Archive for January 2011

31 January 2011

SAG Fashion Recap!

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Fashion

I love award season and to keep my fashion wits sharp before the Oscars (aka fashion Super Bowl,) I listed below my best and not-so-best dressed picks from last night’s SAG Awards.

Let’s break it down.

My Best Dressed List

January Jones – Yes, the dress does look like a doily but I love the color and details. And is that a smile?

Mariska Hargitay – LOVE the color of that dress with her earrings. Fab

Julia Styles – Not a great picture but the color and fading is gorgeous. Very heavenly

Mila Kunis – Girl can do no wrong. This dress cut and pattern is gorgeous

Natalie Portman – This more than makes up for the Golden Globe dress. GORGEOUS!

Dianna Aragon – Very prim and proper in Chanel. You go girl

Julianna Margulies – I don’t wear much red but I would absolutely wear this. Looks comfy too

Julie Bowen – Pantsuit at a night function? And she had twins? I’m want to look that good

Cory Monieth – Yeah he’s hot no matter what :)

John Krasinski – Speaking of hot, fully navy blue suit? Goodness, I’m ready to be Mrs. Krasinski #2

Not-S0-Best-Dressed List

Nicole Kidman – Lace, bows and cut outs? Hot mess

Angie Harmon – I love the idea of this fluffy, airy dress, but the corset isn’t working for me

Jennifer Lawrence – I love Oscar De La Renta and hot pink but the neckline of this reminds me of Nicole Kidman’s Gaultier Oscar dress years ago. Not a fan

Hailee Steinfeld – Love the color but not the length. This would be better as a mini

Jenna Fischer – Hot hair but this dress is so matronly on her. Pam, come on!

Amber Riley – I love her shape but the bottom of the dress looks like spraypainted toilet paper was balled up and sewn on

Jane Lynch – So unflattering on her. Disappointed

Naya Rivera – The color washes her out but she fills it out well

Kim Kardashian – Another case of gorgeous color, bad fit. What is up with the sequined boob?

What about you? Did you watch the SAGs? If so, who were your best/not-so-best picks?

30 January 2011

Weekend recap: Nashville!

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Friends

Happy Sunday everyone! Yes, I’ve been a little MIA on blogging and blog reading lately but for good reason, I packed my bags and headed south to lovely Nashville for a few days.

Yes, it was for work but once work was done, I was ready for two things: good southern BBQ and time with the wonderful Erin.

I met Erin on the #BISC trip two years ago and we’ve stayed in touch since then. Sadly though, I haven’t seen her (in person) since Vegas so I was looking forward to catching up with her and indulging in some good Southern food. Fortunately, Erin loves food as much as me, we are a perfect match :)

So let’s take a look at some Nashville food porn:

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich from Jim n’ Nicks (Memphis-style with cole slaw on top and mac and cheese). I still dream about this sandwich, SO GOOD.

Rigatoni with cremini mushroom ragu from City House (thanks to TKTC for the recommendation!)

Cookie dough egg rolls from Jackson’s. Paired with Abita beer, yeah this was decadent beyond belief.

And then we move in to the motherload of food porn: Loveless Cafe.

Erin, her hubs and I pilgrimaged out for its famous biscuits and indulged in them, along with more pulled pork (can you ever have enough?) and fried chicken. Add in some fried okra, fried green tomatoes and mac and cheese and you have three full, happy stomachs. This food was amazing. Amazing. I just, can’t even describe how good it was. But here’s how it looked:

Erin was also a dear and drove me around town before I left to see more of Nashville and share her favorite spots and notes about the city. Nashville is really gorgeous and so eclectic. And having a great tour guide made it all the more fun. It was a great few days in the city and it was so nice to spend time with a great blog and IRL friend too :)

So my girl crush on Erin is back full-force and I’m already missing Nashville’s Southern hospitality. Clearly, I need to get back there stat.

How was everyone else’s weekend?

27 January 2011

In a weight rut

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Random

Several weeks ago, I was really excited to announce that my weight loss journey hit a nice milestone, 11-12 pounds down! But, now I think I’m in a rut, specifically a diet rut.

I’m still committed to my long-term weight loss goal, but lately, I’ve been struggling with food again.

Losing weight short-term is a challenge but not as much as trying to maintain that weight loss and lose more. You hit a wall at some point and start to revert to old habits. Maybe not all of them but some of them. Then, the self doubt and anxiety kicks in and what was an exception in the calories one day becomes a week of exceptions and suddenly, all of that super hard work is gone. Or most of it is.

That’s where I fear I’m going.

Last week, I put myself on a scale again (the first time since December) and found I was down only one pound. That’s still great news, considering I’m sure post-holidays I was up a few pounds, but I still felt mad at myself that it wasn’t more.

When I started talking about this journey, my goal weight was to be reached in February, provided I lose 1-2 pounds a week. Given the most recent weigh in, that won’t happen. So I’ve adjusted my timing to April at the latest. I am determined to still make that goal, but lately I’ve been struggling with food.

Gum works to curb cravings, but sometimes, a Milky Way Dark, followed by a 3 Musketeers feels better. I am an emotional eater. And due to late nights, high stress and exhaustion lately, I’ve been diligent in logging my calories but also going over in my daily “allotment” with little shame.

And I’m starting to feel like a failure and fear that I’m slipping back in to old habits again. But amazingly, the rut is solely in diet. My workouts have been great lately! I just cannot get this food thing under control sometimes.

But I’m not giving up. Come h*ll or high water, I will make my goal, hopefully before Italy. And I need to cut myself a break.

The good news is that most days I still feel leaner. In the last week, three people I barely know came up to ask if I’ve lost weight and tell me that I look great. Sure, two of those people are crazy women in my building, but hearing that does help.

So I’m going to focus on, how I feel because even if the weight isn’t coming off too fast right now, I still feel good. And I need to figure out again how to deal with stress without always shoving candy in my mouth. That is a longer project.

What about you, do you get in an exercise, food or weight loss rut? If so, how do you get out of it?

23 January 2011

Weekend recap: Getting creative when it’s cold

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Happy Sunday everyone. As you know, the Packers beat the Bears today and are headed to the Super Bowl, which makes my Chicago-supportive heart sad but my Wisconsin-born heart happy at the same time.

I also saved all my calories for an NFC game celebration with a friend and ended up overindulging in Doritos, Cheetos and pizza. My stomach feels like it has a cheese-based food baby. Good lord, the discomfort (that was totally worth it). The sweet pain.

The weather in Chicago lately has been ultra brutal in terms of temps too. Friday’s high (sans wind chill) was in the single digits and with wind chills, it was -10. And it hasn’t really warmed up since then.

It’s the kind of cold that just…hurts. The wind cuts through your clothes, burning your skin and you run (literally) from place to place to get back inside and then feel your skin burn again from the re-adjustment to warmth.

Yes, come visit Chicago in winter!!

So when it gets this cold, people tend to hibernate for weekends or long periods of time.

But when you live in an apartment, which may not have a lot of room to get a “change of scenery,” what are you to do?

Well, here’s what I did this weekend to combat cabin fever (while hiding like a sissy from the weather):

  • Pay your taxes (and start daydreaming about what that refund will cover for Italy)
  • Watch Inception (LOVE this movie, and it made much more sense the second time around)
  • Back up your computer
  • Drink (lots of) wine and watch (lots of) TV
  • Clean out your fridge
  • Pick up your pigsty apartment (looks SO MUCH nicer clean)
  • Start to pack for Nashville
  • Play (and get angry at) Angry Birds

Yeah, you are more productive than entertained. But hey, gives you the chance to get everything done that you neglect during the week right?

Do you hibernate when it’s really cold (or hot?) What do you do to keep yourself entertained?

20 January 2011

High importance emails can cause rage

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Yesterday I received 10-15 high importance emails. Of those emails, only one was actually important.

And staring at my inbox, which was inundated with blaring red exclamation points, I had one thought: oh my god, I hate high importance emails.

At one point, I received five emails marked “high importance” within two minutes. I thought my head was going to explode.

For me, high importance emails are only to be used in special situations. High importance means that you MUST read this email right now because your job, life, project or career are all at risk. I want to receive a high importance email when someone is walking down to my desk to murder me and my colleague is letting me know that this is about to happen by marking that email high importance. Heck, even put it that note in the subject line for me. I’ll read it.

High importance means that it is not just a regular email, it’s the meth-induced version of that email.

And when people abuse it and mark every single email high importance, it drives me batty, like it did yesterday. It only takes a few emails marked improperly for me to stop paying attention and go dead inside to them. High importance? Hardly, I’ll read that after I eat my delicious sandwich. Take a number.

So in my momentary, oh-my-god-my-head-will-explode-if-I-get-one-more-high-importance-email-rage, I tweeted my frustration, threatening to scream out loud if I got another from someone screwing with me.

The result? Two emails from colleagues marked high importance asking “how are you today?” Clearly, my friends think they’re funny….not!

But then today, the student became the master and I found myself marking emails high importance more than I should have. Yes, some were actually timely and important, but after checking my sent box and seeing so many marked red, I felt a little ashamed. That’s right people, circle of life!

What about you? Do you know someone who abuses uses this too?