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Pic of the Week.

Let me take a selfie.

Let me take a selfie.

Sorry that it’s blurry… I even tried to retake it a few times, but could never get a decent one, which makes me wonder if I have a serious health issue that is in-turn ruining my selfies.

Anyway, yesh, I got new glasses! Okay, so I also got new contacts… and sure, I realize this is not life-changing information, but let me just explain.

 I got my first pair of glasses in second grade, when it was completely uncool to wear glasses. Despite being terrified that my classmates might call me “Four eyes,” I got a pair of round, plastic frames that were purple on the front and green on the sides.

My new glasses!

My new glasses!

I don’t recall anyone making fun of me, but I was really excited to get my first pair of contacts in the 8th grade. I could actually see during pool parties!

As the years went on, my eyes worsened. Sure, both of my parents wore glasses, so weak eyes were inevitable. But mine were starting to get really bad — I had higher prescriptions than my parents’ combined.

In high school, I asked my eye doctor if I was ever going to be legally blind at the rate I was going. She acted like I was crazy.

“No way,” she said. “Eventually your eye prescription will level off.”

But four years ago, I went to the doctor, and not only was I informed that I had astigmatism in both eyes, but I also needed a higher prescription (-8 in my left eye) — not more than two clicks away from being blind.

I had to get a special order of contacts for people with astigmatism (a mere $80 per box), and a new pair of glasses. Without my insurance, my total was more than $800 — nearly enough to get Lasik.

After that, I hadn’t been back to the doctor in yet another four years. I was scared — scared about how much it would cost, scared they would tell me I was blind, scared I would have some sort of eye disease. So, I avoided it until I was having trouble seeing… I even had to increase the fonts on my computer.

So I went, and got an exam, had the mapping done (where they take photos of the backs of your eyes)… and my eyes are healthy. No diseases, no trouble spots, there was no word of astigmatism, and my prescription is now a -6 and -5.5 …not blind.

Sure, it ain’t great, but I faced a fear and the outcome was really good! So, I got some new contacts, and these awesome glasses (only $40, with prescription lenses, on Eye Buy Direct)!

I’m starting to see (literally) just how good things can be when you get a little bravery inside.

Dating by Astrology.

Are the stars aligned for love?

Are the stars aligned for love?

I have always been interested in astrology, although I don’t live by it, I love reading my weekly horoscope — scoffing when it’s completely incorrect, and gasping in awe when it’s right on-point. When it comes to dating, I’ve discussed matching via personality test, but what about zodiac compatibility?

Born on July 2, I am a Cancer, meaning:

  • All about home, comfort of family, maternal, domestic, nurturing
  • Loves tradition, patriotic
  • Has a good memory, is emotional
  • Quick to retreat, moody, often vindictive
  • Quick to help others, avoids confrontation
  • Devoted, romantic, listen to their gut

Cancer traits have always fit me to a T, which is probably why I love reading horoscopes and compatibility charts. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look up compatibility as SOON as I get a birthday for the person I’m crushing on. Let’s take this to the charts:

So colorful.

So colorful.

According to this chart, my perfect matches are a Scorpio and a Pisces. Hmm…

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

  • Fiercely independent, like to be in control
  • Moody, possessive, yet loyal
  • Wise in business, ambitious, determined
  • Intense, misunderstood, often secretive

I’ve actually dated several Scorpios, and obviously, things didn’t work out. I have yet to meet a Scorpio that I get along with very well. But, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, stars! If you know of a Scorpio that is single and could be a match, point me in that direction!

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

  • Needs other people to keep them positive, grounded
  • Sensitive, loyal, will go out of their way to help a friend
  • Mysterious, molded by surroundings
  • Intuitive, sensitive, treat others the way they wish to be treated

I do not THINK I’ve ever dates a Pisces (if I did, I obviously have forgotten about it), but perhaps that is my ideal match! Quick, find me a man with a birthday between February 19 and March 20!

Now, I know astrology won’t answer all of my dating woes… but at this point, I’m open to try just about anything.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

—Julius Caesar

 

Fresh Friday: Girlfriend.

The infamous Bieber-face.

The infamous Bieber-face.

There’s no way I can complete a perfume series without addressing Justin Bieber — and this won’t be the last time, given he’s got four different ones.

I’ve got three of the four, and I love them all for different reasons. I picked Girlfriend, because I have a running joke with my friends that if I go out while wearing the fragrance, it’s a guarantee I’ll get hit on. Oddly enough, my now-ex asked me to be his girlfriend on a night I was wearing Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend perfume.

Girlfriend bottle.

Girlfriend bottle.

GRANTED, my now-ex was a complete douche and I wish I never dated him, but that is not my point.

As described by Ulta:

Flirty, personal and inviting, Girlfriend draws you in with its fresh, eye-catching bottle, wrapped in gold lacing, topped with a revolutionary magnetic cap. From there, feel GIRLFRIEND wrap around your skin and make its way to your lips, giving you that first-kiss feeling with each splash. Every touch, every breath – all captured in a flirty scent. Dare to Get Closer?

Top notes in Girlfriend are said to be mandarin, blackberry, pear, strawberry, pink freesia, star jasmine, apricot, orange blossom, vanilla orchid, luminous musk, and white amber.

Whether you like the Biebs or not, this scent is delicious! …And the commercial for it is sexy. #SorryNotSorry

Wiggin’ out — NOLA style.

A few weekends ago, I joined my friend Liz in New Orleans for a good ‘ole girls’ weekend — cocktails, fine food, street car trips, dancing… and shopping for wigs. One thing I’ll say about Liz is that she’s always fabulous, so any time with her is always a fun one.

Because Liz has lived in New Orleans for a few years now, she decided it was time to get in with the crowd and purchase a wig to wear when she was just, “Feelin’ good.”

Really, looking for wigs, I felt like Kim Zolciak-Biermann, and then I just wished for a guy like Kroy.

Anyway, let’s focus on the issue at hand: how does one find the perfect wig? Here are some tips I found from The Wig Experts:

  1. Cut: Consider the length (short, mid-length, long), the texture (straight, curly & wavy), and the hairstyle (bob, pixies & boy cut, layered, bangs, without bangs).
  2. Capsize: The average wig size fits most people and measures 22-inches around, but measure your head from the front hairline, behind the ear, to the nape of your neck, and back around. This will ensure the best fit.
  3. Composition: Do you want human hair or synthetic hair? There’s pros and cons to either choice, and The Wig Experts have a nice little chart that weighs the options.
  4. Color: This is the fun part, right? Now The Wig Experts are pretty serious about wigs, and they suggest choosing a color that’s close to your natural tone for the easiest transition. But, coming from someone who colors her hair, I say, pick something new, something you love, something fresh! Go for it!

Facial shape is also something you should consider when buying a wig, as it will help you pick a cut and possibly even the right length.

  • Diamond = Bobs, styles that can be tucked behind the ears, shoulder-length
  • Heart = Bangs, fringe, long, multiple layers
  • Oval = Any style!
  • Round = Long-layered styles, off-center part, short hair with high volume
  • Pear = Angled fringe, bangs, short, cropped styles
  • Square = Feathers, wispy bangs
  • Oblong = Shoulder-length, waves, curls, lots of layers

Alright, now onto the wigs! When I searched online for some wigs I loved, I found a TON that I really liked — so my apologies for all the choices. I’m open to different colors, since I really don’t know when or where I’d sport a wig, but all of the ones I found were very inexpensive. I have always dreamed of having super long hair, so I was automatically drawn to the lengthier ones.

Let me know which ones you love!

Pictured wigs: Melody Susie, Crazy City, Lolita, Wine Red, Angel, Royal

Coolest Fan Mail… Ever!

Cover idea from a reader!

Cover idea from a reader!

Monday night, I received some fan mail from a reader in Indianapolis. She, Samantha, drew this after reading my first book, How I Fell, and then she transferred it to Photoshop.

Umm… how cute is it?! I actually like it better than my original cover, but don’t tell anyone. Without even knowing it, Samantha drew me wearing a pair of heels that look like some I actually have!

Recently, I’ve started getting notes, and links to articles and blogs you (my readers) think I need to see — I love this!

So, if you think there’s something out there I need to see, please send it my way via the comments, Twitter, Facebook, or feel free to email me directly at Wittywriter7@gmail.com

Thank you for my drawing, Samantha! And thanks for reading!

Pic of the Week.

I'm old school with the radio.

I’m old school with the radio.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a new morning radio show had taken over one of the stations I listened to (104.1 New Orleans). The show was a syndicate, Johnjay and Rich.

It’s two guys and a girl, and the show revolves around calling people, although each day, it’s a different bit.

  • Monday: Machaca — This is any reason to call someone that doesn’t fall under the categories of the other days. In the past, they’ve called someone pretending to need a job reference to see what the person would say.
  • Tuesday: Second Date Update — Someone calls in, they’ve had a great first date, and can’t figure out why there’s no second date, so Johnjay and Rich call and get the scoop.
  • Wednesday: Humpday Dumpday — Someone gets dumped, and doesn’t know why, so Johnjay and Rich call and find out the real reason for the dumping (are you catching a trend?).
  • Thursday: War of the Roses — This is their signature show. Someone calls in, suspects their partner is cheating on them, so Johnjay and Rich call, disguised as a flower shop saying “Congrats, you just won a dozen free roses, who should we deliver them to?” And they either get a bust, or the person delivers them to the original caller.
  • Friday: Fiance Friday — Very similar to War of the Roses, only they call saying “You won a free couples massage” and obviously, it’s an engaged couple involved.

I really love the Machaca, because it’s always something different, and the theme song gets stuck in my head. But my all-time favorite show is Second Date Update, I think probably because that’s where I’m at in my dating life right now… just going on a lot of first dates (not saying that’s a bad thing).

But really, all of the shows are enjoyable, and often shocking. Sometimes I wonder if the calls are staged, but I kind of feel the same way about that as I do about all the reality television I watch: as long as it’s entertaining, I don’t care how “real” it is.

The point of this is all to say, that these past few weeks, this show is what’s been getting me to work on time! As sad as that sounds, the shows usually start about 20 minutes before I need to be at the office — just enough time for me to get there. It makes for a pleasant drive to work, and I can get a good laugh in before my work day begins.

Once I get into work, I listen to the rest of the show using my “I Heart Radio” app. And no, I wasn’t paid to say any of this, but if someone from the Johnjay and Rich Show ever reads this, I would DIE to be a guest.

Find out if a station near you plays the show, and/or check out their podcast, or listen live on their website!

Throwback dating shows.

A scene from MTV's Singled Out.

A scene from MTV’s Singled Out.

When I was in middle school, I remember watching lots of dating shows on TV. These shows weren’t quite like the ones on now, these were more like game shows… you know, “Bachelor number one, what is your dream date?!?”

Bzzz!

One of my favorites was a show called Bzzz! While I loved it, apparently not many people did, because it was only on air for a year (1996-1997). It was hosted by Annie Wood, with rules similar to those on The Dating Game.

There were three rounds: 1. Picking bachelors or bachelorettes to interview (which involved men/women standing behind a shadowy screen and saying really cheesy lines. Ex. “My name is Holly, and I want to DECK YOUR HALLS!” These lines were usually paired with some sort of equally-awful dance move).

Round 2: Simpatico. The new couple is asked a round of questions, and for every answer they get a match, they win money. Round 3: Final Bzzz! Role reversal questions, and if the person hits the Bzzz! the date is off.

Blind Date

Hosted by the oh-so-cool Roger Lodge, Blind Date ran from 1999-2006, and is still in syndication. As the show title suggests, people went on blind dates on the show. The best part about the show were these little thought bubbles that popped up throughout the date.

Really, it seemed like the producers put the worst matches on the dates to make for good television, but it worked!

The 5th Wheel was a spinoff of Blind Date, which involved two couples on a group date, who are later joined by a male or a female, to stir up the pot, obvi.

Oh yeah!

Oh yeah!

elimiDATE 

Probably one of the trashiest dating shows of the bunch, but of course very entertaining, elimiDATE was on air from 2001-2006. The premise of the show: one person chooses from four members of the opposite sex (while they are all on a group date).

Throughout the date, the person eliminates one contestant for each round. It’s kind of like The Bachelor/Bachelorette, only with four contestants and in 30-minutes/one date. The show’s allure resided in the competitive nature of the contestants, especially once the date dwindled down to just two, as usually they all ended up in a hot tub, about to have sex.

Change of Heart

Change of Heart aired from 1998-2003, hosted by Chris Jagger (first three years), then Lynne Koplitz. An episode of Change of Heart involved one couple, where the guy would go on a date with someone new, and so would the girl.

After their dates, they would come to the show, detail the dates in front of their significant other (which also involved video clips), and decide if they wanted to stay with their original partner or, have a “Change of Heart” and date the new person.

Of course, the end was the best part of this show, mainly because the decision-making process involved the couple holding up signs (with smiley or sad faces) that explained their feelings — Change of Heart or Stay Together?

Singled Out

Singled Out was MTV’s dating show from 1995-1998, hosted originally by Jenny McCarthy and Chris Hardwick, but McCarthy was later replaced with Carmen Electra.

Each episode had 50 men and 50 women competing for dates. Each game started with one main contestant, the “Picker,” being escorted onto the set blindfolded in front of the 50 potential dates in the “Dating Pool” while the announcer described him/her. The Picker was then led to a seat facing away from the Dating Pool and further divided from the potential dates by a wall.

Potential dates were eliminated during the categories round, followed by a “Final Cut” round, and then the actual reveal, if the potential date made it that far. Some of you may remember when Singled Out was featured on an episode of Boy Meets World, because Eric was a contestant.

Wanna Come In?

While this wasn’t my favorite dating show, I got the idea to even write this post because a fellow blogger, and friend, of mine was actually ON this show! It aired on MTV from 2004-2005, and involved two, two-man teams made up of a “stud” and a “dud.”

The studs would makeover the duds, and send them on dates equipped with an earpiece. During the date, the studs would toss challenges to the duds, to earn money. But the ultimate challenge was to get the girl to say the phrase, “Wanna come in?” at the end of the date.

Keeping it classy, MTV.

What dating shows did you love?

Fresh Friday: Abercrombie Classic.

Ay bay-bay.

Ay bay-bay.

I know, I know, Abercrombie & Fitch fragrance is nothing new (although from the looks of their website, they’ve got some new scents), but I just couldn’t resist featuring the fragrance from the Home of the Hunks on my blog! I swear, I’ve got good reasons for it, so let’s get this started.

The Hotties. Abercrombie is infamous for their racy ads and exploitation of incredibly sexy people. And you know what? I love it. Yeah, it was a little (okay a lot) unrealistic… but aren’t we all dying for a dream, anyway? From a marketing standpoint, it’s pretty genius, because let’s face it: everyone loves to look at beautiful people and things, and in the words of Augustus Waters, I’m not in the business of denying myself pleasure.

K? Moving on.

The Lifestyle. I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch, as well as abercrombie (the kids store) for the greater portion of my college years. I remember being in 7th grade, and hearing the most popular girl in school say that she shopped at Abercrombie. Her clothes always fit perfectly, and I wanted to be her.

In middle school, everyone is a sellout just trying to fit in, so I was thankful that the very few shirts I could get had ABERCROMBIE plastered all over them. In those years, Abercrombie had yet to embrace their cottage-feel, as far as the stores go, so the Abercrombie I shopped at was still outfitted like a hunting store, complete with antler chandeliers and plaid carpet.

I love that kind of shit.

It’s like a frat house, only much cleaner, and more expensive.

What I didn’t know then, I learned in my years as an employee. Like all successful brands, Abercrombie was selling a lifestyle that was impossible to actually get: beautiful people wearing distressed, layered clothing (sold at a high price point).

They didn’t have to worry about dress codes, because they didn’t have jobs or cares or worries. They didn’t need shoes, because they have no need to go anywhere, but if shoes were, for some reason, necessary, they’d wear neutral-toned flops, even in the winter, because… leg warmers and hoodies keep the pretty people warm.

It was a style all its own, while still embracing the classic American look — denim and neutral.

And despite the fact that I made shit money while working there, it’s a brand I’ve always admired. Sure, there was controversy. But y’all know I’ve never been one to stray from a controversy.

A&F Classic

A&F Classic

The scent. Abercrombie sells a ton of different scents, and because I worked there for so long, I’ve developed quite the collection. But today, I’ll just talk about Abercrombie & Fitch classic (for women).

It’s often described as a mostly citrus-scent with white floral notes, which I agree with, but I also smell a little woodsiness in there… because, Abercrombie, duh.

It has longevity, and it’s a scent I have always loved wearing.

Le sigh. So why am I getting all sentimental about one of my favorite brands? Because I saw an article that explained the Abercrombie brand as we know it, is leaving.

The article basically explains that Abercrombie plans to remove its logo (the large ABERCROMBIE, or even the small moose) from their articles of clothing in hopes to boost sales.

This part doesn’t bother me — even though I love the little embroidered moose — I really love the clothes more than people knowing that I overpaid for a cheaply-made tank top.

Another article also states that Abercrombie failed as a brand because they didn’t change with the times — but this is precisely the reason I love the Fitch. Jeans and tanks will always be in style. Whether the jeans are skinny or ripped, dark or light, we will always love jeans. And easy tops. Some might be skinny strapped, beaded, sequined, or braided… but it’s simple and it looks effortless. Isn’t that what being sexy is all about?

If my office job allowed me to actually wear cool clothes, I’d “relive the 90s” and rock my Ezra ripped jeans and beaded hoodies until the day I die. But perhaps I’m not quite as cool as the kids in the ads, who don’t have to work — outside of modeling for A&F. But either way, I love admiring their world from afar.

Pic of the Week.

Yes, that's a leopard-print glue gun.

Yes, that’s a leopard-print glue gun.

Hobby Lobby has officially dumped the contents of its shelves into my apartment — and it is a beautiful, sparkly mess — which, is actually really exciting for my kitty, Blanche.

After that crappy week I told you all about, I was really excited to get involved in a good craft project.

Every year, one of my best girlfriends and her boyfriend compete in a Gumbo Cook-off. Three years ago, they asked me if I wanted to join their team. Let’s see, tons of Southern food, gumbo, beer, and people-watching? HELLS YES.

So now, it has become an October tradition to pack up our cars, drive an hour away, and spend the weekend cooking (and eating) delicious food. It’s something I look forward to every year.

While our team is smaller than most of the teams we’re competing against, we’ve stepped up our game these last few years — selling out of gumbo, sporting matching shirts and aprons, and this year, I volunteered to decorate our booth!

Every year, the Gumbo Cook-off has a theme. In previous years, it’s been things like “America the Beautiful,” or “Choot ‘Em” (Swamp People). This year, the theme is “25th Anniversary.”

Umm, because of course the year that I decide to decorate, they would have the theme be something un-fun, and really freaking difficult to figure out.

At first, I was just thinking I could have silver decorations (since 25 is year of silver). And then I decided that was lame and boring. Then I was just thinking about gumbo itself — chicken, sausage, bell peppers, onions, etc. I was imagining strands of faux veggie garland.

But… turns out, plastic veggies are super expensive. So, fail.

Over brunch, one of my guy friends suggested a play on words: Twenty Fifths…as in, 20 bottles of alcohol.

At first, I wasn’t sold. But once I got to Hobby Lobby, I went down every aisle and starting seeing some different options where I could make the “20 fifths” thing work.

So, two hours later, I had my cart filled with hot glue sticks, scrapbook paper, twine, bottles, mason jars, faux plants, mini martini glasses, and small Solo cups, among other things.

It took me all week, but I made:

Table Banner — “Cheers to 20 Fifths” using the scrapbook paper. I used 20 sheets of scrapbook paper, traced bottles of Jack Daniels and wine on them, painted the bottles black, and trimmed the paper into equal rectangles. Then, I used the twine and tiny clothespins to make it a hangable banner.

Table Decor — Hobby Lobby had these giant cardboard-ish numbers, so I bought a 2-0, and then a large glass wine bottle, which I painted “5ths” on it, and filled it with faux hay and glittery, silver sticks (to signify 25). To add a little something extra, I found a stockpile of beer bottle caps, which I glued to the numbers. Finally, a use for the things I hoard!

Cocktail Garland — I used the small, red Solo cups, along with the tiny, plastic martini glasses to create a cocktail garland (using the twine). Holes were poked into the cups and strung, then I used hot glue to secure it (I didn’t want the cups to move). I hot glued the twine to the martini glasses, so the garland would be Solo cup-tini-cup-tini, etc. To add some detail, I hot glued toothpicks with tiny faux olives on them (I made these) into the glasses.

Tent decor — I used the mason jars to fill with faux hay, glittery silver sticks, and other flowers, along with wine corks. I know this doesn’t have a direct relation to our “drinking” theme, but I really just wanted something that would decorate the sides (the legs) of our tent, and I couldn’t think of anything that would really catch people’s eyes.

While I’m not sure if we will be in the running to win the decorations-portion of the competition, I think people will at least appreciate our love for booze. If you’re indoors crafting this week, good luck! Make something beautiful.

Boyfriend Recipe: Turkey & bean chili.

Yummmm.

Yummmm.

When I think of fall, I think of football, and when I think of football, I think of CHILI. I don’t even like football, but I LOVE chili! I grew up eating chili, and it always makes me think of my dad.

So, I’ve spent years trying to perfect a chili that I can call my go-to. While I have about four different chili recipes that I cook each fall, this one is definitely my favorite (adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe).

Chances are, a few different boyfriends have tasted this, and if you date me, you’ll be added to the list. But seriously, it’s a crowd pleaser. Husbands and boyfriends, you will thank me.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3lbs of turkey (I like breast tenderloins, but ground is great, too)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1/4 c garlic, minced
  • 3tb chili powder
  • 3tb unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1c water (I use homemade stock, or feel free to toss a cup of beer in there)
  • 4ts ground cumin
  • 2tb molasses (sub with brown sugar, if needed)
  • 2 28oz cans whole tomatoes
  • 3 15 oz cans of beans (I use kidney or pinto)

This is the awesome part — use your crock pot! Cook the meat first: brown ground meat, or pop the tenderloins in the oven for 20 minutes, just to get the cooking started. Cook the bacon until crispy, and crumble it into the pot. Toss all the ingredients in, and set on low for 6 hours. Easy!

If you’re using the tenderloins, I put them in the crock pot whole, then after about 4 hours of cooking, I shred the meat and put it back in to soak up the spices.

Top it with chips, cheese, avocado, guacamole, sour cream (plain Greek yogurt for my ladies on a diet) — whatever you please!. This chili is good for you, and your guy will absolutely love it!

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