Archive for May 2009

28 May 2009

Caption needed: Party pants

By: Jessica B.

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!!)

27 May 2009

Mating season: Hot time, summer in the city

By: Jessica B.
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.

26 May 2009

The importance of a mani/pedi

By: Jessica B.

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.

25 May 2009

Weekend recap: food, shopping and manual labor

By: Jessica B.
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?

21 May 2009

Randomness: fashion, movies, pop culture and food

By: Jessica B.

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 :)