Nov 25, 2010
I hope that this kick-off to the holiday season finds you happy and healthy, and that you get to enjoy the reason for the season and not get bogged down in family drama or the shopping madness.
Enjoy the snowflake cups at Starbucks, seeing your favorite holiday commercial, wearing that great coat that you haven't worn since February. Enjoy reminiscing with family about embarrassing moments, holidays past, and more than one cringe-worthy birth story (my aunt is a labor-and-delivery nurse, so this happens a bit more often at our gettogethers). Enjoy reliving the story of the birth of Jesus, which always takes me back to my elementary school Christmas pageants, and the miracle that many of us share.
I'm off to a family celebration, which will no doubt end with a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit while checking the score of various football games. Let's hope the onion dip I'm bringing doesn't spill on the ride over.
Oh, I'm DEFINITELY thankful for this!!
Oct 27, 2010
--gentlemen walking across a poorly-lit road at night in dark suits, please consider wearing those shoes that light up when you walk so I don't hit you
--nurse at my doctor's office: is returning a call so hard when I call during business hours?
--company that shipped $3,000 worth of damaged products to my client: yes, you will refund my money, enjoy dealing with American Express.
--neighbors who live above me: please stop moving furniture at 8 a.m. on a Sunday, or lose weight
--people who think "spellcheck" is a suggestion. It's not.
--parents of large group on children on my 8-hr flight home last week: candy? not the best snack when your kids are going to be sitting in a metal tube for the next 8 hrs
--customs agent at O'Hare--is there really a need to comment on how different I look in my 5-years-old passport picture? And then lecture me about women thinking that beauty is tied to their weight?
--front desk clerk at my hotel, I understand that you just started working there, but you should probably know how much a call outside the hotel would cost.
I promise I'm not grumpy in my favorite season, just wanted to get these things out there :-)
Sep 16, 2010
You know how some movies you associate with a certain season? I have a few fall movies, and one of them I happened to catch at the gym last week:
Dan in Real Life
This movie is the perfect storm of what makes a movie awesome to me. If you've never seen it, here's the 10-second synopsis: Steve Carell plays Dan, a widowed advice columnist who is raising his three precocious daughters. They go to his parents' summer house to close it up for the winter with the rest of the family; along the way he runs into an attractive stranger (Juliette Bincohe), feels a connection, and then finds that she's his brother's girlfriend.
Ok, so that makes the movie sound SO typical. But here are my favorite aspects:
Part one of the formula for making me love a movie is a huge, crazy, but lovable family (see: While You Were Sleeping, The Family Stone).Dan's family has crossword puzzle contests, talent shows, teases, banters, and, at the end of the day, sticks together.
If there was a tour of houses featured in movies, I would take it (hello, Something's Gotta Give and The Parent Trap). This house is humongous, overlooks the water, has endless grounds, the doors are log-cabin-esque, you can roll out of a bathroom window and land on a rosebush. Just watch the movie. You'll love the house.
Without giving too much away, let me just say that one of my favorite songs plays an important part of the movie, and it seals the deal for me.
So, in closing, watch Dan in Real Life while wearing a fleece and eating candy corn. You won't regret it :-)
Aug 31, 2010
Sam Adams Summer Ale
I really can't explain what it is about this sweet nectar from heaven. The first time I had it, it was via keg, which makes everything taste better, but I can drink it like water. It's got a good, wheaty flavor yet also has a little bit of bite. You can only find it from April-August, so once you see it, stock up (it's made with grains of paradise--really!)! This is usually my first sign of summer. . .
Nike Tempo Shorts
When it's 106 outside, the question of what to wear is always at the forefront (or "how little clothing can I wear and not get arrested?"). For some reason, this pair of workout shorts have become trendy, and its now acceptable to wear them to everything (except a wedding . . . maybe). They're airy, soft, and come in a million colors (mine are the ones pictured). I wear them on planes, I wear them in cars, I wear them with green eggs and ham (sorry, couldn't help myself)
Jergens Natural Glow
Being a pasty white girl, I tend to dream about having a wonderful tan. Does that happen? No. I get massively sunburned (and look like a burn victim). But at least Jergens has my back and let's me even out my patchy sunburn/tan. Thank you, Jergens. Love, White Girls Everywhere.
Sometimes it's so hot that I'm not hungry. Solution? A little bit of heaven I like to call I Heart Yogurt (b/c that is it's name). Serve yourself yogurt places are popping up like mosquito bites, and I've tried a lot of them, but IHY gets my gold star. The flavor selection is awesome, the toppings are fabulous. My favorite concoction? Strawberries on the bottom, followed by birthday cake fro yo, followed by more strawberries, followed by cali strawberry fro yo, topped with sliced almonds (and yogurt chips if I'm feeling saucy). It's cold, it's (kinda) healthy, it's amazing.
Aug 11, 2010
It essentially rips apart every Potter Barn, Crate and Barrel, and Williams Sonoma catalog. For example, why are there white apples in a bottle? Why is there a twig sitting on top of a pile of books? You'll never shop for furniture or home goods the same way again :-)
Aug 5, 2010
Here's more thoughts on the commercial:
There are no words. . .
Jun 16, 2010
Jun 14, 2010
May 23, 2010
1. Buy bottled water: the dehydration will hit you fast and furious and you don't want to worry about heat stroke while walking the Strip
2. Black-out curtains=awesome. These aren't your ordinary black-out curtains in the hotel rooms. These will make it look like midnight in Alaska (which I found out by going to bed at 6 a.m., just as the sun was rising). Just don't fling them open when you finally wake up, you'll risk blindness.
3. Relish the open container laws. Feel like a beverage while walking the Strip or just through your hotel? Why not make it an alcoholic one?
4. Know where the nearest Starbucks is. Even better, get to know the people there, b/c you will frequent it. A little sleepy after a Cirque du Soleil show? Enjoy a double shot (b/c CdS gets out at 11 at the latest, practically morning in Vegas).
5. Prepare to people-watch. It's priceless.
6. Don't go anywhere alone. This isn't a safety thing, more like a "save yourself frustration", b/c odds are your cell phone won't work (put 30,000 people in the same three blocks with cell phones and you see my point) and you'll spend hours wandering around a casino looking for the slot machine with the Brady Bunch.
7. Don't take monorail. It's pointless.
8. Jump in. Don't hesitantly make your way around the city. Just get out and experience it. And tip well.
May 13, 2010
Long-story short, I love to read. One thing I dislike about being out of college is that I don’t always have something to read. If it weren’t for my minor, I wouldn’t have read Pride & Prejudice, In Cold Blood, The Doll House, or Heather Has Two Mommies (yes, I read a picture book about lesbian life partners)
So in light of upcoming vacations, I decided it was time for a trip to one of my favorite stores—Half Priced Books. I’m lucky that the one in Dallas is HUGE, b/c I hate paying full-price for a book. I picked up a few basic chic-lit books (one by Sophie Kinsella, my first chic-lit author, and one by Jane Green, author of one of my top-5 books Bookends). But I got two I’m REALLY excited about:
The Art of Racing in the Rain was recommended to me by a friend—it’s the story of a family as told through the dog’s eyes (I think, I need to read the jacket again). I’m so excited about this book that I bought it in hardback, another thing I never do. Can’t wait to start this on my flight to Vegas!
I’m never one to like the mass-appeal book of the moment. I never liked Devil Wears Prada, The Nanny Diaries, DaVinci Code, Bergdorf Blondes, etc. (Hmmm, most of these have been made into movies too . . .). Anyways, I keep hearing great things about The Help, from different people who never agree on the same thing, so I think the odds are good for me enjoying this one. This book is so popular, I had to pay full-price at Borders (well, not full-price, I had a coupon and a gift card). Fingers crossed it’s good; I plan on reading this on my white-sand beach vacay in a few weeks . . .
Any other book recs for the summer? Have you read either of these?
May 12, 2010
Gauchos aren't necessarily very throwback (they were popular in college, which wasn't that long ago for me), but I think we can all agree now that we don't look back on that fashion trend fondly. I never hopped on the gaucho bandwagon, it may have something to do with the scene in Never Been Kissed when David Arquette asks (still-dorky at that point of the movie) Drew Barrymore what she's wearing and she tells him "gaucho pants" and then adds "I got them on sale." Like that makes it ok.
Gaucho pants fall into the same category as skinny jeans, leggings-as-pants, and short skirts with flats--they're flattering on approximately 4% of the female population. And they're really only appropriate attire if you're a yoga instructor or an extra in Pirates of the Caribbean. The number of times I saw gauchos at formal-ish occassions (work, important meetings, receptions with heads of state), was astonishing, and made me mourn for my generation.
(Here's the part where I point out that I am in no way a fashion icon, there are things I wore last week that I now wonder "what was I thinking?")
So, for those who are just now realizing that gauchos are over (were they ever really here?), welcome to 2010. For everyone else who shudders at the thought of them--we're older and wiser now :-)
May 6, 2010
The roller-skating rink of choice among my friends was pretty much everything you could wish for and more. It smelled like cheese popcorn. There was a smoke machine to create appropriate effects during "Ghostbusters". There were referees to keep you from going in the wrong direction or skating in a chain (but we were all BFFs and wanted to skate together!). Their snack bar was pretty awesome too--they used Sonic Ice before I even knew what Sonic Ice was.
Having a birthday party there was pretty special too. When your guests arrived, they put their gift in a garbage can with your name on it. You got to dance the Hokey Pokey in the middle of the rink with a balloon hat. You got to spend 30 seconds in this glass box with money and other coupons flying around (honestly, that was the best part). And if you escaped without serious injury, it was a successful party.
Sadly, the roller skating parties fell out of favor before I was old enough to partake of the "couples skate" (which is pretty much the height of romance). But thanks to shows like Glee, I can relive my roller rink days . . . (start the video at 5:33 for roller rink fun).
Apr 27, 2010
Everyone has their drink of choice when having cocktails. Or they have the normal routine they circle through--wine on a biz trip with co-workers, vodka soda out on the town, beer while playing putt putt (if we're talking about last weekend . . .). But lately, I've been craving (and thus ordering) something kind of out of character for me:
Literally, every time I'm ordering cocktails, all I want is Bailey's. I drank it at the hotel bar on a business trip, on a plane, at a mixology bar, and would have ordered it out on Sixth Street last weekend but I'm pretty sure the bars we were at didn't carry it. Does this signify some sort of vitamin deficiency?
And what's not to like about good old BIC? It comes in multiple varieties (love the mint Baileys), goes well with coffee, ice cream, or on the rocks. And it's dessert plus a cocktail all in one.
So if you see me on a flight next month, and I'm drinking the tell-tale liquor, raise a glass :-)
Apr 15, 2010
Needless to say, this thought was encouraged by my second favorite movie of all time:
I saw this movie right before starting the 8th grade, and I couldn't imagine a better start to the school year (it was my last year at my tiny private school, my friends and I were looking forward to ruling the school). Really, what isn't there to like about this movie? Let's start at the beginning:
1. Summer camp. Who didn't want to go to Camp Walden for girls? Aside from the game of poker that started out tame (playing for nail polish) and turned risque (skinny-dipping, the movie was way ahead of its time), it was all idyllic (even the isolation cabin was much more comfy than the 1961 version). What tween girl didn't immediately run home and eat Oreos with peanut butter? Trendsetters. (Although I'm pretty sure the ear-piercing scene with the potato is what convinced my mom I should never get my ears pierced)
2. London. Lon. DON. That's a million times cooler than being from Boston (and I have a ton of love for Beantown). Not only does LiLo get to rock a British accent, but we get to see some great London scenery while The Las sing "There She Goes". The scene where Hallie and Elizabeth reunite on the staircase still makes my mom cry. And we never get tired of laughing over the bridal shoot where they put the veil on a top hat. Hideous. But the movie wouldn't be complete without it.
3. The house in California. Now that I am over 21, living next to/owning a vineyard seems AWESOME. Yet I already loved that house. I loved Hallie's wardrobe, her room, Chessie and Sammy. Cornbread and chili. Essentially, I wanted to be Hallie Parker, let's just be honest.
4. Elizabeth boozes it up. Natasha Richardson (RIP) plays drunk verrrry well. I think I really hadn't seen a drunk person before when I saw that movie, so it was hilarious to me. And taught me that getting sloshed on a plane can be quite fun (Southwest Airlines also taught me this, those flight attendants have a heavy hand).
5. The ending. There was girl in my class who was the "tough one". She was kind of a bully when we were younger, but she never cried (ok, once when she broke her arm). She bawled like a baby at the part where Annie and Hallie say goodbye to each other. Even though I know how the movie ends, I was soooo sad when Elizabeth, Martin, and Annie get back to London and it's all rainy and they're sad. When Hallie puts down the paper in the library (wearing that awesome purple jacket) and Dennis Quaid strides in, omg, my heart melts.
6. The soundtrack. I've often said the way I know I absolutely love a movie--did I own the soundtrack? This was the first soundtrack I ever owned on CD (soooo cutting edge), and I know it by heart. I know exactly what part of the movie each song plays. Whenever the movie was on in college, my friends knew that could just turn it up and the soundtrack would lure me into the room. I also know the movie by heart, so I would offer to mute the TV and recite all the dialogue for them.
Sadly, I haven't watched this movie since Natasha Richardson died (too soon), but hopefully I'll get around to watching it soon now that I own it on DVD. Movie night, anyone?
(I was also pretty obsessed with Hallie's yellow duffel for some reason. If she could survive a whole summer at camp with one bag, it must be an awesome piece of luggage.)
Apr 5, 2010
You know what I'm talking about. It looked like a backpack, you wore it on your back. Yet it couldn't even hold a Barbie, let alone anything of worth (of course, at age 9, who really carried anything of worth other than some POGs?)
I sported two of such backpacks, one was larger (for those overnight trips) and purple, and the other was small (when traveling light) and dark green. Styyyyyyyyyylin.
Clearly, everyone is trying to forget these monstrosities ever existed, since I can't find a single picture of these as I remember them (maybe I can find one at my parents house somewhere, I remember carrying a salad in my purple one, it promptly leaked italian dressing EVERYWHERE)
Sigh, we remember you fondly, mini-backpack. . .
Mar 30, 2010
I'm talking, of course, about the Sunday New York Times.
I start with Sunday Styles, reading whatever pop culture and fashion stories are on the front page. I never miss the Social Q's section (I love a good etiquette question) and read Modern Love with rapt attention (this column isn't just about romantic love, they've had great articles about adoption, taking care of aging parents, etc). After this, I move onto the Holy Grail--the wedding announcements. Now I don't read these to ooh and ahh over Sally Cheerleader who graduated from Rollins with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. I look for the long announcements, that tell a story, usually a funny "how we met" or proposal story. The best one I saw was a couple that met while working on a Will Ferrell movie, Will himself was even in their announcement photo. I don't take these as seriously as Katherine Heigl in "27 Dresses" or Charlotte from "Sex and the City", but it's still soooo fun to read (note to friends, I'm happy to help write your wedding announcement . . . )
Then, it's on to the NYT Magazine. You never know what the cover story will be (usually something I won't read), but the features inside are fascinating. The "10 Questions For" is always an interesting read (like finding our Mayor Bloomberg takes the subway to work). I usually find a feature or two I like, but the money page is the last one "Lives". Someone writes an essay, usually about a time or aspect of their life. It feels like an excerpt from a novel, and it's a novel I wish I could buy. My favorite one ran almost ten years ago, but I hardly ever read the Lives section without thinking about it: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/05/magazine/lives-homeward-bound.html?scp=1&sq=magazine%20grandmother%20hold%20on&st=nyt
So next time you're in Starbucks, enjoying your lazy Sunday (I can't wait to enjoy Starbucks again, I gave it up for Lent and it has been rough), pick up a Sunday NYT (if you can find one, they go fast!). You might find a few favorite sections as well, and have something to contribute to the awkward Monday morning chats with sleepy co-workers.
Mar 25, 2010
Today, we remember infinity pools, time in juvy, and the many witticisms of Adam Brody. Of course, I'm talking about The OC.
Theme Song that was waaayyy overplayed
Every week, you had something to look forward to:
Peter Gallagher's eyebrows
And lots of teen angst.
So I leave you with this, clips from the best holiday ever, Chrismukkah.
Mar 22, 2010
Swimsuit season, she's a here :-)
Mar 17, 2010
It all started with Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt. She wins her Oscar for Erin Brockovich, three months later they're kaput.
One could point out that the demise of their marriage had to do more with his sex addiction than her Oscar win, but it's all a little too coincidental.
And the roughest break-up of them all:
Reese and Ryan (how perfect were their names?!), called it quits 8 months after she won her Oscar for "Walk the Line" (which is my addiction movie, if I happen to catch it on TV, whatever I was doing goes out the window and I watch the rest of it). After winning our hearts in "Cruel Intentions", and then having two adorable children, they broke up. I actually remember getting a few tears in my eyes when I saw this on Facebook (where I get all my breaking news apparently). Definitely the roughest of all Oscar break-ups for me (as much as I like Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby, Chad Lowe freaks me out; and I don't really have an attachment to Stuart Townsend and Charlize Theron). Here's hoping that the latest rumor about Sandra Bullock and Jesse James is false, or they would take the cake for worst break-up for me.
I am lucky because a restaurant that serves amazing queso and margaritas is a short walk from my apartment
I am lucky because I got to spend last weekend with some of my favorite people and they are all a less than 4-hour drive or 1-hour plane ride away
I am lucky because my parents are a short drive away, but even if I don't see them all the time, I can pick up the phone and have a 5 minute or 2 hour conversation with them.
I am lucky because my extended family actually likes hanging out together, especially when Trivial Pursuit is involved.
I am lucky because I have DVR now, which means my life and work-out habits are no longer ruled by Dancing with the Stars
I am lucky because I love my job and what we support; and my co-workers are pretty fab too.
I am lucky because I am sooooo close to getting a free flight on American Airlines, which I plan to store up for a rainy day/European adventure.
It pays to be Irish sometimes . . .
Mar 7, 2010
For some people, the Super Bowl is the end-all, be-all. Other people totally dig the Indy 500 (why, I'm not sure), but for me, the biggest day of the year is none other than Oscar Day. From the dresses, to the cheesy banter, to the awkward acceptance speeches, I love it all. I consider myself a movie connoisseur (read:snob) so this day is my time to shine. Rather than bore you with my predictions (which are going to be lacking this year since I haven't seen all the nominated movies), I wanted to share my favorite Oscar dress of all time:
Hilary Swank at the 2000 Oscars. Randolph Duke designed this dress, and I continue to be obsessed with it. What a gorgeous dress to win your Oscar in (and so much better than what she wore in 2005 for her Million Dollar Baby win).
Good luck to all the nominees tonight! Maybe I can find another dress to replace this one in my heart . . .
Mar 1, 2010
But I cracked. I have a busy spring with fun trips planned, so I figured I should at least start looking at what's out there. Of course, looking turns to buying . . .
I love the color of this one and that it can easily go from work to play (swap out shoes and add fun jewelry, done!). Always important since happy hour in the spring and summer is almost a required post-work activity.
This dress was bought for St. Patrick's Day but is also going to become my go-to beach dress. I think I can even swing it at work during the summer with a jean jacket.
Next up: replacing the flip-flops that broke last summer. Le sigh.