Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Life lessons from Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids

Who knew a show about boring bridesmaid dresses could be SO much better than its parent show? It's super catty AND I LOVE IT.

My metaphorical relationship with SYTTD: Bridesmaids. (via giphy)

Plus it's totally preparing me for my future wedding. I think I have a full journal of notes-to-self based on this show alone (no not literally--you think I keep journals?).

But it's always nice when a show can teach you about life and yourself while also challenging stereotypes about bridesmaids.

Here's what you'll learn from SYTTD: Bridesmaids:

1. Bridesmaids suck. They are the worst and their opinions are stupid.

2. Brides also suck.

3. It's not unreasonable to ask people to spend $500+ on dresses they hate. (Drinking game idea: take a shot anytime a salesperson says a variation of "just shut up and buy up.")

4. It's also not unreasonable to withhold your presence from a good friend's wedding unless you approve of the bridesmaid dress.

5. Picking out bridesmaids dresses is a religious experience for brides and taking away from it makes you worse than Hitler.

6. People will always lose their shit for pockets.

7. Ruffled, halter dresses are where it's at.

8. Maids of honor suck even more than bridesmaids.

9. Middle-aged women like the word bling.

10. Bridesmaids really like to come to fittings prepared with an arsenal of every single thing the bride has ever done to piss them off on the off-chance they need to throw it in her face when she picks a dress they hate.

11. It will never stop being beautiful when friends come together again after fabricated fights for the camera.

But seriously, ya'll? Maybe value your friendships more than you value a stupid dress you have to wear for a few hours one day. (Or never change because I love you too much.)

Monday, April 28, 2014

I didn't date until college

Let's just call it Confessional Monday.

I didn't date until college. And by date I mean first kiss, first everything.

(via Giphy)
I was so cripplingly shy in high school that I think most of my interactions with guys can be summed up as awkward eye contact and half-smiles. (And somehow no one ever succumbed to my charms.)

It probably didn't help that I was also insanely insecure. I thought I was ugly, I hated my freckles and it bothered me that my A&F clothes (remember them? Yeah, me neither) didn't fit the way they fit the popular girls.

The way my jeans fit bothered me especially. This was before the miracle that is skinny jeans when flared jeans were the rage, and they never hit my foot at the right place. If they fit in the butt, they were too short at the foot, and if they fit at the foot they were way too big over-all (welcome to being a taller-than-average girl). What seems like such a trivial issue now, drove me insane in high school.

So I guess my point is that it was hard to flirt with guys when I was too busy contemplating how much I hated the way my jeans fit me. (Kidding) (Kind of)

But I did lack the self-confidence to approach guys or make myself available to that kind of attention. So no, I didn't date. I didn't go to prom. I didn't kiss anyone or write stupid poems about looking at the stars with someone.

I did ignore any guys who might've liked me, however, and I did stay home from prom to watch the season finale of Nip/tuck, which was probably cooler. Right? Right?


Okay you don't have to answer that because I was continually reminded it was weird by TV shows, songs and popular media. Fucking Taylor Swift reminds me it was weird all the time. Oh hi, fifteen.

But you know what?

Whether I dated no one or 50 guys in high school doesn't mean anything now. So who cares? I'm sick of being told what I'm supposed to accomplish by when.

Besides everyone knows college is where you really go crazy and do the things that will make your mother ashamed. Seriously, whatever life experience I missed in high school, I made up for in college and my early twenties.

So my bigger point of this post is that it really doesn't matter if your dumb high school friends make you feel stupid for not making out with that pimple-faced idiot in your math class when you had the chance. You can show them by making out with the super drunk, possibly gay guy on your friend's rowing team at a college house party!

Wait, what?

Ugh, nevermind.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Silencing your inner Negative Nancy in 5 easy steps

Sometimes I'm capable of a little self-reflection and in those moments I realize what a Negative Nancy I can be. I choose sarcasm over being earnest, and my first instinct is to mention what's annoying in a situation rather than to mention something positive.

And who wants to be that person? 

I tell myself it's more authentic to be snarky than to do that falsely nice bullshit, but, really, being the Negative Nancy is no better than being the sickly sweet girl who you know isn't genuine at all.

So sometimes you (okay, I) need to just take a step back and CTFD*, which is why I've created five easy steps to silence my inner Negative Nancy.

1. Calm the fuck down. It needs to be said again.

2. When you hear yourself starting a sentence with, "You know what's annoying..." just stop talking. Just stop. It's fine. Nobody needs to hear the end of that sentence.

3. Think to yourself, "What Would Andy Dwyer Do?" The answer is anything but be a dumb, nasty bitch. 

You can't be negative watching Andy. (via)
4. Throw on Katy Perry's "This Moment."

5. Remind yourself that the only way you're going to get lots of wedding gifts when the time finally comes is if people actually like you.

Or, you know, just say something positive for every negative thing you say so at least it's balanced. I'll try: You know what's annoying? All of the American Apparel skirts I just bought are totally see-through. But you know what's cool? They are super cute.

Not so hard.

*I just googled that to make sure it's an actual acronym and apparently I might just be co-opting a parenting method. Oh well.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Treating myself... to a link-up

Yeah. That's the title of my blog post. 

Having not blogged for ages, I haven't been able to take part in Treasure Tromp's weekly Treat Yo' Self link-up, but that changes TODAY.

I don't think you actually have to blog about anything in particular, but because I'm very literal, I'm going to talk about treating myself (also, I like copying Kate).

What? Didn't think I'd use this Parks and Rec reference?? (via)
So how will I be treating myself?  

Only with a list of the best beauty products ever. Which isn't really treating myself right in this moment, but who likes literal people anyway?

1. Pssssst! dry shampoo

You can't tell anybody the name of this product without looking like a high-schooler who just discovered how cool it is to add extra letters to every wordddd, but this is easily the best dry shampoo I've ever tried. Full disclosure: I've only tried two others... BUT! This stuff is cheap ($4.99) and it works amazingly well without leaving white streaks in your hair so I'm just going to consider myself an expert on the topic now.

My favorite thing is to douse my scalp in this stuff the night before I'm not going to shower in the morning. No greasy bangs here.

2. Kiss My Face ginger mango lip balm

Best lip balm ever? Quite possibly. It's soft and I'm basically sold on anything that includes ginger. Plus it gives your lips a pretty shine, which is all that really matters.

3. Yes to Tomatoes moisturizer

My skin eats this moisturizer UP. It kind of smells like something your grandma might wear, but you get used to it. (No disrespect to your grandmother, obviously, but you know how they do like their musk.)

4. Alba Botanica's mango shampoo

THANK YOU, CRYSTAL. I'm pretty sure I owe you my first-born for recommending this. I have what you might call super fucking greasy hair and this shampoo is a god-send. I know, I know. No-poo and all that, but I just can't commit to that. This mango-smelling shampoo however? Sold!

5. Pond's cold cream

Eye make-up is the freaking worst to get off. Which is why I love cold creams. They are moisturizing, not harsh and make your mascara slide right off. I've had the same tub for months and months (is that bad? Are there expiration dates on this stuff?) and I still have lots left. But it's kind of greasy, so, like Jergen's Natural Glow, it should be used in moderation. 

Treasure Tromp

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The benefits of dating a feminist

Unfortunately I'm not about to launch into all the reasons I'm amazing to date. The feminist in question is actually my boyfriend, and, well, since we're on the subject, he's pretty great to date, too.

So allow me to explain why feminists just do it better:

1. They don't have weird, obsessive needs to prove their masculinity over and over and over and it would never be threatened by something so insignificant as a woman paying on a date or a pastel-colored shirt. 

2. They do the dishes and don't make a big deal about it.

3. They don't make the "rawr!" noise every-time you complain about another woman (you know who you are).

4. They don't think having emotions is emasculating.

5. They don't say stupid things like, "I'd never respect a girl if she slept with me on the first date," but actually recognize that adults are allowed to be sexual.

6. They don't think being called a girl is the WORST.THING.THAT.COULD.EVER.HAPPEN. And they don't insult their friends by belittling their girlfriends.

7. They aren't homophobic.

8. They'll order alcoholic drinks piled high with whipped cream and a cherry on top without actually giving a fuck what you think.

9. They recognize that to acknowledge rape culture exists isn't to indict all men everywhere, because they're wise enough to know it's not about them personally.

10. They don't disrespect women who wear short skirts.

11. They don't blame every bad mood on your period.

12. They don't put you on a pedestal and then flip shit when you don't live up to that image because they realize you're human and not actually some precious flower.

13. They also recognize it's not actually romantic to treat you like some precious flower.

14. They don't think being liberal is synonymous with being feminist and then happily spew sexist garbage, but put their money where their mouth is. 

15. They let you watch the Real Housewives in peace. (Just kidding, no they don't).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Things I Hope My Niece Will Learn on Her Own

Several months ago, I wrote a list of the things I'd like to teach my niece, but I think it's fair to say that sometimes the lessons that stick with you the most are the ones you learn on your own. Which is why, if she's anything like me, she'll probably learn these things eventually without the help of anyone else:

1. Brussels sprouts are amazing. I'm just going to start on this because they are. You'll grow up being told they're horrible and it's all a lie.

2. Never say never. That's not a Justin Bieber reference. It's you learning that the universe has a funny way of making people eat their own words when they claim they'd never do something. You'd never throw back enough vodka shots to make out with your bestie's gross friend? YOU AND ME BOTH SISTER.

3. A long-bob really is the perfect haircut for most situations.

4. UV Vodka sucks.

5. Those classic books you're forced to read in high school don't actually suck. It really is just you being an asshole teenager.

6. "Friends" who never actually make an effort to inquire about your life aren't actually friends and it's okay if you don't invite every single person you've ever met to your wedding.

7. Shock Top's Raspberry Wheat beer is the perfect end-of-day beer and--score--you can buy it in a grocery store.

8. You don't need to find yourself in high school. People will act like you do. It's not true.

9. High-waisted skirts just look good.

10. Nobody will ever like listening to what you dreamed about last night in any situation.

11. Amy Poehler is everything. (I know this is all about what you'll learn on your own, but if she's not still relevant when you're a young woman, I'll dust off the Parks and Recs DVDs that I'll buy for this very purpose just to show you.)

12. Passionate opinions can breed dismissive assholes who'd rather tell you to not take things so seriously than to actually critically think about something.

13. It is never okay to litter.

14. Some people are just losers. I'm not talking about people who like "nerdy" interests. I'm talking about my college friend's boyfriend who decided one night to throw large rocks at cars parked in the lot at their apartment complex.

15. Angled bangs really are something you have to do in your 20s. We'll get it.

16. Romance isn't dysfunction and toxic relationships. It's mutual respect and the knowledge that you're actually a priority to another person.

17. People who say they don't like "drama," really, really, really like the sound of their own voice.

18. Curry is a necessary weekly meal.

19. Nail art is never worth the time it takes.

20. Your worth is not in what other people think of you.

But you know, it's okay if you don't come around to all of these points. I'll still be your aunt.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday's Forgettable Five

I realized today that a lot of my sentences start with, "You know what's annoying..." And the "you know" has this horrifyingly shrill cadence that could burst your eardrums if you're too close.

I'm that person, apparently.

Thanks, Ramona.
Which is why I guess it's appropriate that I'm going to do a "forgettable five" instead of a "favorite five" this Friday.

Better to stay true to myself, right?

1. Clinique's CC Cream

Okay, so this was my bad for buying a product with the words, "moisture surge" on it. My face does not need a moisture surge and if it did, it'd get plenty from the five pounds of moisturizer I put onto it every morning. But thanks anyway, Clinique. Who wouldn't want a product that makes their face look super oily while not covering shit?

2. Urban Decay 24/7 under-eye concealer

A super greasy under-eye concealer? What could possibly go wrong? I might also be bitter about the fact that you have to buy a special pencil sharpener just to use the thing. 

3. Tarte's Skintuitive Lip Crayon

I actually love lip balms that react to the body's pH levels. I just wish the shade my own pH levels made was something other than "go fuck yourself."

4. Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara

I'm pretty sure that every single thing in the history of anything that's claimed to be better than sex is a big, fat, obnoxious lie. But you know what's definitely not better than sex? A shitty mascara that flakes onto my under-eye bags that already look like shit anyway.

 5. The Beauty Blender


C'mon, ya'll. A sponge is a sponge is a sponge. Or maybe it isn't. I don't know--I've never actually used the damn thing. But one thing I do know is that I don't need to be guilted into buying a $20 sponge by beauty bloggers who got the sponge for free. 

Bonus favorite:

Because I like ending on a positive note.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's talk about our weird quirks

And by "weird," I mean not all that weird really when you consider the disgusting things some people are into, but.. uh... something about individuality and loving yourself for who you are... and all that.

1. Let's get the weirdest out of the way: I still watch cracking videos like it's my job. JUDGE ME. Or just watch this.

2. I always have my cell phone by me. Always. It's training from working as a reporter. Which means I know the second you text me or call me or contact me in some other stupid way. But I don't want to be that creep who responds within seconds so I purposely hold off for a few minutes. It takes a lot of caring to look like you don't care.

3. Using my hands while singing might be one of my favorite things on earth. And "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is still the quintessential song for this. (I was about to use the word penultimate until I determined I actually have no idea what that word means)

4. I spend way too much money on foundation that makes my skin look greasy as shit. Congratulations, Katie, you're an asshole.

5. I keep dreaming of having hair that's long enough to pull over my shoulder in a fishtail braid. It's one of my top life goals. Yet in the five years I've decided this is what my life has been leading up to, I still haven't managed to accomplish it.

6. There are just some celebrities I really root for despite having no particular reason why... like Chris Pratt. I just want him to do well. You know?

7. I'm listening to One Direction's "Story of My Life" right now and wishing I could sing just so I could belt it out. I barely knew who One Direction was before this song.

8. One of my pet causes is the disparity between male and female nudity in movies and cable TV shows. If it were up to me, a 1:1 ratio would be strictly enforced--that is, for every naked female, there would have to be a naked male. It's the principle of the matter.

9. I refuse to eat papaya. That shit belongs in my cleanser, not in my salad.

10. When I was a child, I honest-to-god thought some men didn't have nipples. This was based on a real-life actor dressed as Aladdin who was wearing a costume that didn't feature nipples.

11. I'm really, really into smorgasbords and I wish more restaurants served dishes like the Triple Dipper.

12. I couldn't drink champagne for years because my sister once dared me to drink an entire bottle by myself for a free KFC meal. Of course I got my free fried chicken and biscuit with butter substitute.

13. I legitimately like Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind" song. You would too if it wasn't Paris Hilton.

If you show me real love baby, I'll show you mine.

14. I want to be rich just so I can have enough money to pay someone to laser off all of my body hair.

15. I'm a really big snob when it comes to asserting how much I hate snobs. I guess you can't win at everything.

Monday, April 14, 2014

How to fake style

I originally wrote this post for Thoroughly Modern, but I'm re-printing it here today because that seems like a Monday type-thing to do.

I feel like this should go without saying, but this advice is obviously for people who don't own this:

Cher, you lucky bitch. (via)
It's cool. I don't have it either.

So here's how normal people can fake style:

1. Button your shirt to the neck. It's the lazy-man's way to look like you like cool music and enjoy conversations about modern art.

2. Wear high-waisted anything. Actively not caring what high-waisted jeans do to your ass just makes it cooler.

3. Always carry your purse in the crook of your arm and not somewhere pedestrian like your shoulder.

4. Wear Ray-Bans. I'm too cheap so I wear the Target version, but one day I'd like to be hella cool like Rihanna. What's my name, bitch?

I'm aware this photo is lacking Rihanna. (via)
5. Dress like a child. Infantalizing yourself never goes out of style.

Bonus tip: (this one is from Kate) Wear bracelets up to your elbow so your arm jangles every time you move like a cat that has to wear a bell around its neck so birds hear it coming (i.e. my cat).

I do all of these things on the regular and it works out pretty well for me-- except, of course, for the occasional bouts of soul-crushing self-awareness when I realize I am nothing without fashion bloggers. But then the moment passes, and I go back to stacking my bracelets.
So, what's your favorite way to fake style? 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to succeed at apartment hunting*

*according to HGTV.

Not to brag or anything, but I watch a lot of House Hunters. It's a stop-talking-to-me-nothing-coming-out-of-your-mouth-is-worth-anything-because-House-Hunters-is-on kind of devotion.

So when my boyfriend and I started looking for apartments, obviously I had a lot of background knowledge and knew what I was looking for based on years of grooming from the best show to come out of HGTV (sorry, Property Brothers).

So I've condensed my knowledge into what I'll call "The Style Dunce's Official Guide to Apartment Hunting: From an Expert on House Hunters Who Remembers when Suzanne Whang Was Still Hosting."

My failproof checklist:

___ If you're part of a straight couple, make sure you let the realtor know that your boyfriend is all about sticking to the budget while you're all about aesthetics. Giving your realtor relatable gender cues to work off of will make it easier for everyone.

___ Ask about stainless steel appliances and granite counter-tops as quickly as possible so you don't have to waste your time if the apartment hasn't entered the modern age yet.

___ Multiply how many people will be living in the apartment by three to determine how many bedrooms you'll need. If you have to ask what the extra space is for (entertaining, duh), you can't afford it.

___ Force your realtor to fake laugh at least once as you comment on how the walk-in closet might just be big enough for your girlfriend's shoe collection. (Get it? Because girls hate shoes so we have really small collections which would never actually fill a large closet. Like, that's the joke right?)

___ Assert a really stupid preference that 90 percent of people think is stupid but that you insist must or must not be present in your apartment. (i.e. "natural wood floors? BARF!" or "I'm disappointed this place doesn't have lime green tile. I'm really not sure about it now.")

___ If you're not sure about the size of something, lean toward thinking it's too small.

___ Don't look past superficial things like wallpaper or paint because it really doesn't matter if your realtor hates you.

___ Faint at the sight of popcorn ceilings. 

___ And above all: always, always pick the newest construction. It's okay to say you like "character" just to look good. Nobody really wants that musty shit.

Basically, my fail-proof list saved my boyfriend and me a lot of time and we ended up going with the first apartment we viewed.

It has laminate counters, black appliances and only one bedroom. So basically everything I mentioned.

Here's the only picture I have of it:

It's our new couch. I made my boyfriend take a picture of it and text it to me after the delivery guys came.

I'd take more pictures of the place but then it'd be like the horrible reveal at the end of every House Hunters when you see how shittily everyone's decorated their new place.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

It's Britney, bitch.


God, that would have been so much cooler if my name actually was Britney. Oh well.

Point is, I'm doing this thing again. And if you hadn't noticed this place has gotten a bit of a facelift.

Raise the glass of champagne I assume you're already holding to Amber at And Yes to Joy, who was lovely enough to try her hand at a fresh design. It's been great working with you, Amber, so props, lady!

So how long has it been? Five months? Well, I'm glad to be back and I hope this won't be like that Adele song where I have to beg you to remember me again. Because I totally will.

I definitely maybe used the excuse of my new job and moving into a new place to be a lazy sack of shit (in so many words), but I hope ya'll have been enjoying 2014.

Here's how I've spent the last four months:

1) Boxed wine.

2) Pretending I'm a Pinterest goddess with my new apartment. I'm not. Shut up, it's fine, I don't care.

3) Netflix. Oh hey House of Cards and no cable.

4) Listening to my upstairs neighbor have sex. Get it, girl, but maybe stop shouting "oh yeah" over and over at the top of your lungs. (Welcome to apartment life!)

5) Watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Thanks for disproving all those annoying people who make the "every show needs a straight man" argument every time Anne gets a mention from Park and Rec. 

6) Spending way too much at Target because Anthropologie is all I want but it's too expensive.

7) Buying every lip crayon Revlon makes but wearing them maybe 1 percent of the time.

8) Getting over you know-whose death on Walking Dead. I'm still not over it. Leave me alone.

9) Eating yogurt. Who knew it was so good?

10) Living with a guy for the first time. More on this later. Maybe.

But for now, I'm just going to repeat numbers 1 and 4.