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!