Archive for July 2012

31 July 2012

What makes me reconsider dating

By: Jessica B.

Recently, a friend texted to tell me it was over with the guy she was seeing.

In that moment, I wanted to a) key something valuable to him and b) punch him in the dick.

And then it just made me angry because my next thought was, “again.”

Lately, I’ve noticed an angering and frustrating trend when talking to friends about dating and “relationships.”

They meet a guy, everything is great, puppies, rainbows and kittens and then, literally overnight, things change. The guy become distant, stops calling/texting or only respond when you initiate, and just slowly starts vanishing from your life. And when questioned, they either say “nothing’s wrong, I’m just in a weird mood,” or “I’m just having an off day,” and then finally, when you’ve asked again (because you don’t know what is going on), they finally tell you what this guy told my friend.

There is no rhyme, reason or trigger, no other girl they’ve hooked up with, or reason why they’ve suddenly changed their mind. One day it just happens and the sweet, funny guy you were seeing has become a cold, distant asshole who suddenly has relationship issues. Or issue he never mentioned before.

And it fucking pisses me off.

Because it’s selfish. And cowardly. And it’s cruel to intentionally treat someone like that.

This trend where guys think that by backing off and stopping the calls/texting/wanting to hang out that women will just “know” you don’t want to see them anymore enrages me.

It’s happened to my friends a lot lately and it happened to me.

My opinion of this is simple: Be a man. Don’t leave her hanging or torture her to make it easier on you. If you were man enough to ask me out, you are man enough to tell me it’s over.

And while my friend knew this is how it would likely end with this guy, it was sad to hear.

I know that women do this too and I’m sure from the guy perspective, it’s just as frustrating. And my feelings about this are the same toward women.

Where both sexes think that running away makes dealing with ending a relationship better, baffles me. Because it doesn’t, and usually, they do it because they’ve been hurt by some asshole guy or selfish girl too. So they pay it forward and do more damage at the same time.

There is no answer or resolution to this post or my frustration. It is what it is. Not all guys may be like this, but it makes me feel more skeptical about dating. If this inevitably where relationships end up right now, what is the point in trying?

Guess that’s the rhetorical end to this soapbox rant.




25 July 2012

Five Days in Napa

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: travel, work

Of all my solo vacations, one of my favorites was Napa Valley. It was my second solo vacation and the longest (at that time). And for seven days, I rotated between wine tasting, dining out, walking around and being deliciously buzzed.

It was heaven.

And, two years after being in Napa for the first time, I got to go back, for work. Yes, I know how fortunate I am.

But it wasn’t all sipping champagne and laying by the pool, they were long days, but it was in a beautiful place, so I won’t complain too much.

We got to eat at amazing places, wine taste and go in a hot air balloon ride. Yes, it was just as amazing the second time. If you’re in Napa and looking for some amazing eats (of which there are many), I add Redd, Morimoto, Kitchen Door and Oenotri to my list from the first visit. All three were incredible. I also still dream about the lobster risotto with truffle and lemon at Redd. O-M-G.

So here are some photos from my five days there. I got a little Instagram happy while I was gone, and for good reason!

Visiting/Trepassing on winery property (shhhh)

The bar at Bouchon

Cheers to the mountains!


Me in the basket (be kind, I was up at 4:30 am)


One of the best US cappuccinos I’ve tasted

I always said I would come back for you Tartine lemon tart. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Seriously though, Napa makes me happy. I think that will join Nola on my list of favorite places. I just, love it. I would move there in a heartbeat. I have to go back here again soon, I cannot stay away.

What was one of your favorite vacations?

23 July 2012

A letter to my future husband (if he exists)

By: Jessica B.

Lately, I find inspiration to write in many places. And after seeing Arielle’s post, inspired/posted originally by Peter’s letters to his future spouse, I thought, hey why not?

So below is a letter to my future husband (who is TBD).

Dear future husband –

I have zero idea how to start this letter because honestly, I wasn’t sure if you existed. Wah wah cheesy I know, but it’s true. I thought about writing how you changed my life and how meeting you put me on a completely different path in life. But in reality, you didn’t change my life, you fit perfectly within it. Like a partner and like a best friend that I can’t imagine living without. CHEESE.

I wasn’t sure how to write this letter to you so I thought I would write the little ways I knew you were a keeper. Some may sound a little…stalker, but to me, it’s the little things that count. And there are a lot of little things you do that I love.

Let’s start the list (not in any particular order)

  • Morning talks. You sleep in and I…don’t. And when we’re both up at the same time, before getting out of bed or letting the day officially begin, we talk. About anything and everything, and I love it
  • You listen. I said once that Violet Hour was my favorite bar in the city, and on date night, the cab took us there. Or after a bad day, you ask how my day was and want to really know. Or when I say I love M&Ms, sometimes, a little bag of them appear as a treat. I love that you listen to me and remember the little things
  • No judgement. I’m not perfect and I’ve made mistakes. But you don’t judge me. After talking about it, it’s a non-issue. Things before you and me don’t matter. Not to me and not to you, I love that
  • Love the crazy. Let’s be real, I wasn’t 25 when we met. I am a little set in my ways and stubborn, and while some of those things had to change when you arrived, you don’t mind the other little things and maybe, even indulge them
  • Take an interest in each other. Whether we love a lot of the same things, or not, you make an effort to be a part of the things important to me. Whether it’s travel, movies, food, beer or a night out with my friends (even when we get a little out of control), you make that effort
  • You love my shape. My body seems to change a lot or go through fuller/slimmer times but that doesn’t matter to you. You still pull me close at night and love me for me

So yeah, that’s just a little list of reasons why I knew you were a keeper. Oh, and when you indulged me and became a “cuddler” with me on the bus last week. Seriously, that was amazing.

Please pick up some milk on the way home tonight.

xoxo Future Jess




17 July 2012

The challenges of making friends

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Friends, Random

Making friends has never been easy for me. Whether it was making the wrong friends, getting burned too many times or my own inability to connect with people, it hasn’t been an easy road.

And it doesn’t get easier as you get older or move to big cities. When I moved to Chicago, I knew no one. It took me six months to connect with someone (by accident) and fortunately, a group of friends spawned from that. That friend, and some of that group, are no longer in the picture.

My history, and that experience reminded me that making friendships and connecting with people are things I’ll always struggle with.

I didn’t leave college with a solid, tight group of friends. Maybe it was transferring schools or other things happening at that time, but that didn’t happen. I had friends and people I hung out with, but not deeply connected friends I actively keep in touch with to this day.

Then, I read an article in the New York Times about the evolution of friendships in adulthood and it hit on exactly how I feel about this topic.

For a long time, work has always been my #1 priority. I prioritized that over friendships and a lot of social experiences. My upbringing was focused on job, career, getting financially and professionally established. Friendships were never told to take a back seat, but that inevitably happened. And now that I am financially and professionally stable, I am prioritizing relationships and friendships, something that now I’m catching up on after years out of the game.

And when you don’t play sports, have a boyfriend or kids, connecting is tough. I’ve met a lot of people through blogging, work and random occurrences in the city, but those aren’t your 20-year-old self friendships. Life, work, priorities and other things get in the way, and despite those people in my life, I still find myself alone more than I thought it would. This isn’t a bad thing but again, when catching up on life, it’s a realization.

And even in my desire to connect with people, age, history and time has reminded me to be careful of who I let in. After turning 30, I shifted my priorities of who I want to spend time with. Gone are many of the constantly negative people I used to hang out with and now, I invest in friendships with people I want to spend time with and who are good influences for me.

This isn’t easy and often, takes a LOT of time. But the friendships I have in Chicago, through work, blogging, etc. are those I want to be in my life. And those who show they cannot make our friendship a two-way street, they move to the sidelines.

Starting over with friends or looking for them, is never easy. And putting boundaries on those you have, isn’t either. But it’s a process in finding people meant to be in your life at that particular time.

I’m not a great friend all of the time, but I like to think that to those I am friends with, I’m not too bad to hang out with :)


12 July 2012

London calling

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: travel

The first time I went to London I was a 20 year old college kid going for a weekend before she flew back to the states from study abroad. It was January, cold as f*ck and I was about as poor and I could get at that time. But I went.

I rode the Tube for four days, ate next to nothing (to save money for the tourist spots) and stayed in the most disgusting hostel ever (fortunately, with nice American roommates).

Side note, eating a sandwich under the Harrods overhang in the middle of winter? HUMBLING MOMENT.

And on the chunnel back to Germany, I swore to myself that I would go back to London when I had more money so I could see it again and do it right.

That time is now. Or will be in September.


That’s right, I’ll be in London for 8-9 days and now that I’ve started trip planning, I am so excited I could scream out loud.

That’s the benefit to living alone, you can do that without sounding (too) crazy.

Right now, airfare, deeply discounted hotel (which is still pretty f*cking expensive but yay Travelzoo!), Buckingham Palace tour and play at Shakespeare’s Globe are booked, and this week I’ll be pouring over my guide books more to set up a schedule of what to see and do.

My inner history nerd goddess is jumping up and down with excitement.

And for some giggles, here is a photo from 2000 where I met up with a few other study abroad kids. Yes, that is my natural hair color…and how I looked back then :)

¬†Another funny note, I took this photo of this photo with my phone because I don’t have a scanner. I fail at technology.