‘family’ Category

21 December 2009

The preference between hot and cold

By: Jessica B.

I’m very fussy when it comes to household temperatures. Why? Because right now, I’m in a constant state of being cold in my parents house. They leave the “heat” on at 60 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night.

It feels like Antarctica all the time.

I’m constantly cold with teeth chattering and trying to stay warm while wrapped in my big fuzzy robe and slippers. I don’t want to TMI on here, but having your nips constantly at full mast is super irritating. Those things could cut glass.

Basically, I hate being cold.

My Chicago apartment, where I don’t pay for heat, is a balmy, heavenly 75 degrees in the winter. I love it, especially when I come home to a warm apartment when it’s cold outside. I’m sure when the free heat days are over, I’ll be a 60-degree girl too but for now, welcome to tropical paradise!

Dad and I constantly argue about the thermostat temp. He tells me to put on (another) sweater or just dress warmer but once I get cold, I cannot warm up. Thank goodness for my heated mattress pad. I cannot live without it in winter and I never want to leave my nice warm bed.

So this time when I came home, I decided to plan ahead and bring cute, coordinated pj pants from Gap and Old Navy. If I’m going to struggle to stay warm, why not try to look cute doing it?

Yeah, it still doesn’t work and I’m still wrapped in the fetal position in my bathrobe trying to stay warm. Classy.

What about you? Do you prefer to be warm or cool in your home/apartment or when you sleep?

Bloggy birthday: Thank you everyone for the kind blog birthday wishes. My blog and I appreciate them :) I also owe a big thank you to Teena in Toronto for reminding me about the big day!

30 November 2009

Goodbye sweet cake, goodbye

By: Jessica B.

That’s right, this entire post is about a cake. A very special cake, so buckle up those tastebuds.

This week, I’m mourning a very sad loss. The loss of the BEST CAKE EVER. That’s right, I said, EVER.

It’s sour cream chocolate with vanilla buttercream frosting and it’s like taking a bite of heaven and digesting clouds of sunshine and moonbeams.

I’ve mentioned it on here a few times because I have at birthdays and well, it’s just that fabulous. And I’ve had this as my birthday cake since I was a kid. And considering I just turned 30, that is, well a long time and a lot of cakes.

So why am I mourning it’s loss? Because last weekend, my brother texted to tell me that the bakery is closing due to the economy and ownership change. And that it was closing on Thanksgiving.

No joke, I nearly started to cry.

This cake was going to be my wedding cake and be a tradition I carry on for a family I may have one day. And now, the thought of it not being there for my next birthday breaks my heart.

What? Breaks my heart? A cake?

Yes, it’s dramatic and overblown but it’s more than that. It’s the symbolism that a long-time tradition is now gone.

And last week, my mom and dad surprised me at work by emailing to say they’re getting one more cake for us to enjoy at our separate Thanksgivings as a way to say goodbye. Bittersweet.

So now, I pour some malt liquor on the sidewalk to honor that bakery and say goodbye. I even play a little Peter Gabriel, clutching a branded napkin in it’s honor.

Goodbye Shaker Baker and thank you for being there with us for so long.

So questions for the evening! Do you have a favorite cake that you can’t live without? Or what is a longstanding food tradition in your family, for holidays or birthdays?

And here’s some cake porn to take us out tonight:

I’ll miss you :(

25 November 2009

A silly and serious thankful list

By: Jessica B.

Well tomorrow is the big day, Thanksgiving, and I am already fasting as I type this.

My parents are divorced so every year I have two Thanksgivings in one day. Moms in the morning and dads in the evening. And the first year we worked out this arrangement, I thought my stomach was going to explode from all the food. My dad found me passed out with a plate of turkey next to me and woke me up to go to bed.

The image of me passed out on a couch, drooling with turkey next to me is hilarious. I wish I had a photo of it.

Anyhow, tonight I’m on my way back to Wisconsin to be with my family, shop my heart out and try to get into the Christmas spirit.

But before that, it’s time to share a silly and serious list of what I’m thankful for this year.


  • Family (we’re not perfect, but they’re mine!)
  • Friends (even those I’ve been estranged from lately)
  • A good job
  • Good health
  • No credit card debt
  • A good life in a great city

Silly (this is more fun):

  • Jacob’s abs (cougar time!)
  • Glee
  • HD-TV
  • A full head of hair (I would be more thankful if I didn’t have so much gray)
  • iPods
  • Text messaging
  • John Krasinski’s hotness
  • Push up bras
  • Cotton leggings
  • Nordstroms
  • A good sense of humor
  • Twitter (which will help me get through four days at home)
  • Mac and cheese (or just cheese)
  • Honey crisp apples
  • Cupcakes

And of course, thankful for all of you :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

So what are you thankful for this year? It can be silly and serious!

18 October 2009

Weekend recap: Sweetest Day and hair therapy

By: Jessica B.

Happy Sunday!

I wish I could regal you all with stories of an exciting, thrilling, action-packed weekend but really, I laid around and did a whole lotta nothing. And it was awesome. But it wasn’t totally boring.

Sweetest Day: Pile of crap?

To start, Saturday I woke up and heard that it was a national holiday…Sweetest Day!!!

*crickets chirping*

Sweetest Day is like a rash. You wake up one morning and notice is something different, then suddenly it starts spreading and realize you’re out of cortisone cream and can’t do anything but ignore it until it goes away. Yeah, I’m reaching a little bit but I think you get my point.

For as long as I can remember, Sweetest Day is for couples, almost like a mini-Valentine’s Day. But according to Wikipedia and the official Sweetest Day Web site, it’s a day to celebrate all the loved and special ones in your life.

I really like that explanation more, too bad it’s only really associated with couples, full of cards, flowers and candy. Kill me.

But is it really just another Hallmark holiday? I think so.

Wikipedia says the “holiday” is celebrated primarily in the Great Lakes area (which is where I grew up and grew to hate this holiday) but I think Neil Kramer said it best on Twitter Saturday:

“Happy Sweetest Day to everyone who lives in upper Midwest where it must have been invented to ease your way into freezing winter.”

Oh Neil. There is so much truth to that statement.

Therapy time at the salon

So as a single girl, how did I celebrate this “holiday?” It started with a trip to my bi-monthly therapy session at the salon for a haircut and color. My hair grows very quickly so I have to get it cut every other month and I always look forward to it for one reason: scalp massage.

A good scalp massage is better than a good workout and a mani/pedi because it kneads out all the stress and you feel completely different (and relaxed) when it’s done. Couple that with a complimentary glass of wine and paying for those services is so much easier :)

I love going to get my hair done because I can talk my stylist about anything and just have a sympathetic ear to whatever is bothering me friend-, work- or family-wise. Actually, it might be better than retail therapy (almost).

And once I had a sexy, cleaned up cut and color, I took that sassy bob downtown to go shopping…but came home empty-handed.

Seriously! That’s always my luck, whenever I want to go shopping, I can’t find anything. Oh well, another time. Next weekend is full operation gym shoes, shoe booty and fall sweater. No mercy!

How was everyone else’s weekend? Do you look forward to going to the salon? Or do you celebrate Sweetest Day? I’m always curious to hear who knows about it.

Also, thanks everyone, both pro- and anti-pumpkin, for weighing in on Thursday’s post. I’m glad to hear there are other non-pumpkin fan supporters out there and for those who do enjoy it, we will agree to disagree on friendly terms :)

Review blog update: Yes, I’ve been slacking on this one but I’m back with part two of the MAC Volcanic Ash experiment, this time, the Thermal Mask!

13 October 2009

Recent fall-induced old lady habits

By: Jessica B.

I’ve been a bit “off” lately, which I’m blaming on the change in seasons. Yeah right now, the change in seasons is my scapegoat for everything.

For example, last night I meant to upload photos from my camera but didn’t because I was distracted by downloading Glee episodes on iTunes. I blame the change in seasons for that musical distraction.

But along with blaming the seasons for my absentmindedness, it has also caused some dormant “old lady” habits to surface too.

I started thinking about this after I saw a picture of my 14 year old goddaughter/cousin on Facebook going to her freshman year homecoming. She looked so beautiful and I choked up because I remember holding her as a baby and holding her hand as she learned to walk. And then I looked a picture of her full dress and said, “hmm that hem could be a little longer, below the knee Grace!”

Yes, that’s how sweet I am.

Now on to the other “old lady” habits I’ve adopted lately:

  • Unable to stay awake past 10 p.m. on weeknights (and wanting to sleep until 10 a.m. the next morning)
  • Commenting that high school girls’ senior photos look a little sluttier every year (my cousins showed me their yearbook)
  • Inability to understand “kids” lingo. For example, a younger coworker said the word “baller” in a sentence to me and I have to think about what that meant
  • Dislike of loud TVs or parties when I’m trying to go to sleep
  • The attraction and longing for napping
  • Exponential increase in bounce back time needed from drinking

Yeah, I need to get out more and be more reckless. Or I need to move to California where it’s sunny, warm and heavenly all the time. Or maybe it’s time for me to find a cul-de-sac in Florida where I can rest my back and swim by the pool. Sounds nice.

Have you noticed any “old lady” habits lately or a change in your moods because of the seasons? Or what would you like the blame the change in seasons for? Feel free to share, it’s not your fault!