Archive for July 2010

29 July 2010

My latest obsessions

By: Jessica B.

Yes, I wanted to channel Usher and Nora with a post dedicated to “confessions,” but sadly, I have nothing worthwhile ¬†or remotely interesting to confess (right now) so I’m focusing on something more healthy, like things I can’t get enough of.

I have an addictive personality and I can get fixated on stuff and then I cannot stop gushing about it. No, that is not meant to sound creepy OR stalkerish.

Let’s take a closer look at what I’m currently obsessed with:

  • Longchamp Le Pilage tote – I have this in the medium and large size and LOVE IT. I had to replace my medium one lately because I literally wore it out after three years. They are perfect for travel and everyday
  • Red wine – Yes, Napa has made me fall in love with it. I have started enjoying a glass more regularly at dinner (on the weekends for now) and it’s just so…yummy
  • Kiehl’s Acai Berry Cleanser – This was an impulse buy and I love it. The foam feels like kisses on your face. KISSES
  • Bethenny Getting Married – I love this show, so much that I will rewatch reruns! I would love to go get coffee with her one day, I think we would both have a good laugh
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer – I wore this to Pitchfork in 90+ degree weather and it didn’t run down my face while sweating. Obsessed!
  • Homemade pizza – I made one this weekend with Mexican Jack cheese, ricotta and sweet onions. OMG it was SO unhealthy but delicious. Isn’t that how it always works?
  • Ice cream – Yep, still obsessed with this one. I have a tub of French Silk ice cream in my fridge and I have no idea how I will be able to resist it
  • Red velvet cupcakes – My coworker brought some in from Sugar Bliss today and I immediately dove for one of the two available Red Velvets. Yes, I love them that much

Yes, clearly I always have skincare, makeup, food and TV on the brain. That’s normal right?

What are you loving lately? Any big weekend plans?

Movie review: That’s right, another one. This time I’m keeping it lighter with Despicable Me!

27 July 2010

Personal photo anxiety

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random, work

I love taking pictures, I’m just not always so good about having them taken of me.

Growing up, my grandpa was a master photographer. He took pictures of my brother and me all the time and I loved it. I would faux model and goof around and it was standard that on any birthday or holiday, we all had to take family photos before opening presents or after (if we couldn’t control ourselves).

I look back at those photos now and smile, having fond memories of those times (and a good laugh at my often horrific hair, glasses and outfits).

But on a bad day, I see nothing but flaws when I look at them. The way I hold my head gives me a double chin, my hair laying limp around my face reminds me of a female Cousin It from the Addams Family. And can I give a shout out to the braces? Oh lord.

Now, I have a certain way that I will stand and tilt my head in photos so that my face and body looks slimmer (or as I like to say, keep my stomach from looking three months pregnant). And if I can’t get in that position, I will awkwardly adjust my body to try and mirror parts of it. People may make fun of me, but seriously, knowing your angles works!

Getting my picture taken, especially when it’s for something official, now turns me into a nervous wreck. For example, recently, we had office picture day, where all staff had to come to get their photos reshot for project presentations, etc.

The first time, I didn’t take it seriously, walked in, found my mark, gave a little Blue Steel and then went over to see the results, where I learned two things: I need to lose 40 pounds and my head is freakishly small compared to my big body.

When I heard reshoots were available, I laid out an outfit, applied full make up, washed and styled my hair, put together jewelry and worked out the day before so my arms looked extra “cut.”

In spite of this, I still looked huge and now, PALE. That was…deflating.

I think I’ll stick to being behind the camera or in random candid shots with friends. And I may start randomly getting down to do 10 push ups to get back in shape. Hilarious? You bet. Will I do it? Maybe.

What about you? Do you like getting your picture taken? Or do you have any funny stories about past school or work photographs?

26 July 2010

Moving dilemma

By: Jessica B.

Hey-o blogworld, I’m asking for some advice today. I have a little dilemma and I don’t know how to resolve it so I am turning to you for advice because, well you guys are pretty smart.

The topic: moving. I hate moving. I hate it more than having my root canal done, more than my annual Pap and more than jeans/swimsuit shopping.

Moving is time consuming, expensive and stressful, especially when you work full-time on top of packing and searching for a new place.

But moving can be cathartic and a good reason to purge all the sh*t you hoard in your apartment and then forget about.

Anyhow, there is a 50/50 chance I have to move in September and I have no idea what to do.

Right now, I rent a condo from an owner who relocated and couldn’t sell the unit (yay housing crisis!) He told me yesterday that he’s willing to renew the lease but, after two years of living here, part of me is itching for a change.

That and I would like to decrease my rent payment. Rent in Chicago is manageable (compared to LA or NY) but it can still be expensive. One bedroom rents range from $900-$1200/month or more and although I’m in range, the thought of decreasing my rent $50-$100/month is really tempting. I know I could find something cheaper, but am I sacrificing a great place in the process?

Here are my current apartment pros and cons:


  • It’s huge (1,100 sq feet) and more than enough room for one person
  • Equal size living, dining, bedroom and kitchen area (most apartments here have one small room)
  • Open floor plan
  • Close to express bus to work, bank and two grocery stores (trifecta!)


  • Very thin walls, yes, I’ve written about this before
  • Communal washer/dryer (the former of which was ruined by some d-bag that washed a rug. A**hat)
  • Window AC unit only in the living room (aka, hotter than h*ll sometimes in the bedroom in summer)
  • Nosy neighbors (sadly, Hot Neighbor has left)

Yeah, looking at this list, it’s pretty balanced right now.

I’m not UNHAPPY with where I live, but part of me wants to try something new. I would like to have better AC capabilities and, of course, maybe in-unit washer/dryer. I would give up one of my boobs to have that.

One part of my brain says, if the landlord won’t raise your rent and it’s ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But the other part says, cutting your rent by $100, saving $1,200/year is REALLY tempting.

So interwebs help me out, what would you do? Ask for a rent decrease? Move? Do you also hate moving?

25 July 2010

Weekend recap: Food, wine and feet

By: Jessica B.

That’s right, I said FEET. First off, happy Sunday everyone! I spent a few hours yesterday and today organizing and cleaning my apartment and now it looks clean and I am exhausted. Seriously. Cleaning is no joke.

But I’m rallying because tonight is MAD MEN’s premiere. YES! I have wine on standby, ready to go.

Before I get sidetracked on that, let’s talk about the weekend. It’s still hot in Chicago, so nothing is new there.

Raise your hand if you’re a Top Chef fan? *raises hand* I love that show.

And last week, Top Chef Chicago’s winner Stephanie Izard opened her new place, The Girl and the Goat. And despite the 105 heat index and evening thunderstorms, my friend Liz and I went for a dinner and had a really great meal.

For example:

Soft shell crab with corn (my favorite dish of the night)

Goat pizzette with black kale and ricotta

Ham frites with tomato aioli and Swiss cheese dip (the fries were booked in ham fat)

The food was awesome. And paired with a nice Shiraz, I was one happy girl. I even threw caution to the wind and talked Liz into a margarita at De Cero across the street. All that and I was home by 11, I am a wild woman.

I mentioned Friday that I was finally able to pick up my wine after UPS held it hostage (slightly). And everything arrived safely and in perfect condition. That is a HUGE load off my mind.

Now finally, here’s a photo of my haul:

It’s SO GOOD to see this stuff again :)

12 bottles of wine and my votive holder made out of a wine barrel, the red underneath is a stain from the red wine that was in there. Love, love, love!

Finally, feet. I think my feet are adorable, minus the bent toes (genetic), and this summer I have finally been on a good streak with getting pedicures. The foot massage is so worth it.

So I treated and got a mani/pedi this weekend and I love the pedi so much, I cannot stop staring at it. Yoga helped me really enjoy the view this morning thanks to all the bending.

Gratuitous toe shot.

I always get OPI’s Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot on my toes. It’s the perfect coral/hot pink that looks good with every color. One day I’ll need to be more adventurous but for now, I’m sticking with my favorite :)

How was everyone else’s weekend? Do you like your feet? Do you always get the same mani/pedi polish color?

22 July 2010

Random pre-weekend thoughts

By: Jessica B.

That’s right, it’s time for another edition of random pre-weekend thoughts. This week has been a little nuts so I’m going into a bulleted haze to talk about some random sh*t brewing in my brain. It’s like a sea of ADD-inspired thoughts. Beware (again).

But tomorrow is FRIDAY and I’m wicked excited about it. Let’s get started:

  • Is anyone else excited it’s almost Friday? Seriously, these weeks feel so long lately
  • I love Top Chef. Really, I’m obsessed, but I’m not feeling this season. Something feels…off. And Padma’s boobs make me scared of having my own kids. Those babies are HUGE
  • Why are all my celeb fantasy men getting married? First John Krasinski and now Orlando Bloom? I need to start preparing to be wife #2 because you KNOW they’ll be waiting for me in a year :)
  • Britney has frightened me away from ever having hair extensions thanks to this photo. I am disgusted and frightened *frantically pets my hair*
  • Mad Men is BACK on Sunday and I feel the urge to buy cigarettes and stock up the bar in anticipation. I am OBSESSED with this show and I cannot wait for it to be back
  • I really wish my landlord would get back to me about lease renewal. I hate waiting and I have no idea if I’m staying in my apartment or not. CALL ME
  • Is it healthy to be a 30-year-old woman and stalking Josh Duhamel in downtown Chicago during Transformers’ filming? I’ll say…yes?
  • The hot weather makes me want ice cream all the time. Is it possible to be addicted?
  • It is normal to go through a stage where you want a baby or puppy every time you see a cute one? Why won’t people let you randomly cuddle with their children or animals?
  • My new approach toward shopping is to ask myself “do I really need this?” before buying. So far, so good!

Also, I’ll close by saying that MY NAPA WINE IS HERE AND IN MY HOUSE. I am SO HAPPY and excited to see it again. I’ll post pictures of my wine bounty on Sunday. I am digging into it later tonight!

Thank you for visiting my brain. I am now back to counting down to the weekend.

Does anyone have fun weekend plans? What are you thinking about?