Archive for February 2011

28 February 2011

Oscar fashion recap!

By: Jessica B.

Happy Monday everyone! I’m back from my business trip and trying to get back in the swing of things. Travel is draining, seriously.

But, before I pass out in a snoring haze, I need to talk about something very, very important….OSCAR FASHION.

That’s right, last night was the movie and fashion Super Bowl extravaganza known as…the Oscars. I was ready to party, celebrate and prove how hyper critical I can be.

So let’s put my soul-crushing critical skills to the test!

Best Dressed

Mila Kunis – I hate it at first but now I’m loving this look. LOVE the color, feminine details and hair. Flawless

Hailee Steinfeld – Adorable, age/event appropriate and the length of this dress is perfect! I just want to give her a hug she’s so cute

Amy Adams – The navy is perfect with her red hair and I love the sparkles/cap sleeves. Just lose the necklace

Michelle Williams – After a Globes misstep, this Chanel gown is simple and elegant. And I wish I could pull off that pixie cut

Cate Blanchett – Much like Zoe Saldana’s gown last year, this was love/hate and I loved it. Matches Cate’s style perfectly and only she could pull this off. I love the detail, color and shoulders

Dear Natalie Portman – I hated your Globes dress (a lot) but this entire look is FABULOUS. Tasteful cleavage, stunning color and cut. Let’s hug it out

Mandy Moore – Thank you for showing us pale-skin girls how to wear nude. The sparkles and neckline plus coral lipstick is a winner

It was tough to pick my final female “best dressed” pick. Jennifer Lawrence’s va va va voom look, Gwyenth’s Star Trek-like look (despite orange skin) and ScarJo’s body hugging berry lace number were all worthy, but my final selection is….

Camila Alves – Tasteful boobage, classic color and perfect jewelry, L-O-V-E, now tell your man to wear a shirt

Not So Best Dressed

Jennifer Hudson – From one Chicago girl to another, you look amazing but the unflattering saggy boobs here distract me, and not in a good way

Marisa Tomei – that dust ruffle needs to be nipped closer to the heels and you need a bigger chest to pull off that full coverage sweetheart neckline. Fact

Nicole Kidman – This is an easy shot but the flaps on your hips are not flattering, even for someone as skinny as you

Dear Reese Witherspoon – I love your everyday sense of style but this 1950s Barbie look takes vintage too seriously. Still love you!

Halle Berry – If you could have tripped this frothy toilet paper off the dress, you would be in the above category. Sorry

Annette Bening is a classy lady but I’m just not loving this. I wish I could explain more but I just don’t like it

I love that Michelle Williams’ BFF Busy Phillips was her date last night but that front satin flap needs to go. Dawson would not approve

Phew, okay, that is my Oscar fashion recap for this year. I’m thinking of writing a bit more about fashion on this blog too, so if you feel strongly yay or nay on that, let me know!

Now, for tonight’s question, did you watch the Oscars? Who were your best/worst dressed?

23 February 2011

Saying goodbye to TV shows

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: television

I love TV. I watch a lot of it and get very connected to some of my shows. When you watch a show that you love for a long time, it becomes part of your routine and saying goodbye is tough.

For example, when LOST ended, I bawled like a small child. I watched that show since the beginning and it was hard to believe it was really over. Same with Sex And the City on HBO. It was such a bittersweet moment to see the stories come full circle and know that it won’t be in my DVR anymore as a new episode. And the SATC movies haven’t been as satisfying as the original series.

And now, I’ve had to say goodbye to another one of my favorite shows. Friday Night Lights.

I LOVE this show.

My friend Liz introduced me to the show (when it just aired on NBC) and within weeks, I was hooked. While she crushed on bad boy Riggins, I was a Coach Taylor girl all the way. Apparently, I have a thing for older men in authoritative jobs.

But what I also have a “thing” for is great storytelling with characters that are realistic and you can relate to. I watch enough reality TV to “escape,” sometimes I just like a great show with people you care about. That’s what Friday Night Lights was to me. I didn’t know a lot of people that watched the those, but those who did, were big fans like me.

Now, thanks to Netflix Instant, more friends are watching the show and loving it too, which makes me more happy because those are more people to talk Dillon football with!

The final season, season 5, just aired on DirecTV and isn’t coming to NBC until April. Well, one weekend, I cheated and watched the final season online because I couldn’t wait to see the end. And after a marathon two day watching session, with little sleep and lots of Dillon football, it ended. I miss it already.

It was another great season and great ending to one of my favorite shows. I’ll definitely watch it again when it re-airs on NBC and then I’ll say goodbye again, this time for good.

If you haven’t watched the show, I very highly recommend it. I know few people who watched and hated it. And if you have, let’s start dishing about the show!

What are some of your favorite shows that have ended?

21 February 2011

Another apartment pet peeve

By: Jessica B.

I’ve developed another pet peeve about my apartment building. Yes, another one to add to the list, along with laundry room antics, fires and thin walls.

This one has to do with the buzzer to my apartment.

For safety, there is a buzzer intercom at my building entry that goes to each tenant’s apartment. And of course, you should not buzz in people you do not know.

Apparently, the few regularly drunk coeds in my building and their friends forget about this.

For the last month, I’ve received regular calls to my apartment from the intercom between 3-5 a.m. on weekends from those drunk friends wanting to be let in. I answered the first time, panicked that a friend was in trouble and coming to my place for help.

What greeted me was a slurring guy asking to be let in because his friend passed out and wasn’t responding to the buzzer in his apartment. For about a minute, I thought this guy was kidding. He woke me up at 4 a.m. to be let in? I told him no and then hung up, immediately then fearing he would somehow guess my apartment number once let in and come over to kill me. So a random golf club joined me in bed that night. Although, I didn’t really sleep much after that from adrenaline and nerves.

The first time it happened, I let it slip, but now, it’s a regular occurrence and it’s making me crazy. I’m already a light sleeper/borderline insomniac, so to wake me up from the little restless sleep I get, I get ANGRY.

I’ve even stopped answering the phone, but still barely sleep after that. So, I’ve started disconnecting the buzzer phone at night and telling close friends that if they need to come over due to an emergency, to call my cell phone. That is my gauge if something is really wrong.

What about you? Has this happened in your apartment building?

Movie review: Yes, finally, I updated the review blog. This time, I’m reviewing No Strings Attached with Ashton and Natalie Portman

17 February 2011

Some pre-weekend random thoughts

By: Jessica B.

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you’re having a great week. Things are crazy yet again in my world so I am keeping this post full of bullets.

Let’s venture in to my brain :)

  • Found out today from Nora and other Twitter friends that they DID see me on Oprah today. That totally made my afternoon. Tonight, I saw it with my own two eyes! I’ll try to grab a picture of it to show everyone. If you DVR’ed it, I’m at the commercial break around minute eight
  • I’m thinking of taking the 30-Day Vegan challenge. I think it would be a great opportunity to readjust my diet but giving up dairy would be a huge problem. I love dairy…a lot
  • The movie trailer for Something Borrowed (inspired by Emily Giffin’s “pink book”) was finally released. I’ve watched it probably 10 times. My man, John K, is looking SUPER hot in this yet again. I’ll be seeing this
  • Bethenny Ever After starts in two weeks on Bravo and I cannot wait. I would love to have tea and scones with Bethenny and Gail Simmons. They are my Bravo girl crushes
  • My HGTV addiction is on full-force. I am obsessed with House Hunters and Selling New York. Makes me want to have my own home
  • An SLR is in my future but I can’t pull the trigger to buy. Sometimes, I hate being so cautious with spending
  • I’m also becoming addicted to Fringe and Parks and Rec. Both are must-watches in my DVR and I look forward to both each week. My Pacey crush is getting bigger too
  • I have another week to take vacation this summer. I’m thinking of Seattle and Portland or Seattle and Vancouver. I honestly cannot decide

Well, I think that covers just about everything I’m thinking about right now.

What’s on your mind? Any big weekend plans?

15 February 2011

Kitchen adventures: Inspired by salad dressings

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

I like salads, but they’re not always my go-to meal. I’m picky about what I like on them and really, if I could make the salad at home, why would I spend $10+ on it in a nice restaurant?

But there is one holy, amazing salad that I always run to: Nordstrom’s Grilled Chicken Strawberry Salad. I LOVE it. Every time I go to Nordstrom, I order that salad and savor it.

Here’s how tasty it looks.

And on a recent trip to Nordstrom, I noticed the cafe was selling some of its salad dressings, including:

One word: YUMMY.

After an attendant confirmed that the Dark Cherry Balsamic was used in my favorite salad, I purchased it and the Champagne Vinegarette immediately and decided to make my version of the salads from Nordstrom that used both dressings. Yes, I was inspired by both salad dressings for this week’s kitchen adventures. Behold the creations.

Nordstrom-Recreated Grilled Chicken Strawberry Salad


  • Mixed greens (or spinach)
  • Grilled chicken slices (or baked, which I did -1/2 breast)
  • Chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Strawberry slices (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
  • Soft goat cheese (1 oz)
  • Nordstrom Cafe’s Dark Cherry Balsamic (1-2 tbsp)

Verdict: I was the most excited about this dressing and it was…okay. Not as amazing as in the store. Yes, I was missing a few of the ingredients from the main store (e.g. candied walnuts) but also, the dressing was really thick and even after tossing, it wasn’t even throughout the salad. Still good, but I’ll be going back to the Cafe for this one :)

Nordstrom-Recreated Blue Cheese and Pear Salad


  • Mixed greens (or spinach)
  • Crumbled blue cheese (1 oz.)
  • Sliced fresh pears (1 medium pear)
  • Nordstrom Cafe’s Champagne Vinegarette (1-2 tbsp)
  • Chopped walnuts (optional)

Verdict: Yeah, this was my favorite, hands down. The dressing was light and refreshing and not too sweet. Adding in the blue cheese and pears was just so summer-inspired, I loved it. I actually made another one of these salads after, that is saying something :) I may not have a salad with this dressing in the Cafe in the future (given my love of the Strawberry one) but that’s okay, I can make a good one of these at home.

So, I know these salads are super simple but it was a nice alternative to the heavier meals I’ve made the last two weeks and definitely got me thinking spring. I will be rushing back to Nordstrom for more of their dressings in the future.

Plus, it’s actually getting warm in Chicago so it’s slowly becoming time to transition to lighter foods. Looks like more of these are in my future!

What is your favorite salad?

OPRAH UPDATE: Hey everyone, as a follow up to my Oprah and Me post, I found out that my show airing is actually Thursday, Feb. 17, NOT tomorrow. Wanted to let you know in case you are DVRing.