Monday, December 17, 2012

In Memoriam

Sometimes when you know your words are not enough, it's best to look to those that are already there.

In Memoriam of those who left this world too soon on Friday, and for those who seek solace from their loss:
“You - you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living.  In one of them I shall be laughing.  And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You - only you - will have stars that can laugh.  And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me.  You will always be my friend.  You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure...And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky!  Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!'  And they will think you are crazy.  It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you...It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh...--From Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince

{Image Credit: Much Loved via Sho & Tell}

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Isn't It Ironic?

It was Alanis Morissette who first posed the question, "Isn't it ironic, don't you think?"  At the ripe age of nine, I was much too busy trying to figure out what a jagged little pill was to ponder life's other metaphoric mysteries.  Now that I've grown a little and have mastered such logic puzzles as the gas oven, it seems my mind is finally ready to tackle these quests.

So here I am, a twentysomething, and thinking isn't it ironic...

  • That on the Third of December in Chicago, when it's nearing 70-degrees outside, I would be wishing for the brisk temperatures of norm?  It just seems that sudden heat waves don't hold much space in a season where a slew of furnaces have already been ushered in.  My adorable cashmere sweater sure didn't think so.
  • That on this same day I would discover a surprising weight loss and thus consume a lunch complete with a chocolate dessert?  Rather than try to get my belt to that next notch over tomorrow, it seemed most logical to reward the extra pant and sweater space with a brownie.  Okay, fine I asked for chips instead of fruit too.
  • That still later on that day the realization of a cleansed mode called for a glass of wine.  It has been days since I indulged in meals out complete with a glass or two  As a result my mind was clear and my face fresh-the first time in as many Mondays.  I was so proud of myself!  Cheers!
{Image via swissmiss}

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy December!

Since the weekend has come and gone....Happy December!  Hope you enjoy each and every day of this holiday season in the best ways you've grown to know!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Give Peace a Chance

So...did you survive the first round of holiday festivities?  It's easy to forget how stressful they can be, eh?  The cooking, the cleaning, the shopping, and the redundant conversations.  Okay, so I can only testify to the last part.  Knowing how much wine I had to consume just as a result from that though I can only imagine how many more bottles would have had to be on hand otherwise.

The holidays are so much fun though, and shouldn't result in gray hairs.  Before Christmas comes, browse through this list of safe conversation topics to curb any potential spine-stiffening hconflicts (sorry, I can't save you from the other chores).
  • Your most recent travel adventure (unless it in any way involves foreign policy)
  • That change you made to your house (but do not have it interlude into your next DIY project)
  • The amazing pasta dish you had last month (as long as it wasn't at the hottest restaurant in town, because then they'll want a name for how to get in)
  • The most recent Clooney flick (avoid details of political undertones)
  • The big sale last weekend (just do not divulge any dollar amounts for judging eyes)
  • The Real Housewives (refrain from describing anyone by ethnicity, race, or religion though)
  • What your book club is reading (only the PG-13 literature)
  • iPad or Powerbook?  (much less controversial than the age-old PC or Mac debate)
  • Sports (seemingly a safe topic across the board so long as it's before the fifth round of drinks)
  • Favorite Christmas cookie (bringing up actual memories typically results in unsolicited guest contributions of minor details)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An inner housewife rears her ugly, well-coiffed head

 yoinked from the inimitable Hyperbole and a Half

This weekend, my boyfriend and I hosted his little sister for her first-ever visit to Houston. Given that my manpanion and I have been living together for two years now and started dating a seeming eternity (five years) ago, it freaked me out how freaked out I was getting about her impending visit.

Despite the longevity of our relationship and her totally warm, non-threatening demeanor, Melissa’s visit sent me into more of a tizzy than any prior houseguest. Everything had to be PERFECT. Matchbook Mag-worthy. I’m not sure why I suddenly put such enormous pressure on myself; I can only assume it’s because my boyfriend's sister is in regular contact with their mother. Suddenly, oddly, it seemed important that he at least appear well cared for. A ‘50s-era housewife began rearing her hideous, unfamiliar, perfectly coiffed head. 

My To-Do list began looking more and more absurd:

  • Clean bathroom
  • Wash sheets & towels
  • Get bedside lamps
  • Paint bedside lamps to look like mercury glass lamps you can't afford
  • New kitchen rug?
  • **Need Tchotskes** ceramic artichokes you saw on One Kings Lane?? Anthro knobbly candlesticks??
  • fresh flowers
  • learn how to arrange flowers
  • BAKE?!

Ultimately, my efforts were futile. I got too happy at a happy hour the night before she landed and cut my cleaning/total overhaul time by two thirds as a result. Mel was as predictably gracious and laidback as ever, and didn’t seem to notice that the grout in the shower of our 1930s home is no longer sparkling white.

Or seem to miss the nonexistent tchotskes, or mind that instead, our mantle is filled with empty bottles we've kept for sentimental reasons (also bug spray.)

Mostly it was futile because it's pretty clear who takes care of whom in this relationship, despite all my last-minute efforts at spin. We take turns. And this time, the caretaker wasn't the girl melting down over tchotskes after too many shotskies — it was the boy putting her to bed. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Weekend {At Home}!

 It's time to start whipping out the elastic waistband pants, and carrying around a flaks with you.  The holiday season is officially here!  Hope everyone is able to make it home, where ever that may be for you, in some way or another this Thanksgiving holiday

May all your Pinterest experiments be full of grace, if not perfection!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tales of a Neurotic Retail Snob

It has come to my attention that I pay a lot of attention to retail.  So much so that I would say it has shifted from a personal hobby to an ever-evolving science.  In my never ending quest to make the world a better place, I figured this platform may best to help everyday citizens tackle their shopping woes, retail budgets, and all things related.

Perhaps you do not think your closet or pocketbook is in need of help.  Then again, you have been staring at that shoebox for over a week now contemplating whether or not that $75 would have been better spent on Dawson's Creek: The Complete Series.  Good people, we have Netflix and Hulu for problems like that and millions of answers for similar questions in judgment.  Unless those shoes looked like last year's DSW's clearance rack, the answer should be simple: PUT THOSE HEELS ON THE SHELF WHERE THEY BELONG.

Please give yourself a quick 15 seconds to look over the following personal inventory assessment...ready?

  • I have spent over $20 for a basic tank top
  • My closet/wardrobe is not organized in any particular manner
  • I see no difference between the words "closet" and "wardrobe"
  • Retail emails annoy me and I usually delete or unsubscribe
  • I have never participated in a secret sale
  • I strictly repin.  I am not sure where to find my own pins.
  • Very rarely will I make a splurge
  • I often wonder what the word "budget" means
  • My most recent dress I bought was for last year's holiday party
  • I find Target more than acceptable for all accessory purchases
  • When in doubt, I buy the most expensive version of a style
  • I think the hipsters are really onto something with their Converses
If at least five of these statements applied to you, I highly encourage lending your ear to some basic knowledge and helpful tidbits.  It's not that any one of these is bad.  It's just the combined efforts of your current shopping habits could be so much more efficient.  That's all.  Save the neuroses for me, and we'll get through this together.

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving Sales!

"Call me a snob, but I don't think it's very exciting to reply "J. Crew" when someone asks you where got your shoes or purse."--Suzanne M. Iovaldi {Disclaimer: J. Crew is a very fine and lovely brand. This statement will be studied more in-depth in posts to come}
{Image Via

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy {Sassy} Weekend!

The weekend is here and it's time to get sassy!

I am too excited for one of both Caroline and mine's more colorful friends, Katie (a.k.a. Polly Pocket) to come to Chicago this weekend!  We're going to try and find Christmas lights, look at holiday window displays, and say a lot of very judgy things.  All while drinking.  It's going to be fabulous!

Hope your weekend has a lot of attitude to it!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

And I'm Proud to Be an American

Well if you're anything like me you were perched on your couch last night with a microwave meal, glass of wine, propped laptop, and glued to your television.  So...let's hope you're not like me.  It was the night of the Presidential Election though, and for Nerds around the world of both political parties, it was as big as it gets.  It is, if you will, the Super Bowl of the Liberal Arts.

All unnecessary conflicts aside, the Election still always serves as an important reminder of the privilege it is to call oneself an "American."  This year of 2012 is no different.  Here are just a few reminders of what it means to be a female U.S. citizen in this day-in-age.

  • Hey girl, we love our "Sample Sales"
  • Oh, if I vote I get a free sandwich?  Oh, not free, but $2 off?  I'll take it.
  • I'm going to #tweetagramerestbook this vote out.  Whatever it takes, y'all will know in every way I can tell you.  By the way, my polling place is on the #square.
  • "Do you have a special for Election Day?"--every girl in any bar
  • I am NOT a "Me Me" type.  Ohhh, "meme."
  • Modern Family is still on tomorrow night, right?  It's not like a recount type thing, or whatever they call it?
  • Let's just just hope this isn't another "Kerry/Bush 2004."  You mean "Carrie/Big 2004?"  No, I mean "Kerry/Bush.  Do you remember the Second Night of November, 2004?"
{Image Credit: Dan Cassaro}

Ca$h money: Wealth, clothe$ and politic$

I've always had a theory (half in jest) about the effects of a person's wealth on their politics. When you're young, recently educated and idealistic, you're a Democrat. Then you start making money, and it's tempting to turn Republican. And then, when you start making buku bucks — what my one of my friends would refer to as "f*ck you money" — you can afford to be a Democrat again.

It comes in handy when feathery-haired old men like to tell me "you're just not making any money yet." I always retort: "Seems you're just not making enough."

Well, it seems that the theory also applies to clothing. You start making some cash and your clothes get more sophisticated and better tailored:

See: Jessica Biel-Timberlake.

Then, when you start raking in the big-and-I-mean-big-bucks, you also start enjoying the Nets courtside in $400 Zoomba pants.

Beyoncé, there are no missteps. Tibi or not tibi? That is the million-dollar question. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy {Carry On} Weekend

First and foremost, we'd like to express our sympathy, thoughts, prayers, and related to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Let's all make sure that we are doing our part by helping in any capacity that we can.

In true New York fashion the city has begun to rebuild and carry on quickly.  So much so in fact that Suzanne's planned trip for the weekend is still scheduled to take off.  Of course the scene and spirits may not be the same as originally thought.  However, there's never anything wrong with adjusting your mind and plans to the course of nature.

No matter what your agenda this weekend, we hope you move along with it as best as possible!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


A few weeks ago I accompanied some friends of mine to a tailgate at Texas A&M University. It was my first time in College Station, and I was bowled over by the outpouring of chivalry, which seemed to seep from the very pores of the male students and alumni.

From the ample seating offered up by men who would rather eat with their hands than see a woman stand to the mortification I witnessed from a young man caught without his pocket knife ("I swear; this never happens!) the gallantry was truly arresting. 

After several hours of tailgating we headed to the bar district, where — feeling thoroughly respected and cared for — I joked that we might be in for some unfamiliar pick-up lines: 

Girl, you so fine I wanna dance on you at a respectable distance.

Girl, you so fine I wanna go as far as you're comfortable.

Girl, you so fine I wanna ask how yo day was.

Girl, you so fine I wanna offer you my blazer.

Girl, you so fine I wanna build you a deck.

Girl, you so fine I wanna ask your dad first.

Girl, you fine I wanna raise a dog with you.

Girl, you so fine I wanna give you equal pay for equal work.

I'm taking off early today to take a cue from the men of Texas A&M and put some gentlemen in office. Happy early voting! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy {Lights Out} Weekend

It's Homecoming weekend for many.  Unfortunately for these two gals though that does not mean a trip back to Columbia, MO.  Instead they will be celebrating other alma maters' student bodies of past and present.  Caroline will be going to the swingiest of states, Florida, while Suzanne will be taking a train south to Champaign.  We wish all the best to our friends going back "home," in hopes they make it back in one piece.

Happy Weekend to All!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why Every Lady Should Know Something About Sports

Among other things you may not know about me (like that I can touch my tongue to my nose), I am an avid sports fan.  Specifically a St. Louis sports fan, which if you're going to be one, it's not a bad city to follow.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people are surprised by this fact.  Okay, the hot pink J. Crew sweaters and knits, along with every-type-of-leopard-print-shoe-you-can find may be a throw off.  Seriously though, if you are a female and claiming yourself to find absolutely zilch, zero, nada interest in any sport, here is what you're missing.

  • Straight men in tight clothing.  Granted there's some padding involved here and there.  For the most part though(see: Offensive Linemen), these uniforms sported on (and often times off) the field are very form fitting and quite flattering.  It's a welcome visual break after a couple episodes into just about any Bravo marathon.
  • You can yell...and no one yells back.  Unless of course you are in the wrong city/stadium/crowd, but that's more Level Two knowledge.  Otherwise you can yell, scream, tell someone their black and white stripes were so last season, and usually everyone around you will agree.  That other b**ch has no other choice but to take it.
  • Face time opportunities.  People go to games to have fun, believe it or not.  It is considered a social function of sorts.  You just never who you're going to meet in that 25-minute line for the ladies room.
  • B(3)=Free.  This is potentially the biggest reason you should be just the slightest bit in-tune with the world of sports.  Watching baseball, or any sport that uses a ball or puck (to clarify, that's all of them) at a local bar gives you free and easy access to booze and boys.  If you were wondering why you never meet any decent guys out at the club, it's because they were at the bar and got hammered about a half hour into the game.  If you ditch the stilettos or subscription and start out your night there, your chances of meeting a guy increases by five times, and the likelihood of your tab being paid for multiplies nine times.  It's just science.
  • People will like you at work.  Ever come into the office the morning after a so-called "big game" and everyone is talking about that "crazy play?"  Then you're asked if you saw it, and you think they're referring to the Real Housewives of New York finale.  It's really awkward.  No one likes to be the victim of blank stares.  Do yourself a favor then, and at the very least watch the morning news.  Catch some highlights.  Be a...dare I say it?  Fan.
{Image Credit: Little Black Journal}

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy {Ya Never Know} Weekend

So many surprises this weekend! A Kate Spade Friends & Family sale, Delta Airlines Euro airfare sale, and the Cardinals could be going back to the World Series after tonight. I don't know about anyone else, but I think this all calls for a drink!

 Have an absolutely exciting weekend! Go Cards!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Denim on Denim and Other Casual Trends

Just a year ago I decided to don denim on denim to the workplace.  It wasn't necessarily an easy judgment call.  In fact it was a good thing I woke up as early as I did on that particular day so I could live picture text my sister throughout the dress change.  When every tuck was done just so, I felt quite confident and excited about breaking a fashion "no-no."  The truth was though, I wasn't setting out to be a rebel.  I simply had a denim vest and nothing to pair it with other than its bottom relative.  That's the problem with being a young working shopaholic sometimes.  Your cash can only get you as far as a fourth of an outfit. 

Today though, a year later, my morning went off without a hitch while dressing in light-washed straight legs and a chambray pin dot shirt.  Various group populations have now come to accept denim on denim combinations.  Not because such dignitaries as Chanel or Diane von Fursteberg said as much either.  It's because every shameful shameless trend starts with a few broke gals.

{Image Credit: The Sartorialist}

Music Festing and Feeling Your Age

 When it was announced that the Austin City Limits music festival would overlap the Texas/OU game this year, there was a whispered hope that the crowd at the festival would necessarily skew older as the college kiddies fled en masse to Dallas.

Home on Monday, sunburned and hoarse, minus one blanket and a bit of dignity, I can assure you that there was no such luck. There was a surplus of the kind of absurdly taut bodies that can only belong to minors. (Looking back, it seems that instead of heavily lining our eyes or attempting to grow facial hair in an effort to look legal, we could have all just gained 20 pounds and an air of general exhaustion for much the same effect.)

It was my third year at the festival, but this year was markedly different. I brought galoshes and hand sanitizer, drank water in addition to wine, and found myself advising young people on adjacent blankets to get practical degrees because "back-up NFL punter" is an ambitious goal, yes, but also a little absurd.

And as I approached the people around me and was repeatedly offered drags off of a community joint, I found myself politely declining. "Thank you, but what I'm really after is some sunblock."

Suddenly and unexpectedly, there I was: Trading a spliff for some SPF.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy {Feeling Alright} Weekend!

So we've been...well, rather slow with our posts lately.  No one got hurt.  Both Caroline and Suzanne are, in fact, alright and well.  Just busy bees in the working world and beyond.  We promise though, we'll make it up to you in the best way we know how:  more posts.  Next week stay tuned!  Something good's cooking in the kitchen, and it's called another weekend with drinking involved.

Hope you have a better than "alright" weekend!  Oh, and Go Cards!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

iPod Anxiety

Chances are you probably spent a solid week on that playlist.  The one for the big pre-game party you're hosting, or that college football road trip you're cramming in a car for.  You probably envisioned yourself right there in the moment, and hand selected every track to create just the right mood.  While there may have been a couple more tracks you could have added for time security, it's ready to go live.  Then the Pod gets the hookup with the speaks.  Your playlist, over everyone else's, has been selected.  It's a triumphant moment, until reality sets in.  Will everyone understand the nostalgic humor of the Spice Girls selection(s)?  Is Mayer Hawthorne a little too niche?  Is that one hit wonder just simply going to leave the crowd wondering?  Is Elton John really a perennial cool?  And how on earth am I going to play off that Tony Bennett song I left on there?  When iPod anxiety hits, it can be rather aggressive.  It can forever alter the way your friends perceive you.  In some cases it can even leave chronic paranoia when listening to your personal Pandora stations and Spotify library at work.  If in fact though all goes well, and often times it does, the lasting impact is invaluable.  We're talking first dibs and priority playlist invites for the next big bash.  Most importantly though you can have the satisfaction in knowing that you and Ben Folds are just as cool neat as you were in high school.

{Image Credit: "Chorus Member in Special Position' by Frances Stark}

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting hung up and cutting yourself loose

Ever found yourself enamored of someone inexplicably, hung up on them without reason until a sudden realization frees you just as suddenly as the infatuation hit?

Maybe you started crushing hard before he removed his cap to reveal that — gasp — he's a ginger. Maybe  he was super considerate until he made that totally backwards joke. Maybe what you liked most about him was how much he liked you, and carried on for some time before realizing that — independent of that — you didn't really like him much at all.

Sometimes these palate-cleansing realizations can come too late, even post- break-up. Long after your brain cuts the cord, something in your gut can keep you grumbling until, voila — some unearthed fatal flaw sends you giggling for the hills, laughing at yourself for ever wondering if it might have turned out differently.

As the holidays approach and the decor begins making its absurdly early debut, it's impossible not to recall one of my favorites. Long after the break-up, I found out that a young man I had formerly been in knots over routinely asked his maid to decorate his house for him. 

Ah yes, that time-old tradition of sitting around the hearth with a cup of cider, laughing together as a family, giving thanks for your many blessings and . . . watching the help hang your ornaments. 

And POOF: Those knots are untangled, and I'm disenchanted. I know you guys have got some similar stories of your own — let's hear 'em!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy {Official} Weekend!

The weekend is officially here!  Speaking of officials, football should be a lot less painful to watch this weekend as the real refs are back.  For many of us this doesn't mean a thing, as we will still be asking for the clarification of "offsides" and "pass interference" calls.

Here's to hoping everyone's picks, fantasy leagues, home teams, and Sunday Fundays look a bit brighter this weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

All or Something

Food for thought:  Maybe you can have everything.  The other morning while watching The Today Show I caught this great segment on the IMF Chief.  Her wildly impressive resume immediately made me feel extremely unproductive.  And I had not even begun my day yet.  My fears were put to rest almost just as quickly though when she had said at the end of the interview "you can have it all, but not at once."   It's not just a symptom of twentysomethings to feel as if career, marriage, family, and social status should come as a package deal.  Think of it this way though:  when you have your cake and eat it too you just get fat.  I don't know about anyone else, but part of my package deal includes someday attaining a designer wardrobe.  Best then to stick to meals in moderation.

{Image Credit: Sugar Paper}

Monday, September 24, 2012

Today I Will Not Judge Myself

Today I will not judge myself.  When looking in the mirror before leaving the house, I must know that Monday morning's stretchy pants look just as good as Friday night's short skirt.  Trust me, no one really knows about last night's takeout.

I refuse to judge myself when bypassing everyone in the coffee line and instead opt for chugging a Diet Coke after a night out.  Hey, I was just trying to have fun.

I'll always refuse to judge myself when being the one to laugh a little too loud in a quiet space.  Some things are just funny.  On the other hand it could be a day when not too much is funny at all.  I promise not to judge myself when pouring a glass of wine (or two) if it's one of those.

I cannot pass judgment on myself when blaring The Carpenters rendition of Ave Maria in the morning.  If it sounds right, I'll instead just say "Amen."

I will not let myself or anyone else let me feel bad when forgoing plans to stay home and watch TCM's Cary Grant movie marathon.  It only comes but three times a year!

I will not laugh at myself when tripping over the curb, running into a (non) moving object or person, or just simply experiencing gravity difficulties.  Instead I'll laugh with myself.  Well, myself and everyone else that bore witness.

Oh, this is important:  I am not going to judge myself when giving awkward glances, or saying too much to that guy spotted across the room.  After all his alternatives were the lush at the bar or that girl in the tacky satin halter.  Not that I am judging them either...

Today is just simply not the day for me to make judgment calls on myself.  I have too much to catch up on at my desk, too many phone calls to place to friends and family, and too many things to do before turning in at day's end.  If I don't get all of it done today then I won't have time to judge others tomorrow.

{Image via Pinterest}

Commingling with a significant other's coworkers, or putting the "fun" in "work function"

If you find yourself in a relationship, sooner or later you will also find yourself having to navigate a company function with your significant other. It's anxiety-inducing enough to introduce a boyfriend or girlfriend to your coworkers, but it's a whole 'nother ballgame when it's their reputation on the line and your burden not to besmirch it.

When alcohol is being served (and it generally is), it's important to strike a delicate balance between letting people get to know you, but not too well. I've collected a few tips on remaining collected from personal experience and more than a few mishaps. Here's my guide to being a respectable reflection of your partner:
  1. Keep pace at about half as many drinks as the rest of the party. Never tie the drunkest plus-one or the homeowner/host. 
  2. Do come bearing gifts. Whether that's a hostess gift or a cooler with enough to sustain you and your date, it doesn't matter — just don't come empty-handed.
  3. Engage with and acknowledge people's kids.
  4. (But don't tease them — however tempting that is. Not everyone was raised with parents as sarcastic as yours.) 
  5. Befriend the oldest person there. They are probably responsible for giving your bf/gf a raise, or at the least an influential recommendation. They are also almost always the most fun and often have a secret stash of top-shelf.
  6. Do not, under any circumstances, discuss politics with this new friend.
  7. Look attractive and put together, but not so bangin' that you piss anyone off or draw excessive commentary. 
  8. Respond to questions about the assumed imminence of your engagement/marriage gamely with a nudge to your significant other and a polite change of subject, rather than a sharp glare. Never suggest that marriage and suburban child-rearing is not the shared dream of every GOP-fearing American.
  9. Do find the Margarita maker and learn how to use it. If the event has a bar, always offer to refill or replace surrounding beverages when you go to refresh your own.
  10. Never make fun of a grown man's drink. That Smirnoff Ice might have a backstory — namely that he has Gout, two kids, a mortgage, an official beer ban from the family doctor and no patience for your shit-talking. 
  11. And finally, make much ado about the meat/glorify the grill.  

Ridiculous, in the best way. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy {Cuzzie} Weekend!

Oh my goodness, where did the week go?  We're still recovering from last weekend!  Ah well, as my dear cousin Brooke once said "The best way to detox is to retox."

Speaking of cousins, Brooke and Steph will be coming up to Chicago this weekend, along with the Cardinals and Rams.  Oh my!  If not alive, we should at the very least be coming out of the next three days with some more memorable quotes.  I also have no doubt in my mind that we'll be listening to this song on repeat.

Hope you have a wonderfully September weekend!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Putting the "OK" in Karaoke

This weekend marked the third time in a month that I took the stage and sang "Build Me Up Buttercup."  The act has been completely voluntary each of those times.  I can't explain what leads me up there, or why I can't ever seem to utter the lyrics of another song.  What I can say is that when I steal that microphone away, a legend comes to life.  We're talking lips of an angel, moves of a night queen, presence of a rockstar...karaoke legend.  For anyone who has yet to experience such a performance, you may get your chance someday soon (especially at this kind of rate).  Just listen out for "Suzanne Iovaldi who is celebrating her 21st Birthday and singing Build Me Up Buttercup."  You'll see a 26 year old emerge, but stick around.  It's all part of the show.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy {Bachelorette} Friday!

This weekend Caroline and I will be reunited for the second time this month at the Lake of the Ozarks! It is our dear friend Lauren's Bachelorette Party weekend, and we couldn't be prouder 'maids.  We have no idea what the weekend has in store for us other than two locations with the word "gator" in it, and potentially a lot of foam.  We hope to do you all proud with our pictures come Monday, or depending on the damage done, Wednesday.

Either way we hope you have a LOVEly weekend!

Oh, and M-I-Z!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Thought on Rachel Zoe...

... inspired by the breathless, filtered coverage of #NYFW 2012.

While of course I hope that America's favorite waifish TV stylist lives to be 120, I also pray for my own longevity so that I can read her obit, which I imagine will go something like this:

Rachel Zoe literally died today, presumably of excitement. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our Big Fat Italian Weddings

This past weekend another one bit the dust.  My brother got hitched to a lovely lady in Kansas City.  While still in Missouri, my family (all of whom drove from St. Louis) very much considered this to be a destination wedding.  Really what that means is that there was an available excuse for any and all incidents that would ensue throughout the weekend.  Weddings are serious business with this brood, as they are for most any other.  Here are five things you can expect to find at any nuptials, and what exactly that translates to if you're of, or tied to, my bloodline.

Tears.  Whether it's at that unforgettable moment when the bride emerges from the church doors, or during the Best Man's toast there are inevitably tears to be shed.  What you may not know is that emotions can also run haywire when the band is protective of their musical instruments.  Especially when the instrument in question is the tambourine.

Dancing.  What's a celebration without a little two-step?  Nothing at all.  You can actually spot a number of {talented} dancers at our family affairs.  They boast trademark moves such as "the march," the "fist pump," and a personal favorite of mine "hot legs."

Alcohol.  You have to give the guests something to sip on.  Unfortunately it's impossible to tea total everyone though.  So by the end of the night you'll find that one or two members have possibly been over-self-served.  It's no one's fault when this happens.  Just know that  you may have to get yourself out for one more round on the dance floor when Nicki Minaj's Starships comes on.

Displays of affection.  Love is in the air, so it's quite natural for displays of affection to be given generously.  In the case of my cousins and I we should probably just leave it at that.

Cake.  As Pinterest integrates itself more and more into our daily lives the tradition of a wedding cake is becoming less prominent.  Regardless you will be given dessert in some form or another.  Take it.  And eat it.  Otherwise come sometime after 1:00 A.M. you will be putting in a call to room service.  If the situation is dire enough you may just walk down there yourself and demand it be delivered to you on the spot.  So do yourself a favor and save the money you would spend on an overpriced toasted tortilla a.k.a. "flatbread."  You're much better off spending it on aspirin and Diet Coke in the morning.

{Photo taken by my cousin Erica}

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My first Pumpkin Spice of the Season: a Review in Real-Time

Editor's note: Living in Houston is like being perpetually in that game of "avoid the lava" you played as a child, except for that everyfuckingwhere is the lava.

6:35 a.m.: It's nice-ish out — like, 80 degrees! Is it time? Could this be it? 

7:41 a.m.: *Pull into Starbucks* I don't know, am I pushing it? I don't want to jump the gun here. Can you get it iced? Is that a thing? 

7:42 am.: Fuck that. You cannot and will not get an iced PSL. I refuse to let you dictate my coffee choices or my life, weather! I won't hear it, and I won't respond to it.  

7:45 a.m.: Boldly and with (post-work-out, sweaty underboob) chest high: "I would like a tall Pumpkin Spice Latte, please. And also ... a banana." I have no regrets. No, the banana is not plan B.

8:00 a.m.: *to the two girlfriends I'm with, both of whom rejected the PSL in favor of boring regular coffee* "Smell it." (The latte. Don't be gross.)

8:01 a.m.: ZOMG. It's just as I remembered, only velvetier. I think I need more knits. 

8:12 a.m.: Back at the ranch. I think it's time for boots, maybe! Where are all my tunics? Leggings can you holler? 

8:15 a.m.: What does my boyfriend mean 'what's a tunic?' It's my uniform for FALL, bitch. It's not technically Fall, you say? Well! I had a PSL this morning. So .... take that .... Moon. 

8:25 a.m.: I've got to nuke this thing. Definitely better warm. What was I thinking?! WHY DID I NOT GET A VENTI. 

8:30 a.m.: Do I even own any tunics? This turtle necked, short-sleeve dress will work. That's practical, yet fall-appropriate in case the temperature spikes. 

8:32 a.m.: Who makes a short-sleeved turtleneck? This is stupid. This is the dress equivalent of a fur vest. 

8:35 a.m.: Oh, hey fur vest. I know, I shouldn't throw stones. I'm sorry. 

8:36 a.m.: Is... it fur vest time? 

8:36 - 8:42 a.m.: *Ponders fur vest*

8:43 a.m.: NO. No, no no. Booties, jeans, top, light cardi. Pull yourself together, CHRIST. 

*Sip, and scene.*

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reasons We Love Ryan Lochte

It's true, we consider some things "beneath us."  The grammatical faux pas of confusing their/there/they're, the overuse of emoticons, and of course chiffon ruching.  That being said, it is anything but for us to swoon over a man (see: pathetic Twitter conversations)  who is much on par with the afore listed misdemeanors-save for the chiffon ruching (we hope).  

This week we continue to find reasons to love Ryan Lochte.  Coming straight from the pages of our corporate friends at Forbes, the aspiring fashion mogul is trying to trademark his catchword "Jeah."  Like many wide-eyed pups though, he is unfortunately finding there are a lot of big dogs on the street.  Evidently in 2000 a company came into existence under that same name, and also sought trademark recognition.  Jeah, seriously.  We're hoping this doesn't turn into a courtroom drama (or could that be good reality television?).  Whatever the outcome though, he still has that face.

{Image via Pinterest}

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

20 Things You Realize in Your 20s (and by "You" I Mean "Me")

  1. I want a dog . . . strictly so I have someone to blame my farts on
  2. I'm feeling the sudden urge to wed almost certainly because I believe my wedding will shame all other weddings with its superior weddingness and food-truck fortitude.
  3. Drunk kids are obnoxious, unless it is a special occasion and I am one of them
  4. Saving money is very important and also a super pain in the ass
  5. Scratch that. Saving money for RETIREMENT is super important yet painful (much like cutting the financial umbilical cord to your parents) but saving money for a big purchase, and then making it, is one of the most gratifying feelings in the world. 
  6. My siblings, even the one a decade my junior, might have more insight about adult life than your average therapist
  7. Crash diets do just that . . . crash — likely into a heaping pile of cookie dough that never makes it into the oven
  8. If I spent 1/3 of the time I spend envying other people's successes and wondering how in Christ they did it all, I might manage to do it all myself
  9. Somewhere, someone is probably wondering how I do it all, and we're both wasting perfectly good wonder
  10. We don't have to do it all.
  11. Sometimes a GIF can say more than words ever could
  12. The more grounded you are, the higher you're able to soar. (This is supposed to be a metaphor but is also literally true of trampolines.)
  13. Maintaining Pinterest boards of a beautiful home is almost as satisfying as the real thing
  14. Maintaining Pinterest boards of ultra-fit ladies and rich, delicious home cooking is not. I crave that body and those noms, and I'll probably never have either — certainly not at the same time
  15. If someone has feelings for you and you don't reciprocate, you should tell them. It's the decent thing to do.
  16. Same with picking up litter, returning your grocery cart, and offering seats to old people.
  17. When did it get so HOT? When did shorts get so short? Are they related? Everybody needs to chill. 
  18. While it's fun and fine to dole out relationship advice; steer clear of having opinions on break-ups
  19. Even when you think you're all growed up, there will still be days that your pedicure gets chipped, you cry, and you have to call your mom. 
  20. Miranda wasn't so bad

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Last weekend I took a gamble.  The weather in Chicago was less than ideal, and had been all day.  Still I left my apartment in the midst of packing up, with no umbrella yet the knowledge I would not be back for at least an hour and a half.  Pressing my luck even more, I made that one last stop to Best Buy just so I could round out my "To Do" list of the day.  Well needless to say things did not work out well.  I found myself facing an urban monsoon, left only to calculate my next move by standing under ample overhang at the ground level of the Hancock Building.  Maybe such a predicament would not phase most.  However, I happen to be quite the baby when it comes to rain.  Besides the adverse affects it has to my already terrible driving skills, it leaves unwelcome waves in my locks, and well, I just much rather prefer to be dry.

The thing is though, sometimes you are faced with few options.  It's usually the case that you may just have to go with the one you would least choose under normal circumstances.  On this particular Sunday, if I wanted to make it home at a reasonable hour, I was going to have to make a dash for it.  In the rain.  So that's just what I did.  And I have to tell you, it was quite...refreshing.  

It's not often that you get the chance to see your neighborhood through a sheet of water and a few quick blinks.  If you ever do come by it though, you notice how easily things can change.  Not necessarily in a bad way.  Just in that same kind of way you can.  In a simple and somewhat elegant manner.  Minutes before sprinting past a warmly lit and freshly crowded Starbucks, I was dreading taking that first leap into the streets.  Once I hit the pavement in front of the always beautiful Sofitel though I was laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.  It was comforting to know that I could find enjoyment in unfavorable conditions.  In fact, I would actually admit that I had fun, even if only for the three minutes it took.  Perhaps such a carefree attitude will come find me again when I drop off my water-stained Kate Spade purse at the leather doctor.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Dreams

It's a farewell to summer kind of weekend.  Fear not though.  We have a whole season of football, holidays, and fashion weeks to look forward.

So while you're squeezing out the last ounces from your sunscreen bottles,  enjoy this tune and clip that share the season's namesake.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't speak

 Anyone who knows me knows I like to talk. I'm a word vommer who both craves and delights in human contact, so much so that I am likely to skip the ATM and walk into the bank, and eschew paying at the pump to catch up with my gas station guy. I abhor self-checkout and catch a lot of flack among friends for always insisting on riding shotgun with the cabbie.

Between G-chat, Twitter, Facebook, texting and their ilk, it seems to me that modern technology makes it simpler and simpler to go your whole day without uttering a word to anyone out loud. Hell, you can know how someone's day was without ever asking them, simply by staring voyeuristically at their Instagram feed.

Basically, I'm all about the old-fashioned gift of gabbing it up with friends, family, friends-of-friends, people within earshot of your car open car window . . . you get the gist. I make a concerted effort to interact.

So I didn't know how to feel this weekend at the lake when a friend of ours, a fifth grade teacher, revealed her method of classroom noise-control. Instead of the "use your words, not your hands" mantra that I grew up with, she flipped the switch by teaching her students to use a series of hand motions to convey the scope of their needs and opinions — silently. 

It borrowed heavily from American Sign Language, with a bit of contemporary gesticulation tossed in. For example, "yes" or "I agree" was a double-handed jazz wave of sorts. To convey the opposite, you made the "CUT!" sign a movie director would at your neck. Kinda sassy like. If you had to pee, you crossed your fingers (the way your legs would be if you really had to pee), stuck your hand in the air and waved it around as if to say "THIS IS AN EMERGENCY."

As the night wore on and the moonshine got passed around and the beers got made into shandies and the sun went down, words somehow seemed . . . less important, or maybe just less coherent. So much time was spent recounting words we'd spoken years ago and singing other people's that we didn't have to string together many of our own, original sentences. 

Plus, I have to admit it was pretty convenient to be able to shoot your hand in the air when you had to tinkle. You didn't even have to bother removing the bottle from your face-hole! 

So I suppose the lesson here is that even for a chatty Cathy like myself, when it comes to using your words it boils down to this: 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Friday!

It's Friday, it's Friday!

Caroline is trippin' in the state of Missouri this weekend, while Suz is hard at work celebrating her 26th.  So no new commentary on this day.

Summer's coming to an end soon, folks (sorry, someone had to say it).  So enjoy it with this tune!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Difference

Contemplating badging my age of "26" at the work place tomorrow.  This was so "in" back in 1990.  Well, let's face it, the whole look was.
Well once again my Birthday has found its way to me.  It's not that I have necessarily been avoiding it.  Rather, I just never know what to do with it.  Like so many other matters, I handle the day in a particularly awkward manner.  It's not a day I will ever plan anything for.  The well wishes via phone call, text message, and Facebook while very much appreciated, overwhelm me in many ways.  Yet all the while I very much expect for something to happen.  Not a surprise party kind of something (dear God, that would completely terrify me).  I guess what it is that I wish and hope for most on my Birthday is a feeling of closure for the year of life that has come to an end.  Then of course some imparted wisdom and rays of hope to grow on.

In my mind it's always made more sense to make resolutions for Birthdays rather than the New Year.  Let's face it, the mark of a personal new year is stamped with a number.  While our's country's math proficiency is in the tank, it's funny how quickly we can add, subtract, multiply and divide age differences.  As a quick elementary refresher, the difference is what you end up with when you subtract one item or number from the other.

To let my nerd tendencies run wild, let's just take 26, which I have always had the strange feeling would prove a great year for myself.  At 26 I can chalk up this much: a solid no-fluff resume, a higher sartorial quality closet, and more commitments.  I'll even add the centimeters here and there that were not on my 23 year-old figure.  If we subtract 25 from that, then some unspoken-for-bruises, a bakers dozen of stress-induced wine bottles (the rest can stay), and a few choice words can all be taken out.  We're then left with the difference of a slightly non-committal, borderline workaholic, who is very well groomed.  Hey, I've been called worse things.

So that was then, 25.  Not too shabby by any means.  I just think I can do even better with 26.  It may very well be that I won't know exactly what to do on my actual Birthday.  I'll place even good money though that I'll see myself through in the days after of the year.

It was just so much easier when I asked for Barbies...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On dumping deadbeat boyfriends and dead-end jobs

Breaking up is hard to do

Shortly after I turned 25, I quit what I had thought was my dream job and made a lateral leap of faith. The more hand-wringing I did over this decision, the more it hit me: This felt familiar. I had been dating the same guy for awhile, and had almost forgotten how breaking up feels, and how much it sucks. Even though I was terminating my employment and not ending a romance, it felt nearly indistinguishable.  I felt guilty and sad, but also excited and relieved. I hoped my ex employer was able to find a suitable replacement, and I dreaded running into mutual friends at social functions.

Once I made the deadbeat boyfriend/dead-end job connection, it got easier. I felt more justified, like I deserved better. So I flipped my hair with purpose and marched out the door, onward and upward.

For the benefit of fellow ambitious young people who’ve been convinced they’re lucky to have a boyfriend that doesn’t hit them or a job that pays minimum wage, allow me to illuminate the ways in which leaving a stagnant job is like dumping a bad boyfriend (and why you should do it, do it now):

Move forward or Move on:

If your role evolves but your title won’t, whether that’s from assistant to associate or significant other to spouse, you’re wasting your time.

How long would you date someone before meeting his or her parents? How long would you live with someone before making plans to make it permanent? There comes a point in either relationship — personal or professional — when you realize it’s not going anywhere. And when you stop moving forward, you have to move on.

No bluffing:

When I left the first job I ever loved, my boss asked me why I hadn’t just demanded more money. I had thought about taking my new offer back and laying out an ultimatum, but decided that, in the end, it wouldn’t rectify the root problem.

It’s the same with relationships.

Could you stomp your feet, make empty threats about your imminent departure and demand some grand gesture? Sure. But what would it change, really? Flowers die, and that 2-percent raise doesn’t even cover inflation. I’ve learned first-hand: boyfriends — and bosses — don’t change.

Stop looking and you’ll find it:

It’s when you’re not looking that love — and a job you love — seem to fall into your lap. For me, the fact that I wasn’t willing to accept just anything that came my way meant my next opportunity was worth the wait. I was able to articulate to my prospective employer exactly what I was looking for, what didn’t get me going and what I wanted my day-to-day existence to look like.

Had I gone in reeking of “rebound,” I would have made a less attractive candidate and I wouldn’t have been chased the way I was or treated as well once I was caught.

It’s not me; it’s you:

Sometimes it’s not about diminishing affection or any love lost, you’re simply not being treated well enough. The timing was off.  The effort was unbalanced. Your needs weren’t getting met.

Take ownership of your decision to end it and make your exit with grace; appreciate everything you learned and abandon any resentment or bitterness for your employer or your ex.  After all, you never know when you could use a good reference.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

About Whine with Friends

Whine: verb, \ˈhwīn, ˈwīn\
To utter a plaintive or distressed cry; to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying manner

Wine: noun, \ˈwīn\
An alcoholic fermented juice of fresh grapes; The only and obvious solution to such distress

Friends: Suzanne + Caroline