Thursday, May 28, 2009

Caption needed: Party pants

This is a perfect example of why I always keep a camera in my purse. 

It's so good that you have to photograph it.

While I was at home last weekend, we stopped by a "high end" Goodwill store, that sells brand new or designer clothing donations. I think it's a great idea so my stepmom (who is the shopping devil) and I went in to peek around.

And while I was digging through pants, I happen to come across this beauty. I immediately took out my camera and fluffed the legs so the detail could be caught perfectly. I didn't want you all to miss a thing because it's such good blog fodder!

After the photo session, I told my dad and stepmom I wanted to try them on (kiddingly). Dad got the joke and my stepmom didn't. I think she looked actually horrified.

So rather than rack my brain for something clever to say, I thought I'd open it up to everyone!

Leave a comment with your wittiest caption or most appropriate place to wear this fine piece of fashion. I'll even put together a little something to send the person with the best answer. If that's not tempting, I don't know what is!


Oh and does anyone want to go to a pants party? (name that movie!!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mating season: Hot time, summer in the city

I don't want to sound too optimistic, but summer could be returning soon to Chicago (finally). And while I'm celebrating the joyful return of warm weather and open-toed shoes, something else is getting started in the city: mating season.

(insert Jaws theme music)

Oh that's right, the weather isn't the only thing heating up this spring.

The warm weather not only throws off how you should dress, but also, how you view members of the opposite sex. Suddenly that winter, wool coat and scarf disappear and guys start wearing just suit or cotton jackets over dress shirts. And yes, I swoon.

Actually, I objectify them with my mind and dream about doing naughty things to them. Oh yes, khaki rips easily, just like buttons.

Sorry, got sidetracked. That's the great thing about the "spring heat" phase we all hit, suddenly you remember how cute guys and ladies look in light, springy clothing, how much happier they are waiting for the bus and the fact that they're not ducking into doorways or putting on as many layers as humanely possible.

And, I know winter boots and Uggs are not the most attractive, but you cannot discount the warmth they offer.

I am a SUCKER for guys in dress shirts (especially blue ones) and khakis with loafers and a messenger bag. I will stare at them on the bus like they are a piece of meat to devour and make them uncomfortable with my glare.

So the question for tonight is, what clothing items do you love seeing your guy/girl wear once spring rolls around? Or what do they wear that you think they look the most attractive in? And yes, "nothing" is an acceptable answer too! Or I'll make it easy and you can share what your favorite spring/summer clothing item is. Lots of questions to choose from!

Note: Thanks everyone for the great comments on yesterday's mani/pedi post. I'm so glad that just about everyone enjoys them. And I do agree with many of you that mani's get messed up easily so pedi's are a "better investment." Oh I'm dreaming of getting a pedi right now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The importance of a mani/pedi

Whoa it's been a while since I've posted one of these, but here is another thing I recommend: getting mani/pedis. Especially for the ladies.

I'm awful at regularly getting them (especially on the toesies) but I do try because I always feel better whenever I go. It's like therapy in a non-retail sense. 

And this weekend, I got my inaugural manicure of the summer season and it was like heaven. My finger nails are buffed and perfectly polished in OPI's color - Feeling Hot-Hot-Hot. It's a perfect hot pink. Subtle yet loud, just like me!

I used to never get manicures and pedicures because it was "too girly" but those doubts melted away the minute I got a leg/hand massage during my first visit. I was total mush because it felt so nice. The ladies had me at "cuticle." Speaking of cuticles, I have the worst ones ever. They grow like trees and are notoriously uncomfortable to trim. But it needs to be done so rather than have me butcher them, I'll leave it to the professionals.

My first manicure was about three years ago (yes, I know, so tragic that I waited that long), same with a pedicure too. And the pedicure reminded me how ticklish I am on my feet, especially because I nearly kicked the woman in the face. Oops. Fortunately, that only happened once...or twice. Now, to curb the need to squirm and giggle, I bite on a stick or leather strap (kidding!)

And when I'm between appointments, I do try to keep up the polish on my toes. Unfortunately, it usually comes out looking like this:

Yes, that's polish on my foot. I have no idea how that happened.

I even bought some new colors for spring to keep at home for my own touch ups. I just hope my Cirque du Soleil bathroom moves for that "professional-looking polish" don't turn out like the above paint job. I'm not very talented at applying my own nail polish.

But while I love the mani/pedi, if the girl nicks me or makes me bleed, that tip disappears. Only fair.

Is anyone else a big mani/pedi fan? Do you go regularly, even in winter? A few friends have said this ritual is "recession proof" but I don't know if it's like that for everyone else.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend recap: food, shopping and manual labor

Oh Memorial Day, the "unofficial" kick off for summer. And to celebrate this long weekend, I was back in Wisconsin, where it was a balmy 50 degrees by the lake and I was left with one coat, one pair of closed-toed shoes and a plethora of short sleeved tops. FAIL. It was like my packing fail for last year's BlogHer in San Francisco.

Despite the not-very-warm weather, I dialed the "relaxation" up to 11, stopped wearing make up and did a whole lotta nothing but bonding with my parents.

In fact, we bonded over four things: food, manual labor, shopping and television.

So let's recap the bonding that occurred this magical weekend.

Due to my power outage last week, I missed Fox's Glee pilot, but thanks to iTunes, I downloaded it for free and enjoyed it this weekend. And OMG I'm obsessed with this show. I cannot WAIT for it to start up in fall.

First, Jane Lynch is one of the funniest people on TV right now. Woman steals every scene she's in. And along with my serious crush on Finn, here is my favorite part of the show:

I love Journey and I love the glee club version of Journey even more. It makes me want to rock out. If you haven't see this show yet, go download it right now from iTunes and enjoy. 

I also started watching The Fashion Show on Bravo. It's my short-term Project Runway-knock off fix. Kelly Rowland is tragic, Isaac Mizrahi works but I'm really shocked by the lack of talent from most of the contestants. Half of them can't sew? WTF? But I like that they focus on sell-ability, which PR doesn't do. 

Oh we also rented Taken with Liam Neeson. Damn that movie was intense. It make me want to kick someone's a** much like Liam did. Watch the unrated version, it's heavy but good. 

My stepmom is the DEVIL to shop with because she is the biggest enabler I know. I learn from her! 

So we went to the outlet malls on Saturday and I got a little too close to sales of at least 40 percent off and a JCrew outlet store. It wasn't pretty. But here is a picture of my favorite new item, a gold scarf, which looks awesome with my new blue shirt and of course, the Coach sunglasses.

Manual labor
Nothing says "I love you," like manual labor. And that's what I got roped into doing this weekend. After we shopped and watched TV, it was time to work! The hardest job was bringing inside this new cabinet from the car. The thing is massive and weighs as much as I do. Fortunately I don't have to bring it upstairs. That will SUCK.

In our house, Memorial Day = lots of cooking out. And because I don't have a grill in Chicago, I was ready for some grilled goodness.

Join me on my Memorial Day culinary journey.....

Friday: Swiss and mushroom cheeseburger (mushroom and cheese is stuffed inside the patty) with a pretzel bun, ketchup and mustard. 

Kettle corn from the outlet mall shops. I know, sounds crazy, but it was really good. Sea salt and sugar on kettle popped popcorn. Healthier than movie theater popcorn and just as good

Sunday: Sirloin steak on the grill with cooked mushroom and au jus sauce plus Yukon Gold potatoes with light butter, salt and sour cream. Truly amazing. Num.

Dessert: Brownie mix with Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips and nuts. I must stay away from this pan.

And after all that eating and activity, I basically laid around like a beached whale on a chaise lounge, couch, bed, chair, really any surface that allowed me to spread out. Heaven.

How was everyone else's Memorial Day weekend? Do anything or fun or grill out? Or did you go see any good movies?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Randomness: fashion, movies, pop culture and food

I cannot believe it's Memorial Day. Seriously. Time is literally flying by. Eeeek!

I'm back in Wisconsin right now, indulging on a gluttonous mushroom Swiss cheeseburger on pretzel roll, washed down with beer. It's like heaven, but not.

So in honor of a much needed long weekend, I'm keeping it kind of light tonight with lots of bullets, links and pictures!
  • I found a blog dedicated to Michelle Obama's fashion and I'm completely obsessed with it. I check it daily and follow it on Twitter too. I am totally in love with her fashion sense, well most of them (the below is not an example of that exception)
  • Now that my office has moved to a "tastefully casual" dress code, I'm in need of new summer shoes. I went to Nordstrom Rack last weekend and bought these shoes, what do you think? Bedazzled gladiator sandals, somewhat

  • I watched the 60 Minutes interview with Vogue editor Anna Wintour last weekend. She's rumored to have a $200,000 yearly clothing allowance. What would I do with that? Chanel for everyone! After some damage at JCrew
  • Last week I also went to a sneak preview tour of the new Whole Foods in Lincoln Park. And it is MASSIVE. My mind was totally spinning while I walked around on my tour. It's such a great representation of Chicago's various neighborhoods. I cannot wait to go visit and eat my way around. Oh and it has a cheese/wine bar inside! Anyone in Chicago interested in joining me for a wine/cheese flight?
  • The New Moon poster for Twilight saga is out. Personally, I liked New Moon and Eclipse a lot so I'm all for more Jacob, especially without that dead animal of a wig on his head. Oh and Rob said in Cannes that they will be making a movie out of Breaking Dawn. I cannot wait to see how they do that. Yeah if you've read it, you know what I mean

  • I bought a necklace from the Gap (it just started carrying jewelry) and the tag made it clear it's not for kids. So I guess that means I shouldn't try to eat it and I should probably keep it away from me while intoxicated too
  • I fully plan on grilling out with my dad this weekend. Fish, beef, chicken, you name it and we'll grill it. Everything tastes better on the grill!
  • When I went shopping for my bedazzled gladiator sandals I caught this fashion fail at Nordstrom Rack. It's Rock & Republic, with an "e" at the front. Ouch.
Finally, I'm thinking of "sexing up" my little blog and moving from Blogger to Wordpress, but I'm a little scared. But that may mean my reader's need to update their feeds. It's not settled just yet, but if the feeds were to change, would you guys follow me? Bueller? Lie to me?

Well, I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! Anyone have big plans or is anyone traveling? Safe travels to everyone!!

Oh and if any readers happen to live in the Southeastern Wisconsin area and will be around this weekend, let me know because I would LOVE to hang out with someone other than my parents for a little bit. Dad doesn't keep up with pop culture or fashion like me :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Boy phone conversation fail

Here's a tip for guys of what not to do when talking to a woman you've met on for the first time: Pay attention and turn the sports off.

Trust me, I can tell when you're not actually listening to the conversation.

I bring this up because I had my first phone call with a guy I met on last week. The guy, Mr. Cubs, is a few years younger than me, but he was nice by e-mail, so I was okay with chatting with him on the phone. What could it hurt? It's part of me "getting back out there!"

Anyhow, we get to talking and after a few awkward pauses, I notice that I'm answering all the questions. Well, I don't want to sound controlling so I back off and let him contribute. Then I realize there are changes in his voice, as if he's, well not paying attention. Okay, that's definitely not cool. Strike one.

So after he confirms that he's flipping between sports games while we're on the phone, I decide to move the conversation to things we may have in common.

Let's join our conversation:

Me: So yeah do you watch a lot of television? What are your favorite shows?

Mr. Cubs: Yeah I don't really watch a lot of television. I think it's dumb. I do like HIMYM though

Me: Yeah I hear that's a great show. Television is something I kind of splurge on, but I don't watch it all the time. I love LOST and Friday Night Lights, the Office....

Mr. Cubs: Yeah I don't really watch any of those. I just think TV is dumb if you're not watching sports

Me: Um, okay, did you see Star Trek at all? Do you like going to see movies? I love going to movies

Mr. Cubs: No not really. I would never go see something like that. Movies are dumb too. I would rather be caddying for extra money on the weekend then spend the day at the theater with some girl [note: he caddy's to make extra money while working toward his teaching certification]

Me: Even if you're dating that girl?

Mr. Cubs: Yeah, total waste of time

I think you can tell from this exchange how the rest of this call went. More awkward and dramatic pauses and pretty much me trying to get off the phone as soon as possible.

So he didn't work out, time for the next one!! And there is the possibility of a promising one on the horizon, one who likes movies and the same TV shows as me!

What are your "phone" pet peeves? People not paying attention? Calling from a loud public place? Call waiting?

Reader note: O-M-G. I really enjoyed everyone's comments yesterday about the soda vs. pop and accents post. I was truly shocked by the response and appreciate everyone weighing in. Some of the seriously cracked me up and it was so nice to hear where everyone is from too! 

I have to say, Jade, you are my girl for acknowledging the crap we get from WI about our "a" pronunciation. Thank you for that. 

And butnoteveryday, I say "p-ill-ow." Boy I hope I'm not alone in that either. 

Rebecca - You are right, it is Eeeeerrrrrrreeeee. JiT is wrong

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Midwest accent and the pop/soda debate

Hello. My name is Jess, I'm from Wisconsin and I allegedly "talk funny."

Why? Because I have a Midwest accent. Or so I'm told.

According to my friends who tease me about this,  I say weird things like "soda" versus "pop," "bubbler" versus "water fountain" and "Tyme machine" instead of "ATM." Personally, I don't think those words are out of the ordinary.

Or maybe my accent is just more subtle than others. I do know that my friends love to point out my exaggerated pronunciation of the letter "a" thus making the word "bag" come out as a multi-syllable word.  I'm now self-conscious about it.

But the most common terminology people correct me on is the whole "pop" versus "soda" debate, because that can be a dead ringer about what part of the country you're from.

When I lived in Minnesota, it was "pop" and people immediately pegged me as a Wisconsin-er because I said "soda." Sadly, after two years in Minnie, I did start saying "pop," but I broke that habit quickly.

A few weeks ago, co-workers and I even started debating and teasing each other about our preferred terminology for this heavenly, carbonated beverage.

I even saw a map on Google to help explain what different parts of the country call it.

So what do you say, pop or soda? And do you get teased for an "accent" as well?

Reader note: Thank you everyone for your hilarious comments on the key learnings. I'm glad everyone agrees that the phrase "fanny packs" are a dirty word (even if it's $445 by Prada) and that there are other X-Men/Wolverine fans. Who doesn't love a hot man with his shirt off...or more.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Key learnings, fanny packs and hot men doing battle

Happy Sunday everyone! I am super excited because we had two consecutive days of no rain in Chicago. It makes me forget about running to the cab in a downpour on Friday.

And this is my last full week of work before I begin taking the insane amount of vacation time I've hoarded. Yes, that was not a good idea, but hey, let's hit the key learnings!

Key Learnings:
  • "You can dress it up and slap a designer label on it, but it's still a fanny pack," you're right Cheryl, fanny packs are just wrong. Too bad we see so many of them downtown in summer
  • Do not watch TV shows about home break ins at night when you are...home alone
  • When random guys (including Frenchmen) hit on my friends, I get free things like drinks and food by association. Woo!
  • Raspberry vodka is much better than pineapple vodka, especially on an empty stomach
  • Putting a fried egg on just about any piece of food makes it better
  • Crack is whack. Remember that when you bend over while wearing low-rise jeans
  • Not collapsing a stroller on the bus is more obnoxious than tourists downtown
  • I hate paying taxes and the smell of cigarette smoke, more than anything
  • It's still satisfying to hear your parent's say "you were right"
  • There is someone else who is actually deader inside than me
Hot men doing battle
I must be going into heat because right now, watching action movies on the weekend gets me all flustered. I just imagine they're fighting over me. Boys, there's plenty of me to go around, stop! Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, let's all get along.

As a follow up to the Star Trek hotness from last weekend, my newly retired bloggy friend Cheryl and I went to see Wolverine today and my man Hugh Jackman didn't disappoint. 

There was even a sequence of him running nude. HELLO! I think my heart stopped for a minute. I had several minutes of quick flashes of his butt and lower torso. I almost blacked out from joy from the image too. Fortunately, I was fine, but him resuscitating me would have been helpful.

But since hot men don't travel alone, he had his merry cast of hot to semi-hot male back-ups, including Ryan Reynolds (whose "gun show" had major fire power, Scarlett you're so lucky) and Taylor Kistch from Friday Night Lights. Riggins! He's not as boozed up and man-whorey dirty in this movie, but still, I'd roll around in the dirt with him. Oh and of course, Liev Schreiber, who is still nice to look at, minus the mutton chops. Chops are meant to be eaten, not grow like a rash on your face.
I can't lie, there were some hammy parts and painfully obvious CGI, but it was good, mindless fun. And as the weather continues to get nice, I'll quote my friend Teresa who said, "I don't like to see movies that make me think." Right now, I concur.

Did everyone else have a great weekend?

Reader note: For everyone asking about Project Runway on Lifetime, it doesn't start until August 20 :( I thought it was supposed to start in June! Well I guess Top Chef Masters will have to do in the meantime.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Reality show guilty pleasures

I love watching the news and TODAY show, but lately, it's been kind of a downer. Recession, storms, murder, etc. Not exactly something pleasant to start the morning. Oh and the good television is going on hiatus now for the summer, so that's a double FAIL.

So I'm finding comfort and fun in total fluff television, aka reality shows.

And lately, the ones I cannot seem to stop watching are The Real Housewives of [insert city], Millionaire Matchmaker and Make Me A Supermodel. I blame the last one on the lack of Project Runway in my life. Fortunately that will be fixed soon.

So why do I love these shows, it's simple. Pure 100 percent entertainment without an ounce of thought.

I don't have to think about why Kelly is crazy or what lead her to be as absentminded as she is. I can just bask in the fact that she enjoys jogging in the middle of NYC traffic and dressing like a hippie when she should be wearing a bra.

And I don't want to know more about Simon and Alex, I enjoy watching them tactlessly decorate their brownstone like a bordello or vampire lair and laugh as their children remain unparented and running amok. It's great!

Now the Real Housewives of New Jersey has started and I'm sure I'll seamlessly move right to that series too. And those women are k-r-a-z-e-e too. I've never heard the word "bubbies" used so frequently in one period of time.

Oh and Patti from Millionaire Matchmaker is my total hero. I always enjoy watching her sass some woman "auditioning" for the Millionaire's Club or telling some spoiled man he's white trash. Sure it's harsh, but when it's not targeted at you, it's just fun!

So while I'm reality TV obsessed, I refuse to start watching the new VH-1 show, New York Gets a Job. That's just a gimme for teasing and I don't think I could stomach it.

What reality shows are you obsessed with right now? Or what shows are your guilty pleasures? Is anyone else looking forward to Project Runway coming back?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The best summer job

When I was in high school and college, I had a lot of menial summer jobs. And I viewed almost all of them the same why, as a short-term stop on my way to partying with my friends and goofing around.

Accountability and responsibility? No thank you sir or madam.

Oh those were the good old days.

My menial jobs ranged from retail to warehouse work, but the best summer job I ever had was working as a "barista" at Gloria Jeans, a coffee store chain, at the local mall. Spend all day making drinks and insulting customers behind their back? Yes please!

It was such a fun job, full of entertaining co-workers, all the coffee/smoothies I could drink, fresh bakery and trips to the storage area, which I coupled with a smoke break or quiet time resting my feet on boxes. Who could ask for anything more?

Yes, I am a much better employee now, but back then, being a "reliable worker" was good enough. And, most of my menial jobs took me back as an employee because I didn't a) steal from them and/or b) skip work because I was drunk (too often). Both important qualities in a trustworthy worker.

I didn't have to take these jobs seriously because I was going to college where I would meet the man of my dreams and get a degree, leading to getting a good job (only two of those three things actually happened for me).

And while I rocked the jean shirt, khakis and apron at Gloria Jeans, I relished in the fact that the biggest decision I had to make was there was what the daily coffee selection would be and ensuring I used skim rather than 2% when making someone's latte. 

You know, managing the tough decisions. 

The job also indulged my anal retentiveness by giving me the chance to grind beans, making sure every bean was crushed and cleaning the space up with a brush. Seriously, it doesn't take much to entertain me.

I bring this up today because I was fondly thinking of these memories, when you weren't expected to work hard or do more than your manager asked for because, well it wasn't ultimately your responsibility what happened to that store. You worried about getting paid on time, making sure you had enough shifts to save for school and go out.

My how things change when you join the full-time workforce. But now you get more perks, like paid vacation time and 401k. Yes, it's the small things that count. And should I hit the jackpot in the lottery, my resume is ready to go back to Gloria Jeans, where I can kick back and relax.

The question for tonight: what was your favorite or least favorite summer job?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Wrath of Butter

OMG I think I still have Star Trek on the brain because I totally took this from the Wrath of Khan. Sad. I'm one step away from my own Starfleet uniform. 

Anyhow, I'm writing today because the next epidemic that is bound to sweep our country is: the wrath of butter.

Yes, it's no longer a cooking ingredient or topping on popcorn, it is grabbing hold of innocent people that love it and sticking to their stomach and thighs like tar, causing them to unknowingly gain weight.

Its latest victim: former Cheers star Kirstie Alley.

The cover my latest People magazine said it all. The former Jenny Craig spokesperson lost an amazing 75 pounds with the program, and then once she left, she has since gained 83 pounds in the last two years.

And what does she credit as the culprit? Butter (among other food demons, such as Chinese food and sugar). But butter gets the brunt of the blame. Butter on popcorn, tablespoons of it on pasta and on toast. Just a fountain of butter landing on any and all of her food.

So while butter is public enemy number one, vegetarianism is the beta. Poor Kirstie didn't get the proper vegetarianism welcome packet because instead of vegetables, it was carbs and all other foods, just sans meat that made up her diet.

Now, I'm not a vegetarian, so I can't really speak to that, but in reading the interview with Kirstie, I personally felt like it was all excuses and no accountability.

Eating healthy and maintaining a diet is very difficult. It's a daily battle and trust me, I know some are better than others. But when I overeat or have too much sweets, etc., I don't blame them for making me eat them and thus gain the weight. I keep the accountability all on me.

I mean, it's not like that food jumped into my mouth on its own. At least not in this galaxy ;)

And she claims that she just can't work out without a trainer. Actually, it's entirely possible. I do it four times a week and so do many of my friends. 

But the thing that worries me the most? She wants to go from 223 pounds to 128 pounds. Now, that is doable but is that really healthy at her age? She said she has to go that low because she won't be happy at 140. Honey if I could get to 140 I would kiss the ground...which is dirty!

So after reading her article several times, I have these two pieces of advice: take accountability for the weight gain and be happy with a weight that may be more than 128. A lot of us who can't be that skinny already are.

Question for tonight! What foods do you have a hard time saying no to? Or am I wrong in these words to our dear, poor celebrity friend?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Key learnings, Star Trek and pop culture commentary

Happy Sunday and Happy Mother's Day! Well, I've watched the Mother Lover video from last night's SNL far too many times and while it's inappropriate, I can't help but laugh. Let's just hope I don't sing it out loud at work tomorrow.

So let's hit the key learnings before I am moved to sing out loud again.

Key Learnings:
  • Yes, you can be buzzed after only two beers (it's called "that time of the month" + low tolerance. Works every time)
  • Going out on Friday night gets to be more difficult at the end of a long week
  • Try to be subtle when asking if your friend is dating a guy you think is cute
  • Boobs are fun to look at, but not if you're a woman out at the bar. I didn't order a side of boob with my beer
  • It's always "beer-thirty" time somewhere
  • Kate Gosselin is a cold-hearted b*tch, but damn those kids are cute
  • I do not believe for a second that Kirstie Alley gained all that weight from butter
  • It's easy to mishear the word "hair straightener" for "strainer." That or I'm going deaf
  • Going shopping with friends is a must so you can get a verdict on clothing choices (it is the most honest opinion)
  • No matter how many times I do it, eyebrow waxing always hurts. And it never helps when your "girl" tells you it's going to hurt more because you waited too long between visits
  • Renter's insurance is a MUST HAVE. Two friends recently shared stories of either being robbed or knowing someone who was robbed, both without renter's insurance. If you don't have it, don't wait!!
Star Trek: The New Generation in Hotness
Oh yes, this weekend my buddy TC and I boldly went where few women have gone before...voluntarily to the new Star Trek movie. And it was ab fab! I even teared up once (I'm a sap).

Yes, we packed into a crowded afternoon showing of the movie and began to watch the Trekkies stream in, while each eyeing which male moviegoer that could become future Mr. Jess and Mr. TC.

One guy's shirt identified him as a "future astronaut" (promising!) while another man had a shirt that said "beam me up Scottie" (ambiguously cosmopolitan!). 

So while I'm a huge JJ Abrahms fan (loved Felicity and Alias, and of course, LOST), I won't lie, I mostly went for the eye candy.

Trust me, the USS "Hottie" Enterprise can beam me up any day. I'm ready now! Let me just grab my purse.

I just didn't like that Chris Pine was beat up so much. Hit him below the neck! That's valuable merchandise up there! Oh let's be honest, watching him get ruffed up was hot. And Zachary Quinto had a certain...hidden preppy charm. Talk Vulcan to me baby. I'm listening.

I have nothing to contribute to Star Trek history, storylines or Romulan genealogy, but let me just say this, I like watching attractive men do battle on the screen, so bring it on! Oh and Winona Ryder, I missed you!

How was everyone else's weekend? Did you do anything fun for Mother's Day? Or did you see any good movies this weekend to recommend?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An epic night at Target...with Chuck Bass

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I had a big night last night, so let's cut the witty intro and get right to it, eh?

This week, Target opened a pop-up store (the Bullseye Bazaar) on Michigan Avenue and it's only open for three days. So, as a city girl with no car or Target nearby, I nearly wet myself with excitement. That is until I was invited to attend its VIP event last night, which is a sneak peek at the store before it opened today. Yes, then I nearly wet myself.

So my joy about attending this event compounded on Wednesday when rumors started spreading on Twitter that Ed Westwick and Jessica Szohr from Gossip Girl would also be attending the event. Well that's when the insanity really started on and off Twitter. The event was supposed to be invite-only, VIP, but suddenly everyone in Chicago was invited. Okayyyyy, not exactly VIP or what I signed up for but alrighhhhht.

Cut to post-work, with pouring rain and lightening in Chicago. Suddenly my perfectly selected outfit was covered with my damp coat and my coiffed hair was a frizzy mess. FAIL.

But I met up with some co-workers and my buddy Jenn to head over to the Bazaar and bask in the goodness of Target.

And check out the awesome interior! Look at this, even the chili peppers love Target!

And of course, after a quick glass of champagne, I dove into the racks of stuff. I'm pretty happy with my new treasures! One note though, the hat, which is adorable, has pink stains on it. So that will definitely be going back. But otherwise, everything fits. That's a miracle.

Oh heck, let's get to the really good stuff. So rumors flew that Ed and Jessica would be at the event, then we heard they weren't going to be there. But this girl (aka me) knew better. And sure enough, not long after we got there, the media section start lighting up and suddenly Kate Walsh from Private Practice is talking to reporters.

So I try to wedge my way back there (tastefully) and when I'm denied, I actually say, "blogs ARE the new media." Wow, bitchy, I know. Didn't mean it like that. But it gets me back there (after I flash my bloggy business card) and after more pushing, I get this picture.

Yes, she's gorgeous in person.

Then the main event happens, we hear Ed is in makeup and suddenly he's THERE. Chuck Bass, the man I would like to take advantage of me after we shop at Brooks Brothers is THERE. So we move into more pushing and shoving and I get this money shot.

SOOOOO dreamy.

And then Jessica shows up. She is so nice and personable and petite in person! Jealous. But I'm obsessed with her necklace, which matches my JCrew bracelet, so it should be mine right? Right? She's also from Wisconsin. We're meant to be best friends.

Anyhow, I grabbed her after all the interviews and got this photo, which her publicist seriously could not have taken any faster. Thank god it turned out.

So after some more loitering around/shopping, Jenn and I see Ed again and basically stand around and wait to see if we can snag a photo with him....WHICH WE DID. OMG and I told him I'm a huge fan. Could I be any more of a dork?

*insert angels chiming*
Oh an our outfits match. We're meant to be :)

Best. Night. Ever. Here is a link to the set of photos on my Flickr page too, where all the photos are posted (there are a lot!)

I'm so thrilled and excited that I got to go and get to shop before the store opened to the public. Once I exchange that hat, I'm ready to rock it outside.

Of course, there are a few things I have to share too. First, this was a great evening and I'm so glad that I got to go. And I know this little blog and I are not that special, especially compared to Metromix or Chicago Magazine, but being invited in to the media area to take some pictures, only to be kicked out for more important people, isn't cool. My parents think I'm special!

Same with the amount of shoving and pushing to get us to move back so the celebs could come in from the street. I'm all for fire safety, but being pushed back to make room for a walkway that's already there, is also not cool, especially when you block my shot and shake your head at me. I'm not cattle. Don't herd me.

So despite a few hiccups. I had a great time. And now I'm ready for a quiet weekend :)

Thoughts? Or any other big Target fans out there? Big weekend plans? Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The first time I said "I love you"

A friend recently told me that she and her boyfriend exchanged the four-letter "L" word. Love, that's the "L" word I'm referring to. Mind out of the gutter.

And while sharing in her good news, I reminisced back to the first time I said "I love you" to a guy. Oh misty water-colored memories.

For me, saying "I love you" is a big deal. Big. As a perpetual late bloomer, who had her first kiss at 18 and first real boyfriend at 19, being in love was romanticized for a long time by Disney and the movies, so I always wondered what it would feel like to love someone and how I would "know" when I did.

As he was for many other things, Peter was the first and only guy I ever said those words to. And he was the one to say "I love you" first in our relationship.

I don't remember the exact moment I knew that I was in love with him, but I do remember one day looking at him and feeling like I couldn't breathe. And when he asked if I was okay, I blurted out, "I love you."

Yes, I'm sure it's better than saying, "no, I'm choking" or "no, I'm just passing gas" but at that moment, I could finally say that I loved him. And he knew that when I did, it was sincere.

And once I said it, I was a love-saying machine, I couldn't get enough of it. Yes, I'm sure this made me look a little desperate and clingy, but being in love for the first time made me want to scream it out loud!

And even though things didn't work out with Peter, I found that it took a long time for that love to fade away. Falling in love takes time but falling out of love takes longer. I can't say that a part of me doesn't love Peter anymore, but considering he was the first guy I said it to, I can live with the fact that he'll always be a little more special to me than the rest of them.

So when I say that I love my parents and my friends, I really do. And it's much easier to say that to them than to a guy I like or am romantically involved with. But at least when I say it to a guy, I know it's for real.

Question time! How man guys/girls have you said "I love you" to? And how did you know when you were in love with them? I'm very anxious to hear the responses on this as I'm sure everyone's experiences are different.

Reader note: Everyone's comments on the beauty queen title cracked me up! I am so glad I'm not the only ungraceful person out there. And again, while I poke fun at pageants, I'm not poking for at people who participate in them. I'm sure they do require a lot of training and skill, I'm just not that talented :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why I will never be a beauty queen

The Miss USA pageant was a few weeks ago and looking at the women, so statuesque and curled, sprayed and tweezed within an inch of their life (while I sat on the couch in glasses, face mask and retainer in), I realized, I will never be a beauty queen.

And I am okay with that.

It's looking beyond the scary pageant mom and coach, but from my peek at pageant life through reality TV and movies, those women are kra-zee!

Here is what makes me non-beauty queen potential:
  • I am not eloquent. I have a tendency to "um" and "ah" and "errrrr" my way through answers to questions
  • I don't like to smile all the time
  • I will not put Vaseline on my teeth
  • I don't prance around in a swimsuit. But I will prance around in an evening dress willingly
  • I have no talent. I don't play an instrument, dance, sing or work with animals, but I can do stand up comedy and accessorize
  • I can't cry on command if I win. I could try, but no promises
And if asked my feelings on world peace, I might stumble over my answer.

Yes, I do want world peace, but I'd also like our economy to stabilize, my 401k to get it's act together and cancer to be cured. Then we'll get to world peace.

That is my declaration tonight, that I am not beauty queen material, but I do love playing dress up. I guess I'm more Miss Congeniality than the MTV pageant reality shows.

Now, I don't mean any offense to those who were in pageants or are fans of them. I'm merely saying I'm not that kind of girl.

So I guess the question for tonight is, are you "beauty queen" material? And if not, what kind of beauty queen would you be? Me, I'd probably be the smart a** one who giggles and acts immature. It happens.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Key learnings, reality show filming and trekking for food

Happy Sunday! It was a great weather weekend in Chicago, mostly because the sun was out and not drop of rain. I even pulled out all the new spring clothes so I can start wearing them ASAP.

So while I'm mentally delaying the start of another week, let's hit the key learnings.

Key Learnings:
  • I hate the sound of car horns honking. HATE it
  • The two of the most distinctive sounds are: glass shattering and someone's car being hit (people sure don't like that)
  • Netflix needs to start sending me happier movies. My latest selections: The Reader, The Wrestler, Rachel Getting Married and Doubt. Geez
  • Mussels and fried eggs are my new favorite foods, along with gnocchi
  • A beer headache is not a good way to start a Friday, especially when you have work to do
  • Adjusting yourself in public is never appropriate or appreciated by women
  • I am obsessed with taking pictures of flowers
  • E! producers are serious when they say "no flash photography"
  • Muffin tops are out in full force and show no signs of stopping
  • Even on a summer-like day, someone will always be outside wearing a down jacket
  • I am SO tired of hearing about Swine Flu
  • I really like having a Blackberry, which means, I can never go back to life without one
Reality Show Taping
Today I went to the gym and was greeted with a large "NOTICE" sign on the front door. 
Swine flu? No, turns out E! was there filming Bill and Giuliana Rancic's new reality show. And the notice was to tell us that by entering the premise, we consented to possibly being filmed. So despite my mismatched outfit, glasses and unwashed hair, I walked in and did my workout, sneaking away to watch some of the filming.

I even took a few photos of the filming (Mission Impossible-style) before I was caught and asked to stop by a swarm of not-so-happy producers. Dude, I'm a blogger, you can't stop me!!

Oh yeah and Saturday night I went to The Publican, rated by Chicago Magazine and TimeOut Chicago as the best new restaurant. And it was a decadence of pork and meat. Sarah and I trekked down to the West Loop to meet Ray for a lovely night out. And somewhere between the chef's selection of three hams, farm roasted chicken, frites with fried egg, and lemon and chocolate gelato, I died and went to heaven. My parents even gave me the third-degree about my dining experience, which means a return trip with them could be in my future. Plus, when you see a restaurant sign with pigs on it, you know it'll be good!

How was everyone else's weekend? Do anything fun? I hope the weather was as nice by you as it was here! We have so earned it!

Reader note: I really enjoyed everyone's comments on the "petite" post from Thursday. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only petite person out there that feels bittersweet about my height. Everyone was great to share their thoughts on this and I very much enjoyed them :)