Blog Archives

The other side of heartbreak.

Keep away the lonelies.

I promised I’d fill you in on my love life as of late, and well, I’m a woman of my word. And yeah, I’m going to somehow try and explain this as honestly as possible, without going off the deep end. Here goes.

I’ve known this guy for 16+ years (ugh, I’m so old), and over the years we’ve developed one of those friendships I’d see in a romcom and be completely jealous of. We have SO much stuff in common, from politics and television to food and writing.

There’s been spots in our friendship where we’ve talked and texted every day, and there’s been times we haven’t talked for months. For years, even though I was romantically interested in him, I never wanted to force it – I liked him in a way where I felt like I wanted him to do what made him happy, even if that meant not being with me.

But these last few months felt different. Our talks were different. His gestures were different. He was very kind, and I’ll be honest here: I was feeling very vulnerable. Almost scared shitless.

He lives states away, and I needed to know where this was headed. Was he planning on staying where he is currently, or was he open to moving? Is he the type of guy looking to get married and have a family (I mean we are 32)?

These are questions I’ve never really had, and they are DEFINITELY questions I’ve never felt comfortable asking. I was in 100% new territory here, and quite nervous.

When I went to visit him though, my fantasy was not quite what I’d dreamt (imagine that, because this always happens to me). On the surface, he said some things that were sweet – that he felt vulnerable, too, that he didn’t like going a single day without talking to me, and that he ultimately wanted me to be happy – these are things no man has EVER said to me before… and well, frankly, I wonder if I’ll ever hear them again.

But despite the kind words, there were… actions… that happened that didn’t back up these words. Actions that made me wonder if he even liked me at all – ever. I felt a little tricked, and I felt like a fool (per usual). And to top it off, he wasn’t open to moving.

On the one hand, yes, I got answers. They certainly weren’t the ones I wished for, but I got them. I really hoped to keep our friendship, but we haven’t really talked since – granted, I haven’t reached out either, because I’m just not really sure how, or if I should, or if it’s worth it.

There’s a part of me that feels really proud of myself for seeing red flags and knowing that I want better for myself; that I cannot settle at this point, and there’s something in my blood that’s telling me I need to continue my adventure as a single woman.

It’s a weird feeling because – as silly as it sounds – I kind of thought this was it! He was so different than the men of my past; there was so much actual connection, and very little talk of sex and that was refreshing to me. But it still wasn’t right in the way I need it to be.

I don’t have any hard feelings, but I’ll say that being on this side of heartbreak – a place where there was no betrayal or lies (as far as I know) – it was just simply a misalignment – it really isn’t that much easier. Okay, so I’m not dragging ass, eating ice cream from the carton, but… There is still a lot of loneliness. I went from talking to someone every day to hardly even looking at my phone.

I all of the sudden have tons of extra time (which explains why I read two whole books last week).

And I know this is just another something I will get over – I’ve done it many times. These experiences, although painful, are important as I continue to figure out who is going to be the right one for me. In the meantime, though, I make pretty awesome company for myself. And I’ve been on my own for so long, I’ll admit I’m getting verrrryyy used to it – not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but it’s happening!

That’s where I’m at now, and I’m just trying to keep things moving. I’m also thinking about the future. I got a good reminder that I don’t really have anything holding me down, and things are wide open for my. It’s a very freeing feeling, and I know that’s something a lot of people can’t say.

Cheers to what’s coming next, even if I don’t know what!

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How Starbucks broke my heart.

Done with Starbucks.

Done with Starbucks.

This has nothing to do with cups. It doesn’t even have anything to do with what’s inside the cups.

Let me start by telling you just how much I used to love Starbucks.

It was a lot.

As I type this, I’m sipping coffee from a Starbucks mug. In fact, when I made my coffee this morning, and reached for a clean mug, I realized that more than half of the mugs I have in my apartment are from Starbucks. There are even tumblers and travel mugs, too.

Books from the Starbucks’ CEO are on my shelves. I have a Starbucks gold card with my name printed on it that I earned in 2010 after many years of soy lattes. It’s been a staple of my life for many, many years.

It’s not necessarily because of the delicious way they press a machiatto, or their addictive hot chocolate. It’s that, plus a lot of other things I once loved about the coffee giant. I loved the atmosphere. The culture.

I hated it when people would bash Starbucks for selling CDs or having special terms for their sizes — all of that boiled down to the culture of Starbucks. The fact that it was based on that feeling you get when you’re in a fine coffee house in Europe and all the little things add up to this one, giant feeling of pure perfection.

And there was this other thing about the culture; the fact that the money I spent on delicious coffee was going to other good things like great benefits for the employees, and fair wages for the farmers who nurtured the beloved coffee beans from around the globe (Starbucks is 100% ethically sourced).

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Blake MyCoskie, the founder of Toms Shoes, speak on how he created his business. He said when Toms Shoes began, he realized just how much people love to buy something if they know that their purchase makes them a part of something great.

That’s how I felt about Starbucks. It really pissed me off when people would bitch about the price of coffee at Starbucks — we weren’t paying for just the brand, we were paying for those benefits, fair wages, and that moment you get when you get that first sip of the peppermint mocha.

After all, I can chose to spend my money on whatever I please. And the same people complaining about overpriced coffee and anti-Christmas cups are the same people who shop at Wal-Mart (known for its low wages and poor working conditions) and eat at Chik-fil-a (right-winged, anti-gay). Two companies I gave up years ago.

Even Toms Shoes is aligned with right-wing activist groups (although MyCoskie has issued an apology for it), and even Starbucks has it’s problems.

Last week, a friend told me Starbucks’ products were full of GMOs, and not only that, but they donated $70 million to fight GMO-labeling laws.

Umm, what?

My quest to be healthier started about four years ago, with regular fitness, detox, and healthy eating. I’ll admit, I haven’t always bought the organic craze, and I understand how difficult it is for companies to migrate from using GMOs — they are everywhere. Thanks, Monsanto.

Not familiar with GMOs? GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and they are created when the DNA from other plants, animals, and bacteria are injected into cells of another group, say, a plant seed. That seed then can grow despite being sprayed with pesticide, poison, or whatever. GMOs weren’t around at the dawn of time, so it adversely affects those who eat them — humans and animals alike. Here’s a good article on the basics of GMOs.

So, Starbucks is a part of the Grocer’s Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), along with several other giants like Coca-Cola, Clorox, Proctor & Gamble, etc. And the GMA is supporting anti-GMO-labeling laws. These laws make it okay for companies to NOT mention that their products are chock-full of GMOs.

Starbucks claims that forcing a company to put something on their label affects their first amendment to free speech.

Oh, Starbucks, you sneaky little bitch! You KNOW how much free speech means to me! But I also believe I have a right to know what’s in the food I eat. And the latter of those beliefs has an effect on my health, and perhaps, on my life.

There are two main things that bother me about Starbucks going arm-in-arm with Monsanto (home of GMO pesticide, complete with government ties):

  1. I was tricked. This entire time, I thought Starbucks was a GREAT company. And to make matters worse, even Starbucks is saying all of these GMO-labeling accusations are false, that it’s the GMA fighting the fight. No, Starbucks, no. You don’t get to play that game. If you’re guilty, fess up.
  2. I have no control where my money goes. For years, I thought my money was supporting the causes I care about, only to find out that it’s been going to support Monsanto.

When the Chik-fil-a fiasco happened, a former coworker told me that she would never boycott a company just because of the founder’s beliefs or what they supported — “There’d be nowhere to go,” she said.

I disagree. There ARE companies out there that do good; that believe the same things I believe. And it’s my right to spend my money where I choose. If we don’t stand for something, what are we living for? Honestly.

And if I’m being honest, I will say that the whole part of using GMO milk and selling baked goods sprinkled with poison, bothers me LESS than the whole $70 million to support anti-GMO-labeling.

When I go into a store, I can make a choice as to buy an organic chicken that’s eaten a GMO-free diet. Or, I can get the cheap shit. That is my choice. I can even still go to Starbucks and get a plain coffee with a splash of coconut milk and I can walk out GMO-free. But that sale goes to support something terrible. And I just cannot live with that.

So, I’m in the process of finding a new coffee shop to love. One that serves delicious drinks, and doesn’t support GMOs.

It’s minimal, but in addition to boycotting Starbucks, I’ve signed a petition in hopes that one day, Starbucks can make the switch and support GMO-labeling. You can sign it, too!

Want more info on Monsanto, GMOs, the GMA, and where to find a decent coffee shop? Here you go:

Coping With the Split: Blake & Miranda.

THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER!

THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER!

It’s only been a week since the news broke that our favorite country powerhouse couple, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, divorced. I don’t know about you, but I’m still trying to figure out how to cope with all of this?!

For starters, they didn’t just file for divorce; they straight up finalized that crap and got the DEEVORCE (after Blake filed on July 6, 2015). The thing is where were the telltale signs??? Where was Perez Hilton?? We cannot just be ambushed by this news, people!

Since the announcement, I’ve been going through a wave of emotions: one day, I hear Miranda is the one who cheated (supposedly with fellow country singer Chris Young), and then the next day, Chris Young says he’s got nothing to do with it, and then Miranda’s camp says Blake is actually the one who cheated (let’s face it, Miranda was his mistress during his previous marriage), and then both parties are sad, then they’re “amicably Tweeting” and now? They’re just happy.

I can’t take it! What about us? They were the couple that made it seem perfect. They were whiskey and shotguns; dog rescuers and camo-wearin’ country singers. They were gritty and glamorous all at once. They were the Brad and Jen of country music; and the divorce was a damn bearskin rug pulled out from every single one of us that believed the curvy badass chick could get the guitar-slinging comedic crooner.

And it’s over.

According to Us Weekly, the couple already had a prenup, so their properties were already divided, with no financial questions. E! News has also reported that the cause for the split was not because anyone cheated on anyone, it was because of their busy schedules — as time went on, they grew further and further apart.

I will never be able to understand the inner-workings of celebrity relationships. I can’t imagine the constant scrutiny; the rumors, and the pressure. But to hear it was their careers that got in the way; that almost breaks my heart more than any cheating rumor.

These are two people who are wildly successful, and they can’t find time for each other? I know, it takes more than a redeye flight and album collaborations, but if anyone was going to make it work, couldn’t they?

Le sigh. But, the divorce isn’t changing, so let’s figure out how to cope, okay?

  1. Realize it’s okay… to have all sorts of different feelings. One day, you may feel sad about Blake and Miranda, the next day you may be mad, or even glad. With any of these reactions, I say solve it by blasting Miranda’s “Gunpowder & Lead.”
  2. Take a break… and give yourself time to heal. You should probably call in sick to work — after all, how can we be expected to get things done when all you ever knew of love is… OVER?!? You can’t. You just cannot. So instead, you should watch this: The Love Story of Blake & Miranda.
  3. Don’t do it alone… which means, have a drink. And if you’re going to drink, drink Blake’s favorite drink, a “Blake-arita,” which is Bacardi mixed with Sprite Zero.

About three years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Miranda for Dig magazine as she was heading to Baton Rouge on tour. I asked her about married life, as she was a newlywed to Blake at the time.

“It’s fantastic, especially since Blake is also an artist. We both understand what the other is dealing with when it comes to our jobs,” she said.

I digress. Whatever you do — don’t even attempt to analyze Miranda’s “White Liar” lyrics… it’s just not going to end pretty. Until next time, I wish you all luck in surviving the week amidst this tragic heartbreak.

Celeb crush: Nick Jonas.

Well, helloooo!

Well, helloooo!

Good morning! If you’re in need of a “Hot Guy” does, I’m your gal. If you’re new to the blog, welcome. The Bitter Lemon has been providing pictures of hot dudes for those in need since 2010.

My latest celeb crush is Nick Jonas. Truth be told, I never aid a bit of attention to this guy (I think Joe was originally my favorite Jonas Brother… he’s the one with the long hair??), until pictures from this photo shoot surfaced.

Can I just say…. DAMN THAT BOY IS FWINE.

Nick started his solo career in the last year, after the Jonas Brothers split in 2012. He’s since release two singles, “Jealous” and “Chains”… which get stuck in my head very easily.

He’s remained in the positive spotlight, for the most part, but check out this little ditty I found on Wiki:

Singer and actress Miley Cyrus has stated that she dated Jonas from June 2006 to December 2007. Cyrus claimed they were “in love” and began dating soon after they first met. The song “Wedding Bells” by the Jonas Brothers was written by Nick. It was rumored that the song was based on his past relationship with Cyrus who, at the time of the song’s release, was engaged to Liam Hemsworth.

Umm, what?

He’s currently dating Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, and they seem to be completely in love. Aww.

Meanwhile, I’m obsessed with this song:

Singletons do Baby Showers.

I'm done with baby showers. #SorryNotSorry

I’m done with baby showers. #SorryNotSorry

Last weekend, I drove the 800 miles to my home state of Indiana. I was invited to a baby shower for one of my best friends; a girl I’ve known since 6th grade.

In December, I offered to host a shower for her, but she told me it would be easier for her other friends to host it.

Her other friends owned homes and were married. I felt like all of the sudden, I wasn’t welcome; my lifestyle was seen as a failure, even by someone who’s known me most of my life.

I felt weird that I couldn’t help my friend celebrate one of the biggest moments of her life, but I also didn’t want to stick my nose where it wasn’t welcome.

I RSVP’d to the shower, and drove the 12 hours to get there. I arrived with another friend and my mom. At the shower, there were the two hostesses, my friend having the baby, and her mom.

I kept waiting for more guests to arrive, but no one ever did. We ate, played games, opened gifts, and reminisced on the old days.

While it was great to see my friend, I started wondering where our friendship was headed. We had tons of great memories together, but when would we really start being friends who celebrate our adult lives together?

I sat there, grinning through conversation I know nothing about: bottle nipples, breathable bedding, and baby baths. I felt like my friend had moved on, and I was left behind.

I was hurt; I felt like I was losing a friend, when it would really just take a little extra work to keep our friendship going.

I had to go to a second baby shower that afternoon, so I’m sure I looked like a giant jerk when I left the shower early. But I also felt confused as to why I was one of three guests at a shower that I wasn’t allowed to host.

I would have rather taken my friend to dinner, given her my gifts, and had a real conversation about her son on the way.

But my friend and I had no other plans to visit each other while I was in town, and I’m not sure when we’ll see each other again. The shower felt awkward, and I cried as soon as I walked out of the door. It felt like a big goodbye.

I know I’m pretty clueless when it comes to kids, and I really hate it when they cry. And yes, I’m single with no guy in sight. But does that mean I can’t have mom friends? It’s becoming a clear reality.

A friend of mine suggested that maybe there’s just a crossroads in life when we move on from our childhood friends and have the friends we’ve made as adults.

As sad as it is for me to admit, maybe she’s right. I have no idea what it’s like to be a mom, and perhaps I never will.

It’s the Great Divide of adulthood: parents vs. non-parents.

The day after the shower, I celebrated the freedom I have of not being a mom, with eggs benedict and bloody Marys.

It seems like every time I go “home,” something big has changed. But I know life is moving however it’s supposed to, and of course, I’m happy for my friend and her growing family.

I don’t know if I’ll go in that direction, but I’m enjoying my time as a singleton, nonetheless.

If you don’t see me around any baby showers for awhile, please don’t take it personal. Chances are, I’m just accepting the fact that I’m in a different club — and I don’t want to get in trouble for my potty mouth.

Pic of the Week.

Roooooooad trip!

Roooooooad trip!

I spent a decent amount of my weekend driving to and from Indiana. I got up Friday morning around 3am and drove the 12 hours to Bloomington, spent Saturday attending baby showers, treated myself to a day of Sunday drinking, and hit the road Monday morning at 4:30 to make it back to Baton Rouge.

It’s been YEARS since I’ve made the drive from Louisiana to Indiana, and I always get a similar feeling when I do it — I’m excited for it when I hit the road, and then about 10 miles into the trip, I realize it’s a long road ahead. Literally.

The cool thing about road trips, though, is that they have this weird ability to temporarily free you from your problems, as you’re driving away from them. It gave me a chance to listen to a ton of music, catch up on old episodes of Johnjay & Rich, and I even listened to a few chapters of an audio book (“How to be Single” by Liz Tuccillo).

Although it was an exhausting drive, it’s a little thrilling to know that if I ever wanted to, I could totally get to Indy in 12 hours and spend a weekend with my friends.

It probably comes as no surprise that I don’t visit Indiana that often. Usually once a year, maybe twice if I’m up for it. And even though I haven’t officially lived there in 10 years, Indiana has this incredible way of delivering life lessons to me — sometimes in the form of a beautifully painted sunset.

It seems like every time I go back to the Midwest, the people I once knew so well have changed. Some for the better, some for the worse, and it always lends a little perspective.

On Sunday, I joined my best friend for brunch before we packed a picnic and ventured to the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 100 Acre Park to see “Funky Bones” — an outdoor art installation featured in “The Fault in Our Stars.”

It was the simplest day: Bloody Marys, a picnic in a park, a dog, a few pieces of art, and a beautiful sky. It’s the best reminder of why we’re here. These are the moments to live for.

It’s not often (at all) that I get a day off from working; lately I can’t even seem to get five consecutive sleep each night. But I was also reminded of why I work — so I can afford to appreciate the road trips, the days off, and the bottles of wine (heh).

Growing up sure is tough at times, but we’re all doing it, right? Perhaps not willingly, but I think of growing pains are starting to fade.

Becoming Strangers.

Hey girl, I never want to talk to you... EVER.

Hey girl, I never want to talk to you… EVER.

I’ve had a crush on this guy, Brian, for more than10 years. He went to my high school, and last year we reconnected.

He lives in Indiana, and we had a date night when I was in town last summer. It was fantastic. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder about the potential of a serious relationship with him.

After our date, we continued to keep in touch. I sent him cards in the mail, we read a book together (and called it “Book Club”), and made plans to meet up again in May.

Around Valentine’s Day, he confessed he wished we were able to celebrate together. Uncharacteristically, he apologized and told me he knew he hadn’t been the nicest person to me, and he appreciated my company.

He even told me that he checked his phone every day to see if I’d texted him. It was very sweet and I was touched.

I asked him if he’d be interested in having a “FaceTime date,” so we could see each other. He said yes.

The day of our date, he said a work friend had come in town and wanted to do dinner. I said we could reschedule. He asked if I was mad, and I said, “Of course not.”

His friend was a guy, but I told him if he’d have ditched me for a girl I might have been a little jealous.

Brian didn’t reply, but I didn’t think much about it.

The next day, about an hour before our FaceTime date, Brian sent me a text saying he didn’t want to talk to me, ever.

“Your text freaked me out,” he said. “We aren’t even dating and yet I will date other women.”

Huh?

I tried to explain that I was just playing; I never thought or said we were dating; and we were both certainly allowed to date anyone.

But my text went ignored. I had done something so terrible, it didn’t even deserve a response.

Honestly, I get rejected all the time. The time I spend fretting over it is relative to how much I cared.

This time, I crawled into bed when the sun was still out, and I cried.

In the midst of my blubbering, I started to wonder, why are we so quick to cut people out of our lives?

Sure, I pissed Brian off. But was it something bad enough to warrant The Ice Age treatment?

I don’t know why he told me all that sweet stuff and then closed the door on me, only weeks later.

It seems like he was trying to tell me he was dating someone else, but why not just say that?

Because of the way he left things, I’ve got no closure, and only speculation.

A few weeks ago, I went to the midnight premier of the latest Nicholas Sparks’ movie, “The Longest Ride,” and one of the main characters said something to the effect of, how sometimes the people we are closest to can become absolute strangers.

I’ve dated a lot of people that have just fallen off the face of the Earth. And I understand that’s the risk when we get close to people. But it makes me sad.

As I get older, I realize just how little time we have. The days and weeks are flying by and we can’t find it in our hearts to give someone a second chance?

Note: this idea does not apply to any situation that includes abuse, addiction, or infidelity.

I doubt I’ll hear from Brian again, and my closure will just have to be the confirmation that he’s not the one. I need someone who’s willing to forgive.

Exes: Married With Children.

When your ex straight up moves on... with a wife and a kid.

When your ex straight up moves on… with a wife and a kid.

Sometime last week, I wandered over to my ex-boyfriend’s Facebook page. It’s something I do when I’m feeling rather low about myself, even though looking at his page usually makes me feel worse. Call me a masochist.

Right away, I saw what I figured would be there: his profile picture was a tiny baby. His baby.

Because that is what people do; they get married, and within two years of being married, they have a kid.

When I found out my ex was getting married two years ago, I also found out via Facebook. I was stunned, to say the least, because we’d just broken up a year before.

It was a shitty way to confirm he was cheating on me for the greater part of our four-year relationship.

When I confronted him about it, he lied of course, saying their relationship just moved very quickly.

Finding out an ex is getting married is different for everyone; the reaction is probably relevant to how things ended.

Almost all of my exes are married, and as pathetic as it sounds, my heart broke a little when I found out about each one getting engaged.

I don’t believe any of my exes were “meant” for me, I think it’s more of admitting to myself that they found some sort of happiness with another person that I’ve yet to discover.

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified that maybe I’ll never find that level of love, commitment, and happiness with someone.

This particular ex isn’t the only one of my exes to have a child. I think the nature of our relationship is what makes it sting a little, even years later.

We met in college; we were both bartenders at a place under the overpass. Our relationship was fun-loving from the start. It didn’t take long for me to sleep with him, and because of that, I fell for him very quickly.

Although he told me he loved me, his actions showed me that we weren’t on the same level. I loved him more than I’d ever felt for anyone else. And that’s still true today. Enter: the bitterness.

He always told me marriage wasn’t “for him,” and he never talked about wanting children. Those are things I wanted, and to see him married, with a child… it feels like everyone around me has moved on and up, while I’m still here. And still single.

As a singleton, I constantly have to remind myself that just because someone is married, doesn’t mean they’re in a perfect relationship. And just because I’m single, doesn’t mean I’ll never find someone.

Perhaps seeing an ex move on is just a refreshing sign that people can change. Or maybe it just proves that he/she is great at living one giant lie after the next. Now, who wants to hit up happy hour?

Pic of the Week.

All the proper fixins' for a movie premier!

All the proper fixins’ for a movie premier!

Thursday night, I could not wait to finish with work, jump into my sweats and walk right on over to the movie theatre for the midnight premier of “The Longest Ride,” a film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller.

I was really excited for several reasons: 1. the book was fantastic. I have very, very fond memories of laying out on my terrace, getting a tan, sipping on a wine spritzer (no, seriously), and falling in love with this unique story, 2. SCOTT EASTWOOD IS FINE, and 3. I allowed myself a cheat and got a junior popcorn, with butter.

Um, hi.

Um, hi.

But seriously, that second point needs to be mentioned one more time… because how have I not noticed him nor his hotness before now?

Anyway, “The Longest Ride” is the story of two couples — very similar couples — in different time periods, whose lives intersect in a very unique way.

The movie and the book tells both of their stories, while in turn, offering a tale of love… as only Nicholas Sparks could. Read more about the book from a previous blog post, here

I think this movie struck me in an interesting way, because some of the issues in the story are easily things that could happen to anyone. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of questions and uncertainty when I think about love and my future. The movie touched on those issues, and although it was a little overwhelming at midnight on a Thursday, it was cathartic.

While I’ve seen all of the movies and read nearly all of Sparks’ books, this one is definitely one of my favorites (I just love “The Last Song”). I don’t, and won’t, spoil the movie for you, but per usual, don’t forget to pack the Kleenex!

Fresh Friday: Bright Crystal.

I'm kind of in love with this ad.

I’m kind of in love with this ad.

Whew, made it to Friday! I feel like every week is a complete roller coaster — it starts one way, and ends up completely different.

On Mondays, I always feel so overwhelmed when I look at my to-do list for the week. I often wake up SUPER early on Mondays and stay up late to get a jump start on the week. By Tuesday, I’m thinking the week will be a complete breeze after everything I accomplished Monday.

And the remainder of the week is spent tying up loose ends… and basically answering a TON of emails. By Friday, I’m just happy to see the weekend; which is something I don’t understand because I’m usually working more on the weekends than I am during the week!

Nonetheless, it is Friday, and I cannot believe I’ve made it through this many Fresh Fridays without mentioning Versace’s Bright Crystal. This is a scent I’ve worn over the years — one that I was surprised I liked so much! But it’s definitely a go-to.

As described by Sephora, “Inspired by a mixture of Donatella Versace’s favorite floral fragrances, Bright Crystal is a fresh, sensual blend of refreshing chilled yuzu and pomegranate mingled with soothing blossoms of peony, magnolia, and lotus flower, warmed with notes of musk and amber.”

No wonder I love it — it’s got musk AND floral notes! Perfection.

What’s everyone doing for the weekend? As usual, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat @OrangeJulius7 to see what me (and Blanche) can stir up until we see you right back here, on Monday!

7/50 Shades: Girl Next Door.

Second product on the right, folks.

Second product on the right, folks.

Although shade no. 7 is a gloss — I just cannot pull myself away. I blame this completely on Bonne Bell, for getting me addicted to shiny, glitter glosses delivered to my lips via sponge applicator.

Girl Next Door by Hard Candy is sheer, with a touch of silvery shimmer. It doesn’t have a scent or a flavor, really, but it is a tiny bit sweet. Mega plus? It’s thick, stays on for awhile, and it’s a lip plumper.

I can never REALLY tell if these things work, but I love the idea of it, regardless. But it did get me wondering how they work? I went to Google for the answer, and there was WebMD to my rescue.

According to WebMD, some over-the-counter lip plumping products contain ingredients that cause blood to flow to the lips, such as cinnamon, ginger mint, or wintergreen. When blood flows to the lips, they appear slightly larger than normal, or “bee stung” for a few hours.

Hey, that sounds pretty good to me!

I like to use Girl Next Door as a “top coat” to some of the other pink lipsticks I’ve mentioned before. It shines up a lipstick, plus adds the plump. Best of both worlds!

Me & my bullshit, part two.

Drop the mic, bitch.

Drop the mic, bitch.

Read part one of “Me & my bullshit.” 

I find a tiny bit (okay, a medium bit) of comfort in recognizing the fact that the road many writers, amateur and professional, travel is one that’s alone.

The craft of writing is introspective — even fiction writers often say their stories come from some place real — and looking within isn’t something that happens at a conference table or in a room full of cubicles.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what success means to me — not in terms of money, but in terms of what every day is like for me. I’m still working to get where I want to be.

While Ryan’s words really, really hurt me, I know that I cannot change who I am to please him, or anyone. I have always promised myself and my readers that I will remain honest, even if that means I’m not the most popular person.

I also know that there’s a big, big difference between someone like me who works every single day, chasing my dreams, and someone who sits at a job, letting the days pass them by. Complacency is not for me.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about successful people, and I’ve noticed that many of those people, who are SO successful in business, are also misunderstood in many other aspects of their life. Perhaps that’s just how it goes.

Take Steve Jobs for example. Chances are you’re reading this from a device that he invented. I’m writing it on one. And I’ll Tweet about it on another one later today. In his biography by Walter Isaacson (a genius writer that I’ve been lucky enough to interview), there are many mentions of how Jobs went against the grain in nearly all areas of his life — even in unflattering ways.

At the root of the reality distortion was Jobs’s belief that the rules didn’t apply to him. He had some evidence for this; in his childhood, he had often been able to bend reality to his desires. Rebelliousness and willfulness were ingrained in his character. He had the sense that he was special, a chosen one, an enlightened one.

— Walter Isaacson, “Steve Jobs” [119]

There are other successful creatives I can relate to — Amy Winehouse and her broken heart (and the ability to turn that into beautiful music), John Green in his writing processes, and of course, my love, John Mayer, in his ways of being so, so introspective and insecure, that it gets him in trouble socially.

And while I know (haters, this is for you) I’m not nearly as genius as those people, I do know that I’m not a dumb ass. I’m not the girl who lost her job. I’m not someone wishing to be a writer. I’m someone just trying (and often succeeding) to make it. And by it, I mean my dreams a reality.

My past is littered with guys like Ryan. Guys who tell me how great I am, and then disappear for no valid reason. One of the biggest questions I had when Ryan sent me his douchey text was this: Why are we so quick to cut people off?

It’s that easy, especially hiding behind a fucking phone screen, to write someone a message and cut them out of your life forever, because you don’t feel like dealing with a human. Another question I had? If my behavior was so scary, why didn’t he ask me if I was okay?

And that’s the difference between being selfless and selfish, my friends.

I know I won’t stop writing — let’s be honest here, there’s nothing else I’m really cut out for. And I know it’s not going to be easy. But when the road gets tough, and the guys continue to be assholes, I’ll probably just write more of these posts about my “bullshit.”

You know the greatest thing about that guy at the gym who thinks my column is bullshit?

He read it.

If you’re nice to me I’ll never write anything bad about you. 

—Amy Winehouse

Me & my bullshit, part one.

This is about how many fucks I give.

This is about how many fucks I give.

“You’re the girl from the magazine, right?” he asked.

It was a guy I recognized from my gym. I shrugged.

“I guess…” I said, not really sure what he meant.

“Yeah, you write that bullshit column,” he said.

That bullshit column. Three little words that pretty much sum up my insecurities — especially lately. Let me start from the beginning.

A few weeks ago, I got the bright idea to Tweet my first book, “How I Fell: Love, Lies & Cocktails,” 140 characters at a time. I have seen other writers do it, and I have quite a few Twitter followers, so I thought it would be a great way to shake things up, get some marketing out there for my book, possibly sell a few copies, and get some more followers.

What I didn’t realize, is that it took a REALLY long time to Tweet the book — like, three whole days. During those three days, I barely got any sleep, I was living off takeout and alcohol, and the worst part of it? I was having to read (and type) a relationship that was terrible. I did not take into account just how emotional reading that stuff from two years ago would be. It was bad.

That same week, I’d set aside some time to have a “Facetime date” with my high school crush (you can read our full story here)… his name rhymes with Ryan Wence. The day of our “date,” he sent me a text saying a work friend was in town and he (the friend) wanted to go to dinner. Ryan apologized, saying he didn’t realize how long his friend was planning on being in town when he scheduled our date, and he hoped I wasn’t mad.

I told him of course I wasn’t mad at all, and I hoped he had fun at dinner. Ryan asked if we could reschedule for the following day. In my emotional book-Tweeting state, I wrote him back saying yes, we could reschedule, and said I admittedly misread his first text, and thought for a split second the friend was a girl and I almost got jealous (smiley-wink). I didn’t think anything of it when he didn’t respond.

Let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with Ryan. We hooked up almost a year ago when I went on a visit to Indiana. Since then, I admitted to him that I liked him, a lot, and he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship, having just got out of something serious. I understood and appreciated his honesty. We kept in touch via text mostly, sometimes we talked on the phone.

I really appreciated his friendship — we have a lot of things in common, and he was kind to me, and supportive when I needed it. For Valentine’s Day, I sent him a homemade card in the mail. He told me he had it on display in his living room, and he wished he could be with me for the holiday.

He later told me he knew he hadn’t been the nicest person to me, and he appreciated our friendship more than he could even admit. “I check my phone every day to see if you’ve texted me,” he said.

I’ve got plans to be in Indiana this May, so we made plans to meet up. This is when I suggested the Facetime date. The following day, I texted Ryan to see what time he wanted to talk. He replied:

“I don’t think we should talk. Your text last night scared me. We aren’t even dating yet I will date other women. Your Tweets last night were scary. Your behavior is scaring me.”

HUH?

My book Tweets were scaring him? This was a guy that’s read my blog, column, and one of my books! What the hell was he talking about? And I was totally trying to be playful about the jealousy thing… I never said we were dating, or said he couldn’t date other women — but thanks for finding the shittiest way possible to tell me you’re not interested in me whatsoever.

But my attempts at explaining myself went into that black hole where apparently ALL of my bullshit goes; that place where guys put all of my messages and ghost me forever. I haven’t heard from him since.

I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling like I don’t fit in — it’s really just been a matter of how much I care or not. As an adult, I’m starting to realize and accept more and more that no, I don’t fit in, and it’s probably not going to change any time soon (or ever).

I am a creative. I think differently than a lot of people. I also work for myself (as a result of my creativity), which means I don’t work “normal” hours, I don’t make money in the conventional way, and my work processes are very different. Me Tweeting a book was simply something I was trying to do to shake things up, keep me on the edge of creativity, essentially make a few sales, and now I was being shamed for it. Awesome.

I started to wonder just how much more of this I can take. In the last few months, I’ve been rejected quite a few times — am I really that terrible a person? When a recent crush I had rejected me by telling me he was seeing someone (which I think he wasn’t), I posted on Facebook that I’d be hiding under my couch for a few days and that I felt ugly. Someone commented saying I needed to stop calling myself ugly.

Sure, I get that. And thank you. But just because I’m not a troll, doesn’t mean I wake up every morning feeling beautiful. Trust me, when people tell you that everything you write is bullshit, and that you don’t even deserve a chance at a date, or that your behavior is scary, it’s really easy to feel ugly every once in awhile.

Read “Me & my bullshit, part two” right here, Monday, April 6. 

On Baggage: Give Me Back my DVDs.

It's more fun watching TV on a free flat screen!

It’s more fun watching TV on a free flat screen!

I watch a lot of TV. Not in the sense of me, sitting on my couch eating popcorn while binging on hours of TV, but if I’m home, my TV is usually on.

I’ve got one TV in my living room and one in my bedroom.

The one in my living room is a near-60-inch, flat-screen, that is leftover from a relationship I had two years ago.

My then-boyfriend said he had an “extra” TV that wasn’t being used, and I could put it in my apartment. I really didn’t need another TV, but he insisted, and it arrived a few days later.

About two months later, I dumped him, on account of him being a complete drunk, not to mention he had a side-chick.

I was nice enough to pack up all of his clothes and random crap he had around my apartment, and leave it on his front porch.

But I wasn’t sure how to get the TV to him. It’s big enough that I can’t safely carry it by myself, and I didn’t want to just leave it outside his house.

I told him I could arrange a time for him to come pick it up, a time when a guy friend could be there with me. My ex was violent and I was scared to be alone with him.

But my ex conveniently couldn’t arrive during the allotted time. I soon got the hint. The TV was his thing. It was his excuse to talk to me; his way of finding out when I was home and what I was doing.

He even got the bright idea that I could just leave my apartment unlocked while I went to work and he’d just pick up the TV. Um, how about you’re crazy?

It was creepy. I wanted him out of my life.

Instead of leaving my apartment unlocked, I dragged the TV into the hallway of my complex, covered it with a beach towel, and went to work.

As predicted, I got a text from my ex saying, “Can’t make it today.” He wanted to reschedule.

Nope.

I told myself that if I got home and the TV was still there, I was keeping it, and I was never speaking to my ex about it again.

The TV was the final link between us and I wanted it broken (not literally, though I would’ve gotten great pleasure out of tossing it from my window).

When I got home, the TV was there, untouched. I dragged in back inside, and have been enjoying trashy shows on it ever since.

Recently, I got a message on Facebook from my ex’s brother, asking if I had the TV, because it was actually his.

Well, sucks for you. Two years out from the relationship, and I’m still hearing about the damn TV. Bye, Felicia.

This is why it’s best to get rid of everything related to the relationship right away, even if it means making a donation to Goodwill.

You live and learn. For now, I’ll continue obsessing over “Secrets and Lies” on my giant-screen TV.

Looking for Alaska.

Quote from Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Quote from Looking for Alaska by John Green.

I’m sad and happy (all at once) to announce that I’ve got NO more John Green books to read! I saved Looking for Alaska for last, because while I was excited to read it, I was also sad knowing that I’d have no more books of Green’s to read!

Looking for Alaska was Green’s first book, and has won many awards including the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award. It was listed in the Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults in 2006, and the 2006 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, among several others.

CANNOT wait.

CANNOT wait.

Looking for Alaska is the story of Miles Halter. Miles is a man of few words, though he is obsessed with last words — having memorized the last words of many well-known people. He’s going to boarding school for the first time and meets the COOLEST girl… ever. Alaska Young.

I really don’t want to spoil this book if you haven’t read it. And if you haven’t read it, you MUST read this book!

Now that I’ve read all of Green’s books, I can say there are many similarities (I often get Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska mixed up) in all of them — which might be why I love them all so much. While Looking for Alaska wasn’t my favorite, it connected with me in ways that others didn’t.

Like I said, I don’t want to give anything away, BUT this book has a layer of seriousness to it, but at the same time, a great layer of imagination that I appreciate. As always, I went crazy with my digital highlighter while reading the book, so here are some of my favorite quotes:

‘I go to seek a Great Perhaps.’ That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.

That didn’t happen, of course. Things never happened like I imagined them.

And now is as good a time as any to say that she was beautiful.

You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.

You’ve got your oats. You’ve got your meal. You’ve got your cream. It’s a fuckin’ food pyramid.

I just did some calculations, and I’ve been able to determine that you’re full of shit.

I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn’t bear not to.

There comes a time when we realize that our parents cannot save themselves or save us, that everyone who wades through time eventually gets dragged out to sea by the undertow—that, in short, we are all going.

I gritted my teeth, and then before us, broken glass glittered in the blare of the sun like the road was wearing jewelry, and that spot must be the spot.

And so… even though we’re ALL (ok, me) looking forward to Paper Towns hitting theatres this summer, Looking for Alaska will be in theatres NEXT summer!

While not much has been released about the film adaptation, I am so excited to see how they turn his first book into his third movie!

Anyone out there read Looking for Alaska? I’d be thrilled to nerd out about it with you!