Archive for March 2011

31 March 2011

My obsession with the color purple

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Nope, I’m not talking about the book, movie or even Oprah this time. I’m literally just talking about the color purple (and its friends, lavender, lilac, berry, etc.)

My wardrobe and accessory collection have been infected with a case of the color purple. And it was totally unintentional.

And fortunately, being infected with the color purple does not involve a plum rash or itching. Phew!

So how did my wardrobe get taken over by purple?

It started with a harmless pair of adorable lilac Uggs years ago, which I finally broke out this year. Suddenly, I need to replace my baby blue Longchamp Le Pilage purse and when shopping, I fall in love with a deep purple color. Gorgeous!

Then winter hits and I dig in my closet and pull out the old berry-colored Coach gloves to sadly replace the black leather gloves I lost last year. Still mad about that. Add in a purple-pink scarf that I bought for $5 in New York City to keep me warm in my puffer coat¬† and holy sh*t all I’m wearing are purple-esque colors.

I had no idea I had that much of one color scheme until I put it together and ran in to a friend of mine. She commented about how purple-y I was and suddenly it all fell together. No one has gone as far to call me Violet Beauregarde but I fear that if I buy too much more purple items, I will turn in to her.

The funny thing is, blue is my absolute favorite color. I’m just cheating on it right now with purple because I’ve loved the color lately in the stores. I love big, bold color and the deep purples and berry shades were really calling to me. Now I have to space it out and mix in my standard gray, black and white so I don’t look like a grape walking around.

And I won’t even mention the lilac Marc by Marc wallet I bought either, I’ll just group that under, “whatever it’s pretty and on sale.”

What colors do you always buy?

Clearly, I need a purple intervention and be put back on my path to blue, which is my favorite color.

Update 4/1: As promised! This week’s Street Food Friday post from Lacey. Check out the Korilla BBQ truck. Sounds amazing.

29 March 2011

Death of the phone call

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

When I got my iPhone a few months ago, I picked a plan with the lowest number of minutes but highest data package. Someone I’m related to asked why and I answered without thinking, “because I never make phone calls, the minutes will never be fully used.”

I thought I was crazy but according to a New York Times article, I’m not. The act of picking up the phone to call someone is becoming quickly extinct. The only people that really call me anymore are family and even then, it’s a quick call. We default to text. Same with friends. I call if I’m running late or am lost, but text, tweet or Facebook message is the preferred way we talk to each other when we’re not in person.

As a teen, I dreamed about having my own phone line in my room but now, I don’t even have a main line in my apartment! I don’t hate talking on the phone, but I find that when it’s not about business, I’m very awkward. If I had a nickel for every time I had an uncomfortable, dramatic pause-filled conversation with a guy from Match, I would be rich.

At work, using the phone is the last method I go to to reach someone. It’s always IM, email or even walking by his/her desk first. I guess that I just think that no one answers the phone anymore so I don’t reach for it right away. In an age where just about everyone has a smartphone, I think that they would respond faster to text or email than a call. And let’s be honest, conference calls on speaker phone are insanely annoying and I don’t want to be that girl so if an email will get me my answer, I’d rather do that.

Chicago even has a take out ordering service called Grubhub where you can order and pay for your food online without talking on the phone, you only have to meet the deliveryman to get it. Yes, it’s amazing.

What about you? Do you still talk on the phone or have you moved more to text or email?

28 March 2011

The Forbidden Shopping Fruit

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: shopping, travel

As I mentioned last week, I’m in hard-core savings mode for Italy and I’m not a fan of it anymore. I know it will be worth it but after four months of heavy saving, I WANT TO SPEND MONEY. Disposable income? I MISS YOU SO MUCH.

Oh and it’s 20 degrees in Chicago, so winter is back and that is not helping me be distracted from shopping either.

So this intense savings time has made me rely heavily on online window shopping (thank you Pinterest for keeping me sane) and making a list of what I want to buy post-trip so I don’t go out and buy it now. But this desire to spend money has also lead me to actively window shop for things I absolutely do not need.

It’s as if my brain just likes the creative stimulation of non-trip-related research and mentally buying things. That’s what I’m telling myself at least :)

For example, here are things I’m window shopping for that I don’t need:

Condos – I blame my intense HGTV addiction for this. I online shop condos and get design/decorating ideas as well from places like Pottery Barn, Pinterest and Anthropologie. It’s intense. Sometimes, I daydream what I would do to decorate those condos, like install double ovens, butcher block countertops…take me away…

Wallets – I found a charming Louis Vuitton wallet two weekends ago that I was coveting pretty hard core. I had no intention of buying it, but looking at it, when I absolutely don’t need it, was interesting

Other trips – Yes, I have a trip within a month and the planner part of me is already very loosely researching my summer trips to Portland, Seattle, Louisana and Vancouver. Seriously, I need to stop!

Cosmetics – I have more samples and beauty products than a Nordstrom counter. I don’t need more of this stuff but I cannot resist in looking. Um, getting samples of products I’m looking at don’t hurt right?

Clearly, I need to start reading again and avoiding any store unless my item to purchase meets a rigorous screening of “do I need this before my trip? No really, do I?”

Do you online shop for forbidden things? If so, what?

Movie review: Hoping Matthew McConaughey can keep his shirt on in The Lincoln Lawyer

25 March 2011

Street Food Friday: Tamale Spaceship

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to my first Street Food Friday post! Wait, what is Street Food Friday? This is a day dedicated to great, urban street good, sold on trucks, carts, you name it.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

I love food and so do several of my blogger friends, including Lacey, Gretchen and Doni, who will be joining me in this series. Each week, one of us will showcase one of our favorite pieces of street food. What we include in the posts may be different but it’s all an homage to awesome, local food in each of our cities, something we all love.

And for the inaugural Street Food Friday post, I’m talking about a local Chicago food truck called: Tamale Spaceship.

Name: Tamale Spaceship (awesome)

Twitter handle: @tamalespaceship


What is it: There is a whole backstory on the website, but honestly, I don’t understand it, so to keep it simple – it’s a food truck that sells tamales and proprietors that wear Mexican wrestling masks. Sold.

What I ate: I got two pork and tomato habanero tamales and it was really, really good. The portion size was perfect, filling without being too full and the pork was really delicious. Goodness I love some good pork. And the sauce was spicy without making my mouth feel on fire and covering the pork flavor.

What else is on the menu: Here is a picture of what else they sell, let’s just say, I have my eye on the flank steak with black mole. Come to mama!

Cost: $7 for two tamales (note, it’s cash only and you cannot mix and match)

Due to city ordinances, Chicago is very behind on the food truck movement, but we’re slowly catching up and now have several trucks that not only sell food, but also desserts. Dessert trucks in Chicago are also gaining popularity. You can watch a clip from NBC Chicago (along with a reporter overdoing it on camera) here to see some of the other trucks in the city that I will be reporting on!

And if you have any requests for trucks to showcase here, let me know!

23 March 2011

Retail preparation for Italy

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Fashion, travel

Holy schnikes, one month from today I will be on a plane to Italy for TWO WEEKS. OMFG.

And in order to offset a lot of the trip costs, I’ve been diligent at saving, which means little going out and shopping. Yes, it sucks bigtime. I’m literally going crazy. But, even though I’m saving, I did have to make a few pre-trip purchases.

Yes, it’s a mix of being practical and feeding the urge for doing a little spending.

First Italy-intended purchase:

New spring jacket. I have an Eddie Bauer fleece that is looking pretty rough after six years, so a new spring-like jacket for Italian evenings is necessary. So I went to North Face to scope it out and I walked out with this.

I like the fitted shape and that it will keep the wind off me.

Upgraded camera. Until now, I’ve been shooting photos with a Canon Point & Shoot 7 Megapixel camera. On clear days, it’s amazing but in any kind of low light, it’s very unreliable and therefore very frustrating. So in prep for Italy, I decided to finally bite the bullet and invest in something amazing: an SLR.¬† Behold this beauty.

I’m still learning how to use it but so far, I’m really enjoying it. The picture quality is SO much better. And with an 18-135 lens, let’s just say, I can get really close. I cannot wait to be more comfortable with this for my trip.

Yes, there has also been a little non-Italy spending too….new wallet and spring clothes but still, I will pack those clothes and carry that wallet in Italy so yes, it’s a justified spending. Plus, almost all of my clothes don’t fit right now and I’m tired of feeling frumpy in everything I wear.

Despite this, I’m still trying to keep pre-Italy-necessary purchases to a minimum but if I use it when I’m there, that counts right?

Do you shop for your vacations?