Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Puppy Love


I wasn't planning on becoming a mom.  One day it just sort of happened.  When you see the pup that's meant to be yours, it's all very sudden.

As it turns out, becoming a mother (be it to dog or human) is exactly how they say it is: challenging.  Rosie though isn't a difficult puppy; it's just difficult to raise a puppy.  Especially whilst juggling a full-time job.  I worry about her...a lot.  So my daily agenda has experienced some changes as a result.  Lunches have turned into short strolls up and down my block, which has resulted in being on a first-name basis with the septagenarions of the neighborhood.  I timed to the minute the two routes leading back home to see which one would get me to "Rosie's house" (her crate) the quickest.  Not to mention the numerous last glasses of wine I've sacrificed in order to ensure getting home in a timely manner so I didn't have to return to whimpers.

One day when I was feeling an inadequate parent for not being able to spend enough time at home to master "sit," I subsequently thought "Thank God."  I am getting this 9-5 working mother guilt behavior, coupled with first-child over-bearing parental guidance over with now.  It's not that I wish Rosie a burdensome adolescence  (over-bearing parental guidance tendency).  I just feel it's less stressful to deal with the other dog-walking moms at the park talking behind my back than it is the carpool moms of human beings (9-5 working mother guilt tendency).

Beyond just maturing past playground gossip though I am learning to give my undivided attention to playtime with squeaky toys.  To not sweat the small things like chewed up leggings.  And maybe most importantly to let someone go ahead of me for the bathroom.  At the end of the day all any of us parents are really looking for are those special moments when they curl up on your lap on a cold winter night.  Right before they abruptly jump up and start splashing around their water bowl all over the kitchen.  How long until they graduate from obedience school?

Friday, December 6, 2013

DMILF doesn't have the same ring to it

A friend (it was Suzanne) recently chided (congratulated?) me on my new status as a "stay at home dog mom." A little more than a month after adopting our puppy and about three weeks since I quit my part-time gig, it's both ridiculous and accurate.

With ample free time on my hands and an adorable new fixation to fill it, things have gotten a little weird. I would, and have, referred to my dog and I as being "close."

 In no particular order, here are some of the stranger things I've done for/to my pup in the name of good parenting:
  • Felt a totally strange sense of swelling pride when anyone refers to my dog as "handsome," "good-looking" or "studly," as if my own genetic material is to thank. (This happens all the time, by the way. He's a canine Ryan Gosling.) *BEAMS*
  • As a person who despises baby talk of any kind, whether between parent and child, couples, or ESPECIALLY when perpetrated by those people who inexplicably believe others find it attractive when they speak like they're only partially developed . . . I hate that I talk to my dog in a mixture of gibberish and high-pitched coos of admiration. I make myself cringe. I cannot stop.
  • Once, at a park, Gibbs got one of his raging boners of excitement and in the course of running around covered his red rocket with grass and other debris. Not understanding (and I still do NOT get this) what would happen to the muck once it receded back into his body — like, where does it go? That cannot be good for him — I looked around and furtively wiped his doggie dick off with my sleeve. I am confident that no one saw me only because I have yet to be reported for bestiality.
  • We have a series of inside jokes and it is definitely possible that only I find them funny. For example, I often speak to my dog in private in an Irish accent (he has almost certainly never been to Ireland) and have given him several additional nicknames — Mr. Wiggles, Little Man, Boobie (???) — that probably only confuse him but which I consider to be special terms of endearment. 
But although I am self-aware enough to see and acknowledge the crazy, if this is wrong, I don't want to be right:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Last week I attempted to write a rebuttal to my dear friend Caroline's attack on the GSElevator's "How To Be A F%#king Man" post.  It fell way short of anything I would consider readable.  Which I suppose is telling in some ways.  I fall under the category of twentysomething girls who have no idea what they are looking for in a guy from one day to the next.  We live in a world where a "contemporary man" can be easily muddled with an "arrogant a$$hole."  Or are they really the same?  According to Caroline, yes.  When I first read GSElevator's post, which by the way made its way to CNBC and Business Insider (a daily go-to of mine) I was sold hook, line and sinker.  The post is written in such a manner that certain key points stick out more than others, especially to girls who pride themselves on "standards."  It seemed as though Cary Grant himself dictated phrases such as "you will regret your tattoos," "when in doubt, kiss the girl," and "measure yourself only against your previous self" to some young protege.  They were enough to overlook the tips like "own a handgun" and "do 50 push-ups, sit-ups, and dips before you shower each morning."  

If I'm being honest I agree with 63% of this list.  Of the remaining 37%, 15% comes from disagreements with the actual "advice," while the other 22% comes from giving the notion that such a man, or better yet-population of men-even exists.  I know men who brunch and roll up their ties in a designated tie drawer.  I also know men who take the time to understand ERAs and become regulars at more than one bar.  These are not the same type of man.  The 15% of points I inherently disagree with is able to be overlooked.  You should always give any person that much variance for benefit of the doubt.  

The 22% is the problem that twentysomethings-not just girls, but the whole demographic-faces: long checklists.  A few years ago, fresh off graduating from college, mine and Caroline's friend Julie and I took a road trip to Chicago for St. Patrick's Day.  At the time Julie was seriously dating her now-husband, Ross and the picture of a life together looked very clear.  While mine was as fuzzy as our weekend there.  Though I did not think of it as such.  On the way home Julie and I discussed our "futures."   Hers included the basics: someone she enjoyed bringing to family parties, a partner for DIY home projects, and a personal comedian-even if it was sometimes at the expense of his Star Trek anthology.  Mine included all of the above (though I couldn't really see a Star Trek trilogy finding a place amongst my Sex and the City collection) with the additions of being financially savvy (wanting and financing multiple homes), being cultured (traveling to a new foreign country and new U.S. city every year), and owning a boat.  OWNING A BOAT.  I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you, but that's not even a quality.  These were just a few items among a laundry list I had in my head, but did not have the time to vocalize all during our trip home.  Again-this was a few years ago, and I am [not-so] proud to admit that it did not take long for me to realize such things were just...well, all the things you are thinking.  If I was making a list though, why not throw those on there?

Lists, outlines, bullet points-whatever your preference-are one of today's greatest forces of evil.  People exist.  Lists do not.  I cannot even purchase a full grocery list at the treasure trove that is Trader Joe's.  So how is a person-inherently born with faults-supposed to embody one?

When I originally drafted and [irresponsibly] posted this response last week I conceded to Caroline.  If it's possible to take that back, I'd like to call it a draw.  While I agree that the "Contemporary Man" seems more fictional than heroic, I find it at the very least aspirational.  After all, guys should be ambitious enough to read a piece even more lofty than one that could be found in The Economist.  However, I'll always take a guy who prefers his whiskey over his concern for sartorial togetherness.  And I think that a girl who prefers otherwise should be entitled to her gem.  Both, I am quite sure, could turn out to be fine, nice men living in these contemporary of times.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

On GSElevator and the Modern Man

When this article came out — a collaboration between the (heretofore assumedly satirical) @GSElevator and CNBC's John Carney — Suz and I responded disparately in a manner that quite surprised us both.

She found much of the advice — for example "always carry cash" and "measure yourself only against your previous self"— helpful to our contemporary dating pool, while I found the article in sum, with such directives as "hookers aren’t cool, but remember, the free ones are a lot more expensive," and "time is too short to do your own laundry," to be completely maddening.

"Not only do I want NOTHING to do with the 'man' who fulfills this list, I hope he's drafted into active combat," I griped to the writers on Twitter. (They didn't respond, presumably because I wasn't leaning against a bar wishing someone would approach and split the dessert they're too manly to eat but don't want to share.) "No laundry? Only host if someone else cleans it up? I'd prefer my men not coddled into impotence, but thanks anyway."

Six weeks later, I'm still seething at a steady simmer and Suz is still a little turned on. But equally as passionate as our disagreement on the subject is our shared adoration for one thoroughly modern male specimen: Liev Schreiber. While Suzanne argues that Liev is the debonair personification of such advice, I argue that despite some side effects of an inherently vain profession, he is a (pre-earring) Harrison Ford-style male movie star who would be appalled at the wastes of space that heed it.

We decided on a good old-fashioned debate: Is Liev Schreiber maple syrup or artificial sweetener? Bourbon or flavored vodka? Creating something out of nothing or just moving shit around?

I worked out the kinks of the argument as follows; we'll need y'all to weigh in:

Black coffee and mowing your own lawn:
- He's an unabashed family man
Exhibits A, B, C

- He doesn't mind looking uncool
It takes a certain confidence to pull this off.

- He sports unshaped facial hair
A beard shouldn't require tools; that defeats the purpose. 

- He doesn't just go for the money
Liev is a respected stage actor with a Tony award in addition to blockbuster cred.

- He knows how to rough it
One look at this New Yorker profile and you know this man wouldn't shy away from some rough-and-tumble wilderness or from trying something new.

Hair that can't accommodate a baseball cap and cuticle cream: 
-He goes by his middle name
Liev's actual name is Isaac, a perfectly normal name his parents obviously preferred but he chose to forgo.

I'll allow it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy {Inspirational} Weekend!

In lieu of a silly song to kickoff the weekend, here are some truly inspirational words from some genuinely lovely people.  They are great reminders of the meaningful impact the human spirit holds.  Everyone go out and do something great this weekend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Liev Schreiber or The Contemporary Man

Recently, an op-ed was released on Business Insider in conjunction with CNBC on what makes a real man in today's world.  It's rare that Caroline and I disagree on subjects that tend to be polarizing (Liev Schreiber being one we emphatically agree "yes" on).  In fact, I'm not sure it's ever happened.  However, when this was released...well we found we don't always sit on the same wavelength.  Take a read, even if for the third or fourth time, and formulate your thoughts.  In the coming days Caroline and I will each further divulge on our personal soapboxed in regards to the matter.  Sit tight!

{Image Credit: People}

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Happy {Sister Sister} Weekend!

Happy weekend filled with bridal dress shopping, Birthdays and general merriment!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3rd

The day the Internet explodes.  An actual day of a Mean Girls reference and #tbt.  (If you live in St. Louis this may ring even more true, as today is Game One of Cardinals post-season baseball).

Pardon, while I disconnect.

...Okay, actually that wasn't a good idea.  Surfers (of the Internt nature) beware though.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Back to Basics

Whenever I consider makeshifting my makeup routine or consuming an "adult" beverage that comes in a styrofoam cup because it worked in college, all I need to do is remind myself of the above.

{Text via A Cup of Jo}

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy {CoMo} Weekend!

This song puts into words all the emotions I felt after leaving Columbia some four years ago (yikes!).  Laugh if you want, but Harry Styles and his gang sing it like it is.  I have so much excitement for the weekend ahead, being back at the happiest place on Earth that it's almost too much.  Please keep me in your thoughts as Monday is sure to be a rough road.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Undated & Other Words to Know

Being a twentysomething single girl in 2013 has many advantages, including, but not limited to having the flicker of hope to complete a juice cleanse.  When we are not over-exerting our bank accounts on Lululemon though, we are trying to navigate through our one great challenge: dating.  The world of courtship has dramatically changed since Lindsay Lohan essentially single-handedly got her parents back together bi-continentally without so much as even a laptop.  Even when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan gave us a glimpse that other forms of communication could soon be involved, no one could have prepared us for the world of smart phones.  It's not that I am necessarily trying to victimize my generational demographic, but I would say it's at least food for thought.  Not since the Doris Day to Jane Fonda transitional era has there been such a cultural shift in the world of dating.  All hope is not completely lost (after all, there is GPS now), but there is a lot of fine print between the lines (thanks a lot, Groupon).  Here's a brief cheat sheet of what the world of lust and lost lust looks like as we know it.

Awkward:  Not to be confused with "weird," this is when one party really likes the other party, but the same cannot be said the other way around.
Charading:  You met someone at a bar exchanged numbers, have text conversations that are 55% true, and have no real intention of ever seeing each other again.
Dating:  You text, meet up at actual restaurants, have met at least a couple of each others' friends, and are just waiting for one of the two of you to bring up the conversation of being "together."
Geographically Undesirable: A very easy excuse to use when appropriate for an "awkward" situation.
Had a Thing With:  A very vague term referencing a time when two people may have been "together," or may have just been "talking."  It's probable that things ended up "weird."
Hooking Up:  Events happen that are not proper topics for Sunday dinner table talk.
Not Sure What We Are:  You know exactly what you are, and it's not "together" but you're waiting to see if incriminating photos appear on your Facebook Newsfeed.  This way you can at least have some drama to consume your time.
Relapsing:  a) Making the same mistake twice with the same person or b) Filling a void of time with someone from the past who also has some time available.
Shacking:  A word you should only reserve for college, even if circumstances are exactly the same post-college.
Talking:  A person of conversation you hope your friends ask you about at Sunday brunch.
Together:  Having lack of fear that anything you say will ever get to your POI (that's "person of interest" for you amateurs out there) because they are now loyal to you first and foremost.
Undating:  Formally telling someone you wish to no longer dine with them.  However, you may have a friend with a lot of points on OpenTable who would be great to get in touch with.
Weird:  Not to be confused with "awkward," this is when things are over, but no formal PR release (a.k.a. Friday night happy hour gossip) has been made.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


This weekend I want to wish the safest and happiest of trailing to the co-author of this blog-my dear friend, Caroline!  Hoping your next year in NOLA is filled with mounds of macaroons and heaps of hurricanes.  [The second part we know is a guarantee.]  Count me in for Mardi Gras-I call "couch!"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


In case it wasn't broken down for anyone before, the universal bylaws of "girl code" are being recorded at a rapid pace recently.  I would venture to guess that if, as a human race, we can get this hammered out then world peace is on the way.  Some to most guys out there may laugh, joke and mock at this matter.  Let me lay a real life situation in your lap though...

You're at the epicenter of all female drama: the late night bar.  A middle-aged man strikes conversation with a younger girl, briefly left alone by her friends.  The conversation is likely to go absolutely nowhere, but continues on nevertheless.  Moments later her best friend rejoins her.  While Friend A already knows the obvious (middle-aged single man and almost too "well-dressed") she's already combing through all the possibilities of wine tastings and Oscar-hopeful movie dates in her mind.  Friend B though immediately notices the shoes and knows a good thing when she sees it.  So when the time comes for the bar to close, there they all are: Friend A, Friend B and Rupert Everett.  I think we all know how this ends.  Friend B naturally shells out her number first, while Friend A is left desperately trying to whore out her dreams of a Tony Awards Dinner Party, complete with interludes of throwback musical numbers.

All this is to say that if the asterisk was not already there before, gay boyfriends are to be treated in the same way as heterosexual boyfriends.  It's #girlcode, girlfriends.

{Image via Miss Moss}

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wake Me Up When [This] September [Heat Wave] Ends

"Don't you love New York in the fall?  I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."--You've Got Mail

Due to the Great Heat of August/September '13 we have taken shape into molten-like creatures.  As a result, our words were not forming into complete sentence...since July.  While we begin to take relief on this this day of cooler temperatures, please enjoy some breezy autumn tunes.

(Image via Pinterest)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chicago: A Love Affair

af·fair [uh fair] noun anything done or to be done; anything requiring action or effort; business; concern

Three years ago I made somewhat of an impulsive move to come to Chicago.  This was after I had already purchased a house right after graduating St. Louis.  I actually spent my freshman year in Chicago at Loyola, and it was a hard decision then to transfer to Mizzou-though I always say it was the best one I've ever made.  Chicago has tugged on my heart strings for as long as I could remember.  I just could never shake it.  Moving there was something I had to do for myself.  

Recently though that pull just wasn't there anymore.  I cast my doubts about it aside, but eventually had to face facts that things just weren't the way they used to be.  My main objective these past few years was career success.  If I can give myself a momentary pat on the back, for someone of my age I achieved greater than I imagined.  I'm somewhat of a workaholic though in most facets of life, and when one goal is crossed off it's time to start a new one.  When career started to be less of a concern, the thing I kept coming back to was a home life.  Foreign ideas sprung to mind like dishes coming fresh out of the oven, picking out fabrics to upholster furniture in, and the always important dinner party.  Those are really the things I have been coveting these last few months, hard as I tried to deny it.  It just seemed so simple though.  How could I leave a city as cultured and wonderful as Chicago for...braised pork chops?  

I've been struggling with the word "commitment" for a long time now.  Perhaps since birth.  Most of the time, the first step to learning is to pick up a book.  So I picked up the dictionary and looked up this word "commitment."  It took all of one second to read, but about six months to understand:  
commitment: engagement; involvement.  Being involved, staying engaged.  I could not honestly say that I had a desire to be either of those to Chicago.  I just had a need three years back to be here.  Typically though there are some tell-tale signs that you or someone you know are having an affair.  Looking back on my time here I am not sure how I didn't know sooner.

Passions and interests:  You have to have the same passions and interests to hold anything of substance with someone or something.  As I alluded to before, my interests and passions were evolving.  Not necessarily changing, but taking new forms.  Ones that were more supported and aligned in St. Louis.

Faith: Perhaps my biggest fortune while here was realizing faith.  You have to have faith to keep going in whatever it is you are going through in life.  Shortly followed by that realization is knowledge.  It didn't take me long to know that I had lost faith in a lot of things here.  Including, but not limited to, the almighty number from the guy at the bar.

Sadness Confused As Doubt:  Some people are better at making decisions than others, but no one likes making hard ones.  We think we're doubting ourselves often times when we have to make a tough decision.  The reality is we're sad to see something end.  To admit we've grown apart and that we have to move on is quite simply, difficult.

Staying for the Wrong Reasons:  I love to shop.  Chicago has every major retailer and important designer within its city limits.  I love not having to drive.  Chicago allows me to take public transportation, and more importantly Uber cabs here.  I love to try new restaurants and foods.  Chicago is the #1 city for dining.  I have so much right at my fingertips in Chicago.  None of them are actual reasons to stay though.

You're Not Always Right:  I've never been good at admitting I'm wrong.  Don't expect this to be one of those times where I do either.  It's just I was never right to assume that this could be my city.  I have no other word but "gracious" to describe the time I have spent here.  The streets I've explored, the restaurants I've ate at, the friends I've made, and my incredible career experience are invaluable to the person that I will be in the years to come.  

Chicago will always be one of the great loves of my life.  A grand affair to say the least.  It's time though to become engaged again.  To involve myself not just in passing phases, but lasting commitments.

So until we meet again, long, farewell!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Week In Review

Reviewing this week's big headlines from Gchat, text messages, and beyond.
  • Has anyone ever looked more boss than Liev Schreiber seems to in Ray Donovan?  {Answer: no.}
  • Good wit is hard to find, and well appreciated.  Welcome to Twitter, Hillz; you're profile is brillz!
  • Theoretically speaking, nothing ever really goes away with Snapchat.
  • If it's on Broadway, I probably cried.
  • Team Gretchen or Team Anyone Else?  {My vote: Team Anyone Else}
  • Keeping with Bravo, if you're not watching Million Dollar Listing, you're missing out on Ryan Serhant (a younger-and "real" life- Mr. Big).  Oh, and the New York real estate market is fascinating-really!
  • Is 26 the age of regression for women in the workplace, or the awakening of the entrepreneurial spirit?  Taking shelter at home is sounding better and better these days.  Must be all that twerking.
  • Okay, but really 26 ain't that old.  At all.  Let's brush up on our street lingo, ladies.  Don't let yourself fall victim to bad circumstances because of poor vocabulary.
  • An addict and I know it.
  • I thought I was in love and then I got to know the guy.  How could I be so wrong, when I'm always so right?  #MadMen
  • More wine, please.
  • Yeah, sure we'll watch the U.S. Open this weekend.  We're big golf fans.
  • Happy June 15th to me!!!!  This retail freeze was killer.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Big 1-5

Perhaps a 15th anniversary is the first mile marker of "feeling old" for some.  At least it seemed to hit people as such this past week when the beloved series, Sex and the City, passed that mark.  For me though it felt rather appropriate if anything.  I remember very little about Sex and the City making its debut because, well, I was 12 and [fortunately] sheltered.  What little memory I do have of its inception to premium cable television is that someday, not too far off, I would know what "it" was all about.  Not just the show, but everything surrounding it.  The fashion, the men, city life, and most importantly who I was (my 12 year old self instinctively identified with Charlotte).  Sure enough, 10 years and some change after that first episode aired, I wound up the proud owner of the bible and both movies.  I have cited every episode at least once in either giving advice to a friend, or justifying my own behavioral patterns.  In other words, I've learned some things from these gals, including the fact that you can be a hybrid, such as myself (Suzanne Iovaldi: A hybrid of Carrie and Charlotte-she so badly wants to wind up with a Harry, but she'll always go for, and wind up with, a Big.).

Yes, the show is...a show.  Meaning that the situations depicted are distorted for entertainment, and the characters themselves works of fiction contrived from someone's imagination. it really?  Just a show?

Some very importants lessons learned and moments shared from this work of genius:
  • Every girl wants a sign.  (Season One, Episode 12) {Side note: for the best version of the song playing in the end, "No Regrets," see Phoebe Snow
  • It happened to Carrie Bradshaw, it happened to Hannah Horvath, and it most certainly happened to you.  You're with the "new Yankee", and then you have a run-in.  Just climb back into that rabbit hole. (Season Two, Episode One)
  • I am not a Samantha, but I admire the gal's character.  Having a friend or two who are "Samanthas" is a true gift.  I wouldn't trade mine in for the world.  (Season Two, Episode Seven)
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.  While a hairdryer we can live without...on most days.  (Season Two, Episode 11)
  • Any girl would go to great lengths for the mother-in-law of her dreams.  (Season Two, Episode 15)
  • Grammar's not only important, it's endearing.  (Season Three, Episode Three)
  • If it's not a hotel bar, it's a baseball game.  Or a restaurant in Seattle while you're on business.  It doesn't matter where, you will probably get on that elevator. (Season Three, Episode Nine) 
  • It's one thing to not try things on when you're a Size 0.  It's another when you're a size 4/6.  (Season Three, Episode 12)
  • Who doesn't love a very random #tbt to the days of smoking pot?  Anecdotally, will things really be as funny and memorable once it's legalized?   (Season Three, Episode 15)
  • Falling down has since become the least embarrassing thing that could ever happen to me.  I thank Carrie Bradshaw very much for this as it happens to me a lot.  (Season Four, Episode Two)
  • No self-respecting girl actually backs up their computer. (Season Four, Episode Eight)
  • There are city folk, and there are country folk.  And it's just a matter of birthright.  (Season Four, Episode Nine)
  • Everything's better in The Hamptons [and also perhaps the most important episode of the series.]  (Season Five, Episode Eight)
  • The grass is always greener in Paris (or Chicago).  But home is where your friends are.  (Season Six, Episode 20)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Do you? Me too

For other girls, I imagine picturing their engagement goes something like this:

For me, it was always more like this:


When I did get engaged, this past March, my feelings about the prospect of someone voluntarily committing to hang out with me — every day, for always — evolved rapidly.

If I had to characterize it in one word — outside of "flaffling," or flatteringly baffling — I would call it a relief. Not necessarily because I was worried it would never happen (although that might have been a legitimate concern), but because it's actually quite liberating.

No matter how long you've been with someone, how "serious" you are or how intertwined your lives have become, it's indescribably freeing to suddenly be able talk about the future without constantly having to couch the conversation in hypotheticals. "If you and I end up together..." "If we ever have kids..."

Now when my fiancé (weird) and I discuss our future, our hopes for it and our plans, it’s with a singularity that didn’t exist before. My future is his future. His children my children.

It's strange; It’s as if everything, and nothing, has changed.

Even when you come back from a celebratory weekend away, as we did, and get straight back to day-to-day doldrums like laundry and dishes, conversations about how things are going at work, ambitions spoken aloud and simple insights are all given a new, shared weight.


The Story.

For some people, getting engaged comes with a newly significant landmark — a corner table at their favorite restaurant, perhaps, or a particularly scenic overlook. 

For me, it's a lamp post in the parking lot of a classic Houston Mexican joint, the Original Ninfa's on Navigation

See, I ruined my own proposal at nearly every turn. I almost canceled the weekend girls' trip that was also my roommate and manpanion's only chance to ring shop in peace. Then when he went to ask my mother's permission after a handful of attempts to catch her at home (sure that a non-spontaneous meeting would get back to me), I decided that night would be a good time to catch up with an old family friend — whose front porch faces my Mom's front door.

And when he asked me to dinner one utterly un-suspicious Thursday night, I double booked him with a late dinner/early happy hour, steamrolling his plan to propose in the intimate privacy of our shared apartment. Instead, I insisted he pick me up after a couple of cocktails with a girlfriend and spent the car ride condemning mixed man-signals on her behalf — all while he tried, in vain, to steer the conversation to our beginnings (in which this restaurant played a part) and our future.

Craving queso and not in the mood for "a little walk" around the not-so-scenic surrounding neighborhood, he was forced to hit a knee in the gravel parking lot in a last-ditch, do-or-die final moment of privacy. I wasn't sure if he was tying his shoe or had been iced. When it finally sunk in, I dropped my purse and joined him in the dirt; the height disparity wasn't working for me.

The first person to know/congratulate us, technically, was the security guard, who happened to motor by in his golf cart. It occurs to me that he may have thought, initially, that I had lost an earring or something.

It's not the most elaborate proposal story or maybe the most conventionally romantic, but it is my favorite.

It's an honor just to be considered, truly

It has all the necessary elements: secrecy, the suspense of asking permission for silly tradition's sake, champagne, melted cheese. 

The boy I love and with whom I share most everything went to great lengths over many months, acting completely alone, to urge our comfortable, functional as-is relationship into deeper, uncharted and more profound territory. Sink or float, we were tying up.

In the end — despite NYT trend pieces on the subject — I'd say it’s not so much how someone asks you to marry them, but that someone asks you to marry them. To like a person enough to propose hanging out with them until you’re dead is pretty huge. (Especially considering that, depending on your religious beliefs, you might not be able to count on even that reprieve.)

Days later as I assessed our new same-yet-different circumstances, I observed aloud that we were going to be just fine in life. "No," he said, "We'll be happy."

So, in conclusion:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy {Mother's Day} Weekend!

It's hard when you can't see your Mom as easily as you would like.  Especially on Mother's Day Weekend.  I found myself in quite a few moments this week when just simply being around my Mom would have helped my day go by a little smoother.  It's a darn shame there aren't principal's offices in the workplace so for her to call and fetch you out of work, by the way.

Fortunately enough, my Mom instilled enough warm thoughts, traits, and interests to get me through any day.  This song, actually has no direct significance to our relationship.  When it shuffled on to my iPod though I was immediately and inexplicably filled with joy.  To know and appreciate the sounds of Rosemary Clooney is gift enough.  To be able and assign that sound to memories, people, and hopes-not to mention an unsolicited smile in a day filled with furrowed brows-well, that's indebtedness.

On my better days I'm what some would call "sassy."  Translated in the world of motherhood that means "a handful."  [And those are my better days.]  So this Mother's Day I am more than thankful for the many helping hands my Mom was blessed with.  Those and harvest moons, of course.  After all, my Mom was an early October baby.

"So you see, you can't do everything alone."--Rosemary Clooney

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Yesterday I Got an iPad. And Then I Was an Adult.

Until now the full realization of adulthood has not set in for me.  Then yesterday happened.  Well a culmination of things happened, which brought upon yesterday.  See yesterday I bought an iPad.

A few weeks back I filed my taxes and came into (or rather the government paid me back) a decent sum of money.  Somewhat immediately I decided half of it would be spent on an iPad and accessories.  Accessories meaning a new Kate Spade bag to properly tote said iPad around in.  

So there I was yesterday on my couch after my much awaited trip to the Apple Store.  Me, my laptop, my iPhone, and my brand new shiny iPad.  Talk about feeling gluttonous.  What in the world was I doing with all this tech?  If I had an iPhone to text, make calls, and do other simple tasks with what did I need to delegate to this iPad?  And if I computed, Pinned, and stored my music library on my laptop...well, again what was I to delegate to the iPad?  I remember distinctly thinking on more than one occasion that I needed an iPad.  Suddenly though I just could not remember what that reason (or were they reasons?) were.  Was it because of the Kate Spade bag?  It seemed more than likely, but then again I have a whole Board full of other bags.  Then it hit me (well it hit me after a direct text message from my Mother).  I bought the iPad because I could.  I came into a small windfall, or suplus of funds on the month and was able to afford myself a gadget.  In particular, a gadget that I could do things like read more relevant publications, makes tasks more efficient, and general ease of travel over a laptop.  It was an adult purchase in purpose to do adult things.

Oh, and that bag?  That was just to look good.  #Duhzies 

{Image Credit: Banner Banter}

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Under the Bamboo Tree

In defense of human rights, love, and common sense I'd like to think that all people have an open lease to live Under the Bamboo Tree.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Guys Like Girls In Yoga Pants: The Ultimate Grassroots Marketing Effort

Just last week I found myself falling victim to the marketing trap that is Lululemon.  Beyond the fact that they do actually sell a premium product, and that I have been a yoga enthusiast since high school, I knew why I was really buying the gear.  Because guys like girls in yoga pants.  No, this is not Lulu's actual marketing campaign.  It just kind of emerged as a grassroots effort by a very niche demographic: college aged/entry-level working girls with a "limited" support allowance looking for their next full-time support allowance.  And by-golly if their strategy didn't work.  I know this because it has been confirmed by several males I trust (in matters such as this).  So there I was, not once, but twice at the Lululemon register and feeling just awesome walking home in the freezing cold with my environmentally friendly shopping bags.  I knew in some ways what a lollipop I was, but it just really didn't matter.  These legs are going to look good.

{Image Credit: LithoShop via Swissmiss}

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Lately I've been obsessed with obsessing.  Well to clarify, I think so much has always been true.  And that's exactly what I have been obsessed with most recently.  That I can easily become obsessed.  The matters range widely.  Let's see the earliest real obsession I can think of were book series (Berenstein Bears, Little House on the Prairie, The Baby-Sitters Club, and Gossip Girl to name a few).  Then I discovered love in the name of Leonardo DiCaprio, which oddly enough faded to the background for Peyton Manning (a sense of taste being developed).  My current obsession is this past week's Season finale of Girls and the ending credits song performed by Fun. I have been obsessed with Christmas, restaurant lists, berets, test taking, Sex and the City (duh), classic films, presidential elections, Moroccon oil, Ross and Rachel, Kate Spade sample sales, Sting's "Ten Summoner's Tales album, baking muffins, closet space organization, online photo ordering, manicures, Beanie Babies, award shows, juice cleanses, Mad Men, the Kennedy family, The Today Show, the year 1946, family photos, Broadway revivals, #11in11 and other lovely October baseball nights, When Harry Met Sally, stationary, the European stock market, eggs...and well now I've already lost track.  Some go, many stay.  Typically about three to five major obsessions are held at any one time as it is much easier to focus my time that way.  Focus of time has been another obsession.  Quite frankly it all sounds exhausting, and I suppose at times it has been.  When you get to the end of one obsession's line that void can haunt you just as much as Florence + The Machine's cover of "Addicted to Love."  It's a disturbingly comforting thought though to know that the next second-level-of-Starbucks-on-Oak-and-Rush is probably just right around the corner.

{Image via Pinterest, found originally by Christine!}

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy {It's Alright} Weekend!

Sometimes when you have a lot on your mind, the best thing to do is...well not think much about it at all.  Hope your weekend comes bundled with some carefree moments.  Spring is just around the corner, so start cleaning out those gutters!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Holiday

I used to think it was cute and cheeky how the British use the word "holiday" instead of "vacation."  Oh, those Brits.  After the past week and a half or so though I might be starting to catch their drift.  A vacation can actually start feeling like a holiday very quickly.

Just the other weekend I had the great pleasure to have a weekend away in San Francisco where my dear friend Margaret recently moved to.  From the moment of buying my ticket on a Southwest fare sale the month prior, the anticipation built.  Eventually it soon became the eve before, and if it weren't for the spa night I had treated myself to in honor of Valentine's Day, I'm not sure if I would have caught a wink of sleep.  Not necessarily because my level of excitement was so high, as much as I was in a state of utter confusion over what to pack for the temperatures.  Nothing is more confusing than the range of 50s to low 70s Fahrenheit in just a weekend's time.  Scarves?  Jackets?  Tights?  Was more less or less more?  It was California after all.  Again, thankfully the massage (and facial) had wound me down...

The state of disarray that was my luggage did turn out to be the lone symbol of stability of that weekend.  I say that because all it did was sit.  My friends and I on the other hand did anything but.  We tackled the busy crowds at the market.  We waited in lines for just one cup of coffee (okay actually that was just me).  We dined on oysters and artisan sandwiches.  Sipped on craft cocktails and wine.  Climbed the steepest of hills.  Then we had to have a driver take us to Napa so we could tour wineries and have a gourmet lunch complete wines.  Oh, and the shopping.  The things we had to go through to enjoy such a lovely city. Of course I don't even have to mention the fact that we all had to deal with each other for the entire course of it.  It was simply exhausting.

A lot of work goes into holidays.  You scour the sales and put in weeks of preparation in finding just the right things and making sure the packaging is just perfect-or at least shows as little distress as possible.  Crowds are fought and lines waited out, but all in the good name of friendly faces and holiday cheer.  Sometimes you find yourself in a squabble, though only for a good meal and more help from the wine, to turn it into a fit of giggles.

The most exhausting part of any holiday though is when you sit down.  Everything before that moment you were just having a blast, even with the squabbles.  The minute you sit down though you realize your aches, pains, and general mental fatigue.  Then you get right to thinking about your next joyful holiday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guest of honor: How to party properly at your next wedding

Last year, the manpanion and I partied in various stages of excess at nearly a dozen weddings. Drawing on our shared expertise, I wrote a column on what we've learned when it comes to wedding etiquette for a local digital magazine:

I’ve found that many questions of etiquette and expectation can be determined by your relationship to the couple. A close childhood friend, for example, has a little more leeway than say, an acquaintance from the office. But an old classmate might have less wiggle room than a long-suffering sibling who’s finally able to blow off the frustrations of 15 months of DIY wedding crafts.

What follows is a breakdown — from experience — of what’s acceptable wedding behavior based on the degrees of separation between you, the guest, and the adoring couple:

Wedding party: You helped plan the party, or at least execute it. You’ve devoted considerable hours and funds to toasting the happy couple, so you’re permitted to shed your shoes and your inhibitions. Just keep pace with the rest of the ‘maids and ‘men and don’t abuse the party bus.
Read the rest over at CultureMap Houston and let me know if we're more dream guest or hot mess. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy {Girls Getaway} Weekend!

Few things make you feel better than the knowledge that will you be getting the heck out of dodge.  If you can't make it somewhere lovely, as say, San Francisco just you know, makeshift it.  This is what Target is for.

Here's to hoping that the wine is overflowing and the laugh keeps on coming for you this weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's One Of Those...

So this is one of those kind of posts.  You know, the "do better" type.  Today is the first day of the Lenten season.  What this means is that a second chance exists for all wannabe-Catholics to make good on their New Year's Resolutions.  And let's be real here.  Any Catholic [that I know] is a wannabe-Catholic, as little to none of us fit in the actual "protocol" of the Catechism.  Being that I tend to be of type-A personality, I still try very hard [at times] to fit in the role of model disciple.

This business of "giving something up" though has always baffled me.  The theme of Lent is "sacrifice," true.  However, if you look at the story, and I mean in the most simplistic of ways, it's about sacrifice for others.  In Lents gone by I have given up biting my nails.  While my nails now may be perfectly manicured every two weeks (during ideal seasonal climates), I am not sure this made a darn bit of impact in anyone else's life.  [However, if anyone is looking for a good nail shop in the Greater Chicago and St. Louis areas, or would like a polish suggestion, please do not hesitate to stop and ask me.]  The thing is though, giving up something for the betterment of yourself just seems so...uninspired.  You really think giving up sweets is going to help you?  I don't.  If it weren't for the chocolate frosted donut(s) sitting in front of me today I would have lost my marbles.  And if I hadn't had it(them) no one's day would have been better or worse for it.

Today I felt like actually challenging myself.  What do I actually over-indulge in that affects my ego-sphere?  Wine?  Sushi?  Retail?  That just sounds like a fabulous night in, and separately they are all completely harmless.  For the most part.  Now talking that is something that I enjoy, but that I can tend to take too far in the wrong direction.  And unfortunately that other direction is always in someone else's way.  So what if i just stopped trying to go that way?  That route of vocalizing here and there some tarnished comment about someone else?  It's so reflexive sometimes, but in the same jagged way as always grabbing a chocolate from the candy dish even when you're full.

I like to keep things moving, always.  That doesn't mean things don't deserve a second or two to sit on. This Lenten season I am really going to try and not vocalize anything negative about anyone.  Since I am not perfect (and again, believe me, I try VERY hard to be) I will inevitably leave behind some remarks.  Hopefully I will be able to recognize that, and for every one had I will donate $1 to The Bully  Project.

By the way, this isn't a "religion" thing.  It's a "people" thing.  Sometimes it's just nice to have a reminder.

As always, be well.

Note:  At the very minimum a $100 guaranteed donation will be made to The Bully Project.

{Image via Pinterest}

Monday, February 11, 2013

Party Crashers

In case you've been exploring the great outdoors (and let's be honest, you haven't), we're in full blown awards season.  The races are tight, and the guest lists seem to be surprisingly open.  While many celebs are a welcome treat to every evening, quite a few posers exist among the likes of Nicholson, Julia, and Clinton (Hil or Bill).  This awards season more than any other it seems two in particular have canoodled climbed their way to the top of all the big red carpet evenings.

Here's to hoping these faces don't turn up at "The Big Show":

Taylor Swift

Really, it's getting to the point where I almost feel bad for the Kennedy-robbing lost little girl.  And by "little girl," I mean seriously act your age (ahem, 22) not your upper arm's width size.  That includes knowing you will end up as another meme on the Internet after every big night.  So just sit, and...

 Jennifer Lopez

And it is definitely not you, J. Lo.  Class is one thing that Beyonce has that you will never have.  Ellen too for that matter.  The only thing that you proved last night in that awful window fixture you donned is that this is why we no longer see you nominated at these shows.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy {Why Not} Weekend!

Why not order a big new flashy Kate Spade ring...on sale?

Why not just stay in every free minute and watch Homeland?

Why not eat sushi for most dinners?

Why not suggest $275 per head meals to your friends?

Why not listen to The Judds?

And why not just take some leaps.  Have a crazy weekend, kids!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy {Wild} February!

It's that month when the crazy starts coming out a little bit.  Winter blues have you run down, and Valentine's Day is smack dab in the middle of it all.  Oh, and don't forget Mardi Gras.  Making sure to set the correct tone for the month I have decided to spend Super Bowl Sunday in with a sushi feast.  Go wild!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Going Gaga

This week, my boyfriend got last-minute tickets to see Lady Gaga at the Toyota Center.

Although every fiber in my being compelled me toward ripped fishnets, hot pants, sparkle and faux bodily deformation (it's this which separates Gaga from Ke$ha, in the pop star rolodex of my mind), I had to show some restraint.

The tickets came courtesy of an engineer at The Boyfriend's firm. We'd be in a company suite, amongst associates of the professional sort. I had questions. Questions like: How much glitter is too much glitter? How much pants is too little pants? And on the sliding scale between vigorous and suggestive dancing, where to Naomi Campbell walk, Naomi Campbell walk the line?

In the end I hit up Forever 21 (at 26) for something shiny but with appropriate cover. Turns out I needn't have worried: If there is such a thing as too much self-love, Lady Gaga fans have it. There is a lot of self acceptance in the room, and not a lot of shame. Compared to the other attendees — some of whom were in caution tape-as-pasties, others in full light-up body cages, and all in an array of body types — I wouldn't have made an eye bat, much less a jaw drop.

If the fans weren't distracting enough, there was Gaga herself. Proclaiming herself ruler of all for having birthed the audience via her "mother monster pussy," crawling out of an inflatable womb (complete with spread-eagle legs) and delivering, in turns, disarmingly genuine thanks and speeches that were as utterly nonsensical as they were bizarre.

"I wouldn't be here today without you." Makes sense enough.

"You are me." Wait, what?

"I am you." How... would that be possible. You just said I was you. WHO AM I

"Thank you. You're welcome." I... don't have a polite response for this. You've used them all.

Even if Gaga's mother monster/alien super-race rebellion message didn't stick, her near-constant IDGAF proclamations may have rubbed off a little.

Where everyday workday annoyances might have gotten to me pre-Gaga, on this fine Friday I was feeling a little less this

And a little more this


Monday, January 28, 2013

Dr. Danny Castellano or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Television

For the past 15 years or so I have taken great pride in not watching much television at all.  Really for most of my life I cannot remember ever rushing to the TV set on a nightly basis.  Sure, there have been shows that I grew attached to.  I still remember the tears streaming down my face after the first big Ross and Rachel breakup on Friends, while only understanding the other 30% of the show.  Then there was the unexplained phenomena that was Sex and the City.  Not so much that the show was a phenomena (though it very much was).  I just still cannot connect the dots in how I went from not having access to HBO to suddenly needing the whole bible (the complete series set in a pink velour cover) immediately.

Other than those two intimate relationships though, just a few brief flings have scattered themselves here and there.  Until now.  It seems that I have wound up in a very polygamous situation with my television.  I have become someone I never understood.  I am a person with shows.

It all happened so innocently.  My Wednesday nights typically spent with Modern Family soon extended into Nashville.  Because I enjoyed this night so much, I decided to start my television watching even earlier and became an avid watcher of New Girl and The Mindy Project.  Then there was the Friday night I decided to stay in.  Ironically enough, the next morning I woke up with the feeling I had four new best interesting friends: Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna of Girls fame.

When the Golden Globes aired just a couple weeks ago, I started feeling a little more like myself.  The occasional television viewer who was sophisticated enough to know and care about award shows. Something happened though in that three hours because when the show ended I felt nothing but an overwhelming anxiety of all I was missing.  How in the world could I be completely unaware of what people are calling Claire Danes' finest performance?  And who is her adorable co-star that no one knew was actually British?  I don't even want to mention the name Downton Abbey as it is still a large shame I am dealing with.  It was happening.  Or rather, it happened.  I became a person with shows OnDemand.

It must be said that I have not become one of those people who ditch their plans because they "forgot to turn their straightener off."  It's just that I have become more "organized" (don't make me say "OnDemand" again).  The truth is, I get it now.  That feeling that's escaped me for so long, I feel it now too.  It's rest.  It's relaxation.  It's love.  It's television.

Oh, and one more thing...

68 DAYS UNTIL MAD MEN!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy {Winter} Weekend!

 It's January, which means there are not many positives to talk about.  Speaking strictly to temperature degrees that is.  Though when the weather is this frigid it's easy to let our minds dwell in the same cold and dark places that the sharp icicles...never mind.  Point being is that most of us are ready for summer and we want it now.  With the end of January still being six grotesquely long days away, let's focus on something else.  Like the fact that summer can be just as difficult to get through at times.  How in the world could that possibly be you ask?

Let's examine....

  • Male jorts.  Really though, why are these still in retail stores?
  • The need to be bikini ready.  Ick.  Blech.  Yuck.
  • Insects.  I am talking to you, Daddy Long Legs.
  • Humidity.  This wig ain't built to survive.
  • Teenagers with nowhere to go but in the way of society.
  • It's like there are no new shows on.  What am I supposed to watch when avoiding said Beliebers?
So there you have it.  Enjoy these winter weekends while they're still here.  Because once summer hits, it's all going to SUCK.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Getting resolute on resolutions

The fact that this blog is more than two weeks late is testament to the utter impossibility of New Year's resolutions: both keeping and making them.

Each year we set ourselves up for disappointment, defeat and inevitable self-loathing, and I'm starting to think this whole "new beginning" thing is bollox. As with nearly everything else — from hairstyles to relationships — I'm much more adept at articulating what I aim to avoid than what I'm looking to achieve.

So, in that vein, on these points I am resolute:
  • Fuck strapless everything. My boobs are no longer the solution to sag. They don't protrude all perky-like to hold my clothes up anymore; they are part of the problem. Cut-out backs are for children.
  • Busy is bull. In 2013 I'm out for a slower, more introspective year. I'd like to see more of fewer people, spend some quality time looking inwards instead of surveying the room, and re-learn how to have a slammin' time solo.
  • Poo on being poor. It's not romantic. Despite what Le Mis would have one believe, I do not resemble Fantine when I get a bad haircut and skip a shower. I look like Gary Busey. Urchin is not an alluring look for most women. So for the sake of my vanity and my sanity, this year I'ma hustle.
  • Weekends away do not belong to weddings. I am happy to attend, a pro in the photobooth and more than capable of cutting a rug, but this year I will go on at least one mini-vacay in celebration of my own unlikely existence, rather than someone else's eternal bliss. 

So cheers to a year of reverse resolutions. What are you out to avoid in 2013?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy {Comeback} Weekend!

This post is in every way dedicated to the co-author of this blog, Caroline. I would like to personally congratulate her for finally willing with all her power, Destiny's Child, to rerunite.  In addition, it is a plea from anyone who has had the pleasure of reading her witty and oft-times, intellectually stimulating posts for her to come back to the blogging world immediately.

What I am saying is, my only wish for this weekend is for Caroline to be the Beyonce to my Kelly Rowland.

To everyone else, hope your weekend involves less angst than Justin Timberlake's comeback message!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy {Beautiful} Weekend!

Since it's the New Year, start with a new attitude.  If you're like myself and 93% of the female population you probably have a tinge of self-deprecating humor combined with an "I'm better than this" sense of elitism.  It's befuddling, especially to ourselves.  So how about making things simple?  Let's just keep the elitism and lose the rest.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Lucky 2013

Some personal resolutions for a lucky 2013:

  • Write more, which will in essence allow for a greater amount of opines.
  • Read more, which will in essence allow for greater debates of others' opines.
  • Take chances, but maybe only when they come for free.
  • Follow through, which should include adding names to mysterious cell phone number entries.
  • See new places, and revisit old ones.
  • Start a new routine, ideally one that does not consist of another Bravo reality series.
  • Smile and nod more, and try to catch at least three furrowed brows before they happen.
  • Take lots and lots of pictures, and for bonus points be in more of them.
  • Decorate a new space, and make it something worth staying for more than a year.
  • Make new friends, and don't be afraid to "unfriend" when necessary.
  • More spinning and stretching, less far-fetched and disgruntled dreams of marathoning. 
  • Don't be afraid, and just do the darn thing.
{Image Credit: via Poppytalk}