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.