Archives for January 2014

Things I’ve Learned on Vacation…Mid-Vacay Edition

Hey Bloggy Friends! I’m still in sunny Florida. Don’t miss me too much. I wanted to pop in really quick to give a sneak peek into our trip. Here are just a few things I’ve learned this week.

image

1. It’s much better to appreciate and enjoy your vacation than document every second of it. So when I’m short several hundred photos, please don’t be sad.

2. There will ALWAYS be something you forget at home which results in a $75 trip to Walgreens, but thank God for Walgreens, right?

3. I should never eat pizza outside of Chicago, because no matter how ok it is, it’s not Chicago pizza.

4. When sunscreen says 80 minutes, they sort of mean business…when you spend 3 hours walking away from the sun you’re going to get your ass (well everything underneath it) burned.

5. Live sand dollars are fucking awesome. They’re purple and furry…except the furry part is all wiggly and awesome.

6. It’s really nice to blow dry my hair without blowing a fuse.

7. Beers to acquire: Big Rod Coconut Ale and Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen.

8. Yelp rocks my Yelp Elite socks off. I’m 2 for 2 in restaurant selection. 

9. Eleanor and Park is my new favorite book.

10. I want to live in Florida.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Peace Out, My Bitches…This Girl’s Headed South for the Next Polar Vortex.

I hear there’s another Polar Vortex thing happenng in the Chi. Fuck that.

I’m on vacation until further notice. Or this weekend. One of those.

Quirky Chrissy at the beach

On Saturday, Brian and I jetted out of town to Marco Island to visit his dad and my dolphin brethren. (BTW, I’m totally writing this shit ON the plane. $8 to write you a blog post and play Simpson’s Tapped Out for the last time until next weekend seemed worth it.)

After waiting in an hour long TSA line, we made our way to the gate JUST in time to send a few instagram pictures for your viewing pleasure and slam and airport breakfast sandwich.

So, in the long wait in line, I found myself encouraging other people who were running SERIOUSLY late for their flight to cut their way to the front. This sweet elderly couple was the only pair that took me up on it, and I was glad for them, because it looked like they were barely going to make their flight.The best part was when the woman looked at me and said, “Well, if anyone gives me trouble, I’ll just pull the old lady card.”

I fucking love old people. I can’t wait to use the old lady card! I’m going to be so inappropriate.

Anyways, it reminded me of the mad dash I had on my way to NOLA in 2010 when the Drug Addict, who was driving my friend, brother and I to the airport made us ridiculously late for our flight. We literally had to do the Home Alone run through the airport, begging for passage through the long-ass TSA line. My friend wanted to kill me, and I wanted to kill the Drug Addict.

This time, the Chicago weather was to blame. Apparently flights were cancelled on Friday night, so everyone was trying to get through security at the same time. Total clusterfuck.

Marco Island Florida

Well, Blog Friends, have a wonderful week! I’ll try to check up on comments and make a video blog post to say hello from Florida.  I’m taking requests. What do you want to see in Southwest Florida?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

In Which Uncle Murphy Paid a Visit to the Girl Who Won’t Stop Bragging About Vacation…Which Starts Tomorrow.

And by Uncle Murphy, I mean the writer of Murphy’s Law. The bastard.

So yesterday, I started the morning with my usual dash to the train and had a few missteps. And once I passed those missteps, thought I was home free. So I Facebooked that shit. Because. You know…that’s what I do.

Crazy Commuter Morning


Note to self: Don’t post this shit on Facebook until the next day.

So I made it to the train; piece of cake. Stuff in tow. I sometimes get on the train on the back car and walk all the way to the front car. I like to be one of the first people off the train to avoid the Union Station cattle call. It’s a good thing. Usually.

As I made my way toward the front of the train, I started to unwrap the layers of warmth surrounding my body that were causing me to sweat. The train gets toasty when it’s full of people.

I sat down in the little vestibule like usual (So I don’t have to sit next to loud, annoying smelly people) and typed up my ordeal. As I started to re-layer up, I realized that my sweet Bears hat was missing. Somewhere between Car 137(this is a made up number FYI) and Car 1, I had dropped my warm and cozy hat. With a one-mile walk and a -20 degree windchill to look forward to. Awesome.

It’s okay, Christine (I call myself this, when I’m angry at self.) You’ve got the scarf and the face mask and the hood. It’s all going to be okay.

Winter 1: Chrissy 0

So I went on with my morning routine. Buttoned my coat, snapped my face mask, wrapped up my  sweet 12-foot scarf, slipped my glasses into my pocket and was on my way.

Doctor Who Scarf

Twelve glorious feet of scarf. More on that next week.

As I crossed the street just outside of Union Station, I slipped on a patch of ice. LUCKILY, I am a master of correcting myself so as not to fall. I know. I know. You’ve seen how many sweet spills I’ve taken. From spraining my ankle on a mountain to tripping over invisible wires to walking into No Parking signs…You can’t exactly call me Grace.

So I didn’t fall. Which is good, because if I had, I would have either A. face-planted into Adams street or B. gone backwards into the metal bridge dealie. But I screamed the obnoxious scream that usually scares the crap out of Brian.

Good work, Christine. You really sealed it with that one. It’s okay though. Let’s go find some breakfast.

I walked the cold walk to Pret, where I picked up a tasty little breakfast thingy with bacon (because all that matters is the bacon. Obvi.)

After Pret, it was only 3 blocks to the office, so I was almost there. I checked the time; things looked good.

We’re ready for the day. It won’t be that bad. You’ve got bacon. You can get a hat on your lunch break. Work’s going to fly by. And vacation is in 2 days. You can do it.

I stepped into my office building and started deconstructing my walk-wear. Because I was pretty blind when I walked (the face mask fogs up my glasses), one of the first things I did was pull out my glasses from my sweatpants pocket.

Well.

Part of my glasses anyways.

As I reached in to grab my specks, the motherfuckers cracked. Something about them being frozen and crackable made that the perfect moment to die.

“MOTHERFUCK!”

I’d like to tell you that I just thought that in my head. I really would.

But no. It came out in all it’s obnoxious glory. And the lovely security lady came to check on me, because I was visibly on the verge of a breakdown. She wanted to help. But she couldn’t. There was nothing anyone could do.

Glasses broke in half because of cold

FML. That’s about the end of that.

So I thanked her. And probably apologized, because I do that when I’m upset. And got into the elevator. Alone.

And then…I cried the ugly cry.

It started with a few Claire Danes sniffles and snorts, but then it went full-out bawling. I could NOT win this morning if I tried.

I crawled into my office, trying to hide my eyes, hoping that they were masked by the cold look everyone seemed to be wearing. I found the only secluded place I knew of in the open office and I just let it all out.

Eventually, I had one of my co-workers come rescue me and she even brought my SWEET work slippers. There’s something about sequined camo that makes the world seem just a little bit brighter.

Sequin Camo Slippers

I’m Polish, OK. So stop judging my holiday Minnie Mouse socks and camo slippers.

I was blind for the first half of my day, but picked up a set of contacts (after getting an unnecessary eye exam in order to get the free trial) and ordered some adorably sassy new specks. And then I remembered that vacation was only HOURS away now.

So here we are. 27 hours away from my flight outta this Frozen Tundra and after a week of vacation joy, I’m coming home to a new pair of specks, the Superbowl (Go Peyton! My LOVE!), the Olympics, house-hunting and so much more joy.

See, things can turn around for the better!

Have you ever had one of those days? Where you just can’t seem to catch a break? Tell me about it. No seriously, tell me about it.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I am a Master Corrector or a Grammar Nazi. One of those. Except When it Comes to ME.

This post was sponsored by the fine folks at Grammarly. They may have compensated me to write this post, but I also paid for the program, because I’m a believer in their services. And sometimes I make mistakes.

I use Grammarly for proofreading because I like affirmation of my perfection. 

I am a Grammar Nazi. It’s kind of a problem.

Grammar nazi

Ever since I was a little girl, I found myself correcting the grammar of just about anyone who ever used the following words/phrases:

Ain’t

Don’t want no

Apparently, this was incredibly embarrassing for my mom. Because even though she’s the REASON I was all, “Ain’t isn’t a word!” and yelling at adults, she wasn’t a fan of it. I was a master corrector. At age 3. I hated when anyone would tell stories about me, because they’d always tell them wrong. And I would correct that too.

Baby Chrissy Swimming

Would you argue with that face?

So it’s no surprise that I picked up writing in Grade 1. I mean, go read the first poem I ever wrote if you don’t believe me. (I really did post my first poem. Because I was adorable. And yes, there are grammar errors. We didn’t all START out perfect. GEEZ.)

Actually, it’s true. My grammar wasn’t always exceptional. It wasn’t until I started my master’s degree program (English teaching) and when I taught reading comprehension with math and writing application that I really improved my writing style.

Now, you’ll find me in Skype, teamed up with several English and journalism majors, as we fight the war on grammar, one Skyping co-worker at a time.

It drives them crazy.

Especially when we self-correct our own errors. Hey, everyone makes mistakes!

But I too make my own grammar faux pas. On purpose. Because I love them.

My favorite grammar no-no’s

  • I LOVE to overuse ellipsis…LOVE it…a lot.
  • Passive voice is loved by me.
  • Short, incomplete sentences. Yes.
  • I’m a big fan of the Oxford comma, commas in general, and way. Too. Many. Periods.

 

Do you have grammar errors that you make on purpose, for style? Grammar Nazi tendencies?

This post is sponsored by Grammarly. Because I love them. Fact.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Because I Can Totally Get Two Blog Posts Out of my Sweet Songwriting Skills.

In case you didn’t know this about me…I make up songs. Like a child. You know how little kids take a tune they know and start making up words? About common things? Like eating a sandwich or drinking a milkshake or even watching their favorite TV show?

do that.

Brian is SO lucky to live with me. Not only does he get to hear my made up songs on a daily basis, but also he gets to hear me repeat them over and over and over again until I’ve almost mastered the lyrics. And stopped filming anyway. Because the 17th time’s the charm.

If you didn’t read the post about saying goodbye my Christmas trees, you should probably do that now. Don’t worry; this video will be here when you get back.

You’ll note that even after 17 tries, I still messed the song up a smidge. Whatever. Enjoy anyways.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

And Now, A Post-Christmas Song/Poem.

So I wrote a song to commemorate my very sad day. Usually, I would postpone this shit as long as humanly possible, but I want to come home from FLORIDA to a clean house and nothing to do but vacation laundry and seashell projects.

Plus with another polar vortex/ice age/death cold coming in a few days, I’d rather just get this shit out of the way.

Packing up the Christmas tree

Half the ornaments are already off the tree…Now it’s time for those individual Hallmark boxes. FML.

The Christmas Alma Mater Song (to the tune of the Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater Song, but shorter. Because I’m lazy.)

Now it’s time

To say goodbye

To all my Christmas trees.

They start with C

See ya real soon

There is no Y

Why? Because we like them.

Pa-cking up the trees.

Christmas trees

Mistletoe

Christmas trees

Mistletoe

Forever let us hold the garland high

High high high!

Come along and sing this song

That is melancholy.

Ornaments.

Christmas Lights.

Packing up the tree.

 

As you can see, my apartment is in shambles, so I best stop this blogging nonsense and get to it. Maybe later, if I get enough written incentive and booze, I’ll videotape my song for you.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sometimes I Get So Hungry I Almost Eat Brian…

For the record, y’all…this post is brought to you by the tasty treats that are Gorton’s Seafood. Just because Brian doesn’t eat fishies doesn’t mean I won’t. And so I bring you joy. And a REALLY freakin’ easy, FAST meal. Because Gorton’s gave me some coupons for free fishies. And then I ate them. Not the coupons. The fishies.

Things you aren’t allowed to judge in this post

  • The fact that I tried to hide the dirtiness of my kitchen with close-up images
  • My use of holiday dishware in mid-January
  • The microwave that I quickly rinsed off so you wouldn’t see what a mess it was
  • The fact that I may have slightly overcooked my fishies, but ate them anyways

So…If you recall the last time I worked with Gorton’s, I reviewed their Simply Bakes Tilapia and Shrimp Scampi, which I made for the parents and mom’s bestie. Everyone was a fan. Gorton’s has since become an easy peasy staple in our freezer.

I’m serious when I tell you that Brian won’t eat fish. He doesn’t even want to smell it. Luckily, when I make Gorton’s, he barely even notices. Except for the fact that he has to cook his own dinner. (Except that one time that I actually cooked him something, too. And he was all, “you didn’t have to.” So the next time, I was all, “I didn’t.”)

So last night, when I got home I was FAMISHED. Starving. And I needed food immediately. Brian had already been informed that he was on his own for dinner, so he had prepared himself his favorite nasty frozen garlic chicken pasta thing that stinks up our entire apartment (and then he complains about fish?) I think he did it on purpose actually. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Gorton's Grilled TilapiaAnyways, I got home and took out the Gorton’s Grilled Tilapia, which is one of my faves. Not to be confused with the Simply Bakes Tilapia, this one is microwavable. Usually I bake this in the toaster oven, but I was on a time crunch. It was nuke it or eat Brian’s arm…I like two-armed hugs, so you can see my dilemma.

I tried to time myself on this shiz, but then I realized I was spending more time taking pictures of my food than preparing it, so timing was damn near obsolete. It all worked out though, because in 15 minutes (including photo op time), I had a healthy and tasty dinner for me.

So while the fish fillet was nuking, I was prepping my salad. Super easy. Chop the romain, halve the ‘maters, slice and quarter the cukes, measure out some dressing. Take a veggie photo shoot. Mix contents in Pyrex. Done.

Gorton's Seafood Salad

Why yes, I did add blue cheese to a salad that was going to have a Greek feta dressing. And it was delicious. Duh.

 

Tilapia salad with Greek Feta dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers and blue cheese

The flaked fishies made it kind of pretty, right? I cooked the single fillet for 4 minutes, and it probably could have been done in 3.5, but I wanted to give myself more time to prep the salad. Whatevs. I still ate it all.

Gorton’s is all about getting you to feel your best, so they’re working with bloggers and cool people like me to promote their Real Fabulous Sweepstakes where you can enter to win a $1,000 makeover.

So go try them out for yourself. You can even visit Gorton’s Seafood and get yourself a coupon for fishies.

Keep the conversation alive on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag, #realfabulous.

Not that I feel like you need this, but the FCC does…All of the opinions expressed here are mine. If you don’t believe me, step into my kitchen.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Painful Beauty/Grooming Activities You’ll Probably Regret for Weeks. Okay Fine. Painful Grooming Activities I Regret.

Okay. Maybe I’m alone in this. Maybe I’m like…the worst girl ever. I mean, I don’t typically wear makeup. I think yoga pants are pants. As long as my hair isn’t going to freeze solid, I avoid blow drying my hair and live with it in the messy updo (not because it’s cute, but because I’m lazy).

So when I do these things, I am trying to be a girl, and screw up royally. Regularly. Basically, if it’s on the following list, I’ve done it more than once. Probably more than 10 times. And recently.

Over-clipping my nails

I’m going to spare you the image of my Flinstoes (Fred Flinstone toes) and just explain that sometimes, I feel the need to clip the shit out of my toenails. And somehow they end up WAY more clipped than should be humanly possible. Mostly, to the point of pain. And possibly over-clipped cuticles. And requiring my Mickey Mouse Band-Aids. Thankfully, the last time I did this was a little over a week ago, so by next week, I’ll be okay to go get a pre-Florida pedicure.

Shaving just a bit too quickly

You know how it is in winter…when I haven’t shaved in a while…And I certainly haven’t paid attention to those unseen areas…the upper thighs…the random long hairs on my toes…and finally there’s that one day I decide, Dammit. I’ve had enough. And I just want to get it all done. And I’m rapidly moving the blade all over my legs, arms (yes, I shave my arms), hands and feet, because God-forbid we aren’t damn near hairless to impress society…And then I nick the ever-living shit out of my toe, or the back of my thigh, or wrist, or that area right by my Achilles. And it’s not super painful at first, but I’m bleeding like a stuck pig and require Band-Aids. Again.

Cut arm and finger

Cutting my own bangs

Thankfully, this one is a thing of the past for me, but with the popularity of bangs in general these days, I thought it was relevant. Plus, I KNOW you’re dying to go back in time and read my somewhat sad, yet slightly funny childhood bang-cutting experience. It’s okay to laugh. But kids are mean. Anyways, cutting my bangs was something I did from a young age…basically since my mom nicked my forehead with the super sharp bang scissors…And almost every time, I would cut them just a smidge too short. And have to deal with it until they grew out. Can I just say how glad I am to not have bangs?

A Bad Dye Job

You guys, the first time I went red, I seriously had to re-do it (And by re-do it, I mean have my sister come over to my best friend’s apartment, where I was apartment-sitting, and re-dye my hair for me.) It was that bad. Chunks of brown hair had clearly been missed, and the red was not looking too adorable. Eventually, we got it right, but it definitely wasn’t as easy as going blonde…These days I don’t trust myself enough to try…I have a tendency to destroy bathrooms when I dye my hair

Blog Friends, do you do any of these? Do you do something else that I didn’t mention? Tell me so I don’t feel all alone over here!

 

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Forget About the Velveeta Shortage; Buy Real Cheese. Duh.

Okay, so what the hell is this nonsense about a Velveeta shortage? Seriously.

Let me tell you a little something about Velveeta.

That shit is terrible.

End.

Okay, I’m lying. Not end.

If you don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself. Hi. I’m Chrissy and I have a cheese obsession. I have a weekly cheese budget (that I often exceed) and I’m an advocate for fancy cheese above all else. But cheap fancy cheese. Because I’m Polish. And sometimes the expensive stuff because it’s THAT good.

Cheese Porn

When Brian and I first started dating, I would, on occasion, have emergency cheese (AKA Velveeta) in the cheese drawer. It SERIOUSLY. NEVER. WENT. BAD. Months. Even half-opened, that shit didn’t change form at. all. The same yellow wiggle jiggle of Velveeta was sitting there, staring at me. Next to my Midnight Moon and other high-end cheeses, that little worm of a cheese log waited patiently for me to be out of cheese. In a storm. With a dead car battery. (Because really, how often am I out of the good stuff?)

Cheese picturesAnd occasionally I would attempt one of them-there Pinterest recipes that called for Velveeta. And it was okay. Usually, it would end up tasting a little off…and I blame the Velveeta. Not. My cooking.

So to those of you concerned with this, Velveeta shortage…let me offer you some equally as “inexpensive” but way tastier options.

Cheese CastleShop at Aldi. If you have an Aldi nearby, you’ll be surprised the quality of cheese available for a lower price point than you’d find at Whole Foods or Jewel. Delicious Havarti for about $3. Apple Cinnamon Cheddar for $4. Brie. Camembert. Smoked Gouda. All great options. All real cheese. All. Fucking. Amaze. Several even have 2-3 month shelf lives for those of you who are concerned that you won’t eat the cheese in a few days. (Really? Weirdo.)

Shop at Fruit/Vegetable Markets. This may sound counter-intuitive, but oftentimes, you can find tasty cheeses at large markets with gigantic produce sections for budget-friendly prices. And they have gigantic selections. Or at least mine do. And really this is about me and my cheese habit, isn’t it?

Love Cheese

Bobby Nelson’s Cheese Shop

And if you want to know some pretty stellar ways to use these newfangled cheeses? Brian’s brother sent me a pretty sweet cheese article that I think you’ll appreciate.

Are you worried about this Velveeta shortage? How about the Sriracha shortage? More on that next week. Mmmmm….Sriracha.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Why do Gray Hairs Have to be so Kinky?

I know that it’s time to schedule an appointment with my colorist when my gray hairs start sticking up and the roots are almost two inches long and I stare pointedly at the mirror before I start plucking the silver or black kinky hairs from my head.

I knew I was destined to have salt and pepper hair when my first “gray hair” was actually a crazy zig zagged black hair that stood at attention from the top of my head. I was in my early twenties, and not excited to see that first of many little bastards appearing…

Of course, I’ve been dying my hair since my glamour shots at age 11 (seriously, if you want a good laugh, go look at the pictures in that post), so I can’t completely tell how much of my hair is covered in gray.

Gray hairs suck. Red dye helps.

This was me when I was younger, a week after I first dyed my hair red, and had only found a couple of gray hairs…Back when selfies were called “Myspace poses.” Oh to be 24 again…

But last night, as I was standing in front of the mirror with my trusty pair of tweezers (I have a plucking problem), I realized it was definitely time to call Katelyn. The shining silver of gray standing straight up every time I flip my hair is more than I can stand!

 Do you have gray hair? Do you own it or dye it? Tell me blog friends, because I’m dying here!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!