discovered Paige jeans. And, if you have a booty (yet a small waist) they're perfect. Every pair of Paige jeans I ever try on, I'm instantly in love with.

It's pretty difficult to pull of the "skinny jean" look if you're a girl with a butt and hips. But, Paige jeans make it work. I've lived in my skinny Paige jeans all year.

But, I've had a few instances with this brand of jeans that I love so much, that have made me question my loyalty.

1. I've had the below paige jeans for at least two years. Last Easter (I don't know if it was all the chocolate and deviled eggs, or the delicious feast Scoot's stepbrother Zach and I cooked up) but, I went to sit on the couch and riiiiiiiiip there was suddenly a tear in my inner thigh. I don't care how much I eat on any particular holiday, $200 jeans just shouldn't rip.

2. Still loyal to the brand that fits so well and looks just right, I bought these this fall. Two months new, I'm crawling into the back seat of my Dad's SVU en route to the Blackhawks game and riiiiiiip a big hole in the knee. Now, I know the hole thing is in, but I didn't want these particular jeans to have a hole and for what I paid, that rip just shouldn't have happened.

3. The pair I discussed in #1 rip again this past weekend. Now, I know I probably shouldn't have been hula hooping at Stanley's on a Saturday night, but COME ON. I got them repaired once and I don't want to deal with the humility of taking them back to the tailor for her to give me that look "maybe you should stop squeezing your fat ass into this size you grew out of two years ago."

So, here's the dilemma: do I order another pair (below) of Paige jeans I so desperately want? Or, will history repeat itself. Is there another brand out there that fits big booty (small waisted) girls so perfectly? Please help -- in desperate need of perfect fitting "summer" jeans.

I should also note that I have two pairs that haven't ripped at, I guess I'm 50%. I should also note that i've tried on the next size up and TRUST ME, I'm getting the right size!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Red's Ways to Save

My roommate is a coupon cutter. She is a 23 year-old active, beer drinking, dancing, up for anything young girl who at times gets herself caught in an older woman's (I believe it's her Mother's) body. She even has a coupon booklet and cuts them every weekend. And even though I have no desire to become a coupon cutter, I admit, I do get jealous when I see how much she's saved at our weekly trips to the grocery. So, I lent her my blog, so she could fill all of you in on how she saves. Enjoy!


Whether its getting your haircut at the Aveda School for $15 or bringing your lunch to work everyday- we're all trying to save a couple bucks here and there. Times are tough which brings me to my guest post topic: COUPONS!

I've recently found a neat site on facebook called Groupon. Similar to - this website sends you a daily e-mail advertising deals for local bars and restaurants. It just so happens that they sent me one for a bar in my work building - spend $10 and we'll give you a $20 coupon. I was like, "This is great!" I immediately told all my friends at work and we used it Friday night for happy hour drinks and appetizers. Check it out- I definitely recommend it.

Another way to save some cash is at the grocery store which is by far my absolute favorite way to save money. I save an average $30 every Sunday. How you ask? Cutting coupons! Yup- it's so simple and makes grocery shopping that much more exciting. We unfortunately don't get the Sunday paper, but good ole trusty Mom sends me a package once a month with mail and you guessed it, coupons! However, I recently found coupons in the weekend editions of the Red Eye and the best part is the Red Eye is free!

Bed, Bath, & Beyond - you can't tell me you don't have a couple of the blue BB&B coupons laying around your house right now. They are always in your mailbox and seem to pop up everywhere. I bet you didn't know they never expire- yup, that's right- you can use these guys whenever you want. And get this- if you have a Linens & Things still (they recently went out of business) they will honor your BB&B coupons there too!

Happy Savings!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

If I had more time, I would...

The other day I got to thinking about all the things I would do if I had more time. I started feeling sorry for myself and then realized that I can actually do these things, I just need to make the time.

Let me be clear, this isn’t my “wish list,” i.e. sky dive, travel the world, write a book, etc. Just a list for now. A list to keep track of these things so I can begin to cross them off my list. The weather’s getting nicer, my spirits are lifting and I’m going to give it a shot.
  1. Learn how to play tennis and golf. These are two sports that I will be able to play well into my 60’s, so why not learn how now. I think I’ll start with tennis first; I get way too ADD during golf.
  2. Learn how to knit (The Friday Night Knitting Club really got me excited). All I need to do is buy a how-to book and BAM, I’m making my own scarves and sweaters (indirectly helping me save on Christmas gifts for the grandparents…always thinking).
  3. Take a dance class – ballroom, ballet, salsa, I’d like to take them all. But, I think I’ll start with Zumba – a cardio class that includes Latin dance choreography and see where I go from there.
  4. Get back on a soccer team. I can actually CHECK this one off the list – I got back on my team yesterday and will play this spring season. DONE.
  5. Coach again. I coached a little girls team my senior year in college, but haven’t since. Scoot is inspiring me by coaching AAU bball and I def need to “give back to the sport that gave me so much,” as my Dad would say.
  6. Go to more Bikram classes. Bikram is 90 minutes long. It is really hard to find 90 minutes in my day. But, this is no excuse, especially on the weekends. It makes me feel amazing and I need to go more.
  7. Blog. If I had more time in the day, I’d dedicate more time to blogging. I write so much at work that I admit, S&S usually takes the back seat. I’m going to try and fix that, starting now.
  8. Train and compete in a triathlon. This comes pretty close to my “wish list,” but it’s something I’ve been thinking more about and something I think I can do. A handful of my friends have done or are signed up to do a marathon. A marathon’s just not for me – I like running, but not 26.2 miles and I just don’t have the desire. I reward those who do it, but it’s not in the cards for me. Running, biking and swimming just sounds more appetizing. I’m not setting this goal yet, but am looking into it.
  9. Meet and catch up with friends I don't see often. I have so many great friends in Chicago: people I used to work with, live with, friends from high school, etc. and I never really see them. We all say “we’re just too busy.” It’s time to stop using that excuse and get together with these friends because I do WANT to see them and always have a wonderful time when I do.
  10. Spend more time alone; doing things I want to do but never have the time to: organize my photo albums, read every fashion/health/beauty magazine, sit in the steam room at LPAC for longer than 5 minutes, go on a solo shopping spree, update my iPod, sit in a coffee shop for hours reading, think and just be.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

FOOD: Healthy AND Easy Turkey Taco Salad

Sunday night ended up being a feast: goat cheese and sundried tomato stuffed chicken, whole wheat pasta, red pepper broccoli, garlic bread and a delicious sun dried tomato white sauce to top it all off. It was a hearty, delicious meal. But, it left me feeling a little heavy and sluggish Monday morning.

So, on Monday night after the gym, when I had a ton of leaft over pasta and sauce (but didn't want to eat it because I wanted something light and healthy), I decided to make a turkey taco salad. I should say Scoot and I decided to make a turkey taco salad, because he did half the work.

-Romaine Lettuce
-Cherry Tomatoes
-Black Beans
-Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese
-99% Fat Free Ground Turkey
-Taco Seasoning (30% less sodium)
-Non Fat Sour Cream

It's pretty self explanatory. Fill two bowls with lettuce, add tomatoes, onions, beans and corn. Cook ground turkey and add water and taco seasoning. Add meat to the salad and top with salsa, reduced fat cheese, non-fat sour cream and a few sliced avocados. If you want to add a dressing, leave a little bit of the taco seasoning and mix with non-fat ranch for a mexi-ranch taste.

This salad has barely any fat and is delicious! After Scoot was done, he filled his bowl with corn chips, threw on the leftover meat and cheese and voila - nachos for dessert!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Entertaining Myself During March Madness

Basketball, basketball, basketball and more basketball. For the past week, it's all been about basketball. I wouldn't expect anything else since I'm dating an ex division one ball player, but come on, enough! It's finally the final four, and I'm finally over it all.

Don't get me wrong, I love to go to the bar, throw back a few and watch a good game, especially if it's Carolina (my sis is a Tarheel and since the Phoenix didn't make it, the heels are my team by default). And, some of the games I've actually enjoyed -- Pitt/Villanova yesterday and the Michigan State game on Friday. But, I enjoy the last 5 minutes, when it's neck and neck and you have no idea who's gonna take it. I could deal without the other 35 minutes. 

So...on this blizzardy Sunday in Chicago, when I've already been to the gym and the grocery and all there's left to do is watch basketball, I'm finding ways to keep myself busy:

1. READING: I needed a new book to read so my friend brought a few over: The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters and I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. I loved She's Come Undone by Lamb so I'm hoping this one's just as good. It always takes me about a week to find a new book after I finish a really good one. I just finished The Friday Night Knitting Club and was devastated to find out on the last page that I would no longer be able to spend my train rides with Walker & Daughter. Depressing. The Times nailed it when they said it's "a Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan." The sequel needs to come out stat. I feel like I've been waiting years for the next Jennifer Weiner book.

2. SHOPPING: When bored and everyone in your apartment is watching basketball, online shop. I can't get enough of Victoria Secret online, I just ordered another bathing suit since my monokini's not the best with tan lines (praying that the snow will melt and sunshine will magically appear):

3. COOKING: Tonight my good friend Carrie and I will be making dinner for our boyfriends (college bball teammates who haven't missed one second of March Madness). On the menu: goat cheese and sundried tomato stuffed chicken (a Bethenny Frankel - my fav RHNYC - recipe):

I'll let you all know how it turns out. With reading, shopping, recipe hunting and blogging, I just got myself most of the way through the first half!

Happy Sunday (and March Madness) to all!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


My good friend posted this poem a few months back and I love reading it every now and then, so I decided to re-post. It just makes me feel better. Enjoy.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

FASHION: Tory Burch Affordable Find

I’m in love with the entire Tory Burch line, but most of her purses, shoes and clothes are way out of my price league. But…I am looking for a new beach bag/tote and decided to splurge a little so I checked her site and found this:

Isn’t it the coolest? It’s a foldable tote that wraps up into a patent leather case (that looks like a wallet) with leather logo detail and gold hardware. I couldn’t have been more impressed!

I immediately thought that this would be great for so many things:
-Grocery Store: case in purse, tote for groceries
-Gym: case in purse, tote for dirty, sweaty gym clothes after workout
-Traveling: How often do wonder when packing whether or not you’ll need an extra bag for all the shopping you know you’ll be doing on vacation.

This little contraption is genius, the only thing I’m upset about is not coming up with the idea myself! And, the best part is it’s under $100 – go get yourself one!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FASHION: Wedding Season is Upon Us

I have 5 weddings to go to this summer and I'm only 24, wow. I'm more excited for some (my sisters) than I am for others, but there is one positive - I get to shop for fun summer dresses to wear. I'm thinking this one will be perfect:

It's a Laundry by Shelli Segal Strapless Charmeuse Gown with a jeweled goldtone brooch. It's bright, girly, flowing and I think it's perfect for a day or night wedding. I wouldn't need a lot of jewlery; just a nice pair of earrings and some gold shoes. Now I just need to come up with the $345...

On another note, the Common Threads Gala was a blast last night -- I'll be posting about the event later today. A quick teaser: Tyler Florence is GORGEOUS...way more gorgeous in person than on TV!

Monday, March 23, 2009

FOOD: Not So Healthy Salads, Made Healthy

The nice weather (which is now gone) has left me CRAVING summer BBQ food -- hot dogs, grilled vegetables, fruit salad, pasta salad, etc. The problem is, these delicious summer BBQ foods aren't so good for you. So, yesterday I decided to search for a "healthy" pasta salad recipe. I couldn't find one I loved on the net so I decided to take bits and pieces of what I found and here's what I came up with:

Healthy Vegetable Pasta Salad


1 package of whole wheat pasta
1/2 lb fresh green beans
1 package cherry tomatoes
1 lb fresh cut broccoli
1 small can black olives
1 small can artichoke hearts
1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
Lite vinaigrette (or Italian) dressing

1. Boil the whole wheat pasta for 10 mins (with a dash of salt) and let cool
2. Chop all vegetables and put in large mixing bowl
3. Add pasta to bowl and add cheese
4. Add dressing while tossing

This was so easy and it is SO DELICIOUS! We ate it last night as a side with turkey meatloaf and they surprisingly went very well together. It's lite, healthy and very tasty.

My other half loves egg salad. He begs me to make it all the time (can you tell he's from the south?). I've made it a few times and have actually grown to like it myself. Problem is, it's extremely bad for you (all the cholesterol in the yolk and the mayo) and he loves to eat it on potato bread (which is basically like eating white Wonderbread - no nutritional value). So, when Scoot asked yesterday morning, I was on a mission to find a healthy recipe and I did: I tweaked this recipe a bit:

Healthy Egg Salad

8 eggs
1 cup low fat mayo
1/4 cup stadium mustard
1 celery stalk
Salt and pepper for taste

1. Boil the eggs and let cool
2. Peel the shell of the eggs and put 6 egg whites and two yolks into large mixing bowl; mash egg whites and yolks
3. Add mustard, mayo and chopped celery
4. Mix and serve

Today, we're having egg salad sandwiches on wheat, with a side of veggie pasta salad. I'm very excited for such a delicious and healthy lunch!

Friday, March 20, 2009

FITNESS: The New Craze

On Tuesday night in my Full Body Blast class (which is amazing BTW), the instructor Chris (who only refers to the people in his class as “athletes,” which cracks me up) said something that really stuck with me. He gave Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results and compared it to exercise.

For instance, a person who does the elliptical (which I despise) everyday for 45 minutes, gets off, does 10 dumbbell curls, 10 squats and 2 sets of 50 crunches isn’t getting themselves in any better shape. While they are sustaining and burning calories, the repitiions aren't helping their bodies evolve.

I never do the same workout. Mostly because I’m way too ADD to do the same thing every day, but also because I love trying new things. And, thank god I live in a city where every month there’s a new fitness craze. Enter Bikram, CrossFit and Zumba.

Bikram yoga is practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 40%. Classes are guided by specific dialogue including 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Classes last approximately 90 minutes.

I kid you not when I say you’ll never feel better than the way you feel after Bikram. It tests you’re physical and mental strength, releases all the toxins in your body and is truly a spiritual experience. The only problem is it’s a bit pricy. But, none the less, it’s the perfect thing to do once a week (or every couple weeks) and I recommend it to anyone looking for a workout that rejuvenates them.

CrossFit is the new TAE BO, without Billy Blanks. My sister first told me about it a few months back and of course, I had to try it immediately. She directed me to the CrossFit website:, which gives readers and followers daily exercise regimes to follow. Today is a rest day (figures when I write this post it would be), but yesterday’s workout was:

Thursday 090319
Ten rounds for time of:
3 Weighted Pull-ups 45 pounds
5 Strict Pull-ups
7 Kipping Pull-up

Although I haven’t done it daily, there are a few workouts I really like. One in particular is the interval running and squat training. I learned in my college soccer days that interval running is a must. It tests your endurance, boosts your metabolism and brings about the best results. I’ve been doing 20 minutes of 20-second sprint, 5 second rest and it’s definitely hard, but leaves me feeling better than I would after a simple 3 mile jog.

There are also CrossFit studios popping up in big cities. I just found this one in Chicago: I’m going to give it a shot and report back at a later date.

Zumba is something offered at my gym (Lincoln Park Athletic Club) that a friend told me about. Zumba fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy to follow moves to create a dynamic fitness program that helps you achieve long term benefits.

1. I love salsa dancing and 2. I love long term benefits so I’m in! The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. I haven’t it tried it yet (because it’s only offered Friday nights at 6:30 WTF?), but Kristin and I are going to give it a shot tonight!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

S&S: The New Edition

I've decided that this blog needs a purpose, or a theme rather. When I started this a few months back, I just wanted to write about whatever popped into my head. I had no idea where this blog would go. But now, I've decided that I'd like to have a theme, or a few themes to focus on. Enter: Fashion, Food and Fitness (kinda lame, I know, but I liked "the three F's").

Everyone that knows me well, knows that these three F's incapsulate my very favorite things in life AND you all also know that I can speak to all three subjects very easily. 
  1. I've always been an athlete (played Division 1 soccer) and love running, biking, Bikram and any type of workout. 
  2. Although I no longer do Fashion PR, that's where I started and I have a very weak spot for clothes and all types of fashion. 
  3. And last but not least, FOOD. I've always been able to eat a ton (thank god) and love food. I love trying new restaurants, eating different types of food and more recently I've gotten very into cooking. 
So...welcome to the new S&S. I'll rotate topics, but still include my random thoughts/nuances. I figure I can lump my posts about reality TV (RHOC) into Fashion and can talk about my annoyances whenever I damn well please. 

Here's to hoping you enjoy what's ahead as much as I know I will!


Monday, March 16, 2009


We can finally see the light in the Windy City. We've had three nice (sunny) days in the middle of March and the beautiful weather is predicted to last throughout the rest of the week. Hallelujah!

The city is filled with people that have been cooped up all year. That's the funny thing about Chicago. Those who call this wonderful city home chose to live in a place where Winter takes its course for the majority of the year, but when nice weather hits, Chicagoans are out. You'd think we have a city full of outdoorsmen (and women). Funny that we all chose to just deal with (and painfully accept) the long winter. 

There are a few things I get the itch for once this weather hits (can you blame me?):

1. Running by the lake

Come January 1, I'm over the treadmill. Absolutely 100% done with staring at a wall and running at a set pace. I can't deal. Tonight, I came home from work, changed and took off. It felt so good. I feel like I released twice as many endorphins -- the jogging path was packed with people running, roller blading and biking. It was amazing and much needed after the way work has been in recent months. I can't wait for a repeat tomorrow night. 

2. Grilling

I think everything tastes better on the grill -- grilled vegetables, burgers (turkey now for me), fish, chicken, everything. We finally cracked and bought a grill last year on the fourth of July and I can't wait to fire that bad boy up tomorrow night. I'm already thawing out the salmon in the fridge. One of my favorite things to throw on the grill is Whole Foods already made burgers. There's a turkey chipotle burger that's absolutely delicious -- lean turkey meat grounded with red, orange and yellow peppers, scallions, onions and chipotle seasoning. It's the best. Trust me and go pick a few up. You'll love 'em.

3. Spring Fashions

I know a new season's upon us when I want a new bag. Sure enough, last week at Nordstrom, I fell in love with this Rebecca Minkoff:

This bag is perfect -- light gray with neon green lining. Long strap for comfort, short for cute. I have to have it. Problem is it's over $500. My goal is to have it by June -- a few dinners in, packing the lunch during the week, skimping on the number cabs I take -- and voila, a 25th birthday present for myself! Hurry up June 6th.

While on the subject of fashion, I usually put together a seasonal kit for the BD's (a few of them need a little help in this department -- not naming names!), but with S&S now in action, I think I'll take it to the blog.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Recent Annoyances

I've been thinking for a long time that I should dedicate a post to things that annoy me. So many times a day I'm annoyed. And, most of the time, I think I have genuine reason to be annoyed. And, usually, when I tell people why I'm annoyed they agree and are annoyed themselves. Well, here it is:

1. People who stand on the moving walkway. We flew to Vegas last week and were rushing to catch our flight Thursday night when we got stopped on the MOVING walkway. A family just enjoying the ride and beautiful scenery at O'Hare. The word moving was included in the name for a reason -- it's meant to speed up the process, not slow you down. How lazy can you be?
2. Adults that cut in line. Some people never learn -- regardless their age -- that it's not OK to cut in line. My gym is insanely packed from 6 - 7pm. So Packed that I often have to wait in line to get on the treadmill (I know, join a new gym right)...anyway, there I am, finally second in line and bam someone gets off a treadmill on the opposite side of the room and the cutter (trying to play dumb and act like the treadmill line doesn't exist) hops on without ever looking in our direction. Come on.
3. While I'm on the subject of my gym and the treadmill line, another annoyance comes to mind: people who walk on the treadmill. I know, I should be happy people are getting exercise...I shouldn't judge what type of exercise, as long as they're doing it...some people have knee problems, blah, blah, blah. I don't care, it's a waste of a treadmill. Walk around your building, walk around a mall, but don't take a treadmill away from someone who's going to actually get a workout in. 
4. Yellow candy. Don't get me wrong, yellow is my favorite color, but why do they make yellow candy? No one ever likes the yellow. Yellow laffy taffy, yellow starbust, yellow skittles, it's always the worst flavor -- the one everybody picks last. They should spend the time making more pink, green and purples, yellow isn't cutting it.
5. Girls that wear heels on the train. You are not a Chicagoan if you wear heels on the train. No Midwest girl, who commutes to work everyday, wears heels. It's just not comfortable. The L involves stairs and standing and the stops aren't on every corner so there's usually a good amount of walking's just not worth it. Every time I see a girl on the train in heels, I think why are you doing that to yourself...just put them on when you get there.
6. People who stand in the front row, without front row potential. In the Bikram studio, you're not supposed to stand in the front row if you aren't well practiced and haven't been going for a long time. It's a known fact (usually announced by the teachers) but people ignore the rule all the time. I feel like this rule applies across the board for all fitness classes. If you don't know what you're doing, don't stand in the front. You're making an idiot out of yourself and doing a disservice to the people behind you who are actually trying to learn.
7. Uneven eyebrows. I've been going to the same place to get my eyebrows waxed for the past two years. And, I love my girl Kim...BUT, there's been a few times where she's stripped just a little too much, leaving me uneven. There is nothing more annoying then looking in the mirror at uneven eyebrows -- it makes me feel off center, like my whole equilibrium's off.
8. Cab drivers who AREN'T in a rush. I feel like that's why you take a cab...why you tip them...why you even pay them. They're supposed to get you where you need to go and do it fast. If I get in cab who's stopping at yellow lights, it really pisses me off. If a cabby isn't swearing in his first language, beeping his horn and throwing up his hands, all while talking into his blue tooth, there's something wrong. 
9. Meals that don't come with sides. I was brought up to believe that every main dish includes two sides: a starch and a vegetable. If I order a steak that's $40 and it's "extra" to get a baked potato or asparagus, I think it's absurd. If you're going to fork out that much on a meal, the sides should be included. 
10. The sales women in most clothing stores. When I walk into a store, I look around and I pick everything up that I want to try on. When I go into the fitting room, I have already looked around the entire store and have selected the items that I like. When I begin to try on my selections and the sales woman throws over a shirt saying "I saw you were trying on the black skirt so I brought you this shirt because they go great together," I find it a bit offensive -- I looked around the store, I picked what I want and I don't need you to match outfits for me. Just let me try on my clothes in peace without you knocking on the door every 5 minutes. 

Wow, I feel like I could go on forever. Maybe this will become a weekly post -- the things that annoyed S&S this week....

Thursday, March 5, 2009


We're on our way to SIN CITY tonight, jealous? I can't wait to soak up some sun, hit the craps table, eat lots of good food, see a show, shop and do whatever it is I WANT TO DO ALL WEEKEND!

I'm taking the Mac so I can blog...if I feel like it...which I probably won't. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Healthy and Delicious

As most of you reading this know, in the past year or so I've gotten very into cooking. And, when I cook, I usually try to be healthy -- I only cook with lean meats...I use a lot of 99% lean turkey meat (thanks Jennie-O) and I've even recently given up red meat completely. It's only been about a month...we'll see how long I can last (I'm a little nervous about seeing an In-N-Out Burger in Vegas this weekend), but I'm really trying!

Anyway, I got to do some FUN spokesperson research today for one of my clients (whom I will never discuss) on our very own Bethenny Frankel from Real Housewives of NYC. Sidenote: Why does she spell her name like that? It was really annoying to type all day and seeing a constant red line underneath her name drove me bonkers, seriously. Anyway, after reading her blog and stalking her web site, I came across her list of recipes.

Don't they look delicious?! Here's a list of all the things I want to try:

The SkinnyGirl™ Margarita (obviously, although I don't know if my friends will let me drink Tequila again, long story)
Low Fat Fudge Chocolate Chip Muffins
Goat Cheese Sundried Tomato Chicken Breasts (one of my favorites)
Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms (I was recently told that mushrooms are the only other natural source of Vitamin D, besides sunlight. Soooo, naturally, I'm eating them whenever I can)
Roasted Spicy Broccoli (love, love, love spicy)
Comfort Turkey Meatloaf
Healthy Rainbow Shrimp Pasta
Ultra healthy Mexican chili (I already make something very similar)
Mexican Turkey Burger

So now, while I'm watching RHONYC, I can make all of Bethenny's famous, healthy recipes. I'll let you know how they turn out!

More to come,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Very Thankful

I'm feeling very thankful on this snowy, Sunday afternoon. Mom just left, which leaves me sad and a bit worried (I hate that she has to drive back to Cleveland in this snowstorm), but we couldn't have had a better weekend.

We spent Friday evening shopping on Michigan Avenue and sipping wine and delicious french onion soup at Bistro 110. Then we woke up early Saturday morning and went to Bikram. For being in her fifties, my mom is very fit. She lasted the entire 90 minute class and did every pose -- a few of my friends in their twenties didn't even make it through the entire class. Mom was so good that the teacher came up to us after class and commented on how well she did. I was proud. We then got pedicures, had a delicious lunch and went to the Apple store where I got the best 25th birthday present ever -- my MacBook. Blogosphere, say allow to my new love. New love, meet the blogosphere.

I'm so blessed to have parents that support my dreams (even if their far reaching at times), love me unconditionally no matter what i've done and whom have always put the needs and wants of my sister and I before their own. I remember going through a really difficult breakup and hearing my mom cry on the phone because she felt the pain that I was feeling. I remember my dad flying to Tennessee and then driving hours just to watch my 90 minute soccer game. I may not always tell them enough or show them enough, but I am so thankful and feel that I do have the world's best mom and dad.

Sad the weekend is over, but also looking forward to the return of Scoot -- he went home to Maryland to also have a "Mom's weekend." Happy birthday to momma P. :) It's nice when you're in a relationship to get a little break every now and then to miss one another. It's only been a few days, but I can't wait to see him.

Sunday's are usually rough, especially with the way my work has been, but I couldn't be more excited about my short week -- we're headed to VEGAS on Thursday. I checked the weather report this morning for Vegas and it says high 60's, which isn't ideal, but as long as there's sunshine, i'll be happy.

Not to get to "red" on everyone (my roommate's a constant pollyanna), but take a minute or two today and be thankful for everything you have. Times are hard, but if you have family, friends and people who love you unconditionally, that's really all you need, right?


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

To Keep or Not to Keep? That is the question.

So...I had the day off yesterday, which was nice. Days off are great because you don't feel guilty about not working (as you would on a sick day) and you get a ton of stuff done (at least I do). Only problem is I can't sleep in, which is really annoying. This past Sunday I slept until 9am and it was monumental.

So, I woke up around 8 yesterday, went to two classes at the gym (i'm hella sore today), grocery shopped, got Scoot's birthday present (the big 25 is on Fri), cleaned, did 3 loads of laundry and, after all that, it was only 2pm. I couldn't believe it. So, because I had been so productive, I decided to treat my self to a little retail therapy. But, since I have no money and am saving up for a trip to Vegas in a few weeks, I told myself I could only go to one store -- Nordstrom.

And, within 15 minutes, I had gotten these BCBG pumps:

Even though it was love at first site, I'm still kind of undecided on them. I had on black leggings when trying them on and they looked super cute. And I was also thinking about a dress I want to wear Friday (which they'd look great with) and a few outfits that they'd be perfect with in Vegas.

BUT, here's the thing...what can you wear them with besides solid colors? You can't put these on with a patterned shirt or even a pink or yellow shirt for that matter. But, they'd look so great with black tights at work, or black shorts or a black dress this summer. AND, above all that they were actually comfortable (i'm not lying, I swear).

But, I'm still undecided, what do you think? Should I keep?

p.s. RHOC finale tonight -- i can't wait! And the premiere of RHNYC, which isn't as good as OC, but still entertaining.



Friday, February 13, 2009

It's the little things...

I’m undecided on Valentine’s Day. Some years I think it’s a Hallmark holiday and hate to get too overly excited/into it. But, some years I can’t wait for a day to be all gooey and in love (I should note that my college roommates used to make fun of me for being so AGAINST PDA…I just don’t think anyone else wants to see it).

The past couple years, Scoot and I have celebrated with a card and a nice dinner – no big gifts, just a nice dinner and a card letting one another know how we feel. This year – blame it on the recession – we plan on staying in, cooking a nice dinner and drinking the bottle of red wine my mom got us in Paris (I’ve been saving it for a special occasion). While I’m looking forward to it, I also feel like it will be just like every other day.

Not sure if my emotions have shown the way I’ve been feeling, but leave it to Scoot to turn things around and make me feel all the gooey, in love stuff.

I’m sitting here, working on a miserable press release, counting down the minutes to 5pm and suddenly my mood does a complete 180 when these show up:
I follow most women on my feelings for flowers – I LOVE THEM. I know they are expensive, and only last a week and blah, blah, blah. But they make me feel so DAMN GOOD and they’re so pretty to look at and I just ugh, get the giddy, exciting, butterfly feeling when I see them.

But it’s not so much the flowers, it’s the few words that came with them. I don’t know if it’s because my job has turned me into a woman of many words, but I so appreciate how simple and to the point Scoot can be. He’s not a writer (he actually hates to write and I wrote most of his papers in college), but he’s very good at saying the perfect thing, at the perfect time, in very few words.

So, even though it’s not Valentine’s Day yet, I’m happy. I could now pass on the dinner and the card and whatever else is coming. I hope you all get to feel the same butterfly/giddy/joyful feelings that I’m feeling this Valentine’s Day.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Shredding the Nar

Scoot and I went home to Cleveland this weekend to surprise the rents and go snowboarding with my sis and Brett. While they're semi-professional snowboarders, we suck and spent a good portion of the day on our asses (which I'm still feeling). Luckily, Brett caught a clip of Scoot making his way down the slope...enjoy!

I love this video and will hold on to hit for as long as I possibly can for a few reasons:

1. It's hilarious...I always find any video (or real live shot) of someone biting it hilarious.

2. Scoot is the most athletic person I know and it's classic to see him suck at something. I got enjoyment out of it the entire day. He beats me at everything (except scrabble and the radio game might I note), so being able to snowboard better than him gives me true joy.

3. After the first spill he gets right back up, smiles right into the camera and then BAM he's on his ass rolling sideways down the hill. It's fantastic.

Ok, enough. I'll pay for this post in some shape or form tonight. Must be tough, Scoot, we've finally found SOMETHING you're not good at!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Couldn't Resist

Everyone on Facebook has been posting these “25 most random things about me” notes and to be honest, I want in on the fun. But, I don’t know how to post a note on Facebook and I really don’t want my 25 things to show up in anyone’s mini-feed. So…I’ve decided to share the “25 most random things about me” with the blogosphere. Consider yourself tagged!

1. There is nothing in my life more important than my family.

2. I can eat A LOT. Probably more than you would think when looking at me and I absolutely LOVE fast food. I think anyone that says they don’t like McDonalds is LYING (and un-American) and my mouth waters every time I think about a Bojangles biscuit.

3. I’d like to write a book someday and I’m hoping it’s some sort of mix between Jennifer Weiner and Stephanie Myer.

4. My parents have the most amazing relationship. I hope and pray that I’ll have exactly the type of marriage they do.

5. I’m extremely hyper (at times) and this thoroughly annoys my sister. She used to say to my mom “can’t you give her something.” My family thinks I have ADD/ADHD, but was never properly diagnosed.

6. My friends say I’m gaudy. I admit, I love wearing gold jewelry – lots of it.

7. I feel very, very blessed to have met Scoot at such a young age. We’ve been through a lot, but we went through it together and we couldn’t be in a better place now. He’s my best friend, always will be.

8. I’ve lived in North Carolina and in NYC and I can 100% say that Midwesterners are my favorite breed. The girls eat and the guys are actually guys.

9. I have an abnormally big, big toe (thanks dad) and I hate it. It’s really ugly and my friends like to tease me about it because they know it bugs me.

10. My sister’s a genius – I’m dead serious. She got a perfect on the math portion of her SAT, was valedictorian and is now getting her doctorate in biomedical engineering. What the F?

11. I hate making my bed and am convinced that I’ll never be able to make a pretty bed with tucked in sheets and puffed up pillows.

12. I’ve never met anyone I respected or envied more than my teammates, my BD’s. They’re truly the most beautiful women in the world – both inside and out.

13. I started cooking when I moved to Chicago and I’m really enjoying myself. I’d love to take a cooking class someday.

14. I love to workout – running, kickboxing and Bikram are my favorites. It’s a big stress reliever for me and I’m usually a much nicer, happier person afterward. Nothing better than a good sweat.

15. I can’t imagine being a stay at home mom and don’t think I ever will be one. I crave a challenge, love being busy and would never want to depend on anyone else’s income, even if it were my husband’s (my grandma and momma taught me well).

16. I somehow managed to get a 3.8 in college and don’t feel like I really studied much at all.

17. I like clothes, A LOT and I love to dress up. BUT, when I get home I immediately change into my Elon soccer sweats. Once a BD, always a BD.

18. I’d like to open my own boutique one day and my brother biles has been saving up for my little dream. Bless his heart.

19. I actually hate going out and being social. Most people wouldn’t think that because I work in PR, but in all honestly a night club sounds painful to me. A good meal with Scoot and a Law and Order SVU Marathon is my idea of a great night.

20. I’m convinced that every girl wishes they were athletic. I know if I weren’t, I’d wish I were. And, I firmly believe that every girl at Elon wanted to play on our soccer team. Soccer girls are cute – well at least they were at Elon (slap, slap).

21. I only listen to country and rap. Taylor Swift is my current hero and Real Love by Mary J is my anthem.

22. I did gymnastics for many years growing up and can still do a back flip – ask my teammates.

23. I want a dog, really bad and I want to name him Grady, after Grady Sizemore, obviously.

24. I’m from Cleveland and people like to make fun of it, but the truth is its home and I absolutely love it.

25. I want a lot out of life and I don’t think I’m going to be satisfied until I get it all.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"The Girls Want to Come Out and Play"

Oh, Vicki. Miss, “I’m so professional…I’m the best mother…I’m super strict and my kids don’t have sex.” Well, girl, you finally showed your true colors. Kissing a married man right in front of his wife and telling him “the girls want to come out and play” – you should be ashamed of yourself!

I wonder how Don’s gonna react when he sees this episode (it’s like these people forget they’re on national television, I swear).


I have to admit, when I saw shots of Michigan Avenue and a boat tour cruising down the river I got excited – Chicago R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T. Gotta have some pride – nothing better than summertime Chi.

Vicki takes her NEW (not new to us) friend Jeana to meet her OLD friends (high school friends) in Chicago – or some suburb of Chicago because they definitely weren’t in city limits. From the first shot of the house Scoot and I were looking at each other like “where the HECK are they?”

Anyway Vicki’s THRILLED to be with her PEOPLE Jeana’s feeling left out and singing “make new friends but keep the old…” and me and Scoots are rolling our eyes and waiting for the alcohol to set in (their alcohol that is).

Of course it only takes a few martinis at dinner and BAM – Vicki’s all over some dude at the bar (her friend’s husband we soon discover) kissing his face and threatening to bring out the “girls”…I’m thinking LORDDDDDDDDDDDDD she’s gonna regret this. But, before we know it Don calls (great timing BRAVO) and Vicki calms down (if that’s even possible for Vicki).


This part of the show truly embarrassed me – it was like watching the Bachelor and having to turn away because I’m literally humiliated for the girls. Who acts like that at the gym? Seriously. Gretchen’s a fit girl – she looks like she spends a fair amount of time in the gym – so why was she acting like each piece of equipment was a horse she was riding? I don’t get it. And, who wears their hair down to the gym (not to mention the makeup). I’ve always hated girls who wear their hair down to workout (or play soccer) – you know it’s hot and sticking to your neck…stop trying to look cute and put it up!

She didn’t know what a punching bag was used for. She had no idea what do to in the pilates room. And she wants to open HER OWN GYM? Gahhhhh. As Aerosmith said, you’re pretty enough that you’ll be fine when Jeff dies (that should now be past tense) – no need to venture into your own business. You’ll be fine just flirting your way through life.


I used to think Shane was hot. Technically he still is, but my attraction to him has gone WAY DOWN. Who talks to their mother like that? Especially in front of friends and family. I was appalled. I don’t care what their psyches are telling them about the way Jeana’s husband treated her, blah blah blah. It’s wrong and for once, Vicki was right on – I wish she would have smacked that boy across the face.

On another note, anyone catch Shane’s girlfriend, Shana? She’s got a booty on her, but I don’t think she spoke once. How cute, Shane and Shana.

I’m refusing to talk about Tamra in this post – it was a lame episode for her. And, who cares about Aerosmith’s trashy daughter’s drinking problem, I don’t.

‘til next time.