Another Awkward Week [4.18.14]

You guys! Happy Friday. It is finally, really, truly here. I was so thrown off all week. Do you ever have those days where you wake up and think it’s the weekend, but it’s only Wednesday or think it must be Friday when it’s not? Well, every single day this week I woke up convinced, convinced, deep down in my bones that it was Thursday. Every day. But no, it was just Tuesday. Then Wednesday. Then, by the time it finally was Thursday I was so exhausted by all the confusion, I needed a nap. It was like Groundhog Day, minus all the groundhogs.

Fun fact: I’ve never seen that movie.

Surprising, right? I know!

What’s up for the weekend? Brian and I are going to Philly to spend some time with my sister and his family. I’m looking forward! Even though we’re not exactly “religious,” it doesn’t feel right to spend Easter without family. How not religious are we, you might ask? Let’s just say last night we wasted many an hour in an internet vortex trying to remember exactly how this whole crucifixion/resurrection scenario played out. Our Google Search History currently reads:  ” Was Jesus crucified on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday?” “What is Good Friday?” “Crucifixion Timeline” (gruesome) and then “can your Confirmation Certificate be revoked like a drivers license?!”

Just kidding on the last one but mine probably should. I’m skating on thin theological ice over here. I hope they serve jelly beans in hell!

Ok that’s about enough rambling about Easter + I  used up so many of my words yesterday on that epic ode to wedding registries, why don’t we just cut right to the chase and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This Almond Butter:

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I got home from work last evening and did item #1 on every single Top 25 Things All Girls Secretly Totally Love Buzzfeed list, took off my brassiere and realized I had some kind of schmutz on my decolletage. “What could this be? ” I thoght and then realized it was almond butter. Leftover from my 2 PM snack. I was eating with such intense vigor I dropped nutbutter all down my shirt and didn’t realize it for hours.

I think “ladylike” might be the best word to describe me? A vision of grace?

This Subway Track:

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See that black blob on the rail there? I walked down into the station after work the other evening and saw something large and dark moving all about the tracks. I instantly assumed it was the most enormous, feral rat rearing up on its back legs, ready to leap up onto the platform and eat me alive, and I jumped up and back, away from the edge and screamed “OH MY GOD!” anddd then realized it was just a plastic bag, blowing in the breeze.

(un)luckily for me, the New York City Subway System is as full of crazy humans as it is enormous rodents so not a single person blinked an eye at my hysteria but I still felt a fool.

This Washing Machine:

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Went to the laundromat after work on Monday to find it crammed full at 6 PM on a weeknight, so I hauled my laundry backpack up on my shoulders and clomped back home . I returned a few hours later and found just two empty washing machines. In a complete frenzy I stuffed one full, slammed the door and then, like Ace of Base, I saw the sign. Out of Order.

Le sigh.

IF ONLY I’d been at this amazing establishment brought to my attention earlier this week by my friend Jen. A laundromat that doubles as a bar. Complete with cheese plates. I can’t imagine anything greater in this whole wide world.  I mean, maybe having your own washer and dryer in your own home but that’s too bold a thing to even consider.

God I hate New York sometimes.

Speaking of laundry…

This Shirt:

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Last weekend we had a wedding in New Jersey so we spent the weekend at Brian’s parents house. I brought out a few items of dirty laundry to deal with while I was there because, well, see above. I totally meant to wash it myself but then Brian’s mom mentioned she was putting in a load and did we want to toss anything in? I’d have been a fool to pass that up and so I, an adult woman, had my mother-in-law wash my underwear.

New lows every single day.

The following morning I put on my favorite white t-shirt, freshly laundered (and dried and folded! God we’re spoiled) by Brian’s mom and about four seconds later, picked up a coffee mug and inexplicably poured half of it on myself. I’m not even sure what happened. I may  have had a small stroke? All I know is my favorite white t-shirt is now stained with some lovely brownish spots and I have but two options: go back to the hellhole that is the liquor-free laundromat OR wait until next time we visit the Scotts and see if Brian’s mom could just have a go at the stains, perhaps?

Adulthood!!

This Outfit:

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This is me and my coworker and we sit right next to each other at the office and are in the midst of a big campaign together annnnd earlier this week dressed like straight up twinsies. Obviously we had a photoshoot.

Somewhere high above the Hollywood Hills or Harvard University or wherever she is these days, Tyra Banks is shuddering in horror.  We are NOT America’s Next Top Models.

And, scene! Happy Good Friday, everyone! Or Sad Good Friday, because Jesus dies? AAAAH I DON’T KNOW. I’m going to go eat some peanut butter eggs and get this day started!

xoxo Liz

One Awkward Wedding: Registration Situation

Yesterday marked exactly 4 months until #HottWedding (Hohenadel + Scott…just get on board, I’m making it happen) and I realized it’s been for-ev-errr since I’ve shared any updates on the planning! Mostly because I haven’t really been planning? We’re sort of at a lull in the excitement, between the long-lead and the last-minute. We’ve booked all the big stuff – venue, dress, DJ, etc – and aren’t quite ready to tackle the little deets like place cards and play lists, so most of our planning is just me reading wedding blog after wedding blog and my mom calling me with lists of random details she thought of in the shower and “just wanted to discuss quickly before she forgot” and me being like “Mo-ommmm lay OFF” and getting weepy and Brian wisely just staying out of the way.

But it’s all great! Seriously it’s totally great and honestly not even that stressful. Maybe because I’m not actually doing anything? Maybe because we only think weddings need to be stressful because that’s what the Wedding Industrial Complex wants us to believe?

Think on that!

Speaking of the blessed WIC, there is one Knot-approved activity we have thrown ourselves into wholeheartedly: registering. Like most traditional facets of wedding planning, I initially snubbed my nose at the idea of creating a standard registry. We had plenty of STUFF, I thought, and isn’t it a little antiquated, to ask for dishes and things in this modern living-in-sin era? We went back and forth on alternative ideas, like a travel registry or creating our own “experience” registry, asking for things like tickets to the NY Opera or the Mets  or forgoing gifts altogether (JK I wish we were that selfless but real talk: nope*) but in the end, none of those ideas really panned out. Travel registries cost money to set up and we have neither the technical skills nor the free time to build our own.

Lo, we threw ourselves headlong into the time honored tradition of Wedding Gift Registering and if there’s anything more fun in the world, I’ve yet to discover it. The power of striding through stores, registry gun in hand**, scanning item after item of silly things you want other people to buy for you? Can I do this all day everyday?!

And so, in a few short weeks, we went from modern minimalists who were going to register for “just a few essentials!” to greedy gift monsters with not one, not two but three traditional registries. Whoops?

Love may be all we need, but it turns out we want everything.

REGISTRY ONE: BED, BATH & BEYOND!

Highlights:

1) I was wearing this outfit, which I only noticed and documented because I realized I wore this outfit the day we were engaged and the day we went looking for venues and now the day we went registering.

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Apparently this is my go-to wedding ensemble. I should just return my gown and walk down the aisle in this ratty yellow cardigan. Save some $$!

2) Realizing that the overzealous registry consultant planned to tag along with us the entirety of our excursion, pointing out every last item in our wake.

Thank the lord Brian politely spoke up, asking him if we could do it on our own. I’m so people-pleasy, I probably would have just silently stewed, registering for every pricey thing he suggested, just so he wouldn’t feel bad.

Crisis averted!

3) The discovery of the As Seen on TV section:

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We need all of this!!!

4) This Frame.

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PLEASE if you own this I do not want to know.

Items I’m most excited about:

This little pitcher shaped like a cow

Onion Goggles (only sort of joking?!)

Cast Iron Skillet - BScott is a big fan of the cast iron!

At BB&B we managed to find most of the things we were looking for, except basics like dishes and silverware. I wanted plain white dishes but Brian said he didn’t like them…he prefers “cream colored dishes.”  Any specific sets you like, champ? No, just “cream colored.” Sure, sure.

And so, we left with a plan to visit some other retailer to finish off our list and then let many a week pass before we were able to make said visit, during which time whenever my mom would casually ask if we’d thought any more about finishing our registry I’d fly off the handle into a dramatic huff “I’M ON IT, MOM, OK?!?!” and that was a special and exciting time for us all.

And so we come to…

REGISTRY TWO: MACY’S!

Highlight:

1) Macy’s herself.

 Holy shit, gang. Have you ever been into Macy’s Herald Square? That place is enormous! And they sell EVERYTHING. Literally. You want it, you can probably get it at Macy’s. Beds. Car parts, probably. Grass seed. Rifles. Everything. I’m sure you’re all thinking this is obvious but I really never realized just how vast the Macy’s inventory is, or the massive size of their NYC flagship store.  What an amazing place!

We sat down with a consultant, Norma, and were (no jokes here!) highly impressed by their customer service and the many perks they give to people who register there, as well as the expansive amount of items they offer. I knew they had china and glassware but didn’t realize how many electronics they carry too. And many at cheaper prices than Bed, Bath and Beyond!

WHAT A PLACE!!!!

2) The man who came up behind Brian and creepily whispered in his ear “the trick to marriage, just agree with whatever she says” and then wandered away.

Thanks?

3) Visiting the 9th Floor where they sell furniture, rugs, clocks and luggage and the only way you can get there is via this creepy express elevator that drops you off in an abandoned hallway.

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Brian looks nervous. What do you think is scarier, the hallway or the weird lady following him around taking photos?

Probably the 2nd one.

4) The discovery of Stella 34, the Italian restaurant/bar on the 6th floor of Macy’s. Guys. This place is classy as HELL. A wood-fired oven, fully stocked, modern bar, the works. And it was packed to the gills with attractive people at 7 PM on a Tuesday night! Who are these people? Why would you go eat and drink in Macy’s?!

I’m so confused and also I really want to go there? Happy Hour directly next to the Martha Stewart Everyday Linens Collection? I can get down with that.

5) The horrified look on our consultant’s face when we returned, having registered for only plates, wine glasses and a dish soap dispenser.

“Is this it?” she asked, with a tone of abject horror typically expressed on teenage children when their parents reveal they’re getting an unexpected divorce.

We assured her we were planning to go home and add on more items, comparing against what we’d already registered for at Bed, Bath and Beyond and she told us she would “stalk us on email” if we didn’t.

Um, yikes?

I tease, but I can’t complain. We were legit very impressed with the whole operation over there at Macy’s and again, I repeat: who knew?! Probably everyone, but not us, so it was a real treat. If you’re planning to register for a wedding anytime soon, this joint gets two thumbs way up from the #Hotts

What I”m most excited about:

Le Creuset Dutch Oven – the same one Taylor Swift recently purchased for a fan. TAYLOR! MY SHOWER IS MAY 24TH!!! PLEASE COME AND BRING A LE CREUSET!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!

These Adorable Champagne Flutes

We made good on our promise to finish the registry from home (please don’t stalk us, Norma!!!) but still had a few items we wanted to add, namely luggage and power tools, and so…

REGISTRY THREE: AMAZON.COM

Highlights:

1) Creating an entire wedding registry from the comfort of my own home, without having to put on pants or interact with other humans.

2) Feeling gleefully smug over adding tools to our registry. How modern! Breaking expectations and gender norms! Boom.

Lowlights:

UGH AMAZON. 

What I’m most excited about:

Drill, baby, drill!

And now, I do believe, we’re set for life. We did leave off a few “Must Have” items that didn’t really feel right for our lifestyle, like formal china and crystal and the now ubiquitous Kitchen Aid Mixer. And we added a few things that felt fun and personal, like wine stoppers shaped like owls (I love owls. AND WINE!) and beach towels and about thirteen different pitchers, which Brian and Schmoops both told me was maybe too many pitchers. Too many pitchers? Impossible!

I’m cheesy excited about all of this STUFF. As much as I like to pretend to be a minimalist who’s so over tradition, I’m really looking forward to filling our home with beautiful new things, thinking about how we received them from our loved ones as we started our life together. AWW!

If you happen to be the sort of weirdo who takes pleasure in judging other people’s wedding registries (like me, for example), feel free to view ours at our website. Judge away!

And as long as you’re still reading this, might I ask for a little advice?

  • Do you have any secret kitchen gadgets or tools you LOVE love love?
  • Married people – did you receive anything unexpected you wish you’d thought of for your registry?
  • What kind of blender do you have? I’m totally torn on brands - we’re currently registered for the Ninja and I’ve heard rave reviews from a bunch of people, but also a few naysayers. I’ve also heard good things about the Breville. Any opinions from the crowd? And don’t say Vitamix. I know it’s the Cadillac of blenders or whatever (are Cadillacs still cool?) and of course I totally want one,but it’s just a little too aspirational at this point. Like, as much as I want to be the kind of person who makes my own organic cashew milk, let’s be real. See also: $700.
  • When you buy wedding gifts, do you always go with the registry or forge your own path? People have such strong opinions about this, I’m genuinely curious to hear your thougts!
  • If you do go off-registry, any unique suggestions you’re willing to share? THIS shop  is my go-to for wedding presents (SPOILER ALERT to all friends getting married this year!).
  • Do you know how to remove make-up from cotton shirts? This has nothing to do with wedding registries, I’m just curious…

And, as always, I’ve turned a short post into a Russian novel. The End! Happy Thursday, my fine friends. Thanks for reading – don’t you have work to do?!

xoxo Liz

* Obviously gifts are not actually mandatory, guests! If it’s a stretch to afford, we’d rather see your faces than a gift-wapped box. TRULY!

**while googling “gift registry gun” to confirm proper terminology I discovered there is a website devoted to registering for actual guns. SWEET lord have mercy on us all.)

Another Awkward Week [4.11.14]

Good morning everyone! What is up? What is the 4-11? GET IT?! Because it’s April 11?

4-11?

No?

Whatever. I think it’s funny! God, I crack myself up. WHAT A COMEDIENNE!!

How was everyone’s week? I had these amazing intentions to blog up a STORM but…looks like that didn’t happen. Whoops. But I definitely thought about it so that counts, right?

Next week! There’s always next week!

And what’s up for the weekend? I’m going to New Jersey tonight to meet a friend for dinner and then returning to Brooklyn and then going back to New Jersey tomorrow for a wedding (First of 9 for 2014!) so it should be quite the whirlwind. I was actually in New Jersey last weekend, too, visiting another friend.

Basically just call me JWoww. I’m all about that Jerz.

And now, because I’m writing this on Friday AM while I should be working, as I chose TV and painting my nails over blogging last night (I mean…partying! I was partying!) so I need to be quite quick about this. Let’s take a look back at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

This Hairspray:

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I am a total sucker for coupons and customer reward bonuses. I know they’re basically a huge marketing scam but consider me scammed. If you mark something 2 for 1 or coupon it up I will probably buy it. Especially cosmetic products. I don’t know the reasoning behind this but I am ALL IN for discounted lotions and sprays.

This week I had to go to CVS to pick up a prescription and oh look, also had $2.50 extra bucks on my ExtraCare Card (copyright CVS, probably) plus a whole bunch of coupons so I RACED over there and loaded my arms with discounted products: three canisters of shave gel, a family pack of toothbrushes (Brian’s VERY particular about fresh tooth brushes like, every week. He’s so weird!) and two canisters of my favorite hairspray, marked down to buy one, get one 50% off. BOOM.

My arms were full to the brim and I probably should have gotten a basket but I always think it’s kind of weird to get a basket at the drugstore, I don’t know why, don’t ask. Maybe I just have PTSD for accidentally stealing one that one time?

At any rate long story SO SO extra long, I was waiting in the check-out line, my arms laden with ozone destroying aerosol canisters when a bottle of hairspray fell out of my arms and hit the ground causing the lid to pop off and HIT A BABY STROLLER.

I repeat: HIT A BABY STROLLER.

Ok just the wheel, no one was injured but they could have been!

And now I need to find space in my apartment for my 97 canisters of shave gel and hair spray.

This Umbrella:

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I left my umbrella at my friend’s house over the weekend (housewarming gift for the Manley’s!). It rained on Monday and Brian unearthed this bad boy from the depths of his closet. It worked for about 2.2 seconds until it oh, so didn’t.

I needed to grocery shop on Monday after work and was planning to stop home, drop off my gym bag, pick up my reusable shopping bags and go to the nice grocery store a few blocks away from my apartment. But my commute home was a mess and I got impatient and decided I’d just get out a stop earlier than my usual and go to the other, grosser, lamer store on the way to my house, just to save time.

Huge mistake.

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to buy the heaviest foods – canned beans, potatoes, gallons of milk – on the day I didn’t have any sturdy bags, so on my walk home I somehow had to juggle six extremely heavy plastic bags, all on the verge of breaking, plus my gym bag, plus my umbrella, which essentially snapped in half one second after I walked out of the door, so that I was basically holding a stick with a floppy napkin above my head.

I struggled the short walk back to my apartment. Two blocks away from home a nice gentleman did stop to ask if I needed help but I was close enough to make it, so I declined. One block away from my house a less nice gentleman saw how burdened I was, shook his head and said “sorry.”

Sorry?! FOR WHAT?! Are you going to offer to help? Put up or shut up, my fine friend.

I finally made it to my door where I abandoned the groceries at the bottom of the steps and demanded that my nice gentleman go bring them up for me.

What a mess.

Semi related, I just stopped in the drug store next to my office to buy a new umbrella, as today’s forecast calls for rain and that green number certainly isn’t going to cut it. They usually have a big display out but today I could only find one. I got to the register and the cashier told me the umbrella + tax came to $32.

WHAT THE WHAT. I told her to “cancel that order” and ran out of the store.

This Ensemble:

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I’m LOVING this warm weather, don’t get me wrong, but it’s hard to know exactly how to dress for days when it’s 30 degrees colder in the morning than it is at lunch time. So I’m taking the layered approach: cardigan over a cardigan made infinitely sexier by the Melanie-Griffith-in-Working-Girl bright white sneakers for my commute.

Also This Other Ensemble:

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Was racing around to get to a work event when I managed to squirt under eye concealer all over my shirt. Turns out, the one thing concealer does not conceal is itself.

This Pudding:

As you know, I love a good superfood as much as the next cliched blogger and chia seeds are still pretty much the hottest thing going. I’ve been trying to cut down on my sugar intake, so when I saw recipes popping up for sugar free, dairy free chia seed pudding, I was all about that life.

I found a recipe via A Beautiful Mess that promised to be easy. Simply mix chia seeds, coconut milk, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a bowl or glass. Chill for a while and boom: delicious, healthy dessert.

If done right, it should look like the photo above.

Mine looked a little more like this:

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And tasted horrible. The milk never really thickened and the seeds stayed crunchy and it was just like, a bowl of the worst seedy, watery puddingy grossness you ever ate in your whole life.

And by ever ate I mean, literally ate because even thought it was grotesque, I still ate about half the bowl. WHY. Why oh why?

I’m still not giving up on the chia pudding though, guys. If at first you don’t succeed, etc etc etc. Eating trendy healthy foods not only makes my body feel better but also helps me maintain a sense of superiority over others (real talk) so I will perfect this recipe if it’s the last thing I do.

Foodie pals – help a sister out!

Also, for the record, I know now that Almond Breeze non dairy milks have carageenan in them which is apparently horrible for you and to be avoided but none of the other non carageenan-filled brands had unsweetened milk and I couldn’t decide if artificial sweeteners were worse than carageenan so I just panicked and went with what I know I like. It was very stressful. Eating healthy is really hard! And I’m a yuppie white lady who is obsessed with reading about food so imagine how much more difficult it must be for people without access to all of the resources I have to obtain the right foods.

Just something to think about! Friday morning rant!

SHUT. IT. DOWN.

And that was my week. I don’t think any of these stories made much sense but you know what? Life doesn’t make sense. All I know is, it’s Friday, I’m having a great hair day, and if I don’t get to work like, immediately, I am in deep trouble. So the end!

Have a most spectacular weekend, my fine friends! Don’t forget to pack a (working!) umbrella!

xoxoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [4.4.14]

Good morning, everyone! How’s your day? Mine is already off to a very … Liz-esque start. I wasted like 30 minutes this morning dealing with a hard-boiled egg situation. It’s been what, like 2 weeks since I’ve done something weird involving eggs?

Basically I needed breakfast this morning and didn’t want to buy because I’m trying to be responsible with my cash flow these days and I remembered I needed to make an egg for right before I wanted to leave for work, so I put it on the stove and finished getting ready and then remembered that hardboiled eggs need to chill before you eat them and how can I simultaneously chill and transport my egg this morning?

Option one: ziploc bag full of ice…leaked.

Option two: ice water in a tupperware container that guess what? Leaked.

Option three: This was the clever one – I’d fill my water bottle up with water, drop in the egg, drop in a couple of ice cubes et voila! A handy dandy egg-transporter-cooler. Except when I dropped in the egg it broke and then I realized my water bottle, which I like to drink from, was now filled with eggwater and the egg was inedible so the last 30 minutes were a waste and oh, look, I’m going to be late for work and still don’t have breakfast.

And after all that, I’m out an egg and the five dollars I then spent on a breakfast sandwich. Worth it. Also, patent pending on an egg cooler transporter – it seems like an item EVERYONE needs in their life!

Anyhoodle – GOOD MORNING KITTENS!! Happy April! Were any of you fools this week? My roommate pulled a good one:

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Tee hee! Brian went to bed before I did the night of 4/1 and when I went in to use the lav before bed, I found the toilet lid shut. I didn’t suspect a thing and surprise! Balloon! Good one, prankster.

And it’s a prank that keeps on giving because, oh yes, that balloon is still sitting on the floor of our bathroom. We are nothing if not deeply committed to keeping a tidy home.

Le sigh.

Ok, I’ll stop rambling about eggs and things and cut right to it. Let’s take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week!

This Week’s Spill:

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Black & white striped dress. Where do you think the salad dressing landed?

YUP.

This Bar:

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Last night one of my favorite authors was in town and we met for a drink – she also reads this blog. I’m really blurring the line between personal and professional these days. Whoops.

Anyway.

We met at this kind of hip (I guess??) bar in the West Village called The Other Room. It was a gorgeous night (FINALLY!!!) and the few seats set up outside the bar were taken when we arrived, but we were lucky to get second best: two seats at a little counter at the big front window. Score.

Except…maybe not. We got the sense right away that we were not exactly welcomed by the hipper than thou bartender. We asked for the cocktail list and he informed us they only sold wine, beer, port and sake. Port and sake. OH NYC you’re the worst. We were struggling to order our wines without fully butchering the pronunciation (something called “gwendochino blanc, or something?”) when another patron rolled in, an attractive woman with a serious ‘tude. She was clearly upset that all the good seats were taken and complained openly about it to the bartender in the way that girls who think they’re funnier and cuter than they are often do, a little too loudly, pretending they’re ‘just joking haha!” but actually quite seriously believe they deserve preference.

For the record, in case you can’t pick up the subtlety, I do NOT find this charming.

“I wanted to sit outside.” She told the bartender. “Can I at least sit at the window.”

“Someone else took those seats,” he replied with a shrug and disdainful look in our direction.

they both stared at us…trying to get us to move?

We muttered apologies, awkwardly chugged our grmuncmody blancs.

“Just wait it out til they get up and leave” the bartender said.

They (WE!) continued to gulp our wine as the bartender and Ms. Hot Shit talked loud and proud about how soon, so soon, “they” (we!) would just get up and vacate the premises.

It was overall a welcoming, warm and inviting bar!

And in the re-reading I’m realizing this might be one of those “you had to be there” kind of stories but sadly you were not there so you’ll just have to go right on ahead and trust me and maybe just politely laugh a little bit to make me feel OK?

THANKS!

This Dress:

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Wrap dresses. They’re all fun and games and figure flattery until the top won’t stay shut, no matter the fact that you’ve afixed it to your bra with a spare bobby pin and multiple, and I mean MULTIPLE, of your coworkers have to casually pull you aside and politely whisper “Liz your, um…top” while trying not to stare at your exposed hooter.

This Picture:

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My camera must have gone off at some point? One hundred* dollars to the person who can correctly guess what this might be.

(* zero)

These Manicure Tools:

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I have a terrible habit (only one!) of biting and picking at my nails and cuticles. I know it is unattractive and unhygienic and all around gross but I love it and can’t stop.

Brian’s a biter too and we’ve realized we really need to curb this scene before the wedding – our photog will try to take those cute romantic shots of our brand new wedding bands and there will just be blood dripping everywhere. We can’t have that.

So! Per a recommendation from Brian’s sister (hi Emily!) I’ve been trying to use this Essy Apricot Cuticle Oil as a replacement – whenever I want to bite, I slather on the cuticle oil and it keeps my nails from getting ragged. Also it makes me smell delicious!

I also keep a bottle of clear topcoat at my desk because it’s super appropriate and professional to paint your nails in your office (false). Earlier this week I week I slathered up my fingers with cuticle oil and thought something felt off – it was kind of thick and gloopy and OH WAIT, I just painted all over my fingers with nailpolish.

Thankfully it was clear?!

And that, my pals, was my week! How was yours? What’s everyone up to this weekend? I’m reuniting with my college roomies at our friend’s brand new house in New Jersey (adulthood!!) and we’re going to gossip so effing hard, the world might collapse. I can’t even pretend like we’re going to discuss smart, valuable life stuff because we’re super not. We’re just going to dish on people we went to college with (maybe even YOU?!?!) and celebrities (I’m deeply concerned for Zac Efron) and drink so much wine and it’s going to be Tony the Tiger style GRRRRREAT!

April Showers, May Flowers & Plenty O Pilgrims to you and yours, my fine friends. Have a great weekend!

xoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [3.28.14]

Hey you guys! What’s up? How was everyone’s week. Mine was very weddingy which is now a real word, in the OED, look it up, fools.

Seriously, though, this week was a veritable nuptial extravaganza. Tuesday I went bridesmaid dress shopping and  Wednesday Brian & I went suit shopping (more on both of those below!) and last night I went to a Wedding Expo which was…definitely something! It was a real thing.

Quick backstory, I’m working on this fantastic book coming out in May called Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest by Jen Dollwhich is amazing. I very rarely actually talk about my books here because I don’t want the authors to get like, a google alert and read this and realize what a freak their publicist is BUT I already know that both the author (hi, Jen!) and editor (hi, Ali!) a) read this blog and b) know I’m a total freak so it’s all good. Also good? The book, so you should probably just go ahead and pre-order it riiiiiight now.

Jen was invited to attend the New York Magazine Wedding Expo and thought: “who could I invite to join me who is engaged and will do anything for a story and some free wine?” The answer was crystal clear. And thus, Jen & I found ourselves in a chic event space in Chelsea at 4:45 PM on a Thursday sipping white wine and stuffing our tote bags with swag.

 

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The expo was super nice but also suuuuper overwhelming. There were tons of people all about, including one woman whose job it was to walk around in a slinky wedding gown carrying a sign advertising the designer and DJ’s playing loud party music and hoardes of women roaming in packs – many of whom brought their baby strollers which, like, I don’t judge the carriage before the marriage, you do you, but why did you bring your baby here? I know it’s tough to get a sitter but like, is this really the establishment where you want to be carting around a toddler? Possibly no.

Like any trade show there were just booths and booths and booths of vendors and everyone had some kind of treat (macrons! mini cakes! LOBSTER ROLLS!) to lure you to stop and peruse their wares and most also had some kind of opportunity to register for a giveaway, which we did with wild abandon. I can’t remember everything I signed up to win but the list included:

  • false eyelashes
  • lingerie
  • cake pops
  • skin treatment
  • a full set of bridesmaid dresses (!)
  • earrings
  • engagement photos
  • dance lessons (!!)

I have yet to receive any calls or emails so I’m assuming I won nothing but I am really holding out hope on those dance lessons.

Just kidding. NIGHTMARE.

Finally we reached that point where we were so overwhelmed with people and stimuli and people that we just sort of crashed and had to run for the door.

I also experience this emotion when visiting art museums or shopping at Forever 21.

I’m really glad we went and do think I saw some valuable stuff, but can’t possibly imagine actually going to one of those as an outlet for getting wedding ideas like, right at the beginning. The sheer volume of options and images made my head spin.

Just like Brian and I will spin on the dance floor when we win those tango lessons. Come on, phone, ring, damn it, RING!

Ok, enough. This is already a novel and I’ve barely even scratched the surface. Let us take a look at what (else!) was keeping it awkward this week:

This Microwave:

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First of all please ignore that pile of cardboard recycling in the corner, I know we need to dispose of that!

Second of all, do take note of the smashed glass on the floor below said microwave. That is the glass tray that came with the microwave, smashed into a zillion little pieces after I knocked it out while removing my microwaveable heating pad because I am 86 years old.

Easy solution: register for a new microwave!

Except: This belongs with the apartment, WHOOPS.

So now I have to track down and purchase a very specific microwave tray lest we lose our security deposit over this.

Luckily I am already pretty skilled in purchasing wholesale kitchen appliance parts thanks to the time I broke a glass shelf in the refrigerator of my first apartment in Brooklyn by dropping a heavy container of leftover Thanksgiving food on it.

Liz Ho: destroying one rental kitchen at a time!

These Dresses:

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Front runners for the bridesmaids! I will give you a WHOLE long and detailed story about the endless search for bridesmaid dresses, made extra endless by my deep passion for over-thinking and making everything 80 billion times more complicated than necessary but for now, a tiny tale.

Kathleen and I went to Bella Bridesmaid in Midtown on Tuesday night to check out some options (it was a really nice boutique with a pretty great selection and good customer service, just FYI if this applies to you) and while we were looking through the racks with our assigned stylist, we suddenly heard the sound of crying coming from one of the dressing rooms.

And by crying I mean like weeping. Like heaving sobs. Like me watching Les Mis hysterics.

I mean…bridesmaid dress shopping is stressful but…? YIKES pull yourself together, man!

It turns out it may have actually been a staff member crying over some kind of personal life drama which makes me feel a little bad for judging but whatever the reason behind the tears, it does not erase how painfully awkward it was for the three of us to resume rifling through brightly colored chiffon, acting like nothing was amiss, to the soundtrack of violent sobbing.

AAAAH.

Also did I make a final decision on bridesmaid dresses yet? Probably! Or not. Just … don’t ask.

This Corner:

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I worked out over lunch the other day and when I came back, managed to spill my entire (full!) water bottle on my office floor, right next to a stack of book boxes. I saw the water encroaching on the box of delicate paper books and panicked, looking around the room for some sort of towel with which I might mop up the spill before it ruined our product.

I got the brilliant idea to use my gym clothes BUT I had my fancy stuff that day and they’re all made out of some kind of fancy like, sweat repelling material so they weren’t really absorbing the giant lake I created (thanks for nothing, Under Armor) BUT the dirty underwear I had just worn to workout were, in fact, cotton, so I mopped up the spill with a pair of underwear.

It made complete sense at the time, for some reason, but then I though about it later and remembered that in our office we have both a kitchen AND a bathroom, both of which are resplendent with paper towels, products which are designed for the sole purpose of absorbing liquids.

And instead I used my underpants.

WHAT is wrong with me? So very very VERY many things.

I must have been a clutz-o-rama that day because later that evening, I met Brian at …

This Suit Shop:

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My groom and I went out on an expedition to find a suit for him for our wedding and a co-worker recommended this classy place in SoHo called Suit Supply. She assured us they were known for slim cut suits for slim cut fellows and at a good price point.

And she was right! Despite the semi douche vibe of their website (just…ignore those photos) the place was straight up classy and the customer service was outstanding. They helped Brian find a really REALLY good looking suit  and suggested some matching options for his groomsmen, recommended shoe stores, tie colors, etc.

Meanwhile I just followed Brian around making lascivious comments about his butt. It was weird. I felt like someone’s creepy sugardaddy (except let’s be real, I’m not paying for this). Like, you always hear stories about rich men taking hot women shopping and then just creepily watching them try on sexy clothes and suddenly I understand the appeal. By the time I half-jokingly but mostly seriously asked Brian to “take off his jacket and sling it over his shoulder like he was in a catalog” I realized I miiiiight be out of control.

But seriously, wedding guests, you’re in for a treat with this suit. That booty is A+!

Oh, and also while I was there they offered me a glass of water and OBVIOUSLY I spilled the entire thing on the floor and almost used my scarf to mop it up before anyone saw but luckily someone stopped me before I ruined yet another piece of clothing doing what a paper towel could do so much better.

Then later, I pulled my wallet out of my pocket to put in the stylist’s business card and dropped a panty liner on the floor right in front of him. Smooth.

Those were the actual points of this story, but then I got sidetracked being creepy about butts.

You know me!

Shut it down, Liz. Shut it down.

And that’s that! What are you guys up to this weekend? I was supposed to go hiking but now it’s going to rain all weekend (don’t even get me started on you, Mother Nature!) so now we’re searching for an indoor urban adventure instead. Any suggestions?

Have the funnest weekend, whatever you do, and if you enter any weird raffles, I sure hope you win!

xoxoxo Liz

Another Awkward Week [3.21.14]

Happy Spring, chickens! It’s finally here! I mean, yes it’s still frigid and they’re calling for more snow next week but I am choosing to believe in the power of positive thought and joyfully welcome spring.

Spring! A ling!  a ding ding ding!

Cool chant, bro.

I welcomed the new season last night with open arms and plenty o’ tequila. As one does. 

In an effort to improve my mental health and self confidence, I’ve been trying hard to focus on things I know I am good at (like running, making salads, quoting Mean Girls) and be proud of myself, instead of dwelling on all of the areas where I feel like a failure (everywhere else!). One asset I’ve always liked about myself is my, for lack of a better term, school spirit. I have been complimented on my enthusiasm in the  - I’ve told the story about how my high school soccer coach told me I was more valuable on the bench than on the field, because of my “spirit” (see also: lack of sports skills) and my first boss at my job here told me he hired me because I was so enthusiastic. It was between me and another candidate and I just kept calling until I wore him down with my relentless enthusiasm. No one can hide from me! 

Here at work, where I’ve become especially hard on myself of late, I’ve decided to embrace my assets and become the Self Appointed De Facto Social Chair of our department. (Am I using De Facto right? Who cares! No time!) I’ve started doing silly things like the Valentine’s Chip & Dip Romance Extravaganza (this year with champagne!) and bringing in donuts on Fat Tuesday and then sending funny emails to invite everyone to join me in eating said donuts. And last night I hosted the first annual Spring Fling – margarita happy hour at a Mexican restaurant by our offices. 

It was so much fun. Tons of people came out and we all got a little smashed and celebrated the new season and I KNOW it is so silly to be like “Good job, Liz, you organized a happy hour”….but I’m sayin’ it. Good job, Liz! You organized a happy hour! 

I’ve come to realize that morale is possibly as important, if not more important than a well rounded knowledge of well respected literary journals. Someone has to work to keep the spirit and energy up in this place and by jove, it will be me! 

I’m feeling better about myself already.

Except also maybe not all of our morale boosting activities need to involve so much tequila because OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I’ve already had two breakfasts and am counting down the seconds until my inevitable hangover hoagie. 

First one of the new season!! 

Ok enough of this nonsense. I’ve been so like, Oprah Soul Series Self Empowerment lately, I don’t know what’s gotten into me! Let’s cut the schmaltz and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

This Haircut:

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Is this a terrible selfie? Sho is! But I have yet to reach the point in my blogging career (LOL “career!”) where I can just have some kind of professional photographer follow me around all day every day, catching casual candids of my beautifully curated life so until I reach that point, we’re just going to have to deal with a LOT of horrible pics snapped in the mirror of the hair salon dressing room. 

Monday evening I had a MUCH needed hair appointment. Sometime that morning I realized I had a missed call from Arrojo Studios and a voicemail on my cell phone. I assumed they were calling to re-confirm the appointment but the reality was much more dramatic. 

“Hello, this is Arrojo Studio, we’re calling in regards to your appointment this evening. Unfortunately your stylist is no longer with us. Please call us back.”

UM, no longer WITH US? Like, on earth, among the living? Or just, you know, not working at your salon anymore? That’s a very strong turn of phrase. 

I called back to get the scoop (and reschedule. Sorry this lady is dead/missing/resigned but I kind of need a new ‘do) and the super flustered receptionist told me that she had no idea what happened to my stylist … the news had “just landed.”

“No longer with us!” “News has just landed!” SUCH an soap opera over there! 

I was able to reschedule for the same evening with a different stylist who gave me some more intel – it turns out it was some kind of family issue, and I do hope all’s OK with that, but the whole situation was so cloaked in mystery and drama, loved it. If only all of life could be so scandalous and intense!

PS: I adored this new stylist, if anyone in the NYC regional area is looking for recommendations! 

This Dress:

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Isn’t is cute? I KNOW! A colleague of mine (who sits next to me and took this photo, hi Glory!) was wearing it one day in navy blue and I was obsessed and she informed me that she got it at Old Navy (More like Old Favy…cuz it’s my favorite? No?) for $20 and they also had it in green and I literally sprinted back to my desk, logged onto Oldnavy.com and the dress was mine. 

It’s a two part number, the sheer business you see on top and then a like slip thing underneath, which is attached to inside of the shoulders of the flowered part. 

I went to the gym over lunch yesterday (#humblebrag!) and when re-dressing post workout I realize that the dress had somehow managed to twist itself in such a way that the back part of the slip was now in the front and I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to fix it. I could have just worn it backwards and winged it, except that the back turns out to be significantly lower than the front, and about 80% of my bra & boobs were exposed through the sheer overlayer.

I tried and tried and tried to fix the problem, getting myself ever more twisted every time. At one point I had the slip on and the outer part was hanging inside-out in front of me. Another time one arm was through a sleeve of the slip and somehow the other sleeve was like, behind me? It was a hot mess AND of course happening in the locker room where zillions (ok, four) of people could see me causing a scene.

I ended up putting it on backwards, rushing back to work, and shutting myself in my office where I took it off, cut the slip out of the overlayer and got it all on just right.

What a disaster.

PS: Am I pulling off the whole, lighter colored elf booties over tights thing? It’s very hipster but I don’t know if I’m making it work…

This Water Bottle:

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I got home from work the other night and had a weird tingly feeling in my leg which I soon learned was not actually tingling but wetness…the lid of my water bottle had broken and I had H2O dripping out from my tote bag and all down the back of my leg. 

I’m not sure when this happened, but I may have walked the whole way from the subway with mysterious liquids dripping down my pants. Classy.

PS: I have nothing to say here, I just said PS for the other 2 things so…

This Bouquet:

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I love tulips! I also love instagram! Something I am endlessly fascinated by on insta is this trend of like, carefully curated and stylized “lifestyle” photos – a cup of coffee next to a scone all artfully on top of a Sunday times, caption: “love lazy weekends!” or a neatly arranged display of pens, a calendar, a diet coke, some flowers, a note pad, caption: “working from home today!” 

And the light is always perfect and there’s nothing weird in the background or over to the corner and it’s all just so stylized with the intent, I guess, to look natural? How much time do you think these people spend arranging their lives just so? I just don’t get it and yet I am sort of obsessed with creeping upon these offenders and speculating about their lives so I am totally complicit in the popularity of these sorts of posts. 

Anyhoodle, my point in this whole confession is that yesterday morning I decided I wanted to instagram my beautiful new tulips, in honor of spring, and I wanted the photo to be as beautiful as any instagram star might share but my kitchen table was a mess and the tile in the kitchen makes an ugly backgrond and where can I get some natural light up in here so I ended up carrying them all over the apartment, eventually pulling a dining chair into the bedroom in front of a white wall and snapping this photo which isn’t even that good! It’s really not great and took me probably 10-15 minutes of my day to create.

And for why? Seriously why? I remain mystified by this whole craze and I think my foray into hip insta nonsense ends here. 

And THAT, kittens, was my week! How was yours? Weekend plans? If so make sure to photograph…gram it or it didn’t happen!

xoxo Liz Ho 

 

 

30 Before 30: Oh, we’re halfway there!

Last Friday, March 14 was both Pi Day and my half birthday (equally momentous holidays!), meaning I have but 6 months left until I hit the big 3-0. I thought this would be an opportune time to check back in on my epic 30 Before 30 list to see how I’m doing.

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If you’d noticed I hadn’t discussed this in months and suspected it was a ridiculous thing that I started for the attention and then forgot about and surely won’t finish, well, you’re mostly right. I am still working to check off these noble goals but, for better or for worse (pun!), this whole getting married situation seems to be taking up the majority of my time and resources, both emotional and (OH MY GOD WHY IS THIS WEDDING SO EFFING EXPENSIVE?!?!?!?) financial sooo certain things have taken the back burner and probably won’t be finished by 9/14/14. Does this make me feel guilty and lame and like a failure? Obviously! I mean, what doesn’t?  But that is a problemo for me and for my therapist. Who I just broke up with because he kept bringing up weird stories about the holocaust (literally) when I tried to talk about my problems, so now I’m at square one and need a new therapist BUT that is a whole different story for a whole different day, why did I even go onto that tangent?

“Why Did I Even Go Onto That Tangent?” will the the name of my one woman show. Get your tickets now!

Also, quickly, I can’t even lie to you guys: I know this is so pointless and silly and age is but a number and 30 isn’t even old and Sex and the City something something BUT the fact that I’m managing to squeeze into marriage just a few days before my 30th birthday (28, to be exact!) (and 5 months from yesterday holy cats, there’s so much to do!) does make me feel kind of relieved. So ridiculous I KNOW but I never pretended to be anyting but exxxxxtra ridic so there you have it. The truth is out!

Ok with out firther ado, I’ve ado’ed enough already, let us check in on my 30 Before 30 progress, shall we?

LIZ HO’S 30 BEFORE 30! 

1. Run half marathon

This is the biggie and I’m excited to share, I’ll be doing this one! I am running the Henry’s Hope Verrazano Half Marathon on Saturday, April 26! I’ve been training like a beast – ran 9 miles yesterday, boom – and have been enjoying it so much.  I’ve come to really enjoy running. I can feel myself getting stronger, faster, healthier and better every day and running helps me to calm my brain when my thoughts start a-racin’. No jokes here, I’m very proud of myself and can’t wait to run 13.1 in a few weeks!

2. Pay off one credit card…put a dent in the other. COMPLETED 10/4/13

And then acquire new credit card debt after buying way, way into the Wedding Industrial Culture? Yikes…probably!

3. Get a bikini wax

This has not yet happened. I might save it for the honeymoon…GROSS but probably true.

4. Take photoshop or other online design course

Nopers.

5. Submit something for publication

Sort of? I made a friend who works for a website and he asked me to write something for him (his idea! cool!) and I have sort of started but not really so yeah…slaying it.

6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I’m coming for you, Staten Island!)

I went to Queens last week! I’ve been there before but still, let’s get excited. Brooklyn & Manhattan I check off on the daily and I’ve been to the Bronx before but should probably do it again now that I’m making a whole thang of it. As for Staten Island…yeah. Who wants to come with me? We can get meatballs and spray tans!

That’s what happens on Staten Island, right?

7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.)

I’ve done like…¾ of a pull-up. I’m working on it.

8. Find a regular volunteer program

Oh god, I haven’t even thought about this. I’m a horrible person.

9. See a play on Broadway

I almost did this! My friend Nick sent this EXTREMELY confusing email about getting tickets to see this play All the Way, starring Bryan “Heisenberg” Cranston and I figured it was a great opportunity to check this item off my listicle AND become besties with Walter White but just 6 hours before showtime I realized that what I read as Nick buying us all tickets meant he just bought himself a ticket and the rest of us were on our own sooooooooooo long story long, I did not attend said play.

Back to the drawing board!

10. Watch The Sopranos

UGH. I’m halfway through season two and just…can’t. I think it’s kind of boring! I feel like I should love it, it’s so widely regarded as THE prestige TV show that started this era of prestige TV shows and I LOVE prestige TV shows and also saying the word “prestige” a lot, apparently, but I just can’t seem to get on board with this one.

So now I must decide if I power through for the sake of the list OR if I just quit and chalk it up to a loss.

So much TV, so little time. What’s a gal to do?!

11. Learn to shuffle cards

I’m working on this! I think there’s a video somewhere? I’ll find it, stay tuned.

You wait with baited breath, I’m sure.

12. Stop biting my nails

Chomping on my phalanges as we speak so…no.

13. Take a trip with my mom

What I meant by this was a like, a vacation-style trip somewhere new but again, with this wedding scenario bleeding us both dry, we’ll probably not make that happen.

BUT we have gone on several shopping trips so technically that counts, right?

It’s my list, I’m saying it counts.

Maybe we’ll trip on acid!

JUST kidding.

14. Read outside of my comfort zone

Ok help me! I continue to read the same sorts of books I usually do which would be categorized as “Upmarket Women’s Fiction” or “Ridiculous Postapocalyptic Teen Romances” so I still need some help here.

Would y’all be so kind as to recommend some books in the following genres:

poetry
biography
a “classic”
graphic novel

Thanks in advance, nerds!

15. Visit Storm King COMPLETED 10/6/13

OBVIOUSLY this happened. Did you guys know I’m engaged?!!

16. Get Acupuncture

Not yet but I do have the name of a doctor to call stored in my inbox somewhere so…baby steps.

17. Roast a chicken

Again, not yet but I have been making quite a lot of crock pot chicken dishes so … sort of?

18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it

Have not even tried.

19. Zumba

See: response to No. 18.

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party

No. But I have hosted a several unsophisticated boozy potlucks SO I’m calling it a win.

21. Add at least one more state to my list

Not yet but Brian promises he’s taking me to Maine in September! He better.

22. Solve my stomach issues

You do not even want to know what is going on down there.

23. Trapeze class

Of course I have not done this. How did I even come UP with this idea?!

24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!)

Not quiiiite yet. But I often compose my email to said friend while drying my hair or running or otherwise distracted so…the suspense builds.

25. Decorate our apartment

Nopers! But now we’re moving August 1 so there’s no point in starting now. I’ll decorate the new place, I will, I will!

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC

Oh god, no. And I think they sprout (sprout?) like next week so this one ain’t happening. Next year!

27. Take out my navel ring

Not yet! Hanging onto the trashy just a little bit longer. It’ll look great when I’m wearing a crop top in Staten Island!

28. Make an IRL blogger connection

I DID do this!! A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Caitlyn while she was in NYC on business.

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Caitlyn is adorable – she’s one of the first bloggers I became bloggy pals with and she reminds me a lot of my sister…Maggie is younger than me and once lived in Colorado where she worked for Habitat for Humanity and Caitlyn is also younger than me and currently lives in Colorado and sometimes volunteers for Habitat. The similarities kind of stop there and yet I still think of them as kindred spirits so basically if you are an altruistic young woman living in the western US I’ll probably confuse you for my sister. Just go with it.

ANYWAY, Caitlyn and I became blog friends and then facebook friends (huge step) and then she let me know she was comin’ to town for work, did I want to hang out?

Um…yes please!

We met at this super cute tea shop near my office and I was sort of nervous on my way there, I felt like I was going on a blind date. What if she didn’t like me? What if we had nothing to talk about? Did I look weird?

Luckily none of my fears came true and we hit it off and talked about life and boys and blogging and enjoyed yummy tea and macaroons, brought to us by THE slowest waiter in all of the New York City Regional Area and it was just so much fun.

If you don’t yet read Caitlyn’s blog…hop to!

29. Hike 5 new peaks

Spring has barely sprung…I’ll hike when it’s warm!

And if all else fails, I’ll just climb every tiny hill in Prospect Park and call it a win.

30. Blog Challenge!

I actually decided, upon recommendation from a friend that I go streaking, that #30 is Go Skinnydipping! I will share ZERO photographs so y’all pervs don’t even bother asking, but I realized that no one should make it to 30 without dipping in the nude so as soon as it’s warm: it’s on.

So! Not too bad? I’ve officially done 4 things and adding in loopholes and technicalities I’ve done at least 5 more and have plans semi-in the works for a few others so it’s looking like maybe I’ll get to half. I feel like I read somewhere that 15 is the new 30 so if I make it there, I’ll call this a rousing success.

Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have some hiking and waxing and chicken roasting to do. Probably not all at the same time but, we’ll see!

Smooches!

Liz Ho