Mermaid Hair {Link Up}

July 31, 2013

i'm sorry for being lame.  i promise to be back to regular blogging style next week, because i'm determined to make an apartment decision by sunday.  it will be done.  i have appointments to see places friday, saturday and sunday.

until then, enjoy some photos of tara and i at last year's 'everybody gets leis' bar crawl.  enjoy my mermaid hair.  you're never too old for a hair crimper.

hawkeye doesn't approve.


July 30, 2013

why does apartment hunting feel like such an overwhelming task?  it's really not.  you plug in your price range and look at pictures online.  but it seems like there's a lot of work to be done.  i don't like it.  i don't want to apartment hunt, i want to read blogs.

but i am.  apartment hunting that is.  the rent is going up too much on my current place so i'd really like to find something cheaper.  if nothing else i can stay or move into a smaller slightly cheaper (but still overpriced) unit in the same building.  so this is not a 'find some place tomorrow or be homeless' situation.  but for my ocd, list-making, decisions-must-be-made-immediately and i must begin packing in an orderly fashion personality, it sure seems like it is.  (side note, hooray for organization and minimalism, i can get fully packed in probably 2 hours.)

so i've been searching on websites, which is a task that annoys me to no end.  i need one giant we have it all website and realtor.  i'm sick of e-mails and phone calls from 10 different companies.  i hate having things in my inbox.  i especially hate that they leave voicemails, you know how i feel about voicemail.  of course i cannot take your call at 9:45 a.m.  or 2:30 p.m.  i have a job, that's how i can afford an apartment.  really, a decision just needs to be made because the disorganization of it all is making me angry.

and then there's deciding between finding a place to rent or just sucking it up and buying a condo - because rental payments are basically mortgages here in chicago, it's a huge rip off.  i found a few condo buildings, right downtown, and calculated that my monthly payment with a mortgage (plus taxes and assessments) would actually be a couple hundred less than what i'm paying now.  does that seem insane to anyone else? 

i'm offering this up as a partial reason for being lame this week about reading blogs and responding to comments and e-mails.  at some point, i will do these things.  but not until an apartment decision has been made, because i like to only work on one thing at a time.  keep your fingers crossed for me that a decision will be made by the end of this weekend!

Arbitrary Lessons My Mother Taught Me

July 29, 2013

i really was never one to question my mother.  i was never the kid asking 'why?  but why?'  if my parents told me something, i accepted it.  oftentimes i think my mother would just answer my questions with the first thing that came to her mind, without realizing that i'd remember these arbitrary things and carry them into adulthood.

80 degrees is when you can wear shorts/skirts.  temperature really made no sense to me as a kid, i couldn't figure it out on my own.  65, 75, 85, whatever, it was all the same.  all i knew was 10 was cold and 100 was hot.  so i asked my mom when it was warm enough to wear shorts and she told me to stop asking and check the weather channel.  if it was 80, i could wear shorts.  i still think this in the back of my mind.  if it's 79, i will definitely be in pants. 

i have a stork bite.  there's a birthmark on the back of my neck, in the base of my hairline.  i've never seen it, but other people confirm it exists.  it's not like a regular one though, it's light pink in color, just a pinky patch of skin. (it's common, they really are called 'stork bites')  well of course this is what my mom told me it was, and since i'm adopted, i believed the stork brought me.  since i'm adopted and an only child, i still believe this.  the stork brought me.  i like this story.

i look good in orange.  i have heard that very few people look good in orange or yellow, but as a kid my mother always told me i did.  but she did all my clothes shopping so it really wouldn't have mattered to me anyway.  i have no idea really if i look good in orange, but i continue to believe it and buy orange and yellow clothes.

horizontal stripes make you look fat.  well... she was right about this one.  horizontal stripes make everyone look fat.  it probably didn't when i was wearing them at age 8, but at least she taught me early.

i wonder if my mother remembers that she taught me these things.  i should ask her.

4 Fictional Characters I Want as a Best Friend

July 28, 2013

karen walker
like anyone other than karen would be my idol.  i want to be her, but i'd settle for best friends.  i don't think this one needs any explanation.  (and let's be honest, i'm pretty close to being her...)

raj koothroppali
i think raj is sadly and drastically overlooked.  sure, penny would be fun, sheldon would be hilarious to listen to, but real best friend status?  raj.  first of all, we'd be drinking all the time since that's the only way he could talk to me.  win.  second, his dog and hawkeye would be besties too and he wouldn't judge me for all the ridiculous things i do for that spoiled fur ball.  we could push them in strollers in the park!

fat amy
fat amy is absolutely my favorite person in pitch perfect, and she's really a fantastic and loyal friend to all of them throughout.  she always has snacks... but mostly, she's just hilarious.  mermaid dancing?  and she straight up has the best ideas:

who better to gossip with, wear pink with, go to pride fest with?  his hair may not be big, but it is full of secrets.  every girl needs a gay best friend to be honest about your outfits, and damian would just be the top of my list.  and let's not forget, he made this quote.

what fictional character are you dying to have as a best friend?

101 in 1001 Monthly Progress Report {Link Up}

July 26, 2013

the first day of the link up!  thanks for participating, betsy and i are excited to see what you're working on.  (and one of the things on my list is to make another 101 list when this one is almost done, so mostly... this is a a way for me to use your ideas...)

well here's my update for the month - as i've mentioned, 101 things in 1001 days is about 1 item every 10 days.  which means at least 3 per month.  well i'm happy to report huge success this month!  something about that 'getting started' momentum, i think.  the ones in bold are finished, the ones in italics i began working on!  so yes, this is 20 things i got done in the first month.  not just 3.  twenty.  i'm glad, because i know every month won't be this easy (especially when i start on those expensive travel and paying off debt goals.)

see the complete list here if you want.

get my apartment and possessions 100% organized - done, a big one.  i was pretty close to organized when i started but i needed the extra push to just finish all those little details.  now i know everything that's in my apartment and where it is, and everything is set up in a way that makes it easy for me to keep it organized.  how many people can say that - 100% organized.  jealous?
organize my itunes music and make playlists
make sure everything currently in my apartment fits my personal style - i tossed a lot of too college-y crap
organize all of my photos on iphoto and back them up multiple places

get the apartment on a realistic cleaning schedule

downsize her toys and figure out how to keep her things neater - she's terrible. every time i took a toy out that she never plays with, she'd grab it and run to the other room.  she's a hoarder, and also hates to share.  

party    (19-27)
learn a new drinking game - learned about 5 new drinking games!
find favorite red and white wines - went wine tasting on the 4th, and found a lot of new favorites, particularly ones that are cheap and easy to locate.  apothic, sequin, acrobat and cupcake!
make every drink on my cocktail hour pinterest board (3/24) - 1, 2, and 3

read all the e-books on my amazon wish list
watch all the seasons of a show i've never seen - supernatural, 30 rock, and game of thrones.
read an entire book in one day - i read.  i've been reading.  be proud!
research donating bone marrow, and maybe sign up to donate - done!  i learned that i'm able to donate (wasn't sure) and what the process entails, and then sent in my cheek swab kit.
watch 101 popular movies/movies i've been meaning to see (3/101)
read 101 books (e-books count) (39/101)

find a signature fragrance - i chose jewel by mark and i love it.
find a really perfect cross body bag - i realized the search was silly because i have 20 purses i already love, so i just ordered matching cross body straps on etsy instead!
find a signature style/brand of jeans - i have multiple now. first my 'cheaper' brand is definitely the american eagle skinny kick.  i also went to a place in chicago called blues jean bar, and they fit you for a ton of higher end brands. i love the paige line, specifically the skyline.  insane price different from ae, obviously.  the paige ones i can tell would last forever and hold their shape, it's a heavier and more well made material.  maybe i'll request them for my birthday, but until then, ae wins!
get everything for a well-stocked home bar and maintain it - see thursday's post!

finally get my silver jewelry cleaned - i thought this was going to be harder, as in, taking everything back to tiffany's and having them clean it.  turns out, you can just rub toothpaste on it and boom.  good as new.
learn new relaxation tips that work for me - not as good as prozac of course, but still, they're working.
make my own mini happiness project - i'll do a more in depth post about this.  see friday's post for how i got started!

start and maintain a complete address book and birthday list

just for fun   
play trivia at a bar - went to a place called butch mcguire's with megan.  we sucked, but i think it's because it was a lot of all-star game trivia.  we're going to try again though, it was fun!

host a 'bucket list progress' link-up at least once - well hey, that's why you're here now, isn't it?
try some of the ideas on 31 days to a better blog - i did quite a few.  some were spot on and good ideas, others just didn't apply to me.  glad i tried them though!

the list  
save my change for 1001 days - got a cute change jar so i'll be working on this from here on out.


Stocking a Bar Cart

July 24, 2013

one of the things on my 101 in 1001 list is to stock and maintain my home bar cart.  you may remember that i have the cart pictured here.  i did a good job of cleaning it out and now i need to stock it with cute things.  this was the best list i found so far:

i already ordered adorable straws and picks.  there's not a whole lot of color in my apartment, but i like it that way.  generally everything is neutrals and gold.  black and gold, iowa colors ;)  so here's how it's coming along so far:

the canvas print is from a photo my best friend meredith took at my law school graduation.  she also bought me those shot glasses.  the straws and picks i found on etsy, the tray is from target.  the candle holder is from crate and barrel although i'm torn on keeping it.  i never light it because i use my scentsy but i still think it looks pretty.  thoughts?

i'm pretty set on glassware and most other utensils and tools (though i do need a pretty cocktail shaker!) so now it's on to the most important and of course most fun part - stocking the alcohol.

what do you recommend?  any favorite brands, favorite drinks?  i'd like to keep it stocked with the ingredients to make a bunch of different cocktails, so what's your go-to drink?

8 Things I Wish Were Still Acceptable

July 23, 2013

now this isn't a list of things from my childhood that i wish still existed.  because a lot of them, most of them, do.  i just wish i was at an age where they were still socially acceptable.  or that i can just once again make them acceptable, at any age.  my life would be a vast improvement.  no, really though.

blow up furniture. do you know how much easier my life would be in terms of moving and furniture replacement if it were still acceptable to have a bright orange blow up couch?! seriously. 
blanket and pillow forts. i would like to build a blanket and pillow fort in my living room and hide in it for hours until i feel like dealing with the world again. and then have a mommy clean up the mess. 

scrunchies. modern day hair holding devices hurt my head and damage my hair. can't it be time to bring back scrunchies please?! 

eating lunchables every day. busting out the occasional lunchable - don't even tell me you don't still do it. but i wish it were acceptable to eat pizza lunchables every single day.  and dunkaroos and koala yummies.  so basically i wish eating healthy never became a thing.

owning a hamster. some days i really want a rabbit, but my college roommate had rabbits and those things are a bitch to take care of. so then i think that i want a hamster, but since i'm not 10, apparently i can't get one any more. sad. 

clap lights. that was my favorite part of my room as a kid. clap on! clap off!  my mother eventually hid it from me because it annoyed her so much. when i finally found it some 10 years later, it didn't work any more. 

candy and dessert disguised as cereal. sure they still have lucky charms but for the most part they've done away with the truly terrible for kids cereals, and that's a shame. french toast crunch, oreo o's, rice krispie treats. i'd actually eat breakfast if those were still acceptable "cereals."

shaquille o' neal movies.  perhaps they never were acceptable but there was a time you could admit to watching kazaam.  whatever, it was awesome, and if he made another movie, i'd watch it.

what would you still do if it were socially acceptable?

Please Invent These

July 21, 2013

such a let down at the end of the weekend.

but sadly, it is the end of the fun and this weekend really made me realize that there are some things that just don't exist in my life yet, and they need to.

so someone out there, please invent these for me?  i'll be your first and most loyal customer.

an app that narrates my life in morgan freeman's voice.  heck, maybe this already exists, i haven't actually checked yet.  but if it doesn't, someone needs to get on that asap.  sometimes i pretend there's a little morgan freeman on my shoulder, telling me what to do and i hear his voice in my head.  so it would be great to have an app that (a) just in general narrates my awesome life in the dramatic fashion it so rightly deserves and (b) i can ask my burning life questions to and get answered by a morgan freeman voiced version of a magic 8 ball.  is that so much to ask?!

or alternatively, and perhaps more accurately, samuel l. jackson.

low fat taco bell nachos that taste exactly like the full fat version.  need i say more?

a separate lane or highway for advanced drivers.  like, you're passing an extensive exam to be able to use this highway.  you must actually understand things like merging and signalling, and then you can use the special highway which zips all over at 100 mph.  because obviously there'd be no traffic since everyone would know how to drive.

and perhaps more importantly,

hangover-less alcohol.  obviously.  come on science, we gotta be there soon, right?!  don't let me down.

What Happens When You Trolley Bar Crawl

July 17, 2013

oh yes, trolley bar crawls are a thing in chicago.  you rent a trolley to drive you from bar to bar and you can load it up with all the booze you want and pretty much do whatever you want while on said trolley.  it's kind of a disaster and that's kind of why i love it.  so this past weekend, kelli threw her boyfriend ryan a surprise 30th birthday.  complete with shutter shades and t-shirts with his face on them.

so we surprised that kid at the first bar in our matching shirts and proceeded to load onto the trolley, which kelli and her parents (and ryan's parents) had already stocked with booze.

and said trolley drove us around for a bit while everyone consumed slightly too much alcohol - but free?  um, yeah.  and yes, there's betsy!  and that gem next to us?  that would be her husband, kevin, with her purse.

and oh yes, there were jello shots!  the most intensely alcoholic jello shots of all time.  i don't even know how they solidified, it was so much booze.  and they were topped with alcoholic whipped cream.  hence the fab shots of betsy.

we unloaded at a bar called headquarters beercade, where we proceeded to eat tacos kelli had catered and consume way more beer than humanly necessary.  but i look fantastic in pink shutter shades so that made everything ok.


and the best part is, i have another trolley bar crawl this saturday for my friend caitlin's birthday!  the fun just never ends.

Things That Will Never Stop Being Funny

July 15, 2013


mitch hedberg. anyone my age better know who this man is.  was.  he died.  tragic.  anyone younger, find him all over you tube, and then you'll know why i crack up when i see a broken escalator.  or when i'm drunk and eating rice.

this post.  every post of allie's, admittedly, but this post brings me to tears laughing, every time.  because it is  a 100% accurate description of my life.  internet forever.  and you can bet your ass i already pre-ordered her book.  hurry up october.  (and it's worth mention that, although hawkeye is a genius, i can completely relate to this post.  particularly the line about how "making high-pitched noises won't solve your problem if your problem is a complete inability to cope with change.")

the end of the world video.  do you know how old i was when i first saw this?! it's been like a decade because i was for sure in college.  and i laugh like a 10 year old every time i watch it because it's still relevant and because i still regularly say "but i am le tired," "wtf mate?," and "fucking kangaroos."

the best 5 minutes of karaoke ever.

you're welcome.

5 Tasks I Was Terrible at as a Kid

July 9, 2013

i realized that there's a lot of tasks that i'm pretty good at now that i take for granted.  because i was downright terrible at them as a child.

tri-folding.  you know when you stuff envelopes, and you fold the 8 by 11 inch paper into thirds?  as a receptionist and law clerk and various other desk jobs that require mass mailings, i'm pretty excellent at it now.  but i absolutely failed at this as a kid.  did i have no spacial reasoning skills?  was it just me?  i couldn't fold into thirds to save my life.  it was much closer to half and then a tiny bit left over to fold down which then of course wouldn't fit into the envelope.  it was the bane of my existence.

talking on the phone.  my friends not included of course, but other than that i flat out refused to talk on the phone.  random calls from family members?  not a chance.  and i'd rather have starved than ordered pizza myself.  actually, i'm fairly certain i still made my mom order my pizza well into my high school years.  "if you want them to order girl scout cookies, then you have to call them, stephanie."  "well then i guess i'm not selling any cookies this year, mom."

using the microwave.  i got banned from using it for years, actually.  i set so many things on fire in there.  tin foil, peeps, plastic, eggs, parchment paper, grapes.  if it can't be microwaved, you can bet i stuck it in there.  i cannot even count the number of times my mother told me not to put tin foil in there and i would just do it anyway.

giving directions.  i always just assumed other adults driving me around knew where things, like my house, were.  so i sucked at telling them when and where to turn to get me home.  i also didn't know directions or really even street names (i lived off of cicero and this was 'cheerio' to me for a solid decade at least.) so all of my directions home were to tell people to turn at the kow-kow, the asian restaurant at the corner.

eating meals.  how my mother tolerated me, i will never know.  lunch was a 3 hour process because i'd take two bites of something and then run and chase the dog for 15 minutes, then come back for two more bites, and so on.  every single meal time.  it had to have driven her nuts because there was just constant food on the table.  maybe that's why i was so little back then.

i'm pretty glad i've improved at these essential life skills over the years.  what did you suck at as a kid?!

6 Little Quirky Things About Me

July 7, 2013

i can peel a banana with my feet.  i learned this because my mother used to tell me i had monkey toes.  challenge. accepted.

i can't sleep in socks.  sometimes i forget this and then it wakes me up in an hour because i must get them off.

i like to choose the opposite side just for fun.  often just to aggravate people, particularly on a topic i just don't care about.  if someone says chocolate is the best, i argue for vanilla.  if they're adamant about fancy beer, i order pbr in a can.

i'm obsessed with all things spicy and i want to put just straight pepper seeds on all my food.  i rarely think anything is spicy.  my dad is indian and i grew up on his cooking.  everything he makes is spicy and not just indian food.  he makes spicy pasta sauce and spicy eggs.  i think basically my taste buds burned off so now my food has to be exceptionally super human spicy for me to even notice.

i cannot just watch tv or movies.  at least at home.  i always need to be doing something else at the same time.  cleaning, blogging, laundry, cooking - i have to multitask or else i just feel like i'm wasting time.

i love things i suck at.  karaoke, beer pong.  the worse i am the more i want to do it.  but i don't really try to get better at it, i just keep doing what i'm doing.

anyone with me?  tell me i'm not the only one with monkey toes...

11 Most Underappreciated Moments

July 1, 2013

having breakfast for dinner.  and not just cereal.

when you read a blog post and someone copied you or mentioned what you did.  or even better, makes it their own.  nothing makes me happier than seeing "i totally stole this off stephanie's list" or "i got this idea from stephanie, i agree!"

the moment you realize your recipe turned out perfect and looks even better than the pinterest photos.

flipping channels and finding one of your favorite 90's movies is just beginning.

likewise, finding youtube channels that have all your favorite 90's shows or the true disney channel original movies like zenon and johnny tsunami.

taking your shoes off at the end of the day.  especially heels.

finding someone the absolute perfect gift for christmas or their birthday.

being at a sporting event and finding a bathroom that's clean and has no line exactly when you desperately need it.

getting exactly what you ordered, the first time around, at taco bell.

leaving work and hitting every timing correctly - the train is on time, you hit every green light, anything that gets you home a few minutes earlier.

and my personal favorite - waking up after having people over and realizing your fridge is still stocked with booze and perfect hangover food, but you're not quite sure where it came from.

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