Do you ever have one of those weeks or months where things, no matter what you do, just won’t slow down? You finally get all your shit done at work and instead of being rewarded with a breather or a moment to look at kittens on the internet your boss hands you another “projected” 66 hr week. We like to call them repeat weeks, because as soon as Friday rolls around and you think you’ve tied up all the loose ends, Monday is back and it feels like you really made no headway. We are in the middle of a repeat week. And to prove just how crazy it is, we decided to show you our desks. Which kind of feels like showing you our underwear drawer – don’t ask why, it just does okay?
How’s your week shaping up?
I’m back with another theme I found on my Pinterest page. That’s right, I am still convinced that I am in fact not just wasting my time on this addicting social media platform. This time, I am focusing on a warm winter theme. Is this an oxymoron you ask? Perhaps, but as per usual I can’t make up my mind. So without further adieu, my most recent internet obsessions and, below, an explanation that makes no sense.
I’m not much of a nature girl, but I’ve been really appreciating these natural tones lately. There is something about the carmel brown, blues, and soft greens that has really been calling to me. Looking at these images is making me want to redecorate my room (if you knew me this would make you laugh – mainly because I have yet to finish my current room makeover). Maybe this will be my room theme the next time I move? Though I will probably have changed my mind by then…
For as long as we can remember we’ve had each other’s backs. From pre-school to college and all the crazy life events that have occurred in between, we’ve been there for each other one way or another. And the Wednesday before last, we decided to take this beautiful supportive thing we’ve got going one step further: we became work-out buddies. Here’s why this is such a big deal:
First off, we couldn’t be less athletic human beings if we tried. Sure, we’ve taken our fair share of dance classes, pilates, yoga, spinning, etc. But, even whilst enrolled in these activities in college, we never felt strong. And if we did, the feeling wore off quickly, in part because we couldn’t establish a workout habit/addiction/routine outside of class. Are you someone who runs recreationally every day? We hate you.
You see, we’re the ladies who can sit on the couch and watch back-to-back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress for three hours without feeling sick to our stomachs. In fact, after a quick check-in to see how we’re doing, we’ll happily agree to keep on going. If pinning and TV watching were Olympic sports, we’d bring the US so much glory.
Still, even folks like us need some exercise every once in awhile, and we decided that the brief stroll to and from the car was not going to cut it. So, last Wednesday, we rolled in to the Berkeley gym for our first work-out buddy date of the new year. We were there for a yoga class, but because we arrived early we thought we’d mosey around the incredibly tiny 24 Hour Fitness joint before getting our stretch on. When we say that this gym is tiny, we mean it. It’s very very small. In fact, we thought it was just the one room when we first arrived, but soon realized that there is a small basement area for weight training. After standing at the top of the stairs, looking out at all the men lifting, we thought maybe we’d try out some weights ourselves. Bring some estrogen into the room, ya know?
Within the first five seconds of lifting the 15 pound weight over my head, I knew something had gone horribly wrong. A spasm shivered across my shoulders and I spent the next few minutes up against the mirror, kneading my neck with my fists as I watched Kelly and all the other men lift like pros. For the record, Kelly is more athletic than me, Kylin. And sometimes it shows.
After Kelly finished with her little routine, and I had thoroughly messaged my aching muscles, we ventured back upstairs for our Yoga class.
You know you’re out of shape when a simple Vinyasa routine leaves you winded. Half-way through the class we took a quick break to fill the meter on the car and as we limped the short distance to the lot, we could feel our muscles shaking uncontrollably. These spasms continued throughout the rest of the class, leading to a lot of muffled giggling and dramatic pointing. We are, no doubt, the most annoying folks in the class.
I’d like to say that in the last week and a half we’ve grown stronger, our muscles more toned, our spasms less frequent. But I can’t, because as of this posting we have yet to return to the gym. Don’t read too far into this though, as it means nothing. There were forces at work beyond our control!
Tonight, we will begin again our journey into better health, no doubt establishing a wonderful routine that lasts us many years. We’ll let you know if it sticks.
I don’t know if you guys know this about me yet, but I’m pretty cynical. I’ll give you a moment to process that mind-blowing information….good? Okay. So, when I came across this article titled, “25 Ways to Communicate Respect,” my immediate thought was “barf.” But I’m very aware of my cynicism, and so I thought, “you know what, Elly? Let’s take a moment for self-growth” and I took a gander. And you know what? I learned a few really valuable things. For example, I learned that a successful marriage is all about me doing stuff for my husband and NOT the other way around: shooting star, the more you know…
The article is about how you, as a wife, can be an efficient and effective maid communicate respect to your husband. I learned some really interesting things about being a good wife, which this blog implies should be my life goal. But rather than make you read it for yourself, I thought I’d just simplify the list for you here.
This is just my interpretation of the list. It could be different than yours.
Keep your PMS in check. No one likes a cranky-pants and your monthly bleeding issue isn’t an excuse.
Your husband is now your owner. Don’t bother him with your silly opinions. Just do as he commands.
Make sure you let your husband know that literally nothing is more important than listening to him blabber on about the latest hockey game. NOTHING.
Please exhibit socially acceptable behavior despite your inherit idiocy.
Rather than respectfully bring up things you think (nasty habit!) could be improved, ignore them at all costs. There is no need or room for improvement. Ignore the bad things and focus on the good. Growth only leads to divorce, which means your life is a complete failure.
Tell God the things you hate about your husband; He’ll fix it for you. Don’t burden your husband with your thoughts.
Anything negative you bring up about your husband should be considered “nagging.” Please see “Emphasize His Good Points.”
Your husband did you a huge favor by marrying you and fulfilling the only goal you should ever have in life; be grateful and show some fucking respect.
Your husband should never be aware that you are anything but happy; keep those pesky womanly feelings to yourself. His life is hard enough without having to look at your ugly frowning face; “a smile makes any woman more beautiful.”
Regardless of what you’re doing, you should NEVER turn down his penis. You should ALWAYS be willing to enthusiastically sex him.
You should stop watching or thinking about any other man that might be considered at all superior to your husband in any way. This will only lead to him feeling hurt and probably cheating on you with any number of the women at whom he’s allowed to look.
His success is hinged on your willingness to kiss him goodbye. You are failing as a wife if you don’t make it a priority to kiss him before every parting.
Disregard the needs/wants/likes of all others and solely cook (part of your wifely duties) for him and him alone.
You should have an uncomfortable and unnatural attachment to your husband. Make sure to keep your knitting and other “handwork” in a travel case that you can easily move to be nearer to him.
You might think (again with that nasty habit!) that this would be the same as “Emphasize His Good Points” and/or “Don’t Nag,” but you’re just a silly and very stupid woman and it is completely different. If you can’t change something yourself (this should not involve telling your husband or involving him in any way), it should be ignored and never mentioned.
This has two parts. First, be sure you act like a functioning member of society and don’t interrupt a million times. Second, nothing your husband says is incorrect, so accept his words as pure truth.
No one likes an uggo. Dress to impress and be sure you’re ready to sex at a moment’s notice.
It’s your job as a woman to do all of the housework; your husband is busy making the moneyz and can’t be bothered to pick up his own shit.
Don’t want nice things because your husband can only make so much money.
This goes hand in hand with “Resist the Urge to Correct.” His words are correct and you should do your best to follow them to the T.
Don’t just tell him he’s wonderful; actually think it too (this kind is acceptable). Be sure he can see it in your eyes.
You should never voice any negative thoughts to anyone about your husband; only sing his praises. You need to make others see why he married your otherwise worthless ass in the first place.
Be sure to forgive him for the things that you haven’t mentioned bother you, and therefore, the things that he continues to do. In turn, he’ll forgive you for being a stupid sex-hole maid woman.
He shouldn’t ever have to take the high road or admit his wrong-doings. Be the first to say, “I’m sorry” regardless of whether or not you’re right.
A successful household is one in which the wife knows her place and lets her husband lead and make all decisions. Your silly thoughts on the matter are just confusing your Neanderthal husband from making the right choice.
I thought all of this was great advice. I’m going to go practice for marriage by sitting too close to my boyfriend and staring at him until he can see admiration in my eyes. Have a good weekend!
On my one day off from my shit work schedule, I got drunk and wanted to make cookies.
In this world of damn good mass-produced cookies and packaged dough, of shortened attention spans, of the widespread and insane desire to be slim, and, just, shit, what a pain-in-the-ass baking is sometimes…you pretty much are only going to try some new baking recipe if you’ve got a good sturdy buzz on. At some point in the baking process, I started writing things down because recipes are usually written for sober people and, in this case, the alcohol added some stuff.
Fuck it, let’s make cookies.
Step 1: Find a recipe that you can make from things you know you have in your kitchen. Plenty of cheese-eaters get a bit of alcohol in their blood and start getting all wacky in the kitchen without knowing dick about what is theirs. They’re always missing the vanilla extract. Or the yeast. Or the baking powder. FOOLS. These “Russian Tea Cakes” are going to be perfect ‘cuz you have your shit together.
Look at that pro set up. I included the ingredients for the White Russians. Oh fuck you forgot the flour in the picture.
There we go.
You also have by accident acquired all the necessary ingredients for a “White Russian” – in fact, you just polished one off and are now staring down at the cloudy residue that is the only remaining evidence of the worst fucking mixed drink you have ever had in your life.
Just…first off, here’s the recipe (roughly) for a “White Russian” from the side of that coffee liqueur bottle:
Fuck, we’re still in “step 1”? Mix that shit, put it on ice, and sip it in a bathrobe, Lebowski-style.
Step 2: Prep the ingredients for your Russian tea cakes:
That’s supposed to make, like, shit tons of cookies.
Oh God, this drink is terrible. It’s like sucking on a saggy, diabetic, alcoholic woman’s breast.
Step 3: Oh, man, you go and put on your Russian fur hat (sober edit: the hat is called an ushanka) because it’s all too perfect. You play “Rasputin” by Boney M because that’s the only Russian-y song you can remember right now. You are probably drunk enough so you put down the alcoholic, sugary breast milk.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You remember that the Tetris theme song is Russian too.
Step 5: In a large bowl (it says medium but your coordination is not what it was before the Nikoli), “cream” the butter and vanilla together. Shove it, fancy recipe writer. It’s “mix” – you’re either pretentious or trying to make it sound sexy. You look at yourself in that fur hat and decide this Russian stuff is pretty sexy. Recipe writer = forgiven.
The Tetris song is not very sexy so you switch it back to Boney.
Oh it smells amazing. Like french vanilla cream, like the base note of a stripper perfume.
Step 6: Combine confectioner’s sugar and flour until nice and blended. You’re so happy you chose the larger bowl cuz –AHWHATTHE –
All the more reason for the big bowl when your roomie’s fat cat latches on to you and darts around your legs.
You give it some attention because this cat is aggressively seeking your love and it’s scary.
Step 7: “Roll the dough into 1 inch balls” – the 1 inch measurement is the diameter right? Whatever. You do it and you have way fewer cookies than you thought you were going to make/what the recipe online says.
What is that? Like 12 cookies? That’s…a lot of butter for so few cookies. The amount of butter in each is just…bewildering.
Step 8: Roll cookies in confectioner’s sugar. You lay out a layer of that sweet stuff and roll those butterballs up.
You get about halfway through and you realize that you fucked up. You’re supposed to roll them in the sugar AFTER they’ve baked and cooled a bit. That’s stupid because eating cookies when warm is the whole reason you make homemade cookies. Maybe the sugar will caramelize on the outside and be amazing. You finish the rest.
You also finish the white russian which is now room temp because it was too close to the oven when you were making the cookies. This does not do the drink any favors.
Step 8: The butter level is gross so you’re happy that you put the rolled cookies on an ungreased cookies sheet. Pop those things in the oven.
Step 9: Bake for 12 minutes or until before they burn. They say that an experienced baker can smell when their goods are ready to be taken out. No timer necessary. You are not stupid enough to try that. At about 10 min, you crack the oven open and get a face full of heat. The cookies look like little tan baby heads.
Step 10: SHOULD HAVE GREASED THE PAN. Stupid recipe. Look at this; the cookies are too dry/crumbly and, like, dome-y to get them off the pan without them breaking up. Follow instructions and look what it does for you. NOTHIN.
Step 11: Cookies are yummy. Eat many. Get nauseous. Vow to never make white russians again.
(Cat edit: Step 12: Pet cat. Don’t stop. Pet thru my love-bites. My purring is communicating how much I enjoy your acquiescence to all my wants and my total dominance. I AM CAT, MASTER OF ALL I SEE.)
Top image via Fan Pop
I recently wrote about my great grandmother’s recipe box and the plethora of new ideas hidden inside. As I searched through them, attempting to find the perfect recipe to try first, I came across a recipe for Soft Molasses Cookies cut from a 1950′s magazine. A short blurb at the top of the recipe informed me that a letter from a man in Ohio claimed that these cookies “were left all winter in a summer camp and when found this spring were ‘amazingly’ fresh and sweet.” Stuck in a box for an entire season and still delicious? Sign me up! Also, that must mean that someone had the balls to try a three month old cookie. Kudos.
Full disclosure: this recipe wasn’t exactly what I pictured. “Soft” actually means more “spongy” or “cakey,” which is certainly not a bad thing, just different than what I had envisioned. I actually ended up making a second batch of molasses cookies, using not my great grandmother’s recipe, but my grandmother’s instead. Let the people decide which is better, I say! A battle of the generations, played out right in my kitchen.
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup hot coffee
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. baking power
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Start by creaming the sugar and the butter until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the baking soda with the coffee. Add this mixture to the sugar and butter, along with the beaten egg, molasses, and spices. Mix well. Molasses can be tricky to get from the jar to the bowl because it’s so thick. (Tip: If your recipe calls for oil (this one does not) then you can actually mix the oil and molasses in the same measuring cup – they will separate so you can measure them accurately, and the oil makes it easy for the molasses to slide right into the bowl. Next add the vinegar.
In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients – flour, salt, and baking powder – and then add slowly to the wet ingredients. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. I always like to use parchment paper rather than cooking spray because I find it is easier to remove the cookies, and it makes for a quick clean up.
Because this recipe calls for a whole half a cup of coffee, the dough is particularly wet. Use two spoons to scoop small amounts of dough (about 1 Tbls.) onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving plenty of room in between because the coffee also makes them spread out. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sugar, because why not!
Bake for 10 minutes. Unless you have a massive oven that can fit three full cookie sheets (if you do, call me, let’s be friends), you’ll be doing a bit of rotating. Once you’ve loaded up the first cookie sheet with dough, place it on the bottom rack, and begin loading up the second. When the second is ready, it’s time to rotate – move the first sheet to the top rack and put the second sheet on the bottom rack. That way, if your oven has a hot corner or anything like that the cookies will be spared from uneven baking.
The result: a batch of moist, cakey, and very molasses-y cookies, darker in color than perhaps expected, but yummy nonetheless.
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil (trust me…)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. orange zest
White sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Measure the oils and the molasses together in the same measuring cup (you can do the oil & molasses trick!) so you don’t waste any molasses. Olive oil might seem like a strange thing to add to cookies, but I once had to substitute a little olive oil when I ran out of canola, and found that it gave the cookies a lovely little crunch on the outside and made them extra chewy on the inside. Mix well with the brown sugar and the egg.
In a separate bowl, mix together the baking soda, flour, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and blend. Add orange zest. This dough is a lot thicker than GG’s recipe, which can make it easier to work with.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. This next part is the most fun because you get to cover your hands in cookie dough! Pour some white sugar into a small shallow bowl. Scoop dough and roll into 1″ balls – you can roll them with your hands. Roll in the sugar until they are completely covered and place on cookie sheet, 12 cookies per sheet. It’s helpful if one person scoops and a second person rolls.
Bake for 8-10 min. The key to these cookies is not to cook them for too long. Take them out while they are still soft and the bottoms of the cookies are not too brown, that way they will still be chewy when they cool.
The result: a batch of chewy, sugary and delicious cookies. The sugar on the outside makes a beautiful crackled pattern and their color is much lighter than GG’s cookies.
Which recipe is the winner? You decide. (But for the record I like Grandma’s better.)
Let’s face it: sometimes, you just don’t have time to shower. Or you don’t want to. Or that hostel/dorm/shared apartment bathroom looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in awhile and you’re not going to be the one to do it. Believe me, I know that feeling well and as such I consider myself somewhat of an expert at fooling people into thinking I’ve showered much more recently than I actually have…
So while in an ideal world maybe we’d shower daily, there are times when that’s just not possible, and so here are some tips and tricks to help you look like you’ve really showered when, Lord knows, you really haven’t…
Wet Wipes: OMG – life savers, and I do not use the term OMG lightly (or ever…actually…I’m not sure I like it and it’s probably not going to happen again). But facial wipes, body wipes, even baby wipes if you’re in a pinch, are perfect for wiping away that dirt and grime when you don’t have time for a full shower. I like the Burt’s Bees ones for their fresh scent, but those little travel packs they sell in the dollar section at Target? Those are great too…
Lotion: Never underestimate the power of good hydration. I like face lotion with a little citrus or ginger infusion for a quick, brightening pick-me-up: follow up with a little powder and shimmer and you’re feeling fresh faced and ready to go!
Deodorant: Me trying to find the right deodorant is like any other girl trying to find “Mr. Right.” So maybe it is an urban legend, but I’m still not completely comfortable putting all sorts of chemicals, aluminum, or anything normal people can’t pronounce (I’m looking at you cyclopentasiloxane) right up near my lymph nodes. However, some “natural” deodorants make me feel like I need to reapply every hour and I don’t always feel like smelling like a man (sometimes you can find aluminum-free on their side of the aisle). A friend recently introduced me to Lavanila – a healthy deodorant free of most chemicals that just so happens to smell like a cloud of heaven…so I might just have to give it a shot!
Dry Shampoo: Okay, so I’ve never actually used dry shampoo, I’m lucky enough that my hair can go for days without washing and not get greasy (I know, I’ve tried…), but I hear it’s a godsend. It tackles greasiness, makes your hair feel soft, and even adds a “just-washed” scent! It does not, however, replace regular shampoo – it just holds you over until you and your Herbal Essences bottle can be reunited in the shower.
Headbands: Sometimes, a good headband can get you through anything. Try a big wide turban-style one to cover up greasy hair, or a delicate beaded one to make that messy knot bun you’re using to bundle up your oily locks look oh-so-chic.
Body Spray: And if all else fails, tie your hair up in a top knot, put on some clean clothes, and spray that body spray like it’s your last shot. And then, get yourself to a shower. There’s only so many times you can tell yourself “but I’m conserving water!” before it’s time to get yourself clean!
The presidential inauguration is a big deal. It marks an unbroken line of the peaceful transfer of power from one leader to the next, from Washington to Obama. It is an august affair, full of pomp and circumstance and processionals, laden with significance and gravity (and also maybe Kelly Clarkson singing).
It is only natural to want to be there in person, to experience this political pageant in the flesh. However, unless you are one of the few people who gets seats, what you really mostly experience is cold, boredom, and exhaustion.
This year I made my first successful attempt to attend a presidential inauguration. Four years ago, during a much colder winter, my cousin and I stood in a mile-long line for Obama’s first inauguration, only to be told at the security gates that the tickets were oversold and we had to go home. We spent the remainder of the morning passed out in front of the telecast of Obama’s speech, utterly drained from standing in single-digit weather for hours.
This time, the crowds were smaller (a mere 800,000 assembled for the festivities). We trekked to the capitol from a friend’s apartment and were through security and ready to go by 7:45. The actual ceremony didn’t commence until 11:30. While the weather was much warmer than 4 years ago, it was cloudy, and we were still shivering. Passing 4 hours with a handful of friends with jammed cell phone signals in the cold wasn’t so bad–we played car trip games, listened to patriotic music on our iPhones (John Phillips Sousa and Jay-Z), and discussed presidential trivia.
Around hour 2, my energy started to flag as I went from excited to impatient to slap-happy. At one point, my friend Sarah and I were nearly weeping in laughter over the idea that anyone would try to assassinate Gerald Ford, our commander-in-chief of only two and a half years. I leaned into her whispering, “Can you imagine wanting to kill Gerald Ford? Gerald. Ford.”
To our right, someone passed out. My neighbor said to no one in particular, “Take this as an opportunity to unlock your knees.”
Finally, at 11:30, the ceremony commenced. Even though we had tickets, we could hardly see the stage. I could see a presidential seal, and I could tell there were people around it, but that was about it. We got to watch the procession, and we cheered for Biden when the cameras showed him, and booed Paul Ryan. Once the ceremony started, the camera feed focused in on the various speakers, interspersed with shots of the crowd or the flapping American flag above the capitol. After a while, it started feeling like we weren’t watching the inauguration, but instead like we were standing before the world’s worst drive-in movie ever. The things happening on the screen didn’t seem to have much relation to the things going on around me. To make matters worse, I discovered that as soon as the ceremony began, people started standing a lot straighter. Suddenly, I could only see the presidential seal beneath the podium when a guy wearing a corduroy hoodie would kind of shift to the left for a bit.
Finally, Obama was sworn in. Despite the cold, despite the distance, I felt a warmth flow through me. This is it. This is what we came to see. I could even kind-of sort-of see Obama. Well, my eyes could pick out some vague fluttering way up on the podium. From the video feed, I could deduce that the fluttering was Obama’s gesticulation.
I nodded off during the poem and got a final jolt of energy from Beyonce (remember, this was a simpler time, before the lip-synching scandal), and then it was over. Now it was a scramble to get out, or as much of a scramble as we could muster at that point. Our legs were stiff, and we found it hard to get moving again. “I can’t pick up my legs very high,” complained Sarah, while I observed that my toes couldn’t quite bend anymore.
Finally, after a few dead-ends into fences, we made it out of the secure area around the capitol and onto the roads of DC. With all the official events going on that day, there were tons of road closings, humvees, and military personnel. It felt like the cleanest, nicest city under siege ever.
Back at the apartment, we stretched out into beams of sunlight to warm back up. Just before passing out like a cat curled up on the floor, I reminded myself I would need to re-watch the inauguration later, to see if it would feel more real on TV.
1. Via Atlantic-Pacific
2. Via Grape Fizz Nails
3. Via Burberry
4. Via Camille Styles
5. Via peace love shea
6. Via Atlantic-Pacific
7. Via Pinterest
A few black and gold items to add to your life:
2. Sequin Clutch from Gap
3. Women’s Mossimo Osanna Flat in Gold from Target
4. Metallic Metal Keeper Super Skinny Belt from ASOS
5. Leather Belt from J.Crew
6. Chrome Slider Case from incase
7. Caress Heel in Gold Glitter from Nine West
8. Giant Gold Sparkler Star Bobbi Pin from catbird
Featured image via Zsa Zsa Bellagio
So I had a minor accident the other day (fell off a ladder) and as I was rummaging through my medicine cabinet for arnica and Advil (I’m an equal-opportunitist) I realized that a substantial percentage of my medical supplies are from other countries. When people talk about traveling, they talk about all the romantic things: the adventures, the sights, the people they meet…and they leave out all the times they got sick, the scrapes and the bruises, and the trips to the pharmacy. I, however, not only talk about these experiences, but have a whole cabinet full of mementos. As I was going through these packages, tubes, and spray bottles, I was handling them lovingly, as if they were reminders of “the good times.” Each one held a memory and a story, some of which I’m going to share with you here!
Q-Tips (Italy): I got my nose pierced in Italy with three girls I had met and gone on adventures with in Venice. It was awesome, it was unplanned and yes, it hurt like hell. Afterwards, the people at the parlor were trying to explain to us how to care for our new piercings, which was difficult, because none of us spoke the same language, but after acting out various techniques and supplies we were finally able to understand (“ohhh….Q-Tips!!”) and we dutifully trotted off to the pharmacy to stock up.
Antibacterial Creme (France): I must not have completely understood the directions, because three countries and two weeks later, my piercing became infected. I speak not a word of French, but it was pretty easy to walk into a pharmacy, point at my gross red nose, mime the look of pain, and be handed in return a tube of antibacterial creme. Life savers, those French pharmacists…
Tums (Mexico): My second day in Mexico, I got sick (surprise, surprise). However, I was not yet comfortable in my new home with 16 roomies to stay in bed in my shared room, periodically vomiting into a bucket. So instead, I got myself out of bed, bought some Tums, took the bus to the town center, proudly walked into the fanciest hotel around (and the only one with air conditioning), and plopped myself down in the back lobby. For the next six hours I periodically slept, puked in the public bathroom, and read my book on their courtesy couch overlooking the town square. It’s amazing what you can get away with when you pretend you know exactly what you are doing and are where you’re supposed to be.
Sunscreen (Spain): Two weeks before I returned home from Spain, I ran out of sunscreen. Now, sunscreen is surprisingly expensive in Spain and I was getting down to my last euros. But then, joy of joys, while in the discount grocery store, I found a bottle of sunscreen. Before hitting the beach the next day I smeared that baby all over my body…only to end up fried like a lobster. Discount grocery stores are NOT the place to buy beauty products. (This bottle I tossed in the trash.)
Various “Salon Services”: When you spend a lot of time abroad, basic beauty services become necessary (or at least recommended). In Prague, I got my hair cut, and ended up with some weird bangs and a “chic” asymmetrical style. In Mexico, Rose and I decided to wax our eyebrows and get a pedicure before our return to the States. We promised each other not to look too closely at the wax and allowed the woman to put fake nails on our TOES.
…oh, the good times. But seriously, as much as I have enjoyed tours of foreign pharmacies, I don’t necessarily recommend them. It’s a good idea to have at least some medical necessities on hand when you travel, so you’re prepared in case something happens. And if something does happen, and you need to go to the pharmacy, buy something with a pretty label. Because if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up treasuring those funky little tubes and bottles from adventures abroad…
40 years ago today, ladies, our vaginas were granted the right to choose. No matter which side you fall on the abortion party line, that’s what this decision really signifies. We, as women, are allowed to choose the best route we see for ourselves whether that be early termination or carrying to term; we are in charge of our own bodies.
A Brief Overview
Roe v. Wade overturned the illegality of abortion across the United States, using the Fourteenth Amendment as its reasoning. In doing so, a woman, aided by her physician, could choose the best route available for her specific circumstance, taking into account her health over that of her fetus. Basically, this meant that a doctor could make a decision based on the likelihood of the fetus surviving outside the womb. Meaning, as the likelihood of survival outside the womb increase, the more the fetus’ health was taken into consideration over the woman’s.
In the first trimester, abortion could be treated as a standard medical procedure (today, this stage is typically a prescribed pill). In the second trimester, the state would uphold a physician’s decision to perform an abortion provided it was done so to protect the woman’s health. After viability of fetus (meaning, it’s now likely that the fetus will survive outside the womb), the state could now consider the fetus as a potential for human life – and make decisions based on that potential so long as, again, the decision was made with the woman’s health and life as its main interest.
The CDC recently released its findings on abortion rates for 2009. You can read about it here. The CDC found that abortion rates lowered more than any one-year increment in over a decade, decreasing by 5%. Over 90% of the performed abortions took place within the first trimester. And about 70% of those were performed before 8 weeks. And we all fall right into that majority age-group; we are the most likely of all to get an abortion.
Interestingly, just two years prior, the FDA approved Plan B as an over-the-counter contraceptive. And in 2009, it became a single pill rather than the original two.
If anything, these statistics should tell us that greater availability to freedom of choice leads to better decisions.
Unfortunately, as we get deeper and deeper into the 2000′s, we’re facing more and more laws that threaten to overturn Roe v. Wade. And while, technically, the law is about abortion, at its core, it is about our right to choose and make decisions for our own bodies. And just like we wouldn’t want another person choosing our tampons (or forcibly inserting them – talking to you Arizona), we don’t really want anyone but us choosing our life-plans. Choose abortion or choose adoption or choose condoms or choose abstinence or choose the pill or choose REALLY waiting until marriage. Whatever. The point is, it’s your choice.
Hello darling Beginners on this gorgeous and momentous day! Unfortunately, because we reside on the west coast, and because we are broke, we were unable to stand out on the mall with the thousands of other freezing people (we’re looking at you, Marshall!) this morning. But we were there in spirit! What are your thoughts on the President’s address? Sure, these speeches will never satisfy everybody, but were there passages that spoke to you? Here’s one of our favorites:
“We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other–through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security–these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
Well said, sir!
No matter your thoughts on the inaugural address, if you’re of a similar political mind to the two of us, you can sit back and bask in the gloriousness that is another four years of President Obama in office (though, dear man, you better improve your responses to some things (ahem, climate change, equal pay, GUN CONTROL??) now that you don’t have to worry about reelection and (hopefully) you’ll realize that these painful stabs at bipartisanship are going nowhere fast)! Or if sitting back/basking is not really your cup of tea (ours neither…well…who are we kidding?) try getting involved in the Obamas’ latest organizing initiative!
Haven’t yet had a chance to watch this morning’s events because you’ve been building a house with Habitat for Humanity for the MLK Day of Service, or because you just woke up? Head on over to Jezebel to view some great scenes! Also, enjoy this GIF:
We’re feeling pretty teary over here. And PMS is only partly to blame. And Beyoncé…
Happy MLK Day and Happy Inauguration Day, Mr. President!
I’ve been spending an overwhelming amount of time on Pinterest lately – browsing, pinning, liking, linking, etc. My boards are swiftly filling. You know what I pin most? Wedding stuff. Food. Web Design. And what you may not realize (though, you likely do) is that the pins presented to you are based not only upon your manually chosen interests, but your recent pins. So the more wedding stuff I pin, the more appears in my feed – wonderful circle.
But the issue for me, here, is that this kind of circular pinning leads to some inaccurate assumptions in my actual life; cousins, friends, coworkers are beginning to think that I’m actually engaged. And while I thought it was funny at first, after having to tell more than a dozen people that, “no…I’m not engaged…not even close…but thanks for bringing it to my attention…” it’s now making me an anxious pinner; I’m constantly worried that pinning this wedding dress, this engagement ring, this invitation layout, etc. will entice yet another (at this point) intrusive phone call.
The point of all this yapping is that it got me thinking how interesting (and hilarious) the world would be if we were exactly what our Pinterests imply we are. We would all be wedding obsessed, exercise monkeys who survive solely on perfectly decorated cupcakes. So I thought it’d be fun to bring that world to life a little bit. To do so, I’ve stalked the shit out of our wonderful writers, found their Pinterests and judged them accordingly. Enjoy!
Elly is a web designer, who is really into dark designs. She also may or may not have an issue with coffee consumption. She never shuts up about her upcoming wedding and while you’re happy she’s happy, you wish she would just shhhhhh about it for one second; you also really want to tell her that she’s far too obsessed with fried food to be trying on wedding dresses. She only wears boots and baggy sweaters and is considering getting a tattoo of dandelion/feather/bird.
Kelly is a print designer and loves design – specifically typography and pretty much never stops talking about it. She subscribes to magazines you’ve never heard of and insists on describing their font choices in detail even though you’ve told her a million times that you couldn’t care less if you tried. Based on her wardrobe, you get the feeling she thinks she’s living in a 1940′s style magazine. And while you love that she has the world’s largest collection of everything wedding, you are beginning to get concerned with her could-soon-be-problematic obsession. That said, you’re looking forward to her likely polka dot themed nuptials.
Kylin is an interior decorator and probably thinks your house is a disaster (why are you trying so hard?), though she would never tell you; she’s nice and won’t hurt your feelings if unnecessary. She’s always wearing knitted everything and carrying a Polaroid camera (she dreams of a simpler time) in a bag you’re not cool enough to understand. She generally reminds you of an Olson twin without the eating disorder.
Stephanie fucking loves clothes and is already judging you for the garbage you call a wardrobe, though she’s too nice to actually say that to your face. She throws the best parties because their themes are based on exotic locations – desserts, drinks and decor are perfectly coordinated. You will leave with a hand-made party favor, which will remind you of your inadequacies.
Kamaria is a very mysterious person who enjoys nothing more than eating a fine dessert while watching rain fall outside her window. You are super jealous of her wardrobe, specifically her jewelery, as it looks as if she got it all from an antique shop. You love going to her beautifully decorated house, but you’re afraid to actually use any of her furniture (the oil on your fingers will undoubtedly devalue the wood), so you usually just stand to admire the rain with her.
Orlie lives for a good snack – not a meal (you’ve been politely corrected a billion times now) – a snack. She is always talking about her latest creation – these amazing little hideaways she designs and furnishes with vintage pieces. And you pretty much always feel out of the loop because she’s listening to shit you’ve not even mildly heard of.
Lidija is your model friend who you hate taking pictures with because you always look like an idiot next to her while she strikes a dramatic pose. She lives in a literal palace and drinks from china that costs more than your house; in fact most things she owns cost more than your house. You’re currently trying to secure her sun room for your wedding reception area (it has an actual waterfall in it).
Mashall loves to cook and you love to eat the food she makes; it’s always so uniquely delicious! You love her wardrobe and are over at her house so often to enjoy her food that you’ve got it memorized with the intention of exact duplication for your abode. You do find, however, that during dinner, you have to constantly defend your current location because Marshall will not shut up about how much better Philly is than wherever you happen to be at that moment in time.
Emily lives in the most impeccably decorated house you’ve ever seen – inside and out. Everything is perfect – it looks like a vintage and quirky Martha Stewart catalog in there. She dreams of traveling the world and going literally everywhere, taking as many pictures as possible to hang all over her house. While she’s away, you consider borrowing her clothes, because they’re too cute to sit in a closet.
Adrienne, Meghan, Michelle, Molly:
These lovely ladies don’t have Pinterests (or at least none that were found), so while this spares them from my brash judgement, it means they do not exist in this universe. We are all amiss.
And just for funzies, let’s pretend Beginners is a Pinterest obsessed girl too (because that’s just “pretend”).
Beginners is a pastel kind of girl. She’s into vintage fashion and general design. She reminds you of an instagram filter most of the time. She also kind of reminds you of Rachel Zoe, but, again, without the eating disorder; her house is impeccably styled (though you will forever be confused by the sequined wall) and she’s kind of got her hand in everything.
So there you have it. What you all would look like in my eyes were we to live in a world where you were what you pinned.