Archive for February 2009

26 February 2009

Weather reporting in “girl” talk

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Fashion

I find it funny that I’m posting about this when it’s currently a monsoon in Chicago. Seriously, my street corner has water over the sidewalk and I couldn’t get a cab to save my life. 

Despite the rain, one day, spring will come around again, and I have zero idea how to dress if it’s not sub-zero or around 30 degrees outside.
For example, a few weeks ago when it was around 50 or 60 degrees, I had no idea what to wear. I literally spent a half hour trying to decide how heavy of a shirt I need and if it was warm enough to go with a down vest or if a fleece was still needed. To no surprise, I overdressed and was sweating like a prostitute in church.
When the seasons change, I need the weathermen to give me more guidance when they share their excitement about warmer temperatures. Telling me, “it’s a great day outside!” or “it’s 20 degrees warmer than last week” doesn’t help! NBC Chicago’s meteorologist will say, “bring a light coat,” but that is not very helpful either. Define what kind of light coat is appropriate for today! I have options!
I need the weathermen to break it down more. 
For example, on an unseasonably warm day in winter (like we had a few weeks ago,) I need to hear, “it’s 60 degrees in Chicago in February. It’s warm enough to wear a light fleece coat with T-shirt underneath, or a long-sleeve top with down vest. Uggs are not required but sneakers are recommended.”
THIS will help me plan what to wear.
Or when there is a chance of rain, they should say, “if you are leaving work on time but running a few errands, wear the wellies just in case,” or “skip the wellies and bring the umbrella if you’ll be home by eight.”
THIS is also helpful.
Put the weather report in my language and I won’t have to worry about running late or turning to Twitter to ask people what I should wear or getting my shoes soaked by rain. I may be a sheep but sticking my hand outside the window or staring at people’s outfits that are walking on the street isn’t the most reliable. Just give to me in girl talk.
Would anyone else like to see this on the morning news? Do you often misjudge what to wear when it’s suddenly warm outside?

24 February 2009

E-mail etiquette: f-you or miss you?

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: work

This morning the TODAY show and RedEye both hit on a topic I found very interesting: the tone of your “goodbye e-mail” if you’ve been let go from a job

Note: I have not been let go from my job nor do I have any plans to leave. But as layoffs become more of a reality for some, this issue did catch my attention.
Most of the goodbye e-mails I’ve received are the standard, cordial, “I’ll miss working with everyone here,” type of e-mail, but there have been a few with a more biting, bitter tone. And I shook my head while reading them.
Hey, I’ve been let go from a job, I know the feeling of anger and resentment that you feel in that moment when you are suddenly losing your income for the foreseeable future. I’ve been more than tempted to tell my co-workers to go f*ck themselves and that they are all d-bags, but I didn’t.
And I didn’t do that for one reason: I might need something from them again. And really, in many industries, it’s a small world and that stuff isn’t forgotten.
There is nothing worse than telling someone off, only to run into them again when you need something from them. And the momentary thrill of leaving with your middle finger extended wears off shortly after and you can’t take it back.
So while some may not resent sending off a brutally honest e-mail, I don’t have the guts to do it and I don’t think I would even if I did have the
What about everyone else? What kind of e-mail would you send out: cordial or brutally honest? Or, if you’ve been let go from a job, what kind did you send?

23 February 2009

My Oscar fashion awards

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Fashion

That’s right, it’s here! Last night was the big night, the Super Bowl of fashion and my fashion senses were on overload. The pleating, the color (and lack thereof) and diamonds, oh my!

Overall, I really liked a lot of the Oscar looks this year. The stars brought back glamour and hit on a lot of the trends this season. But unfortunately, there were some missteps (Nicole Kidman) and I have recounted my Oscar fashion wrap up below for everyone to enjoy.
Here we go Hollywood, no mercy!

Best Dressed (tie)

(Straight-up modern day Grace Kelly. Divine)

(Wish it had more color, but the pleating detail was amazing)

Worst spray tan endorsement
(there is a lot more wrong with this look but I’ll refrain)

Modern interpretation of Michael Jackson’s “glove” (it morphed into a sleeve!)

Most “large and in charge boobs” (got milk?)

Sign that boobs can grow flowers!

Shameless rip-off
(it’s Kate’s Globes dress in red! And she wore it better)

Best use of sequins/paillettes

Scarlett O’Hara-inspired dress
(turning bad curtains into a dress. I hate the shape)

Showing badly that the curtains match the carpet
(in a non-dirty way)

Best Use of Toilet Paper on a dress (still love it though)

Worst boob hair

Worst Overall Look (tie)

(I just hate the entire neckline of this. You’re dating Jake Gyllenhaal, come on!)

(Bed head + bad fitting dress = disaster. You’re dating JT, “woman up” and put together som
ething better!)

Best everyday look (JCrew)

Is there anyone I’m missing? Overall, there were a lot of great looks last night. But some SCARY eye makeup. Lots of “cat eyes” or shimmer in places it should not be shimmering.
Also, I found out that I did win my work’s Oscar pool! Woo woo! Much to celebrate today.
Finally, now that the award season is over, I’m thinking of adding another semi-regular feature here where I show the clothes, accessories, etc. that I’m currently coveting. This can be anything from coasters to cardigans to shoes. What do you think?

22 February 2009

Key learnings, Restaurant Week part one and more snow

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Food
Happy Oscar Sunday! Squee! I’m so excited. And I’m still full from the beginning of Chicago Restaurant Week (more details below.)
Oh yeah and we got about 2-4 inches of snow again! Boo. Come on global warming, swing back around with a 60-degree day again.
Anyhow, back to Hugh Jackman and here are some key learnings.
Key Learnings:
  • It’s acceptable to tip your eyebrow wax girl only 10 percent when she consistently calls you a “waxing sissy”
  • A snowed in Saturday is still fun as an adult
  • Drinking can really add up at a bar/restaurant. One drink at $6 suddenly multiplies into $30
  • Cutting hair out of your clogged vacuum cleaner is messy, gross and humbling. Enough hair for a small dog can be next to you at the end of the task
  • Shaving your legs during winter really isn’t a priority 
  • You don’t have to be a major Cubs fan to enjoy the thrill of getting tickets online
  • Riding in an elevator that smells like puke will make you consider doing it yourself
  • Note to guys: I don’t watch you adjust yourself, please don’t leer at me when I’m fishing out a hair that’s fallen in my sports bra
  • Loud and obnoxious drunk girls who sing in the hallway still irritate me, even if it’s before midnight
  • There is no graceful way to regain your balance when you slip on the wet bus floor in boots. Just fall and let it go
Chicago Restaurant Week (part one)
As I mentioned Friday, Restaurant Week is going on right now in Chicago and this weekend I hit my first two restaurants, Prosecco and Carnivale. Below are highlights of both.
Prosecco – Grade: B+
Starter: Butternut and acorn squash with pancetta – amazing. Great flavor, very smooth and a lovely start to the meal

Meal: Butter noodles with braised pork loin and red sauce – also amazing. Very light, well seasoned and the pork loin was very well prepared
Dessert: Tiramisu – not great. In fact, it was still frozen when served. I could taste the “freezer crystals.” Definitely a disappointment, but not enough to kill the entire meal
Carnivale – Grade: A
Starter: Spinach, Parmesan cheese and butternut squash empanada – superb starter. Only complaint was the empanada crust, which looked like a Hot Pocket
Meal: Beef tenderloin, peppers and aji panca with rice – very well done. Meat was perfectly cooked and the beef went together very well with the rice, pepers and aji panca (I don’t know what that is, but it was awesome)
Dessert: Coconut flan – very nice finish with heavy whipping cream and caramel. 
This week I have two more places to visit and I’m excited about both. I’m trying to sample different types of cuisine through this, such as Vietnamese and Latin, which I don’t eat on a regular basis, but am excited about trying.
Giveaway winner
Drumroll please! The winner of my BOCA giveaway is……Working Girl Two! Congratulations! Please e-mail me at with your contact information and I’ll ship out your prize this week! Thank you again to everyone who entered, I’ll let you know if I can do another one soon.
How was everyone else’s weekend? Do anything fun? Are you watching the Oscars?
Remember! Tomorrow is my Oscar’s fashion recap, be sure to check back and let me know if I hit the mark or forget anyone.

19 February 2009

Tidbit Thursday

By: Jessica B.

So my last post was a little heavy topic-wise, I thought I would lighten it up a little today with some fun bullets!

Let’s check out what’s noodling around in my noggin.

  • Over the weekend, I bought a summer dress from JCrew for 10.25 percent off (no sales tax.) And I am LOVING it. Even though I’ve only worn it in my apartment because…it’s not summer outside…yet, I cannot wait for it to warm up so I can wear it. The dress is a shorter version of this one in chocolate brown
  • And because I’m weak, I also bought more JCrew argyle socks, which I’m am obsessed with. I have four pairs now and have my eye on two more pairs. I don’t know why I’m obsessed with it, but I feel like it allows me to indulge my inner preppy personality…and I like it!
  • For some reason, I have been very forgetful lately, which is unlike me. I can remember very random things about anyone. My recent incidents include: running into walls, nearly missing dentist appointments and forgetting parties I’ve RSVP’ed for. It appears as though my mind is scattered
  • Tomorrow starts Chicago Restaurant Week and I am so excited I could spit. For one week each year, select Chicago restaurants open their doors and serve prix fixe lunches and dinners for $22 and $32 respectively. This year I’m going to four restaurants: Prosecco, Carnivale, Le Colonial and Coco Pazzo. Expect pictures from the first two places on Sunday
  • Speaking of Sunday, it’s Oscar time and my work is doing a pool. Fortunately, I just got my Oscar edition of Entertainment Weekly so I’m ready to put my $2 in and vote. Keep your fingers crossed that I win!
  • Also, I’m f*cking TIRED of this winter weather. Today was minus zero again with the wind chill and now another winter storm is heading our way. I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life, but suddenly, warmer, non-winter climate is lookin’ real good
  • I’m still puzzled by a man at the gym who was headbanging to his iPod one minute and then admiring himself in the mirror while moving his hips in Shakira-like fashion. People at my gym are weird
Oh and here is the picture of me holding the Oscar that I mentioned in Sunday’s post. I want to thank my dad, family and of course, myself. I could not have done it without you!
Does anyone else have big plans for the weekend?

Also, since the Oscars are Sunday, I will be featuring the best/worst dressed stars on Monday. Feel free to prepare yourself for the lack of mercy I will show by checking out my past SAG and Golden Globes recaps.

Reader note: Thank you to everyone for your great comments on Tuesday’s cheating post. I really appreciate everyone sharing their personal stories and thoughts on it. It was really interesting to read  everyone’s opinion on it.
Also, I’ll post the winner to the BOCA Balanced Living giveaway on Sunday too!