Archive for August 2010

31 August 2010

End of the day distractions

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: gym, Random

Working in a cubicle, staring at a computer for hours, I need some kind of a release at the end of the day. Something that breaks me from the work mindframe and get back to the “non-work me” mode.

Depending on the type of day I have, I find release in the following things:

  • Coffee cake in the dark with the TV on
  • Getting on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes (and working it like it’s my b*tch)
  • Long walk (ANTM strut optional)
  • Blasting music and having a dance party in my apartment (screw the neighbors)
  • Laying like a beached whale on my couch, zoning out to reality TV (brain goes on vacation and no coffee cake)
  • Watching a movie and having a good laugh or cry

Yes, some days, I do many of them in the course of one evening.

Lately, in my effort to not be plumpy anymore, I have been finding release in the walks, dance party and, of course, the elliptical machine. Getting the blood pumping, heart racing and just work out everything that’s bothering you.

That’s one of my favorite things about working out in general, is that endorphine/adrenaline kick that makes you want to scream, “F*CK YES, LET’S GO KICK SOME A**!!!!!” And that’s not steroid-inspired either.

And as much as I complain about going to the gym after work and really want to indulge in laying on my couch like a sea lion, I always feel better when I’m done. Maybe not great, or completely free of the days down turns, but better.

Tonight was one of those nights where I was BBM’ing with my high school best friend about stuff on my mind when I decided to skip the gym because it was too late and I was too tired. But, seeing my gym bag sitting on my chair, challenging me to 30 minutes of cardio, I succumbed to it (mostly because I won’t be at the gym the next two nights) and had, well, an awesome mini-workout.

With sweat dripping down my face and my heart racing, I walked out of there with a small smile on my face and came home and indulged myself in a little couch lounge time. It’s all about balance!

What about you? How do you unwind after a good/bad/long/exhausting day?

30 August 2010

Emmy fashion recap!

By: Jessica B.

Oh boy! It’s time for award season and that means it’s time for another “witty” fashion recap by yours truly!

I can tell you’re all excited :)

Yes, I watched the Emmys last night, picked my high and low points and scoured the red carpet for the best and worst dressed.

So less talking, more photos and recap, let’s go!

Best dressed:

Flawless from head to toe. Loved all the navy on the red carpet!

Also flawless. The black belt really adds sophistication

Classically dress men. Hot and hotter, hello!

Simple, elegant and age appropriate. Well done!

Yes, the dress is a little frumpy but she had a baby 3 weeks ago and she looks awesome

I swear it’s not an all-Glee fashion recap but I love this look with her red hair and jewelry. So fun

Not so best dressed:

I don’t mind the black & white combo but the top just looks messy

I love her curves but the color of this dress makes it unflattering outside of the boobs

Bold, but it’s just a bit too…much. And the sourpuss look isn’t selling it either

I love Alexander McQueen but there is just too much metal on the chest, not a fan

I actually don’t hate the dress or Mindy but I do hate that hair and how it drags down the look

Show high and low points:


  • Glee/Jimmy Fallon opener – I’m a huge fan of the 6-Bee segment on Jimmy’s show so to merge it with Glee, that’s like a musical joygasm. It was funny, entertaining and creative, minus the Kate Gosselin cameo. Check it out here
  • Intro montages – The bits with the writers and directors answering questions in video responses was pretty hilarious. Of noteworthy mention: Tina Fey and Ryan Murphy
  • Modern Family – I love this show and I was so excited to see it win for Best Comedy and Supporting Actor categories. Very well deserved
  • Jane Lynch – She is truly awful as Sue but I love that she won, and gave big love to Chicago!


  • No love for LOST – Yes, Mad Men is amazing, but the LOST finale was really wonderful, so I hoped it would get more love
  • FNL loss -Yeah, I’m obsessed with this show, I was also disappointed this went away empty handed after a so deserving nomination
  • Tweet the presenters – Leading up to the Emmys, NBC was promoting that Twitter users could send in tweets about certain presenters that will be read on screen. Yes, I entered, but was disappointed to see during the show only two presenters had tweets read as the intro. Sure, things change, but don’t promote it if you can’t back it up

What about you? Did you watch the show? What were your favorite parts or best/worst dressed?

29 August 2010

Weekend recap: Pig roast, picnics and movies in the park

By: Jessica B.

Happy Sunday everyone! It’s SO hard to believe it’s Labor Day next weekend, yikes where did summer go?

Well, rather than dwell on that, let’s dive into the weekend because I’m holding on to the bliss the weekend brings for a few more hours :)

Movies in the Park

One of my favorite things Chicago does in summer is Movies in the Park, a free event where old and semi-new movies are shown in parks around the city. It’s BYO…everything, from food to drink to chairs.

And when WG2 saw that Julie & Julia was playing, well with one text message, I had a tote bag packed and was on my way to meet her at the park! Sure, our park was near the freeway and didn’t have a bus that was running after the movie, but it was a gorgeous night and a ton of fun.

Here is my tote bag of goodies, yes, that is champagne, white wine, hummus and fresh veggies, which complimented her Pastoral cheese plate deliciously.

But you can see some people take it very seriously, like the group of men behind us. Nice set up.

Watching a movie outside and under the stars is a ton of fun. I cannot believe it took me so long to do this!

Pig Roast

Until this weekend, I have never been to a pig roast. Apparently, we stay true to brats in Wisconsin.

And when my boss told me she was having one at her home and that I was invited, the first thing I said was, “I’ve never been to one, so I’m going to take pictures, but don’t worry, I’m not casing your house.”

Full disclosure.

And we got there just in time to watch that piggy being cut up for the masses.

Yeah, I know, little gross.

But put that baby with some mac and cheese and cornbread (with real corn inside!) and it was a very delicious meal. Fortunately, I had some self control and did not go back for seconds. And I avoided this being an ugly eat too (mostly because co-workers were there).

Yeah the mac and cheese was orgasmic

Other random weekend highlights

I slept until 10 a.m. (NEW RECORD), read Mockingjay and started One Day, laid in bed late each day and did not clean my apartment. But that can always wait for next weekend. Also, if someone else has finished Mockingjay, please email me! I want to talk about it!

How was your weekend? Does your city have Movies in the Park?

Edited 8/30: So in a multitasking FAIL, I forgot to mention I got to FINALLY meet Alexa from Cleveland’s a Plum this weekend. Yeah, angels sang when we met, it was magical. I’ve been hugged by the Plum. We also got to see Wrigleyville’s finest out on a Saturday night, thank goodness it wasn’t game weekend!

26 August 2010

Case of the uglies

By: Jessica B.

Tonight on the bus home, a woman stood to exit at the stop and when the driver hit the breaks, she took an bad fall. Like fell flat on her face.

People helped her up but I felt bad and heard the guy next to me whisper to someone on the phone, “god this woman just took an ugly fall.”

So I got to thinking about what I call, “the uglies.”

Ugly fall – See example above. When a person bites it hard on the concrete.

Ugly cry – Full out sob fest, accompanied by red eyes and nose, snot running down your face and shaking from the sobs that wrack your body. Examples: Terms of Endearment, Up and Time Traveler’s Wife

Ugly eat – When the simple task of eating becomes more of an episode of Animal Planet, causing you to own it and not hide in shame while eating in public, or causing you to hide at your desk to enjoy your ugly eat in private. Examples: Ribs, Cheetos and cupcakes

Ugly shame – Your single or “home alone” activity that you embrace but do behind closed doors, blinds or rooms. Examples: eating food that falls on your boob or cleavage

I am guilty of ALL OF THESE, sometimes doing more than one in a single day.

The only one I’m actually embarrassed by is the ugly fall. I am very self conscious in public (sometimes) and I hate, more than anything, when I fall or trip over my feet in public. I feel people staring at me, laughing and pointing, or thinking “that poor girl” as they help me off the floor of the bus.

Maybe it’s because I like being independent and not relying on someone to help me all the time, so the thought of someone having to help me up is frustrating and socially crushing, but then again, when I bite it and do it well, someone better help me up.

What about you? Which case of the uglies do you find happens the most?

Review blog update: Hey! I’m updating this again after way too long of a delay. Today I’m talking about a facial cleanser/make up remover I love from Neutrogena.

24 August 2010

Birthday recap with food and presents!!

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Random, shopping

Hello everyone! I am back! Well, actually, I’m soaking up the last few hours of my day off because the painful wake of reality will crush against me tomorrow morning.

Dramatic, I know :)

But before I move on from my birthday bliss (okay I might extend it into this weekend, sue me!), I wanted to share some highlights from the weekend, including food and presents!!!

Yes, photos from Saturday night haven’t rolled in yet (I’ll be looking into that tomorrow) but I was a good girl and behaved, so nothing scandalous.

I love good food and dining out, and Chicago is a great place to indulge in this. So I made a list of three places I wanted to dine out for my weekend: Longman & Eagle, Epic and Sunda. I wanted to go to places that have been on my “list” for a while and these won out!

And of course, the food was yummy at all three. No food porn from Longman but here is some from Epic and Sunda:

Epic’s house gnocchi with lamb sausage and swiss chard (even got dad to try and like this!)

NY strip steak

Sunda’s Lemongrass beef lollipops

And then it was dessert time!!! I LOVE cake but last year was the last time I could have my childhood birthday cake because the bakery was closing :( But this year, dad surprised me with cupcakes from Sprinkles, look how cute this is!!!

For presents, I was a little TOO good to myself this year :) I say that I was making up from last year, when I got nada because…well I don’t know why.

So here’s what I got:

  • Roomba!!! She’s here!! Be on the watchout for adorable videos coming up
  • Dutch oven. It’s risotto time!
  • Big Buddha bag (the teal one I posted on my wish list here)
  • Mac iLife 09 update. I know, functional

I’m so happy with everything. And I was very fortunate to get a HUGE surprise from my dad:

OMFG. I nearly blacked out when I saw this.

So all in all, it was a great birthday weekend.

How was everyone else’s weekend? Do you like to treat yourself when it’s your birthday?