Remember When? 90s TV Edition

For some reason yesterday, I got to thinking about “the good old days.” And by that, I mean the 90s. Specifically, 90s television. 

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d go through some of my favorite TV shows from the best decade ever.  


Ya’ll know what I’m talking about. TGIF, the 2-hour block of TV on ABC that came with several different shows over the years, in various lineups. The most memorable for me were Full House, Family Matters, Just the Ten of Us, Dinosaurs, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and of course, Sister, Sister. (Is it sad that I’d be able to sing the theme song to at least 5 of those?) 

I looked forward to Friday nights as much then as I do now, and it’s because my evenings revolved around watching TV. The only difference is that now I do it with wine.


Otherwise known as Teen NBC, this was another programming block of TV, except this time it was on Saturday mornings.  California Dreams, anyone? I was never a cartoon kid, but apparently if Peter Engel created it, I watched—and loved—it. 


I don’t even know where to start with this one. So many shows, including but not limited to: Hey Dude, Salute Your Shorts, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Doug, Hey Arnold!, Wild & Crazy Kids, GUTS, You Can’t Do That on Television...

To say NOTHING of Dennis the Menace, The Patty Duke Show, The Wonder Years, The Brady Bunch and the Donna Reed Show.

Perhaps one of my favorite shows from Nickelodeon was Today’s Special. I can so clearly remember coming home from my morning of kindergarten. My mom would fix me SpaghettiOs and Fruit Cocktail, and I’d watch Today’s Special, a show set in a department store after hours when mannequins came to life, the janitor was a puppet and the store manager, it seems, had no problem with either of these things. Apparently, neither did I.

Friday night drama TV

During the later part of the 90s, I used to watch my mom’s “shows” with her after TGIF. I got surprisingly into them for a 10-year-old, but now that I’m nearing 30, I feel like I would appreciate them even more than I did then. For example, as a young child, why would plot lines like cows giving birth to human babies, or dead people showing up in people’s freezers make sense to me? Those particular storylines came from Picket Fences. Tom Skerritt, Lauren Holly and Kathy Baker anyone? Other Friday night favorites included Sisters. Loved that show.

After school TV

When I was older, I’d come home, fix a snack, and snuggle in to watch the Cosby Show, Saved by the Bell, Blossom.

It goes without saying that Friends, 90210, Party of Five, Home Improvement, and Fresh Prince were also staples of my childood.

See what I mean? The good old days. It’s a wonder I didn’t turn into a television set, as my mom used to tease. Oh, mom. 

What shows did you love?

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Random Wednesday Revelations

Happy Wednesday, lovelies!

I'm feeling a little down today. I'm having anxiety about several things—work, money, and life in general. I was looking for a word to describe it and Taylor hit it on the head: I feel lost.

I feel unhappy in some parts of my life, but am not sure exactly. I'm craving change. I'm craving accomplishment. I'm craving success. I want more, personally and professionally, but don't know what I need to do to take the next steps, or even what the next steps are.

So, what else to make myself feel better than to look to Pinterest for some inspirational quotes, binge eat  Starbursts and Special K chips, and drink a bottle of wine?

Anyone see a theme with these??


Tomorrow is a new day. Hope you guys are feeling better than me!

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5 Traits of 20something Women

Happy Hump Day! And for those of you stopping by from Nadine, welcome! I'm happy you're here, and I do hope you'll stay awhile.

I've been a little somber this week, and for good reason. But today I wanted to lighten things up.

A few weeks ago I found this amazing article on Buzzfeed that made me laugh for days. FOR DAYS, YA'LL. It was called "What It's Like To Be A Twentysomething, As Told By “Mean Girls,” “Bridesmaids,” And “Girls.” Genius, right?

It inspired me to do a little 20-something soul searching.

As a 20-something woman approaching 30, I've paused to reflect and draw some conclusions on being in our 20s that I think we can all agree on:

1. Being in your 20s is hard. The first glimpse of a hard-knock life ahead comes around 12. You're awkward looking, sprouting boobs and having your first period. Then, you're a teenager, suffering though high school. You could absolutely die because Ben didn't ask you to the dance, or that you didn't get invited to Suzy's party, or because you didn't start in the volleyball game. Before you know it, it's time for college, and life gets a little more real, but not too much. You stress about tests (that you'll soon realize don't matter), you drink every day of the week, you fall in love and get your heart broken — for real this time — you graduate, and then, and only then, does shit get real. Welcome to your 20s.
Exhibit A: Too cool for school.

2. 20somethings overexaggerate. Who, you?! Yes, you (and me). In our 20s, we're SOOO fat—which means we've gained a couple pounds. We're SOOO poor—which—wait, no, actually, we really are poor. We LOVE being single (nope). We're SOOO hungover, we're NEVER drinking again (until tomorrow night). You get the picture.

Exhibit B: Never drinking again.

3. 20somethings worry too much. About everything, really, but mostly about our bodies. We're constantly comparing ourselves to others. We focus on the fact that our thighs touch when they didn't before, or that we constantly have to hike up our jeans over our love handles. We master the "arm on hip" pose to make our arms look thinner. These are just a few of the things we obsess over about our bodies, and I can tell you from experience: it doesn't get easier. I think about my weight at least 10 times per day, no joke. I guess the moral is that we're all thinking it, but I don't know why, or how to stop.

Exhibit C: Arms out, collarbones in, ladies!

4. Relationships, dating and being single all suck in your 20s. I entered my 20s in a relationship. And now that I'm on my way out of my 20s, I am married to the same man I was in a relationship with when I entered this decade. But those years in between, I dated and I was single. Both sucked. Keep on keepin' on. You'll find your prince, I promise.

Exhibit D: The only time dating & relationships didn't suck.

These are just a few things we can surmise from this period of our lives, but I will say this: I've loved my 20s. Every anxiety-driven, unreasonably stressed out, overexaggerated, heartbroken, poor, fat, melodramatic moment of them. I'd go so far to say that my 20s, especially this back half, has been the time of my life.

Tell me about life in your 20s. Can you relate to any of this?

Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday.

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Look for the Helpers

Much like when the Newtown tragedy occurred, I find myself unable to stay within my "regularly scheduled programming." Writing about anything else doesn't feel right.

Like I said yesterday, part of what I love about blogging and writing is that it's my best form of expression. It's an outlet. But it's hard to find words sometimes, especially when something like that happens.

Back in 2007, I ran my first half-marathon—the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. I ran with Team in Training, which is a fundraising program for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. You raise money for cancer research, they fund your marathon expenses. Overall, I raised $3,360.


I'm not a "runner" by any stretch of the word. I'll go for 3-mile runs on the treadmill or by the lake on a nice day, but that's about the extent. But for six months before the half-marathon, I ran nearly every day, for as few as 20 minutes, or as long as 2 hours. I got up every Saturday morning to train with my team along the lake, in 0-degree temperatures at 6 a.m. My longest run before the race was 12 miles.

I went to Nashville by myself. I quickly met a group of people that I hung out with pre-race. There was an easiness about meeting these people, who were there for the same reason as me.

Crossing the finish line.

Come Race Day, I rose at the crack of dawn, found my new friends and we made our way to the course. After the guns went off, I found my pace easily, falling in step with a group. We ran together, stopped for water, huffed, puffed and made visits to the medic tent. Along the way, thousands of people lined the course. People set up in their front lawns, some hosting brunch & mimosas for friends, others handing out bananas or sips of water. They were yelling and cheering for everyone—even me. Each hill I faced, I could hear someone on the sideline telling me I was almost there, and that I was doing great. It kept me going, it really did.

All runners before the race.

It was amazing. To have so many people there, each for their own purpose, but all for the same end goal: to complete this amazing race. The camaraderie and enthusiasm can only be understood by anyone else who's ever been involved in such an event. It was a similar feeling when I completed the Tough Mudder.

To be able to recall those feelings so vividly makes me all the more sad about yesterday's events. To think that those people were doing something as simple as running—something they maybe loved, or maybe they loathed. Maybe they were doing it in honor of someone or something. Maybe they were doing it for their child, who couldn't run it themselves. Or maybe it was just because they qualified. That they had friends, husbands, wives, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and children there to cheer them on...and that someone could take away such a simple joy in life in a senseless act is beyond me.

We shouldn't be scared to run marathons, go to a movie, or send our children to school. But we are. The good thing that we've seen out of all of these terrorist acts is exactly that: Good. Somewhere, out of the darkness and fear, shock and confusion, people rise up to help each other. I saw this passed around a lot yesterday and I love it:

And now, I'm going to run.

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100 Posts & Counting: What Blogging Means to Me

Happy Monday, friends! Sorry for my absence last week, but I was putting in crazy hours with work and by the time I got home, the energy left in my body was just enough sink into my couch with a glass of wine and zone out watching Real Housewives crap.

I don't even really have a weekend update for you, because we didn't do much, and what we did do, I didn't photograph. Our weekend in a nutshell: Happy hour on Friday, gym + dinner + a going away party on Saturday night, and gym + dinner & beers on a patio on Sunday night to enjoy warm weather — FINALLY.

Signing in this morning, I noticed something exciting—this is my 100th blog post! {round of applause!} In celebration, I'm going to list 100 things I've learned about blogging.


No, I won't bore you with that, but instead I thought I'd share a little bit about what blogging means to me.

All my life, I've loved writing and creating. Growing up, I always had journals. I wrote two books when I was in elementary school (hard cover, thank you very much). I was always creating, whether it was a drawing or a friendship bracelet. I was in the highest spelling and reading levels, I read books for entertainment (such as the entire Baby-Sitters Club series, all of the Fear Street books by R.L Stine, the Ramona books AND Wayside School, thank you very much again.) In other words, I was a nerd. I was never the kid who didn't know what she wanted to be when she grew up—I was going to be a writer.

As planned, I went to school and got a degree in Journalism. I've been working successfully for the past 7 years in "the biz." Somewhere along the way, I discovered blogging.

I'll never get sick of seeing my name in print!

I started, and stopped, stopped and started again, and didn't let anyone know that I was writing online. I'm not sure why. I think deep down, I knew my platform was not something to be proud of, so I didn't want anyone to know about it. Finally, last summer, I had an epiphany, which was that I had to stop making excuses. You see, I do love my day job, but if I have anything to say about it, someday I will be a novelist, who freelances on the side. I will stay at home with the kids and be able to write in the beautiful office of my Chicago home.

So for me, blogging has been a starting place for all of that to come to fruition. And here's why I love it:

Blogs are an outlet and a platform. This blog is a place for me to be my quirky, drunk, sassy, slightly OCD, sometimes too-anxious self. This elicits comments (and sometimes concern) from people out there, but just getting feelings, thoughts and stories put down and out there is something I love. Other people use their blogs for bigger causes, and I love that, too. We all have a voice—it's just up to us how we use it and where.

I want to remember. I have a horrible memory. Part of this is because I drink too much, and the other part is just genetic. So I write things down to remember. I capture life through photos and storytelling on this platform, so that one day, I can pull out my dusty journals or bring up this URL and show people what's happened in my life. Will they care? Probably not, but I do, and that's what matters.

Blogging makes me vulnerable. Any blogger or writer will tell you that putting your words and opinions out there for everyone to judge is scary. It's not all unicorns and rainbows. In fact, I once had someone tell me that I deserved to be "hanged, drawn and quartered" —all because I said that "To Whom It May Concern" was the kiss of death when applying for a new job. This is a post for another day. :)

In any case, bad days, sad stories and real life happen. I have opinions, many of which you probably don't share. But that's OK. Knowing that I'm putting myself out there makes me more aware of myself, and my thoughts, and I think that's a good thing.

Writing is my best self-expression. There's a reason people tell you that when you're upset with someone, to write them a letter, then come back to it and decide later if you want to send it. I feel that I'm expressing myself most clearly and being my most honest self when I'm writing it down.

Blogging makes me feel accepted. The men and women in this community are amazing. They want to see and help you succeed, they relate to you and your stories, and they share in the experience of everything. I know I'm small beans compared to many of the blogs out there, but I'll get there. In the meantime, everyone else out there has been nothing short of amazing in helping me do that.

I've still got a long way to go before I "make it" in the blogging world, or as a professional writer. But I'm proud of what I've done so far. I feel like I'm always improving. I need to stop thinking too much, and trying too hard to be one thing or another, instead of just being myself and writing from the heart.

People will find me. People will follow me. People will comment. Someday I'll advertise on the blog. Someday (soon) I'll do another redesign. It'll all come together in time. I've got faith, and hopefully ya'll do, too.

Thank you so much for being part of the journey so far. CHEERS to 100 posts! And here's to 100 more.

Linking up with LeeAnn and Meg today.
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Currently I'm...

This has been a week, my friends. And it's only Wednesday. That being said, I honestly can't think right now, so I this post is the best I've got in me for 10pm on Wednesday night of the week from hell.

Drinking: Red wine. Typically I only like to drink red wine in the winter, and since it's technically Spring, this is out of character. Oh wait, I live in Chicago and it's still maf&*^ing WINTER. 37 degrees to be exact. - It's so cold I can barely stand the four minutes I'm outdoors every day.

Wearing: My sweaty workout clothes from earlier, with the addition of a sweatshirt. Hey, I worked out. That's as good as we're getting tonight. - I'm going to the gym so I can tell you I'm going to the gym.

Embarrassed about: The fact that I nearly lit my friend's wishing tree on fire at her wedding on Saturday. She posted this picture on Facebook yesterday with the comment, "They were tags, not fuses." Oops.

Stressing about: Work. I have client presentations tomorrow, Friday AND Monday. Yaaay.

Laughing at: My face. Yesterday morning, I burned my face with my 410 degree curling iron. Then I subsequently burned my palm and my fingers, so that was cool. #Sarcasm.

Wishing I was: Sleeping. I was up until 2am last night. But, my dedication is to the 5 of you reading this, so, you're welcome. :)

Eating: Candy and Girl Scout Cookies. I have such a sweet tooth. I'd be so much skinnier if I didn't like sugar so much. DAMNIT.

Thankful for: My husband. Always my husband. He brings me balance, and without him, I'd probably be institutionalized.

Excited about: Our anniversary trip to Savannah and Hilton Head next month. Can't. come. soon. enough.

Reading: Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn. It's the latest from the author of Gone Girl, which is basically the best book ever. Read it. now.

Ok, kids, that's all my brain can put forth right now. Gotta practice my presentation and get ready for the days ahead!

What's up with you guys this week?

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Marijuana, Prostitutes and Anne Frank

Did my title reel you in?

I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since our trip to Europe. I can’t believe it’s April. I can’t believe it’s colder here in April than it was in Europe in January. Mind-blowing thoughts, kids.

Anyway, after our jaunt to Belgium, we packed up on New Years Eve and took the train over to Amsterdam. I was super excited, because all I had been hearing was that NYE in Amsterdam was on par with New York City.We dropped our bags at the super swanky, five-star Hotel Pulitzer and set out to explore the city.

On one of the many canals. 

Before our trip, I associated Amsterdam with three things: weed, prostitutes and Anne Frank. Because we didn’t get in until the afternoon and we already had plans for the evening, rather than spending time to go see Anne Frank’s house, I told Bryan I’d rather walk around the city. And by walk around the city, I meant I wanted to see the Red Light District.

Holy Moly. I wish I would have taken pictures, but it just felt…wrong. Then again, so did walking through the streets looking at half-naked women sell themselves in the windows. If you’ve never been to Amsterdam, that is literally what it is – it’s a whole street filled of window fronts, which women rent out to entice men to come inside…so to speak. They dress in everything from “sexy” outfits to close to nothing. When they’re busy, their curtains are closed and the red light is on. I wasn’t totally creeped out by this whole thing as much as I was fascinated. The women were of all shapes, colors, sizes and nationalities. And, there were men just openly going in and out, no shame. Fascinating.

After I got done staring, Bryan took me into a “coffee shop.” As much as I’d like to say that we picked a good flavor and got super stoned (for the experience, of course), we did not. We were only there for the night and I didn’t want to ruin my evening with smoking. So, we popped in and I looked at the menu (again, fascinating), but that was the extent.

Before we knew it, it was already 5pm, so after a quick beer and a salami sandwich, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

Tree in the main plaza before people went nuts.

So, dinner. The highlight of the trip. Bryan booked us at the hotel for a fancy, prix-fixe meal. We were hesitant, because let’s just say, it was SUPER European. So, we get dressed up, went downstairs and were seated between two couples, which basically meant the six of us were at the same table. I could write FOR HOURS about the conversations had during dinner. The two couples couldn’t be more different. 

We had Alessandro and Kevin to our left, a gay couple who lived in San Fran, but used to live in Amsterdam. And to our right was Tammy and Todd, a couple from Southern Missouri. Todd andTammy epitomized any stereotype that exists about Americans, while Kevin and Alessandro epitomized any well-spoken, polished human being. I’ll spare details on the conversations that took place, but this should give you an idea: during dinner, Todd announced to the table that he was “GOING TO USE THE CAN!” Ugh.

So, back to the meal. I wish I had taken pictures of every course, but unfortunately, I got distracted after during the first course. You’ll see why.


After our selection of “amuses,” none of which I could stomach, our first course came out. I knew what was on the menu, Bryan didn’t. So, he dug into his plate and took a healthy first bite. I sat, waiting for his approval before trying mine.

All of a sudden, his face turned red and he stopped chewing. He picked up the menu to see what he was chowing down on. And then, the best moment ever: Have you ever tasted something so awful that it makes you gag? Not even gag, but like your cheeks puff out, and it starts to come up and you have to make an effort to swallow it down?

That’s what happened. Twice.

Being the loving wife I am, I sat by and laughed while Bryan tried not to vomit in this Michelin restaurant. Meanwhile, Todd had already licked his plate clean. Successfully, Bryan got his bite down before letting me know “not to try it.” Thanks, honey!

What was he eating? Terrine of veal and organic duck liver, quince, red wine shallots with syrup of aceto balsamic. The rest of our meal (deer wellington followed by chocolate ganache cake) was pretty painless, made better by loads of champagne and wine that tasted like marijuana. (no joke). And then, we were off to the square to ring in the New Year. 

As I mentioned, there is a huge fireworks display in the main plaza of the city. Everyone gathers with drinks, smokes and their own fireworks, and they party. Fireworks go off from about midnight until 5am. The downfall was that it was raining, so this all still went on, but just under the overhead spaces surrounding the plaza. Bryan and I grabbed a 6-pack of Heinekin tall boys and set to it.


Right before midnight, we ran out to the square to countdown with everyone else. 3, 2, 1…Happy New Year! Fireworks, human pyramids, you name it…people went nuts. Bryan and I engaged for awhile before deciding we were too drunk and too wet and so headed back to the hotel to change into dry clothes and sip champagne from the comfort of our hotel. (Did I mention it was 5-stars?) Oh, and I was worried that Bryan would get blown up by a firework on the way back.

Human pyramid.

Happy New Year!

The next morning, we boarded a plane to head down to Nice. We cured our hangovers with airport massages. Best decision ever.

What’s your favorite part of Amsterdam?

                                                                 Helene in Between
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