Style Stud: Tenaya Darlington

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 2.07.50 PMYou may know Tenaya Darlington as the brilliant author behind the book that will make you drool, DiBruno Bros. House of Cheese, or as Madame Fromage, a lady you just can’t help but want to have a dinner party with in the blogosphere.

But I know her as one of my most beloved professors in college at Saint Joseph’s University. She taught my first ever creative writing class, that I clawed my way into, and has remained a huge influence on my writing and someone I look up to.

So without futher adieu I give you the classy, eclectic, and potentially one of the biggest cheesemongers in Philly, Tenaya Darlington – my Style Stud of the week.

How did Madame Fromage come to life? And what do you think is the key to its success? 

I started blogging about cheese 8 years ago now! Hard to believe. At the time, I was new to Philadelphia and homesick for Wisconsin – so I channeled my dairy state and started eating my way through the cheeses at Di Bruno Bros. one hunk at a time. Luckily, artisan cheese in America was undergoing a renaissance – much like craft beer – and I found an interested (and hungry!) readership that has been with me ever since.

Where is your most favorite place to write and why? 

Third floor of my house, surrounded by cheese and drink books, with a sheepskin over my lap (it’s cold up there in winter).

What are 3 traits of a successful writer? 

Curiosity + Tenacity + Vocabulary.

The Earth is going to explode tomorrow, what cheese and wine pairing do you have?

Well, I’d want more than just wine! I’d fix a French 75 (gin, lemon, Champagne) and bite into a gooey French Coulommiers.

What is your favorite item in your closet right now?

A loud Italian print dress from my late Aunt Lynette’s closet in Italy.

I can only imagine your kitchen is glorious so same question … what is your most beloved item in your kitchen?

My Peg+Awl cheese board. It is made from a reclaimed school desk. It’s my Cadillac of cheese boards.

Define your style in 4 words. 

Long hair. Big earrings.

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Do you have a signature look that defines your style (ex. red nail polish, wing-tipped every liner, etc.)

I don’t feel dressed for the day unless I’m wearing big earrings, and I have a big blue ring made of jasper that I picked up at a second-hand store on Girard Ave. with my initials already engraved inside it, so I wear that pretty much every day.

Do you have a secret spot in the city to buy delectable cheeses that you can share? 

Now that Kensington Quarters carries cheese, that’s my quick relief. There’s usually a reliable stinker in the cooler, and I can grab a great cocktail for happy hour at the bar.

For a fromage neophyte, where do you start and what supplies should you have?

Start with your favorite sipper (wine, beer, spirits, tea, etc.) and ask a good cheesemonger to set you up with a pairing or two to go with it. The cheesemongers at Di Bruno Bros. and at Reading Terminal Market offer great pairing advice. Then, get a decent cheese board – wood or slate – and you’re golden. It’s nice to have a set of cheese knives, but they can come later – in a stocking, say.

Where can we find you on a Friday night?

I’m having a spontaneous dinner party (low lights, low maintenance) or I’m out for a cocktail, sometimes with my brother, André, who is my co-author on the next two books.

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Your cocktail of choice right now is … 

An Aviation – inspired by Amelia Earhart. It’s pale purple, like winter sky.

Can you tell us a little bit about your new book, The New Cocktail Hour? 

We want people to be able to make great craft cocktails in their kitchens – so my brother and I wrote The New Cocktail Hour to take the guesswork out of home entertaining. We offer tasting notes for each recipe, plus food pairing suggestions (we love cocktails with cheese boards, grilled foods, and Chinese takeout), and brand recommendations for every drink. As huge cocktail nerds, we wrote the book we could not find, essentially. It brings craft cocktails into everyday life. The book drops in April, but it’s available for pre-sales online.

As a successful author, teacher, blogger, writer, etc, what advice can you give to someone up and coming?

Pursue your passion with a vengeance. Seek out community and collaborators, in-person and online. Extend kindness and curiosity to each person you meet.

What is next for you? 

We’re writing a cookbook in partnership with Turner Classic Movies — we’re taking 30 classic movies and pairing them a cocktail and a meal inspired by or drawn from the film. It’s called Movie Night Menus, and it comes out in Fall 2016. It’s been so much fun! I just finished writing about Rita Hayworth in The Lady from Shanghai – some people think the Margarita was named after her. It’s a myth, but it’s still an interesting bit of cocktail trivia to explore. I love early Hollywood – the hats, the hair, the drinks!

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(wh)Y?!: Did I Wear That…

Bad-Fashion-Trends-We-Fell-VideoIf you can’t look back at your fashion choices and cringe, then you’re doing it wrong. 

We are women (and potential gay men). We see Kim Kardashian rocking braided pig tails and all of a sudden, we NEED to rock braided pig tails. We try things. We (potentially) fail, and we look back a decade later and laugh. Life. 

My list is … welp, rather interesting considering I grew up in a time when it was cool to rock jeans so low your vagina was basically hanging out (God bless Britney Spears).

So to make you feel better about all of the awful trend holes you fell into head first, here are some of mine that leave me wondering, (wh)Y?!!??!?!

Lime green tube top: I wore this beast under everything. It was like my weird safety blanket. In my defense, I have a stupidly long torso, and in the early 2000’s shirts just never covered all of it. So that was my solution? Nope … still awful. 

Yep that is me in all my glory with the lime green tube top. Sigh.

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Ties for belts: When I was a freshman in high school, I was pretty sure I invented this trend. And months later when J.Crew came out with tie belts, I was livid. Looking back, I’m MORE than happy to give J.Crew that credit. Take it all, bitch. Take it all. 

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Speaking of belts, I once wore 5 belts at once: One was sparkly. One was a pink ribbon. One was electric orange and studded. And I can’t really recall the heinousness of the others … but I guarantee you they were awful. What can I say, I was REALLY trying to get voted “most fashionable” my senior year. Can you believe I lost?! 

Cutting the sides of my jeans for more flare: Apparently I felt my jeans didn’t have enough “flare” and didn’t “fit over my shoes well enough” so I cut them on the hem. My mother would spend her hard earned money on designer jeans for me, and I would cut them. I’m an asshole.

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Juicy Sweatsuits: Yes … at one point or another I had the word “Juicy” slapped across my ass. You would think wearing sweats to school was awesome, but they were sheer torture. The pants came very close to exposing my vagina bone and my entire school probably saw my ass crack a dozen times a day. And the tops were made for toddlers who may or may not had aspirations to become strippers.  

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Chinese Slippers: Okay, I thought I was the shit when I bought these at the Pearl Market in NYC one summer, and rocked them to school like a boss. “Oh where did I get these? Just some really cool boutique in NYC you’ve never heard of :::hair flip:::.” They were pink. And glittery. And I remember wearing them to a Sweet 16 party. Good God, self. 

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Double Popped Collars: I had an identity crisis when I went to college, which was private, and super preppy. So yes, I made my mother take me to Hollister and Abercrombie, and I bought as many colorful Polos as I could find, and then proceeded to wear two at a time and pop both of the collars. My current self wants to take my 18-year-old self out back and beat her senseless. 

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Manolo Timbs: Bahaha I WISH. But no, I never rocked these, it’s just a funny thing to say, am I right?

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Fake handbags: My mom and I would go to NYC in the summertime and kill it on Canal Street. This was during the time when there were no rules and store after store would have spitting images of designer bags hanging on the wall. No weird fake walls to go through, no following a strange man down the street into an alleyway for fake Louis Vuitton. They were just there. And I bought a lot of them. And I wore them everyday to school. How anyone bought that my mom, who worked at Burlington Coat Factory at the time, could afford to buy me so many designer bags that I could rock a different one every day is beyond me. I fooled them, huh?! Right guys … 

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Style Stud: Elena Brennan, Owner of BUS STOP

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 2.33.35 PMI have a few secret hiding spots in the city where I go for peace and serenity, or when I’m sad and need to buy myself a lil something somethin. And since I share pretty much everything with you people, I will let you in on one of my favorite places … BUS STOP Boutique in Queen Village.

You know me … I love out of the box fashion, and BUS STOP’s shoes are just that. There’s just something special about them.

And Philly wouldn’t have access to such glorious shoes if it wasn’t for BUS STOP owner, Elena Brennan. Why yes, getting to oogle the shoes ain’t too shabby, but getting to chat with Elena is a even better. She is so cultured, stylish, and personable that I just HAD to make her my Style Stud this week.

So go … take over one of my happy places in the city, and in the meantime, get to know Elena…

What would you say are your favorite shoes of all-time? My absolute favourite shoes of all-time are from two designers: Coclico, and Marcello Toshi

What did the beginning of your career look like? My background is advertising and marketing, a career I had for 27+ years, which started in London and spilled into Philly. I was ready for a career change after I moved to Philly, so I decided to open my very own shoe boutique (partly to satisfy my own craving) and to fill a need, as women in Philly have very few options for “good” shoe shopping.

In your opinion, where do you think is Philly’s most interesting/stylish neighborhood? I would say Queen Village is one of the most interesting and stylish neighborhoods, as I’ve seen so many brilliant changes since I first opened. My boutique is on historic Fabric Row in Queen Village. The street was famous for fabric shopping, but the street has evolved, mixing the old with the new. I like the eclectic mix. I love to shop local and I can buy anything from jewelry, to vintage finds, gifts, clothes, and books right on my doorstep. I do love Fishtown, too. It has a different feel (more gritty), but that’s what I love about Philly, every neighborhood has its own essence.

What is a signature part of your every day style? Building my wardrobe from my feet up and lots of accessories. I love jewelry, especially rings, and let’s not forget a statement handbag.

BUS STOP is such a stylish and interesting place to walk through. What inspired the design? I would say I was inspired by the art galleries in Manhattan. The shoes are treated like works of art, but with a reasonable price tag, and are showcased to spotlight the unique features of each shoe so they pop on the shoe gallery shelves.

Of course, I’ve also added my own personal touches with a few of my favourite bits and pieces from London, such as my random array of English tea cups and my book collection, which I could have sold over and over again to my customers who think they’re for sale.

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I adored the collection you did with Bela Shehu. Is there another collab in the works? The collaboration with Bela Shehu of NINObrand is launching early spring. Last year, I reached out to Bela to see if she was interested in designing one of the oxfords from the new collection launching this spring, and voila that’s how it happened. BUS STOP designed twelve and NINObrand one. I think you will love all 13 variations of the exclusive BusStopX oxford. I always to love to collaborate… you never know what’s next.

How do you feel about Ugg boots … be honestTo be brutally honest, I do not like Ugg boots at all!

What shoe should every girl in Philly be wearing in the spring? Why, a pair of BusStopX oxfords, of course! The collection is launching March 2016 and is a follow-up to my Classic capsule collection, which I launched last spring.

Favorite place to shop in Philly (besides BUS STOP)? Oh that’s a hard question as there are many places I love to shop, but here are a few of my faves – Sugarcube, Moon + Arrow, and NINObrand.

As a small successful business owner, what are 3 pieces of advice you can give? Have strong branding, stay true to your mission, be dedicated and focused. When facing any issues, “sleep on it.” That’s my mantra so you don’t rush into making the wrong decisions. As important as it is to sell a good product, excellent customer service goes a long.

What’s next for BUS STOPLast spring, I launched my signature classic shoe collection of 12 oxfords in collaboration with All Black Footwear. The BUS STOP x All Black collection was my first ever shoe design. The shoes were named after Hollywood icon starlets and the campaign was, “Which Girl Are You?” This spring, I’m launching my second shoe collection, which is very exciting, so stay tuned for the launch in March.

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How I Wear All Black

44271cbd4d6003d7d150ef0f32387a20I get questioned a lot about why I wear so much black. Am I depressed? Am I worshipping Satan? Am I goth? All to which I respond with a blunt, “YES.” … in the most sarcastic way possible. 

For years I was the color queen. Ask my roommates in college. Pretty much every day I wore a lime green tube top underneath everything I owned. My closet looked like Crayola vomited all over it. I recall even owning a bright yellow tank top from the Paris Hilton collection that my mom got me at Burlington Coat Factory. It was a weird time in life, what can I say. 

But I found myself getting to a point where I was only wearing the two black shirts I owned, and wishing my ROYGBIV wardrobe was more like those two black shirts instead. Simply because it was A. more flattering, B. chic, C. ridiculously easy. So why fight what feels natural?

Do I think my color lacking look is a little severe? No. Am I comfortable with it? Yes. I find it absolutely absurd that people judge others based on what they are wearing or feel weird approaching them. Just because I’m in head-to-toe leather doesn’t mean I’m going to convert you to the book of Satan (that’s a thing, right?), or hate you for no reason, and/or haunt your dreams. Simmah. I’m still a clown. Once a clown, always a clown.

I do have a method to my all black madness, though. And it’s a little thing called texture. Yes, below are all my most beloved black pieces. 

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While staple black shirts are a must, having a closet full of them can get a little monotonous and boring. Adding texture will keep you from looking like an ex-cast member of the movie The Craft (although according to Instagram, I mine as well pretend I’m God damn Neve Campbell. Thanks followers). 

Leather. Faux fur. Lace. Sheer. Distressed pieces. And my current obsession, velvet. Throwing in these different textures and mixing and matching them can give an all black look a little more depth and dimension, especially if you layer them. It’s all about keeping things interesting, you know? 

I also don’t always stick to black. I’m not afraid to throw in some clean white pieces and some patterns … plaids, stripes. I’m really into keeping it minimal right now. Will that change? Probably. Who knows, in 10 years I could be in head-to-toe neon … WAIT … hold on … :::vomits after picturing self in 10 years:::: Someone please beat me back to 2016 if that happens? Kay, thanks. 

So to clarify I’m not a witch. Nor do I know Satan personally. And I definitely don’t play light as a feather, stiff as a board whenever an opportunity presents itself. For an on-the-go person such as myself, sticking to black keeps me feeling stylish and not wanting to pull my hair out whilst creating a look.

I’ve got it down to a science. It goes a little something like, “fuck I over slept. Okay, black fur vest, over silk plaid button down, black skinnies, over-the-knee boots, statement necklace … AND GO.” 

So don’t be a moron and discriminate or be frightened of people who wear all black. We’re mostly good witches, I promise. 

Cabin Fever Drives Organization

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Photo credit: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/organizing/tips/a25356/neat-freak-signs/

When eating got old, and when drinking got old, and when watching every Chopped episode on the planet, followed by reruns of Keeping Up With The Kardashians I’ve seen 10,000 times got old … I resorted to tackling shit I’ve been putting off for millions of years. 

Organization. That’s what happens when you’re snowed in for over 48 hours.

I wasn’t incredibly smart when I bought my bed frame … meaning I bought it off of Craigslist because they discontinued it and I was stressed and losing my shit and NEEDED this damn bed frame … aaaand it was the only one of its kind I could find. But that’s neither here nor there. 

What I’m getting at is I don’t have under bed storage, which is idiotic considering I live in a small small space with ONE closet that a mouse couldn’t fit all their shit into.

So when I needed to put miscellaneous items … window fans, the box from my hair straightener I bought two years ago, my portfolio, seasonal gear, every birthday card I’ve ever received ever (why), I put it under my bed. Which then turned into a cluttered disaster area that was torturing my soul.

So I started there. Did I mention I also had a long flat piece of Tupperware under there that held the contents of my old desk? Uh huh.

It also held everything I ever acquired from all past jobs. Awards. Reviews. Inside jokes that are no longer relevant (but secretly warmed my cold heart), boxes of old business cards. WHY?! 

I also had a stupid amount of office supplies I bought whilst in college … because I felt a desk wasn’t complete without a stapler and a lifetime supply of paperclips in different colors (sigh)

At first glance I decided that I was 100% an emotional hoarder. Yep. That happened. 

So what do you keep? You definitely DON’T keep the “Third Place” flag from an Olympics your old job held. Nope. You absolutely don’t keep black and white quotes from a 2012 calendar. Absolutely not. And that awesome light up plastic pint glass a friend gave you as a joke? Yep … that’s not necessary. 

Three trash bags and a lot of dust later, I was cleansed. My under bed Tupperware now consists of all my writing from college, office supplies perfectly stored in a zip lock WITHIN the Tupperware (yeah I went there), and CDs … because what the eff do you do with those? 

Then it was over to the hole known as my closet. I use this closet to store non-seasonal appropriate clothing … and coats … and old bridesmaids dresses … and hangers I’m not using … and shoes I kind of love but kinda don’t, but can’t get rid of just yet. (SHUT UP … I’m working on my issues, okay?!)

But honestly, do I need to save those salt-destroyed over-the-knee Steve Madden leather boots from 2013 that look like they got run over by a truck? No. 

What about the myriad of purses I have that don’t fit on my closet shelf due to the fact I’m CERTAIN they will one day come back in style and I’ll be a hero when I can pass them down to friends and family? Yeah. No.

So I did it. I threw away five purses. FIVE. And don’t get all up-in-arms that I didn’t donate them, NO woman deserves a purse in that condition. It looked like I stored them in the cushions of my couch as a fat person sat on them. 

I was kidding … FOUR trash bags later, and I was cleansed. Underneath my bed is an organized masterpiece. What? I need my long leather gloves … BOOM in the hat box. Oh? You need to borrow my teddy bear that has a sweater on that says, “I’m Loved”? RIGHT NEXT TO MY SMALLER TUPPERWARE OF SMALLER PURSES. YEAH, SUCK IT, BITCH!

In all seriousness, I do feel like this imaginary weight has been lifted off of me. Just knowing that non-essential shit is no longer clogging my energy gives me this weird peaceful feeling. 

SO GO … organize and let go of your non-essential shit. And if anyone needs to come hug my, “I’m Loved” teddy bear, you know where to find me, and I know where to find it … a-thank you. 

(I wasn’t messing around)

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Reading For Your Jonas Woes

It was a hard decision, but … after much contemplation Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra decided to close today due to severe weather … aaaaand so I can ingest as many carbs and glasses of wine as possible. 

But being trapped inside of your house can get a little monotonous. Netflix and chill? Yawn. Baking? What? Why? Stop. Puzzle building? I can get down with that … but it can get a little frustrating after a while. 

You know what DOESN’T get old? Reading throwback posts from Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra. Yeah. You’re welcome. 

I choose at random, because, quite frankly there are just too many awesome ones to choose from :::hair flip::: 

But I hope I keep you entertained as you continue getting more and more intoxicated and your sidewalk gets more and more not shoveled. 

Stay safe. Stay warm. And God dammit keep your pets inside, for the love. 

Me Want Snacks

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My Day With Ombre

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Just Say No: Drunk Online Shopping

SEX & THE CITY, Sarah Jessica Parker, (Season 5), 1998-2004, © HBO/ Courtesy: Everett

Ugg … ENOUGH!

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I’m High On Fashion Week 

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Today … A Fashion Blog Was Born Baby … 

(Awww … my very first post)

Style Stud: Emma From Philly Love Notes

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 9.51.59 AMEmma from Philly Love Notes has a huge crush on Philly … and I, in turn have an even bigger crush on her art work and Instagram account. 

Seriously, every single one of her posts makes my Instagram look like amateur hour and gives me this strong urge to up my Insta game HARD (yeah I just said that).

While you’re snowed in this weekend (or not … based on the track record of Philly meteorologists … I’m still skeptical), I demand you check her out. 

From her intricately designed and meticulously crafted maps (which my walls are crying out for right now), to her inspiring Instagram that makes Philly look more desirable and beautiful then ever … you too will fall in love with her work, if you haven’t already.

So behold, my Style Stud of the Week, Emma from Philly Love Notes. 

1. What inspired your intricate and beautiful maps? Like with all of my projects, it started on a whim. I had been practicing paper cutting, and decided that I should try and cut the entire city of Philly. I finished about 3 months after I started. A friend forced me to scan it to preserve it (thank God he did), and now I use that image to make my maps. 

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2. Describe your style in 4 words. clean, urban, comfortable, detail-oriented

3. What one thing excites you most in your closet? My new Madewell sweatpants for home and a beautiful Anthropologie dress that works for summer and winter

4. I see that you live in South Philly (not stalking you I swear). Where are some of your favorite places to shop there? Haha. I used to live in S. Philly, I’m in Callowhill now, so these are all over the map. Favorite spots: Fantes Kitchen Supply, Verde, Occasionette, and Vagabond (near work, so hopefully that counts)

5. Best place in Philly to take a pic for Instagram … GO! Race Street Pier and PSFS Building. No contest

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6. You have such a large presence on social media. What is a big social “no no” that would make you stop following someone? Posting too much. Also, if you’re a big account posting to the public and not just your friends, when it gets too personal, I unfollow. 

7. You’re hands down one of my favorite Philadelphians to follow on Instagram. Who is yours? @cbeatz852 (all things Philly) @meadowsweetmercantile (styling game on point) @nealsantos and @jasonvarney (for food porn)

8. A perfect day in Philly consists of … a chocolate croissant somewhere — currently trying to find the best, some time on the waterfront, hummus from Dizengeoff somewhere in there, and a walk around some part of the city I haven’t been to in awhile.

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9. Favorite restaurant/meal you are craving currently within city limits? Bud and Marilyn’s and Little Nonnas. Those ladies behind the 13th St corridor kick ass

10. What can we look forward to seeing next from you? I’m going to be changing jobs (still in the works) and having a little adventure. Also more maps. Always more maps.

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To purchase Emma’s custom woodcut and papercuts of Philly, click here

Things That Aren’t Sexy: Commuting In The Cold

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Photo credit: http://blogs.har.com/2556/38245/Cold-weather-blues–How-to-protect-yourself–pets–plants-and-more-from-the-hard-freeze/

Holy shit … it’s finally winter. And like I promised, I refuse to bitch, cry, or whine about the take your breath away temps. Because at least I’m not sweating through my bra anymore, right? Right. 

But as I dropped my last tissue on the disease-ridden ground on my way to the train platform, liquid from my nose streaming down my face … I realized something. I’m probably the least attractive person when it’s this bitterly cold out. And as I looked around, I realized no one is.

You think the cold would give your skin this beautiful rosy hue, something straight out of a rom com, right? The tip of your nose just a slight shade of pink. Hair perfectly curled under a flattering hat the actually covers your ears. A warm coat that keeps your feminine shape.

When it’s this cold, though, sometimes I wonder why I even bother putting on makeup in the morning. And it’s not because ol’ man winter pinched my cheeks, leaving them rosy, warm and glowing. No … instead he bitch slaps me leaving what I can only describe as a rosacea-like rash across my nose and cheeks for the rest of the day.

My lips are glued to my teeth because they are so chapped. And I most likely have tiny white saliva crusties (how about THAT visual) in the corners of my mouth from saying, “fuck, fuck, fuck” as the wind beats on my face as I walk. 

I look like a shapeless blob in my parka. No curves, no waist, no taas. Just a round shapeless, sexless blob. And the more layers I wear underneath said blob, the worse it gets. One oversized sweater later and you begin to resemble the Michelin Man’s sister. 

And my rather large head never fits any hats. I try … boy do I try. While I’m thankful they (kind of) cover my ears and stop them from freezing and falling off, is it worth the horrific hat hair for the rest of the day? Or the static electricity I get whilst trying to fix it that makes my hair stand up like a crazy person? I’ll never know. 

I’m beginning to contemplate investing in one of those cotton face masks. I saw a guy walking down the street the other day rocking one with sunglasses and I thought, “that guy has his shit together.” 

It’s not because I want to protect my skin or stay warm. No. It’s because I’m sick of people having to see me try to control my nose that is continuously running with one small used tissue I found at the bottom of my purse (I really have to invest in travel tissues) or … in dire situations … with my hand (I know … it’s foul, but what are my other options?!).

At this point, it’s best if people didn’t know if I was a human being or an alien when it’s this cold. A male or a female. An abominable snowman or the Michelin Man. 

But all of that imagery above is still probably sexier than thinking about me sweating through my bra … am I right?*

*Seriously … to all the boys … don’t ALL rush to my yard at once. 

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(wh)Y?!: The Rise of JNCO Jeans From The Dead

It’s my pleasure to introduce my very first guest writer to Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra, Jenifer Reeves. She’s an up and coming writer in Philly and one of the very few I felt comfortable with handing over the reigns of my blog child to for a day. So show her some lerve, dammit.

Jenny is also kicking off my new series entitled, “(wh)Y…?” a spotlight on all the awful trends that have either been revived from the dead (where they belonged) or birthed out of what I can only assume is the horrifying loins of Satan.

jnco-jeans1The 90’s were certainly an interesting time for fashion. An eclectic mix of 80’s leftovers, the onset of the grunge revolution, and a bizarre year or so of drop crotch pants that were made popular by M.C. Hammer.

Perhaps these unfortunate trends were before your time; something you never had the pleasure of experiencing. I, however, entered into that decade as a brave and confused ten-year-old, willing to try out any and all fashion crazes, in hopes I would be asked to a school dance.

Mary Jane’s, shapeless dresses, thin cotton pants with an elastic waistband that resembled the “before” photo of a Jenny Craig commercial. Sadly … that was not the worst of it, though.

JNCO was a brand of jeans that became popular in the mid-to-late 90’s. They were no Levi’s, friends. Not even close. They were just yards and yards of endless denim with absurdly large pockets (over a foot deep), and leg openings up to 60 inches.

Let’s take a step back, though, and REALLY think about that. I have plenty of friends that are around five feet tall. Imagine one of them just curled up around your ankle, covering your shoes, and picking up litter and sidewalk gum with every step you take.

To be frank … JNCO’s are basically the world’s trashiest bridal train.

To top it all off, these gems were adorned with patterns such as tribal designs, graffiti lettering, and flames :::makes dry heaving noise:::.

My only theory was that someone may have taken a strong hit of acid, found themselves wrapped up in their grandmother’s drapery, sat in a corner doodling on the cloth that adorned them, and then listened to five-to-six hours of house music. And hence, JNCO was created.

Their giant back pockets were advertised as, “being able to fit a spray paint can.” They had secret “drug pockets.” JNCO had found their target audience and it worked. It almost makes sense when you think about how popular the “rave scene” was back then.

Look … it was a weird era. We’ve all made regrettable decisions as teenagers. But luckily, JNCO’s came and went, as all weird fashion does. They had a time and a place. And we moved on to more fantastic things in life like ball hugging skinny jeans.

BUT WAIT.

Brace yourselves … they are making a comeback. Not merely the company name itself, but the same exact pattern. They didn’t switch it up or modernize it. Years later, someone decided that this could be “a thing” again.

Maybe wear some JNCO’s on a night out on the town? Lounging around at home for some “Netflix and chill”? I see it advertised on social media nearly every day. I find this confusing at best.

In a world where skinny jeans and leggings are flattering and fashionable, how can we possibly revert back to this? If only I had known bringing back JNCO’s was an option, I would have tried my luck at making holiday themed pajama pants an every day thing (God willing, it’s still a possibility).

I want answers. I want input. For now … I will simply ask the question: “WHY?!”

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Style Stud: Juliet Sabella Of Wall Cycling Studio

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 2.38.45 PMMeet Juliet Sabella, owner of The Wall Cycling Studio with locations in Manayunk and a brand new location in Phoenixville, PA.

Listen, this chick is so inspiring it ALMOST made me want to try spinning again … but I say ALMOST because, no. I’m still out of breath from my last go at spinning.

At 18 years old, Sabella was 100 pounds over weight when she first fell in love with spinning. It wasn’t until she got laid off from her job as a full-time retail buyer that she realized she needed to chase her passion of opening up a spinning studio in the quaint town of Manayunk.

While I’m a full blown spinning reject, I can’t help but be in awe of her stamina and strength of not only getting healthy and fit, but starting from the bottom (no I refuse to break out in a Drake song) and building herself a flourishing fitness empire, which includes the addition of a new Barre Studio.

So I’m going to go back to sitting on my couch and eating carbs while you get to know this fashion-forward and fit lady, Juliet Sabella.

1. In 4 words, explain Wall Cycling Studio. Fun. Motivating. Community. Sweaty.

2. Finding a workout “style” can be tricky. What is your go-to outfit or brand that you love to rock? It depends. I love baggy tanks, but also have an obsession with graphic tees. My favorite pants to workout in are the Run Inspire Capri’s from Lululemon.

3. Okay let’s talk first time spinning. What do you wear and where can I get stylish versions of it? We want you to wear what you are comfortable in. If I could make a suggestion, it would be wear a tighter fitting pant (nothing made of cotton) and a tank top.

I say tighter pants because if your pants are too baggy or long, there is a potential of getting them caught in the pedals. I’ve had to cut a few people out of them before. I find almost everything I want/need in Marshalls. Go to Marshalls!

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 4. A little birdy told me you have some serious style outside of spin. Describe some of your favorite places to shop in Philly and describe your style for us. Oh wow, I love this compliment since 95% of the time I am in workout gear! My style is comfortable and cute. I love Nicole Miller and Lilly Pulitzer. I like for my shoes to add a pop to my outfits so I tend to wear a super bright colored high heel or a beautifully beaded open-toe strappy shoe. At the moment, I really like the jogger pants paired with a fitted top and heels.

5. Do you follow any strict diet regiments … vegan, vegetarian, carbetarian (like myself)? I love the name Carbatarian! I call it carbasarous rex (haha). Over the past couple years, I have been trying to switch my diet to more plant-based. I eat a lot of fish and meat. I’m hoping to make a full transition to plant-based later this year.

6. So many people are pledging to “lose weight” and “be healthy” in the New Year, and that rarely sticks. Since you are such a success story, losing over 100 pounds, give us 3 tips on how to keep our resolutions going strong.
1. Take it 1 day at a time.
2. Others will see results before you do, so do-not-stop.
3. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. This goes back to the first tip, take it one day at a time mentality.

7. What is your most beloved item in your closet right now and why? My Nike Dunk Sky Highs. They look good with everything! They also make me feel like I could break dance if I wanted to. I don’t know how to, but for some reason, I have always wanted to learn.

8. Time to spill the insider info … what is next for Wall Cycle Studio in 2016? Along with the new barre studio, a lot of other great stuff. My brain is always wandering, constantly thinking of exciting ways to enhance the studio. So you will just have to follow us on social media to find out.

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My Reads Of 2015

Photo credit: http://www.themodeofficial.com/spotlight/snapped-coveteur-captures-fashion-editor-rajni-jacques/

Photo credit: http://www.themodeofficial.com/spotlight/snapped-coveteur-captures-fashion-editor-rajni-jacques/

At the beginning of 2015 I vowed to myself that I would read one book a month after remembering, first of all, how relaxing reading is, and second, as a writer, for the love of God this should be a priority. 

How did I pick my books? Well, I’m a huge fan of biographies and autobiographies, so sometimes I would take a stroll through a book store looking for something to catch my eye (yes, an ACTUAL bookstore … I don’t partake in this electronic crap when it comes to reading). And Instagram was another hot spot where I found a lot of great book recommendations, so shoutout to the kids I follow for that. 

While I didn’t quite make 12 books (I mean … life), I did read a lot of inspiring shit from some bad ass females that made me have this fiery desire to take over the world. 

And to pay homage to one of my biggest obsessions in life, I did a little photoshoot with my books in true the Coveteur style, pairing them with some of my favorite belongings. 

So behold, my reads of 2015. 

YES PLEASE – By Amy Poehler

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 11.36.05 AMAmy Poehler has been a comedy idol of mine and partially the reason why I (try) to be funny when I write. Her book is sassy and hilarious and really makes you want to shine in your own skin. And I read it in like a day over vacation. So YES PLEASE … read this. 

How to be a Parisian Wherever You Go, Love, Style, and Bad Habits – By Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas 

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This book made me want to straight up say, “fuck it, I’m moving to Paris.” Parisian girls are just effortlessly cool. It’s infuriating. But the way these Parisian girls described their lives and styles with such ease and humor, made me A. want to be their best friends, B. want me to not give such an eff about my hair, and C. want to be more bluntly funny in my writing. Again, I read this in like 2 days … do it. For cultures sake. 

To Kill A Mockingbird – By Harper Lee

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I mean … do I even need to explain why? The best part was I ordered this copy off Amazon for $2. TWO. DOLLARS. Go on Amazon, find your favorite classic for under $5 and read it. I challenge you all now.

GRACE – By Grace Coddington 

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Don’t be scared, but it’s like text book massive, but oh so glorious. Grace Coddington is an idol of mine, and reading the ups and downs of her life and career made me be all, “meh … I’m doing alright in life. If Grace can survive, so can I.” Also she includes some of her personal art work, and a lot of beautiful pictures from her life that entranced me. 

Isabella Blow: A life in fashion – By Lauren Goldstein Crowe 

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I’m going to be real with you. This book sucked … aaaaand I couldn’t get through the first 100 pages. It was a lot of names. A lot of interviews. A lot to keep up with. At one point I just wanted to scream, “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR FROM HER AUNT, JUST TELL ME ABOUT HER DAMN LIFE!” So yeah … just don’t. 

If You Have To Cry, Go Outside – By Kelly Cutrone

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The fact that it took me THIS long to read this book is a sin. Truly. I’m so ashamed. But just like every stylish girl from 2010 on, I couldn’t put it down and had this strong urge to email her and tell her to read my blog and give me harsh criticism so I could be better in life. 

Leave Your Mark – By Aliza Licht

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This was a book I found via Instagram, and I was so glad I did. Aliza gives a lot of great wisdom, and while it all resonated with me, I couldn’t help but wish I had this book when I graduated college, because I would have avoided SO many annoying and heartbreaking road bumps. For that reason, people who have been in their career five plus years, I would pass. But, for the girl/guy who just graduated, or the person who is lost in life … this book will take your soul, own it, and revamp it. 

I’ll Drink To That – By Betty Halbreich 

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By far, my favorite book of 2015. I found this when I was sad wandering through Barnes and Noble, and the cover just spoke to me. It’s everything: style, drama, iconic, powerful, sad, funny. I couldn’t put it down and almost cried when I finished it. I kid you not. I don’t cry, okay, I just don’t do such things. I also had this strong urge to visit Bergdorf Goodman, find her, and hug her after I read it. This is a must. 

Hi, I’m Anxious

Anxiety-is-my-friendI won’t sugar coat this and I’m not looking for “aww’s” or sympathy … I swear. I’ll smack you if I hear an, “aww.” But since as long as I can remember I’ve been dealing with pretty bad anxiety. It’s not constant, but when it shows its ugly fucking face, it’s just the worst. That is the only way I can describe it. 

Seriously, I see “aww’s” about to come out of your mouth, and I swear I will smack you.

I’m sharing this with you because I am currently infuriated by an article about Kourtney Kardashian (I know, I know … but I have a point AND she is clearly the best Kardashian, right?) and how she is dealing with her anxiety issues. Apparently, her working out and taking scantily clad selfies showing off her smokin’ bod, “may not be portraying the healthiest message to her fans and followers.” 

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There are a lot of awful symptoms that come along with anxiety and everyone deals with them differently. Sometimes I feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest. Other times I have this insane urge to run for my bedroom as fast as I can and hide under the covers forever. How do I deal with all that? Well … sometimes, not always, like the other night when I was feeling exceptionally anxious, I ate shoe string fries in my pajamas while talking with my mother. While that isn’t my only solution for my anxiety, it sure was soothing (and delicious)

But another side effect is lack of appetite (this is not a problem I have, I luckily gorge myself on carbs), which Kourtney admitted that she had been dealing with, but is fully focused on staying healthy. So tell me how her throwing herself into her fitness and health and showing off her hot bod is “portraying an unhealthy image” for her fans? 

For anyone who deals with anxiety (which, it’s more than you think), no one would wish this shit on their worst enemy. So I highly doubt she’s like, “hey kids, start stressing yourself out and getting real nervous to the point where you want to cry every other second and not eat anything ever, and you TOO can have a hawt body like me!” I mean … come now. 

Whether you deal with your anxiety issues with medicine, working out, coloring, or eating delicious french fries whilst in your pajamas, like yours truly … at the end of the day it’s no ones damn business but your own. Know that. 

But in the same breath, be healthy about it. Who knows if what Kourtney is saying is complete and utter hogwash. Quite frankly it doesn’t matter. What matters is she is bringing a very important topic to the table by allowing anxiety sufferers to be open about their issues … and I think that is an awesome thing. Because sometimes it’s hard and doesn’t feel right to tell the ones around you what’s really happening inside. 

I will salute Kourtney Kardashian for making it okay to talk about the so-called,“elephant on my chest,” because sometimes just talking about it helps. So be proud of the things you’ve found to soothe your anxiety. Kourtney has her fitness. I have my shoe string french fries (did I mention I was dipping them in spicy hot mustard … because I was and it was glorious).

*From one anxiety sufferer to another, feel free to privately share your story with me or how you treat your moments of anxiety. 

Oprah Hypnotised Me

NEW YORK - JUNE 4: Television talk show host Oprah Winfrey poses inside during the 25th Anniversary of the Annual CFDA Fashion Awards held at the New York Public Library June 4, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images for CFDA) *** Local Caption *** Oprah Winfrey

NEW YORK – JUNE 4: Oprah Winfrey poses inside during the 25th Anniversary of the Annual CFDA Fashion Awards

I was never a huge Oprah fan (please don’t throw things at me). Every time I tried to watch an episode, it was always ridiculously sad and turned me into a hysterical mess who all of a sudden felt really bad about everything in life. So yeah … no. 

But after the sheer madness that has been occurring over the past month (and by madness I mean not giving a fuck about dieting and ingesting as many carbs and glasses of alcohol as humanly possible), my body is politely like, “ummm … yeah if you don’t start giving me water and vegetables soon I’m going to straight up cut you.” 

So when I saw Oprah’s new commercial for Weight Watchers (ps. does the woman REALLY need more money, I mean come on?!) explaining how 2016 was going to be the “year of her best body,” I weirdly started drooling and was like, “okay, Oprah, I’ll do whatever you say.” 

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not rushing to join Weight Watchers or anything, because quite frankly I can talk myself out of anything, for example: “Kate, you can have this carb filled carb and NOT go to yoga if you go tomorrow and the next day.” And then I never end up going. So chances of me sticking to a Weight Watchers diet is slim to none. So again … no.

But I do want 2016 to be the year of my best body, dammit, and I think it is because Oprah hypnotised me. Want to know why I believe Oprah hypnotised me? Because last night I ordered a sandwich and took the top piece of bread off of it to reduce carb intake. I took bread off my plate. Do you understand how unnatural that is for me? BREAD WAS REMOVED FROM MY PLATE. Yeah.  

Look … I’m in my last year in my 20’s, I feel disgusting, and I would like to not walk past my mirror and feel the strong urge to kick it in. I’m not saying I want a Kardashian ass or a six pack. I just want Oprah to look at me at the end of 2016, grab both of my hands, lift them up, and start shaking them madly whilst saying, “GOOD FOR YOU, GOOD FOR YOU!” Is that too much to ask?

So if you are someone like me who thought they were safe from Oprah reeling them in to her favorite things, or doctors, or John TRAAAVOOLLLTTAAAA obsessions, you are terribly wrong, my friends, terribly wrong. But this time you aren’t going to want the softest socks in the world or the latest color of Ugg boots … you’re going to want to be your best self (I almost can say that without wanting to vomit).

All hail Queen Oprah. 

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28 Lessons From Year 28

birthdya-hat-kittyTomorrow I start my crazy adventure through my last year in my 20’s. A lot of my friends are truly horrified about entering the scary and unknown grounds of their 30’s … but I’m fully prepared and over the moon about entering into a new decade. Simply because my 20’s were the worst. Lots of change. Lots of tears. Lots of growing up. It sucked.

So instead of feeling like tomorrow starts the ticking time bomb of 365 until I turn 30 :::cue stupid lightning bolds:::, I’m going to reflect on the 28 lessons I learned this year. Because it is important to reflect, you know? 

So 29 … let’s get these 365 days over with so I can start a new book in my series, shall we? 

1. I’m a proud cat lady and I likes it

2. Tina Fey is God and I strive every day to become her

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3. Reading is my natural form of Xanax

4. Fear can make you do incredible things you never thought you would be able to do … (wow … how deep am I?! But yeah … it’s true)

5. Cooking shows are ALSO my natural form of Xanax (Chopped specifically is my jam)

6. Speaking of cooking, I’m kind of getting in to it and my picky eater ass is kind of expanding her palette (what? I know … right?)

7. That sometimes life can get so much better once you get laid off from a job

8. That social media gives me anxiety 

9. Hangovers truly get worse with age (I’ve always had bad hangovers, but my GAWD)

10. I have the patience of a golden God :::hair flip:::

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11. I turn into a complete asshole at the grocery store, but so do you

12. The only way I can vacuum is if I’m blasting Missy Elliot 

13. That chopping your hair off can be horrific and scary, but so liberating

14. Speaking of hair, I’m totally going more and more blonde in year 29 (again … what?)

15. I loathe exclamation points and proudly take my red pen to them whenever I see an opportunity present itself. Because no one is ever THIS excited!!!!!!!!! No one. 

16. Oh yeah … I still hate people (that is probably a constant)

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17. I love my cats more than I love you (in fact I just paused writing this post to snuggle her)

18. The only way you will ever get me to run, in a bathing suit, sans a cover up, is when a gigantic tarantula presents itself (happened this summer and I abandoned my mother, niece and nephew proudly)

19. I loathe sweating and have dreams of starting a one woman show called “Die, humidity, die … COLON … I just sweated through my bra”

20. That while I respect T. Swift … BAD BLOOD AND MAD LOVE DON’T RHYME. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THEY JUST DON’T! And yes I used an exclamation point because that is just how much this shit infuriates me. 

21. I’m a spin class failure and I’m okay with it 

22. The older I get the more I’m turning into Dorothy Zbornak 

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23. That Keeping up with the Kardashians is my secret addiction in life and every day I have to take deep soothing breaths from stopping myself from subscribing to their apps (DON’T LOOK AT ME!)

24. I still wish my job consisted of saying “HOT SHIT” or “NEW SHIT” in the beginning of rap songs

25. But, more than ever, I’m extremely thankful for my career and for all the fantastically smart and talented people I have the pleasure of working with

26. My mantra that got me through a huge portion of year 28 was, “I’M NOT REALLY HERE. I’M NOT REALLY HERE.” (credits from the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt … by the way when is that coming back because my life is lost without it)

27. Don’t tell me to smile when I’m walking because I will burn your face off with my death glare (this is a constant for every year)

28. I love carbs … again … probably more than you

Farewell 2015

104fc6e02dc74b6769a6c1cd0a5e8505Welp … 2015 … how ’bout them … sports ball players?

Look, I’ve been going back and forth about this year. Apart of me wants to “Stella Got Her Groove Back”-style set fire to it and watch it burn to hell in a saucy outfit. Another part of me is like, “well, aww it’s kind of cute. Can’t we keep it just a little longer?”

2015 definitely tested me in more ways than one that made me question my sanity at some points … as well as my strength. But instead of slapping a big red stamp on the year deeming it either, “burn in hell. bitch” or “meh, I guess it was okay” … I’m just going to tip my cap to it and walk away feeling rather … lucky.

I won’t bore you with all the sapp-tastic details. I just want to share with you all that 365 days is an incredible amount of time. And good things will happen, and really fucked up things will happen, which makes it so hard to deem those 365 days good or bad. But with the good and the bad comes strength. Probably one of the most important lessons I’ve learned this year. 

But most importantly, the sunshine of my life, per usual, is this blog. It is my everything. I would buy it something from Kay Jewelers if it wouldn’t be weird, THAT is how much I adore it. But what is even sweeter is you, the person reading this nonsense. Yeah, you. The person who makes me keep on keepin’ on. I just … yeah I’m crying. Awesome. Stupid sappy thoughts. 

I’m beyond blessed to do what I love every single day of my life. And for that, I would like you to raise a glass of something (hopefully champagne, I mean it’s never too early to start) with me (yes, I’ve already started “Judgey McJudgerson”) and toast to a transformative 2015 and a happy, healthy, and always interesting 2016. 

Now I would like to reflect on my top 5 favorite blog posts of 2015 (see what I did there, that is why they pay me the big bucks). Which was REALLY hard, by the way … so I did one more for good luck. Click the image below to read on.

Dinner en Blah: because who likes wearing all white whilst lugging around basically a full dining room set en blanc to an unknown destination. I mean come now … 

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Tough Love On Interning: because STOP SUEING YOUR EMPLOYERS, KIDS. YOU’RE MAKING THE OLDER MILLENNIALS (like yours truly) LOOK STUPID. STOP IT. “Wahhh I’m not getting paid and Michelle Tanner is making me work insane hours.” How else are you going to leave your mark, fools. Suck it up!

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I Survived Fly Wheel Week One: (spoiler alert) remember the time I quit after week 2 because … yeah … I suck

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People Still Can’t Handle Menstruation: but I definitely want to hear about a mans erectile dysfunction problems every 5 seconds on TV. A fun little splash from the hose from a creepy older gent to his wife in the garden (who is pretending to be 55 but is really like 40) and it’s ON.

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A Tour Of My Boudoir: because I’m ridiculously proud of how I transformed my space and my cat kind of gave the tour so it is EXTRA adorable

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Experiencing Miss Philadelphia 2015: because I got a behind the scenes look at a real life beauty pageant AND got to secretly try on the crown … which kind of made my life

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Old Navy Stifles Creativity

Not a lot of things “ruffle my feathers.” I like to think of myself as a calm and zen (sarcastic) human being. Except when you try and stifle someone else’s creativity or try and tell them their dreams are “silly” or “unattainable.” Then steam comes out of my ears and it is ON.

Which is why I’m slighting mortified and, quite frankly, sad, that Old Navy has taken the role of the 1950’s Dad at the dinner table screaming and shaking his fists because his only daughter just shared that she didn’t want to get married, but instead would be enrolling in art school.

Here is the shirt Old Navy actually produced … for TODDLERS. 

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And here is my response:

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I have wanted to be a writer since I was a really little. And :::muffles::: years later, it has been a really long and bumpy road for me to get there. I’ve had a lot of people along the way tell me it just wouldn’t happen for me. But I wouldn’t have gotten this far without the love and support of my family and friends over the years.

So for Old Navy to stifle the potential dreams of toddlers by saying, “you want to be a WHAT?! :::rich person cocky laugh::: No no, child … president looks much better on you :::smokes cigar:::.” My God, I don’t have words. What’s next, you’re going to produce a shirt in the spring that says, “Santa is real! (NOT!).” 

The greatest thing about being a kid is that any career is within reach. One day you want to be an artist, the next day you want to be a veterinarian. I remember for a VERY hot second that I wanted to be an actress (yikes). Whatever a child wants to be or is interested in, we should we encouraging that healthy exploration, NOT stifling it. 

I personally will be boycotting Old Navy for a while until a genuine apology is produced. And if you, my fellow fantastic artists (who don’t just include painters but writers, editors, designers, people in the tech industry, singers, actors, etc.) or enraged parents who want their children to have the opportunity to be whatever the hell they want, would like to join me, well, let’s do this.

I’m going to leave Old Navy with this one question, though: when you had the big idea of starting a fashion brand that makes affordable clothes for the entire family … who helped you get there? 

*I linked Old Navy to their Twitter handle so you can express your artistic freedom and share your dismay over that horrific design if you would like.

Exposing Skin During A Christmas Heatwave


article-2339291-1A3F441B000005DC-786_634x472Does anyone else think the rapture is coming or is it just me? It’s God damn Christmas in two days and I just walked outside without a coat on. What? And the meteorologists are all like, “::::nerd voice::: record shattering temperatures …. GLAVIN!” No. Let’s be real, it’s the end of days, right? Like this isn’t normal. 

Besides that, what the fuck do you wear to Christmas? Not that I like to get all fancy pants in front of my fam (sorry guys, you know I look like a gargoyle deep down, the gig is up). But a girl wants to look at least presentable, right?

I tried to stay festive on Thanksgiving with my brown cable knit, turtle neck sweater, and you know what? I was sweating my balls off the entire time to the point where my aunt was like, “for the love of God, go change,” and I refused because dammit I was being festive! 

But if you follow me on social channels, you know I loathe being hot and sweating and that I want to start a one woman show called, “Die, Humidity, Die … COLON … I just sweated through my bra.” So therefore I no longer give a shit about looking festive. As much as I want to wear my fur snood, tights, and festive sweater (that I don’t own), I’m saying to hell with it. 

Instead, and brace yourselves for this one, mama is exposing her legs on Christmas Eve by wearing an awesome skirt I own, SANS TIGHTS. Oh yeah. It’s happening. I’m giving everyone advanced notice to shield their eyes from the pale and probably rather hairy (shush, it’s winter, my razor goes into hibernation) mess that is about to come out of hiding. But don’t worry, I’ll shave prior, I’m not that much of a beast … simmah.

It truly disturbs me more than you know that I have to expose parts of my body this time of year that normally are in hiding under bulky sweaters and very focused on getting fat. It’s horrific. Like my arms. I haven’t looked at my arms in weeks. I have no idea what the hell is going on over there, besides lack of muscle definition and see-through paleness. So yeah … nothing great, kids. 

So if you are bummed out about not being able to be festively chic this Christmas, I’m with you, truly I am. It sucks. But hey, if the end of times are really upon us, mine as well be comfy. So I say whip out your maxi dresses and skirts. It’s totally unnatural (I know), but it is better than being a hot sweaty mess while you’re eating your weight in carbs and drinking your weight in wine. 

What can I say, this Christmas we are all going to get a lot views of very pale giggly bits … 

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Fact: Perfume Commercials Are Odd

charlize-theron-600x450Only recently did I notice how bizarre perfume commercials are. I was sitting on my couch this weekend watching perfume commercial after perfume commercial scratching my head. Because honestly I’ve never seen one that made me go, “yes! I want a scent that is going to make me wiggle around like a sexy and seductive worm … to the perfume store!” 

My all time favorite perfume commercial is clearly White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor. It came out so so long ago and it’s still timeless. “These have always brought me luck.” Iconic. And quite frankly I still like whispering “white diamonds” in a creepy manner at random times. 

And Charlize Theron can basically do no wrong in a perfume commercial for Dior. Sure, it’s not completely normal to strut into a castle-like building and rip off all your clothes (by the way her strut is phenomenal). But at least I get the picture. I’ll feel better naked when I’m rocking Dior perfume. Side note: if I could get her to say “J’adore Dior” to me every night before I go to bed, I would be a happy human. 

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Then you have the likes of Juicy Couture. I personally loathe Viva La Juicy. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but if a baby hooker had a scent, this is what it would be. The commercial is pretty spot on, though. When I smell it, I think of myself in a crowded pink box full of confetti and weird people grinding all up on me invading my personal space. It’s like a blond girl in a pink dress bitch slapping you. 

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Back to Dior … good God, Natalie Portman for Miss Dior. What does you leaving your fiance at the alter so you can run away and climb a ladder onto a friken helicopter have anything to do with a scent?! Is this supposed to be symbolizing freedom or something? Because if I left my fiance at the alter, I would be all “FREEDOM!” and then you would find me chillin’ on the curb in my wedding dress waiting for my Uber to arrive.

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Kendall Jenner for Estee Lauder. Shut up Kendall Jenner and Lady Marmalade. Just … shut up.

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Marc Jacobs Decadence with Adriana Lima … well. Again … she is just writhing around on the floor like a worm who may or may not have just ingested some molly. Like should I be in a dirty motel room when I wear this perfume? Is that what you are trying to tell me, Marc Jacobs? I’m confused. 

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And my most loathed perfume commercial has to be Lancome La Vie. Julia Roberts just looks completely uninterested in what is going on during the whole thing. I just want to kick my TV when she pathetically rips off the fake diamond puppet strings and stands at the top of the staircase smiling like, “I just got paid millions for doing nothing and giving you no clues as to what this shit smells like … so yeah … suck on that.” 

Lancome La Vie Est belle with Julia Roberts at Selfridges - YouT

So there you have it. Perfume commercials are just naturally weird, I guess. Do I know what scent I want to wear? Not even a little. But there is one thing I do know … 

WHITE DIAMONDS!

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The First Ever LSIASB 2015 Exhibit Of Gifts

While I usually do “Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra’s Favorite Things,” Oprah-style because … well … all hail Oprah, I decided to switch it up this year and offer more of a “gift guide.” 

There’s a little somethin-somethin’ for everyone. Even a few laughs for those of us who “ball on a budget” (I’ll give you a hint, it’s from Fendi). 

So I’ll shut up now while you indulge in the greatness of the very first EVER Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra 2015 Exhibit of Gifts. 

Jewelry Pouch: I don’t know about you, but when I travel my jewelry gets thrown into some random bag and ends up a tangled hot mess. So as a proclaimed jewelry whore, this is pure gold.

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Journal: Fun fact about me, I heart stationary. Even more fun fact, I love swearing. Combine the two and you have the most fucking brilliant journal ever. 

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Sticks + Stones necklace: I would sell my mother for this necklace. And I’ve said numerous times that if someone bought this for me (:::cough::: number 1 thing on my wish list :::cough:::), I would like to be buried in it (morbid, I know). AND Sticks + Stones is from Philly. Get on my neck, like NOW. 

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Faux Motif Scarf: You know … for those times when PETA mistakes you for someone famous and attempts to throw paint on you.

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Fendi Bag Charm: Alright everyone, let’s take a big ol’ cleansing laugh and publicly shame the idiots who would spend over $600 on a Fendi KEYCHAIN. A KEYCHAIN. I don’t care if Jesus blessed it … NO. But oh look, I found one for $10 WITH goggly eyes that looks exactly like the $640 Fendi one. Boom.

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Wand Salt & Pepper Shakers: Because could there possibly be a more fun way to season your food?! I think not. Salt for everyone!

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Zara heels: Yes I’m drooling … shut up … these heels are just that good. 

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Good reads: I realize biographies aren’t everyone’s jam, but they are mine (especially ones by inspiring women), and here are a few fantastic ones that I read in like a day (yes that addictively good).

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Erase Paste: I’ll say it again … this product is God’s gift to women. Now no one could ever tell you went on a bender last night! 

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Anthropologie Glassware: If you’re going to drink wine, it should be out of something fancy. (I hope to one day see that quote on a teabag or something)

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Christian Louboutin Lipstick: $90 is a little steep for lipstick, I know. But did you notice how insanely gorgeous the packaging is? And, if you can’t afford red Louboutin soles, red Loub lips are a great compromise.

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Bracelet Flask: Because sometimes people get thirsty AND want to look stylish … okay. I can feel you judging … 

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The Best Christmas Ever

4eafe419df7ec1ed566ab9a194f189ecI hate to say it, but I’ve turned into a little bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. Simply because I loathe running errands and interacting with psychotic holiday shoppers. 

But in an effort to not be such a crotchety ol’ bitch, I decided to reflect on my most favorite Christmas ever. Because nothing was more divine than Christmas as a kid, am I right?

While “Santa” brought me some rad gifts throughout my childhood, without even thinking about it, I know which one was my all-time favorite. And something I wish I still had today. 

Two words: Barbie. Car. And not just any Barbie car. A hot pink convertible Barbie car that I could drive at 5 years old. It was glorious. I mean it had a car phone … A CAR PHONE (it was the early 90s).

I was never one of those kids who woke up at 6am to open gifts (I know, I’m a freak). I don’t remember that exact Christmas morning, but they were all pretty much the same. I would wake up around 8am, patiently wait on the landing of my steps for my Aunt to arrive, and then walk into my living room where “Santa” had left all sorts of fun surprises and awesomely wrapped gifts.

But even when the presents had all been opened, and the stockings had been explored, there was always something else waiting to be found. It wasn’t under the tree, hell it usually wasn’t in the same room. But I could always count on the surprise finale. 

“I think I saw something in the den,” my Dad said to me with a ridiculous grin. “Maybe you should go check it out…”  as he winked and elbowed my brother. So I ran into the other room only to find a huge mass with a blanket covering it. I ripped it off to find my first set of wheels. I like to think this feeling I had when I saw it was equivalent to when Oprah told her whole audience, “YOU GET A CAR, AND YOU GET A CAR!” My head could have popped off I was so thrilled.

I drove that thing everywhere. From one side of the yard to the other. Around my house. On the sidewalk. Hell, even inside my house (which I still don’t know how I got away with that one … kind of insane behavior, parents). I was bad ass, what can I say.

Everyone loved this thing, including my Nana, who was barely five foot, and took it out for a spin when she came to visit. To this day it is one of my most pleasant and hilarious memories of my childhood. 

I would offer everyone to use it, including family members who happened to be having car trouble. I thought I was being super generous by offering them my fine set of wheels, and would secretly giggle over the idea of my Dad, in a suit, driving my pink ride down the highway. 

What happened to my Barbie car, you ask? I don’t really recall … I think my parents gave it to some ass clowns (I’m not bitter at all). Apparently it isn’t socially acceptable for a tween to be riding a Barbie convertible around. Whatever, society. I would still be riding that thing around today if I could … you know … for nostalgia purposes, of course :::shifty eyes:::

So there you have it. I don’t think a Christmas could be sweeter. To this day, even though I’m an adult who has lost a piece of her Christmas spirit (which totally sucks, I should work on getting that back), I still wake up and look for that surprise present. Even though I know it won’t be there, it still brings back awesome memories. 

Now tell me, what was your most beloved Christmas present? 

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What Happens When We Get Bored

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Photo credit: http://thefashiontag.com/2015/11/26/glitter-beards/

We have so many fantastic and interesting ways to express ourselves. We can get tattoos, body piercings, write books, knit, paint. We can reinvent ourselves, Madonna-style. 

So you can imagine why I’m sitting here, scratching my head in confusion over the idea of people putting glitter, yes glitter, in their body hair. Go home, world, I think you’re bored.

Last year I tolerated men putting Christmas ornaments in their beards. It was slightly endearing, in a weird kind of way … when I was intoxicated, of course. But now we’ve moved on to putting glitter in beards. And if you weren’t turned off enough, women have been growing out their armpit hair :::gags::: and adding glitter to it. ARM PIT HAIR. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some glitter. I really do. I rocked glitter makeup like every normal teenage girl did. I had Steve Madden sneakers that were encased in glitter back in the day. I even wore gold glittery heels to my best friends wedding. To be clear, these are all appropriate uses of glitter. 

You know what isn’t? Glittery arm pit hair. Ladies who are doing this: why? Are these the lengths we have to go to receive male attention? “:::sips beer::: Hey guy, check out ma glitter pits. Go ahead, stare all you like. Yeaaaaahhh, you like that?” Because personally, if Justin Timberlake came up to me and insisted on showing me his glittery pits, I would probably back away slowly and run in the opposite direction. Justin. Timberlake. 

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And gents, we love your hipster “Brawny-man” beard. We really do. You’re so cool. But it’s already the cave of wonders to us. Food, germs, toothpaste, a little gnome … who the eff knows what you got going on. So why, dear God why, do we have to add glitter to this cesspool of an equation? We already have to pretend your bread hair doesn’t irritate our sensitive skin. Now we have to pretend to be okay with looking like we just macked it with a unicorn?!

So while I appreciate the attempts at being festive, I feel like we’ve taken a turn down the scary road called “out Miley Cyrusing Miley Cyrus,” and I feel strongly that it needs to end before it gets REALLY out of hand. 

To the 1.5 men reading this, keep your beards clean and glitter-free. We will be more inclined to make out with you, I pinky promise. Ladies, shave your under arms, for the love of God, shave your under arms (I realize I sound like I’m 100, deal with it). And if you really feel the need to indulge in this glittery trend, revert back to your teenage years.

God, why can’t we all just be normal again get obnoxious tramp stamps?! (I kid … please don’t do this. Wait … you know what? I take it back. I prefer tramp stamps to glittery pits. So there.)

Why Holiday Sales Are The Absolute Worst

6a00e54efdf1128833014e88ff7927970dIf you’re anything like me you’re still in a food coma, craving a deliciously healthy salad for lunch, and have contemplated taking a long break from alcohol. Yep. The Monday following Thanksgiving is the worst. 

But you know what takes the cake for being the absolute worst, though? Black Friday. And not just Black Friday, but Black Friday weekend followed by “Cyber Monday.” I never partake in Black Friday shenanigans simply because seeing people lose their shit over 20% off sales makes me highly uncomfortable.

This year, though, I accidentally ventured out, and on my way to a relaxing pedicure thought to myself, “hmm why is Walnut Street in Philly so crowded?” And then my heart sank on the sidewalk as some sale hungry woman shoved me out of the way as I remembered, “IT’S. BLACK. FRIDAY.” 

Instead of going underground and seeking shelter, I had a “when in Rome,” moment, took a deep breath and entered H&M simply because I’m a jewelry whore and needed a new statement necklace. And guess what? I survived. 

So I took another deep breath and entered Zara … which looked like they had just made an announcement that in an hour there was going to be no more clothes available, ever, in the entire world. People were like hanging from the rafters. Well not really, but you get the picture. So I folded.

While I did not become a Black Friday convert, after spending some time out with the Black Friday shoppers, I believe I have pinpointed why it is the absolute worst … 

The heat: it’s funny, in casinos they pump in fresh, cold air to keep people awake and wanting to waste more of their hard earned money on slots. Yet, in the stores, even though it was a balmy 65 degrees out, it was like the tropics. Making me want to faint and vomit all at the same time.

The unnecessary attitudes: I witnessed an older woman bark at every person who walked past the line to check out that, “THERE WAS ONE LINE! ONE. LINE!” And God dammit it started back there! BACK THERE, I SAY! Of course, every time she did this, she felt the need to turn around to me and give me a look like, “can you believe these people?!” Why do these freaks always find me?

The careless shoppers: you know them. The ones at the register that are like, “this dress is only $10!? Shit, I’m going to go grab 10 more!” Leaves the cashier, takes 10 hours to grab 10 more, and holds the damn line up. And then comes back like, “oh well … didn’t have my size!” Meanwhile the line to checkout is now wrapped around the store five times. Cool. 

Unnecessary noise: why (:::cough:::, Mac cosmetics ::::cough:::) do you feel like hiring a DJ that plays loud, obnoxious rave music that is just different octaves of “UNTZ, UNTZ, UNTZ” is an effective way to bring in shoppers? Because this is always what happens…

Shopper: CAN I HAVE THE MATTE BRONZER, PLEASE!

Sales person: WHAT? :::untz … untz … untz:::

Shopper: THE. MATTE. BRONZER.

Sales person: HOLD.

:::Comes back with a red lipstick::::

Shopper: NO I SAID MATTE … YOU KNOW WHAT … fuck this I’m leaving.

I could go on but that would just be irritating for all parties involved. This holiday season, treat the people working at these stores like human beings. They don’t own the store you are shopping in. Nor do they have control over the fact that what you want is sold out. They are just trying to make a living so they too can enjoy their holidays. So stop being assholes. That’s all I ask. ‘Tis the season, right? 

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Let’s Give Thanks, Shall We?

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.07.28 AMLast week I had a bit of a throwback moment where I got to color in a printed out piece of fruit and write what I’m thankful for inside of it … yes like we once did in preschool. Oddly enough it was insanely cathartic.

While I can’t supply you with printed out pieces of fruit due to the fact that I’m just not that tech savvy, I would like to bore you to death and share a few things that I’m thankful for since I’m feeling extra EXTRA thankful this year. No clue why, I just am. 

But don’t let my lack of tech knowledge stop you from getting creative and sharing what you’re thankful for, though. Put it out into the universe. Shout it from the social rooftops. Or just tell me, because I’m nosey and want to know, dammit. 

So with all of that being said, wishing all of my fantastic readers a very happy and carbolicious Thanksgiving.

1. Life Sucking In A Strapless Bra: if strapless bras weren’t the worst thing on the planet, I wouldn’t have so much joy in my life right now

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2. My family: I mean … duh … 

3. My work family: they are awesome and I’m so lucky to be apart of such a supportive and caring bunch of weirdos.

4. My cats: I just couldn’t imagine my life without them. OMG am I crying?! 

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5. My friends: you know who you are, and as much as I want to go old school “AOL profile” and list the select few of you that I adore, I’m an adult and that is weird. So you know who you are and all I can say is I can’t live … if livin’ is without you.

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6. Carbs and wine: Let’s make out later, kay?

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7. My career: this past year, especially through all the bullshit and really tough ups and downs, at this moment I can’t help but say “pinch me.” I’m so blessed for all of my opportunities and the people who have helped me get to where I am today. For real … this one may make me shed a tear. 

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8. My mom: I know, I know, I already said family, but I’m especially obsessed with my mother. She’s way more stylish than I will ever be and is pretty much the best human I know, inside and out. 

<This is the picture I would post of her if I knew she wouldn’t cut me>

9. My health: because I would feel like an asshole if I didn’t say that.

10. Tina Fey: … because she’s my spirit animal and mentor, except she doesn’t know it or know me. But it’s cool, Tina, we’ll catch up soon. You have my number, right? Cool? No? You don’t want it … aye yes. Right.

30 ROCK -- "The Beginning of the End" Episode 701 -- Pictured: Tina Fey as Liz Lemon -- (Photo by: Ali Goldstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

30 ROCK — “The Beginning of the End” Episode 701 — Pictured: Tina Fey as Liz Lemon — (Photo by: Ali Goldstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Public Service Announcement: Don’t be a fucking idiot and drink and drive tonight. In fact stay home. It’s the amateur hour of drinking. So unless you want some poor bastard who never ever drinks, but decided to get his swerve on and down some kamikaze’s to end up vomiting all over you, I say stay home. 

Where Have Our Grocery Store Manners Gone?

loaf-sugar-1950sI came to the realization this past weekend that every person that enters a grocery store turns into a raging, ruthless asshole. It sounds harsh, and I bet you are all like, “What! Me?! NEVER.” But you do. I do. We all do. 

I realize this has nothing to do with fashion or lifestyle, or anything Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra stands for, but it does fall under the category of living your life in a stylish and classy manner. And if you’re in the confines of a grocery store, there’s a good chance you are not. 

But no matter what I do to get myself “hyped” to buy food, once I enter the grocery store, it is like the Old Orchard Mall from Mean Girls. Animals attacking one another. And by animals I mean women decked out in Lululemon eyeing up the bitch that just pushed her cart out of the way to get broccoli.

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Look I hate getting “preachy,” but what I’m really here to do is remind you all during this hectic holiday season that you aren’t the only human being on this Earth. And that manners are actual things and you should use them. And when you find yourself being an asshole, take a step back and be like, “wow, I’m having an adult temper tantrum in public. In a grocery store. This is happening.” Shaming yourself is actually really effective. Trust me.

Say excuse me:

Say it with me now, “ex-cuse me.” Don’t yell it. Don’t say it in a sarcastic fashion that makes me want to smush your face. Say it so the person you need to move hears it, nod your head, perhaps crack a smile if you feel up to it, and move on with your day. It’s that simple.

When someone says excuse me to you:

Don’t eye roll. Don’t pretend you didn’t hear them. Don’t say, “1 sec, sorry” and then take an extra 55,000 secs. Don’t give them a death stare like, “HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME, PHEASANT!?” Acknowledge, move your cart over a smidge, and continue on picking out that perfect bushel of broccoli for another 55,000 secs. 

Keep your kids in check:

I’m here to buy my food for the week, not to give you a pass for taking up 90% of the aisle just because you decided to reproduce. I sound like a total bitch I know and “omg I don’t have kids, I’ll never understand.” Right. All I’m asking is to get from A to broccoli (man I must be craving broccoli) without hitting road blocks like your kids screaming bloody murder because you won’t buy them Cocoa Puffs (hey, we’ve all been there … Cocoa Puffs rule … I used to get super pissed when my mom wouldn’t buy them for me).

Speaking of annoying things …:

What is UP with the car-designed carts for kids that take up WAY too much room. When I was a kid my mom handed me a box of circus animal crackers, sat me in the cart, and told me to shut the fuck up. Now we need to give these kids like Benz’ to roll around the grocery store in to keep them “entertained.” Do you REALLY think these cesspools you’re putting your kids in are effective? 

Meanwhile, when you’re off barking at the deli guy to cut your deli meats SUPER THIN, do you hear me I said, SUPER THIN, as your kids nosh on their free cookie in their faux cart car monstrosity, I can’t get by. Just remember, when your off ensuring the correctness of your deli meats, some normal woman is stupid behind your stupid obnoxious cart quietly losing her shit.

Slow walkers of America:

Unless you have a disability, FUCKING. MOVE. That’s all I have to say about that.

Space hogs:

I know you REALLY need to check every single apple to make sure it’s up to your household standards, but you REALLY need to understand that you are not the only living soul that needs apples for the week. So be aware of your surroundings, and like move over a smidge. Share the space. And again, don’t eye roll when I say “excuse me,” or call me a bitch under your breath. I can hear it. It isn’t nice. 

Refrain from cart wars:

We all know how to drive (kinda). We all know hitting another car is bad, right? Yet, while using a shopping cart it’s like the God damn wild wild west. I’ve seen stand-offs. I’ve seen the dripping in sarcasm, “NO NO, PLLEEEASSSE AFTER YOU.” Guess what? Those rules you learned when you got your drivers license apply to shopping cart usage. Right side of the aisle is one way. Left side of the aisle is another. Need something? Pull over. And quite frankly people with “cart rage” (it’s a thing) should go in a designated grocery store time-out corner or something and get their life in check. The 2 for $4 Diet Coke sale will still be there when you calm the hell down. 

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Snarkless

10919341_898499173515793_2013780022_nThis post is dedicated to the city of Paris, and for all of those affected by the terror attacks last Friday. My heart is with you.

I wanted to be snarky this morning. I wanted to wake up and post a picture on Instagram about how I can hear Monday whispering, “go fuck yourself,” in my ear already. I wanted to post on Facebook how in love I was with Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix show and if I could just keep him in my pocket and take him out when I needed a laugh, I would be the happiest person in the world. But I couldn’t. It didn’t seem right.

I was 14 when 9/11 happened, and the first thought I had was, “hmmm I wonder if TRL will still be on.” My young brain clearly had no fucking idea what just had happened and how the world would never be the same.

And here I am, 28 years old, glued to the TV watching these horrific events unfold in Paris, and I can only imagine this feeling that I can’t quite describe that is consuming me is what adults felt during 9/11. 

I have no connection to Paris. My family is not from there. I did not study abroad there. I’ve never even been to Europe. In fact I was really hesitant to post the Eiffel Tower peace sign across Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra social channels, because I so desperately didn’t want it to look like I was joining the “bandwagon,” since I didn’t have a solid connection.

But I posted it because truly my heart hurt for the people of Paris. Simply because what happened to them could happen anywhere. Literally anywhere. They went out on a Friday evening to unwind, relax, enjoy the city. Something I do every weekend. Something many of us do every weekend. And several lost their lives for that for no reason.

While I know my snark will not be on hiatus forever, in fact I’m sure within the next 12 hours something will piss me off, or my cat will do something ridiculous and I’ll feel the need to Instagram it, but for now I want to focus on being positive. I know this sounds totally fucking weird coming from me, but it’s worth it since we all have so many reasons to be. Really … think about it. 

I hope you’ll join me. It won’t be easy (especially on a Monday when everything hurts and my bed is like a super comfortable vice). And I’m not saying smile all day until your cheeks burn, skipping and handing flowers to strangers. Gross. But it a little something we can do to pay homage to the brave people of Paris. 

UPDATE: my cat DID do something ridiculous and I DID Instagram it. Stella’s getting her snark back. 

The Black Turtleneck Saga

Photo credit: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/le-fashion-39894/daria-werbowy-black-turtleneck-sweater-3756712225

Photo credit: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/le-fashion-39894/daria-werbowy-black-turtleneck-sweater-3756712225

Last week I took a trip to Uniqlo because I needed a simple black turtleneck, and didn’t want to pay millions of dollars for it. And well, when I think affordable basics, I think Uniqlo. 

Why did I need a black turtleneck? Well, I believe you need to start with the basics before you can ultimately build a proper wardrobe. A black turtleneck goes under the category of the crisp white button down, the crew neck you adore so much you buy it in 10 different colors, and the perfect white T. All things every lady needs. 

This happened to be a lackluster shopping experience for me, though, which is the absolutely worst. A simple black turtleneck? Yawn. I was secretly hoping something shiny and fantastic would catch my eye once I entered Uniqlo so I could buy my necessary garment and then treat myself to something cool for being so pragmatic. 

A pair of sweats with a cool design caught my eye and I immediately pictured myself being able to go out in public with them instead of looking like my normal slobbish self in sweats. But “meh” … I passed. Instead I decided just to “get er done,” so I tracked down the black turtlenecks for $20 a pop, found my size, and took it into the fitting room.

I slipped it on, starred at myself in the mirror wearing it and decided I “nothing-ed it.” The fit was fine. The fabric was fine. I knew I needed it, but did I want it, per-say? Negative. But it worked and didn’t make my eyes burn, so sold, I guess …?

I got in line to pay, so bored, so unamused when this wave of empowerment took over me. To hell with it! I put down the black turtleneck and walked out of the store. True, I needed it. But dammit clothes should give you SOME sort of reaction for fucks sake. You shouldn’t “nothing” an item you are spending your hard earned money on for the sake of looking stylish. 

Even though I didn’t want to spend a bazillion dollars on a black turtleneck, I was now looking for one to spark an emotion out of me, so I took my ass to Nordstrom.

Immediately I found one with fabric I can only describe as delicious. It was so soft and lovely … to this day it makes my heart skip a beat. Too bad it was just a little too unforgiving around my jiggly bit region (I’m hibernating, fuck off) … so I passed. But the fabric … OH the fabric!

I tried on another that had an interesting design, and was a bit more baggy, which, hello, I thoroughly appreciate. The fabric was incredibly snuggly, and after quickly deciding I could live in said garment, I was sold. True, it was a little more than I was looking to spend, sure (details), but comfort has no dollar sign in my eyes. With a little more money, I didn’t have to give up style for the sake of a staple.

My love affair with turtlenecks is rather new, as I swore I would never wear them after years of rocking ones with seasonally appropriate symbols embroidered all over them (snowmen, leaves, pumpkins … thanks, Mom). But they really should be a staple in every woman’s closet. Like I said, if I could live in my new one, and it wouldn’t be gross or weird, I would. 

Here are some of my favorite turtleneck looks…

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Photo credit: http://www.cyndispivey.com/2013/10/21/building-fall-wardrobe-black-turtleneck/

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Photo credit: http://www.liketheyogurt.com/2015/03/hair-tucks-high-necks.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+LikeTheYogurt+(like+the+yogurt)

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Photo credit: http://www.frilla.se/

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Photo credit: http://dailymakeover.com/fall-haircuts-2014/

 

 

Style Stud And Giveaway: LashBee

i-h5kVKWZ-LThey say that your eyes are the windows into your soul. So that would mean your eyelashes are your blinds (or drapes for you fancy, folk), so they mine as well look fantastic, right? 

Meet Anjali and Erin, the owners of LashBee, a lash extension company focused on giving the ladies of Philadelphia gorgeously natural looking extensions that aren’t damaging.

And did I mention they are giving away a $100 gift certificate to one lucky Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra reader? Because they are. I will be drawing a rando winner on Friday, November 13!

Click this link to enter to win a $100 gift certificate to LashBee: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Now let’s get to know LashBee a little better, shall we? 

I see you and your co-founder Erin just graduated from Wharton’s MBA program. What made you decide to open a lash extension service? What was your inspiration? 

Erin and I had worked together on Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Club and both wanted to start a company. We brainstormed all sorts of ideas but kept coming back to lash extensions, since we knew that women would love them if it became more accessible with higher quality. We tested out the concept in the Wharton community and had overwhelmingly positive results.

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What makes LashBee different?

We are committed to offering the highest quality extensions. We have analyzed every step of the eyelash extension process and have innovated ways to make it faster and safer.

We rigorously tested products for over a year before launching LashBee. We used a number of analytics to figure out ways to make the extensions last longer, considering factors such as humidity and different skin and eye types. We also have a product engineer on our team who is helping us develop new tools that will make the extension process more ergonomic for the lash stylist.

Since we partner with existing spas and salons, we can be in more locations that are convenient for our client.  Whether someone is getting their eyebrows done or a skin facial, they can easily add their eyelash fill onto the treatment.

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For a newbie to the world of eyelash extensions, what service would you suggest?

Our signature style is the LashBee and it where we put a lash on every healthy lash.  Since it is so full, it replaces the need for eyeliner and mascara.

What should a person know before getting lashes if they never have?

It is such a relaxing process! Over 80% of our clients fall asleep. Think of it as a little nap where you wake up looking gorgeous.

Also, eyelash extensions are unregulated in PA so it is very important to go to a reputable place that will not damage your lashes. Not all eyelash extensions are the same. We do recommend consultations since we are significantly different in our approach compared to most spots.

I have really long eyelashes (:::hair flip:::). Why would someone like me get my eyelash extensions done?

We love long, healthy lashes! No matter the size of your natural lashes, we can always make thicker, longer and darker. Our clients are often surprised how much less dark their under eyes are when they don’t have to deal with mascara or eyeliner.  Extensions make you look more awake, younger and they draw attention to your eyes.

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What is next for you ladies? Will it always be lash-focused, or do you have plans down the road to expand?

We are currently in two locations in Philadelphia (About Face and ANJUthreads) and hope to continue adding partners in different geographic areas in and around Philly.  We hope to then expand to other major cities; we are predominately eyeing NYC, DC and SF

Meeting Garance Dore

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 3.47.40 PMI personally thrive off inspiring women. I read their words. I stalk them on social. I feed off of their awesomeness in order to better myself and this blog. So when I heard, via Instagram, that Garance Dore was in Philly doing a book signing at Club Monaco, all of my bullshit reasons of why I never attend events dissipated. I would move mountains to meet this woman. She is my blogging shaman. 

With Garance Dore, you read her blog and immediately feel like you’re sitting at a cafe having a casual chat with her over coffee and a scone. That is what blogging, well, at least good blogging, is all about, right? She’s real, honest, and smart … if I could bow down to her and it wouldn’t be creepy, I would

I hesitantly approached Club Monaco in hopes a vicious line wouldn’t be out the door. To my surprise, things looked rather calm. I bought her book, LoveXStyleXLife (still out of breath), and got into the long, but not insane, line winding through the store. 

As I stopped perspiring (damn you, restrictive leather jacket) and my mind slowed down a bit, I began to wonder, why the eff was this line not moving (and, on a side note, why did I never know Club Monaco had such cute stuff)?

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After 15 minutes, I moved up a literal inch and saw a woman walking away from just meeting Garance beaming with a smile from ear-to-ear and carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers wrapped in black paper. “You sit down with her and chat for a little! It’s marvelous,” she told the entire line.

Hold up … you get to talk with her AND she gives you flowers?! Did I fall into Parisian heaven? My heart began to race. I have SO much to say to her, but where do I begin? And why didn’t I know about this sooner. And why am I wearing a $10 Cheap Monday shirt with a cat shooting laser beams out of its eyes! BLAST! 

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All the women waiting in line looked so crisp and chic. I looked like I had crawled out of a punk rock cellar after a long day of commuting and working, with no makeup for touchups in sight. Thank Jesus for my arsenal of lipstick I carry around with me.

I wish I could tell you what happened when I met her. I really do. But I blacked out. Just like when I accepted my college diploma. Just like when I have to speak in public. I black out. 

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All I remember is her being so beautiful, smart and lovely in person, me telling her the name of my blog, and her loving it and asking me to write it down for her. Then, with a shaky hand, I wrote “LifeSucksInAStraplessBra.com” on a post it for her. I hope to dear sweet Jesus I spelled it correctly. 

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I was in such awe and amazement that she actually liked my blog title and perhaps will read it, I almost left without retrieving my cellphone from the woman who took my picture with Garance. Awesome. 

It’s SO important to have smart people in your life, whether you know them or not, to look up to and learn from. Seeing Garance in person and learning about all of her success only makes me daydream even harder of one day being at my book signing, and meeting awkward bloggers who are too nervous to form together sentences. Except instead of flowers I would probably give them carbs and wine or something.

And P.S. Garance, if you’re reading this, next time you are in Philly, let’s grab coffee. I promise to not be such an awkward hot mess this time. 

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The Evolution Of A Forever 21 Shopper

When I first met Forever 21, I had just graduated high school and was transforming from an Abercrombie gal to something more “edgy” (whatever the eff that meant). I remember purchasing a tube top dress that had apples all over it thinking it was quirky and “out there.” See below? Yeah … I don’t know what I was thinking either.

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F21 was there for me when I needed something spectacular to wear for my 21st birthday and had little to no money to my name. The dress I bought I deemed “F21 couture” simply because it cost more than $30 and was sparkly.

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And below, yep, this is basically what I wore every night out in college. A sultry “going out” top from Forever 21, boot cut jeans, no coat in the middle of the winter, and heels. Uh huh … I bet you’re enjoying this.

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When I graduated college, I moved back home and was completely lost in life. I was making money, but thought luxury was being able to buy everything and anything at F21 since for so long I had to make $20 go far. I also did NOT take care of my clothing (it literally all lived on my bedroom floor). Oh yeah … and I also wanted to be Lady Gaga … desperately. You can tell by the sunglasses I bought at … you guessed it … F21, duck face, and sparkly shirt I’m wearing below (I actually still have that top). (Good God, self). 

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For the past two years or so, I’ve taken a break from Forever 21, simply because there wasn’t one close to me, leading me to explore other stores and my sense of style. Not to mention Philly has really upped its shopping game adding a Century 21, which, quite frankly, made me the happiest person on the planet. 

I started investing in “pieces” and better brands. I became friends with dry cleaners and cobblers, and started to take an interest in my closet organization. Never again did a piece of my hard earned clothing ever take refuge on my bedroom floor (unless I was hungover)

But this past weekend I went back to my old stomping grounds of F21. It was kind of like visiting my alma-mater. The familiar overwhelming feeling of being faced with racks and racks stuffed with too many clothes warmed my soul. 

Instead of collecting everything and anything that caught my eye to try on like I did once upon a time, I found myself feeling the fabric, looking at the quality, and seeing if the piece was “timeless” instead of “trendy.” 

A camel-colored coat caught my eye, so I tried it on. Me five years ago would have purchased it and thought she resembled Kim Kardashian. But modern day me was too caught up in how the fabric looked wrinkled and cheap, something a camel coat should never be, regardless if it was $60, so I passed. 

After trying on 14 items, I walked away with one. One. A plain jane sweater that was snuggly and something I needed to go with a dress I already owned. What had happened to me and F21?

I was certain that when I turned 30, 40, even 50, I would still be shopping at Forever 21. But as I walked out of the store, I kind of felt like I was turning around and saying, “it’s me … not you!” I knew we were breaking up … and it made me incredibly sad. 

People like to hate on Forever 21 and say it’s cheap and silly. I know for a fact without it existing, I could have never explored and found my personal style so easily. And I’m not saying we broke up because I’m so fancy now and only shop at Saks Fifth Avenue and wear Manolo Blaniks and turn my nose up at it :::hair flip:::. Hell no. I have the highest respect for F21. I just think my taste has grown-up a bit. I’m 28, for crying out loud, it happens.

With all of this being said, would I re-think the apple tube dress? Meeeeeh probably.

This Just In: It’s Not Christmas Time

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 2.12.18 PMOf course, typical me, Ms. “I’m not dressing up this year,” got the itch to turn herself into the devil early Saturday. With my fingers crossed, I walked into Rite Aid thinking there had to be SOMETHING devilish still available … right? 

Instead, I walked through the Halloween aisle to not find any goblins, ghouls, or ghosts … but instead … Santa Claus? Effing Santa Claus?! It was 1 p.m. on Halloween and kids hadn’t even started trick-or-treating. Yet I’m face-to-face with an arsenal of wrapping paper. 

Look, I love me some Christmas, I really do. You would have to be a cold-hearted snake not to want to get down with some Christmas. But when people talk about it starting in October, it makes me want to kick them … hard.

I get it, the Christmas season is a hectic time. But that doesn’t mean we get to extend its shelf life in order to make our lives “easier.” That’s just not real life. “Oooh, I don’t feel like making this deadline work. Let me bitch about it for another month just because I can.” Yeah. No. 

K-Mart commercials in October that play Christmas carols, telling me to put shit on layaway just because I can … again, makes me want to kick people … hard. Same with you, Starbucks. I still haven’t recovered from your Pumpkin Spiced bitch slap. Now you want me to indulge in “holiday flavors?” Can’t a girl OD on bite-sized candy in peace?!

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Instead of viewing Christmas as this war zone of hell where you are either battling crowds at the mall whilst sweating to death, or getting hammered with every person you have ever met in your life whilst eating an unimaginable amount of carbs, why don’t we all just take Christmas in stride. Shall we? 

We had a rule in my house growing up that we weren’t allowed to talk about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. It sucked as a kid, because all I wanted to do was skim through the Sears catalog and make a rad red and green Christmas list. 

But it was my parents way of saving themselves from the stress of having to review my obscene Christmas list too early (not my fault, I was under the impression Santa handled these tasks). And also, giving me something to look forward to. 

So people, what I’m saying is, let the months be what they are. October for scary shit. November for turkey and food comas. And December. The month of December. December 1-31, all about the holidays. Until then, put your ear muffs on and tune out the premature holiday nonsense. 

Because I don’t want to think about decking the halls, watching Home Alone (my favorite holiday film), or the stress of figuring out what Great Aunt Susie wants until my food coma and leftovers have dissipated after Thanksgiving. Got it?

Be in the now, people, be in the now. Keep your eye on the turkey for the next 30 days. Otherwise, prepare to be kicked … hard. 

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Style Stud: Morticia And Wednesday Addams

1a4a1cb98af400d1ae22212b46d60b64First of all, Happy Halloween, kids. I adore it. Mostly because I love witches. And darkness. And evil. (I kid :::shifty eyes:::) No in all seriousness, give me an excuse to dress ridiculous and eat a plethora of bite-sized chocolates whilst watching Hocus Pocus and I’m a happy girl. 

If you hadn’t noticed by my Instagram this week (you stalk me on Instagram, right? RIGHT?!), I’ve been paying homage to some bad ass Halloween-inspired ladies, myself included when me and one of my best friends dressed up as the twins for the Shining. It ruled.

While I was never a huge fan of the Addams Family show or movies (although I recently saw a handbag that resembled Cousin It and needed it in my life), I pretty much bow down to Morticia and Wednesday. They like … get me

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A random guy at a bar one time told me I looked like Morticia Addams, probably because I was wearing all black and suffering from hardcore resting bitch face, and I was over the moon. I believe it was a sad attempt at flirting, or perhaps he was trying to insult me, who the eff knows slash cares. See! That is such a Morticia thing to say. 

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to be like one of those crazytown people who get plastic surgery to look like the star they are obsessed with and turn myself into extra creepy and plastic-ey version of Morticia Addams. BUT … I will deem the rad mother and daughter duo, Morticia and Wednesday as my Style Stud of the week. Because they keep it real, loathe people, and are incredibly stylish (call it goth … but an all-black wardrobe is forever)

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Now insert my speech about not dressing like a whorey Donald Trump and not drinking and driving dressed as whorey Donald Trump … or in general … like a moron. 

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Giving In To Slutty Halloween Costume Peer Pressure


372013_1265401407739_fullI remember like it was yesterday, starting my freshman year of college and vowing to myself, “self, you will never dress like a slut for Halloween.” I never did it in high school, so why start now (seriously, one year I was the sailor from the Village People … and the non-sexy version, mind you).

Flash forward to a few months later and there I was in a pirates hat, bra poking out of some Joyce Leslie nightmare, fish nets, hooker heels, and a whip walking to the closest party, cheap vodka in hand. Sigh. To be clear, I’m NOT proud of this moment. 

I walked into college with such good intentions. Me and a bunch of my new friends will be the cast of Anchorman (it was 2005). We’ll go to Good Will and get silly suits. I’ll wear a mustache. Everyone will laugh. I’ll be comfortable. All the guys will LOVE it!

But when you’re sitting around your dorm’s common area, hearing your size 2, gorgeous hallmates describe how they are Mean Girls-style turning their lacy bras into bunny costumes … all of a sudden, your “funny” idea doesn’t seem that awesome, and you get this like super human need to out-slut all of these bitches. I blame male attention. 

I hauled ass to the nearest Halloween store to piece together a costume that screamed “slut.” Mind you, I barely had enough money to eat, but at this moment in time, a $15 pirate hat, and a $10 whip took precedence. And with my food money, I turned myself into the lamest “pirate hooker” (I still don’t even know if that is really a thing) of all time. 

Walking around half naked and half drunk, I felt the opposite of “sexy.” My knee-high fishnets (because why would I buy full fishnets like a normal human being) were falling down, my red lipstick was a granny shade of red instead of a sultry one, I was effing freezing (because pirate hookers don’t wear coats no matter what), and my bra I strategically had slightly sticking out wasn’t even lacy. I failed at slutty Halloween.

I cringe when I think about these moments. Truly I do. Sure, it’s a totally normal “right of passage” to dress like a skank for Halloween in college. I get it. I’m not a prude. I gave in to slutty peer pressue. I cringe, though, because it was, and is, SO not me.

Listen, what I’m trying to get at is, if all of your friends are dressing like the slutty version of something stupid, and it REALLY isn’t your style, like it wasn’t for me, do you. “Slut” isn’t a costume. Be the funny guy and get some laughs. Because let me tell you, there will be so much T&A walking around that night, no one will even notice if your taa was full blown sticking out. 

Oh yeah … and if a guy who never talks to you all of a sudden does because you slutted it up, pirate hooker-style, on Halloween … run, don’t walk. Well, kick him in the balls THEN run. 

K … bye. 

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People Still Can’t Handle Menstruation

21-thinx-ad-2.w529.h352When I first came across the brand THINX, I was in love. A pair of underpants (yes, “underpants” because “panties” is a foul word) strictly for when you have your period? Uhh … BRILLIANT. 

Nothing is more irritating in life then ruining a good pair of underpants during that time of the month, am I right? Leak protection my ass, tampon/pad brands, leak protection MY ASS. 

So you can understand my frustration when reading an article about how one of THINX’s ads on the New York City subway system were “offending” people and deemed “inappropriate.” 

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about where the line in the sand would be drawn for “shock value.” Clearly it isn’t Miley Cyrus spouting out her love for drugs every time a camera is in her face. And obviously it isn’t a bloody, murderous four-way on American Horror Story (and that wasn’t even the most shocking part). But an ad with the words, “shedding of the uterine lining,” which, PS, is medical terminology, well, by golly, SHUT IT DOWN. AVERT YOUR EYES. LOCK YOUR KIDS IN THEIR ROOMS. Men are fainting. Women are gasping. Holy shit it is 1950 again! 

Good God. 

Here’s the thing. You want to “free the nipple” and have your rights to go full frontal on Instagram (which, quite frankly, I will never understand). Yet these ads from THINX are deemed to have “too much skin,” and may lead to kids asking their parents what “periods” are. Heavens!

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Kids SHOULD know what periods are. With the hormones, and the pollution, and the nonsense, girls are getting their periods at like birth now. They should know what’s up sooner so they aren’t that asshole in math class bleeding all over their chair leading them to get made fun of for the rest of time. 

I’m not trying to preach how to parent, because God knows I have zero experience, but it’s not like you’re teaching them where the P goes in the V and how to put said P in V successfully (see, I’m a toddler). You’re teaching them about the human body, and a bodily function all women, unfortunately, suffer through. It shouldn’t be something cringeworthy. It should be more like getting inducted into a sisterhood, a horrible, horrible, rage-filled sisterhood. 

In the world we live in today, there are no boundaries. And for some folks to get offended by this advertisement (which, I’m going to assume, were mostly men … and if not I’m even more insulted), is not only incredibly sexist, but shameful. We can have commercials run during all hours of the day spouting out medical information for dudes who can’t get it up, yet we can’t talk about periods on a subway ad …  understood. 

Because guess what world? Once a month, my uterus DOES indeed shed its lining, which then comes out of my vagina and on to an absorbent something or other so I can stay so fresh and so clean clean during this heinous event we (women) have to endure to carry your babies. And if a company like THINX wants to create a product that makes that time of the month just a little more tolerable and decides to represent my uterine lining in a creative and interesting way … then amen. 

Good advertising is eye-catching, different, and sometimes controversial. I applaud this campaign since clearly, after centuries of women bleeding from their vaginas, people (men) still get skeeved out by them. Sigh. 

Well done, THINX, well done. 

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Balmain For H&M … Do You Dare?

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 2.37.47 PMI like to think you all know me by now. I pretty much wear all black. I’m a hop, skip, and a jump away from being a cat lady (and I’m totally cool with that). And I loathe when designers partner with retailers like Target. Simply because I believe designer clothes are something you have to work for, and not something you should be allowed to pick up on your way to get laundry detergent. 

But people can change … right? 

I gotta say … the Balmain for H&M collection is pretty dreamy. So dreamy that I’ve considered even being one of “those” people who get up crazy early, wait outside in a line full of freaks for the doors of the store to open, and throw bows to get my prized item. Yep. It has happened. What can I say … a good collection can have that affect on even the snarkiest of folk. 

Yet all I see are all the insanely rad fashion bloggers out there like, “Ew. Why. Stop. My eyes. :::Yawn::: :::Hair flip::: :::Sip latte::: :::Instagram lipstick left on latte cup:::” 

But personally … I could give a shit. Simply because A. the collection looks decent and I’m a fan of the designer (and not because of the Kardashians, okay :::shifty eyes:::) and B. more importantly … I’m terribly curious to witness the launch of one of these designer meets retailer collections go down. 

I’ve never had the balls, simply because seeing women go insane and lose their shit and all of their manners just to score some piece of clothing with a designer label on it for H&M prices (which, hi, makes absolutely no sense) makes me wildly uncomfortable. Like palms sweaty, anxiety-ridden uncomfortable. 

Unfortunately, and sadly … really, really sadly, it has been on my fashion bucket list to witness an event as such. I have no idea why. Maybe I think it will be funny. Maybe I’m slightly addicted to the drama of it all. Maybe I’m a writer and this is the kind of crazed shit writers enjoy. Who the eff knows. 

I’m also really scared. Scared of what the sight of cheap designer goods does to the women of the world. Scared that I will literally get punched in the face by an insane women reaching for the same thing as me. Scared that I will get tripped and fall on my face, breaking all of my teeth, only to be left on the floor of H&M bleeding with not a care in sight. And scared I won’t get anything. Dammit, if I’m waiting to get into H&M for crying out loud, mama wants some cheap Balmain

So November 5, if anyone is feeling crazy and wants to wake up super early with me, I’ll be waiting in line at some H&M trying not to get murdered. I’ll buy the donuts, you bring the mace. Let’s do this. 

Until then, let’s drool over all the insane looks, shall we? 

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Style Stud Of The Week: Tom Ford 2016 Spring/Summer Collection

Lady-Gaga-Tom-Ford-I-Want-Your-Love-9I’ve become obsessed with a music video, kids … which hasn’t happened since pre-Britney shaving her head. And for the infants reading this post, music videos once lived on a magical thing called MTV, before it was filled with idiots thinking they are “dating” Leonardo DiCaprio, but really are getting intimate over the phone with an overweight 15-year-old girl with self esteem problems who want to stick it to all her “haters”. I digress though. 

Tom Ford, instead of having a tradition runway show to introduce his 2016 spring/summer collection, decided to showcase it in an out-of-the-box fashion with Lady Gaga, who did a re-make of Chic’s “I Want Your Love.” Before I go on, if you don’t know the original version, please take a few minutes out of your day to watch this. I demand it. It’s disco genius (yes, I was clearly born in the wrong decade)

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This video with Lady Gaga, though … gives me chills. Soul train lines, stunning models (like 90’s-style gorgeous models … not “squad” members that I want to secretly kick), beautiful fashion, and Gaga. It’s … I mean … :::drooling::: I’ve not ashamed to say I’ve watched it like 45,000 times and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

The thing I love most about it is Lady Gaga. She’s no model, happens to be short, and in fact was made fun of as a teen for her appearance (girls suck). It just goes to show that with an excessive amount of confidence, a good strut, and a pure unadulterated love for fashion … (and great hair and makeup artists) … anyone can rub shoulders with the most beautiful people in the world. 

Hey … it kind of makes me feel like I could even get up there and join their soul train line (although to be honest I would probably pee myself in fear).

So I’ll shut the hell up now so you can indulge in my Style Stud of the week … Tom Ford’s 2016 spring/summer collection, starring Lady Gaga. Swoon.

(click the image)

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Ey, Yo, Neckerchief, Where Do You Live?

dolce-gabbana-wisteria-print-scarfThanks to the four hours it took to put a little blonde into my hair a few weekends ago (and when I say a little, I mean a little), I got to read the September issues of Harpers and Vogue cover-to-cover … something I normally just wouldn’t have the time for because, well, I like to sleep.

And that is when I came face-to-face with my newest fall obsession: neckerchiefs. I know, I know, “neckerchiefs” what does it mean? Do I want to wear men’s ties as belts again like I did back in 2003 (yeah … that happened)

Well … to be crystal clear, THIS is my jam (yes Man Repeller AND her neckerchief)

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Not this :::chills::: … 

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Now consider this an insane brag when I say I have a pretty impressive collection of silk scarves that my Nana left me. I remember playing dress up with them when I was little, to using them as cool room decor as a teenager, to waiting patiently to style them with the right outfit as an adult. See below. They’re good, right? And yes, that is Hermes, what WHAT :::raises roof::: (yes, I know CLEARLY a person who still “raises the roof” shouldn’t own Hermes … I get it). 

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And now here is my moment! They are in! They are hot! I see all these rad fashion bloggers on my Instagram feed pairing neck ties with beautiful statement jewelry and making the trend look purely delicious. It’s easy, right? Just pick out one of my insanely large statement necklaces, wrap scarf around neck … and … I ended up looking and feeling like this:

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Yeeeeaaaaaahhhh. Cue the Price Is Right Fail horn

Every different way I tried to wear it was horrific. At one point I felt like I was being strangled by the fabric. Then after trying it a different way, my neck looked like it had been swallowed up by a mass of fancy fabric. And finally when I thought I had it, I looked in the mirror and decided I resembled a teenager poorly trying to cover up a myriad of hickies. That is when I said, “SCREW IT, I DON’T NEED YOU, NECKERCHIEF JERK!” 

While I wanted to walk away from the trend and be all, “you’re not THAT cool,” I had all of these beautiful designer scarves pathetically starring at me like, “I’m dusty … wear me, wear me! I’m vintage. I’m hip. I’m with it.” 

And then I realized, God dammit, I’m going to resort to YouTube to learn how to style this properly, aren’t I? And there it was. All the biggest and baddest fashion bloggers and pubs explaining how to make the “neckerchief work.” Apparently I wasn’t the only one who wanted to set fire to the trend.

To be clear, I LOATHE YouTubing shit. I once did it to learn how to contour my face (blog post to follow) and ended up looking like Frankenstein. Not to mention, I always feel like the broads on the video are mocking me, like “see ladies, look how easy that was … any trained moron can do it!”, while I’m sitting there with gross brown eyeshadow lining my face screaming, “this is NOT how the Kardashians look, you bastard!” 

Eh well, you live and you learn a few new tricks every day. I won’t slash will not give up on this neckerchief trend because I DO happen to think it is an innovative new way to kick up your statement jewels.

Now behold, the neckerchief that is currently on its way to me from ASOS that I’m sure will continue to torture my life until I get it right. Yeah, lady below, it’s just so “simple” isn’t it? “Look at me, I’m so cool in my perfectly folded neckerchief.” We’ll see about that, model, we’ll see.

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The Similarities Between Dating And Shopping

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.29.32 PMI’m not sure if I believe in love at first sight with human beings, but I absolutely believe in love at first sight with inanimate objects. Like this delicious handbag to the left. It’s good, right? The minute it and myself locked eyes, it was over. We had to be with one another … or … I had to be with it. 

And that’s when I decided there really isn’t THAT much difference between finding a really great guy and a really great handbag (Jesus do I sound like Carrie Bradshaw up in this bitch or what). 

The emotions I felt today before purchasing this magnificent beast were all too familiar. The racing heart, the drooling (just a little … :::shifty eyes:::), the feeling of just wanting to hold it and caress it. Video montages of us strolling down the street on a beautiful fall day together playing in my head. You know the drill.  

For example, if I locked eyes with a swoon-worthy dude, I would probably escape as quickly as I could to stalk him on the interwebs to make sure he wasn’t wanted for murder (oh shush, you do it, too). And … you know … just to stare at him a little more. But handbags don’t have Facebook pages. They have product pages on store websites. So I kept a secret tab open all day so I could keep taking small ganders at it.

When you leave a guy after a first date and are in the “flirting stage” of your relationship, there is always a fear that someone better will come along and distract your prey (or am I just a freak?). You’re completely blinded by all these crazy emotions, and find yourself constantly on edge like, “what the eff is happening!?”

In a similar state of fear, I found myself carrying on with my day, forgetting the handbag existed, only to get a moment to myself and think, “wonder if some other bitch scooped up my bag?!” I frantically clicked the tab, and with a sigh of relief saw it was still available. BUT … I placed one carefully in my “shopping cart” just to be safe. On a different note, if only dating was this easy, right? You like a guy, lift him into your imaginary “dating cart”, and boom … you’ve found eternal happiness. (Seriously what is WITH my Carrie Bradshaw vibes today?!)

Then there is that feeling like you’re going to vom. Like his sheer presence in front of you makes you so weak in the knees, you could literally hurl all over him and yourself (hot, right?). Turns out shopper’s remorse has the same effect. I wanted this bag. I NEEDED this bag. It was me in every sense of my being. But it was a little expensive. JUST a little. I believe a purchase over $50 is something you should think about. But much like seeing a crush, the shopper’s remorse was making me want to hurl all over my MacBook. 

And just like making your relationship “Facebook official” or accepting that marriage proposal and gorgeous ring, getting that email that says “your purchase is being processed” after pulling the trigger … well … there is nothing more satisfying in the world. Now all I can do is wait patiently for my love to show up at my door step so I can twirl in circles as I hug it, and Instagram the shit out of it (seriously, I need a therapist), because much like your engagement ring, clearly all anyone cares about is my handbag.

So while I’m clearly no expert on dudes or relationships (really … the Carrie Bradshaw vibes are giving me the heebie geebies), I AM an expert on a good handbag. And while I would say, yeah totally, go out and get it, too. It’s such a good handbag that EVERY woman should have it. I can only say in the nicest way possible, “LAY OFF, LADY, IT’S TAKEN!” 

Buy Yourself Something Shiny – Rainy Week Edition

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 1.41.32 PMIf you live on the East Coast, it is probably raining … and cold. And it has probably been raining for sometime now. And if you are anything like me, you just want to order Chinese food, crawl under your covers, live in pajamas, and watch Netflix until it’s time for you to crawl downstairs and pour yourself a glass of wine. 

For a lot of us (myself included) … that just isn’t in the cards (God damn “adult” things :::shakes fist:::). But what can we do to make up for this. What can we do to heal our chilled bones, our heinous hair days, and our drenched selves? 

BUY SHIT. 

Yep. You guessed it. Prepare yourselves for another edition of “Buy yourselves something shiny.” Why? Because I said so. It’s Friday, the weather blows, we are all exhausted, blah blah blah … DO IT. 

So I’ll shut the hell up now while you whip out your credit cards and get your online shop on. 

Happy Friday, freaks. 

Neckerchief

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OPI Big Apple Red Nail Polish

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Cape

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Beautiful bracelet

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Boyfriend button down

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Skull decor … because

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Statement necklace to end all statement necklaces

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Rebecca Minkoff iPhone 6 Case 

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Your Homework: Support Philly Small Businesses

Small-business-webWhile I love me some department stores and mall favorites like H&M and Zara, I swoon for a good small business. Mostly because I love talking to the owners, seeing their inspiration, and wandering through their ornately designed space. And also, walking away with something really unique ain’t too shabby. 

While I want to raise the roof (do people still do that?) and start a slow clap for all the people who made this Pope weekend in our city seamlessly glorious, I can’t help but feel a little bit bad for the small businesses in our city.

Marc Vetri had an interesting post on his Facebook page this weekend that read, “instead of engaging the citizens and businesses around this great city in welcoming the Pope, they have instead decided to roll out the red carpet for everyone making the pilgrimage, and roll us up in the carpet to place in storage until Monday.” 

I don’t want to discount what a fantastic weekend this was for our city and all the hard work that went into making it such a success, I really don’t. I think now we will been seen as more than fat, cheesesteak loving, snowball throwing, battery whipping assholes (suck on that, Jim Gaffigan). But I can’t help but feel a little remorse that these “Pope Pilgrims” didn’t get to take advantage of all that our city has to offer, outside of the Parkway. 

So, my dear sweet muffins, I am encouraging … NEY … demanding you show extra love to your local small businesses. I want you to go to a restaurant, get drunk off some good wine, maybe have a citywide special, order apps, then happily shop through your favorite local haunts. That is your homework for the week. I think we are all capable of doing this, correct? Yeah, that’s what I thought :::shakes fist in a threatening manner:::

And if you’re at a loss as to where to go because you forgot life exists outside of the Pope’s visit (I know I have), here are some suggestions on where to spend your hard earned money to support our local retailers to make up for their shitastic weekend.

These are just a few of my faves, but please, show some love to all of the others, too.

Get drunk, eat well: 

Tria

4th and Cross

Vintage

Royal Tavern

Now drunkenly buy yourself something shiny:

Retrospect

Bus Stop Boutique

Jinx

Baked

Smak Parlour

Open House

The Strange and Unusual 

A Closet Full Of Bad Vibes

14-homeowner-hauntedThe chill crisp in the air that is making me want to do a Breakfast Club-style freeze frame fist pump, is also giving me insane anxiety. And no, it’s not the oh so familiar, “back-to-school anxiety” that looms every September, even though I’ve been out of school for six years now (I’m beginning to feel like this will forever exist in my life). 

Instead I’m staring at my closet door (where I store my off-season clothing), in fear and loathing. All of my summer clothes are hanging pleasantly on my clothing rack, yet I know any day now, I will have to open that closet door filled with my fall/winter clothing from last season and transition them back into my life. And dear good … I mine as well be in the Delorean gunning it back to a time I just want to forget.

I know I probably sound like a lunatic right now (when do I not), but when you had some pretty bad shit happen in the past season, your clothes from back then are stained with those memories.

“Ohh hey, shirt I got dumped in.”

“Wow … long slouchy sweater, I haven’t thought about the day I got laid off whilst wearing you in a few weeks. Thanks for the reminder, dick.”

Yeah. Hence why that closet door stays CLOSED. TIGHTLY. 

The problem is, I adore a lot of my clothes from last winter. They are good. REAL good. There is nothing wrong with them besides my emotional issues (perhaps I should go talk to someone about this … hmm). Yet every time I pick them up, I get awful, soap opera-style flashbacks from all the bad nonsense that happened during that season. And that is when I put them back on the rack, back away slowly, and remind myself, “self, you need new clothes.” 

So as much as it hurts me to part with these pieces (because like I said, they are GOOD), I must. Figurative emotional stains are just as hard to get out as real life mustard stains. And who knows, maybe someone, a person who needs them much more than I, will shake out the good times in these pieces. 

I bet you’re wondering, why don’t you keep them? Well … I usually do. In the past I would keep them and just let them hang, lifelessly in my closet … and every time I would reach for the piece I would be all, “hmm yeah … I want to have a good day today … soooo you’re going to stay here.” That’s not normal, kids. I don’t have a Kardashian closet to be this silly with space, okay. Mama needs the space.

Look, you shouldn’t need a box of tissues, a bottle of wine, and a Xanex to go through your closet. Your closet should be your sanctuary, no matter how small or unorganized. While we cannot erase the bad shit that happened in the past, we can remove the reminders, even if they happen to be fantastic pieces you collected over the previous season. Sigh. 

But hey, I’m looking at it like a new blank canvas to fill with awesome, more positive pieces. And more glorious space.

What I’m saying is, I can’t wait to buy more black clothes. I just can’t wait. 

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Be Kind To Pope People

sister-act:::Your regular snarky fashion and lifestyle commentary will be briefly interrupted for the following message:::

Today I experienced my first moment of “Popemaggedon”. My train was not only late, but canceled, and the train that followed it was significantly late and so crowded that I had to sit next to a smelly man who was showing no signs of life, and happened to be taking up 84.7% of the seat. Ahhh Septa. 

By the time I arrived at Market East (it will always and forever be Market East to me … so suck it), I was full of rage … mostly due to my smelly unconscious neighbor who was making me incredibly nauseous. And it didn’t help that I was confronted with a platform full of out-of-towners who didn’t know if the sky was up or down, clogging up every inch of walking space, and not moving … all smiling and carrying on, when I had six minutes to catch my next train to get the eff HOME

My eyes were rolling, my scowl was in place, but my manners did not take a backseat (hello … I’m a lady), as I angrily pushed through the crowd of see-through backpacks whilst saying, “excuse me,” in the most nicely annoyed fashion. No one seemed to care, though. All the see-through backpack owners looked like they were so pleasantly consumed with why they were visiting to even try to care about my miserable ass. 

It wasn’t until I walked up the steps to a sea of priests and nuns that reality REALLY bitch slapped me across the face. It was startling and yet so pleasant. Immediately I slowed my roll and started to feel calm, incredibly silly for being so frustrated, and oddly enough like I was in the presence of true rock stars. 

I know I’m not the only one who has been viewing this event like a “Made in America” nightmare on steroids that is a total inconvenience to every aspect of our lives, but it’s oh so different. Teenagers won’t be in “festival gear” getting drunk off $16 Bud Light cans (I mean, I hope not … come on, people). Those idiots are being replaced with old school nuns (rowdy and rude festival morons < nuns). This is a huge deal, and sometimes you just need to bask in the chaos a little because it (sometimes) is kind of incredible.

So if you are like me and want to punt your commute and hide under your bed than deal with these shenanigans, take a deep breath, prepare for the worst, and be kind. For the love of Godbe kind. No matter what is happening, if you are stuck in a sea of clear backpacks that won’t move, slow down and be cordial. Shoot these people a smile. Direct them to a good bar. Show them where the rad shops are. Give solid directions (except no one ask me, I have a foul sense of direction), and welcome them. Here is a solid opportunity for the world to not see us as a bunch of fat assholes.

I realize almost all of the people attending the World Meeting of Families, especially Pope Frank, reads Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra religiously (I couldn’t resist), so welcome and enjoy our lovely city. And if you want a divine cheesesteak, visit Sonny’s on 2nd and Market.

To my real reader(s) of the Philly area, it will be over soon. I promise. Just smile and nod. Smile and nod.

:::Now back to our regularly scheduled program of snarky fashion and lifestyle commentary:::

Stop Asking Stupid Questions

lemon-nerd-rageThis week there has been a lot of talk about famous women (Tyra Banks) dealing with infertility issues. While I cannot relate, I found it mind boggling that people … strangers in fact … were commenting on her social media channels asking her, “Tyra, when are you going to have kids!” “Tyra, why don’t you have kids?!” Uhh really? Yes, because the first thing I think to do when I wake up is harass my favorite celebrity about why they haven’t procreated (What. Is. Wrong. With. People).

Besides the famous folks, I’ve witnessed so many people I’m close to get asked obnoxious questions. Questions that may have been appropriate to ask in 1955, but are no longer on the table. Myself in fact, have been victim to the heinous questions of …

“Why aren’t you married?”

“Why don’t you own a home?”

“Wait … you don’t have a boyfriend … why?!” 

I usually turn bright red in those situations, uncomfortably giggle, and say something awkward like, “UHHHH …” and shrug my shoulders whilst trying to change the topic as fast as possible. But what I REALLY wanted to say to these people is …

“Well, I don’t own a home because I witnessed the economic collapse of the housing market first hand, and quite frankly want nothing to do with it. Also, I don’t have the money. I’m not married because I don’t settle for stupidity. And I don’t have a boyfriend because well … I don’t. It’s not that I don’t want one. I’m just too busy with my career to give any idiot a chance to waste my time :::Drops mic:::” 

Guys, no longer is it okay to ask people who JUST got married or have been married for more than a second …

“Sooo when are you guys having kids?”

“You’ve been married for 2.5 seconds, why don’t you have kids!?”

“Sooo … you guys TRYING?!” 

You have NO idea what people are going through. Those people could be dealing with infertility issues, or maybe cannot conceive (and ps. think of it this way … you are basically asking your friends if and how often they are boning … it’s weird. “Trying” means boning. Remember that.). Or maybe … GASP … they don’t want any damn children. Instead, perhaps, they are enjoying their time together alone, or I don’t know, saving up money so they don’t end up living in a very crowded van down by the river. 

You just never know. And in these situations, when it comes to forcefully stepping your foot inside the private lives of your loved ones or strangers (for you extra annoying humans) … I say don’t. AND the only caveat to this rule is if you are over 75. You truly cannot control those broads … nor should you. 

I’m sure most of these questions aren’t asked out of malice, and are just asked out of, well, the sake of pure conversation. But there are far more interesting things to fill a conversation with. News. Pop culture. Climate change. Unicorns. Kardashians. Cats. I mean … you get the point … I hope. 

So I’m filing all of those foul questions outlined above under “word vomit”. Because if you are going to ask someone why they haven’t fertilized their eggs yet or basically, why no one loves them, you mine as well go the distance and ask how much they make a year, and if they got a raise, and how much that was. And, why the hell not, ask how many people they have slept with.

In the meantime … leave our personal shit where it belongs. In the privacy of our own chaotic brains.

But don’t worry … I’ll be sure to alert all of you when I settle down, get knocked up, and buy a perfect pink hour with 2.5 baths. But because you didn’t ask this one question, I’m KILLING it in my career.

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I Non-basically Adore Fall

tumblr_lxdm5eTF7E1qlxupro1_500I find it thoroughly entertaining that now being “basic” and boasting about “basic things” is en vogue. Good for you, Ugg boot wearer who showers in pumpkin spice everything. If you like that shit and can’t wait to post a pic of you, “pumpkin picking with your bae,” good for you for owning it, finally, and not letting the haters kill your vibe. You know what I mean? 

And while I would rather be tickled to death until I peed my pants than go pumpkin picking, and, honestly, loathe all things pumpkin-related (unless it is a sugar cookie in the shape of a pumpkin … then we’ll talk), I do love me some fall. 

But for the non-basic girl, we’re kind of exiled from the season. Just because I don’t want to drink pumpkin beer with you and have a pumpkin carving contest whilst watching football doesn’t mean there aren’t aspects of the season that I effing die for. 

So to make a fair representation of all who love the fall season, basic or non-basic, here are some reasons why I’m more than happy to tip my cap to the humid and swamp-ass-filled months of summer. 

Horror Flicks: Do you know what I call a good time? My couch, blankets, snacks, my cat, and a good horror flick. Most are ridiculously bad. The others will keep you awake at night (for example the Human Centipede … good GOD). But I can’t think of a better time in the fall than getting the pants scared off of yourself in the comfort of your own home. 

Leathah: (Oh yeah, I said leathah) I bought a pair of leather leggings at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale back in July, and have been counting down the days until I can wear them without melting. So far, still a no go. But the idea of incorporating leathah back into my life from skirts, to pants, to shoes is making me want to squeal.

Halloween candy: It’s glorious. Instead of committing to one full-sized candy bar, you can sample a few bite-sized ones all at one time. (And all together they DEFINITELY do NOT make up more than one full-sized candy bar … :::shifty eyes:::)

Skulls: Okay some people go pumpkin crazed during the fall, I go skull crazed. I literally just spent a stupid amount of time looking for the perfect skull decor at Home Goods. While some may put them up only during Halloween, I found one that can and will stick around all day err day. 

Fashion is ACTUALLY a thing again: The name of the game this summer was, “wear as little clothing as possible so you don’t sweat to death/at the same time don’t look like a complete whore.” I believe I won said game. But fall fashion is where the real style comes out to play. The layers, and fabrics, and textures. While throwing on a maxi and a statement necklace is great and all, there is nothing like putting together a thoughtful and complex fall look. 

Stud pumpkins: I meant it when I said I will NEVER carve pumpkins with you. BUT, if you wanted to paint some pumpkins black and insert silver tacts into them to make cool designs … THEN we can talk. (Yeah … I made those below … jealous?)

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Pho Real: I’ve been craving Pho Ha since March. It has been torturous. But, then again, it’s been far too hot to even consider anything of the sort. And now that the air is a bit crisper, mama needs it. SHE NEEDS HER PHO. It’s so comforting and everything I love in life when it comes to food (yes … noodles and chicken … I’m SUCH a foodie). So if you ever want to go on a Pho date … I’m game. 

Less sweat, more snuggles: I’m not a heartless beast, I fucking LOVE to snuggle (mostly with my cat). Especially when it’s cold (see basic B’s … we have more in common than you think). But if you try to snuggle me during a heatwave, you will get the back of my hand. So the idea of coming home to snuggle and NOT having to immediately jump in the shower simply due to the fact that I sweated so much my bra is soaked (how about THAT visual boys … ooooh yeaaaahhhh), kind of makes me want to do a happy dance. 

So there you have it, kids. We can all love fall for our own reasons. But if I see one more meme or one more post about how the world is made from pumpkin spice tear drops, I may cut someone.

How Much My Face Costs

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 2.25.19 PMI hate to admit this. In fact, I’m typing with one hand and covering my face in shame with the other. But I’m slightly mystified with the Kardashians. I’m not proud of it. But after a long day, it’s something I can turn my brain off and be entertained by, much like staring at something shiny, ya know?

Therefore when I see an article that says something like, oh I don’t know … “This is How Much Kylie Jenner Spends On Her Face,” I click on it. (Oh shut it, you probably did, too) 

I was expecting thousands and thousands of dollars would be spent, between the lip fillers and her star-studded cast of hair stylists and makeup artists. But the youngest of the Kardashian clan spends around a little over $3,000 for the whole sha-bang. While for me, that price is shocking and a bit appalling, for her it’s kind of like, “really? That’s all?” 

Which made me want to evaluate my own beauty regiment, because I don’t know about you, but I wake up looking like a gargoyle. So I need a LOT of help de-gargoyling myself before I can show my face in public without scaring small children. 

While I was a little nervous, yet 110% positive I wouldn’t come close to Kylie’s over $3,000 beauty budget, I decided to crunch the numbers and see how much I actually spend to fake dance around people and be all, “I WOKE UP LIKE DIS,” but in reality I woke up super early and applied X amount of dollars worth of shit to my body so I didn’t frighten you. 

So here it is … 

Face

Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Face Cleanser: $7.99

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion: $11.99

Kiehls Facial Fuel Eye De-puffer: $20.00

Miss Spa Brightening Facial Sheet Mask: $3.99 (only once in a blue moon, though)

Rubbing Alcohol: $3.29 (this is my solution to all breakouts … it’s glorious)

Makeup

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation: $36 (I still don’t know if this shit ACTUALLY does anything)

Benefit Erase Paste: $26 (the cream of the Gods)

Laura Mercier Foundation: $48

Mac Bronzing Power: $26

Benefit Sugarbomb Box O’ Powder: $28 (I randomly found this stuffed in the back of my makeup drawer, and now I’m obsessed)

Benefit They’re Real Mascara: $24

Sephora Collection Long-lasting 12-hour liquid eyewear: $12

Sephora Collection Retractable Eyebrow Pencil: $13

Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Moss Lipstick: $5.79 (my current lip jam)

Hair:

TRESeme Color Revitalize Protection Shampoo: $4.99

Conditioner from a hair dye box (depends): $6.99 (yes, I buy the box hair dye, and only use the conditioner because it rocks that hard)

Keratin shit from my salon: $20 (it has my salon’s logo on it, so I don’t know exactly where you could get it.  What up, Verde Salon)

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo: $5.99 (only when I’m super lazy and don’t want to wash my hair, which is constantly)

Grand total to NOT look like a gargoyle: $304.02 

I mean it isn’t TERRIBLE, right? RIGHT?! GOOD GOD, TELL ME I DON’T HAVE ISSUES! Sigh. I blame Sephora. Damn you, Sephora and all of your shiny goodness, DAMN YOU! :::shakes fist::: (just kidding, love you, mean it)

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You Know What Keeps Me Cool? Shoes.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 3.31.07 PMTo all of you lovely people posting nostalgic pictures of summertime and weeping that it is over, I kind of want to smack you. Hard. Because according to my sweat-soaked bra (how about that visual) and makeup melting off of my face, it’s still breathing its heavy, humid breath all over us.

And you know what? I’ve had enough. I’m at my breaking point. In fact, as I was walking home from the train, I just wanted to throw in the towel, fall into a heap of sweat on the street corner and wale, “WHEN WILL IT END … DEAR GOD WHEN WILL IT END … AND WILL SOMEONE CALL ME AN UBER, FOR THE LOVE!” 

So to be less overdramatic, I’ve been thinking about what could immediately solve this problem. Creating an air conditioned ball I could roll to and fro in, perhaps? Never leaving my air conditioned home? And then it came to me. Fall shoes. Fall shoes cure EVERYTHING :::jumps in mid-air with excitement:::

While I know fall shoes can’t help me from sweating through my bra and getting in fits of rage as I suffer through the heatwaves and humidity, they can reassure me there is a light at the end of this stifling tunnel. 

I’m not going to lie to any of you, the fall shoe game this season is swoon-worthy, and I may or may not have been caught drooling over them at my computer, but that is neither here nor there. 

So while I try to control throwing shit at my television when the weather person says the words “heatwave” and “lasting several days” … I’m going to dazzle you with some of my favorite fall shoes that are not only heavenly … but affordable (sort of, kind of). How ’bout that?!

*Click on images to make your shoe dreams come true.

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Style Stud: The Strange and Unusual Philadelphia

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.53.37 AMIf you hadn’t noticed, I’m a big supporter of the arts :::hair flip:::. And to be well-rounded, and a real life art nerd, you need to indulge in it all. If you’re going to check out the Barnes, you gotta hit up the PMA. And if you’re going to hit up the PMA, you have to visit the Mutter Museum (I remember the first time going there and actually getting PRETTY nauseous, but I was also hungover so the cause is debatable).

Nothing excites me more than when a new store opens in Philly, especially one that will knock the vintage, oddities, and antique scene on its head. The Strange and Unusual Philadelphia, opening September 12, 2015 to the public at 3 p.m. will do just that, and according to one of the masterminds behind the store, is a mixture of “weird and pretty” … which quite frankly made me swoon … just a little

I had the pleasure of chatting with good friend and renowned taxidermist in the Philly art scene, Kristie Matt, who is part owner of the Strange and Unusual Philadelphia with her husband, Steve Matt, along with Josh Balz and Ryan Malarky. 

Oddities lovers. Vintage collectors. Antique animals. Taxidermy enthusiasts. Abstract jewelry hounds (myself included). And the lover of the arts. There is truly something for everyone at the Strange and Unusual. Please join me on September 12 at 3 p.m., 523 S. 4th St at their grand opening and check out their beautifully curated collections for yourselves.

How was the Strange and Unusual born?

The Strange and Unusual was conceived as a brick and mortar location to house the growing collection of our business partners, Josh Balz and Ryan Malarky. Their ever expanding collection of oddities and antiques had outgrown their living space and they decided they wanted a retail location to share their collection with the world. So a couple of years ago, they opened the flagship Strange and Unusual store in Kingston, PA. 

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What is your background and how did you get started with the Strange and Unusual?

I am a self taught taxidermist with a background in Fine Art. A few years ago my royal rodent taxidermy caught the eye of Ryan, and she contacted me requesting that I consign my work at her Kingston store. Following the store’s Instagram account led me to realize that the way their shop was curated was completely in line with my own personal aesthetic. So basically, I chose the Strange and Unusual because it was in my native state of PA, and because it was just really beautiful to me. Weird and pretty. My favorite combination.

What made you open this store in Philly?

Steve and I had known for several years that we wanted to open a retail business of our own, preferably an oddities/antique business. We have been collecting taxidermy and oddities together for over a decade. Our house is overflowing! At some point I mentioned to Ryan that Philly was sorely lacking a business like hers, and offered to pool our resources and team up. Thus the Strange and Unusual Philadelphia partnership was born.

We chose the South Street area because it has a tradition of being offbeat and fun. Plus, someone has to bring the weird back! I grew up hanging out on South Street and I am very proud to become a member of the business community there. I hope we can contribute to making it the destination that it was when I was growing up.

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What sets the Strange and Unusual apart from other vintage/oddity stores in Philly?

The Strange and Unusual Philadelphia is not your grandmothers antique store and it is not a college kids thrift store. It is a meticulously curated, macabre lifestyle boutique featuring unique items both new and old, with an emphasis on the dark, mysterious, and beautiful.

Will you be hosting any events at the store?

We hope to host many, many special events that will bind our community together. Taxidermy contests, tutorials, pop-up artist shops, and much more. Stay tuned. 

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What kind of brands do you carry?

Most of the items we carry are vintage, antique, or are ethically sourced new taxidermy specimens. The one brand that we are very proud to offer, though, is Black Craft Cult.

We are also very proud of the cross promotion that we will be doing with Philadelphia’s own Mutter Museum. There is a great deal of overlap between those who visit the medical oddity museum and those who we hope will come to visit our store. We intend to carry some of the museum’s t-shirts and books. Additionally, we will be offering reciprocal discount on museum admission and our merchandise. 

When will you be open to the public? What are your hours?

The Strange and Unusual Philadelphia will open its doors to the public on Saturday, September 12 at 3 p.m. Our hours most likely will be Tuesday-Sunday from noon-8 p.m.

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What are some items you will be carrying that you are most excited about?

I am most excited to be able to feature my own taxidermy designs. My company is called Cloven Hoof and I’m thrilled to have a permanent, year-round, brick and mortar location where one can find it. 

Are you showcasing any local designers/artists?

Yes we are! Myself, as mentioned, and other cosigners are in the works. When the ink is dry, I will be able to disclose exactly whom. We will always try to support local artists.

For people who may not be comfortable with taxidermy, what other cool things can they find at the store? 

Many items. Antique medical instruments, inspired vanity items, jewelry both new and old, books on witchcraft and the occult, tarot decks, vintage Ouija boards, amazing gothic-style furniture. There’s a lot more to our store than death. Though to us, death is only the beginning! 

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The Death Rattle Of Shock Value

1882309I’m having a serious issue with society right now. And I know, I know I probably sound like I’m 1,000 years old, but I have no qualms shaking my cane in the air, Sophia Petrillo-style, over how foul entertainment has become. Exhibit A: the VMAs (and yes, any good blogger knows not to discuss a topic that is three days old, but I was on vacation during this time, so suck it, we are talking about it).

I just feel like we have completely stretched the envelope when it comes to “shock value.” The envelope has stretch marks, it’s dirty, and nothing fits in it anymore. It lives in a trashcan and has a drug problem. Nothing is shocking anymore, which kind of sucks and makes for really bad and irritating TV. All we have now are poptarts desperately trying to get one more stretch out of that destroyed envelope. “LOOK AT ME, I HAVE NIPPLES AND I DO DRUGS AND I’M WEARING NEON AND I’M SO EFFING COOL” …

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The intentional nip slips. Outfits that have the word “fuck” blasted across them. Blatantly smoking weed on camera. Kanye running for president?!? Listen, after Kanye makes an announcement like that and the first thing you think is, “hmmm can a First Lady have a sex tape?” instead of, “HOLY HELL, KANYE IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, this is BONKERS!,” there is something seriously wrong with the world. 

Remember the days when men with long hair who played music on live TV were considered scandalous? Or when a pop star sang about her virginity and rolled around a stage in a wedding dress and everyone lost their damn minds? 

We now have poptarts, dressed in shower curtains with circles strategically placed over their lady bits pushing their weed agenda on all of America. Listen, if that is your thing, awesome. Go for it. Get high as balls all day err day (responsibly, of course). I just don’t need to hear you exclaim every five seconds how high you are or how much you love weed. I really don’t. I don’t tell you every five seconds how much I love cats, now do I? No. 

And because nudity and drugs aren’t good enough, we then have to resort to making fun of pregnant ladies. I literally saw Kim Kardashian get compared to a baked potato. A BAKED. POTATO. Come ON, guys. We really can’t think of ANYTHING else funny? I don’t care how overexposed she is, the woman is nurturing a living thing inside her uterus. If she wants to go to town on a dozen Krispy Kremes … let the woman do her thang. If you can’t come up with anything funnier than saying a pregnant woman looks fat, well then call Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, I’m sure they can help you out, ass clowns.

All of this shit makes me want to cancel my cable and resort to reading novels by candlelight. Honestly. We gotta go back to the drawing board, kids. Because if I have to hear ONE more time that Taylor Swift MAYBE passed gas on live television, I may or may not cut someone.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in that edit room with the genius who was so desperate to add some life to the show that he’s all, “WAIT, PAUSE THE TAPE! Did you hear that?! It totally sounds like a fart. It totally isn’t but … YES! Let’s say Taylor Swift farted! CLASSIC TV, BROSEPH :::high five:::!” Hmm … didn’t realize 5th grade humor made a comeback. Sigh.

What happened to bad ass talent? Amazing fashions that had all of us drooling? Nipples that lived behind fabric. Drugs that were exposed only at after parties? Idiots not running for president … waaaaiiitt(and that right there is for my first and only political pun, a-thank you :::Takes bow:::) What I’m saying is, less trying to shock the universe, and more trying to put on entertaining shows so we have something decent to gab about with our co-workers and friends. I don’t need body parts and sex and drugs and straight up nonsense (I know, again, I sound like I’m 1 million years old … I get it). You know what I DO need more of, though? TINA. FEY.

Let’s let her run all of TV, kay thanks, byeeeeeeeee. 

My Summer Vacation

xagadadyWhile I want to be one of those people crying and bitching that I’m no longer floating on an inflatable alligator with a cocktail in my hand … I just can’t. I missed all you bastards WAY too much. I’m refreshed, I’m feeling alive (not really I’m actually exhausted and probably still a little hungover), and I’m ready to PAAARRTTTAAYYYY … well, by “party” I mean get back to the grind. 

While I know you are all DYING to see my vacation pictures and view how fantastic I look in a bathing suit whilst eating BBQ chips … I decided I will share with you a few tidbits that occurred over the past week. Okay I will share one picture with you because I just wouldn’t be a good blogger without investing in some really awesome Instagram-worthy inflatable devices … right? Boom … 

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So here it is … what is equivalent to my vacation slide show: 

1. I HATE bathing suits. Call me self conscious. Call me out of shape. Call me a hot, bloated PMS-ing mess who is a carboholic (which I TOTALLY was) … whatever, I loathe their existence and they killed my vibe all week. In between writing this post I’m ceremoniously burning them all. BURN THEM. 

2. My email overwhelmed me the entire time I was away until I realized 82.5% of it was bullshit from ASOS and Forever 21, and then I was reminded that I’m not a super duper high powered boss (YET) and should shut the fuck up. 

3. I sprayed so much SPF 50 on my body all week it started to cake on my skin (how about that visual) and I swear I feel like some of it is still on there after numerous showers. And the entire time I was secretly praying I would turn into a bronze goddess with SPF 50 on without aging and getting skin cancer (spoiler alert: I’m still pale).

4. If you get me drunk enough before I shower, you WILL see my hair curly. 

5. I get insanely competitive and turn into Rambo when water gun fights break out in the pool. 

6. Speaking of pools, when there is one at the house I’m staying at, I will NEVER go to the beach … ever. Which worked in my favor because … hello … sharks. 

7. Speaking of the beach, I didn’t get eaten by a shark nor did I get stung by one of those super natural sting ray things … so that’s cool.

8. I ate like shit on vacation and my body hates my guts right now. And whilst eating like shit and drinking too much, I spent a lot of time asking my mother, “OMG AM I FAT?!” “DID I GAIN WEIGHT TODAY!?” “STOP LYING TO ME, WOMAN, I’M SO FAT!” until I think she contemplated stabbing me. True life, when all you do is eat carbs and drink vodka … you’re going to gain some weight, self. Deal with it. 

9. My family secretly hates me because I don’t eat pork. Or they were secretly pissed at me because I got to eat shrimp most dinners because I DO NOT eat pork. Either or. That’s my family … I could join a gang and decide I’m giving up my career to become a gypsy, but if I don’t eat pork or support the Eagles … I’m dead to them (love you … mean it).

10. I will leave everyone and everything I care about in the dust when a massive, ungodly spider presents itself. I also will run in a bathing suit with no cover-up on when this happens. My neighbors got a GREAT show. I’m praying a slow motion video of this event doesn’t live on the interwebs somewhere. “Weird, pale girl runs in bathing suit screaming ‘SAVE YOURSELVES’ as ass giggles up the stairs” … the next YouTube sensation. 

And there you have it. I really am super pumped Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra Rerun week is over and I can get back to dazzling you with my nonsensical thoughts. And I hope you are, too, kids, I hope you are, too. 

Rerun Week On Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra

liz_lemon_season_5_finale_nbc.8dxud5etvuo040kw04cc88sss.4seibt8chw6ck04c0484s0wk4.thWelp … it’s about that time of year kids. When I drive miles and miles to spend the week getting drunk enough to wear a bikini. AKA … I’m getting the eff outta dodge.

I’m completely addicted to technology … like every other jag in the world. I’m constantly tweeting, Instagraming, Facebooking, Google chatting, emailing across three different email accounts, writing, and thinking. And this is my week to gingerly place my brain on the shelf with my social media channels to collect some healthy dust while I “relax” (which PS I SUCK at relaxing)

So while I say I’m going to take a break from tweeting and shit and you know, “completely disconnect from the world,” you’ll most likely see some of my antics here and there … especially on Instagram. So be sure to follow along. I AM going to take a break from nurturing this beast, though … just for the week. But don’t cry too hard, five people who read, I’ve deemed next week the reruns of Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra. What whaaaaaaaaa.

That means everyday I will be posting old school content from back in the day (hey, remember 2011)?! So it’s like I’m here, but really, again, I’ll probably be tipsy pretending I didn’t just eat a pizza whilst wearing a bathing suit poolside. 

So I hope all of you have a lovely week and enjoy going back in time with me to some Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra classics. 

You’ll see a more refreshed, hopefully a more sunkissed, Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra starting on August 31. Just kidding, we all know I can’t get tan. 

Monday: 

Choppin’ It Off: http://www.lifesucksinastraplessbra.com/2014/03/19/choppin-it-off/

Tuesday: 

Satan-filled Weekend: http://www.lifesucksinastraplessbra.com/2014/11/10/my-satan-filled-weekend/

Wednesday: 

Did You Just Tell Me to Smile?: http://www.lifesucksinastraplessbra.com/2013/07/16/did-you-just-tell-me-to-smile/

Thursday: 

Target and Neiman Marcus Send Up A Piece of Flair: http://www.lifesucksinastraplessbra.com/2012/07/10/target-and-neiman-marcus-send-up-a-piece-of-flair/

Friday:

Why I Would Be The Worst Victoria’s Secret Model: http://www.lifesucksinastraplessbra.com/2011/11/08/why-i-would-be-the-worst-victorias-secret-model/

Dinner En Blah


wine-shirt-resizedOh swell … tomorrow marks the time of year when a gaggle of people dressed in all white take their entire kitchens to a specific part of the city and clogs up my social media channels … also known as “Dinner en Blanc.”

This event has never sparked my interest. Mostly because when I pay to go out to dinner, I expect, you know, the dinner, table, chairs, ambience, to be there when I get there. Not have to lug it all there myself to an unknown location. I’m lazy. What can I say. Also, have you felt the humidity out there this week? It should be called, “Dinner en OMG I have swamp ass.” Quick! Someone Google the French word for “swamp ass” to make it sound fancy!

I have a lot of weird and unpleasant connotations with a lot of white items from makeup to accessories to … well … everything. If there are other color options then white, I will probably choose that. For instance I want to punch people with white Chanel bags. It’s like STOP you’re ruining it! Oh and, remember the time I bought white jeans and was certain I kept getting my period out of nowhere the entire first day I wore them? Yeah. That happened. Annnnd $100 later I rarely wear them.

Hence why me and Dinner en Blanc would not agree. It would be a lot of me being all … 

“Uhhh how much farther do I have to carry this shit :::sweating profusely:::!?”

“Why do so many asshats own white picnic baskets :::as plastic half torn Shop Rite bags full of crap dangle from my arms::::?”

“:::spills wine on self::: I guess we can call this event dinner en stains, right?! Am I right?! :::crickets:::”

“Wait … :::checks back::: did I just get my period … EN BLANC?!” 

Give me wine, Chinese food, sweats, air conditioning, Bravo TV, and my cat any day of the week over this event. But by all means, people who are looking forward to tomorrow, enjoy and make our city a beautiful Instagramable moment. 

For now, let me give you a glimpse inside of my head when I think of certain items in a white shade:

White shoes: Will forever and always remind me of scuffed patent leather Easter shoes my mom used to make me wear.

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White dresses: If you are trying to make me look washed out and insanely pale as possible … put me in a white dress. It really accentuates my veins. 

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White pants: OMG do I have my period?!

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White tights: No, I’m not currently at Sears taking my Christmas picture in my pretty holiday dress with, you got it, white tights and saddle shoes on.

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White scrunchie: Stephanie Judith Tanner called, she wants her white scrunchie back from the 1990’s so she can put her hair in a high pony tail.

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White gloves: Umm … wonder if I wanted to bring Cheetos to Dinner en Blanc (because I TOTALLY would). This would make Cheeto eating completely impossible!

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White purse: Reminds me of ugly accessories you can buy at bridal shops, like tiny satin white purses with delicate pearls in intricate designs that serve no purpose and couldn’t hold a damn iPhone.

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White hat: We aren’t in London. Stop it.

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White nails: Look, I’m 8 years old and being a cat for Halloween!

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Would You Wear The Same Thing Every Day?

IMG_8386I remember the word “uniform” would once upon a time send me running for the hills. In fact, it happens to be a word that deterred me from attending prep school instead of public school … like a damn fool. (P.S. after living through it and surviving, I’m TOTALLY for uniforms in public schools … one hundo percent … but that is neither here nor there)

You rarely hear the word “uniform” in adult life, though. At least I don’t. But now, I’m hearing women talking about a thing called “uniforming,” also known as wearing the same thing everyday. Uhhhh …. :::drooling:::

At first I perked up. Anything that can give me an extra time in bed in the morning is a-okay with me. Think of how beautifully mindless uniforming is. How much money I would save and be able to invest in other glorious things like accessories, makeup, and cool hair styles. That Celine bag could finally be mine, I say, MINE! 

When I get sad or bored, I would no longer need to wander around my favorite stores aimless buying things I don’t need to make me happy or smile. My clothing rack would stop collapsing from too many clothes living on it. And let’s be honest, I wear pretty much all black anyways. I’m basically half way down the uniforming rabbit hole … why not take the rest of the plunge? 

And then I thought, AGAIN, about when I get sad or bored, I will not longer have anything to buy to make me happy or smile. And I think about these 5 lonely black dresses, my “uniform” so to speak, hanging perfectly spaced out, on my clothing rack that now has tumble weeds rolling underneath it. Instead of an object to hold clothes, it now looks like a weird piece of art. And all of a sudden … I get really bummed out. 

I get it … being a lady is tough. The style, the hair, the makeup, keeping up with the trends, the endless amounts of shit we have to buy. It can get overwhelming. Is wearing the same thing every day the answer? HELL no. :::yawns:::

But in the same breath, being a lady fucking rules. One day you could wake up feeling super goth and the next day you could wake up wanting to look like a damn Powder Puff Girl (are those things still relevant) vomited all over you. It’s a beautiful thing that we can express ourselves like this.

If you’re bored and hate the idea of “getting dressed” in the morning, than that means you just need to spice up your style. Go experiment. Try shit on that you normally wouldn’t. Go a little bit outside of your budget and splurge on something that makes you shine inside and out. Rev your style engines, ladies. But don’t … I repeat … do not buy the same black dress in bulk. It’s weird. 

Uniforms should stay in high school (or in an industry where you are required to wear one), not in the wonderful world of expressing your style. Nice try, lazy pants, nice try.

Back-To-School Embarrassment

33-clueless-references-you-missed-as-a-kid-1-19630-1389658992-21_bigI found myself strolling through the “back-to-school” section of Walgreens the other day, wistfully thinking about how satisfying a fresh notebook is, and how nothing in life is better than brand spanking new office supplies (do I have issues?). Which made good ol’ back-to-school memories flood my brain. 

I spent a painful amount of time on my back-to-school outfits starting in middle school. Before that I think my mom just put me in a vest and a turtle neck on the first day … and on picture day. A vest. (Why, woman, why!?) But after that, painful amounts of time were spent trying to look like Britney Spears on the first day of school. Sigh. The early 2000’s … am I right? 

I really don’t know what the balls I thought was going to happen if I wore the “end all, be all outfit” to school on the first day. I clearly watched waaaay too many teen movies and was expecting all of the cute boys and popular girls to be all, “wow … who’s that girl? Oh wait! It’s Kate! No way! But she’s so cool now! Let’s be friends forever!” That never happened. Instead I sit here years later thoroughly mortified for making my mother buy me such expensive jeans to impress such clowns.  

I’m sure we all have our favorite back-to-school outfits and memories, but I thought I would share a few of my faves with you in hopes you will share with me yours so I feel less shitty about myself. 

1. Tweezing my brows: Yep. That happened a few days before 8th grade started. I had bushy ass eyebrows that were so bad, people, including my hair dresser at the time, wanted to tackle me to the ground and wax them. But no, I wouldn’t let them, for I didn’t want to grow up. That’s until I started thinking my life was a teen movie, and thought my crush would only like me if my eyebrows were perfect. 

After I removed 95% of them, yes … 95% … making them skinny and uneven, my mother asked me what had I done? I said nothing. Nothing was different. My eyebrows did not get smaller. And I walked away … mortified that I had destroyed my face. And wanting her to hold me. 

2. Wear a bra, Kate: I mean I knew life sucked in a strapless bra even before I wore one. Because my mother walked into my room the day 7th grade started and insisted I wore a sports bra to school. I was mortified. I literally just wanted to cry. And for the rest of that first week of school … and probably the next month or so, I would go into her room in the morning and ask her if I had to wear a bra, praying she would say, “no, Kate … your taas aren’t growing at all. I was just kidding. Free ball for the rest of your life.” Yep. I was a freak.

3. How low can you go: Fast forward to high school, when Britney Spears made it super cool for your jeans to rest right above where your vagina started. AKA sitting and bending down was impossible. I, again, made my mom buy me these amazingly expensive jeans from Lucky that had faded pockets on the ass and said “lucky you” when you pulled down the zipper. Looking back … it was a little whorey. But that is neither here nor there. I wore them on the first day, and when I sat down in my homeroom, realized my entire ass crack was out. Not just the tip of the crack. I mean FULL. CRACK. Say crack again. CRACK.

I remember slouching so badly in my seat that I mine as well have been horizontal. I seriously still have lower back problems because of those damn jeans. Did I stop wearing them after that? Uhh … did I mention Britney Spears deemed uber low risers super cool? With that being said, all of my high school saw my ass crack every day from 2001-2005. You’re welcome, world. 

So there are my embarrassing tid-bits for the day. Now whatchu got? 

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Some Tough Love On Interning

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 12.14.24 PMThere is absolutely nothing glamorous about interning. I don’t care if you are in a plush, trendy Google-esque office, working for an awesome start-up, or in a shack down by the river, it’s tough. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are, well, a dirty liar. 

Hence why my mind is being boggled that interns are actually “raging against the machine,” so to speak, and suing their employers for wrongful treatment. Uhhh what? I thought interning was about gaining experience and working your ass off until your boss decides you are awesome enough to cut you a paycheck? No? Now all of a sudden college kids have money to hire lawyers to take down the Olsen twins? Good God, I barely had money for a Diet Coke whilst interning.

I interned at a magazine in college, unpaid (although I believe I received college credit), and would have done ANYTHING for them to hire me. If my boss wanted me to run up and down Broad Street in a chicken suit squawking, I probably would have. That is how hungry I was. While no, I didn’t have to work crazy hours, I know for a fact I would have if they asked … because you want to know why? I didn’t want to graduate without a job and I loved what I was doing (although … spoiler alert … I totally didn’t have a job when I graduated … whomp whomp). 

While I’m not for brands and companies abusing “free labor” and taking advantage of college kids, I’m also not really down with interns suing their employer for things like “working crazy hours,” and “exhaustion.” Because that just isn’t real life. If you’re burnt out, you take a mental health day, shut the hell up, and get back to the grind. Or … drink wine. Lots of it. We all have our ways of coping. A law suit is not one of them, at least not for me.

So future interns of America, I feel like I’ve been around the block once or twice interning and being in the “business rhelm” of life that I can offer up some advice that will lead you to NOT, one day, sue your employer. Behold …

1. Check your passions: I worked my face off to get the internship of my dreams. And getting the call that I got the position is still, to this day, one of the most blissful moments in my existence so far (wait … is that sad?). Interning is about figuring out what the hell you want to do with your life. If you’re just applying for the internship because you feel like you have to, or because Mommy and Daddy are forcing you to, it most likely won’t end well slash it will be just a line item on your resume that will, overtime, dissolve. Don’t waste your time.

2. Know your limits: If your internship is making your grades slip and you feel yourself going insane because of all the work and long hours… maybe it’s time to bow out early. Not everyone is a super human beast who can run on caffeine, fear, and adrenaline (myself included). After a few weeks, there is NOTHING wrong with being like, “meh this isn’t for me,” and gracefully resigning. They will respect you for your honesty and not wasting their time. Know there are bazillions of internships out there. It just takes some time to find the right one for you (like literally everything else in life). 

3. Know your role: You’re an intern. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to write a 250 word blurb in the magazine, or get to attend a cool event … maybe. Mostly you are there to pick up the slack that the big wigs can’t handle or don’t have time for. Edits, mind-numbing research, highlighting shit, faxing shit, running around the city like a mad man (I used to have to call restaurants and have the hostess spell out the restaurant’s name for me so I had proof it was correct). If you go in thinking you’re Anna Wintour status, you will fail. Walk in like a soldier unable to bitch or eye roll, ready to take your bosses dog to the fucking groomers like a BOSS. The more you are open to, the more success you will have. Head nod and smile. I repeat. Head nod and smile. 

So there you have it. If you get to the point where you’re dehydrated and have to be put in one of those “Lindsay Lohan spas” for exhaustion because of an internship, well, I don’t feel bad for you. This is your time to get some experience. Don’t waste it with a bunch of asshats who think they can take advantage of you because you’re young. But at the same time, don’t sue them. For the love. From me to you: NO ONE will want ANYTHING to do with you EVER if your name is all over the interwebs as that person who sued the Olsen twins. 

Interning is about hard work, sacrifice, and gaining some skills that will help you down the road (umm again, like everything else in life). They don’t call it “paying your dues” for nothing. But let me tell you something, if you’re exhausted and overworked in the real world, no law suit can save you. 

Man up, kids. You got this. 

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Buy Something Shiny, Dammit

pretty-woman_l_1You guys … it’s Friday. We made it. We did it. We KILLED this week. Shall we do a joint jump in mid-air freeze frame sesh? 

I’m a huge supporter of treating yourself. Not just buying yourself a nice dinner or pouring yourself that extra glass of wine. I’m talking about something shiny. Something fun. Something you normally would just drool over and never pull the trigger on buying.

That pair of shoes you would sell your significant other for on the black market? Even if you have no where to wear them, buy them, put them on a self and oogle them. I did it … and let me tell you, so satisfying. Sometimes, between you and I, I will vacuum in them or something. I know … I’m a freak.

So because I adore all of you, my fine sassy readers, I did the heavy lifting for you. Below are some fun items to spoil yourself with. It’s Friday. This week blew. And for fucks sake, you deserve something shiny. And if anyone asks why, tell them because Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra says so, and to stop being such a pain in the ass. 

Behold! 

Sassy Pair of Shades: Look we all have different face shapes, sizes, colors, complexions. I get it. But these make my heart skip a beat. 

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Ripped jeans: Black jeans are a necessary staple in every woman’s closet. Ripped black jeans are a necessary staple in every bad ass woman’s closet. They go with ev-er-y-thing. You could wear them everyday of the week, and no one would notice. And if they do, well … they have enough edge for you to tell them to fuck off.

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A Great Red Lipstick: If I have to explain why red lipstick is important for all women … well, can you come closer to me so I can smack you? Kay, thanks.

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Sassy coin purse: I can’t explain to you how much I adore this. If I could squeeze it until it popped, I would. It makes me want to scream, “EEEEEEE” at such a high pitch, all dogs would flee.

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Great pair of booties:  BUS STOP Boutique is one of my absolute favorites in Philly. I literally have to have someone restrain my credit cards whilst shopping there. But I’ve been swooning over these booties for a long time. They are great with summer dresses, skinny jeans, tights in the fall. I mean … adopt them immediately.

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Skull shall save your pennies:  If you’re anything like me, you unfortunately die for all the finer things in life, yet cannot really rationalize being the woman living out of her designer bags on the streets when you cannot afford to pay your rent. So, this gorgeous skull money bank is not only a swoon-worthy piece of decor for your home, but the perfect place to store that pesky change at the bottom of your bag to save up and make your Stella McCartney dreams come true one day.

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A great bag: I have big amazing plans to purchase this bag and make sweet sweet love to it in the fall. That is all.

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Why Are Menstrual Cups A Thing?!

Belle-Teacups2Warning: this post is about periods. So for the .05% of men who read and the women who don’t like to acknowledge the fact that they bleed once a month from their nether regions … things are about to get weird

Periods. I’m pretty sure there is nothing anyone can do to make them suck less. Yet we try. We try so damn hard. And when I thought the mind-numbing cramps and insane hormone rages couldn’t get worse … then a thing called “menstrual cups” came into existence. 

Okay … first of all, I can barely say … hold on … :::gags violently::: menstrual :::gagging gagging::: (sorry, guys) cups without wanting to vomit. Who thought that name was a good idea?! Do you know what kind of insanely graphic and disgusting visuals it creates?! Make it stop! 

It’s also made by a brand called “Diva Cup.” Okay people, we need to stop making our feminine products look like really cool accessories we all just HAVE to have. A neon pink pad wrapper doesn’t make the situation any cooler. It really doesn’t. Periods will never … EVER be cool. 

Even though the idea disgusts me thoroughly, for you all, my dear sweet readers, I did a little digging to find out why this shit is an actual “thing” woman are using … 

1. You can use one cup all year.

My response: :::gagging, gagging, gagging:::

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2. They are insanely good for the environment.

My response: I’m bleeding from my damn vagina, have horrific cramps, and want to murder the world whilst eating a fist full of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups all at the same time … and now you want me to go “green?” Uh huh …. 

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3. Less chances of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

My response: I’ve never understood how Toxic Shock Syndrome is a thing. You start getting your period, what … when you’re 12? 13? Right … so if you can’t remember to change your tampon as an adult every few hours, I seriously think you need to go see a professional. And if you SERIOUSLY cannot remember (which … honestly boggles my mind), switch to pads! Because of you be incapable of “adulting”, now look what we have to deal with … MENSTRUAL CUPS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ::::gagging and crying::::

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4. Less to carry around.

My response: Right, because those tampons and pads are just SO cumbersome. Seriously. My back from carrying around my pads. Jesus Christ. Make it STOP. Why does God hate women SO much that he makes us lug these paper thin feminine products around for a week once a month. It just ISN’T fair. Fucking men.

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5. Don’t have to awkwardly carry your feminine products to the bathroom.

My response: True … it’s slightly awkward carrying a tampon from your desk to the bathroom. Someone stopped to talk to me on the way one time, and I crushed that thing with super human strength to the point where it was not usable. But why should we give a shit if someone sees us carrying around tampons and pads? Periods are a thing. And if the sight of my tampon skeeves you out, then so be it, dammit. I’m not rubbing it on your face, I’m walking it to the bathroom. Chill the fuck out. 

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I’m going to be real with you. As a 28-year-old woman, I barely know if I’m using tampons correctly. So why in sheer holy hell would I find the idea of shoving some weird plastic device up “there” from “Diva Cup” :::gagging::: to be the solution to all my period issues?

In fact, I don’t have any period issues! I’m a-okay with the products that are available to me. Wings, no wings, tampons the size of Tic-tacs, super absorbent … I love it all. So, “Diva Cup”, you really created a solution to a problem I didn’t have. Now if you can make periods not a thing anymore … THEN we can chat. 

Whew okay … got through writing this post without actually vomiting. Snaps for me.

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My Quest For The Perfect Tote

Shopping-Tote-BagsYou would think finding a new tote bag would be a non-issue? Right? When I noticed my tote from Zara was coming apart at the seams simply because I carry my entire life in it all day, err day … I was like okay, time to find another tote. Easy. Not something I’m going to have to pop a Xanax over. 

Wrong, sir … you are wrong. 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a stupid amount of time scouring the interwebs in search of my perfect tote. Like a STUPID, idiotic amount of time. Time I should have spent on the Internet researching articles on global warming, or other important world news topics, not for some device to hold everything I need to exist as a person on the daily. 

I also found out A LOT about myself on my search for the perfect tote. Number 1: I am gifted with extraordinarily expensive taste (thanks, mom). And no, I’m not hair flipping and being all cocky over that fact. It sucks. Every bag I liked was $500 or more. That isn’t normal. Nor doable. Why do these expensive bags even exist?! All they do is torture my soul. 

If I ever were to invest in a $1,000 tote bag I would probably turn into a complete psychopath, reserving extra chairs for said bag at restaurants, and buying it a booster seat for the train so it didn’t have to rest on the disgusting floor. To be honest, I would probably not put anything in it. I would just stare at it and stroke it creepily and scream at randos to, “NOT TOUCH MY TOTE, YA JAG!”

The reason I am immediately drawn to these expensive bags, though, is they have originality … something a lot of tote bags you can find at any “normal person store” lacks. Seriously, if I see this bag one more time I’m going to explode out of boredom:

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Sure … it’s just a tote bag. It’s a wide open space for busy ladies to throw their laptops, journals, makeup bags, different clothing to go from AM to PM, and snacks … lots and lots of snacks. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be yawn-worthy. And yet in the same breath, it doesn’t need to say something ridiculous on it like, “meow at me if you like cats as much as I do.” Like I adore cats … but not that much … dag.

I want my tote bag to have some flair, ya know? I want it to look expensive, but not have the price tag that will turn me into a lunatic. I want this Stella McCartney bag, but not pay over $1,000 for it … and yet in the same breath, not have to buy the bootleg Steve Madden version of it either. Is that too much to ask?! 

It’s scary when you walk down the street and every female you pass has the same tote as you in a different color. It’s weird. Think outside of the box, tote bag makers. Or hi, Fendi … make a tote bag that doesn’t mean I have to not pay my rent one month to buy it and there for live out of … kay?

At the end of my stupid amount of time searching … South Moon Under won me over. I’m like 74% okay with it … only because I’m scared it’s going to look cheap and probably going to get dirty as hell. But hey, it was 50% off with free shipping … and my Zara tote is REALLY falling apart. It’s getting embarrassing. 

But I’m still not impressed. For shame, tote bags of America, for shame.

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Why I Broke Up With Spinning

sporty-spiceYou’ve obviously been on my wild ride of joining the ranks of bad ass women who get their spin on. I was thrilled when Flywheel approached me to join their Summer Tune-up Challenge. An excuse to get into shape and try something new? Umm sign me the eff up. 

But at the end of this two-week wild ride, I found myself having to write a really hard email to the ladies over at Flywheel and be all, “it’s not you, it’s me.” Yes, I threw in my towel that normally would collect my sweat whilst spinning early, because, well, sometimes you have to listen to your body. 

I unfortunately suffer from an pretty bad anxiety disorder, and the intensity, music, and speed just was not agreeing with me. The entire two weeks I had awful anxiety … crippling at some points. In times like these, you really have to take a step back and reevaluate what the hell is going on in your life. And the only thing I could pinpoint, the only major change in my life, were these intense classes I had adopted. 

Pathetically exclaiming to a friend how defeated and fucking weak I felt, she told me she could easily go around to a group of women and pinpoint what their exercise of choice would be just by looking at them and maybe chatting for a few minutes. And she looked at me and said, “never in a million years would I take you for a spinner … and that doesn’t mean shit.” 

And she was right. Spinning isn’t my jam and that doesn’t make me weak or a wuss. It doesn’t mean I don’t excel at other forms of exercise (I mean I make warrior 4 my bitch, what is UP). It just means its not for me. We broke up, okay, leave it alone.

I cannot express enough how fantastic the instructors over at Flywheel are, though. Throughout my entire experience they were nothing but encouraging, supportive, and smart, never pressuring me to go harder than I could handle. If you’ve ever wanted to take a spinning class at Flywheel, I say go for it. Throw yourself in the deep end of the exercise pool, because you’ll find your regiment faster that way. At least I did. 

I’m happy to report I’m still on my exercise kick and have some yoga classes scheduled AND I’m still on track with my healthy eating (because … I know you all REALLY care about all these details, right?)

So a big thanks to Flywheel for giving me that extra hard kick in the ass to start getting into shape. You ladies rock! 

Sporty Spice out :::Drops mic:::

28 Going On 13

Bra-fittingWhen you go bra shopping with your mom, no matter what age, it’s like you’re suddenly transported back to that awkward time in life when you first became a “woman.” Ugh. I, fortunately, don’t have an awkward “first bra shopping experience” story, though. My mom just suddenly starting putting sports bras in my stocking on Christmas morning and in my room randomly, and I would turn purple and pretend they didn’t exist. Totally normal.

Luckily my need for new bras and to be fitted again aligned perfectly with the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, because I HATE how expensive good bras are. It isn’t fair and I’ll never understand it. Hence why I wear them out to the point of my underwire stabbing me on my side. 

As a 28-year-old broad, I know what I likes in a bra. Black or nude, lacy, no padding … boom, I’m supported. But when it comes to getting fitted and having a stranger get all up in yo bid-ness … well I’m immediately transported back to being and awkward teenager. I stand there topless, fidgeting, crossing my arms over my taas, then changing it up and just putting my hands over my taas to not feel so exposed.

Bra Fitter: So have you ever been fitted before? 

I don’t know if this lady thought I was younger than I was because I was there with my mother, or if she thought I was an incompetent idiot, but I’m 28. If I hadn’t been fitted before, I would have had a serious issue in life. 

And then there was my mom …

Mom: Kate are you in here?

Me: Yes. (I was topless and getting felt up by a stranger)

Bra Fitter: We are over here, Mom! 

Mom: Can I come in? :::opens door::

Me: :::Still topless, getting felt up by a stranger, and now turning purple:::

Mom: Can I leave my purse in here with you? It’s heavy. 

Me: Mom … yes, BYE.

After my size was determined (no I won’t share that info with you, ya pervs), the bra fitter went out in search of bras I would like. She returned with a plethora of … well … ugly. Leopard print, sparkle … and color. I felt my 28-year-old self returning. 

Me: I’m going to be up front with you … I only really wear black and nude bras.

Bra Fitter: Well that’s boring.

Me (in my head): Uhhhhh…

Mom: How’s it going in here?!?

Me: All good, Mom. :::Sigh::: All good.

Okay, what is boring about black and nude lingerie? If I’m buying an $80 bra, I want to be able to wear that shit with ev-er-y-thing. Not some cheetah print nightmare with a blue lace border that I could only whip out for nights out at “da club” which ps. NEVER happen anymore. 

For the love of Jesus, I’ve been around the block with bras. I’ve been fitted by the best of the best. Literally, and I’m bragging here on purpose, I’ve had a woman who people refer to as the “bra whisperer” feel me up. It was glorious. I just needed to know my damn bra size since it had been about a year since my last fitting and then I could figure it out from there. Feel me up, give me a number, and I’ll take care of the rest. 

I wish getting fitted for bras was less awkward, I really do. And I wish bra fitters when they sense the topless woman in front of them is uncomfortable would stop highlighting the face. “Relax, hun, it will be over soon.” I’m not at the gyno getting a pap-smear, you are just wrapping a tape measure around my body. I’m uncomfortable because I’m topless and I don’t know you and my mother is standing on the other side of the dressing room door like I’m trying on prom dresses. 

Sigh … some things never change. If you ever, for some strange and bazaar reason, want to re-live your teenage years … go bra shopping with your mother or other woman-figure in your life. It makes for some funny and awkward situations, I’ll tell you that much. 

Ahhh memories … 

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I Survived Flywheel Week One

bicycle-cats-j-p-coats-threadYou guys … I completed week one of my Flywheel Summer Tune-up challenge. :::Sigh::: I’m proud. I want to cry a little. Maybe eat a side of extra large fries? I don’t know … so much emotion. But I can literally feel various systems in my body start to go into shock and be all, “what the eff are you DOING, WOMAN?!”

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to explain my first week of spinning to you guys. Do I tell you I was the idiot that signed up for a 60-minute spin class for her first class EVER and when people in class found out acted like I was attempting to tightrope walk across two skyscrapers sans a harness? 

Or do I underline the fact that I was on a waitlist for my first class, because I foolishly didn’t sign up in time, finally got assigned a bike that was in a decent part of the room (unfortunately not in a dark corner like I had planned), only to find out when I arrived that the bike was broken and now I was on bike one. One. ONE. Front row. First class. 60 minutes. Yeah. I still don’t have words.

But, after much thought, I decided to share some lessons with you that I learned after three grueling spinning classes (I know, I know, I was supposed to do 5 … I mean life, kill me). Because if the girl who loves carbs, chocolate and vodka can survive these crazytown classes that make you feel like you’re in the pit of a crazy European techno concert on acid … anything is possible. I mean … really. 

1. You will want to vomit: Everyone told me I was going to get sick to my stomach. Umm … I will do anything not to vom. Unfortunately it just got so damn hot in there and we were moving so fast that my body was just like, “you know what? No. If you’re going to make me do this … I’m going to make you do THISSSS :::stomach flips:::” (my body is an asshole). 

2. Remember, this is your ride: In the words of a very wise instructor at Flywheel named Nicole (hi Nicole, you rule), “if anyone is looking at your resistance numbers or how fast you are going, they can go fuck themselves.” Being front row for my first class was mor-ti-fying. I couldn’t help but think all of the other riders were looking and judging at how fantastically out of shape I was (because you know, they had nothing else to do, right?). I couldn’t keep up or do the different positions. I was told to just focus on “making it to the finish line.” 

And only after my third class did I realize, so what if I can’t keep up? I’m a newbie. And to me, it isn’t worth harming myself just to prove to these ass clowns, whom I don’t even know, that I’m an exercising “beast” … because I’m not. So if you don’t like me pedaling like I’m on my way to a picnic in a field of daisies, then you can suck it my friend. AYE AYE AYE AYE. THAT is the mindset you have to have to survive. Do what is comfortable for you and only you. Screw the rest of ‘um.

3. Become one with your anxiety: I loathe stepping outside of my comfort zone. But this … well … was on another level of being uncomfortable. All the people waiting outside for the class to start looked like they were ready for battle, where I looked like I was … ready for the bar. Not to mention the pounding music, the heat, and just the insane intensity flying through the room … you’re going to think escaping quietly, popping a Xanax and taking a long nap sounds like heaven.

My first instinct was to freak, and then want to cry, and then want to flee. But I just chose a point of focus, and started breathing yoga-style. I would take a sip of water, and keep breathing and focusing and moving. By the end of class, I resisted temptation to stand on my bike and be all, “BOO YAH, look who made it to the finish line, bitches!?!?! :::inappropriate arm gestures::::”

4. Pain: Nope, not your muscles … your ass and your va-jay jay. Guess what? The bike seat isn’t comfortable. Shocking! But no … seriously … I was expecting not to be able to walk the next day, turns out I was fine. Instead, every time I attempted to sit down at work or on the train, I wanted to cry because my ass was THAT sore. I needed one of those pathetic donut things to sit on. I mean, not the sexiest problem in the world, right? Also insane wedgies … they are a real thing, and hurt. Bad. 

Look, for my first three classes, I’ve wanted to cry and I’ve desperately wanted to quit (you have no idea how many times I strategically planned my escape route mid-spin). But I’ve never escaped. Because when I’m sitting on the train home after class, a hot sweaty bootleg version of Sporty Spice, still catching my breath and feeling like I’m going to die, I feel this insane sense of accomplishment. It rules and is kind of addictive. I feel like a real life athlete (yeah … no … I would be the worst athlete on the planet unless there was a french fry eating competition).

One more week to go. I’m already feeling better, stronger and way more healthy. Thanks to all the amazing instructors over at Flywheel Center City for all the encouragement and support and listen to me bitch about how scared I am. Let’s see how I feel after seven more days of these shenanigans … 

Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra Turns 4!

Birthday-Wishes-for-a-Four-Year-OldSo this day, four glorious years ago … I was 24, sitting on my twin-sized bed in my childhood home, freaking the hell out about hitting the “Publish” button that would make Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra come to life. A simple act of hovering my mouse over a damn button was turning yours truly into a psychotic disaster area. 

Wonder if nobody reads it? Wonder if I run out of shit to write about? Wonder if I don’t become the most famous blogger in the entire world? Wonder if people realize I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing?

When I finally got my balls together and hit “Publish” … my entire life changed in a way I could have never imagine. (This is totally going to get super sapp-tacular, so I apologize in advance). To wake up today knowing my blog child is turning 4 and flourishing? Well … give me a sec because I’m getting verklempt. 

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It can be so intimidating being a blogger, especially when you compare yourself to blogging beasts like Man Repeller, who mine as well be the Pope of blogging. But you can’t compare yourself, you just have to find your voice and be who you are. But the best piece of advice I have ever received is to never stop. No matter what. Even if what you are writing is complete rubbish (and trust me a LOT of it has been) … hit publish and send it out to the world.

I cannot thank you enough, sincerely, friends, family, co-workers past and present, random people out there in the world, for all your support for Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra over these 4 years. Wow. It’s just … yeah … wow. Something I could truly have never dreamt up. :::wipes tear:::

So yeah … so sappy, right? Gross. 

I would say I’m going to celebrate with champagne and chocolate tonight … but alas, if you haven’t heard … I’m dieting. Sigh. But I hope, dear God I hope, you will celebrate along with me and drink the cocktails I cannot and indulge in the chocolates I’m avoiding. Please? Pretty please? With a chocolate covered caramel on top with a side of fries? 

So year 4 … here we are. God only knows what it shall bring …

My Adventures Through The Activewear Department

5566aec53eca91d50892fdc973d0bde1It’s a big deal when I actually drag my ass out to buy workout clothes. That MEANS something. Usually I’ll see something way better than a boring pair of bike shorts, get completely distracted, and come home with a myriad of new outfits, and nothing to wear to the gym … and then the idea of going to the gym fizzles. 

New to the world of workout clothes, I decided to make my first stop at Burlington Coat Factory because A. the prices are right and I knew I didn’t want to spend that much on “gear” B. I don’t know that much about workout clothing labels to be a snob C. Lululemon, from what I hear, makes me want to head butt people and things. 

My first experience stepping into an “activewear” section of a store was … interesting. I’m going to compare it to attempting to dive into an ice cold pool. You stick your pinky toe in first. You put you hand in, swirl around the water. Maybe coat your body with the ice cold water to acclimate yourself, whilst making a cringe-like face. Contemplate going back to the comfort of your lounge chair, aka the shoe department. But then say, “the hell with it,” and dive right in. 

My thoughts?

1. Why in the name of sweet Jesus is everything so colorful? Am I working out or crossing the street when it is pitch black outside? Like do people need to see me miles away whilst working out in my neon gear? Or can a sister get some black tanks and yoga pants so my fellow gym-goers don’t see me dying with exhaustion and hate for my out-of-shape self? What is UP with that?

2. Dear Nike, Puma, Champion, and any other brand that thinks it is totally cool to plaster your brand name across my chest. In the words of my Nana, you aren’t paying me to be your walking billboard, therefore I refuse to be your device for free advertising. A little swoosh here and there is peachy, but NIKE in big bold letters across my taas? Stop it.

3. Do I really need to accentuate my breasts whilst working out? A lot of sports bras/tops had built in cups in the bra area. Really? Cups? Do we need to give the illusion that we are a cup size bigger than we actually are whilst working out? Is that a thing? Because look, I’m just trying to get my taas to disappear with some rather comfortable contraption so I can workout in peace without causing a show. 

4. Sheer workout tops? Really? Really?! REALLY?

5. Why after five minutes of browsing through workout clothes did I get this weird desire to go to Lululemon. I hate that store and I’ve never even stepped foot in there. Anyone who is charging over $80 for yoga pants is no friend of mine. But this insane fear overcame me that my “workout style” wouldn’t be cool enough. Do ladies even judge workout styles? Wonder if I don’t fit it?! Wonder if everyone DOES wear neon and I’ll just be like a girl from the Craft who works out in the corner all lonesome like a freak? And then I found really cool dark gray yoga pants for $12 and was all, “Lulu … what now?”

I got my outfit. I got my hair did (wait … what), I have my plethora of organic veggies for the week (what a productive Sunday … am I right?). Flywheel Summer Tune-up Challenge, it has been broughten (yeah … you heard me correctly).

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:::GASP::: … You Want To Show WHAT On Instagram!?

$_32Okay, so I’m sitting here scratching my head, thinking to myself we have so many horrific things in this world to deal with … yet celebrities are currently OBSESSED with “freeing the nipple.” Really? Don’t mind the inequality, or sharknado freaking coming to life, oh yeah, and that little nuisance we like to call ISIS. No no … we need our rights to show our nipples on social media, dammit! Enough is enough!

What?! Seriously. What?!

It’s always been a little bothersome to me (and by a little I mean .1% in the big grand scheme of things) the inequality of genders being able to show their nasty bits on television … and now, on social media. Again, this shit doesn’t keep me up at night. I just never got why girls were allowed to let their ladies roam free, yet dudes had to keep their man parts bundled up. It’s weird. Parts are parts. Why is the penis so scandalous yet taas aren’t? 

And now … nipples. Guys … really? First of all, and I don’t mean to sound like an old bag banging her cane on the ground in her mumu, but why the balls do you need to show your nipple on Instagram? I get it, Chrissy Teigan, you’re a model and what you do is “art” … but let that art live on the pages of W Magazine, not Instagram. Because when you, a public figure, post your nips and other lady parts on Instagram … it shows innocent kids/teens that, “hey! That must mean it’s totally cool for me to do it, too!” And then their life is ruined. I mean probably not really, but I imagine some evil backlash would take place because kids these days are evil a-holes :::shakes cane again:::

It’s like Instagram took away our rights to show our entire bodies and everyone went insane. What is the big deal with nipples anyways? They do nothing for me. I mean we all have them and some are larger then others. Cool? The word itself kind of skeeves me out, though (don’t ask me why). But do I feel stifled because I can’t show them anywhere and everywhere? That’s a big ol’ fashioned NO. I don’t need to see what my nipples look like with the Lo-Fi filter over them, kay?

Listen, I’m not a prude, but I just don’t think social media is a place for nipples to live. In fact, I cannot even believe I just wrote that previous sentence. :::Sigh::: Can you imagine what will happen if you can start showing your nips on Instagram? “I love that skirt :::scroll scroll::: OMG that cat is so cute :::scroll scroll::: aaaaaand there is some random broads nipple :::shuts off App and hits delete:::” Yeah … no. 

I’m completely okay with Instagram banning us from showing our nipples, as long as it is ALL nipples … chicks, dudes, animals … all of it. A nipple is a nipple is a nipple. One gender’s is just more productive than anothers. Because honestly, what’s next? Va-jays? Wangs?! (I really need to start using the correct terminology for body parts, don’t I?) 

Let’s keep Instagram for what it is meant to be: a place to post your cat pics. Yeah Miley Cyrus, you heard me … stop trying to make “nipples” happen, they aren’t going to happen!

Things I Can’t Be: Vegan

hbz-august-2012-vegan-vanity-de1I’m not going to say I’m not a healthy person, because I am. I crave veggies constantly. Drink a shit ton of water. Stay away from fried foods. I’m conscious of calories. And if I do get a craving for something not-so-healthy (i.e. my dictator of a sweet tooth), I eat everything in moderation. 

But I’m still not Kate Moss thin. What gives? Oh that’s right, I love carbs. And wine. Like the idea of not having carbs and wine in my life makes me want to check myself into an insane asylum because there is no reason to go on. Bread. Potatoes in any way shape or form. Pretzels. I LAHVE IT. 

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So that’s when I thought to myself, self? Wonder if you went Vegan? If you’re going to spin for Flywheel’s Summer Tune-up Challenege like an insane person for the next 2 weeks out of your life, why can’t you go Vegan for those 2 weeks, too?

Oh that’s right, Vegan food is disgusting. Simmer down, Vegans, let me make my point. A few weekends back, I was tipsy at a beer garden craving a little nosh when I made my friend go get me some fries (I’m awesome). Instead he returned with some sort of Vegan wrap. What?! After resisting the urge to flip our table and shame him, I was actually hungry, and tipsy, enough to take a bite out of this “Vegan wrap.” So I did. It looked great with lots of fresh veggies and such (actually I really didn’t want to make eye contact with it).

So I took a bite. And you know what? All of these fantastic flavors started to swirl around in my mouth. Some fresh veggies. A mysterious sauce that didn’t taste half that bad. The actual wrap itself filling my void of carbs. I took another big bite when …

it hit. The aftertaste. The unnatural, weird, rough, bland, and a little sour, aftertaste. Since I was mid-bite I couldn’t do anything but chew and swallow (I’m a lady). But don’t you worry, after chugging the rest of my cocktail, I carried on pretty drastically about how fucking heinous that wrap was. “I WANTED FRIES, YOU BASTARD!” I exclaimed like a mad person (did I mention I had just chugged the rest of my vodka cocktail … yeah #drunk).

I love the idea of being Vegan, I really do. It’s so good for your body and I respect the people who really dive in and keep with the lifestyle … I swear I’m not hating on it. But it just seems like it takes a lot of work and effort and funds to get this shit tasting delicious to that point where you crave it. 

Which brings me to my next point: Beyonce. That bitch looks so fantastic because she has a Vegan chef making her all these meals … not overpriced frozen meals. Sure, they may be made from sticks and leaf particles, but her chef knows how to make it taste like freaking filet mignon. If I had Beyonce cash, I would be Vegan, too.

I guarantee you her 22-Day Vegan diet meals that get delivered to your home for around $600 (if you opt to have 3 meals a day … good God) aren’t that fantastic. What frozen meal, Vegan or not, was EVER fantastic? It’s quick. That’s. About. It. And chances are, you’re just getting them delivered in an effort to lose weight. Not to enjoy or really embrace the Vegan lifestyle. No. The people ordering these meals just want to look like Beyonce.

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Life should be enjoyed … in moderation, of course. Not to have to shove foul tasting food down your throat for the sake of looking like Bey Bey. While I know for a solid fact, even though I’ve only stuck my pinky toe in the Vegan waters, that I couldn’t do it, there are other healthy ways to lose weight and still be super pumped about coming home and grilling up some amazingly delicious veggies and chicken (okay MAYBE I’ll cut back the olive oil and cheese … gosh)

Going Vegan isn’t just about the meals you eat, it is a full lifestyle change. Think before you brand yourself something in an effort to look “cool” … even if Beyonce deemed it so. 

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Humidity: The Unsolvable Problem

isithumidDon’t throw shit at me when I proclaim this, but I’m WAY more of a winter person. Hands down. The summer is lovely and all. Don’t get me wrong, maxi dresses are my world. Except for the fact that the bane of my existence rears its ugly head: humidity. 

If you are a fan of humid weather, I’m sorry, but you’re a freak of nature and we can’t be friends. How can anyone in their right mind be a fan of this shit? It’s heavy, gross, depletes my energy, and one of my least favorite words in the English language, “dewy”:::chills::: 

I’ve given this a lot of thought, probably too much, but if the Michelin Man, Big Foot and a storm cloud had an orgy together and reproduced, they would end up with a baby named Humidity. This big, puffy, evil cloud of awkwardness walks the Earth ruining everything it comes across. It just floats up to people and breathes really heavily in their faces, making everything in its path sweaty and wilted (hey … how about THAT visual). 

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Forget about trying to look nice or together or not like a complete and utter hot mess, that is unless you live in an air conditioned bubble. For me, a commuter who doesn’t have the luxury of jumping from my air conditioned house, to air conditioned car, to air conditioned office … finds myself getting the brunt of the humid wrath, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. 

“OMG I’m having such a good hair day,” I say to myself rarely as I give one last look in the mirror before walking out the door. Then the second my heel hits the pavement, BAM. Humidity bitch slaps me across my face, leaving my hair puffy and curling in all the wrong places, and my makeup melting off my face. All I want is to turn around and feel the cool embrace of sweet sweet AC, but alas, I must forge forward. 

By the time I make it to the train, the idea of walking down the street in my underpants sounds like heaven compared to dealing with the clinging, uncomfortable, suffocating nightmare that my skinny jeans have turned into. I mean THAT is saying something considering I don’t even let my cats see me in my underpants. 

Maxi skirts are too hot. Jeans are too hot. Short shorts are too hot. My hair always looks like shit. I’m continuously a hot, shiny, sweaty mess, I don’t even know why I bother putting on my “face” in the morning. And yet, I don’t believe it is socially acceptable to walk around with my hair in a high bun, butt ass naked, right? Right. So what is the solution to fight humidity? How can we live our every day lives without looking like a wilted, exhausted, sweaty mess by the time we get from A to B?

Well kids, the solution is there is no solution. Hate to break it to you. Those people who say, “every problem has a solution,” should be smacked because that statement is a bunch of hogwash. Dealing with humidity has no solution unless an air conditioned bubble is invented for people who live in the city and/or commute. For those of you who, again, go from one air conditioned space to another pleasantly all day, well, aren’t you just so put together. Hey, guess what else? I hate your face.

If you can’t tell … humidity turns me into an angry, tired beast. So until the rare day in life comes around when it’s like 73 and sunny sans humidity in Philly, I will continue being a sour broad who shakes her fist at the inanimate humidity like a crazy person with puffy hair and sweat stains. 

Look At Me! I’m Spinning!

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.26.47 AMNothing in life is worse than when you wake up after a long holiday weekend and think, “dear God … what did I do to myself?!” If you’re anything like me, you were all, “it’s the 4th of July! That means I can eat and drink and carb up as much as I want without feeling guilty at all! People don’t gain weight on ‘Murica’s birthday!” 

Wrong. When you find yourself on your couch the day after spooning a bottle of Pedialyte dying … you know something is very very off about your lifestyle choices. 

That is why I’m so excited (and by excited I mean scared shitless) to announce to you all, that I, Kate, Editor-in-Chief of Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra, have become a brand ambassador for Flywheel’s Summer Tune-up Challenge. Did I mention I’ve never spun before?

I’m excited because from what I’ve heard from my newly adopted “Fly fam” is that spinning is basically a dance party on a bike … and who could resist a dance party? Not this guy. AND it’s apparently dark as shit in there so no one can see me struggle and cry and get all “Odd Mom Out” as I fight awkwardly to keep up with the fabulous Flywheel girls. 

I’m terrified because I’m probably the most out-of-shape individual on the planet. I have big dreams of making it to yoga after work, but I am a master of talking myself out of it. “I know I already paid for the class, but Chinese food and Real Housewives on my couch is a priority and I PROMISE I’ll go tomorrow.” Flash forward to tomorrow and I’m back on my couch drooling on myself. 

So why did I decide to do this Brand Ambassadorship for Flywheel’s The Summer Tune-up Challenge? Well … 

1. It’s only 2 weeks of my life (I think I can survive that, right?)

2. Things are starting to jiggle on my body that have never jiggled before and I won’t stand for that shit

3. The Flywheel girls are cool as hell (even though we are just Twitter friends currently … but I’m thoroughly pumped to become real life friends with these ladies)

4. Did I mention I need some tough love to get my ass in shape because I’m a master at talking myself out of things I don’t necessarily NEED to do (AKA I’m a flake … I’ll make sure my coach is aware of this)

5. SELF Magazine is hooking me up with a 14-day meal plan to follow as well as access to conference calls with nutritionists (I imagine I will be on these calls like, “So I’m starring down a chocolate chip cookie … what do I do? TELL ME HOW TO NOT EAT THE COOKIE, DAMMIT!)

So yeah … Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra is about to get a little more sporty starting July 13 – July 26 as I’m taking you all on this insane ride with me (and by sporty I mean documenting all of the embarrassing things that happen to me as I get my tush in shape). For example my family has been non-stop making fun of me (no no you didn’t read that wrong, making fun of me … not encouraging me), claiming I will show up wearing a helmet to my first spinning class and are 100% certain I will never lift my ass off the bike seat.

Well I’ll show them! Right? RIGHT?! 

Big thanks to Flywheel for inviting me on this Summer Tune-up Challenge journey with them. I was sure to warn them in advance that I love carbs, am completely out of shape, terrified of the idea of spinning, and don’t want to get yelled at by a crazed instructor. It’s best to put that kind of stuff out into the universe before making a big lifestyle change.

Now let’s rock this bitch. 

Stop Bringing Hosts Food & Booze On The 4th

will-ferrell-usaI can confidently say most ‘Muricans are about to throw their diets to the wind and get their BBQ on this weekend. I know I am. I am ready to eat … and drink. And drink some more. Mmmm tasty cocktails. But I digress … 

While I have attended a myriad of BBQs in my day, figuring out what to bring the “host and or hostess” is a tricky one. Sure you can make something off Pinterest and have it turn into a hot mess disaster. Sure you can bring a bottle of wine. Sure you can just bring yourself if you think you are Gods gift to the world … but I gotta say, aren’t all those things a little …I don’t know, tired? 

Most likely the person throwing the BBQ has a ton of food and drink waiting for you … hence why they invited you over (and if they don’t … leave immediately). And while I don’t think your presence is enough of a gift, I just don’t think “making something” or hitting up the liquor store is doing the trick anymore either. 

“Cool … a bottle of wine I don’t like and will probably regift and yay more food we don’t need.” 

I’m saying we think out of the box when bringing your host/hostess a gift during this fest of BBQs for the 4th. Hosting people sucks. It’s a ton of work. But showering your friends and loved ones with food and drink until they are drunk and in a food coma is a pretty good pay-off … especially if they end up doing something drunkenly ridiculous … am I right? 

Listen know your audience and get them something they wouldn’t get themselves. Make them laugh. Make them smile. Make them not be all, “shit how am I going to fit this in my fridge.” I’m telling you, you’ll be the life of the party. If not … well, then, I NEVER GAVE YOU THIS ADVICE!

So Happy 4th to all. Drink responsibly … or don’t, just don’t be a fucking idiot and drive. Get it together, people. Make good life decisions. Bomb pops for all! 

1. Cards Against Humanity: If you have friends throwing a BBQ that wouldn’t appreciate this game, I say don’t go. It’s classic. It’s hilarious. I seriously pee myself laughing every time I play (although don’t play with any older family members you’ll be uncomfortable around talking about sex and other awkward topics).

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2. Popsicles: Because you aren’t ‘MURICAN if you don’t like popsicles. 

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3. Wine Glass Sippy Cup: While I’m sure they have a bunch of these (again if they don’t, leave … drinking wine out of a solo cup is never okay), do they have a wine glass sippy cup?! I think not. Same amounts of fun and less of the spills. 

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4. Candle: I know a little yawn-worthy, but who couldn’t use a fabulous smelling candle that makes your home smell like something out of an Anthro catalog (you know … if Anthro catalogs were scratch and sniff).

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5. Gilded Pretzel Bottle Opener: Again … they probably have one already. But do they have one in the shape of a gold pretzel!? I think not, kids, I think not. If you score this, you’ve officially won the title of best guest EV-AH title.

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6. Cool Tote Bag: Everyone needs one, even dudes. Eventually we all have to carry shit somewhere, and we mine as well do it in a cool tote that makes people laugh … or offended. Either or, either or. 

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7. Glitter Cake Server: Because glitter. And cake.

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Style Stud Of The Week: Jill Kargman

4ffc3f405ab1e2d6ddccdb4321531270I never understood the people who would roll their eyes at the Real Housewives franchise and be all, “how can you watch this rubbish?!” To me it was an excuse to put my brain on the shelf and drool as I watch these fantastically rich women shop, eat, and bicker over meaningless drama. After a long annoying day, nothing is better than a little escape, am I right?

But it happened. Recently I had to turn off a Real Housewives of NY episode mid-way through because I couldn’t take it. I just can’t deal with eight women screaming at each other for a solid hour. When you feel like you need to pop a Xanax whilst watching a reality show … it means it is time to shut it down. 

So when my best friend mentioned to me how “Odd Mom Out“, a scripted show by Bravo, was actually entertaining, I had no other option than to give it a whirl. While I may have given up on the RHONY, I wasn’t about to give up on Bravo as whole. That is just crazy talk.

And that is when I met my new best friend (sorry current best friend), Jill Kargman. I want to shop with her. I want to drink with her. I want to make fun of people with her. I want to eat a whole baguette with her. I want to braid her hair (wait … what?). I didn’t even know there was this massive void in my life until I became one with this amazing show (by the way how creepy do I sound right now?).

As someone who loathes snobby people, is an eye rolling perfectionist, loves carbs, and wears all black all day errday … Jill Kargman, the star of Odd Mom Out, is now my soul sister. I’ve declared it. Anyone who has their outfit complimented by a gay man as, “it’s like Marc Jacobs had a threesome with Morticia Adams and Karl Lagerfeld’s angrogenous sister,” is destined to be my soul sister.

Not to mention her catchphrases are brilliant … some of which I’m working overtime trying to incorporate into my every day lexicon. I’ll only dazzle you with a few as I could go on forevski (stolen from Jill Kargman).

“Let’s get the check-oslovakia.”

“Thigh plus ass equals thass” 

“Donuts are just gay bagels.”

Listen … I know I usually premiere “Style Stud” of the week on Friday, but this is a “holiday” week and I make the rules up in this bitch, so I’m breaking them. Jill Kargman of Odd Mom Out, you are the Style Stud of the week on Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra, because you’re smart, stylish, bad ass, sarcastic, extraordinarily witty, and show women you don’t need to turn into a robot freak of nature only focused on kids and kid-related topics once you procreate. 

Cheers and let’s get cocktails, kay? 

Do Blondes Have More Fun?

Blondie-x-Los-Rakas-I-Screwed-UpI believe it is a bad thing when you look at your senior portrait from high school, 10 years later, and your hair looks exactly the same. Same color. Same cut. It’s like no time has passed (especially if you graduated high school in the 80’s … get that shit fixed, there is no excuse). 

I’ve been yawning at my hair for a while now. It isn’t the cut, as I adore my stylist (hi Jenna!) She literally is the only human being capable of working a pair of scissors that I let do whatever she wants to me … and it is ALWAYS pure genius.

The color is what really has been boring me to pieces. I’ve been dark brown for a good amount of years now. I’ve had a few highlights added in here and there. I almost went black for a period of time (but since my wardrobe keeps getting less and less colorful I really had to pull back on that). I had that heinous red period that my friends and family now tell me, billions of years later, was a heinous mistake (thanks for the honesty, guys). And I was like a purple-ish red in college due to lack of funds and my obsession with the Feria box hair dye “chocolate cherry” (my 21st birthday pictures are a sheer disaster). 

And now I’m wondering … do blondes have more fun? I’m not saying I want to go Paris Hilton platinum blonde … nothing like that as I know first hand how fucking horrific it is to get your hair bleached. And even now, as an “adult” I don’t have the funds to keep up with that maintenance. 

Really my spirit animal throughout my blonde thought process has been Rachel McAdams’ hair in the new True Detective. For the past three years, I have been sitting by my window, creepily starring at ombre hair singing softly to myself, “hello … is it me you’re looking for?! I can see it in your eyes. I can see it in your smile. You’re all I ever wanted. And my arms are open wide. ‘Cause you know just what to say. And you know just what to do. And I want to tell you so much. I love you.” (I’m well aware that I’m a freak)

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It comes down to the fact that I don’t have the balls. Ombre hair mine as well be the hottest guy in school you never make eye contact with because you know your face will turn bright red and explode out of too many emotions swirling together. You want ombre. You’ve basically planned your wedding with ombre. But when push comes to shove and ombre comes over to ask you what time it is … you freeze up and pee yourself a little. 

Oh hair dye, why can’t you be easier to play with? Why can’t you be more like nail polish. If you hate the color, a little nail polish remover fixes everything. Whereas if you get your hair dyed something outside of your comfort zone (ombre), and it looks like shit you: A. have to spend a ton of money getting it fixed on top of the money you already spent. B. Risk insulting the hair stylist who just dyed your hair. and C. Damage the HELL out of your hair. Is it worth it? 

My fear is that another 10 years will pass, and the younger generation will look at me and be all, “wow she is so stuck in 2005.” I mean that statement alone makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry a little. I guess until I get my balls together, I will just continue staring out my window at ombre hair color, singing sad songs to myself. 

Sigh. Also, DAMN YOU, KARDASHIANS will your endless amounts of money and “glam squads” who can change up their hair every damn day. Damn you. Dammit! Damn. Damn. Damn.

The Spawn of Satan: SPANX

spanx-spnx01-990-gvzOn the hottest day of the year, I decided it would be a fun little experiment to take my new SPANX slip out for a test drive … like a moron. In my head I was like, “this will be amazing. I’ll get some great blog content from it. I can live tweet whilst wearing SPANX. It will be hilarious … Etc. Etc.” 

Welp … if anyone stalks me via social media (which if you do I’m thoroughly flattered), you will know how much of a miserable human being I was. Probably the most miserable I’ve been in a while, strictly because I was so violently uncomfortable. I’m really not exaggerating. I almost got to work, which is an hour away from where I live, and turned right back around because I couldn’t take it. 

I’m pretty sure SPANX has blocked me from Twitter, but you know what? I could careless. You would think wearing SPANX should make you feel thin, vivacious, and Kim Kardashian-curvy. Well, I felt like a stuffed disgusting sausage. I felt fat. I felt BAD about myself, using my laptop and notebook as devices to cover up my stomach. I felt like I had fat rolls in places where normally … I do not. I was fidgeting and pulling parts of my outfit up and down, just to find an inch of comfort. And I was hot. God dammit I was so hot. 

While yes, my mother DID teach me if I had nothing nice to say to say nothing at all … I can’t help but feel really pissed off for the entire lady population. We are basically force fed images of stick figure models with amazing bodies on the reg, making us feel the need to shove our bodies in these constricting devices just to give off the illusion that we are JUST like them, meanwhile our organs are being unnaturally smushed together (ick).

But guess what? We are NOT. We shouldn’t feel bummed out that we love carbs and want to vomit at the sight of any sort of green juice. We should bask in that, instead of walking around all day, so insanely uncomfortable in SPANX that fiery explosions are going off in our brains and we just want to punch everything and anything. 

Needless to say, I went home, almost dislocated my shoulder getting the damn SPANX off my body because it was clinging so tightly to my skin, and threw it straight in the trash. So yeah, I basically threw $50 in the trash. Awesome. Because if I’m not comfortable with the way I look, then I need to work on that with some good ol’ fashion exercise and healthy eating … not by pulling magic tricks out of my ass. BEHOLD! I’m a size 10, and once I shove myself into this corset-like contraption :::awkwardly shoves body into heinous restricting material::: … TA DA I’m a size 6. Again … bullshit. 

I’ll never wear SPANX again. Mark my words. The concept is great if you want a quick fix, and if you are standing stationary on a red carpet for hours. But if that quick fix means being so uncomfortable you can’t concentrate at work, end up feeling insanely bad about yourself, and just want to cry and vomit and sacrifice walking around in a see-through dress all day JUST to relieve yourself isn’t worth it. I honestly don’t know how women like Kim Kardashian do it, as she claims she never leaves home without them. Shit … the things we do to look amazing. But this is where I draw the line, kids.

Be comfortable in your own skin. Down with SPANX, I say, down with them.

The First Time I Let The Ladies Out

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 4.45.10 PMI’m a freak among women when it comes to bra wearing. While some may count down the hours of the day they can bust open their front door, unclasp their bra and pull it through their shirt arm hole (it’s a talent). Me? Well … I sleep in the thing. I don’t even let myself air dry after the shower. It is dry off, and bra on. 

I wear it when I’m sick. I wear it when I’m just laying around the house. I’m basically 100% bra-ed up. Because without it, I feel strange. Like REALLY strange. Which is interesting because I remember thinking the minute I put one on for the first time, “this is so weird, Mom how long do I have to wear this thing?!” 

I’ve even avoided backless dresses/shirts (which are my favorite … I adore my back) for this reason because “free-ballin'” was never an option for me, as, well … God gave me parts that need some :::cough::: support (that’s a nice way of saying I have big taas). Yes, I tried the backless bra, but you know that feeling of falling when you aren’t really falling? It’s basically the same thing, except you’re constantly thinking your bra is going to come flying off since it is hanging on to your skin by tape. Which is unnatural. 

I can’t say I’ve ever gone out in public bra-less until recently. And guess what made me do it? Shocking … a strapless bra. I won’t name brand names as this specific brand was nice enough to send me a free trial of their bra … but I’ll honestly say the thing is made from the fabric of Satan. If I wasn’t throwing a party at my home that day, and if I hadn’t bought a halter maxi dress that required me to wear a strapless bra, I probably would have burned it. 

Getting the thing on alone was a workout, and I almost injured myself pretty badly trying to shimmy it up. Lots of grunting was happening, maybe a few “F bombs” were dropped … I don’t know, I kind of blacked out. 

After a really awkward and unsexy dance of getting my taas in said strapless bra, I was basically being smothered and stabbed from every angle (clearly it didn’t fit well, but when you don’t have any other options … because why would I own a plethora of strapless bras … you gotta work with what you have).

I was uncomfortable all day, walking around the party I was hosting making it look like I was pulling my dress up, but really I had the sides of my strapless bra in a death grip, trying desperately to slide it up even a centimeter so it would stop stabbing me. 

I was a trooper. I wore the thing all day. All. Damn. Day. In fact when people would ask me, “GASP … Kate are you wearing a strapless bra!?” I would say, “yes and LIFE SUCKS IN IT :::shameless self promotion, fist to chin, wink … and walk away cursing under my breath::: 

But we all hit a wall eventually. It happened to me right at the end of the party. I may or may not have had a couple of cocktails (I was drunk), and I just HAD it. No one was around except for my sister, so after a few failed attempts at doing it myself, I had my sister unhook my strapless bra (because that is normal) when no one was looking. I ripped it off, threw it in the corner of my living room (that happened … in all seriousness) … and basked in the glory of my new found freedom. And okay, maybe ONE person was around. But I looked them dead in the eyes and said, “YOU SAW NOTHING!” 

And that, my friends, was the first time I “free-balled” it (I’m sure that isn’t the right term and I’m sure my aunt is mortified reading this right now … Hi Aunt Pat). And I gotta say … it was GLORIOUS. How relaxing. How non-restrictive. How … satisfying! Although I did turn into a paranoid mess asking all of my female relatives for the remainder of the evening, “CAN YOU TELL I’M NOT WEARING A BRA!?!” They think I’m nuts in general for being so “supported” ALL of the time anyways. 

Yeah … so strapless bras still fucking suck. Forever and always. But at least this extraordinary evil one made me step outside of my comfort zone and go a little au natural. But no … don’t get excited (or freaked out … either or) … I’m not about to strut around the streets bra-less in a tight tank top. Nope. Not up in here. 

I like me some support … just not in the strapless form. 

What’s Up With My Face?

d-6829Can I just say one of the most overwhelming things in life happens to be figuring out what kind of skincare regiment you should use on your face? Dear. God. Do you have oily skin? Dry skin? A combination perhaps? Is your skin overly red? Having breakouts? Are your eyes puffy? What about your jawline? I mean …

Because it would be far too expensive and time consuming to try out all these different, insane options for every centimeter of my skin, I rely heavily on major fashion publications to tell me the best skincare products to use. But even then, the options make me dizzy. 

Maybe it is life in general or added stress … but my face has been a hot mess as of late. Breakouts, redness, dry patches … I mean the works. And for a girl who NEVER had acne problems before in her LIFE to start having them at age 28 is a cruel, cruel joke, God. Seriously. Like we don’t have enough to deal with. Now I’m rubbing shoulders with 15-year-old nerds in the acne cream aisle. 

That’s when I realized I don’t really have a “skincare regiment” and dear God, my makeup brushes haven’t been washed in months, and holy shit, maybe the body wash I use in the shower shouldn’t be the only thing I use to wash my face (I know, I’m awful). I mean … no wonder I look like a pubescent teen. Yes, stress is probably a HUGE factor and maybe the fact that I had my period that week had something to do with it as well (hi gents reading this), but this is when it hit me: Just because I moisturize my face after I wash it doesn’t mean I’m “taking care of it.” Oh yeah … and I’m a lazy, lazy bitch.

So I started doing my research. Best moisturizers. Best face cleansers. Best way to clear up irritated skin. And guess what? I was overwhelmed. My heart was pounding, I got dizzy, I had to take a timeout for snacks and water. So instead I started searching through my favorite brands (all found at Ulta or drug stores because ain’t nobody got time to play around with $300 moisturizers from the tears of angels). Aveeno. Garnier. Neutrogena. Kiehls (okay maybe not a drugstore brand, but God I die for one of their products). Brands that I’ve relied on and grown old-ish with. And you know what? I actually found products that I adore. 

So while I’m well aware that we all have different skin types and different budgets, here are a few of my favorite products that have been a life changer for my hot mess face. 

1. Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for Dry Skin: This stuff not only makes you look hydrated and glorious, it also feels amazing when you apply it. Nice and cold. Perfect if you are a little hungover, especially under the eyes. I can’t get enough of this shit, and always put too much on because I lerve it.

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2. Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser: No more using my body wash to clean my face in the shower for this guy. Nope. I now feel like I’ve officially become an adult. Anyways … I’ve been using this jazz for about a week and already my skin looks less red, has less blemishes, and just looks … well … radiant. At least I think so :::flips hair:::

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3. Facial Fuel Eye De-puffer: Okay, this isn’t found in a drugstore, but I mean a girl is allowed to splurge, back off. I gotta say this is one of my most favorite products for my face. And if you put it on before bed, you will wake up and your eyes WILL NOT be puffy. Amazing, right? Allergies, hangovers, crying over idiots and stupid situations, life in general? No remanence of that shit will be left under your eyes after using this stuff.

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4. Miss Spa Brightening Facial Mask: Because my skin turned into such a disaster area, I decided it wouldn’t be a bad idea to use a face mask once a month or every two weeks. And Ulta has a brand called “Miss Spa” that has a ton of options for different types of skin. I was a little hesitant since they were kind of cheap … but the end result was fantastic. My skin felt clean and refreshed … just like I had gone to an actual spa … but really was Instagramming funny pics of me wearing said face mask in my bedroom.

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5. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes: But I thought you already washed your face? Well, if you’re anything like me, your towels are covered in mascara and eyeliner stains from your actual face cleanser failing to remove it all. Hence why a backup is necessary to tackle those waterproof bastards covering your eyes. Sometimes you’ll do anything and everything to go back to looking like a gargoyle after a long day simply to reapply it the next day. Sigh. 

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No Pain. No Gain: Breaking In Sandals

summer-beauty-bummers-02I’ve become a little sandal crazed this season. Usually I’ll invest in one or two pairs, and truly get the most out of sandals from seasons past. But this year, for some reason, sandals are my jam. I’ve literally scoured the interwebs for cool and interesting ones to invest in (seriously, if you’re looking for a specific sandal, I probably know where to find it). 

But with new sandals comes the ordeal of having to work them in. No matter what, with any new sandal I purchase, they could be made from the tears of Jesus himself, I will still get a horrific blister. And probably a scar. And people will look at my feet and be all, “what the hell happened to you?!” But when you love something so much, you’ll do anything to make it work, right? 

Last season I was lusting after the high gladiator sandals that go up to your knee. After much contemplation, I threw in the towel and invested in this great pair that was made out of tan leather. They were delicious. I wore them the first chance I got, which was out to dinner one evening. Let’s just say by the time I had made it into the restaurant, I was close to tears. The blisters that these bad boys had caused sent me writhing in pain. Even the idea of vacating the restaurant made me cringe. I begged my friend to carry me out of said restaurant “Bodyguard-style” … but alas that didn’t go over too well. So I hobbled my ass out of the restaurant in the most awkward fashion humanly possible, and vowed to burn said sandals as I lathered up in Neosporin and soaked my aching feet. 

Once the blisters healed, and the pain subsided … I gave my ritualistic burning of my gladiators another thought. I loved them. I would have kissed them, if that wouldn’t be so strange. How could I part with them?! And that’s when it hit me. Just like with pretty much EVERYTHING in life, no pain … no gain. I had to dedicate myself and my body and my pain tolerance to breaking these gladiators in. And if that meant my feet would get some scars, and I would have to invest in a lifetime supply of blister bandaids … then so be it. 

Flash forward to present day, and I can now wear my high gladiator sandals everywhere and anywhere without any tears. I suppose this feeling is comparable to Rocky running up the Art Museum steps … you know, jumping up and down, arms up like … “I’m the MAN!” Right? Okay maybe not THAT dramatic. But still … 

So when I came face-to-face with a similar situation with a pair of sandals I recently purchased that gave me 5 blisters in less than an hour and left my feet rather scarred, I had to tell myself the same thing. No pain no gain when it comes to cute sandals. You either suck it up and forge through, so you can arrive on the outside of breaking in a pair of sandals like a boss … or you could be a wuss who gives up and has to stare jealously at all the cool girls in their bad ass sandals that you cannot wear … because … well … you’re a wuss. 

So ladies … if you have a pair of sandals that you adore, but cannot stand the pain … forge forward. Keep your eye on the prize and work them in a little bit each day, even if that means doing a lap around your house and taking them off. The end result is worth all the blisters in the world, trust. 

Wait … WHAT’S In My Beach Bag!?

mary-poppins-bagLike an idiot, I scheduled my vacation for the end of August. It’s June 12. Sigh … (I know, I know seriously … play the smallest violin in the world for me … I get it). But hey, we are human beings and sometimes, we need a break. And while I adore my career and find myself very thankful for it and could kiss it … I sometimes would prefer to be chillin’ poolside with a margarita. I mean who in their right mind wouldn’t?! Come now …

So when Naja, who sells beautiful and affordable lingerie (if you haven’t checked them out yet … do it), reached out to me asking what I would put in my beach bag, I found this the perfect opportunity to do what I do best: daydream. 

I’m a firm believer that style doesn’t end when sand hits your toes. So behold as in my head I turn my desk to sand, my heels to flip flops, my maxi skirt to a one-piece bathing suit (because a one piece is the new bikini, you heard it here first … trust), my laptop into a frozen cocktail, and my office into an oceanfront view. Join me … won’t you? 

1. You can’t do anything without a great beach bag: Again … style doesn’t end on the beach. A beach bag should be equivalent to your everyday tote … expressive of your personal style and willing and able to hold all of your goods, Mary Poppins-style. And here is one of my faves … boom: 

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2. Hardcore SPF: I don’t fucks with the sun. You know that guy on the beach that has a big hat on under an umbrella with white shit all over his/her nose? Yep, that’s me. It’s not worth it, kids. There are far too many fantastic lotions to give you that sun-kissed look then risk getting skin cancer and or wrinkles laying out in the sun. SPF 50 is my jam. Get on it. 

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3. Ear buds: Sure, nothing is like listening to your favorite tunes on the beach … but more importantly, they are for drowning out the potentially annoying people around you. Loud families … kids … teenagers. Woof. Ear buds allow you to escape to your happy place quietly without any irritating background noise. 

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4. Oversized hat: I told you, I don’t play around with the sun anymore. And big, floppy hats are not only great for protecting your face from the harmful rays of the sun … they are also classically stylish. That’s Audrey Hepburn shit right there. 

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5. Shades: Nothing makes me more excited than a good pair of sunglasses. For me, the bigger the better, but I know we all don’t like to hide behind obnoxiously large, Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka-style shades. Listen … I like the pretend the paparazzi is after me at all times for funsies (kind of, not really, but kind of … :::shifty eyes:::)

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6. Wine: Yes, you heard me properly. The beach just isn’t as fun without some cocktails. And I bet you’re wondering, “but Kate, warm wine on the hot beach? Gross!” WRONG, sir, you are, WRONG! After lots of research, I’ve found some sneaky ways to keep your wine bottles cold on the beach, like with insulated bags. It does the same job as an ice pack, except it wraps around your wine bottle in a cute little bag. Umm hello, get into my life.  

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7. Lip balm: The Balm Dotcom has become my jam for my lips. While yes, it is a skin salve, I’ve found it is best for keeping my lips hydrated and smooth. Salt water can do a number to dry out your lips, so best to keep them hydrated. Although, do keep this in a dark, hidden place in your bag, otherwise this shit will turn into hot lava and melt all over the place. 

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8. Extra hair tie: Nothing is worse then when you either A. lose your hair tie in the ocean or B. it breaks and no one around you has one, and you are left with your wild mane of wet hair to forever rest on your hot, exposed shoulders whilst laying on the beach. Always be prepared and have an extra, if not for you, than for your idiot friend who forgot one. 

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9. Trash Mags: OK!, US Weekly … listen, when I’m on vacation, it gives me the opportunity to find out all the shit I don’t really need to know … like what Caitlyn Jenner’s favorite moisturizer is and how many pregnancy pounds Kim Kardashian has gained (which, by the way, I think is heinous … leave the poor girl alone … :::cue LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE, video::::)

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10. Kimono: Last summer I purchased my first beach kimono and I fell in lerve … hard. This summer, I plan to live in them on the beach. When it turns late afternoon, and you find yourself watching the sun set with some cocktails with friends on the beach … nothing works best to cover your swimsuit up than a kimono. (And yes, that is me basking in the glory of my Stevie Nicks-esque kimono below)

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Bunions. Bunions. Who’s Got The Bunions?

enhanced-buzz-3729-1367424652-18I’ll start this off by saying I hate feet. Really I do. It’s not like the sight of them make me gag or anything, I’m not that much of a freak … but I may or may not shield my eyes during toe fungus commercials (guuuhhhh)

I mean I think if you are born with a vagina, there is something in your DNA that just makes you adore shoes. But, unfortunately, the makers of these fierce shoes really don’t have “comfort” and “foot care” listed as their number one priority whilst making a shoe. It’s more about color, fabric, heel height, platforms, red soles … oooh the options, the sweet, sweet options. 

But the last time you bought a fierce pair of heels did you stop and be like, “hmm how will this shoe affect the health and wellbeing of my foot?” I’m sure you didn’t. If you are anything like me you’re just like, “SHINY THINGS … MINE,” and you’re done with it. But heels, at the end of the day, fuck up our feet. They just do. 

I never really thought about it nor gave a shit until I recently started seeing my shoes getting the same worn down circles where the side of my foot lives within them. I had no idea what it was all about or what it meant. I was just pissed that my shoes were looking more worn than they actually were. 

It wasn’t until my brother looked down at my bare foot and was like, “DEAR GOD … THAT BUNION!” Uhhh what? For some reason, my understanding of a “bunion” was that it was like a wort or some unsightly mass that would scare small children into the arms of their parents. Right? I mean even the word itself is absolutely cringeworthy. 

Never once did I think a bunion was simply your foot bones acting a fool due to poor, restricting footwear. Even worse, never once did I think it could happen to me (wow … I feel like I’m on a Lifetime special right now … tonight’s movie: the sad girl and her bunion)

All those years of wearing shoes that were too small for me because I didn’t want to accept the fact that I was a size 9, and then when I fell down the rabbit hole of wearing 4 inch heels. And now, I’m a commuter who refuses to be one of those women who rock sneakers on the train and switch into heels at work. Carrie Bradshaw never did it … now did she? But looking back, that bitch probably had INSANE bunions. 

So here I am, 28 years old … with bunions that are absolutely destroying the sides of my shoes. You would think I would care. That I would be like investing in orthopedic footwear. But alas … I’m not. Because I’m an idiot. And because I don’t want to let these bunions win, God dammit (also did I mention I’m an idiot, because if I keep up with this behavior, of course they are going to win). 

I’ve already accepted the fact that one day I will have to get that insanely painful surgery to remove said bunions and not be able to walk like a normal individual for a certain period of time. I’ve become one with it. I’ve owned it. I’m okay with it … kind of. 

These uncomfortable shoes we wear and that are the cause of bunions are the ones that make us connected to our femininity, and make us feel like rockstars. While I desperately wish Dr. Scholls looked like Loubs … they don’t, and probably never will. 

The things we do for fashion, right? Sigh. But hey, I did this to myself. I’ve own it and accepted it. But I have no regrets. Well … maybe pretending I was a size 8 when in reality I am a size 9. That was fucking stupid, self. But when it comes to all the amazing shoes I’ve put on my feet over the years… I regret nothing. NOTHING, I say. 

On a different note, a facility should be established, much like the “spas” where women go to get “refreshed,” where you can go have bunion surgery and recover in peace, whilst drinking wine, eating carbs, and lounging by a pool. I think I’m on to something, right? 

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You’re SO Fake

fake-louis-vThe other night, I was sitting on a very crowded train with a girl standing next to me with her “Louis Vuitton” tote basically shoved in my face (ahh the joys of public transportation). Normally I wouldn’t oogle a designer handbag, but in this instance, I had no choice. 

The dark brown and light brown checks passed my test, and the brand name was actually spelled right. Perhaps this bag could be real. But when I took a closer look (again, I had no choice) the lining, the weird “leather” dangly thing hanging off the back, the outer rim … the word “FAKE” started flashing in my brain with bright lights around it. 

How do I know all of this? Where did I get these silly skills of being able to decipher if a designer bag is fake or not, especially a Louis? Well … I went to the school of Canal Street in New York City. Literally. During the early 2000’s and the hay day of Sex and the City … you were nothing if you didn’t have a designer bag. And it didn’t matter if you were 13 or 35. 

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I believe I was 15-ish when I had my first experience on Canal Street in NYC. Back in the early 2000’s, before the cops ruined all the fun, you could walk into any kiosk on Canal and find any replica handbag from Dior to Prada and beyond. It was a little crazy how these bags looked exactly like the bazillion dollar ones that lived in stores like Bloomies. And while the 1% were buying them up in department stores, my mom and I were scooping up all of our favorite designers for under $20. 

Looking back, the things we did to score these handbags were a little insane. Like I said, there was a small window of time when you could just go up to any kiosk on Canal Street and pull an amazing fake right off the wall and purchase it. But once the authorities got wind of this, it got a little more … hmmm dicey, to say the least. 

What would you say if a random man who barely spoke English said to you, “Louis Vuitton? Prada? $20 … follow me.” You wouldn’t follow him, right? Because it’s shady and weird, and hello! Stranger danger. 

Well … if you were my mom and I, you would, indeed, follow him. Down the street, around the corner, into another shady kiosk and through a wall that turned into a door that led to a shady back room where all the fakes lived. What? Looking back, I’m really psyched we are alive and not still trapped in that back room. Hey … it could have happened.

:::Mumbles::: years later, the “fake handbag” has kind of lost its luster. Sure, being able to strut around holding a handbag that Beyonce carries is awesome. But like my good friend once said, “ain’t nobody gonna believe a girl driving a hoopdee is wearing Chanel.” And nothing has ever resonated more with me. 

Fake handbags just make me sad now. The lining, the bootleg stitching … and God knows who made them and who is selling them and the conditions they are in to do so. Apparently the whole fake handbag market is bad news and quite frankly, I want nothing to do with it anymore.

While I would sell my own mother on the black market for a Chanel bag (sorry Ma), I now know it is more important to work hard for one … instead of following a stranger through a wall and scoring one for $20 (although at least really funny stories came from it). 

At this stage in my life, I am quite confident when I say I have NO business owning a Chanel bag. I feel like that is just something you will just know when you’re ready to own one. Like, “OMG I have all this money left over after all my bills are paid … WHAT DO I DO?!” Hello, Chanel. Come to Mama. 

And of course, I still have kept a few of my fakes for nostalgic purposes. I think I still have a Prada pencil bag that was my LIFE in high school (again, what is a 15-year-old girl who has a single parent doing with a Prada bag?) and a awful fake Burberry bag. Sigh … good times. 

So while yes, designer handbags are the untouchable candy we so desperately want to indulge in, but sometimes cannot, go visit them in Nordstrom and Bloomies, stroke them, have eye sex with them all you want … and set goals for yourself to acquire one the legit way. But until then there are SO many cool and unique handbags that may not have a designer label, but will make fellow ladies be all, “OMG where did you get that bag, bitch?!” (I mean … that’s how ladies talk, right?)

Let fakes live in the early 2000’s with low-rise jeans and satin tanks and Paris Hilton. Right? You know I’m right. 

Style Stud Of The Week: Geoff Peirce

art-museum-hottieThe idea of exercising in this heat, let alone outdoors, on the Art Museum steps, with my shirt off, makes me want to crawl back into bed and take a long nap. But for Geoff Peirce, the simple act of getting his fitness on turned him from regular handsome dude, to the Justin Timberlake of Philly. 

Personally I found the whole ordeal fascinating. You wake up one day, do your normal routine, and hours later find out some guy (Hi, Hugh E!) was taking your picture and it’s all over the interwebs and Philly news outlets?! What?! 

So ladies, and gay gents, prepare yourselves, and try not to swoon TOO hard, as I give you a deeper dive into the life of Geoff Peirce, the latest dreamboat to roll into Philly. 

Tell me a little about yourself … age, what you do for a living, what you like to for fun?

Im 27 years old. My full-time job is as a product manager of indoor air quality for my families company Peirce-Phelps Inc. and my part-time job on the side is as a fitness model and actor. I obviously love to be active in the city and workout in many different forms from calisthenics, power lifting, Olympic lifting, plain old body building, and cross fit. I really can’t get enough when playing sports, too. I am a huge soccer, volleyball, and tennis player, but can also dominate the field in ping pong and fuse ball (all challengers welcome)

What does it feel like to be one of the most desired men in Philly?

It’s pretty odd, but cool at the same time. Doesn’t really register with me. I have always been a friendly outgoing person, in my own opinion, and this attention recently has been a surprise. I don’t mind the attention, but I would hope to use it in order to make other, more important things, relevant to the masses.

Where is your favorite place to shop in Philly?

My favorite spot to shop in Philadelphia is Lululemon (haha). I love the selection of guys stuff for casual wear. I only really wear their shorts to workout in but if I’m going somewhere casual and still want to bring some style I wear Lululemon. As for higher fashion I hit Macy’s as well as South Moon Under for a bunch of looks.

Obviously you’re just a little on the athletic side (kidding), how would you define your workout style? Is there a style to a workout look, or is it more of just pick out a t-shirt and shorts and go?

This is a great question. Everyone who is part of the gym scene either knows there is a style or should take this information I am about to give right now and recognize its truth. Style is very much a part of the gym. Dress partially for the functionality of the exercise you do such as running shoes and shorts for runners, maybe a sleeveless shirt if you are going to be doing motions that require more arm flexibility. My personal style is I dress as if I were a professional athlete at the gym. I wear Nike combat compression or slim fit shirts that support proper form and help the visibility of what you are doing. I also wear Lululemon pace-breakers since they have built-in compression shorts that are crazy comfortable to squat in. Everything has to be colored correctly. No dark blues and blacks and no lose shirts with tight shorts. The goal is show your bodies best form so you can be aware of the changes you would like to make as you’re working out.

A lot of men are turned off by the idea of “manscaping” or getting pedicures … going to salons. How do you feel about that kind of “man maintenance”?

(Haha) I am personally for it … but to degree. Trimming should be a must unless you got a Gaston or lumber jack look going on. If you don’t like that hair on a women she probably doesn’t like that hair on you. I don’t get pedicures but I have always had my hair cut at the same salon since I was a kid and I don’t plan on changing it anytime soon.

Have to ask, what is a trend women are rocking right now that you hate and why?

That’s a hard one. I generally like styles of all kinds if the person can rock it confidently. The only problems I have thus far are those aviator and large sunglasses covering the entire face as well as the parachute floral pants that basically give sweatpants a high-end alternative. The sunglasses make a couple girls look like bugs and for some other women it makes them look almost identical. I have had double takes on many occasions thinking I saw the same person 4 different times.

I see that you’re single. Are you just enjoying the single life for right now? 

I am indeed enjoying the single life right now but am now more open to the idea of commitment. I always pretty much knew what I liked and what works with my personality and lifestyle but I think I am ready to accept that I may need to make changes to my own lifestyle to really date someone effectively with long term goals in mind.

How do you feel is the most effective way to meet ladies? 

I feel meeting people through friends and friends of friend’s at large events or parties is the most effective way to get things going in the right direction. By having a mutual friend or someone each person knows around pretty much endorses someone for not being a complete weirdo … something I think that lacks on the online dating apps. Also, you are right there in person face-to-face, no pictures or photos or nonsense to worry about. What you see is what you get and I like that. Being in one of those larger parties or at a concert or sporting event tailgate I think it also gives you a relaxed atmosphere to be yourself and to also have fun regardless of trying to meet someone or not. For the guys that stay strictly to the bar scene I recommend staying close to the bar if not right up on it … all the weird stuff happens up at the bar if you hang around long enough.

Cardigans: The Bane Of My Existence

il_fullxfull.315152351Whenever I think of “cardigans” I think of the band from the 90’s that sang that song, Love me, love me, say that you’ll love me …”, which was also in the movie Romeo and Juliet, which, besides Titanic, is where I fell head over heels for Leonardo DiCaprio. But that is neither here nor there. 

Cardigans, the actual piece of clothing, not the band, have become the bane of my existence. Summertime is so lovely for us chicks because when in doubt? You throw on a dress, a statement necklace, some gladiators, hair in a high pun, a popping lip color and you’re out the door. But no. Apparently exposing your shoulders has become as inappropriate as walking around butt naked in public. Enter stream of cardigans stage right.

While yes, some cardigans are cute and trendy and timeless … others I just want to kick in the face and be like, “GROW A PAIR!” (i.e. anything Lilly Pulitzer). Like everyone should own a simple black cardigan … that’s a given. It’s a staple that will work with anything and everything. A cardigan embroidered with pink roses? Die.

But if you aren’t going “clubbing,” chances are you are going to work or a work-related event and therefore need to cover up those inappropriately exposed shoulders with something. Am I right? Not to mention offices rarely ever have the temperate controlled properly. It is either Antartica or the Sahara desert, so layers are most-likely a must. And the only solution, REALLY … is a cardigan. Because they are so God damn light weight and perfect. GOD I loathe them.

I love my dresses, especially the new ones I’ve scored this season. I really do. If I could kiss them and it wouldn’t be considered weird, I would. But having to throw a cardigan over them makes me really angry and want to yawn all at the same time. It’s like putting ketchup on steak (not that I eat steak, but I hear that is a big no-no), it’s like, “STOP … what are you doing, you’re ruining it … idiot!” 

Cardigans, for me, take the edge off of any cool dress I own. The minute I put one on, I go from Niaomi Campbell strutting her stuff down the street, to little miss meager bopping along with my hair in pigtails.

I’ve even tried wearing them differently. Instead of actually wearing wearing it, I just threw it over my shoulders 1950’s style. But that just gets annoying as it continuously falls off my shoulders and I have to awkwardly reach around my back to retrieve it. It’s not pretty.

People, why are we so opposed to exposing our shoulders in the summer? I get it, for me, a person who does have a back tattoo … the tattoo itself may be offense (even though it says blessed in Italian for crying out loud). But I mean, get over it. As long as you don’t look like a porn star and have your taas all out and about for the world to see, or exposing your entire back, I think a tasteful spaghetti strap dress sans cardigan is a-okay.

Look, I don’t want to offend people nor be looked at as a scandalous skank for exposing too much skin, but if I don’t have to go buy different cardigans that match my dresses that are tasteful but expose my shoulders JUST because I have to, not because I want to, that would be truly an amazing thing. I hate buying shit I don’t want to buy. I HATE IT. And cardigans … well … that is numero uno.

Down with cardigans, I say, down with them!

Men And Their Heinous Summer Style

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photo credit: http://noisey.vice.com/en_ca/blog/what-your-terrible-taste-in-music-says-about-you

While dudes countdown the minutes until the weather peaks above 60 degrees for ladies to start stripping off their Northface parkas and start indulging in tighter, shorter, more skin-exposed garments … us ladies, well, don’t have it so great in the warmer months.

While yes, nothing is more satisfying then the ease of a summer outfit … there is a downside. And no, it is not idiots on the street cat calling us because all of a sudden, holy shit, women have curves! Sigh … it is having to look at men’s summer style.

I was inspired this morning whilst reading a post written by one of my favorite radio personalities on Elvis Duran and the Morning, Carla Marie, who was outlining how heinous cargo shorts are and why men shouldn’t wear them.

Because I realize only two dudes read this blog and are probably drooling on themselves while they do so, I’ll speak to your girlfriends when I say, what in holy hell is up with men’s summer fashion? It’s like every dude on the street looks like they are headed to go drop some “Molly” at a techno festival. It truly makes me want to do a slow jump, fist flying in midair that I’m single this summer.

After witnessing a man on the train on the way home the other day dressed in a proper seersucker suit and straw hat, dressed to the nines … I felt it was my civil service to list out what men should avoid wearing this summer. You’re welcome men … and ladies that have to co-exist with them.

1. Neon: Literally stop it with the loud shirts and hats. It’s not 1995 or 85, for that matter. And no, you aren’t the Fresh Price of Belair, no matter how ironic you think it is. I don’t care if it is your “work out gear.” It’s tacky and I hate you. (If you know where that quote came from I adore you)

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2. Colorful/White Rimmed Sunglasses: Sigh … whenever I see a dude in white sunglasses or colorful rimmed sunglasses, I desperately want to take them off his face and smash them. While that may seem a little dramatic … and mean (I would never ACTUALLY do it … unless I knew you, of course) they are just that heinous. To make it easier for you to understand, if I saw Justin Timberlake wearing white/colorful rimmed sunglasses on the street … this would be my face:

aunt-linda3. Tank Tops: We get it, you have muscles … and a cool tribal tattoo on your bicep and you want the entire world to see. Seriously. I got the memo … I saved it for later, and I’ll think of it fondly. Really. I will. Now put on a proper shirt … for the love of Jesus.

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4. Graphic T-shirts: Thanks, Urban Outfitters, for allowing this shit to still stay relevant with dudes. Apparently it is 2003 if you have a penis. If you think wearing a shirt that has a picture of a greasy hamburger with “Health Nut” across it brings all the ladies to the yard, you are sorely mistaken. Get a guard dog to get those ladies out of your yard IMMEDIATELY because ain’t nothing good can come from that.

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5. Flip Flops: I know, I know, you’re all, “this bitch just crossed the line.” But so many dudes don’t believe in getting pedicures because they think it sucks out their “manliness.” I’m not asking you to get OPI’s Red Hot in Rio painted on with a sassy little palm tree on your big toe. I’m asking you to have someone shave off your dead skin, clip your nails properly, and give your feet some much needed TLC (sorry, writing all of that out just made me gag). I hate feet. They are DIS-GUSTING. So proper care and maintenance is key. If you think pedicures are “girly” and make you less of a man, than I don’t want to see any sort of flip flop on your foot … fool. Go to a salon, freak. IDIOT! (Sorry I’ll stop … gross feet in Rainbow flip flops make me irate)

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:::Takes a bow::: you’re welcome, ladies with idiot boyfriends who can’t dress themselves, you’re welcome.

White Jeans And A Stain-prone Lady

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 1.34.27 PMRecently I invested in my first pair of white jeans. I had spent years being envious of the girls having the balls to wear them, and looking so “summer chic” frolicking about the city. So this year I said screw it, even though I’m stain-prone to the point that if a glob of BBQ sauce is across the room it will, indeed, end up on my shirt or pants, I decided to pull the trigger and invest in a pair.

So I took them for their first spin last week. And did you catch above that I’m stain prone? Yeah … in no way, shape or form am I a “J. Crew girl”. What I mean by a “J Crew girl” is those girls that never have a hair out of place and could come out of a tornado looking like they walked straight out of the salon and dry cleaners all at the same time. Me … well … not so much. I try … God dammit … I try, but you will most likely find a flaw in everything I wear.

While I adored my white jeans and felt like they gave me a little extra pep in my step, they also came with a side of paranoia that was … extreme to say the least. While I normally would fight a bitch for a window seat by myself on the train, I opted to stand in ridiculously painful wedges as the idea of my ass covered in white fabric touching those grimy seats with God knows what on them sent me into an anxiety spiral. I could just imagine standing up and the crazy lady on the train being all, “honey … you got a little something on your backside,” in a non-whisper.

Even while walking around, if I heard people giggling … I was 100% sure it was because I had an unsightly stain on my ass. I blame old horrific elementary school memories for these issues. That one time you were running to school, fell into a puddle and EVERYONE assumed you had an “accident” and never let you live it down. I mean … kids suck. 

Because I know you are all DYING to get a sneak peek into what goes down in my brain, I’m opening the door for you on some of my thoughts I had whilst wearing said white jeans. Listen, I will totally wear them again because I adore them …truly. But I will be JUST if not more paranoid when I do. What can I say, another example of crazy shit we deal with for the sake of looking good, am I right?

1. Did I just get my period? (side note: I had literally just finished my period days before purchasing white jeans. It wasn’t even an option … I know you all needed to know that detail desperately … you’re welcome)

2. I’m really glad I packed water and bread and pretezels for lunch today … that will give me no reason to have stains! Bread. And. Water. And. Pretzels. :::yawns:::

3. Should I bring a sweatshirt to work with me, you know, in case I DO get a stain and need to wrap it around my waist … 90’s-style? 

4. Yep I TOTALLY just got my period. BALLS. (side note: see above)

5. Dear GOD, is it possible for the black color of my desk chair to rub off on my jeans?!

6. I’m okay with people thinking I’m sick because I’m running to the bathroom every 10 minutes to make sure I don’t have a stain. It’s worth it. 

7. OMG is that adorable guy checking out my ass? :::smiles::: Wait! Do I have a stain :::twists around awkwardly in each direction::: Fuck, I totally have a stain. Fantastic. Now he probably thinks I’m disgusting and will never want to marry me … GREAT. 

9. I’m cramping … it’s my period. :::sigh::: (side note: again … see above)

10. What happens in my brain every time I get up and walk anywhere in front of people: AHHHHHHHHHH. :::smiles:::

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Giovanni & Pileggi Salon: Hair TLC

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.42.02 AMI’m openly admitting here, to all of you, that I abuse my hair. Hardcore. It is not something I’m proud of, in fact I find myself making open promises to treat it better on the regular. Unfortunately, I quickly fall back into awful habits of not getting it cut for months on end, but dying it too regularly, promising to turn down the temperature of my flat iron to lower than 450 degrees, but instead just keeping it at that temp because my hair gets straighter faster. I mean … I’m the worst. 

It wasn’t until I found myself standing in insanely bright lighting, highlighting how badly my color had grown out, exposing all of my wretched gray hairs that I said maybe, just maybe, my hair deserves a little TLC. And if there is one place that knows how to treat hair with the proper care it deserves, that is Giovanni & Pileggi Salon in Philly. 

I first went to them late last fall to try out their new hair color that is all organic and actually conditions your hair instead of making it straw-like and brittle. I’ve been through the ringer when it comes to people dying my hair. Between not giving me the color I wanted, burning my scalp leaving me with actual scabs (hey, how about that visual), I was willing to try anything. Maraes (the name of the color they use), changed my life. Free of harsh chemicals, gluten-free (who knew gluten was bad for your hair, by the way!?), and all organic … I left the salon that day feeling like I was in some cliche haircare commercial. 

So months later, with lots of gray hair, and a tired look, I went to Giovanni himself, bright and early on a Saturday (the Saturday before Mother’s Day … which I probably wouldn’t do again, my mistake), for relief. I’m beginning to call him my color savor. 

While my color, again, turned out fantastic this time around, so much so that I was desperately wishing for a large gust of wind to come by so I could whip it around Beyonce-style, I have to say the styling that happened after made me swoon even more. 

Giovanni & Pileggi is now using styling tools by GHD from curling irons, flat irons to blow dryers, which you can purchase in the salon, that actually makes your hair healthier, shinier, and doesn’t allow you to burn your hair due to temperature control (GASP, I know right?!) While flat irons and curling irons may look like actual torture devices, these products are a little less intimidating because they are designed for you to not be able to damage your hair.

I was skeptical, for sure, because I’m a TOTAL flat iron snob, but I sat in the chair and let them go to town on my hair to see what this brand GHD was all about. And I have to say, when I turned around and looked at my hair after they finished, I was straight up giddy. Like I almost giggled out of extreme happiness … and I don’t giggle. After hours of dying and styling … my hair had never looked healthier, shiner, or happier. Yes, my hair actually seemed like it was smiling for once. 

The things we do to look fantastic … my GAWD. But sometimes we have to give ourselves a break, and that includes our hair. GHD is a a great compromise for a styling tool snob like me as it gives me the same great look in the same amount of time, but doesn’t leave all the damage. I mean … sign me up. 

And per usual, I left the salon strutting my stuff down 12th street with “Whose that Lady” blasting in my head … pretending the people I walked past were all, “OMG look at her hair … I wonder where SHE is going!?” Unfortunately I was going home to watch a Will & Grace marathon on my couch with some sushi … but hey, at least I looked absolutely fantastic whilst doing it! 

A ridiculously big thanks to Giovanni, Colin and the team of fantastic people that made me look and feel utterly fantastic to the point of giggling … and for showing me the amazing ways of GHD. 

If you torture your hair like I do/did, get your ass to Giovanni & Pileggi … they will give your hair the extra care it deserves without sacrificing the style … and no they didn’t pay me to say that. :::Drops mic:::

A Rant On The Bachelorette

the-bacheloretteI can proudly say I’ve never become addicted to The Bachelorette or The Bachelor. I say that as I take a stride of pride (although I totally fell down the rabbit hole of Rock of Love and Shot of Love with Tela Tequila back in the day … so maybe I should simmer down)

Sure, the concept of the show is kind of enticing. A girl or guy gets to pick out of a plethora of “eligible” bachelors and bachelorettes to find eternal happiness? I mean, for me, that sounds like heaven, because I’m lazy and loathe the idea of going on dates. You basically get to put on a fancy dress, get all done up and just point at dudes and be like, “no, no, HELL NO, maybe, yes, yes, there’s no way in hell, no, no, no, meh why not.” Who WOULDN’T want to be the bachelorette?

But my problem is, it is no longer helping a girl or guy find happiness (or let me back up, was it ever?) It is now exploiting the faults of the people trying to win these idiots hearts by trapping them in a house with lots of booze and emotions and seeing what happens. It is like poking a hungry bear with a stick. “Ohh you have mommy issues … let’s bring up his mom, give him 10 shots and see what happens!” All of a sudden you see the pour sap vomiting on himself, tie around his head, and crying in the corner like, “why will NO ONE LOVE ME!” Jesus. Christ. 

Also, do tell, how can you really know you adore someone with the small amount of time these people get to spend with each other? It seems like after one encounter these contestants are all, “she’s the one. I KNOW she is.” Really? Or is ABC contractually making you say that? You literally just asked her if she is into adventures and if she likes jazz. Yeah, I wouldn’t call that building blocks to a long lasting relationship, kid. Could you imagine after the show is over, the shine has worn off, after the proposal happens LIVE … the awkwardness. “So … you … want to go the Chilis or something?”

And now, if things couldn’t get worse, we are putting two bachelorettes against each other and letting the “dashing” dudes participating decide who they would like to go after, and who they would send home? Is this real life? If I didn’t love my television so much, I would have punted it when I saw the commercial for this ridiculous show. Whomever is behind this shit clearly has no soul. 

People, let’s call this what it really is. You want to be famous, you don’t want to find love. This gig is up. You want to act a fool so much so that ABC says, “you’re our next idiot for whatever reality show we come up with.” Or you want to come up with the next infamous catchphrase that everyone will be talking about around water coolers across America. Or you want the clip of you vomiting on the Bachelorettes Manolos to become viral. Admit it. You don’t care about that skank standing in front of you. How could you? All you did was ask her her favorite color, stare at her tits a little, and make out. Yeah …

Whatever progress us women have made over the last 50 years is being violently dragged backward because of this show. If we’ve learned ANYTHING from reality television is that it is not the platform for “finding love.” I can safely say, my family, who is INSANELY liberal, would disown me if I went on this show. Hell I would disown me. 

For the smart, intelligent, amazing women reading this, please do not watch this idiotic show. Because dudes should never participate in choosing between two lovely ladies who they will then compete to steal their heart. I mean … I just almost vomited all over my laptop after writing that sentence. 

If I see you socially posting about it I WILL indeed unfollow you (that is a serious threat, oooooh are you scared?). I totally understanding needing to find a release and watch something where you can just drool and turn your mind off, but that is why God invented Bravo and E! Duh. Stop having “wine night” with your ladies to watch this rubbish. Just. Stop. 

Women rule!

Size 9: Always Out Of Stock

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.53.38 PMI remember being the young age of 10 when I became a size 9 in women’s shoes. It was mortifying, to say the least. I was a monster walking around tiny people who still resembled actual children, when I was well on my way to the “Women’s section” in stores, which made me feel super awkward. My height was something I knew I didn’t have control over, but my feet? Well … I did everything to make them not look like Big Foot’s relative … including squeezing my foot into shoes that were way too small for me.

Regardless to say, I have some foot problems now. I won’t go into the gritty details … but lesson here, kids is … rock your proper shoe size, no matter if it looks like you have clown feet and have to start shopping in the Women’s section of Payless that no longer offers cool Disney-inspired velcro shoes. 

Now … as an adult who has become one with her size 9 foot, I’m actually convinced everyone is a size 9. Want to know why? Because every time I find a sandal that I like … size 9 is gone. “Oh … do you want us to email you when they come back in … IF they come back in?” No. I want them NOW, dammit, NOW! 

My issue is I hate paying a lot of money for sandals. I always look forward to summer because no longer do you have to worry about purchasing $200 a pop pairs of boots, or $100 pairs of heels. Sandals, because of the less material factor, should be cheaper, right? RIGHT?!

Well … depends on where you go. Hence why my jam are websites like Forever 21. I’ve been buying my sandals there for years. It was my secret spot to get on-trend styles for like 20 bucks. Sure, they don’t last as long, and yes a pair of mine once broke whilst walking to the train (super fun day), but they get the job done for the most part. 

Nothing thrills me more than going onto Forever21.com for the first sandal buying event of the year. That was, until every style I immediately fell in love with was out of my size. Ummm come again? What in living hell is going on here? 

My mother, who has the perfect size 8, found her shoes, clicked and bought them. No problem. No wanting to punt her laptop like me. “Oooh I LOVE those” … size 9 unavailable. “Those are to DIE for!” Nope … size 9 unavailable. “I would literally stab someone to wear those sandals.” Welp … looks like I don’t need to, because size 9 is, you guessed it … unavailable. 

What gives, Forever 21?! Do you keep like 10 pairs of each shoe in stock? Or does everyone and their mother just know about my secret spot for cheap and stylish sandals? Like, I’m happy for you that people are buying your shit, but my God, can a sister just get ONE pair of sandals she desires? And no … I don’t want to be on a “waiting list” because who knows, by the time they come I may not even want them. Call me Veruca Salt, but I WANT THEM NOOOOOOW, DADDY! 

Apart of me wishes I had baby feet or gigantor feet … because good styles are ALWAYS available in size 6 or size 11. That isn’t just in Forever 21, that is everywhere. If you are a size 9 … forget it. The good styles never make it to the sale section, and the websites never have the styles you’re lusting over. Sigh. 

What I’m saying is, now that I’ve become one with my size 9 foot, I want to decorate them in the seasons best styles, and not have to pay an arm and a leg for them. Okay? So Forever 21, please get more quantities of your style in stock ASAP. Mama needs a new pair of shoes. 

My Mom Rules – 2015 Edition

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 9.46.47 AMSo first and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day to all you ridiculously special ladies out there. I think of my friends who are new moms and women who have been in my life that have raised a whole household of people who do actual good for society … and it amazes me. But … like I say every year, and MAYBE, just MAYBE I’m biased … my mom is the best. There. I said it.

My mother, who I am mildly obsessed with, is everything to me. I wouldn’t be here dazzling you with my words on the reg without her love, support, and encouragement. But to be honest, I loathe listing out the reasons why I adore her so much, as I feel it is all a bit, clique … all very true, but clique. And, not to mention, she gets MORTIFIED when I write about her. (Love ya, ma) 

I like to think I keep her young, as she had me when she was 40 years old … a son about to go to college and a daughter shortly on her way to do the same. Now … :::mumbles::: years later … she hands down has a cooler wardrobe than me. Like for example, yesterday, she just got a shoe delivery from F21. What? 

I’m going to keep this short and sweet, and instead let you enjoy some pics of my mother and I throughout the years (because if words mortify her I’m sure she’ll just love me sharing pics with you all … again, love ya, ma).

So kick your feet up today, ladies who have birthed and raised some kids. You deserve it … and THEN some. So pour yourself a cocktail (or 5) and celebrate how awesome you are.

This is called I just graduated college, got drunk and rocked out to the Rolling Stones with my mom

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Me and my mom pre-Senior prom (I still die for my dress)

 

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Straight chillin’ on a hammock in the 80’s

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I mean … hello world, I was fat

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I am so smart … s-m-r-t

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Met Gala Life Goals

sjp1cntThe day of the Met Gala, I felt a little bit like Cinderella … except I was sitting on a SEPTA train with freaks instead of in my attic with birds and mice, and instead of a fairy God Mother coming down and hooking me up with a hot dress and a prince and shit, I spent the evening of the Met Gala on my couch with my cat, popcorn and miniature Snickers stalking the Internet for the latest pics.

While I fear I will never be important enough to attend the Met Gala and rub shoulders with Beyonce and Anna Wintour … it does give me some ideas concerning goals inspired by the Met Gala that I can incorporate into my every day life. 

You gotta aim big in this life … or go home … or eat popcorn and miniature Snickers on your couch. Either or. So behold, some of my new life goals based on this week’s Met Gala. 

1. Have a dude carry my train around behind me slash make sure I will never EVER have a wardrobe malfunction, a la Beyonce (side bar: actually, let’s make this have a dude just walk behind me and carry EVERYTHING for me … have fun with my purse, bro)

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2. Wear something that will become a meme … in a good way, a la Rihanna 

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3. Look like an Oscar award had sex with Obi Wan Kenobi, a la Anne Hathaway

4. Be ballsy enough to basically walk out of my house with my giggly bits covered in diamonds, a la Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, J. Lo (but let’s be real B. Spears did this first at the 2000 VMAs)

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5. The next time I’m eating popcorn and Snickers on my couch with my cat, pair that with a head dress that resembles flames for funsies, a la SJP

6. Walk around, hand-in-hand with the designer I’m wearing 

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7. Rock a gown inspired by Cher … hello, Kim Kardashian, another check in the “I guess I do like you” column

8. Arrive somewhere over an hour late and not have people bitch at me and instead just start taking my picture, applaud me, and oogle over my outfit … a la Beyonce … again

9. Skin Cher and wear her in that swoon-worthy Marc Jacobs dress (or just have the ability to morph into Cher and be her in that dress next to Marc Jacobs … a little less morbid, don’t you agree?)

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10. Figure out how to tape my taas into a plunging neckline, without having an epically monstrously wardrobe malfunction (oh hell, nip), a la Lady Gaga 

Mother’s Day Giftspiration

30136edbecc83d690e81df18bcd079beHoly shit, when did Mother’s Day get here? I mean … I TOTALLY knew it was this weekend … Mom :::shifty eyes::: #DaughterOfTheYear

If you are anything like me, you have a mother, who, when asked what she would like gift-wise for Mother’s Day, will say something like, “oh I just want all my kids together,” or “I don’t need anything :::sad sigh:::.” I mean … secretly they could be craving this amazing pair of shoes, or a lovely day at the spa. But will they tell us? Not if our lives depended on it. What gives, moms? We can’t read your minds … for the love. 

Regardless if your mother thinks you are a soothsayer, or if you are blessed to have a mother who sends you links to exactly what she wants a month before Mother’s Day … we all could use a little gift refresher, right? Because there is nothing more satisfying than buying someone something out-of-the-box and have them fall head over heels for it. 

The good news? I tapped the shoulders of some of the most stylish and fashion-forward writers/bloggers/designers in Philly for you who offered up some “giftspiration” if you will (see what I did there?).

So if you’re banging your head against the wall trying to find that perfect gift to show your mom or that special lady in your life how much you care, let these lovely ladies take some weight off your shoulders as their ideas are pretty swoon-worthy. I mean daughters deserve a lil somethin’ somethin’ on Mother’s Day, right? RIGHT?!

Emily Goulet – Founding Editor of Shoppist of Philadelphia Magazine

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Her giftspiration: Anything from Egan Day, which is one of my very favorite Philly boutiques (and definitely the most beautiful). For a splurge, I adore this delicate trio of rose gold blossom rings by Nicole Landaw. Way better than real flowers, which die too soon! For a less wallet-breaking option, these tiny blossom studs are perfection.

Chaucee Stillman – Blogger behind Streets and Stripes 

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Her giftspiration: Take your mom to Lush for some cool Mother’s Day products like Rose Bombshell. For other Mother’s Day ideas from Lush, click here.

Dom Streater – Fashion Designer

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Her giftspiration: I am such a sucker for silk scarves! I think they make such great gifts because of their versatility. They are like little works of art. A great idea for the woman who loves both art and fashion is to frame a silk scarf. She’ll have both a loving memory and art hanging on her wall to admire! (For ideas on the frame, click here)

Jessie Holeva – Style Expert, Founder of TrendHungry.com

unnamed-2Her giftspiration: A Flower Garden Colour Changing Nordic Mug from DAVIDsTEA at King of Prussia Mall. My mom loves tea and has the winter version of this mug and uses it all the time, as do I. It’s great because it’s also a tea diffuser, so mom can easily brew loose tea in it. It also changes color when it’s hot and has a lid.

Emily Tharp – Blogger behind Her Philly

unnamedHer giftspiration: While I’m big on surprising your mom with an experience the two of you can do together, sometimes that’s just not in the cards. My go-to for unique gifts is Etsy. Two things I’ve actually purchased for my mom? A pair of earrings like these or a pretty print like this.

Periods. Happy Friday!

giphyAs I sit here bloated, cranky, on the verge of tears and wanting to stab someone all at the same time … cramping, hating everything about myself, and wanting to down 14 Snickers bars … I can’t help but reflect about my first period (just the most lovely flashback Friday, don’t you agree?!) It’s been 15 years since the awful day when I apparently became a “woman” (even though I still don’t know what the fuck that means) … and little did I know, this nonsense lasts FOREVER. Well … until menopause. Sigh. A girl can dream.

I don’t know why getting your period for the first time is one of the most awkward moments of your entire life. Literally. We all breathe, we all go to the bathroom, and once a month, eventually, if you are female, you will bleed from your nether regions and want to stab people for a short period of time. Normal. COMPLETELY normal.

 The first time I got my period … well, let me start from the beginning. It was a cold, wintery morning … the first snow had just fallen … yeah no. I’m not going to go into that much detail, for the love of Christ. I was 13. I, thank Jesus, woke up one morning, and … it had happened. I only realize now, after hearing horror stories of girls getting their periods for the first time in the middle of gym class or on the bus how lucky I was just to have woken up with it.

 My first thought was, “how can I deal with this on my own and not let my mom know” because I was under the impression once you start bleeding from your va-jay, being a kid is over. And I was NOT down with that. My second thought was, “why?!” Finally, head down, face red with embarrassment … I went downstairs, tapped my mom on the shoulder and was just like, “ummm … I have a situation … :::points down there:::.” She immediately knew what was going on. And I believe started to tear up. Jesus Christ. 

 Moms … why do you cry when we get our periods?! It doesn’t mean anything. Literally. There are so many hormones in food now, girls will start getting their periods probably at age 5. Bleeding from your va-jay doesn’t mean you’re a woman. It just means you have graduated to a class of women that can bitch about their periods and be irrational when we want. That’s. About. It. They are still your “little girls.” Hell, I’m 28 and I’m still trying to be my moms “little girl.” And don’t roll your eyes, you are, too. Admit it.

 My second order of business was to ensure she told NO ONE about this. NO ONE. I pretty much threatened her with all the threatening might of a 13-year-old. “Honey … it’s between you and I, I promise.” That was until I caught her whispering on the phone … tearing up AGAIN. God dammit. Does everyone need to know I can reproduce now? My sister even came over that day and was like, “sooooo … how’s it going?” giving me that “you’re a woman now” face. I just wanted to kick her … AND my mom.

 I got to stay home from school that day, so that was awesome, even thought I was positive my mom was going to spend the day torturing me about what it means to “become a woman.” That didn’t happen though … I’m pretty sure I spent the day eating whatever I wanted and watching the MTV … and worrying my face off about what was going on in my pants. Is it leaking? Did I leave a stain?! WHEN DOES IT STOP!? Wonder if it never stops?!

 I also remember telling my best friend, who is still my best friend, that the reason I wasn’t in school that day was because I went to New York. What? We laugh about it to this day … hard. I was an idiot. She had gotten her period before me, so why was it so mortifying for me to tell her, “hey … got my period. My mom let me stay home. Womanhood … what up.” I’m a freak of nature, who knows.

 So there you have it. I bet you all feel complete now hearing the story of my first period, right? Like … it MADE your Friday. But in all seriousness, periods should not be a big deal. As an adult, I have no problem talking about it. It’s kind of like a bonding thing for women. “I have cramps. OMG ME TOO! Let’s talk about stabbing people! YAY!”

In all seriousness, let’s not mortify our kids anymore, moms and dads and other parental figures. High five your kid when she comes over to you, head down, and tells you what’s going on down there. Give her the proper supplies, teach her how to use them in a non-awkward fashion (tampons included … my mom never taught me how to use tampons. I awkwardly had to teach myself and STILL, at 28, don’t feel like I’m using them properly), and be done with it.

 Don’t send a mass text to everyone. A family member recently called to tell me someone (trying to remain anonymous here) got their period. I believe I just hung up the phone. Don’t cry. Don’t carry on. Just be like, “congrats! Now you can use ‘I have cramps’ as an excuse for not doing things! HOORAY!” And then shower her with confetti (I’m going to be a real weird mom if that ever happens). 

 

 

How To Say No To Being A Bridesmaid

HT_rihanna_ml_150421_16x9_992Last week I was reading an insanely interesting article on the Cut about two ladies who had been friends for years, and long story short, the one girl turned down the opportunity to be the other girl’s bridesmaid (definitely read the article, there is a lot more to the story … after you finish reading this masterpiece, of course). 

It ain’t like the old days where you would be drunk under a disco ball and your friend would be all, “stand next to me when I get hitched :::twirl, twirl, twirl:::!” And boom … it was done. Now, if you accept a bridesmaid proposal, which is usually a cake pop or something with a poem about “something something, I don’t want to throw shade … but please PLEASE be my maid!” (I would make an awesome bride, clearly). 

So what I’m about to say may shock some of you … but I’m doing it. Prepare yourself. Take a shot of vodka or something … because here goes: I think it is 100% okay to politely turn down the request of being a bridesmaid. And I think the bride-to-be, when presented with the right back up support of why you are turning down said request, should be 100% okay with that. You have a life, and shit to accomplish, and things to buy, and vacations to take, and cats to adopt. Adding being in a wedding to that mix can really stifle your life without you even knowing it.

This takes balls, mind you. But at the end of the day, it’s a rather large commitment and job. And no, “I don’t want to be in your wedding because I want to smack your future husbands face,” is not a legitimate reason for saying no to a bridesmaid request. Sorry, kids. Dudes suck sometimes, and your friends marry them … it happens. 

So here they are, respectable reasons why you can say no to being in a wedding party. Better said then done, I know, but it will save you a LOT of drama, a lot of bitching, and a lot of shit you just don’t need in your life, if you so feel this way. Ahem … 

Money: They say an average bridesmaid will spend about $1,000 … at least. And these bitches want money up front. If you don’t feel comfortable telling your fellow bridesmaids, “hey … I can’t afford this shit, can we figure something else out?”

The solution?: Politely explain to the bride you’re in a financial bind and don’t think you could appropriately contribute to the costs of being a bridesmaid, and you’re afraid you will let the other girls down. A good friend will understand and probably still have you in the wedding. If she gives you shit, say “BYE FELICIA” and walk away … that isn’t a friend. Period. 

Level of Friendship: While asking someone to be a bridesmaid is a big decision, saying yes is another. Think about it … how close are you to this girl? Do you talk every day, every week, every month, at least? Does she know what’s going on in your life and vice versa … or does she just want to say, “oh I have my childhood BFF in my wedding party”? Ladies, ask the people near and dear to your heart. They say you can count your true friends on one hand, and it is a scientific fact.

The solution?: If the girl asking doesn’t know who you are dating, where you are working, and hasn’t really been there for you (vice versa) say no. Blame it on anything … the rain, who cares. Just tell her, “hey, I love you, but I just don’t think I will be able to fully and appropriately commit to the duties of a bridesmaid right now because of what is going on in my life … and that isn’t fair to anyone. I hope you understand and know I want to be there for you through your pre-nuptial journey.” This may be the straw that breaks the friendships back … but if you felt your friendship was on its way to demise … why does it matter? And if it DOES matter to you, suck it up and say yes, freak!

Time: Everyone is SO busy, right?! Ahhh, life. Well … seriously, we all have busy lives. And being a bridesmaid takes time … whether you are attending a “brain trust summit” of how to shower the bride at someone’s house, or responding to endless Gmail chains of idiotic nonsense … you have to be present … mind, body, spirit … all of it. It’s like being a cheerleader, YAY MARRIAGE … (barf)

The solution?: If your schedule is overwhelmed and you’re overwhelmed … do not commit to being a bridesmaid. You will lose your fucking mind. Trust. Again, explain the situation. “I’m trying to make partner at my firm, or I’m building my own business and it REALLY needs my 100% attention, attention that I will not be able to give to your wedding, and that isn’t fair to you at all.” It’s selfish. 100%. So if you have the balls to go ahead with this, God speed. But, at the end of the day, the world doesn’t stop turning just because your friend decided to get married. You can be there for her and support her without wearing matching dresses with other broads you barely know. People forget that. But always consider your friendship before making such a drastic decision. Clearly.

*Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra takes no responsibility for the demise of friendships after the above has been put forth. 

Apple Watch: Not Allowed At My Arm Party

Photo credit: http://bgr.com/2015/04/24/tidal-music-streaming-fail-apple-win/

Photo credit: http://bgr.com/2015/04/24/tidal-music-streaming-fail-apple-win/

There have been so many moments in my life where I’ve either laughed/made fun of a new product and/or vowed I would never use it. And many moons down the road, I have had to eat my words as I joyously indulged in said product. I have no shame in my game.

Like the iPhone, for example. I wanted to punt the idea of touch screen. I talked so much shit on touch screens, Apple should have been like, “nope … and zero iPhones for Kate Concannon, bye,” when I went to purchase my first one. 

And now … I shall hate on the Apple Watch. I assume in a couple months or years if I am given the option of sacrificing my first born or keeping my Apple Watch, I will have to painfully say goodbye to my child (kidding … duh … …), but for now, I’m hatin’ … abbreviation and all. 

When I was hatin’ on touch screens when the iPhone came out, it was still a phone. Something we ALL need to communicate with one another (at least I believe that is what Alexander Graham Bell had in mind … boom history). The Apple Watch, well, in my opinion, was made strictly because uber rich people ran out of crazy ass gadgets and needed something new to oogle over. And tech nerds. Don’t forget the tech nerds. 

For the average gal like me, I have no purpose to bring an Apple Watch to my arm party. I already over communicate with everyone and everything in my life with being on every social media channel ever created (exaggeration), so why in bloody hell do I need ANOTHER avenue to do so?! I won’t sleep! Disconnecting would be virtually impossible.

They are basically telling me to strap the stress of my life onto my wrist. When you don’t want to look at texts/email, you throw your phone in your purse, right? Now if you text a boy/girl you “like,” you literally have to stare at your wrist waiting for him/her to respond, unless you tie your hands around your back … but my God. MADNESS, ladies, MADNESS! Self control is out the window. I would lose my shit, and end up punting the thing across the room. Or at least ritualistically burning it. 

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And can we talk about dinner etiquette? I think it is beyond rude when people are on their phones at dinner or out for cocktails (unless work shit is going on or an emergency, whatevs). Now you have no choice but to look at your wrist when that thing starts blinking and being all, “LOOK AT ME … HI … HI … IT’S YOUR APPLE WATCH … YOU HAVE AN EMAIL! OVER HERE! EMAIL!” It’s like an annoying kid pulling on your coattails. 

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Cool idea? Totally. Who doesn’t want to pretend they are Inspector Gadget. And props to the PR guru who gave Beyonce an Apple Watch so she could style it and Instagram rocking it. Genius idea, hell, it even made me consider getting one for a split second, because, you know, whatever Beyonce does we all HAVE to do, am I right? 

But my wrists are only open for business to shiny things that don’t stress me out, stylish pieces of medal, diamonds … and the occasional temporary tattoo. Sorry Apple Watch … there are many MANY a designer good ahead of you for me to obtain.

Behold! A Bitch Who Doesn’t Brunch

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.54.13 AMI hate making decisions. Especially, for some reason, right now. I’m blaming the explosion of allergies that is occurring. But I cannot make a decision to save my life. Do I want to organize my closet? Or do I want to watch a Will and Grace marathon? I’ll clean my closet :::gets to closet:::. Wait! This is a really good episode of Will and Grace (real life example) …back to the couch. Decisions are not currently my bag … baby (Austin Powers … still relevant). 

Hence why I loathe brunch. Now I know a bunch of city hipsters just threw their soy milk latte at their MacBook Pro screen … but it’s a fact. And it’s just a part of who I am. I am not a bitch who likes to brunch. There. I said it. I’m not a huge “Sunday Funday-er” and I hate the idea of breakfast and lunch merging into this beast of weird and overwhelming menu options. And here’s why:

7 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Breakfast 

12 p.m.-5 p.m.: Lunch

5 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Dinner

BRUNCH ISN’T REAL. 

Do I like the idea of day drinking? Umm it’s one of my most favorite things in the whole world. But why do I need to go to some snotty cafe or restaurant at noon on a weekend to have mimosas to do so? The answer is you do not. Day drinking can happen even if the word “brunch” isn’t in front of it. In fact, I think the word “brunch” was just invented for prude people who think day drinking was made up by the devil, and by simply adding a non-word to cover up their love for day drinking, they think they are better people than the ones who openly get their day drink on. 

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And there is a reason why I don’t fancy going to restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory. The menu is a fucking NOVEL. I literally start to make a pros and cons list of menu items. And when I finally pick something, I’m always let down. That shouldn’t happen at a restaurant. So why would I put myself in a situation where I had to choose between delicious, scrumptious and mouth watering pancakes or a big ol’ meaty burger with fries that make angels cry? It’s insanity, people, insanity! I want both. And now I’m fat. Thanks, brunch, thanks.  

Brunch has become the new black, I get it. I hear in New York City if you don’t do brunch, you literally aren’t a person … which reminds me even more why PHILLY RULES. But friends, if you ask me to brunch, I will politely decline. Ask me to breakfast! Seriously, I can’t remember the last time someone asked me to get breakfast on the weekend, probably because we are all too hungover to make it there. But hey, lunch is also an acceptable option, too. I adore lunch. Lunch rules. Sharing apps, having some cocktails, getting my carb on … it’s the best (man I’m getting hungry).

But when it comes to brunch, insert the biggest eye roll on the planet. What’s the next craze to hit the eating scene? Linner? “OMG you guys, let’s meet at 3:30 p.m. at Piere’s Sacred Bistro For Cool People and get our vodka and Red Bulls on with a Turkey Club Sandwich and a Steak!” No. Stop it. Maybe I’m old school, maybe I’m just a square, but brunch doesn’t fit into my vocab … at all. 

Some Thoughts On 2015…

thumbI usually save these types of posts for New Year’s Eve and shit, but I saw Man Repeller do a post reflecting on lessons learned in 2015, and since she is my blogging spirit animal I said, what the hell? And it’s important to “reflect” … ya know? 

This year … :::raises fists in the air and grits teeth::: THIS YEAR. ARGH. I mean … it has been splendid. It’s just darling. I can’t … honestly … think of one bad thing to say about it so far … :::blank stare:::

No matter what kind of year you are having, lessons are learned. Happy, sad, drunk, sober … we learn them. So please enjoy the lessons I have learned so far … although I’m warning you, some are sappy. Damn emotions … damn you to hell.

1. My goal of reading one book a month has not only helped in my relaxation efforts and made me want to stab people less (not that I would :::shifty eyes:::), it also has been really inspiring hearing other peoples words and stories.

2. Kylie Jenner’s lips give me nightmares, straight up. Even worse are the teens trying to obtain her lips by sucking on shot glasses. What?! Bitch, just say you got Botox so our youth can stop torturing themselves, kay?

3. If you have a couple of cocktails and then attempt to walk on ice, even in Hunter Boots, you WILL fall, and you WILL have a bruise on your ass the size of Texas (and no … nothing helps a bruise heal faster, I tried it all).

4. I can’t pull off 75% of the sandals that are en vogue this season because I’m in no way shape or form “norm-core” … and that bums me out significantly.

5. I’ve gotten considerably more goth and I’m 100% okay with that (my nails are red, does that count?).

6. Doing things by yourself (eating at restaurants, going to the movies) is super important and something I’m still trying to get comfortable with.

7. Everything, indeed, DOES happen for a reason. Roll your eyes all you want. I see you over there. Yeah I’m looking at you. That shit is true and I could give you like 400,000 examples of why that is so. Okay maybe not THAT many, but you know what I mean.

8. People who shame others for being single, fat, skinny, ugly, poor, rich, or for no reason at all, suck. Just be nice to one another, for the love of Jesus. Do you, and let the noise be what it is. Noise. Annoying, fucked up noise.

9. In that same breath, believing your own bullshit is insanely important. There’s a fine line between “cocky” and “believing your own bullshit,” I know … but if you feel like you did something well, or look extra fierce … tell ‘um … “I DON’T LOOK LIKE A GARGOYLE TODAY (in the tune of Beyonce’s “Flawless” if you couldn’t tell).

10. The people I loathe most on this Earth are the ones who tell me to “smile.” Still. I don’t think I will ever have an instance where some jagweed will tell me to “smile” and I’ll be all, “OKAY!” and skip along on my merry way. Nope. Not up in here. Just stop.

What have you picked up so far in 2015?

Wanted: A Ladysitter

kyle-ladysiter-smallI’m not afraid to admit that I’m mildly obsessed with the Real Housewives franchise. No matter what city or state they are in, I adore watching these crazy rich bitches take us on a tour of their crazytown lives.

Especially Kyle Richards (ps. I’m totally on Team Kyle … for any of you who watched the reunion over the past couple of weeks). There was an episode where she was getting ready in her fantastic bathroom … so fantastic I would actually move into her tub, when a man walked in, who I assumed was her assistant? Friend? But no. A caption appeared that revealed he was Kyle’s Ladysitter! (LADYSITTER, WHAT?! GASP?! WHAT IS A LADYSITTER?!)

My first thought was, is there a website like “Care.com” where you can find your dream Ladysitter? And two, what is this role exactly? Is it like a cross between your personal bitch and your authority figure who can be all, “NO, KATE, NO … put that fudge brownie down. BAD! :::smacks hand::: Now go do 50 sit ups and think about what you did.” Like he/she answers my emails, then tucks me into bed no later than 9 p.m. so I can get optimal beauty sleep? What is it!!?

I did some research (because doesn’t everyone research shit like this) and turns out, sites for the “elite” do have a Ladysitter service. Elite Metro Nannies lists it as: “A lady sitter can also provide the same services for singles that may be on the go and need personal assistance, much like a mother’s helper.” Sooo … you’re basically saying I’m hiring a personal assistant? What is the difference?

Kyle Richard’s Ladysitter seems to help her plan parties, take care of her kids, help her get dressed, and who knows what other shit Bravo isn’t showing us. Seems to me a Ladysitter just comes in and helps you get your shit together and do all the things you don’t want to do. Uhh genius. Where do I rope some poor soul into doing this for me?

So if any of you are just DYING to be my Ladysitter (don’t all kill each other to get a chance at this amazing opportunity, now), here are the job requirements … ahem

 The Ladysitter position for Miss Kate Concannon must fulfill the following requirements:

 1. Must like cats and be open to changing cat liter (I mean who likes cleaning that thing?!) slash cater to my cats the same way you will cater to yours truly and talk to them in the “cat voice” I use (instructions will be provided and you will be quizzed until you get it right)

2. Must enjoy drinking wine … chardonnay specifically (no one likes drinking alone)

3. Must have strong will power to keep my phone away from me when I’m drinking so I don’t text anyone I shouldn’t (I can be REAL convincing whilst drinking)

4. Must kill spiders and all other bugs, I don’t care how tiny they are … murder them

5. Must return phone calls for me AS me since I loathe talking on the phone (hope you’re good at impersonations)

6. Must make sure my cat pajamas are always so fresh and so clean clean

7. Must be funny … like Tina Fey funny (no one likes a serious sally)

8. Must be willing and able to smack unhealthy items out of my hands when you see me about to eat them 

9. Must be willing and able to massage my brain whenever I need it (allergy season is a bitch … my brain always hurts)

10. And finally, must get a tattoo of “Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra” somewhere on your person because mama’s gotta promote her baby at all times (okay fine, temporary tattoos are acceptable)

 ***Totally kidding. Kind of. Sort of.

 

When I Got Hypnotized By Wen

Picture 2380One evening I had a little too much to drink at my friend’s house and decided to make the responsible (and RIGHT) decision to just crash on her couch … as much as I was craving the comfort and soothing feel of my own bed. I’ve learned if you continue drinking, your friends couch will feel like your own bed (until you wake up with a gnarly kink in your neck … just kidding “anonymous” friend, your couch is SUPER comfy … yay couch!)

I also spent the entire evening with the TV on, because who knows what kind of ghosts my friends house has, am I right? Just kidding … kind of :::shifty eyes::: I clearly just fell asleep with the TV on because I passed out. I mean, details …

I did wake up to not only a massive wine headache, but a commercial that seemed to be lasting far too long, also known as an “infomercial,” something I hadn’t woken up early enough to see since I was 7 waiting for my cartoons to come on. This one specifically was for the Wen line of haircare products. In the world of infomercials, it is equivalent to Proactiv for your hair.

Every couple of minutes I would say to my hungover self, “good God, will this EVER end?!” Before I knew it, I had been watching this Wen informercial for like an hour, and by the time my friend had woken up and joined me in her living room, I just looked at her, eyes glazed and exclaimed, “I want to go to there,” pointing to the TV and the Wen models.

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All these famous people (C list famous, mind you … uh hello Alyssa Milano) going on and on about how Wen changed their lives, and don’t you want to be a “Wen girl,” too?! Models frolicking about with this fantastic hair. Heinous and almost comical pictures of women’s hair before Wen was used and after (which were CLEARLY enhanced … I’m no fool, Wen). I find it a LITTLE hard to believe that the “after” shot model had only used the Wen product. I mean maybe she did, but with a high tech stylist that not all of us have the pleasure of using every morning.

As much as I wanted to laugh or scoff and roll my eyes, as much as I desperately wished I had the energy to find the remote … I didn’t turn it off. Because apart of me was wondering, “wait?! Could I, Kate Concannon, be a Wen girl? And wait! Wonder if my hair could look as shiny and glorious as these models do?! Could I one day be walking down the street and just get this sudden urge to flip my hair in slow motion and have men fall to their needs asking me to marry them?! Everyone! To the Wen mobile!”

I’m convinced Wen must have hypnotized me or something. No, no … I’m actually certain it hypnotized me. I can only imagine this kind of hypnotism is reminiscent of what happened to Derek Zoolander when the song “Relax” came on. But instead of killing the Malaysian Prime Minister, I needed to make my hair super soft and smooth … model-style.

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Apart of me to this day still wants to log on to the website and get my Wen on. But the bigger, more logical side of my brain knows that when I get the product it will probably be the size of a hotel bottle of body wash and contain glorified conditioner, which will end up collecting dust underneath my bathroom sink.

Listen, infomercials are a thing, I get it. But perhaps just make them less phony. Perhaps make them live so I can see you didn’t significantly Photoshop the “before” pics to make me want to invest in your product so much I will feel like I will die without it. I know what you’re up to brands, I’m on to you.

But lesson learned here, kids … plain and simple: don’t watch informercials hungover. Just don’t do it. Say no. Embrace the ghosts in your friends home when you have too much to drink and keep the TV off.

Side note: I still to this day never became a Wen Girl and I SHANT, I say, I SHANT!

Sia Holds The Cure To Resting Bitch Face

The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Red CarpetMondays are rough … even if you are in between jobs like myself, sitting on your couch in cat pajamas watching Kathy Lee and Hoda, waiting patiently for your Claritin to kick in because your allergies are so bad you just want to scratch your face off (hi, welcome to my fabulous life).

My brain just never seems to function properly on a Monday, even if I’ve spent the weekend meditating, drinking strictly green juices and retiring to bed in hydrating face masks at 7 p.m. (because I ALWAYS do that, right?) It just doesn’t. So this got me thinking a lot about Resting Bitch Face (RBF) and just not wanting to participate in the human race because you’re cranky.

We all have our days when pulling up the covers and sinking into our mattresses seems like heaven … especially on Monday. When we find ourselves sitting on a train on the way to work or at our desk before getting caffeine into our veins, and catch ourselves looking like we want to cut someone. We’ve ALL been there, and if you say you constantly walk on sunshine and vom rainbows, I want you to get your head checked, kay?

That’s when I started to think of Sia, who I’m obsessed with. I was a Zero 7 fan (I totally sing “Waiting Line” in my head when I ponder life … I know I’m a freak), I die for the song, “Breathe Me” (mostly the Mylo remix because the original version bums me out), and now … I swoon for her wigs.

At first I was like, “whhhhaaaa?!” But then during an interview, she was quoted saying she just doesn’t have any interest in being famous or recognizable. Hence why she wears the crazy wigs that cover her entire face, have other people in her music videos, and faces a wall during some performances while other famous people put on the show.

And this got me thinking … why can’t WE have “fill ins” when we don’t feel like participating in life? Or better yet! Why can’t we wear over-sized wigs on a stupid day like Monday when no one REALLY wants to participate. Could you imagine how beautiful it could be?

PMSing? Throw on the over-sized wig that mirrors your own hair, but only allows the general public to see your lips (I mean we’ll cut eye holes in it or something … details, details, people). I feel like sending in a so-called “stunt double” to your place of employment would be illegal or something … so let’s not go there … but the wig is GENIUS.

RBF would be obliterated! No longer would co-workers get weird vibes from you and immediately file you under “bitch who you shouldn’t be nice to.” Mixed signals would be gone. If you walk in one day wearing the wig people would just be like, “oh … Kate is having a day … let’s let her be.” And you could just sit at your desk, chugging caffeine, getting your work done, and not having to have painful conversations when you just want silence. Beautiful, breathtaking silence.

So thank you, Sia. While a lot of people don’t understand you and think you’re a weirdo (ps. I never did, let’s be friends and wear cool wigs together, call me!), I think you’ve just come up with the cure for RBF … which is a beautiful thing. Because thanks to society, it just isn’t cool to start off a conversation with a co-worker like, “hey … I have cramps that hurt so badly I could probably punch a hole in the wall, and I would love to cut someone. Kind of. Not really. But kind of. This is why I’m sending off these negatives vibes and look like a bitch.” Just so they know, indeed, you aren’t a bitch. It just isn’t cool. But the wig. Well. The wig could solve it ALL. ALL I say!

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Don’t Shame Me For My Body, Ass

Untitled-1Remember the age old saying, “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all?” Clearly no one does, because apparently it is TOTALLY okay to discuss another persons weight. Now may I ask, what in the living hell is going on in the world?

Yesterday I was strolling through the Philadelphia Museum of Art and saw these paintings of women portrayed as gigantic blobs. There was literally nothing sexy about them. I remember learning in an art history class I took in college that this was once considered “beautiful” to be a large gigantic blob. Now … if we eat more than one slice of pizza without blotting off the excess grease, I mean burn us at the stake why don’t ya.

From Kim Kardashian getting fat shamed when she was preggo (I mean … don’t even get me started on that one) to Kelly Clarkson getting fat shamed for just having the nerve to not be a size negative 2 and be a successful musician, no one has the right to discuss another woman’s weight … ESPECIALLY a man. Why a gaggle of women haven’t gathered together with pitch forks and flaming torches to shame that Fox News anchor is beyond me. If anyone is down, let me know and we’ll get this shit started.

And let’s not forgot the polar opposite, which is even more hilarious … being TOO thin. I was watching the Today Show this week and Giuliana Rancic was discussing how people actually tweet at her to, “EAT A BURGER, BITCH!” Really? Because I would have to say if she was caught stuffing her face at McDonalds eating a burger, secret sauce running all down her face, all of a sudden the tabloid headlines would change from, “Scary Thin … Is Giuliana Invisible?!” to “Stick Goes Supersized” or something else disgusting like that. No one can win.

Listen, you have NO clue what someone is going through. These people could be on medication that makes them gain or lose weight uncontrollably. They could be depressed. They could very well have an eating disorder, and you know what? I don’t think a bulimic woman/man wants to sit down with a perfect stranger who is judging him/her to say, “yeah, I saw you were looking at my frail frame. I make myself throw up after I eat. That’s why.” It’s private. It’s painful. And it’s none of your damn business.

And look, if you have a family member or friend that you think has a problem, hell yes try to help them … privately, of course. But if you see a woman on the street, in Walmart, in your office, anywhere really who is either “too big” or “too skinny” in the eyes of society … keep it to yourself. Focus on more productive things in life, like people actually committing crimes and being mean to innocent human beings. Because those are the disgusting people, not the ones that just don’t happen to have the same bone structure as Kate Moss.

Society makes it really hard for women to love themselves. REALLY hard. The most important thing is to be healthy and happy. Straight up. And if you don’t like the way we look outside of that …

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Now if you would excuse me, my burrito is waiting for me. SUCK ON THAT … AYE AYE AYE AYE AYE AYE.

Lipstick Queen: The New Xanax

Screen shot 2015-04-06 at 10.32.53 PMSo how about this radio silence on Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra for the past week, huh? Weird, right? Didn’t even notice? Oh come now!

You know I hate to leave you guys, my lovely readers, hanging for this long, but if you would like to huddle around your computer screen for a little “coffee talk” please join me as I announce I was suddenly laid off from my job last week (:::GASP::: what? huh? NO WAY!)

With all of that being said, I was a little shell shocked to say the least, hence the hiatus, and if you’ve ever been laid off you know the feeling of distress, sadness, and being presented with this ample amount of free time and figuring out what the fuck to do next. And, of course, wondering where’s my next bottle of wine?!

Well … when my one door closed, instead of another door opening right away, I found an Ulta gift card I got for Christmas that I had completely forgotten about. Score. I took it as a small glimmering beam of hope. I got out of my cat pajamas, took a shower, and marched myself to Ulta convinced I would find something that I clearly did not need that would make me smile.

That’s when I realized something, kids. And trust me, millions of feminists will probably be knocking down my door with torches and pitch forks once I’m done saying the following, but a good lipstick can change your life. It really can. I know, I know, it is SO painfully clique. I kind of hate myself for even saying it. But life can be the biggest bitch you’ve ever met. And sometimes it is the small things that can make it just a smidge better. For me, that was a very expensive lipstick.

I immediately locked eyes with the Lipstick Queen section of Ulta and started swarming this almost black shade of lipstick, slowly getting the courage to ask it out for a glass of wine … figuratively speaking (although spoiler alert, totally took it out for wine after). While the idea of black lipstick would once have me eye rolling and making bad jokes regarding the movie the Craft, I immediately felt soothed by it, probably because it mirrored the color of my soul at the time.

But it wasn’t black, it was a sheer berry tint called Bete Noir, or better known as the final nail in my goth coffin. I rolled a little on a Q-tip (which ps. Ulta, is the most annoying way to test a lipstick … like I know we all don’t want to get Herpes from one another, but there has GOT to be a better way to test this shit), and immediately fell in love. That was until I went to the register.

Woman checking me out: What will be $40.
Me: Come again?
Woman checking me out: $40 please.
Me: The lipstick is $40?
Woman checking me out: Yes … :::blank stare:::
Me: I’m sorry, but no. But … no I can’t. I’m sorry.

I pretended to leave, but instead I was pacing the aisles thinking about how in one split second when I applied the Q-tip amount of lipstick to myself, I felt awesome. But who spends $40 on a lipstick, for crying out loud?! Not someone who just got laid off, I’ll tell you that much. I mean sure I had a $20 gift card. And it DID make me feel so good, I knew the minute I left the store I would be daydreaming about it endlessly. What to do. What. To. Do.

All of a sudden the guilt of me having no right buying a $40 lipstick as an unemployed wonder of the world got its ass kicked by the idea of me needing to feel like a fantastic human being again. That is how I ended up with no job and a $40 lipstick that I love so much I could probably make out with it. It hydrates my lips, the packaging is to DIE for, AND stays on. But most importantly, like I said above, it made me feel like a human being again. And THAT shit is priceless.

Listen, I know I will get another job, and I know life throws these fucked up little curve balls for a reason, blah, blah, blahbity blah. But if you ever find yourself in a situation where you just need reassurance that you’re a human being that rocks … go to Sephora, Ulta, hell your local drug store will do the trick, and buy yourself a lipstick that makes you feel like your best self. I’m telling you, it’s better than wine. And that says a lot coming from me.

 

The 5 Most Annoying People In Stores

eye-rollSunday I had a lovely day planned with my mom. We were going to get our nails did, hit up Home Goods, get lunch, and if there was time (ONLY if there was time), go to DSW. Sounds great, right? WRONG. You are WRONG, sir.

It seemed like every single person in America decided to go to the same stores we wanted to explore. And not only every single person in America, but the most high quality annoying kind. The ones who clearly have never functioned like a normal human being in a store before.

I don’t know about you, but from age 5 I was taught how to act like a normal human being in a store. Use “inside voices,” be conscious of other people, don’t be rude. I mean screw “store etiquette” it is just basic human being etiquette that you should have learned, and if your parents didn’t teach you, there was always Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers, so really there is no excuse.

By the time we returned home, we were so irritated and so over the human race, that we passed out for an hour on the couch out of sheer exhaustion due to idiots we had to co-exist with all day.

Shopping shouldn’t be such an exhausting feat, people. It really shouldn’t. What I’m about to outline below may sound bitchy and rude, but it’s the straight up truth.

I’m outlining this because I want us all to play nicely in stores. Be considerate! Move when someone says, “excuse me” without a huff and puff. Use your inside voice. Don’t talk to strangers because they probably don’t want to talk to you (weirdos ALWAYS feel the need to talk to me in stores). I just feel like we’ve forgotten these simple rules of life, and as obnoxious as you think I’m being about it, we all, deep down, know a refresher can help us have a more calm and collective shopping experience.

Ahem …

The Super Mom: The mom that has a child in a cart, pushing it around, and speaking to it like an idiot the entire time she is browsing. “Did someone go poopies? I smell a little something stinky! Did someone go poopies?!” (This literally happened) Dude … you’re in PUBLIC. And your kid can’t talk. From what I’ve witnessed it can only scream bloody murder. So do us all a favor, talk like an adult and go change your kids diaper … for the love.

The Cart Blocker: I hate shopping carts. I would rather have my arms full, dropping shit all over the place, then use a shopping cart. Simply because no one knows how to use them properly. Licenses to operate a shopping cart should be required. Because it isn’t okay to block an entire aisle with your cart, or eye roll the person who politely said “excuse me” to get around you and your dumb cart. Would you block an intersection with your car? Same thing, kids. Same thing.

The Full-time Conversationalist: This is the person who has his/her cellphone attached to his/her ear the entire time he/she is in the store. “Wait, Becky got what? Does it itch?” I mean … . And if you feel super awkward about going to a store by yourself and need to hide behind your cellphone as a comfort blanket, bring the person you are on the phone with to the store with you. Because I don’t care to hear about your friend Becky’s rash wile I’m trying to pick out bed linens, ya dig?

The Waste of Space: Ladies, do not bring your man shopping with you. Unless they actually care about what you put on your feet, or what accent pillows you use, leave them the fuck home. I actually saw a dude downing a piece of pizza in the middle of a very crowded aisle in Wegmens, on a Sunday, like he was chillin’ on his couch at home. Just standing there going to town on the slice like there wasn’t 15 annoyed people trying to get around him. What? Between them and the cart blockers, it is absolutely impossible to accomplish ANYTHING whilst shopping.

Your Children: What I’m about to say is a harsh reality that will most likely offend you, but this is a risk I am willing to take. Here goes …: no one likes your kids but you. No one. I realize you probably have no other option but to take them shopping with you, and I respect that, but when they scream, and carry on, and run around like little tiny psychopaths, and get all up in my bidness … gives me, and everyone else, a headache … and anxiety. My mother who has 3 kids and 2 grandchildren even hates your kids. So please don’t smile at me and be all, “aren’t they SO cute?!,” because no.

Getting Zen In 2015

1416624462973_Image_galleryImage_Beyonce_7_11_video_on_Bey2015, so far, has been the year of me trying really hard to get “zen” … whatever that means. And quite frankly, it is not an easy task. Especially for someone like me who gets thrown off track the minute a shiny thing presents itself. It’s sad … but oh so true.

So I thought to myself, self, what makes you relax? What would give you the allusion that you are laying on the beach when in reality you are on a PATCO train on the way to work? Since I don’t believe in list making (not even on the notes section of my iPhone, I blame my mom as she is a list making freak … thanks, mom), I mentally thought shit out.

I can say three months into 2015, I’m already starting to feel more “zen,” more relaxed, and more present in the moment. It is so easy to get caught up in meeting deadlines, pleasing every single person in your life, cutting time out for friends and family, finding the “man/woman of your dreams” and attending event after event. But it is fucking exhausting, am I right?

More than ever I’ve realized taking time for you is so important for your mental and physical well-being. So lovely readers, I encourage you, for once, to follow in my footsteps in becoming your own biggest priority. And no, I’m not becoming a self help guru. I just play one on a blog.

Reading Rainbow: I set a goal for myself to read one book a month, and so far so good. In fact I’m surpassing said goal (what, what! :::Raises roof:::). I’m a huge fan of biographies/autobiographies, and find diving into someone’s life and words for a bit kind of takes the heat off of your own. Even just reading one chapter before bed helps ease yourself into a peaceful nights rest.

Get a Hobby, Freak: Everyone laughs at me when I tell them this, but I’ve always had a fascination with weaving. Yes. Weaving. People ask hesitantly, “but what will you make?” And when I tell them tapestries and they laugh and say, “what the hell does that mean,” or “yeah right :::eye roll:::” I then stand my ground and guarantee that they will receive my first tapestry as a housewarming gift. So I dare you to make fun of my hobbies, fools.

Make Time For People Who Count: While we all think we have super human powers and can be in 20 different places at once, we cannot. And quite frankly, who the hell wants to? Literally clear your schedule and start fresh. Figure out how to make time for the people who make you shine inside and out. You know who they are. Do this for a month and see what happens.

Do Instead of Dream: Want to get a massage? Make it happen. Sick of your hair color? Find a good stylist and get er done. What is stopping you from going to a museum exhibit or a new restaurant you’ve been dying to try? Probably you and only you, kid. Buy yourself that expensive bottle of wine that you’ve been curious about because you know why? YOLO … oh yeah, I said it, YO to the LO. (Okay, I really hate myself for saying that … DAMN YOU, Drake, DAMN YOU!)

Get Yo Health On: Thanks to ol’ man winter and his bitchy frost bite, I was feeling a little, hmm, how you say, disgusting. So I marched myself to a dietician and figured out how to get healthy. My goal was to lose 10 pounds (be realistic because becoming Kate Moss overnight isn’t real life), and we worked together to accomplish that in a healthy way over the course of several weeks. The beauty is, I can still eat whatever I want, whenever I want, because me with no carbs equals the devil.

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Let Your Handbags Scream

Emerging-Designer-MILLI-MILLUWhen it comes to clothes, people from all aspects of my life like to define me as “goth.” As much as it irritates the hell out of me and makes me want to stomp on top of a desk and say, “I DON’T WORSHIP SATAN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD,” it’s kind of true. Color just has no room in my wardrobe. This was made evidently clear when I went shopping last week and everything in the fitting room was black, see below.

CaptureThe weird thing is, when it comes to accessories, handbags, jewels, socks, I love me some color. The big, bold pops are everything. I’m not just talking about ROYGBIV-in, I’m talking straight up neon. I know, right? What the hell is wrong with me? I go from an Alvira-like wardrobe to an 80’s teeny bopper when it comes to my accessories. But hey, I don’t try to make sense of my madness, though.

This spring, I’m jonsin’ for a big bag that pops. As much as it pains me to retire my black and white statement tote that has been my companion this fall and winter, it is time to move on to something a little more festive and fun … and that can burn people’s eyes from miles away.

Perhaps it is because this winter was so brutally cold, or the insane urge I have to burn my winter coat … either or. But the more obnoxiously loud the handbag the better, is what I say for spring.

So behold… just some of the handbag muffins I’m currently drooling over:

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Style Stud: Chloe + Isabel

CaptureIf you haven’t noticed by my rants, my Instagram feed, my tweets, and if you recall my picture tour of my bedroom, you all are well aware of the fact that I’m a huge whore for jewelry. I’m not talking like Elizabeth Taylor diamonds or anything (they make me nervous), but straight up costume jewelry is my idea of heaven. My mom tells me my grand kids, if they happen to be girls, will be super pumped about my addiction, but the idea of having kids let alone THEIR kids playing with my jewelry makes me break out in hives. So … moving on!

You can imagine how thrilled I was to meet the lovely people over at Chloe + Isabel. I live for getting the opportunity to meet new jewelry brands and the people behind them, while getting a real-time, up close and personal experience with the product. What can I say, I like to get intimate with my jewels (not in a weird dysfunctional way, freaks, calm down).

With me, packaging is everything. And opening my package from Chloe + Isabel did NOT disappoint. I actually opened it with my mom peering over my shoulder as she is just as much of a jewelry whore as I am (apple doesn’t fall far, am I right?). It went a little something like …

Mom: OMG is that a bird cut out?! What! Give me that! :::hangs felt bird on cabinet:::
Mom: Holy crap, are you wearing these pieces tomorrow?!
Me: No? :::barely even opening the box:::
Mom: Good because they so go with what I’m wearing. They are mine.

So yeah … I had the products for about two seconds before the got confiscated by a woman who plans out her outfits, and irons them, days in advance. Love ya, Ma.

The packaging is too cute, the perfect thing to send to a friend for a birthday or just a little “happy happy” as my crazed family likes to call random gifts. It comes with a little inspiring note on the packaging, which hey, we all could use whether you want to admit it or not. And my favorite was that my bracelet came in a little tiny tote-like bag, that I just wanted to squeeze out of not being able to control how cute it was (I’m a freak, I get it).

So even though my mom stole my jewelry, once I get it back from her (if I ever do, she’s got a fierce grip), I’m really excited to style these eclectic pieces. There is truly something for everyone, so no excuse not to buy yourself a little treat … because it’s Friday, it’s officially spring, and it’s God damn snowing, for crying out loud.

Big thanks to Jen over at Chloe + Isabel! She’s your go-to gal. Tell her Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra sent you.

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The Go-To Emergency Outfit

audrey-as-holly-in-sleep-mask_rect540I have a serious snoozing problem. In fact I set my alarm for 45 minutes earlier than I need to get up so I can casually and comfortably snooze myself out of a sound nights rest … for 45 minutes. I know … I have issues.

It’s a dangerous game to play. You really have to stay somewhat lucid so you don’t fall back into a deep sleep. But there are signs to look for to know you are doomed for lateness. Like when you look at your phone and instead of it saying “click to snooze” it says “click to snuggle.” (Yes, this has actually happened to me).

Or there are the times when you turn off your alarm instead of hitting snooze … like I did this week. And before you know it, you’re back in that amazing dream, thinking to yourself, “I still have 10 more minutes, I still have 10 more minutes.” But in reality, you’re fucked.

It’s the worst feeling when you open your eyes, look at your phone and see that you should have been out of bed 15 minutes ago. The. Worst. Especially when you have somewhere to be. The first thing I think of is what can I do to make getting ready 15 minutes faster? It usually involves skipping a shower (which, don’t look disgusted, I usually shower the night before so there). Or nixing that interesting hair style I’ve been dying to try.

But I realized something incredibly important. Sure, we may all plan our outfits out for the next day whether we physically do it or put it together in our brains. I know I do. But sometimes those outfits involve a lot of effort whether it be lots of jewelry, lots of layering, or lots of ironing, lint control, etc. In other words, not conducive for someone who is running insanely late.

So in those moments when you wake up, heart racing, cursing the Gods for not allowing us to levitate or teleport, you need a go-to emergency outfit. Luckily for me, I had one. I like to think I keep it in glass, and when the moment arises when I sleep too long, I can karate chop through the figurative glass where I keep said emergency outfit, setting off figurative sirens, throw it on and be out the door.

This go-to emergency outfit is plain old simple, yet stylish, of course. Mine involves a pair of stretch pants (that usually are lint magnets, but in times like these, you just have to make sacrifices. People who get up late also get a hot mess card to use). The stretch pants are paired with an over-sized, comfortable sweater, boots, and a statement necklace. And boom, I’m out the door. In the summer, my go-to emergency outfit, usually, is a maxi dress. Summer is just easier, am I right?

I try to only touch this outfit when I’m insanely lazy, or insanely late. But sometimes it gets worn a lot (winter is a bitch, what can I say). I’m beginning to think if someone drew a cartoon character of me, I would be in this outfit, all day err day. But, you know, I’m okay with it. Because without this easy outfit, I wouldn’t have made it to work on time, I wouldn’t have made a deadline, and instead would be pondering in my bedroom if I can mix and match argyle with stripes … and stressing myself out trying to make my hair Real Housewives wavy.

So ladies, get this outfit in order immediately. Consider it your suit of armor against lateness and looking like a disheveled mess. You can thank me later. And if you see a friend, co-worker, or frenemy wearing the same outfit constantly, instead of talking shit, give them a little head nod for being prepared like a BOSS.

Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra’s School Of Manners

5e10435925a18dcbe3b0c64eba8392b7Recently a co-worker of mine said people in her life have noticed her saying “balls” way more often then she should be. And then went on to blame me for this. Before I could even defend myself, a montage of me saying “balls” was playing in my head. Dropped my pen: “Balls.” Missed a deadline: “Balls.” Just plain old tired: “Balls.” Not knowing what I want for lunch: “Balls.” I mean &