Archive for March 2009

30 March 2009

My love/hate relationship with high heels

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Fashion

Because I’m 5′ 3″, high heels should be my best friend. They give me me height, make my legs look longer and help with my posture.

But sometimes, they are the most awful things in the entire world. Yes, the entire world.
Why shoes? Why do you hate me so much! I help make you look pretty!
I’ve had two events in the last week where I wore high heels, looked smoking hot and then was in total agony by the end of the night. Like, I could barely walk because the pain was so bad.
On Saturday night at the wedding, I had to abandon my Payless shoes because I could barely walk from the high heel-induced pain. Fortunately, we were indoors, the floor was relatively clean and I was wearing tights.
I went from wearing these heels:
To this, and felt immediately better after (plus I couldn’t wait to go dance again):
I’m apparently not one of those women who can breeze down 5th or Michigan Avenues in her Carrie Bradshaw-like heels or stand for hours on end looking pain-free and fabulous.
I have some heels that I know aren’t “going out” practical, but they sure look good while I sit at my desk :) Actually, I have several pairs of those.
Despite this agony, I won’t stop wearing heels, but rather, will maybe invest in these cute Foot Petal pads that my stepmom told me about, or embrace my “Mr. Rogers-like” practice of wearing sneakers while walking outside and then changing into other shoes for the main event.
A message to all high heels, I love you, but like the b*tch you are, you hurt me too.
Am I the only one who has a love/hate relationship with high heels? They do look so good on the rack but can be painful after about 15 minutes of standing.

29 March 2009

Key learnings, snow and wedding recap

By: Jessica B.
I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland. Seriously. Blizzard-like conditions in Chicago with several inches by 8 a.m. Here are some pictures: snow, more snow. I was rather perplexed by this (and irritated) so I hibernated (with candy) and caught up on more reading, so let’s hit the key learnings.
Key Learnings:
  • High heels look sexy but they are the devil
  • No matter how full I am, there is always room for candy and/or cake
  • I hate asking friends to bum cash when I accidentally leave it at home (which rarely happens)
  • When buying a dress, fit is key, but make sure you leave some room to eat (sometimes, you need it)
  • Groomsmen always look a little hotter than normal at a wedding, something about the suit
  • Sometimes on a bad day, Chipotle can taste like sweet heaven
  • Some of the best Friday nights include: comfy pants, magazines and cleaning out the DVR, all while relaxing on the couch
  • RedBox may be my new best friend
  • The movie Australia isn’t great, but Hugh Jackman without a shirt is on fabulous
  • Twilight is much better upon second viewing, coupled with low expectations for the film
  • When dumpster diving, dress appropriately, if possible
  • Cobblestone and high heels do not mix well
I mentioned last week that I was nervous about going to a wedding sans date, but I have to say, I had a great time going as a single lady.
TKTC and my co-worker Laura were my “dates” to Rebecca’s wedding at the Conservatory last night and everything was just beautiful. Despite the rain and cooler temps, everyone had a great time in a gorgeous setting of flowers and plants. Check out this picture of us sexy ladies!

So the JCrew dress was out because of the weather, but I still think my backup outfit works :)
The food was amazing (imagine seasoned chicken breast, chilled pea soup, bacon wafer and full candy bar) and we had a choice of six amazing cakes from Bon Bon to pick from, including margarita, mango and strawberry shortcake. For me, the mango and strawberry shortcake were the best and let’s just say, I was STUFFED by the end of dinner service.

And although I forgot my plastic baggie for the candy bar, the bride and groom provided some for us (thank goodness!) and I had a nice treat to enjoy today, starting at 9:45 a.m. Thanks to Twitter support, it’s apparently never too early to get started.
It was such a nice evening. The ladies and I gossiped, talked, laughed and had a great time. They were great company, and I was able to catch up with my knitting crew, who all looked lovely. The best touch of the night had to be the awesome placecard/drink savers we all received too. Rebecca is so sweet, keeping me from having a roofie put in my beverage :) Awesome idea.
Anyhow, Rebecca looked stunning and as always, hosted a wonderful party. Congrats to the bride and groom!
So how was everyone else’s weekend? See any movies or do anything fun?
Reader notes: Thanks everyone for playing the Desert Island game. Know there was a lot of information to include in that post so feel free to go back and add answers or answer just a few of them. I realized after a few comments that I asked for a lot :)

26 March 2009

The Desert Island game

By: Jessica B.
Okay, I’m in final prep for a busy weekend full of birthday parties and weddings, so I’m keeping this one light tonight.
I love the Office and in season two’s episode, “The Fire,” Jim and everyone play a game called, “Desert Island,” where they list the top five movies, books, television shows they would bring with them to a desert island. Oh and I have a little version of the other game they played “who would you do?” too at the end ;)
So to kick off the weekend, I thought I would play this game with all of you!

Here are my answers:

  • Tommy Boy
  • Casino
  • Enchanted
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary
  • Love Actually
  • Anything by Jennifer Weiner or Emily Giffin
  • Vanity Fair (makes me feel smart)
  • People
  • Us Weekly (I need my gossip)
  • Twilight series
Television shows:
  • Office (yeah, that’s not a surprise)
  • Arrested Development
  • 90210 (original version)
  • O.C.
  • Colbert Report
Now the question is: Who would you rather do? (aka “hook up” with)
1. John Krasinski – Robert Pattinson
2. George Clooney – Brad Pitt

3. Jon Hamm – Joe Jonas
4. Larry the Cable Guy – Stewie

My answers: 1 – John Krasinski, 2 – George Clooney, 3- Jon Hamm, 4 – Um, do I have to pick?
I’m curious to read everyone’s answers!
This weekend is the wedding I mentioned yesterday and Miss Jamie’s birthday. I’ll have pictures and stories to share!
What is everyone else up to this weekend?

25 March 2009

Being the single girl at a wedding

By: Jessica B.
Despite being a social person, I hate going to events alone. I have a tendency to be the awkward girl lingering by the door, frantically texting or scanning the crowd for a familiar face.
Which is why I’m a little nervous about going single to a wedding this weekend. I’ve been single at weddings before, but I always brought a guest with me.
But this time, I decided to go on my own after talking/begging two guy friends to go with me, only to have one turn me down and the other to conveniently be out of town. Asshats. However, after talking to two co-workers who will also be there single, I decided to be bold and go on my own. Oh it’s Ladies Night for us.
But despite being single, independent women at this lovely wedding, I can’t help but feel a little nervous, considering I only know a handful of people that will be there.
Here’s what I’m not looking forward to about being single at a wedding:
  • The stares. The oh-you’re-so-brave-and-independent-so-we-won’t-talk-about-it stares with silent judging and nods of encouragement
  • Pressure. The inevitable, lingering pressure to hook up or keep yourself open to finding “the one” at the open bar or buffet table
  • Slow songs. It’s like being back at a high school dance, but without a date. Which means during slow songs I’ll be saddled up to the bar, swearing like a trucker and dreaming of a cigarette
  • Bouquet toss. I don’t know if the couple is actually doing it, but I’ve never caught one, yet don’t want to look too desperate in reaching for it to see what sucker catches the garter
To overcompensate for these things, I’ve spent a painful amount of time picking out an outfit, to dress up the fact that I will be drinking heavily to feel more comfortable.
Maybe if I look good with the “girls” and my other single ladies, this won’t be too bad. It’s an evening wedding so I’m even planning to trying to hit up the gym earlier in the day so the “gun show” is locked and loaded for the evening.
Oh and since there will be a candy bar, I need to stuff Ziploc bags in my purse for treats to take home. Yes, you heard me right. I will be munching on candied apple slices and M&Ms; on the bus ride home.
So how have you survived weddings that you’ve gone solo to, or what things bother you the most about weddings? From cash bar to bad food to awful music?

24 March 2009

Common Threads gala & Top Chef superfan

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Food

You all know that I’m not the best in the kitchen, but I love a good meal and last night I was very fortunate to attend the Common Threads World Festival 2009 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which had food and chefs from some of Chicago’s best restaurants.

Common Threads was co-founded by chef Art Smith to educate children on the importance of nutrition and teach them to make proper food choices through cooking education. It’s a really great cause.

I’m writing this recap and noshing on caramel popcorn from Graham Elliott (in a convenient Chinese take-out box,) thinking of how I can recap this great evening for everyone. So we’ll do it in a bulleted form!
Here are some highlights:

  • Seeing Gail Simmons, Top Chef judge and Food & Wine editor, within the first two minutes of arriving and saying (loudly,) “OMG it’s Gail, I die!” FYI: she is gorgeous in person, skinny and petite while rocking sky-high heels
  • Hunting down Stephanie Izard from Top Chef Season 4 and over enthusiastically saying how excited I am to meet her, like several times, oh and how I “hunted her down” to meet her. Probably thinks I’m c-r-a-z-y!
  • Saying hi to Mr. Graham Elliott Bowles himself and having him offer to shove leftover caramel popcorn in my purse. Really wish I brought a bigger bag
  • Best meal: Pork and pasta by Michelle Bernstein. Why was it so good? Perfectly cooked meat that melts in your mouth. Why was it also good? Butter and cream. Num and nummier
  • Best meal runners-up: Goat cheese from Les Nomades and Swedish pancake with goat cheese from Blackbird
  • Most bittersweet dish: Pork and shrimp by Stephanie Izard. It was good, but a little underseasoned for my taste. Still love her though
  • Best drink: Trust me, I behaved myself, but the champagne, Gran Marnier and pomegranate juice concoction was very lovely
  • Other reality-star sighting: Ken from season two of Make Me A Supermodel (he was smiling with his eyes)
Also, while I am sometimes awkward in social situations, I was a TOTAL ham at the party. I had a list of people I wanted to meet and I hunted them all down to say hi. I went right up to Gail Simmons, Stephanie Izard and Radhika from Top Chef and geeked out about how excited I was to meet them. What can I say, I’m a huge Top Chef fan.
I know not everyone may know who these people are, but I had to share this because it was a great night and a great treat to go. Plus, I got to get semi-dressed up in a cute Banana Republic jersey LBD and shoes, which were torture devices near the end of the night. And, I got to sample great, fancy food I would never be able to make. Well, maybe if I could just move beyond making pasta at home….
So the question for everyone tonight is…what is your favorite restaurant/dish to order when you go out? One of my colleagues admitted tonight she’s a huge Olive Garden fan, never would have guessed that!