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Fresh Friday: Stella Nude.

Stella McCartney runway, Paris.

Stella McCartney runway, Paris.

I couldn’t find a picture of the perfume decent-enough for the big slot, so you’ll have to just admire the fashions (I think these are from 2010, but I’m obsessed with the blue number) of Ms. Stella McCartney, even though I’m talking about one of her fabulous perfumes.

Today’s Fresh Friday scent profile features Stella Nude by Stella McCartney.

I still have so many scents left on my bathroom shelves that when it came time to write this post, I really wasn’t sure which to choose. So, I stuck my hand in my little bag of samples and pulled out Stella Nude, spritzed it on (I like to use 3 sprays), and went out the door.

Stella Nude bottle

Stella Nude bottle

And. It. Smells. Fantastic!

The longer I wear it, I can pick of different parts of the scent — and they’re all very feminine, which is a good quality to have in a perfume.

As described by Sephora: A fragrance based on the contrast between the fresh, soft rose and the dark, sensual amber, Stella is a sophisticated scent focused on intense femininity.

The concept of the Stella McCartney bath line is driven by a passion for ecological and organic cosmetology: selecting the best natural raw materials and capitalizing on vegetal extracts, organic agriculture, and extraction methods that respect and protect the natural life force of the plants.

It really is a beautiful fragrance… I’m glad I was lucky enough to snag a sample bottle!

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

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!

Why are men obsessed with their jobs?

Yep, always working.

Yep, always working.

I’ve dated several men who are obsessive over work. I’m talking always working late, working on the weekends, using work as an excuse as to why we can’t meet for lunch or why it takes him 8 hours to respond to a text message.

And while the men of my past are probably horrible examples (because I think most of them hated me), I notice it even when I’m just “talking” to a guy.

Yes, I do appreciate a man who works hard, and who’s got goals — let’s face it, none of us would be dating a guy that didn’t have a job!

But isn’t there some sort of balance? While I do work hard and get my job done, I’m not obsessive. My career is different from my job. And at my job, hard work doesn’t pay off. So, I obsess over other things instead, like blogging, or freelance writing, or drumming up new ideas for books.

YOLO, folks. And I know that at the end of my life, I’m sure as hell not going to be wishing I worked harder.

So how can us ladies deal with our overworked men?

For starters, it’s important to understand that men are wired to be providers. Work means money, and working hard, could mean a promotion or a better job down the line, which means he can give a comfortable life for his family (which could mean YOU)!

However, there does have to be a balance, especially depending on what stage the relationship is at. An article on CNN.com explains that a workaholic is definitely different than someone who just has great work ethic and/or who loves their job.

Cutting to the chase, if the guy is obsessed with his job, and the relationship isn’t worth saving, then don’t. I dated someone for years who always chose work obligations and even weekend functions over spending time with me. It was hurtful, and I often pictured us years down the road, being married, and him still ditching me for an office crawfish boil (for which I was never invited to).

But if the relationship is serious, and worth saving, there are some things you can do to compromise.

  • Communicate. If there’s a project that needs overtime hours, perhaps that can be the night you go out with the girls.
  • Plan ahead, and keep them! Breaking vacations or an important dinner with the parents is where things really get rocky — plan ahead for these events, so your guy can work around them.
  • Get busy. When a boyfriend used his time to work, I used my time to do ME. Read a book you love, get a manicure, finish a project, visit the museum. Whether or not the relationship works, you’ll have improved yourself and not wasted a drop of time.

Save the Date: October 17.

Nope, I’m not getting married.

But I am judging a Pop Culture Hair Show on October 17, right here in Baton Rouge and I’m SO (or should I say “SEAUX”) excited!

Join me, along with the amazing team at The Garrett Neal Studio (yes, this is where I get my hair done) Friday, October 17, starting at 8pm, right in the hair studio. Here’s what the Facebook event says:

Be sure to come support our stylists with their first “in-salon” hair show! Enjoy seeing the creativity behind these master minds with their Avant Garde looks and uniquely created Up-Cycled looks. Mix and mingle with some of your fellow Baton Rouge friends! Enjoy a great time with wine and food catered by Zorba’s Greek Bistro. 

Not only will I be judging the hair show, but I’ll also be there with books and some merchandise from my Bitter Lemon store. Really, I just want to meet other creatives, and if you’re a reader, I’d love to say hello and snap a picture together!

So mark your calendars for the 17th, and I hope to see y’all there!

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!

Fresh Friday: Desire.

Where the DG party at?

Where the DG party at?

Dolce & Gabbanna ads — much like Michael Kors ads — seriously send me into a frenzy of wishes, often leading to a quarter-life crisis. Everyone is so beautiful, on an island, with a hot guy, never mind that it’s not real. Dreams!

But for the last week, I’ve been wearing Desire by Dolce & Gabanna, and I absolutely love it!

As described by Sephora:

dolce-gabbana-desire-fragrance

Pretty bottle.

Desire by Dolce&Gabbana is a deeply feminine fragrance that illuminates everyday moments into something special. A blend of luxurious ingredients as potent and captivating as the emotion of desire itself leads us on a journey of opulent seduction. 

Fresh top notes of mandarin, lychee, and bergamot play softly against the sweet innocence of lily of the valley. At the core of an intense heart is a trio of ultrafeminine florals. The elegance of madonna lily and the heady opulence of Indian tuberose are blended with velvety jasmine and addictively sweet plum nectar. Adding an indulgent richness to the base is a gourmand note of vanilla infused caramel, melded with warming sandalwood, and a touch of mysterious musk and cistus labdanum. 

Although it’s described as “potent,” I don’t think it’s a strong perfume by any means. Strong enough to last throughout the day, but not overpowering. It’s definitely worth a try!

RomComs: not just for the ladies.

Who's enjoying the movie more?

Who’s enjoying the movie more?

It’s true, men like to watch romantic comedies, too! Maybe you’ve caught your boyfriend laughing a little too hard during a recent Lifetime movie, or perhaps you’ve caught your husband popping in a copy of your coveted Sex & The City DVD. No matter what the reason, men love them a little chick flick.

For this post, I definitely needed help from the guys, and the ladies who’ve seen this in-action. So, I asked, and I received! Here are the romantic comedies your man just might love to watch (with you, of course):

THE PROPOSAL — (2009) A pushy boss (Sandra Bullock) forces her young assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her in order to keep her Visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada.

I don’t know about you, but I wish to live in a world where I am forced to marry Ryan Reynolds. I’ll also be willing to settle for his doppleganger.

THE NOTEBOOK — (2004) A poor and passionate young man (Ryan Gosling) falls in love with a rich young woman (Rachel McAdams) and gives her a sense of freedom. They soon are separated by their social differences.

DIRTY DANCING — (1987) Spending the summer in a holiday camp with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze).

Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.

—Baby

FEVER PITCH — (2005) Lindsay (Drew Barrymore) is stuck in the middle of her relationship with Ben (Jimmy Fallon) and his passion for the Boston Red Sox.

FOUR WEDDINGS & A FUNERAL — (1994) Over the course of five social occasions, a committed bachelor (Hugh Grant) must consider the notion that he may have discovered love.

Love this movie!

Love this movie!

ABOUT TIME — (2013) At the age of 21, Tim (Domhnail Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend (Rachel McAdams) turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU — (2009) The Baltimore-set movie of interconnecting story arcs deals with the challenges of reading or misreading human behavior.

This movie is PACKED with stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Anniston, Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore… the list goes on. I wasn’t in love with this movie right away, but every damn time it’s on TV, I sit down to watch it. I am so Gigi. Ugh!

SERENDIPITY(2001) A couple (Kate Beckinsale & John Cusack) reunite years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they’d end up together.

SAY ANYTHING — (1989) A noble underachiever (John Cusack) and a beautiful valedictorian (Ione Sky) fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.

HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS — (2003) Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is an advertising executive and ladies’ man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) covers the “How To” beat for “Composure” magazine and is assigned to write an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.” They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.

CRAZY STUPID LOVE — (2001) A middle-aged husband’s (Steve Carell) life changes dramatically when his wife (Julianne Moore) asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob (Ryan Gosling), learning to pick up girls at bars.

CRUEL INTENTIONS — (1999) Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) makes a bet that her step-brother, Sebastian (Ryan Phillipe), won’t be able to bed Annette (Reese Witherspoon) (a virgin, who wants to wait until love). If he loses, Kathryn gets his Jaguar, if he wins, he gets Kathryn.

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA — (2006) A naive young woman (Anne Hathaway) comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city’s biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).

500 DAYS OF SUMMER — (2009) An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman (Zoey Deschanel) who doesn’t believe true love exists, and the young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who falls for her.

YOU’VE GOT MAIL — (1998) Two business rivals (Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan) hate each other at the office but fall in love over the internet.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN — (1992) Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.

PITCH PERFECT — (2012) Beca (Anna Kendrick), a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

It’s a pretty good list, right? Did I miss any? What movies does your guy like to watch?

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