Archive for September 2011

29 September 2011

Things I’m loving right now

By: Jessica B.

Yep I’ve been a bad girl lately, buying things (without peer pressure) and sampling things that I end up falling in love with. Some things are more tangible than others and some aren’t that healthy for me either, but sh*t happens.

Let’s take a look at some stuff I’m loving this fall, non-weather wise.

Truffle honey butter – Was served this at a new Chicago restaurant, Morso, in Lincoln Park as part of my meal and nearly licked the mason jar it came in clean. Sadly, service at the restaurant wasn’t great that night so to make up for it, my waitress gave me a hunk of it to take home. It’s delicious, I would eat it with a spoon. I want more right now.

Suri’s Burn Book – A coworker shared this Tumblr and Twitter feed with me and I’m 100% obsessed. I literally check it daily for Suri’s new bitchy, mean girl commentary of celeb children and it has made me cry laughing several times. Let’s just say, she’s not a huge fan of the Jolie-Pitts and Garner-Affleck kids. She also has a huge ego, I love it.

The Real Milania G – As a Real Housewives of New Jersey fan, this is pretty much the best Twitter feed ever. The faux Twitter profile, written from the point of Teresa’s devil child Milania is really damn funny, especially during the RHONJ airings. I highly recommend it.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery – I’m pretty much a Kiehl’s addict already but I finally started using my samples of this product at night and my face feels like butter. I have really dry/oily/sensitive skin and this feels really soothing and hydrating on it. Literally, I love the way my skin feels with this. It’s a little pricey so I’ll stick to samples for now but LOVE.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment – Friends have been using Fresh products for a while and preaching about their awesomeness but after my regular lip balm ran out (goodbye Burt’s Bees!), I picked this up at Sephora and cannot imagine living without it. Yes, it’s a little pricey too but I love how soft it makes my lips and gives them a little tint too (without being tarty). I will have to see if others agree they’re kissably soft one day.

Riding Boots – Two years ago I got my first pair of flat riding boots from  Banana Republic and have almost destroyed them from use. They’re super comfortable and perfect for wearing in snow and winter weather. Now I’m on the hunt for a new pair and finally found some similar ones at Nordstrom. They’re a little pricier than I wanted to pay but since I know I’ll wear them out, I’m okay with it. It’s almost boot season!!

What are you loving right now? Big weekend plans?

27 September 2011

Being single makes me fat

By: Jessica B.

Welcome to a new series from me and Arielle called Single Girl Confidential!

What is Single Girl Confidential?

It seems like everywhere you turn, another blogger is getting engaged, married, or otherwise settling down. Single bloggers are a dying breed, and we’re here to represent our unattached brothers and sisters. We aren’t picking our bridesmaids or stressing out over our DIY save-the-dates, but being single in a big city comes with its own host of issues. But let us be clear – we aren’t complaining about flying solo or hating on our married friends. In a world of infinite pressure to find The One, we’re speaking up on behalf of those who are single and loving it.

Being Single Makes Me Fat

When Arielle and I brainstormed this series, the first thing that came to my mind was the phrase, being single makes me fat.

What? How is that possible? First off, it’s a joke, but I see some rather (il)logical connections.

Sometimes, single women go in to “heat.” You have a surge of hormones or something that makes you want to make out with a guy. It is really a nasty condition because it tends to cloud your judgement, make you have to physically restrain yourself (at times) and occupy your mind until that need is met. This condition can last for a day or…months…depending on how strong the urge is.

TV, reading and even writing can distract you for a bit, but eventually, the judgement is gone and suddenly a non-related post you’re working on becomes random ramblings about wanting to just make out.

It’s kind of like being hungry and having not an ounce of food around you. Except, that’s where I find comfort when these devil feelings come over me.

So, to keep me from going to Wrigleyville and making an awful mistake at a bar like The Cubby Bear, I tend to throw food in my mouth rather than put my mouth on some poor man’s face. The ironic thing about being in heat? You don’t want to make out with just anyone, so it’s a slow form of torture if you don’t have a love interest.

Usually, my food drugs of choice are: candy (damn you sweet tooth), pastries (coffee cake) or beer, which actually makes it all worse because that’s when the dormant or tolerable “heat” feelings really fire up. So the thing you find comfort in, ends up making it worse. Cuts so deep.

And I know what you’re thinking, you’re an adult, you can control yourself and find other productive things to occupy your mind, like working out. I hear you, but I’m telling you, it is a temporary fix. Eventually, you re-surrender to those needs and your flirty comments with guys become a little more pointed or shy because your mind has moved to dangerous territory.

Know what fixes that? Bites of carby goodness like Munchkins, donuts, bread or a handful of chocolate so your hands aren’t grabbing someone’s shirt to make their mouth collide with yours.

In summary, my singleton heat cycle is: impure thoughts, eat, work out, eat to try to resist more impure thoughts, pray for it to be over.

And yes, once the need is met, you feel a wave of relief. Until it starts up again and I’m hitting the gym twice as hard and praying that my jeans don’t feel tighter.

Being single isn’t easy. And being in heat and wanting to make out doesn’t make me sad or pathetic, it makes me human.

Single Girl Confidential signing off for now.


25 September 2011

Weekend recap: Fall shopping mission

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Fashion, shopping

Happy Sunday everyone! Well, the lowdown of this post is that I need fall clothes. Badly.

And no I’m not saying that as I have a full closet full of fall clothes that are sitting there with the tags on. My tendency to keep and wear things until they, well wear out, is coming full circle again and I literally don’t have much to wear.

Especially things that fit.

So Saturday, I put my iPod on, went dead inside and went shopping in downtown Chicago. I worked Michigan Avenue like it was a pole, getting in/out of stores and in/out of clothes as quickly as possible.

As always, I was prepared, wearing no jewelry and very thin tops so I could try on things over my clothes whenever possible. I hate waiting for dressing rooms.

If you know Chicago, this will make sense, and if not, well hopefully you’ll still see how productive I was. I went from H&M (north end of Michigan Avenue) to Banana Republic, Express, Forever 21, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor Loft and Gap (ending at the south end). I only took a 15 minute rest at Nordstrom to enjoy coffee too (and rest my arms).

And (un)fortunately, the shopping venture was pretty successful too.

Deals of the day:

  • $24 fedora at Gap (so fabulous) for $8
  • $138 dress at Banana Republic for $45

In the end, I came away with several pieces I’m anxious to try on again and hopefully keep. And I have more that I will need to add, but this will definitely help.

The one thing I did try on (and tweet/Facebook) that I didn’t get was this

I have a history of trying on sequin dresses but this time, is was a Banana Republic Monogram dress that made me look like sparkle Barbie or Elle Woods dipped in sequins. It was itchy, loud and PINK. But part of me loved it. But at $200 and so much more to buy. I couldn’t justify it. Also, I don’t even know WHERE I would wear something like this.

How was your weekend?

22 September 2011

Online dating tips for guys

By: Jessica B.

It’s online dating season in Chicago and while teasing a colleague about it the other night, I found myself rattling off several “tips” for him if/when (more like when) he joins. It’s inevitable.

I’m not saying I’ve been “around the online dating block” but I kind of have. In the last few years, I’ve tried Ok Cupid, eHarmony and Match and while they are different, I’ve found a few common tips I would like to tell guys before they sign up, from a female perspective.

  • Your profile photo should be of your FACE. Not your pecks, abs, crevice to your groin, apartment, pets or places you’ve visited (without you in them). Also, posting your wedding photos with the bride cut out shows you can commit but is also a little tacky. Seriously. But if your apartment is for rent, please note that in your profile
  • Don’t be an a**hole when listing your age range. For example, if you’re 29, listing women ages 21-25 is kind of an a**hole thing to do. You want the DePaul undergrad? Really? Be a bit more open here, older women are not scary
  • Don’t be all shy that you don’t know why you’re doing this. You know why. It’s either to find a girlfriend, get some a** or find a wife. Let’s just be honest, we’re all doing this for a reason
  • Be honest in your profile but be aware. I believe in honesty and putting it out there, but there are creative ways to say it. For example, saying that you want to massage my foot before we go out (sweet but scary) or that you’re only interested in a woman who is sexually adventurous (three-way) may appeal to some but not to all. Just be aware of what you’re saying and who you might attract
  • Don’t make the girl do all the work. Believe it or not, women have to work at online dating too. We don’t just sit around and wait for guys to message us. So while I may message you to go out, I still would like you to plan the date and pick where we go. If I’m doing all the work to set up the date, I’ll be doing all the work in that relationship. No thanks
  • If you’re not interested, just say it. A friend was recently stood up by a guy she met online and it set me off in to a rage. If you’re not interested in going out for a first or second date, JUST TELL US. I’m not a mindreader, no woman is, and clearly, men aren’t either. Even if it’s a lame excuse, tell us rather than stand us up. It’s a p*ssy move and can still sting, even the strongest people

Phew, feels good to get that out there. I’m not saying girls don’t make mistakes in their profiles too but I thought I would put this out there for all the gentlemen to help increase their chances of meeting someone they might actually like and be compatible with.

Good luck men!

Anything I’m missing?

21 September 2011

Kitchen adventures: Slow cooked pork cheeks

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

Now that it’s getting cooler in Chicago, I get more excited about the prospect of spending time in the kitchen cooking with football or music playing in the background. Hibernation is on the horizon so that’s the perfect time to get my pans dirty (note, not PANTS.)

And after seeing Naomi’s (aka Gastrognome) recent post about a pork cheek recipe she made (called Holy Sh*t Pork Cheeks), I knew I had to make it. Slow cooker and pork? BRING IT ON PIGGIES.

This is literally all you need:

  • Pork cheeks
  • Turkey stock/broth
  • Canned chipotle peppers
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Let this all sit in the slow cooker for 8-9 hours on low and you’re all set. Seriously, I worried that this wouldn’t turn out, I mean, cooking for that long when the meat isn’t very big or thick? This must be wrong but it wasn’t!

Verdict: A little spicy (like me) but damn tender and tasty. I can see why Naomi had to take a photo of this right away because it goes fast. I didn’t take a photo right away and, well, ate the entire thing before I realized it.


So here is the photo from Naomi’s blog, which I got permission to post (credit to Gastrognome) so you can see some of the deliciousness.

Image and full post found here

Really, this meat was so tender it just fell apart on your fork or in your mouth. The chipotle peppers made it a little too spicy for me at times (or inconsistently spicy) but I would work with this in the future. Plus, with a little truffle salt, it is just SO delicious.

It was a little bit of a pilgrimage around Chicago to get the pork cheese and turkey stock/peppers, but next time I’ll plan a little better and have everything ahead of time. Oh yes, I will be making this again.

What are you cooking this fall?