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Podcasts I’ve been listening to, Part VI.

Let’s be real – I never thought I’d be writing a 6th installment of the podcasts I’ve been listening to. However, I listen to podcasts all day, every week day.

Sometimes, I listen to a podcast so much I make it through all of the archives and have to wait until there’s new episodes! Other times, I just like to find new ones and add them into my weekly rotation. You know what they say, variety is the spice of life.

This recent batch of podcasts I’ve been catching up on is a cheerful collection – no true crime this time. So, here’s what’s been coming out of my earbuds lately:

The Babysitters Club Club – If I had an award for the podcast I’m most thankful I came across, it would go to “The Babysitters Club Club”, hands down. I heard about it when the hosts, Tanner and Jack, were guests on another podcast I love, “What Should I Read Next?” On the show, they explained the scoop on their podcast – here’s the official dish from the show’s website:

One relatively small man, one relatively large man, and one HUGE idea: To read through the seminal works of American novelist Ann M. Martin in chronological order and initiate ourselves, in the process, into the arcane, mystical rites of The Baby-Sitters Club. 

This podcast promises to take you on a journey. A journey that begins with Kristy’s Great Idea (the great idea was to form a babysitting conglomerate of sorts with her pals), and that ends with The Fire at Mary Anne’s House, which we haven’t read yet, but which we are deeply, horribly, shatteringly worried about because we have grown very much attached to these girls and we badly don’t want them to burn. 

Jack and Tanner, men in their 30s, reading “The Babysitters Club” series, and discussing it in-depth, while drinking beers. It’s basically one of the best things I’ve ever heard. I started listening at episode one, and after listening to episodes at work, in my car, while soaking in the tub, and even while tucking myself into bed, I’ve had to ration myself so I don’t run out of the food stuff! I’m telling you – this podcast will make you laugh on your worst day, and bring in-depth analysis to the simplest of reads.

I’m ordering you to listen TODAY – here’s where you can find episodes.

Throwing Shade – I was listening to an old episode of “Bitch Sesh” (another podcast) and Bryan Safi was a guest, and he was absolutely hilarious! He mentioned he had his own podcast, “Throwing Shade”, so I immediately checked it out. Little did I know, this was voted as one of Vulture’s top 10 most comedic podcasts, and rightfully so, because I am constantly trying to contain my laughter within my cubicle.

As they say at the beginning of each episode, Throwing Shade takes a weekly look at issues affecting women and gays, and treat them with much less respect than they deserve. Trust me, this one is going to make you chuckle – check out episodes here (and they do have a TV show premiering next month!).

Insecuritea – If you were anything like me and obsessing over every morsel of HBO’s original series, “Insecurity”, then you’ll want to tune right in to the official aftershow podcast, “Insecuritea”. Hostesses Fran and Crissle – who have podcasts of their own as well – break down each episode bit by bit, and it’s produced with clips from the show, awesome music, and lovely analysis and next-episode predictions. So, watch the show, and then go listen to the AFTER show. Here’s all the episodes

Happier – Hosted by happiness expert Gretchen Rubin, and her sister, this show features quick 20-minute episodes that help listeners live a happier life. I love that each episode is laid out similarly, and features a tip you can try at home, a study or a theory of some kind, and then a listener question. You can check out some of the tips I’ve heard so far, here. I am always using my notebook when I listen to this podcast so I can actually try the tips later. This is a good podcast if you’re someone who is seeking more happiness, and/or are often feeling bogged down by the giant to-do lists in life. Check out episodes here!

So, there’s what I’ve been listening to – what about you? I am always looking for more things to listen to, so I’d love to hear what you’re enjoying.

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Boyfriend Recipe: Green Eggs & Ham.

Yes, I like Green Eggs & Ham, even in a house with a mouse… okay, so not really. When you actually think about it, green eggs and ham sounds super disgusting. Amiright?

I know I’ve been a little slow to add to my collection of Boyfriend Recipes lately, and that’s mainly due to the fact that I’ve got NO man in my life to cook for! Considering that even the smallest of crushes I’ve had in the last six months have gone running for the hills, or in any direction that’s opposite of me, I’m sticking to my Stranger Love crush (see: yesterday’s post) and John Mayer for now.

Anyway, there was of course a time when I had a man in my life, and when that happens, I’m in the kitchen. I’m no fool.

A few years ago, I made breakfast for my then-boyfriend in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day — I made an updated, delicious version of Green Eggs & Ham. You may have read a little bit about it in my first book, “How I Fell: Love, Lies & Cocktails.”

It was festive, and absolutely impressive, but the best part is — it’s super easy to make. Father’s Day is fast approaching and maybe the man in your life is a dad; surprise him with breakfast in bed. Or perhaps you’re single and you just need a slow morning to treat yourself. Do it, girl!

INGREDIENTS

  • Eggs (2 for 1 person, or as many as you/they wish)
  • 1 package of prosciutto ham (about 8 slices)
  • English muffin (1 for each person)
  • Pesto (homemade or jarred)
  • Olive oil or non-stick spray

DIRECTIONS

Slice and toast the English muffins, and have them open-faced on the serving plates. Add slices of prosciutto to each side of the English muffin — two slices on each muffin side is good, but I love the stuff, so add as much or as little as you like. You can substitute Canadian bacon here, too.

Next, prepare the eggs. If you want to poach them for a traditional benedict style, go head. I prepped them sunny-side up, using some of those silicone rings so they came out perfectly round on the edges. You’ll want one egg per English muffin side. Use the non-stick spray or olive oil in the pan with the eggs.

Place the eggs on top of the Prosciutto, and then spoon 1-2 tablespoons of pesto over each egg. Jarred pesto is completely acceptable, but of course, make the homemade version if you wish. You can even make it the night before to quicken the morning process. If the yolk is visible, put the pesto over the yolk — hence, green eggs and ham. And voila!

Don’t be afraid to add more pesto to the eggs or on the plate. You can also add a slice of cheese under the ham, or maybe a few asparagus spears there to crank up the green factor. It’s an easy dish, so make it yours!

I served it with coffee and a side of home fries, just the frozen kind that I threw into a skillet with some olive oil and cajun seasoning. Nothing fancy, but it sure was scrumptious! Take that, Sam-I-am!

Pic of the Week.

My pic(s) of the week this time just HAD to be about Hangout Fest, since I haven’t even been back home from it for 24 hours! It was a weekend in Gulf Shores, full of fun, sun, sand (it was even in my hair), fried food, drinks, and of course: music!

I will admit, I was really, really sad when Sam Smith didn’t end up making it for his time slot because of vocal chord surgery, but I still enjoyed the acts I did see. Some of the most impressive ones were Paramore, Tove Lo, Skrillex, and Beck.

Aside from the music, Hangout Fest is always full of cool, super-nice people. My friend and I met lots of people on the shuttle rides to and from the festival each day, and we had some particular fun with a group of guys we met that had traveled all the way from New York for the weekend. So, shout out to our new friends Dan, Tim, Chad “JC”, and Doug from New York (with fantastic accents), and also a HELLO to our people from South Atlanta, Jill and Cam! I can’t forget the groups from Buzz in Kansas City! You all made the weekend a great one.

As it goes with these types of things, I get really caught up in the moment and I don’t want to be “that person” with my phone glued to my side. So, unfortunately there aren’t a ton of pictures — but I’ve posted the ones I’ve got. If you’re on Instagram, head on over to my page @OrangeJulius to see videos from the Beck and Skrillex performances.

I made my fellow Hangout Fest-goer and I my custom “Koncert Kits” (available in my Etsy Shop), and they pretty much saved us, from the spare sheets of toilet paper to the hand sanitizer, and okay, the glow sticks and glitter! If you’re heading to an outdoor music fest this summer, I’d highly recommend getting yourself one.

At this point, I feel like I need to post this blog so I can face reality and get back to work — it’s not easy going from the good, beach festival life to the one sitting in front of a computer, but I suppose it’s got to be done. Hope y’all have a fantastic week!

90’s beauty trends I totally tried.

Yep, wore Docs.

Yep, wore Docs.

Every decade has its own style — granted bits of it always come back around — but 90’s style holds a special place in my heart, as I was just coming into my own, getting a grasp on who I was, and I was obsessive over pop culture. While I’d never consider myself daring in the fashion sense, there’s a few trends I latched onto in the 90s.

Bright eyes.

Bright eyes.

Brightly colored eyeshadow — No color too bold; the 90s were about expressing your mood via eyeshadow hues in greens, blue, and purple. And framing the whole thing with shimmery, silver-white shadow (often sold as a loose powder). If you were super serious, you’d whip out the white eyeliner.

Hair, twisted and clipped — I was constantly trying new things with my hair, things that I thought looked super cool, and when I see pics now, I realize how terrible I looked and have NO idea how I had friends. I did lemon juice, hair gel, oversized hot rollers, and even used the scary “wave iron.” But when 90’s pop music icons started twisting their bangs back and clipping them, I did the same (though I always opted for glitter bobby pins over butterfly clips).

Peach lipgloss.

Peach lipgloss.

Peach lip gloss — I remember reading that Mandy Moore wore peach lipgloss, and because I loved Mandy Moore, I was constantly on The Hunt for peach lip gloss (oh, the struggle). I finally settled on a shimmery peach tube of Lipsmackers (with the sponge applicator) that I completely took for granted, because if I had it today, I’d totally rock that shit, DAILY.

Bold mascara.

Bold mascara.

Unnaturally colored mascara — I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with the brightly colored eyeshadow trend, but blue or green mascara is one of those things you think people aren’t going to notice and they totally do. Now that I think of it, bold nail polish colors were also a hit in the 90s. I completely blame Fiona Apple and Gwen Stefani for this, and I’m not mad about it whatsoever.

Slick hair meets the power pony — Yep, greasy-looking hair was so IN. I often went for the 10-Things-I-Hate-About-You look with the scrunched wet hair (with gel that was often green or blue) in a massive clip and the crispy hair would fall out of the clip in a waterfall-like look. It was terrible. Yet again, I thought it was completely cool.

Cheek stain.

Cheek stain.

Cheek stain — The 90s were all about extremes: bold makeup looks or completely natural looks. When I rocked the au naturale look, I pulled out the peach gloss and I often colored my cheeks with a red stick of gel. It was basically lip gloss that I put on my skin (and I wonder why I had acne). The only problem? Cheek stain doesn’t look great when you’re wearing foundation and/or powder.

Gap scents — Sometime in the mid-90s, GAP became the place to shop (apparently plain t-shirts were all the rave) and their scents for men and women were a must have. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the scents were mass-produced and essentially just a way for GAP to continue not to make a statement, while making a statement. There was Grass, Dream, Earth, Heaven, OM, and Day. If you’re really recalling the 90s now, check out this article I found on, “What Your GAP Fragrance Said About You.”

Britney's silver lids.

Britney’s silver lids.

Britney — I could not get enough of Britney Spears (and I still can’t). I loved her style; her clothes and hair, and I especially loved her dancing. I pretty much wanted to BE HER. If she wore turquoise tops, so did I, if she did 500 situps in a day, so did I (plus we had to wear midriff tops for dance team), and if she wore a Catholic school uniform, so did I (for Halloween).

Body glitter — I actually almost left this one off the list and then I realized that forgetting BODY GLITTER would be a mortal sin, given that I loved the stuff, had an embarrassing amount of it, and needed no excuse to wear it. There was scented glitter, colored glitter, glitter in giant jars of gel, glitter with hearts and stars! You could wear it on your eyes, temples, in your hair, on your chest, around your belly ring, whatever — shit was fly. When I went to Hangout Fest last year, body glitter was all the rave (basically it was just loose glitter sticking to sweat) and I found a glorious human with a CAN of silver glitter. She “glittered” me and I was as happy as I’ve ever been in my life. Seriously.

And there you have it. A lot of these trends are finding their way back as we speak, and I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not going to be sad about it. And just because I found it, here’s a mashup of some 90-00 influencers.

All Blanche wants for Christmas…

There's a clear favorite here...

There’s a clear favorite here…

When you are a cat lady, said cat (or cats) is a large part of the holidays (well, and every day). That is no different in my home, where one Miss Blanche E. Devereaux pretty much runs the plantation. This was made pretty obvious last year, for Blanche’s first Christmas, when her stocking was overflowing, while mine had a few cookie crumbs and a half-eaten candy cane in the bottom.

Blanche Devereaux

Blanche Devereaux

This year, the tiny beast has taken it upon herself to not only skip rent payments (her share is $10/month) to buy gifts for others, but she figured out my computer password and TYPED a wish list. Cats these days. And so, I present to you, All Blanche Wants for Christmas:

For starters, Blanche would like a tipi. Because the floor, Holly’s bed, nor the couch are good enough places for a Southern Belle to rest her tired paws. In with the Aztec, out with everything Holly has already purchased.

Blanche dreams of sleeping in her tipi, day or night, perhaps looking out of its flap-door and gazing up and the stars (add: glow-in-the-dark stars to list).

Blanche would also like endless amounts of metallic pipe cleaners — seriously, she goes nuts over those things.

Blanche D. on the ones and twos.

Blanche D. on the ones and twos.

Add to the list, a scratching pad for Blanche to sharpen her claws (which in-turn shred all of my furniture and any important documents), but not just ANY scratching pad, why not a cat DJ scratching pad?

Truth-be-told, I was scared to get Blanche a scratching pad because it would promote the whole scratching thing. But actually, purchasing one (a boring, square one) kept her from scratching my furniture, and she takes to the scratching post! So, if you’re on the fence about purchasing one, do it, for the sake of your furniture.

And finally, Blanche would like a water fountain to replace her standard (read: boring) water bowl. If you’ve never been to my apartment, you need to know that it is a common occurrence for Blanche to hang out on my bathroom sink and meow until someone (me) comes to turn on the faucet for her to drink from. No, seriously.

This concludes Blanche’s Christmas wish list. Perhaps it gave you a few gift ideas for the feline friend in your life… or maybe it just solidified my place in this world as a cat lady.

Survival Guide: The Fade.

Tiny bubbles...

Tiny bubbles…

I’ve gotten The Fade many times in dating — and I know I’ve already made it quite clear that I hate it, and it really sucks (read this if you really want the scoop).

If you’ve never gotten The Fade — when a guy starts taking longer to reply to your texts and then eventually just falls off the planet — consider yourself very, very lucky. It’s happened to me many times, and by now, I can usually spot it a mile away.

The frustrating thing about The Fade is, you want answers. It’s a total copout way of letting someone go. Not to mention that it’s just plain mean.

Although getting The Fade in any situation completely sucks, I am more likely to let it go if we’ve only hung out a few times. If we’ve been going on dates for a few months, we’ve had sex, or we’re in a full-blown relationship, then that’s not okay.

The thing is, what are you going to do about it? There’s not much you can do to him (or her) for giving you The Fade, but there’s a lot you can do to get through it, and get over the coward while you’re at it:

  • Don’t justify it. I hate the whole, “Maybe he’s busy with this or that…” “Maybe he’s taking a nap…” or maybe he’s just an asshole. Texting takes about two minutes, and that’s that.
  • Try not to spin. This is the toughest part. Don’t start thinking of all the fun times you had or what could have been, because this will lead to a string of psychotic text messages that will only make you look crazy and then he’ll be justified in his reasoning for ignoring you in the first place!
  • Get busy. This is my favorite part. Pack your schedule with things you need/want to get done. Do anything to keep your fingers from texting/calling him and your mind from thinking of him. Do a craft project. Read. Host a girl’s night. Paint a room. Get ahead at work. Start a blog (heh heh). You wouldn’t believe how much you can accomplish when you’re not obsessing over a guy!
  • Stick to your guns. When he comes back around (they usually do), don’t waiver. Best thing to do? Reply his text with, “Who is this?”
  • Wear this shirt. No, seriously.
Gurl, bye.

Gurl, bye.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
—Coco Chanel

Is THIS why I can’t get a husband?

Oh, don't mind me...

Oh, don’t mind me…

A reader in San Francisco brought to my attention an article in the New York Post, “8 Reasons Why New York Women Can’t Get a Husband.” Obviously, I don’t live in New York, but I’m always willing to consider ANY reason as to why I don’t have a boyfriend/fiance/husband, etc.

The article is based around an old-fashioned dating manual that was recently published, authored by Susan Patton, aka “Princeton Mom.” The book, “Marry Smart,” basically says that college is the prime time to find a mate (no argument there), but after 35, you’re SOL.

Here are 8 reasons Patton thinks you’re still single:

  1. Too much drinking. Patton says women who are sloppy are a turnoff (no shit), and bars are not the proper place to find love. Yet again, no shit. Rarely do I find myself in a bar, and while I can party with the best of ’em, I usually only drink one night a week.
  2. You’re married to your phone. This very well could be true. Patton suggest that instead of having your nose buried in a phone or an iPad during our lunch breaks, we should look up and make eye contact with people.
  3. Wearing too much black. Umm hello, black makes us look skinny and everything black matches everything black. NEXT.
  4. Dating too many guys at work. I have never dated anyone at work, so this need not apply.
  5.  Spending too much time with your gay best friend. I have many-a-gay-guy in my life, but I don’t think we spend too much time together. Patton says we need to be reminded that we can’t marry our gay best friends. Um, yeah, no shit, that’s why we hang out with them!
  6. Ignoring the biological clock. “You’re not getting any younger,” Patton says. This lady is really starting to piss me off.
  7. You hook up too much. While I don’t think I’ve ever hooked up “too much,” I do have a past of being okay with just physical relationships. But I have recently given this up (just ask my latest crush and he’ll tell you all about his blue balls).
  8. Relying on convenience. Food delivery. Wireless movies. It’s easy to stay-in at the end of a long day. I’m definitely guilt of this, but who says the delivery guy won’t be the one getting on one knee (just kidding, Patton)?

Okay, so maybe I could stand to put my electronics away for a second during lunch, and make an effort to get out of the apartment every once in awhile. If this nabs me a husband, I guess I’ll have to send Patton a thank you card!

Hey, Halloween: Drop dead!

Where's my stationary?

Where’s my stationary?

After much thought, I decided to forgo a Fresh Friday post, since it’s Halloween — even though I pretty much despise this day… or do I? If you know me personally, you know I’m a scaredy-cat all year ’round.

I’m terrified of someone breaking into my apartment, scared of being attacked in a parking garage (or anywhere, for that matter), getting caught up in a mass shooting, etc.

But most of the time, I’m able to hide my fears and live a normal life (although I always search for the exits in movie theaters, and I stopped going inside banks)… until Halloween-time rolls around. Then, it’s really difficult to avoid the scary movies on TV, previews at the theater, people in-costume, and invitations to haunted houses.

Seriously, when did I get so scared?

As a kid, I enjoyed Halloween — dressing up in a costume, and joining my neighborhood friends down every street to see just how much candy we could get (I remember having to make pit stops to dump candy from our buckets, in order to fit more). While I enjoyed trick-or-treating, there were those few houses in the neighborhood that really went all out, and if it weren’t for peer pressure, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the front door.

At the end of the night, my friend Emily and I would sort through our piles, dividing the candy (sorting it by name, or “like” and “don’t like”), and eating as much of our loot as possible before morning.

In middle and high school, I actually loved going to SEE scary movies! Imagine that! I loved the thrill, I screamed and then laughed at myself for being so scared.

In college, I wore slutty costumes, partied, and probably drank a cauldron full of witch’s brew every Halloween.

But it wasn’t until I graduated college that I started to realize just how scary this time of year is. I remember the night it happened, I went with a girlfriend to see a scary movie. And when I got home, I spent hours pacing my apartment, looking under the bed, checking the closets, and I couldn’t sleep.

All of the sudden, scary stuff wasn’t so silly.

And sure, I do realize that the things in movies aren’t likely to happen. But, if I’m being honest here, I have nightmares at least once a week. Not little scary dreams about Casper, actual nightmares that wake me up in sweat, and it takes a snuggle with my kitty and an hour of QVC to get back to sleep.

It’s been this way for years. I’m not sure what causes it, although I’m sure stress is most of it, or perhaps it’s just a random string of thoughts that scares me shitless. Either way, I know that a haunted house or a scary movie just might send me into a weeklong bout of insomnia.

A few years ago, my office really wanted to celebrate Halloween. Someone suggested a haunted house, and I quickly opted out. One coworker simply could not believe WHY I wouldn’t want to go to a haunted house.

“I’m actually terrified of that kind of thing,” I told her. She was appalled, and said I seemed like “the kind of person who would be into it.”

Well, things aren’t always as they seem, right?

I wish I were more into Halloween, but I’m just not. And, as my mom told me a few years ago, I was even scared of costumes and clowns as a child. So, perhaps this is just me, finally admitting that stuff is scary out there… so if it’s okay with you, I’ll just stay in and watch Countdown to Christmas on the Hallmark Channel.

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?

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?

‘Lemon Drops’ has… DROPPED!

Fall is here... and so is my book!

Fall is here… and so is my book!

THAT’S RIGHT — my 3rd book, Lemon Drops, is finally here! This is the first time I’ve really felt relieved that a book of mine is published. The writing in Lemon Drops is some of my most personal. There’s stories in there I haven’t told anyone, and there’s poems that are very dear to me. I’m really happy to share them with you all.

So, let’s get the business out of the way before the REAL fun begins!

  • You can purchase a printed version of Lemon Drops here.
  • You can purchase a digital copy (for Kindle or Kindle App) of Lemon Drops here.

As a special treat, I wanted to share another excerpt from the book with you all:

My life started to revolve around the very little time we spent together, and I knew I deserved more than that. So, I finally snapped, grew a backbone, and ended things.

Of course, I was sad — okay, more like devastated — to let him go, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I had spent years living on a dream that he would get on one knee, present me with a ring and a beautiful life together.

My latest book!

My latest book!

I imagined us living in his brick house, nestled under Louisiana’s signature oaks, eating dinner at a polished table after he’d come home from work. At Christmas, we’d get an imported pine tree, and we’d open presents wearing red flannel (welcome to my imagination, where Tommy Hilfiger lives, breathes, and outfits picturesque moments).

Three months after we broke up, Matt got engaged to his now-wife.

Sure, when I saw this all online (thank you, Facebook), my jaw hit the floor — he’d been cheating on me (and her) the entire time. But, in a way, it served as closure for me. He was never the one for me, even if it took me many, many times to realize it.

After Matt and I broke up for the final time, I started seeing a therapist. Matt was one in a collection of men that I’d dated that had manipulated me so much; I didn’t understand who I was anymore.

I had gone from being this confident, secure woman, to not even understanding my feelings. I kept asking my therapist if my feelings were “normal” or “correct,” and it took me nearly two years to understand that however I’m feeling is the right way to feel.

Today, my life is really different than how it was when I was dating Matt. I spent a lot of energy trying to fit myself into a mold that I thought would make him love me. I thought that if he saw what a great cook I was, or that I was funny, he’d want to marry me, and things would finally be okay.

But nothing is ever okay if you can’t just be yourself. And sometimes, I’m still learning exactly who I am. I do know, though, that even though he is married to someone else, his life isn’t picture-perfect. And just because I’m single, doesn’t mean things are bad. I’m glad that I didn’t settle — there’s no way I could have lived the rest of my life pretending to be someone I’m not.

Besides, the real me is pretty fucking cool.

And since I’m so excited for this book, and that it’s the first day of fall (my favorite season)… I’m GIVING AWAY a printed copy of Lemon Drops (I’ll inscribe it, if you wish).

To enter for the giveaway, please visit the Lemon Drops page on Amazon, and leave a review by Wednesday at midnight. Whether you’ve just been a fan of my blog, my previous books, or you’ve read or heard my poetry, let me know how you feel! I’ll randomly select a number and post the winner on Thursday’s blog post!

Thank you!

WYSK: Joan Rivers.

Joan, in complete glitz.

Joan, in complete glitz.

I know I’m a little late to the party on celebrating the life of the one and only Joan Rivers. Originally, I was going to use this edition of WYSK to talk about my two favorite Total Dives: Nikki & Brie Bella. But I changed my mind, and decided to talk about a different kind of diva.

I have always been a Joan Rivers fan, but a few weeks ago, I got in a bit of trouble at work when I said some things on my (personal) Twitter feed that (allegedly) a lot of my coworkers didn’t appreciate. It was not the first time I’ve been reprimanded for my mouth (or my writing).

I was told I should be ashamed to even show up to work.

For about five seconds, I wondered if I should be ashamed. But then, I thought of Joan. I woman who answered to no one, and would never let someone (no matter who) tell her how to feel. And no, I’m not ashamed, nor am I apologetic.

Joan Rivers was the only woman to ever host The Tonight Show, and as she was described in Nell Scovell’s article for Vanity Fair, she was undeniable. She was also: hilarious, glamorous, daring, giving, hard working, and bold.

“When people hate me, that’s good,” she told the A.V. Club. “They know I’m there. You’re not a chorus kid. Remember inA Chorus Line, she’s having trouble and he keeps saying, ‘You’re standing out,’ and she’s trying not to? They hate me? That’s good.” 

—Joan Rivers, for Time magazine

There are so many accomplishments behind her, it’s difficult to remember them all — she was a comic, a writer and an author (12 best-sellers), an actress, a designer, award-winner, a fashionista (changing the red carpet game forever with the question: who are you wearing?), and a reality television star.

I’m certain there will never be anyone quite like Joan — and I’m thankful for her. Even though she hated being called a pioneer, we can never have enough powerful women to look up to.

I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.

—Joan Rivers

Pic of the Week.

It's my Flat Tummy Tea!

It’s my Flat Tummy Tea!

Today marks the start of my fifth consecutive week on the Tone It Up Plan, and I’m proud to report that I’ve lost a little more than five pounds since I started! Sticking to a diet and a workout regimen (which involves at least six workouts a week), isn’t easy. But little by little, my lifestyle change is working.

Last week, I incorporated a new part to my diet: Flat Tummy Tea.

My friend sent me the website on it, and with my beach vacation just nine days away, it took very little convincing before I ordered a two-week supply. So, this week is the second week of my Flat Tummy Tea cleanse.

So, what’s FTT? There are two teas, one for morning and one for night, that work together in order to suppress the appetite, boost energy, and provide the body with antioxidants. The tea also helps to lower bloat and water retention, keeping you slim and trim!

I’m a coffee drinker, so starting my morning with a mug of tea was a switch. But, after my tea I still enjoy a few cups of java, don’t worry. Both of the teas taste similar to black tea, so no need to worry about a weird or gross flavor that you’ve got to suck down for two weeks.

After about one week on the teas, I can already see a small difference in my stomach. At this point, every little bit helps!

Book #3: Lemon Drops.

My next book, releasing Sept. 22, 2014!

My next book, releasing Sept. 22, 2014!

I’m skipping Fresh Friday this week to make an announcement: MY THIRD BOOK IS COMING YOUR WAY.

That’s right, my third book is on its way — mark your calendars for September 22, 2014, which is EXACTLY one month from today!

At that time, you’ll be able to purchase digital copies through Amazon Kindle (which can also be read on an iPad using the Kindle app), or you can order printed copies, as well.

Between now and then, stay tuned for sneak peeks and giveaways, as I’m really, really excited about this one!

…Or you could read one of my other books, How I fell or How to Make Lemonade… Just saying.

I’m calling this one my third book, because it is my third relationship memoir. However, I do have another book out, that lists and explains 50 blogging tips for beginners (I often use it to teach my blogging class).

Anyway, what is this book, Lemon Drops, all about? Basically, I wanted to release a book that had some of my poetry in it, and I also wanted a chance to be able to explain where (emotionally) the poems came from.

So, there are poems, and some explanations, and there are also short stories. Most of them you’ve never heard before, as I never thought they were monumental enough for a blog, a column, or a book — but they certainly make for good “Lemon Drop” material.

Not only did I work really hard to put this book together, but I am revealing more of myself than ever. I have always found honesty to be the best policy, but at times, some of my experiences are difficult for me to admit, even to myself.

But with this book, I did. I’m putting all of my secrets out there for you to read, and as is my hope with everything that I write — that someone, somewhere can learn from what I’ve been through as I continue on my journey.

September 22 is the first official day of fall, and the special season holds such a big place in my heart that I wanted my book release to kickstart it, and I’ll even share with you the Introduction:

As I kid, I barely noticed the seasons as they changed. There was summer, which meant sleeping in and no school. Spring made way for Spring Break, and with winter, at least there was hope for a few snow days.

But fall, fall has always held a special place in my heart. With the bittersweet closing of summer, fall meant new beginnings — a new school year, with fresh school supplies and new clothes. There were new opportunities around every corner.

I wish though, that as a kid I would have romanticized the falling leaves in Indiana the way I do now. The incredible way they paint the skies and the sidewalks all at once. I remember my parents telling me how people would flock to Brown County just to see the leaves as they changed from green to red, and I thought it was so silly.

But there are no red leaves where I live now, in Louisiana. In fact, there’s not really much of a fall season, but I still add a blanket to my bed, light pumpkin candles, and make cider — call me a dreamer.

But in my 10 years in the South, I’ve romanticized much more than changing leaves. You could say that my imagination has gotten the best of me, often taking flight without my permission.

As you open the pages to my third book, you’ll get a glimpse into my world — it is romantic, but it’s real. And I’m venturing to say that what you’re about to read is my truest self realized; imagination or not.

Once again, thank you for joining me on my continuing journey. Before, I wished for a trail of sunrises, and if I could add another thing to my list, it would be colorful leaves.

Life just isn’t the same without them.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Lemon Drops!