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BBC: ‘Limelight’.

Another week is upon us, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I realized that I go into every weekend hoping to relax and get things done around my apartment or for the blog, as most of my weekdays are filled with work and dance classes… but you know what? It’s really hard for me to truly relax.

This has been an issue for me as long as I can remember, but why not just embrace it? I still allow myself to sleep in on the weekends, and the “work” is different – this weekend, I cleaned and posted things on eBay while watching episodes of “The OC” (I’m almost done with season 4). It’s still kind of relaxing, right?

Anyway, I also read a ton this weekend as I’m trying to work through my stack of summer reading. So, let’s get into the latest read from Blanche’s Book Club: “Limelight” by Amy Poeppel.

I follow a few bookstore owners on Instagram, and that’s where I heard about this book. But before I get into what she said (and why I ultimately put it on my list), here is the description from Amazon:

Allison Brinkley—wife, mother, and former unflappable optimist—discovers that a carefully weighed decision to pack up and move her family from suburban Dallas to the glittery chaos of Manhattan may have been more complicated than she and her husband initially thought.

Allison learns that New York is unruly and bewildering, defying the notions she developed from romantic movies and a memorable childhood visit. After a humiliating call from the principal’s office and the loss of the job she was counting on, Allison begins to accept that New York may not suit her after all.

When Allison has a fender-bender, witnessed by a flock of mothers at her son’s new school, she is led to the penthouse apartment of a luxurious Central Park West building and encounters a spoiled, hungover, unsupervised teenager who looks familiar. It doesn’t take long to recognize him as Carter Reid—a famous pop star who has been cast in a new Broadway musical. Through this brush with stardom, Allison embraces a unique and unexpected opportunity that helps her find her way in the heart of Manhattan.

In a book that delivers laughs, warmth, and delightful wish fulfillment, Poeppel dives into celebrity culture and modern motherhood with her trademark “quick-witted and razor-sharp” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life) style.

Okay, so the bookstore owner said this book included a “Justin Bieber-esque character” and naturally, I added it to my list. However, I’m hoping this character, Carter Reid, isn’t modeled after Justin Bieber, because he’s a massive prick. Author Poeppel also put in her own two cents about Bieber putting a line like, “Does anyone take Justin Bieber seriously anymore?” – not appreciated.

In a broad sense, I really enjoyed reading this book. I am always in awe of New York City (I am embarrassed to say I’ve never been there), and I like fantasizing about it. This was sort of everyone’s dream they didn’t know they had – stumbling upon celeb life and getting to see the grit and glam of it all. It’s a fun take on a world most of us can only imagine.

However, there were some character flaws in Allison that kept bothering me – like, she didn’t recognize Carter Reid, but she was a regular reader of gossip tabloids, and also knew designer clothes (and how much they cost) upon first glance. She was also very clueless has to any celeb lifestyle and kept wondering where Reid’s parents were – I think most people are aware of the child star story, right?

Other than that, though, this was a fun one, and I am interested in Poeppel’s other book, “Small Admissions“, which revolves around school admissions and getting over a breakup.

I’m recommending “Limelight” to fans of Broadway, and celeb culture. The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Amy, My Daughter” by Mitch Winehouse. Read along with me by following me on Instagram @OrangeJulius7 – see you there!

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Celeb Crush: Charlie Puth.

Well, hellloooo.

Well, hellloooo.

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done an edition of “Celeb Crush”! Truthfully, I’ve been doing a little work behind on the scenes on the blog, trying to figure out the best things to write and where the future of this thing is going – don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere, I’m just working through some identity crisis.

But there are so many times when I’m writing a post or coming up with ideas on what to write and I get so inside my head wondering, “Does ANYONE even care about this?” And then I remember that it really doesn’t matter, because this is my blog, and some days we talk about serious things and some days – like today – we just need the fun, lite stuff to keep us going.

So, Charlie Puth. I did not give this guy a lick of attention until… well, until he had the song with Selena Gomez, “We Don’t Talk Anymore“, because I was feelin’ some kinda way about that song! It was hitting almost too close to home, but not to the point where I couldn’t listen to it. I loved it.

Still though, I wasn’t entirely certain just who this guy was. And then he was on “The Voice”, serving as one of the mentors for (my favorite) Alicia Keys. And I was sitting on my couch thinking, “Okay, he is cute!” Even his voice is just so hot. I can’t.

So, WHO the heck is this Charlie Puth guy? According to Google, he’s 24 (turning 25 on December 2), and can thank YouTube for the rise of his success. His debut was on “See You Again”, written, produced, and co-performed with Wiz Khalifa in tribute to Paul Walker. WHOA.

According to Wikipedia, his eyebrow is scarred from a near-fatal dog bite incident. Clearly, he’s a badass. And, random fun fact, when he was in 6th grade, he went door-to-door selling his Christmas album “Have a Merry Charlie Christmas”, which he recorded and produced, and made $600.

tomss_interstitial__300x250OKAY, now this is the inspiration we need on a Wednesday! The kid was recording and producing his own stuff in 6th grade? Time for me to get on my grind here.

His YouTube channel, Charlie Vlogs, was where he got his following, and he used the medium to post cover songs, including Sia’s “Chandelier”, comedy videos, and behind-the-scenes coverage.

At the beginning of this year, he released his debut album, “Nine Track Mind“, which peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200.

Although he’s a talented singer and performer, I definitely think he’s found his success behind the scenes – writing, recording, and producing, which is respectable. I am looking forward to what comes next from him!

In other music news, John Mayer is releasing his first single off his upcoming album (expected to drop in 2017). The new single, “Love on the Weekend” will be released TOMORROW!!!

I’m not the only Mayer fan freaking out – it’s been more than two years since we’ve heard anything new from the guy. So, I’m anxious to hear what the sound will be – will it be an evolution of the Montana John we’ve gotten on the last two albums, or something new? I’ll be sure to report back.

Speaking of new albums, when are we going to get something new from Justin Bieber? He’s had two new songs out, “Cold Water” and “Let Me Love You”, which are both awesome, so does this mean there’s a new album on the horizon? I haven’t seen any news on the topic, but I’m keeping my eyes open on this one.

What music are you currently listening to, or looking forward to? I am always looking for more things to put into my ears, so let me know!

2 Recent discoveries + your weekend TV watch-list.

Hello, double hotness!

Hello, double hotness!

So, Justin Bieber looks like Zack Morris. Like, how did I not notice this before?? This recent, and quite amazing discovery came last week during a random (and kind of drunk) homemade marathon of “Saved By The Bell”.

For the first time, I thought, “Damn, Zack is kind of HOT!”…and then I was feeling like he certainly looked familiar. Then, holy shit, he looks like Bieber, my ultimate celeb crush (besides the obvious).

Turns out, lots of people think this, as there was already an entire article devoted to the subject: 7 Times Justin Bieber Was Zack Morris.

Hey, they’re both hot, and I’ll take it.

Did you ever watch “Flipping Out” on Bravo? Mark Paul Gosselaar was on one of the episodes, as he was remodeling his home, along with his wife, of course. He’s definitely not as not now, but still looks good.

Speaking of hot guys, I was also watching an episode of “Hollywood Medium” and Tyler (the medium) did a reading for Rob Dyrdek, aaaaaand his WIFE was totally in it. Um, when did he get married? Hell, when did he even ever have a girlfriend??

Like, I was (and still am) floored by this! She’s absolutely gorgeous, and 24, and he’s 41 – which I always assumed he would be 31 forever.

Although I spent a decent amount of time Googling, I couldn’t find out how they met, although they have been dating since 2013. There was a lot of information about their engagement, for which Rob put himself in the Aladdin musical at Disneyland and proposed – because of course he did!

On the episode of “Hollywood Medium”, Tyler told Rob to be expecting a son, and two months later, they announced a baby boy is on the way. Cute, even though I’m a little jealous.

Alright, now for your weekend TV guide, because why not?

Separation Anxiety – (Friday, 10 pm, TBS) Separation Anxiety is a comedic, relationship-based game show featuring a unique twist that isn’t revealed to contestants until after they’ve played the game. If I try to explain it, it won’t make sense, just trust me on this; it’s funny!

The Vanilla Ice Project – (Saturday, 10 pm, DIY Network) Vanilla Ice is back to tackle his toughest Florida flip ever. The pop icon and knock-out home renovator has taken his biggest risk yet, investing in a high-dollar lakefront dump in need of a top-to-bottom transformation. That means ripping rooms to the studs, adding a new pool, a boat dock with a tiki hut and state-of-the-art technology all around. Will his champagne taste end up costing him a profit? Or can he and his crew flip this tacky mess and still come out on top?

Shahs of Sunset – (Sunday, 7pm, Bravo) Fashion designer Asa deals with the stress of a new business and a photo shoot for her rapidly expanding new line, Asa Kaftans. The group plans a camping trip to address GG’s increasingly erratic behavior, and a night at home with Mike and Jessica reveals bigger issues in their marriage.

#RichKids of Beverly Hills – (Sunday, 10pm, E!) Your favorite rich brats are back with a brand new season, and Morgan is finally getting married…or is she? Totally just made up that second part. It’s gonna be juicy; plus, I heard there’s a new cast member.

Me? Aside from relaxing on the couch, tonight I’m taking a Hip-hop Master Class with Dylan Cheek, which I’m SUPER amped about!

Here’s a little info I found on Dylan from Number One Music:

Teen entertainer Dylan Cheek has been dancing and performing since he could walk. As early as six years old, the Atlanta-born prodigy would steal the spotlight at school talent shows, and he’s been known to spontaneously showcase his skills right on the street.

Dylan — or “DP,” as his friends call him — grew up admiring N-Sync, the Backstreet Boys, and Michael Jackson. He also loved hip-hop and discovered break-dancing after watching 80’s hip-hop flicks Breakin’ and Beat Street. He was instantly drawn to the urban dance style and began emulating the slick, “pop-lockin” moves of the b-boys he saw on TV.

It wasn’t long before Dylan’s natural talent was recognized by the professional dance world. In 2005, he attended the PopStarz ATL Hip-Hop Workshop and was chosen by celebrity choreographer Dave Scott to be part of the Junior Dance Company. Dylan then went on to compete in dance battles such as Dance Invasions, where he became a four-time championship winner. He’s also participated in Monsters of Hip-Hop Workshops in Atlanta and throughout the US and has taken home several scholarships and top honors at numerous Freestyle Battle competitions.

I’ll also be watching the Texas Stars play in the Calder Cup playoffs – the game is away, but there’s a watch party at Plucker’s, so wings, beer, and hockey? Yes, please!

Have a fantastic weekend with lots of sleep and wine and good TV y’all… I’ll see you right back here on Monday!

Britney sing-a-longs & ‘The Birdcage’.

So, let’s talk about it: the Britney Spears Sing-a-long at the Alamo Drafthouse. Yes. I went last Saturday night and it was pretty fantastic.

I’d heard about it from a coworker, but pretty much everyone I know in Austin (read: 3 people) was busy with other raging Saturday night plans. I wasn’t sure if this would be super lame going alone, buuuuut I kind of LOVE Britney, and it was one of the last times the Alamo was going to show it.

Obviously, I decided to go, and brave it – another date night with myself! I bought my ticket online and upon arrival, I already saw lots of fans dressed up, and even the male waiters were wearing Britney garb: the Catholic school uniform and the flight attendant uniform from the “Toxic” video.

If you’ve never been to the Drafthouse, it’s a movie theatre that serves REAL food, desserts, cocktails, and beer, all from the comfort of your seat. Upon entering the theatre, everyone was given a glow necklace and a wand with streamers on it.

I promptly ordered a beer and the hatch chile cheese fries (yum!). When 10 pm (kickoff time) finally rolled around, we were instructed to sing-a-long, dance, and cheer on Britney for the next TWO-AND-A-HALF HOURS! That’s right, it was more than two hours of solid Britney songs!

Whoop!

Whoop!

Let’s see if I can remember them all: “Scream & Shout” feat. Will.i.am, “Pretty Girls” feat. Iggy Azalea, “Perfume”, “Criminal”, “Til the World Ends”, “Hold it Against Me”, “3”, “Radar”, “Work Bitch”, “If U Seek Amy”, “Circus”, “Womanizer”, “Break the Ice”, “Piece of Me”, “Gimme More”, “My Perogotive”, “Everytime”, “Toxic”, “Me Against the Music” feat. Madonna, “Boys”, “I Love Rock N Roll”, “Overprotected”, “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman”, “I’m a Slave 4 U”, “Stronger”, “Lucky”, “Oops…I Did it Again”, “(You Drive Me) Crazy”, “Sometimes”, and “…Baby One More Time”.

For starters, I definitely had forgotten about a few of these songs – I hadn’t even heard of or seen the videos for “Perfume” and “Criminal” – both right on track as far as Britney songs go: catchy, a little corny, but complete with hot guy in video with her looking amazing.

It was also interesting to look at nearly her entire career over 2.5 hours of time. There is such a difference between those “Sometimes” days versus the “Gimme More” days – and those are the ones Britney fans are forgiving her for (I still cringe thinking about that MTV performance).

Between the Vegas residency and her last few songs (hello, “Work, Bitch”), she’s making as big of a comeback as someone can ask for. I think she’ll always be an entertainer in some form, and it’ll be interesting to see where the years take her. I know I have looked up to her as a dancer since “…Baby One More Time”. The choreography in “I’m a Slave 4 U” has always been some of my favorite.

Of course, there’s always that fantastic flashback of the fashion. Personally, I love the gold top she wore in “Work Bitch”, and am a huge fan of all of the denim she’s sported over the years. During the show, pretty much everyone was on their feet, singing and dancing, and it was really fun! I woke up Sunday with barely any voice, so I know I was really belting it out. Truthfully, I’m not sure what my favorite Britney song is, although I love “Stronger” and I also love “Circus”.

Finally saw this one!

Finally saw this one!

As for me, I’ll be visiting the Alamo very soon, as they are hosting a “Justin vs. Justin” sing-a-long, as in Justin Bieber vs. Justin Timberlake, complete with themed cocktails, and they are also hosting a “Bridesmaids” quote-a-long that includes a free champagne flute. YAS!!!

A few weekends ago, I also finally watched “The Birdcage”. You may recall that I’m kind of on a mission to see all of the movies that I should have seen by now, but haven’t (read about me finally seeing “The Breakfast Club”), so this is just another step in my pop culture journey.

The Birdcage” was released in 1996, so this year marks its 20th anniversary! It stars Robin Williams, and as described by IMDB: “A gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée’s right-wing moralistic parents.”

So… I had no idea how funny this movie was going to be. I really had no clue what it was about; read the description on my TV, and I took it that it was going to be a sad movie. So, I braced myself, and then right off the bat (when the bar owner won’t front free drinks for guests), I was laughing.

I don’t want to give anything away, in case I’m not the only person that’s just now seeing it, but in the end, it was a little sad. But, I think it was realistic – and I think it was kind of interesting to watch during an election year, given the political father that was at the dinner.

I also watched “Hairspray” – the John Travolta version – but didn’t think it was so great.

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday weekend; I’ve got some fun things planned, and you can watch it alllllll on SnapChat @OrangeJulius7 …or I’ll see you back here on Monday!

Baby, you should go & date yourself.

I want that top.

I want that top.

I’ve been single for almost three years. Of course, during these three years, I’ve gone on several dates, and had many flings and crushes.

But recently, I’ve found myself in a situation that rarely happens: I don’t even have a crush.

As pathetic as it sounds, this thought disappoints me greatly. While I’ve never considered myself to be boy crazy, a crush gives me something to be excited over; something to work toward (you know, before I ultimately get crushed).

Given that this “zero crush” situation is rare for me, I realized I probably need to do something else I’ve never done: date myself.

That term sounds incredibly weird, but it’s something that needs to happen.

You see, I will admit I have a habit of filling the void of one relationship with another, and this is an unhealthy pattern I’ve been working to break.

Between relationships, you’ve really got to focus on yourself to heal, and to avoid ruining your next relationship because of the last.

Dating yourself doesn’t mean sitting at home alone all the time (as fun as that is), it means truly being in a relationship with yourself.

Some days, that may mean pampering yourself and being kind to yourself, while other days that could mean jumping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself.

The reward? You’re going to learn a lot about who you are, and ultimately what you want out of life, and out of a relationship.

It also solidifies the fact that you can spend time alone, and enjoy it, not because you have to, but because you want to!

I put this to the test last weekend when I made it a goal to eat alone at a restaurant I’d been wanting to try.

Normally in these situations, I’d just get takeout, and enjoy the feast alone, within the privacy of my apartment.

But no, I put on something I felt confident in, went to the restaurant, and I sat by myself, with no book or shield to protect me.

I even ordered a giant beer, and watched a basketball game before mowing down a messy burger and cheese fries.

And you know what? I felt like a million bucks when I walked out of that restaurant. I’d done what I thought was impossible, and it was actually fun!

I know you think I’m nuts. But everyone has their thing that seems scary to do alone. I have never minded going to the movies alone; in fact, I prefer it.

Coffee shops and errands are fine, hell, I’ve even gone on vacation by myself. But for some reason, tackling the restaurant scene alone seemed untouchable.

Now that I’ve at least tried it, I’m kind of excited to go out again. It means I’ve got more control over my life, and that I don’t have to miss out on things I love just because I’m not coupled up.

Okay, sure, I’m not getting a goodnight kiss at my doorstep when I date myself, but I also don’t have the anxiety of fumbling for my keys, wondering if a kiss will even happen.

Building the relationship I have with myself is going to prepare me for whatever’s to come. I’m going to be my very best self, and when the next guy comes along, I’ll have to decide if he’s worth breaking a date with myself.

I don’t even know who he is yet, but I can tell you this: I’m a pretty cool girl, and it’s going to take someone really awesome to get me to share my Saturday nights with someone aside from myself.

And because Justin Bieber has a song for all of my feelings:

A real apology… for being fake.

That’s right, I’m here to apologize… for being inauthentic. Don’t worry, I haven’t lied or covered up any big secrets, I just sort of realized that some of the things I’ve been writing about lately have gotten away from the true mission of this blog. And I’m stopping the madness before it gets any further. Let me explain.

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, you may recall I was on a mission to venture out on my own. And I did it, and I felt really good about it. But in the days following, I really started to think about things, and a lot of the things on my mind were things I’d been pushing to the back for some time now – things I don’t want to think about, because they make me sad.

So, I started cleaning, because that’s what I do when I want to do anything but think. I took everything out of my pantry and scrubbed the shelves, and then replaced things neatly. I moved pieces of furniture to mop the floor beneath them. I even used the little brush attachment on the vacuum to comb through my faux fur rug to make sure all of the hairs were straight, and going the same direction.

Bacon-wrapped dates!

Bacon-wrapped dates!

I also cooked. I made too many bacon-wrapped dates, because, well, why not? And because the ritual of stuffing a date with goat cheese, and then wrapping it with bacon, before jamming a toothpick thru it was oddly satisfying. I also made a pizza, and drank wine, but not too much, because wine + thinking is not really my best idea.

And then, I sat down to write. I spend a decent chunk of my time on the weekends writing drafts for blog posts because I don’t have a lot of time to devote to it during the week. But when I sat down and looked at my editorial calendar, it was filled with posts that I didn’t even want to write. And if I didn’t want to write them, I knew no one was going to want to read them.

The more time I spend alone, the more introspective I get, and as a writer, this is good, but as someone who has struggled with depression, this can sometimes cause cloudiness in my brain.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts while I’m at work. I work in an open environment and I’ve discovered that any outside noise distracts me from tasks that need to be done. So, I’ve invested in multiple pairs of headphones (so I never forget or am destined to be lost without a pair) and spend my 9-6 with headphones on, listening to people (of my choosing) talk about news, politics, fashion, blogging and life.

One of the podcasts I really like is Leandra Medine’s, “Monocycle” and her related podcast, “Oh Boy”. On of the podcasts, she was interviewing fashion icon Stacy London and they were talking about how social media has changed us, and Leandra commented about how she’d recently written a blog called, “Is Instagram Making me a Sociopath?” …in the sense that she can be crying on the phone to her mom about how she is a failure, but in the same breath, post a smiling picture to Instagram promoting her fashion blog and captioning it about how great life is.

I have always hated how fake most people appear on Instagram, and other social media channels for that matter, but that’s another issue for another day.

Regardless, it got me thinking about the image I project online, particularly with this blog. In general, I think I do a good job of admitted my faults, and I’ve shared some pretty damn embarrassing things about myself here, over the years.

But I admit I’ve fallen prey to attempt to produce content that I hope people will want to read. And honestly, that’s not the point of this blog. The Bitter Lemon is meant to be home to my thoughts, opinions, hopes, dreams, goals, and perhaps a map on how to get through it all without appearing like a complete nut job.

And that’s about it. This blog isn’t my livelihood, I don’t have a boss or an editor, I don’t have interns or other writers. It’s just me. And sometimes you get the good, happy Holly, and sometimes you get to read about my complete fuck ups, and watch me attempt to pick myself up with some sort of grace, before I try again.

Yes, I want this is be a place you like to come to; a place where you leave with questions or answers or deep thoughts on life, or society. I want it to be fun and empowering, too.

Unfortunately, just like life, I don’t have some clear-cut user-guide to make that happen. All I have is what I know, and that is what I’m willing to offer you. I have to be true to myself, and in doing that, there’s a massive chance you might not like me, or this blog, and I’ve got to be okay with that.

I also can’t fly off the handle like a psycho, because I do have a professional job, and I’m not trying to get canned. But I am confident I can be honest here without coming completely unglued.

And like I said, I’m not covering up some giant secret that’s weighing on me. In general, I’m still suffering from some growing pains with my job, I’m still stretching my legs in my new home, and some days, I’m just trying to figure out who I am and what I’m ultimately trying to get out of this life before it’s too late – I feel a tremendous amount of pressure when it comes to this aspect of being.

The other side of all of this? To be 100 with you, I was really interested in this guy for a big part of last year and around the first part of this year, and per usual, it went to complete shit after we slept together.

I haven’t said much about it yet, for three reasons: 1., because he really hated me ever mentioning him in this blog, and 2., because I am still trying to wrap my brain around what the hell happened, and ok, 3., because I’m more upset over it than I want to admit and I don’t really want to think about it just yet for fear of a complete mental breakdown.

But I will explain more on that here once I can collect my thoughts into some sort of organized fashion, and/or, doing so without wanting to cry and/or punch a hole in my living room wall.

Whew. So there. I said it. And I’m sorry if you’ve come here in the past weeks or months and felt that it just wasn’t what it used to be. I’m getting back on track; back to being honest. My editorial calendar has completely changed, and I’m vowing to bring back the honest side of The Bitter Lemon, and I hope you’ll join me.

But if not, I’m happy our paths crossed at some point. So here’s to greener pastures. Lord knows I’ve got enough shit to keep it that way for quite awhile.

Don’t worry, be happy. Now.

Cheer up, Buttercup.

Cheer up, Buttercup.

The “Winter Blues” are a real thing (often referred to by smarter people as Seasonal Affective Disorder), and I’m here to report that there’s a way to rid yourself of these doldrums and turn that frown upside-down!

Truth-be-told, I got to thinking about things that make me happy, and things that make other people happy. I feel like I’m constantly on a mission to improve my mood, in order to just… enjoy life.

Of course, it’s really easy to sit back and say, well if I had this, lived there, worked over there, did this, met someone – you fill in the blank – then life would be better. But how about just living in the NOW? Because that’s all we have.

And, if you read yesterday’s post, I feel like a totally changed woman, and I’m learning to work with what I have, instead of moping over the things I’m missing. So, for the record, here’s what I’ve got:

  • A crazy cat
  • Great friends
  • Supportive mom
  • Pretty cool job
  • Apt in an awesome city
  • Jeep I love to drive
  • Working coffee pot
  • HBO
  • Half-full bottle of mood support

Sounds pretty good, right? But, we all have bad days or bad moments when we lose perspective and can’t focus on the good things that are right in front of us. And that’s what this list is for. Nine things you can do RIGHT now to perk up your spirits and crush the day – maybe this Bitter Lemon has gone a little sweet (okay, not a chance, but you get the picture)!

  1. Get caffeinated. I’m a coffee lover, and I drink it every morning, but if tea is your thing, or Red Bull, whatever, get your buzz on.
  2. Jam out. Listening to positive music can flip your mood in a second. If you don’t have a certain playlist that’ll do the trick, put on your favorite song. Personally, I’ll take any Queen song, any day.
  3. Just dance. Speaking of music, why not bust a move? There’s a 100% chance all of my neighbors have seen me twerking in my kitchen while waiting for my coffee to brew, and everyone on Mopac South at 8:30 M-F has seen me perfecting body-rolls while driving. Just try it!
  4. Close all social media apps. It pains me to say this, because I love a lot of things about social media, hell, a majority of my job is digital. But, people always post the happy shit online and a lot of times it’s not even true. However, it makes us compare and we start to feel like everyone else has it better. They don’t, but close the app, anyway.
  5. …Okay, but not YouTube. Hop over to YouTube to watch a funny video. My go-to? Shark-cat. Never lets me down.
  6. Remember photo albums? Open up a box of old photos. Apparently, looking at old pictures boosts your mood more than eating chocolate. I don’t know if I believe this, so you should probably eat chocolate WHILE going through pictures. But really, who needs a photo album when you can just Google that amazing pic of Bieber’s ass?

    You're welcome.

    You’re welcome.

  7. Go somewhere. Okay, so maybe this isn’t something you can do right now, but planning an experience or a trip will bring you more pleasure than spending your cash on material things.
  8.  Treat yourself. I don’t want this to come across as me saying that materialistic things bring happiness. Most of the time they don’t. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit just how much a trip to Walgreen’s brings me joy. Or even a scoop of frozen custard. So, treat yourself, even if it’s something small.
  9. Get lost. Maybe a walk would do you some good, or perhaps curling up with a good book to forget about reality for awhile. Sometimes, turning off my phone makes me feel like I’m on a vacation.

Celeb crush gone too far?

Everyone knows I’m obsessed with John Mayer and Justin Bieber – it’s not like I’ve made any sort of effort to keep that a secret. I was riding in the car a few weeks ago when they said on the radio that Mr. Mayer was spotted getting into a car with Katy Perry on New Year’s.

By now, I’m used to their ridiculous back-and-forth relationship, but people always ask if it bothers me. For starters, it should already be a red flag to myself that people are asking if I genuinely give a fuck about a celebrity and who he is dating.

But, for the record, I have happened to like all of the ladies Mayer has surrounded himself with (minus Swifty. I just cannot). I like Katy Perry. I find them to be an interesting match, but I sort of wish they would just make up their minds.

However, none of this really scratches the surface when it comes to my obsession with Mayer himself. I’ve been a fan since I was 16. He was a whopping 23 at the time, so I felt like he was singing my SOUL – and, I’ve felt that way ever since.

In a sick way, I feel like we’ve sort of grown up together – even though he’s writing songs through a lens of fame and celebrity, and I’m just coming from, well, a single, creative girl’s perspective. I’ve been lucky enough to see him more than a dozen times over the years (one year seeing him three times in under 6 months), and I’ve heard the songs so many times, I can tell which one is coming up by the way he tunes his guitar.

While I don’t have a John Mayer shrine in my apartment or at my office, I do have a framed poster and a framed album cover in various parts of the apartment… okay and the shirtless Rolling Stone cover is in my kitchen (whoops). In my defense, I feel like this is the only time I’ll be able to feature such glorious gems in my home. If I’m lucky enough to get married, I’ll have to hang them… in my closet? We’ll see, and I’ll report back.

On one hand, I of course, would love to meet him, and we could finally fall in love and all of this nonsense I go through with other guys (you know, the pedestrians) would make total sense: because I was meant to be with John Mayer all this time!

But… there’s also another part of me that knows if I actually met him, he’d just disappoint me. We’ve all heard how he’s a douche, and weird,  and probably cocky. And, there’s always that risk with people who are REALLY, REALLY good at what they do – there’s a chance they might be awkward in other areas of their life.

And, there’s one more creepy part about my obsession with John Mayer. Every time I get into a semi-serious relationship (which has been what, two times?), I think, “Well, this could be it…” and in my mind, I’m breaking up with the idea of being with John Mayer. NO, SERIOUSLY.

I know it’s unlikely, but hey, a girl can dream. And you know I love to dream. I guess when Mr. Right comes along we’ll just have to agree that John Mayer is my celebrity “out.”

As for Justin Bieber, yes, I still love him. And I am rather obsessed with the Purpose album (“Comfortable” is my favorite song). But, I had a serious conversation with my friend the other night, the topic being this: if I were given the choice of sleeping with John Mayer or Justin Bieber, and I was forced to choose… I’d pick John.

Don’t get me wrong, this was NOT an easy decision! I weighed the pros and cons, and chose John given that there’s a chance he’d be more of a selfless lover. While Bieber would be selfish, and possibly into Jack-rabbit sex.

So there you have it. I’m obsessed. But I gotta know… who’s your celebrity out?

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Album review: Purpose.

Purpose Album Cover

Sexy.

A few weeks ago, we were #Blessed with the release of Justin Bieber’s latest album, “Purpose,” (his 6th number 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart) and I don’t know if y’all understand just HOW excited I was about it! I pre-ordered the album about a month before its release, and waited until midnight the night before/day of to see the “Download Complete” confirmation on my phone.

Since then, I’ve had lots and lots of time to listen to it – and believe me (Belieb me? No?) I have listened to this album TONS of times. I listen to it at work, in the car, while I’m getting ready… it’s ON, and I’m quite amazed at just how good it is. And no, I’m not just saying that. I’m not going to steer you wrong folks. So, below I’ve got a track-by-track review of “Purpose,” for your enjoyment.

Mark My Words – The intro to the album. I’ll admit, it’s kind of cheesy. Given that one of the released tracks is “Sorry,” this entire album seems like The Biebs is on a mission to prove himself, yet again, even though it’s completely unnecessary. The Beliebers will love him no matter what! And yes, this is one of the songs Justin admitted to Ellen, as being inspired by Selena Gomez.

I’ll Show You – While slow and beat-heavy, this song is a giant EFF YOU to the haters.

Sorry – I’m sure many of you have heard this one, and I really do love it! It’s not the best track on the album, but it’s a fun one to dance to.

Love Yourself – This could EASILY be the next single off this album. It’s got a catchy jingle to it and the lyrics are pretty clever: “And if you like the way you look so much, baby you should go and love yourself.”

Company – This is my FAVORITE song on the album. It’s incredibly sexy, and it starts off slow, with a pickup after the intro, featuring some solid beats (perfect for body rolls and cracking the faux whip – am I the only one that does that?). Favorite line: “You don’t gotta be my lover, for me to call you baby.” Whewww!!!!

No Pressure (feat. Big Sean) – And right here is my second favorite song. While a little less sexy than “Company,” this song is an absolute plea for whoever this girl is to answer his calls. I’ll tell you what – if he was calling me, I’d ANSWER. On the first ring.

No Sense (feat. Travis Scott) – This one has one of the best beats on the entire album, and a catchy hook, “It don’t make no sense ‘less I’m doin’ it with you.” I’ll take it.

The Feeling (feat. Halsey) – This could be a club track, period. It’s got that mix of slow and fast, with all kinds of techie upgrades added in. Not to mention Halsey’s sweet voice.

Life Is Worth Living – A slow track, nearly a ballad, but it’s not focused on love, but more how to survive the daily STRUGGLE. Because, it’s so hard being Justin Bieber.

Where Are U Now – I am kind of obsessed with Jack U, so since they had their little fingers on the first single for this album, I can’t help but love it. Bieber has a different version of this song that he’s sang live for years, and has been open about the fact that it’s about his dad. But it’s unclear if this one is as well.

Cotopaxi_giving_guide_v07Children – I’ll admit it, this one’s a little weird. It talks about “all the children we can change,” then straight up bounces into a rave-worthy EDM track. Huh? It’s a good one to listen to when you’re driving in the pitch black on 290 West… just an observation.

Purpose – The album’s title track. It’s catchy, I’ll admit it, and while it’s not my favorite, I do like it the best out of the other slower tracks.

Been You – This is easily the ear worm on the album. I was running errands a few weeks ago and caught myself in Lowe’s dancing to it in the hardware aisle. This is a nice revisit to his pop roots.

Get Used To It – This song is creeping up to be one of my favorites. The storyline actually reminds me of a guy I’m sort of kind of talking to right now (shhh). So, basically Justin Bieber is swooning this girl, saying he knows she’s been in bad relationships, but now she should “Get used to” him calling, checking in, just to see her… it’s sweet. I love it!

We Are (feat. Nas) – Pure R&B right herrreeee. This is a good one to turn way up in your car… trust me, I do it every morning around 8:40 on Mopac South.

Trust – This is the one track on the album I’m not a huge fan of. I’m not saying it couldn’t grow on me, but as of now, I’m not too into it.

All In It – This feels like your obligatory inspirational track, though it’s upbeat and fun… and I’m not going to sit here and act like I haven’t been dancing to it in my car…

What Do You Mean (Remix) – The remix of the hit single features a woman’s voice as well, which is fun… but it ain’t as fun as the original!

Before I bounce on my way, I wanted to mention that today is Human Rights Day. There’s a ton of hate in our world right now, and the only thing I can think to do is mention the positives.

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If nothing else, check out their website! They’re doing good things all year ’round, and support great causes.

The day is FINALLY here…

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Today is the day that Beliebers and One Directioners can rejoice —  as Justin Bieber AND One Direction released their NEW albums at midnight! Today may as well be Christmas, because we’ve (and by me, I mean all of us) been waiting for this day FOR-EV-ER.

And okay, so there may be a little friendly rivalry going on here; I mean why did the guys both announce today as their album day?

While I’m a Belieber thru and thru, I will admit that “Perfect” song from One Direction is pretty damn good.

But, I don’t want to leave the Directioners out of today’s excitement, so I asked my friend Sheena to represent for all of the 1D fans out there. And to celebrate in today’s joy, we’ve both written letters to our favorite guys, but the catch? We wrote the letters using ONLY lyrics from their songs.

So, Sheena used 1D lyrics and I used Bieber lyrics. I mean, WHY are we single?

Alright, so let’s do this y’all.

Dear Justin, 

You’re all that matters to me; you got me oh, so, in a trance. I ain’t worried about nobody else — you make me complete. Nothing can make me feel like you do; nothing else really matters. 

Don’t tell me you’re my heart breaker. I want to wake up in the morning under you, and only you. You got me stuck like crazy glue, but you can’t fly unless you let yourself fall. All I need is one love, one heart, and we will never ever be apart. 

You make my life complete. 

Love, 

Holly 

*   *

Dear One Direction,

I might never be the hand you put your heart in, keep getting the feeling you wanna leave this all behind.  I know you’re saying you don’t wanna hurt me, but it’s inevitable everything that’s good comes to an end.  All I ever wanted was the truth, I thought we were holding on; you stood by me, when no one else was ever behind me. We always find a way to make it out alive, but I’ve got something missing tonight. It’s impossible to know if after this we can still be friends, I know there’s nothing I can do to change it. How many nights does it take to count the stars? That’s the time it would take to fix my heart. All I know at the end of the day, if this is it then at least we could end it right: let me love you goodbye.  

Love,

Sheena

Celeb Crush: Colin Jost.

capture-colin-k-jostIf you were ever worried that I’d run out of celebrity crushes, fear not my friends.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I go through crushes pretty quick. My crushes in real life never like me back, so it leaves me to the only alternative: loading up on celeb crushes and hoping one day ONE of these guys will bump into me on the street, fall madly in love with me, and we’ll live happily ever after.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, my new celeb crush (as of last Saturday) is comedian Colin Jost. He does the Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, and he looks super delish while he does it.

His birthday is really close to mine, so naturally, I’m convinced we were meant to be.

He went to HARVARD (sweating), and started as a writer on SNL, and worked his way up for ten years before taking the co-anchor position on Weekend Update.

He also does standup and has been nominated for five Emmy Awards.

DAMN!

Now, not to take away from Mr. Jost, but in other celeb crush news, tomorrow is a pretty MASSIVE day for Bieber fans, as well as One Direction fans, as both Bieber and One Direction are releasing their new albums… and we’ve all been waiting very anxiously for them.

Don’t worry, The Bitter Lemon will NOT be missing out on the action and I’ll have something really fun right here in celebration of this monumental event.

Don’t miss it! Until then, I’ll be messing around with my Google Cardboard. Know of any cool apps for it? Let me know!

The modern smudging ceremony.

Say goodbye to negative energy.

Say goodbye to negative energy.

Tuesday night, I smudged my apartment.

“Smudging” is another way of describing a cleanse, often performed in a home or a building in effort to rid the presence of negative energy.

A proper smudging ceremony can be done in many different ways, but they’re often performed while burning herbs (often bundles of sage) and repeating a chant or a mantra of some sort.

I performed my first smudging when I moved into my last apartment. I didn’t get any negative vibes there, I just couldn’t help but wonder what had happened there before I moved in, and what if it was something bad?

And so, it’s probably a tradition I’m going to keep, because really, what do I have to lose?

So, I gathered all my materials: candles, my bundle of white sage, dried eucalyptus leaves, sand, ceramic dish, and my John Mayer records (I’ll explain).

I lit all of my candles, and got my essential oil diffuser going with some eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus is known for healing the body, as well as its ability to ward off evil and protect us from enemies. Next, I put on my John Mayer record (Continuum, disc 3). During a smudging, you’ve got to be in a positive mindset in order to ward off all things negative.

I put the sand, which is bright yellow (yellow is the color of clarity and new beginnings), in the ceramic dish, which would be used to put out the sage stick once it was over.

And so, I lit the sage stick, let it burn down some and walked very slowly through my entire apartment, waving the smoke into every corner, into every cabinet and drawer, and asking any energy that was not there for positivity, love, kindness, good health, and safety, must please leave.

Once everything was “smudged” I placed the stick into the sandy bowl, and lit the eucalyptus leaves, and placed the bowl by my back door, letting the smoke (along with the negative energy) go out my screen door.

Some ritual experts will say you must go in a certain direction with the smoke, or you must use crystals. But really, the ceremony should be yours. I don’t have crystals, and they kind of weird me out, so no crystals here.

I know I probably sound completely bonkers, but I’m really just a hippie that wants nothing but good vibes. I want my home to be happy and safe, and if burning white sage and candles is going to do it, then I say YES.

I didn’t expect any major changes to occur after the smudging, but lo and behold, Blanche was way less demon-like even moments after. Small victories, folks.

Meanwhile, I was hanging out at the Washatopia last night, when I see this headline: “Good Lord, JustinBieber has a Really Beautiful Penis.”

I couldn’t not look. And I think you should do the same.

Fresh Friday: Someday.

Someday is today.

Someday is today.

How CUTE is little Biebs in that picture? Ah, the old days. Anyway, we’ll get to that in a second. Because it’s Friday, and that means Jurassic World comes out (!), and hey, I’ve got the day off, AGAIN!

I wanted to feature Justin Bieber’s earlier scent, Someday, for two reasons: 1. it was the first Bieber scent I got and I was obsessed over it, and 2. I’ve already featured his other two scents, and we’re just rolling right on through my perfume cabinet.

According to Fragrantica, “Aiming at girls from 14 to 18 years old, who make up most of his fans, the teen pop star Justin Bieber launches his first prestige market fragrance named Someday. Perfumer Honorine Blanc of Fiermenich created the fragrance as a delicious fruity – gourmand, appropriate for the age of its expected audience. Lance McGregor designed the ultra girly bottle with its stopper shaped as a flower of layered hearts and removable charms hanging from its neck. The print campaign is photographer by Terry Richardson, featuring Dree Hemingway.

Top notes: juicy mandarin, pear, wild berries. Heart: fresh jasmine and creamy flowers. Base: vanilla and soft musk.

Justin Bieber Someday is available as Eau de Parfum in bottles of 30, 50 and 100 ml, with products such as scented hair mist and body lotion.”

I like how they had to put the age group in there. Obviously I’m way older than 18, and I still love the stuff — it’s light, but it lasts all day.

However. There’s another story here. And that is this:

I NEED THIS.

I NEED THIS.

<<– That would be a JUSTIN BIEBER ALARM CLOCK APP!!! As soon as I saw it, I grabbed my phone and went to the app store to search for it.

I couldn’t find it (although I did find a ton of other Bieber apps), so I went to the website where I found it and clicked on the app from there.

And what pops up? Oh, but a message that says it’s not available in the US store? Um WHAT? Since when does the Internet only service certain countries? If they’ve got the app in Britain, I want access to the British App Store! This is complete CRAP!

Every girl around the world DESERVES equal opportunity to be woken up every morning by Justin Bieber! THE OUTRAGE. THE SUFFERING I HAVE GONE THROUGH. CRY FOR FREEDOM, CAN I GET THE JUSTIN BIEBER ALARM CLOCK?

Okay. I’ll leave it at that.

But let me know if you see it available in the US store.

Please.

Fresh Friday: The Key.

Baby face.

Baby face.

It’s Friday! This week has been a weird one, that’s for certain, but I’ll explain why on another day. Today, all that matters is, it’s Friday, it’s the official start of spring, I’m wearing a pair of mint jeans that I got from Goodwill for $6, and we’re only 10 days away from the Justin Bieber ROAST.

Who’s excited? This girl!

In preparation for the viewing of The Roast, I spritzed on a little bit of Justin Bieber’s The Key. Out of all of Bieber’s scents for women, this one is probably my favorite, as it’s got an heir of sophistication about it. Don’t mind if I do.

According to Fragrantica, “The third fragrance from pop singer Justin Bieber, The Key, coming out in July 2013, is allegedly more ‘mature’ compared to its predecessors Someday from 2011 and Girlfriend from 2012.

The official description of this perfume uses epithets such as energetic, sexy and refreshing, while the composition is announced as a luminous floral-fruity-musk. It opens with a splash of juicy fruit with a sheer bouquet blooming in the heart. Its creamy base combines sensual musk, exotic woods and vanilla tones.

Justin chose the key motif for this perfume because of its symbolism, trying to tell his fans to always believe in their dreams.”

I sense a little hostility from the writers at Fragrantica! Hissss…. Regardless, the Justin Bieber Roast premiers on Comedy Central, Monday, March 30.

In other news, yesterday was the premier of the PAPER TOWNS movie trailer! What? So excited. Based off John Green’s best-selling novel, Paper Towns is the story of a girl. A very mysterious girl. You should read the book. And then see the movie. Here’s the trailer:

Not really sure how I’m going to stand waiting until July 24 to see it, buuuut… yeah. Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastical weekend. I’m certainly looking forward to it. See you next week!

 

Survival Guide: Dieting.

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions…

We’re well into March, which means if you had a New Year’s Resolution of “sticking to a healthy diet,” then you’ve probably crashed and burned a few times by now.

And no, it’s not that I don’t have faith in you! I just know that making changes, especially when it comes to food (delicious food) is very difficult.

But, I’ll share what’s worked for me. And of course, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone, but perhaps it will. And if you’ve got ideas that I haven’t mentioned here, I’d love to hear them!

  1. Remember the “Why.” There’s a reason you decided to eat healthy and even get on a diet — so go back to that. Maybe it was a picture of yourself five years ago. The looming swimsuit season. A doctor’s recommendation. Your kids. Whatever the reason, remember that, and let it inspire you. If you need to make a note and tape it on your fridge, do that!

    Survive a squat hold!

    Survive a squat hold!

  2. Find inspiration. Everyone gets inspired by different things. Pictures of hot guys really inspire me to get my butt to the gym. Fact: when we have to do “squat holds” in boxing class, I always picture Justin Bieber. Shirtless. Whatever works for you, do it, think it, put a picture of it on your phone — it can be your little secret.
  3. Cater to you. Not every diet plan works for every person. Some people love Paleo, I really didn’t. Some people like Atkins; I’ve never tried it. I think it’s important to find something that works for you, and that’s a matter of clearing the outside noise from your mind. Take things slow. If you eat fast food every day, even a small change of grilled meats and veggies is going to make a big difference. If you’re ready to make another change in a month, then do it.
  4. Allow freedom. This is the toughest part, but the second you tell yourself you can’t have chocolate, you’re going to want JUST chocolate. So, allow a cheat meal, or maybe a cheat day — whatever is going to work for you. If you box yourself into a strict plan, you’ll resent yourself and the diet. Then? You’ll quit the healthy foods altogether.
  5. Get creative. My favorite part about healthy eating is discovering things that are healthy, but are so delicious. Don’t be afraid to try new things! When I did Paleo, I craved sweets, but I ended up finding these dates rolled in unsweetened coconut… that tasted like fig newtons. They were a fabulous treat that felt like a cheat but weren’t! Find recipes you love all the time and see what twists you can give them to make them fit your new guidelines. You’ll find that there’s lots of healthy, delicious options for you.

Need recipe ideas? Here’s a few of my favorites: