5 Products I Love

Happy Thursday! Today I want to introduce you to five of my favorite things that get me through most days, if not the weeks. 

I love trying new scents, and my best friend got this for me for my 30th birthday. I got this huge bottle, plus it came with a travel size roll-on bottle and also a makeup bag. It smells AMAZING. Obviously perfumes are hard because everything smells different on everyone and we all have different noses, but the best way I can describe this is as light, floral and citrusy. I get compliments every time I wear it.

 A few years ago, I started "training" my hair so that I don't have to wash it every day. First of all, it's not healthy for your hair to wash it every day, and second of all, I'm lazy. I hate washing my hair, mostly because it's such a pain in the arse to style it, even now that it's shorter. In any case, I was always on the hunt for a good dry shampoo and when I found this one for $5.99 at CVS a year or so ago, I was hooked. It smells good, and it absorbs even the most obscene amounts of grease on really bad days. A little goes a lot way and a whole bottle lasts several months. (I use it about every other day, regularly.)

Ok, here's the real good stuff. My sister started selling Rodan + Fields a couple of years ago and admittedly, I first bought some to show my sisterly support, but quickly became hooked when I saw what it does. RF offers several different lines depending on your skincare needs, but I opted for Redefine, which helps defend against visible signs of aging. (I bought it the year I was going to turn 30, hehe.) RF was created by the same scientists who made Proactiv. The results speak for themselves (I don't have my own photos, shame), but check them out here. It's an investment, but the products last for about 3 months if you use them properly, and you won't be able to stop using it once you start! Contact my sister for more information!

It's summertime, so I don't use this at all right now, but for those of you with full-time jobs who maybe can't
spend time in the sun (a nice perk of job searching is you can do it from outside at Starbucks!) BUT for those times when I'm lacking color and need some STAT, I turn to Jergens. I prefer the foaming kind versus the lotion. I find it doesn't streak, it doesn't smell and it gives me results after just a few uses!

 Benefit//Stay Don't Stray
Last but not least, this big problem-solver that comes in a little bottle. Stay Don't Stray is a primer for concealers and eye shadows that helps ensure your make up stays on all day long. On long days when I don't have time to touch up my makeup after work before happy hour, I put this on and my eye shadow lasts all day long. It's amazing, really. Plus when you use it with concealer, it prevents it from creasing and getting all nasty. "A dab'll do ya," they say, and they're right.
What are some of your favorite products?
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Men Tell All: Bachelorette Recap

In case anyone was wondering, having to sensor yourself on your blog, which was intended to be a freedom of expression and thoughts, is not easy. Every day, I write blog posts that I have to keep sitting in my draft section. I'm just really trying to be careful since I'm job searching, and I don't always know who is reading and what will offend or turn them off.

Granted, my Bachelorette recaps are not always super PC, but those are written with the intention of being funny and making fun of a show - versus putting personal stuff out there, ya know?

In any case, I'm going to attempt a recap for last night's Men Tell All, although I think we can agree that overall, it was pointless, painful and full of promotions for everything from babies to scarves to Bachelor in Paradise.

Let's start with this sonogram business. I don't get what was happening here. To have an update on a Bachelor spawn is one thing, but let's get one thing straight. JP and Ashley did not find out last night they were having a boy. First of all, I follow Ashley on Instagram and back in April, they shared their news. Not to mention the article that ran on People.com. So I guess I don't get why they whored out their fetus for no real reason. At least Chris Harrison didn't ask them if they accept this baby.

See it here.

Next up was the first of many mentions about ABC's new summer show, Bachelor in Paradise, where if you find love, you can stay. For a show that preaches that people be there for the right reasons, this concept seems like something of a stretch, but whatever. It looks to be full of drama and drunk people, two of my favorite things. At least when it comes to writing blogs. Anyway, if I had to bet, I'm sure the season is filled with people hooking up with more than one person, someone has a girlfriend they didn't tell us about. I don't know what the promos were about with the handcuffs, ambulances and blood, but I'm sure if it was something crazy, we'd have heard about it, so it's likely nothing.

And then we finally get to the guys. At first, I was horrified when I saw two scarves in a row, but once I saw every single person wearing one, I got the joke. GOOD ONE, ABC. For the most part, I didn't recognize many of these guys, seeing as most of them were only on for a couple of episodes.

Before anyone got in "the hot seat," we talked about the race issue for what seemed like forever. Andrew didn't make things better for himself when he called Marquel "Ron" (you know, the only other African American). I don't believe that ABC didn't have audio of whatever Andrew said to JJ. Don't all these guys wear mic packs? They probably just wanted the squabbling on the show, but either way, someone is lying and there's your drama. Whatever, I'm sick of talking about this. Let's talk about how drunk JJ looked during that whole scene. Either that, or he was going to cry. His eyes were bloodshot and glazed over and he had trouble talking, so...do the math.

Marquel comes up to the hot seat and all the women in the audience start crying when they replay his journey of lost love. What is wrong with the world, specifically, the women in this audience? I'm not going to spend too much time with Marquel; I thought he was boring during the season and I think he's boring now. Moving on to Marcus in the hot seat, which basically focused on how early he told Andi he loved her and if he could possibly find love again. Anyone with a brain could sense this was foreshadowing to his time on BIP. He's already engaged to someone he spent three weeks with on that show, so I think we know that he can love again. Or at least propose to someone after lots of sex for three weeks.

And then there was Chris. Do they have to make it so obvious when they're talking to the next Bachelor? His time was focused on how he's going to move on and find love in small town Iowa? "Well, duh, Chris Harrison, you're gonna find me 25 women who don't have an issue living on a farm with a millionaire, that's how." Also who DAFUQ was that chick in the audience? That whole encounter was so scripted and awkward, it hurt. Anyone want to bet she shows up on Chris' season as the Bachelor?

Finally Andi shows up to show everyone she's not pregnant like the tabloids say, and basically admits that she picks Josh when she has the chance to find out his lies and instead says she is going to "trust the process." Did anyone else think her time getting questions was over way too soon? Basically we were just reminded that she says "like" a lot, and that even though she says it wasn't the reason, when it comes to Chris, #blameitoniowa. I got the impression none of these dudes cared that much anymore about what happened, considering its been 2 months and half of them are back in the saddle and the bedroom as a result of being on the show. 

Chris Harrison has lie detector results and the only interesting thing I learned from that is that Marcus is a man-whore. More than 20 girls, eh Marcus? Good on ya, bro. 

Finally: Those bloopers sucked.

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What I've Been Up To ...

Monday, we meet again. Thought you might be interested in what I've been up to the past week. As I told you, I went home last week to spend some time at home with family while my hubby was out of town. But before we both left, we went out with our good friends, Kate and Matt, to dinner at a popular Mexican restaurant called Big Star.
Don't mind my hot pink bra... 
Check out Kate's blog, Pursuits of a Perfectionista!

In Iowa, I helped my brother-in-law out with my niece, Sloan, since my sister was out of town. I took her to day care every morning, which meant she woke me up every day by crawling out of her crib and coming into my room. You should know that this is not allowed, as she is in a CRIB and could hurt herself. In any case, we spent some QT together in the mornings before day care before I dropped her off and spent the days job searching.
 Sloan wanted to take a selfie before we left. 

Addy is begging for some "nuffins," as Sloan calls them. 
Ridin' in style to daycare.

Some days I had lunch with my dad or my friends. In the afternoons, I'd either pick up Sloan from day care or visit with my new nephew, Tate, and my other niece, Aly. I had family dinners and friend dinners. I saw Sloan at gymnastics. I picked Aly up from daycare. All in all, a great visit!
Little man Tate and his sister, Aly, plus he and I snuggling!

Me and all my favorite little people!

I came home on Thursday morning to prepare for an interview on Friday and also for my in-laws arrival. I spent most of the night on Thursday preparing my portfolio, which needed to be done anyway, but I should have completed it earlier. Regardless, my interview went well on Friday, as did my portfolio presentation, and I feel good about it! Send good vibes my way, as a few things are in the works.

My mother and father-in-law arrived on Friday afternoon. I've said before I lucked out in the in-law department. We get along great and I never dread seeing them or spending time with them, so I was looking forward to the weekend.
Pure Michigan

We went to dinner on Friday night and kept things pretty low key, since we had a big day planned for Saturday. Since we've done most "tourist" things with them in the city, we decided to take a day trip to Michigan for some lunch on Lake Michigan, some shopping and some wine tasting. All of the wineries were playing live music, it was perfect weather and we had a great day!

 Sunday, we just kind of relaxed and did some errands during the day before heading downtown for dinner with Bryan's aunt and uncle, who were in town on a cross-country road trip. They'd never been to Chicago before, so we walked around the river and down Michigan Avenue before getting some dessert at Ghiradelli.

And that brings me to today, where I've been handing some more job search stuff today and recouping from having house guests. Now it's off to the gym before The Bachelorette Men Tell All. Should be interesting...

How was your weekend?
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Blame It on Iowa

The end is near, ya'll. The end of The Bachelorette, anyway. Not to fear, as Bachelor in Paradise starts up again soon, I'm sure the fodder for that show will be able to supplement a few solid blog posts.

My hubby is in New Orleans for the week and I had no interest in being home alone all week. Normally I don't mind it, but I realized the other day that in these days of "funemployment," I rarely speak until he gets home in the evenings, except to talk to Addy (my dog). So Sunday, we took to the road and I decided to relocate my job search to Iowa, where I could spend my days with nieces, nephews, parents, siblings and friends.

On Monday night, I watched The Bachelorette with my mom. Now, something to know about Ma, as we lovingly call her: She talks a lot and is filled with one-liners that she doesn't even know she's providing. Soon after we started watching the show last night (during all the fluff at the beginning) I realized she was going to talk the whole time-- so I started taking notes. So, today's recap is color commentary, courtesy of my Mama. Direct quotes, with some context so you know why she was making said remark. You can see where I get my humor. Enjoy!

Nick's Date
"Ugh, Nick is such a worm." (As soon as he gets out of the car and is talking about how he wants to tell Andi he loves her.)

"Awww, look at the hearts!" (Referring to the heart shapes seen in the water from the helicopter.)

"Wow, look at the water. It's beautiful. Say it again, Andi."

"Oh, cute, they have matching suits." (In sarcastic tone.)
"Don't ask me to get out of the water right now, Andi!" (While they are passionately making out in the ocean.)

"Yeah, with 20 cameras around!" (When he says he has such a connection with Andi.)

"Stubbornness? Red flag!" (When talking about his breakup and how his ego was bruised.)

[I commented on Andi's resting bitch face, which she was making when Nick was talking to her about his broken engagement. My mom declared she looks like a Grouper.]

"Grouper face!" she shouted, proudly.

Good call, Mom.

"Uh oh. Uh oh. NOPE, she's not into it." (As he stumbles and says "um, um" and can't spit out I love you.)

[evening portion]

"What are you wearing, Nick? What a dork." (In reference to his neon outfit he wore in the evening, which was dumb, I agreed.)

During Nick's story: Laughing out loud, nonstop, followed by, "What a dork." (seriously though...that was incredibly stupid.)

"What a dork." (When he told Andi what he loved about her, instead of saying I love you.)

"Do they have to make those SMACKING noises?" (While they make out on the couch.)

Josh's date
"She should pick him because he doesn't dress stupid like Nick."

"You can see your bra, Andi!" (Talking about Andi's outfit."

"God, he's a horrible dancer." (Dancing in the streets of the Dominican.)
"Get over the baseball thing, Josh. Why do you have to play baseball when you're in the Dominican Republic?"

"Uh oh, hands are pretty high up on the thigh there, Josh!" (as they sat on the bench talking about Josh's hometown.)

"Yep, that's who she's gonna pick. She doesn't kiss Nick like that." (after he tells her he loves her.)

"Grouper face!"

"Her hand's on his crotch!" (still on the bench.)

"You can really see her bra now." (In her interview when she's talking about how amazing the day has been.)

"It's not that hard honey! Just beat 'em. Ask Rachie." (When Andi is talking about how she won't know how to discipline her children.

[Still in reference to disciplining kids]
Mom: "Slip 'em a Mickey." Me: "What's a Mickey?" Mom: "See, it worked!" (I looked it up and a "Mickey" is a drink laced with drugs to make the drinker unconscious. Thanks, Ma!)

"Wanna say that one more time?" (after Josh says "we've gone through a lot already" more than once.)

"Smack smack smack!" (while they make out.)

[evening portion]
"Uh oh." (She was getting nervous when they talked about Andi stereotyping Josh.)

"Oh for Gods sake." (Disgusted by Andi talking about Josh being too goofy.)

"Grouper face!"

"Oh, what's this. He's gonna say no to the Fantasy Suite."

"OK cameras, time to leave!" (as they enter the Fantasy Suite.)

Chris' date
"Let me grab ya by your hips and haul your ass up!" (As Chris hoists Andi up onto the horse.)

"Well then you ain't gonna cut it in Iowa hun! (Said in twang, as Andi is panicking on the horse.)

"Country girl? Yeah totally. (Chris talking about how Andi is a country girl.)

"That's beautiful? It looks like Iowa." (As they talk about the fields they were riding horses through.)

"'I wanna work in bum fuck Iowa!'" (Sarcastic voiceover for Andi as she talks about his mom being a city girl.)

"Another hand high up on the thigh." (As they got ready to play Ghosts in the Graveyard.)

"Is that a gun in your pocket, Chris, or are you just happy to see her?" (After a crotch shot of Chris.)

[I went to the bathroom at this point and when I came back she said:] "You didn't miss anything. They were playing Ghosts in the Graveyard in an ugly field."

[evening portion]
"That's real enthusiastic." (Sarcasm, when Chris asks Andi what she thought about Iowa, and she said it's "great.")

"I'd be fricking bored, Chris!" (When he asks her how she feels about 'the Iowa thing.')

"Grouper face!" (Laughing hysterically, points and laugh, as Chris says there is room for smart attorneys in Iowa.)

"If you were truly in love, it wouldn't matter." (Andi says she doesn't know about living in Iowa.)

[As she's telling Chris she doesn't have the same feelings him, my mom interjects the real reason from Andi]:
"I like Josh and Nick better and I already had sex with them and I don't want to confuse myself!"

"That fuckin' sucks, Andi." (Doing a voice over for Chris, as he actually says something very nice to her.)

"Push her in the pool!" (When they stand up to walk Chris out.)

"They grow 'em good in Iowa." (In twang, referring to what a good guy Chris is.)

[Starts singing 'I Can't Make You Love Me' as Chris is in the limo driving away.)

"Go back to the farm and think about it while you drive your tractor." (As Chris says he doesn't know what to do now.)

Rose Ceremony
[Mom came back from the bathroom and Andi was still talking to Chris.] "She's still yacking?!"

"Pretty color, ugly dress."
"Nick's pants are too short!"

"Of course you're excited, you just slept with them!" (After Andi gives them both roses and they accept.)

Me: Thanks Mom, you just wrote my blog recap.
Mom: WHAAAAT? I didn't even say anything!

Happy Tuesday!
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Hurry Up and Wait

Did you know every day feels like Friday when you don't have a job?

Warning: Originally, I wanted to name this blog "Rants, Raves & Revelations," but it was too long, so I went with "Raves & Revelations." I wanted to include "Rants" for a reason, and that's because it's not always sunshine and rainbows over here in my little corner of the Internet. I do my best to stay positive and keep positive, because I think negativity is a waste of energy. But, it's hard sometimes in the face of stress and adversity.

I'm no longer with my former company. And though I was offered a role for my dream job at a different company, unfortunately, it fell through. I don't understand why, and I'm hopeful something will work out with that company in the future, but in the meantime, I find myself going on three weeks unemployed. And it's rough.

It's tough not to worry and stress about money knowing that we are only on my husband's income. I hate not going to a job every day and doing something with my time. I spend all day, every day, searching and applying for jobs, reaching out to my network, or seeking freelance work. I've applied for COUNTLESS positions and have yet to hear anything. I customize my resume for each job, I write a kick ass cover letter and I take the time to find the hiring managers so I can send my application directly to an inbox, instead of a black hole. Still, nothing.

I consider myself a humble person in general, but when it comes to my skills and work ethic, I know this: I kick ass. I am passionate about my work and can get behind any project or subject you put in front in me. I love telling stories that let people connect with something, whether it's a product or a brand or a project across the world. I am a hard worker and a good worker, and a fast learner. I am organized to a fault. I can project manage the shit out of something, and still do most of the work myself. I am creative and witty, and the queen of puns. I can do almost any job, given my diverse background in writing, editing, content strategy, social media, website development, brand development and editorial management, to name a few. To this point, I have been rejected for just one job and that opportunity eventually made itself back to me (see dream job from above). It's that feeling of, if I could just get a conversation with someone about this job, I know I could do it, and they would love me.

The problem is getting the conversation.

Anyway. I apologize for the rant and the pity party. It's just been a trying few weeks and it feels good to vent a little bit to someone other than my husband.

Back to it. Happy Friday, everyone, and I hope you all have great weekends!
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Just the 10 of Us: Bachelorette Recap

Something is messed up with my scheduling here. I scheduled this post to go up yesterday and my 4th of July post to go up Monday, and here we are at 10:30 Wednesday night and this didn't get published! In any case...here was my take on the hometowns of the Bachelorette. 

As we get to this point in the season, I find writing these recaps to be harder because there's not nearly as much or as many people to make fun of. By this point, we know all of Andi's quirks (i.e. resting bitch face and the awkward rose pose). We know that Marcus dropped the L bomb too early, that Chris is too nice, Nick's not nice enough and Josh is her type.
In any case, when there's family involved, there's bound to be at least someone or something to make fun of.

Andi's first hometown is in Milwaukee, where Andi and Nick both seem to freeze their asses off most of the time. Nick's infinity scarf obsession makes more sense now. The asshole's just cold. Nick takes Andi to his "favorite place" in Milwaukee - a grocery store! Let's be real, this is not Seattle.  Don't try to play up the city market as a selling point. To that point, Andi, don't act like you've never been to a brewery before. And to the both of you, don't act like smelling beer brewing is actually pleasant. Anyone who's been to a brewery before (aka everyone) knows that beer does not smell good until it's make its way into your glass, ready to drink. Also, I don't believe for a second that Andi has never heard of The Polka. By the way Nick, pretty sure it's not a "Wisconsin dance." So pretty much, this date has been a bunch of lies.
Next Andi and Nick go to his parent's house, where his 250 siblings are waiting, including a 9-year old girl who I thought was Nick's niece. Seriously though...isn't 20+ years a little much of an age gap? Like, how old is Nick's mom? Speaking of being 9 years old, instead of talking to her like she was young, Andi talked to that chick like she had a learning disability. "Do you know what a mental connection is?" No, and and #noonecares. Nick's family was nice enough, but at the end of the day, we all know he sucks, so let's just move on to Chris.

I must admit, I like Chris so much more than I did the first episode. He seems like a truly nice guy, so I'll have to get over his teeth. Plus, I have a feeling I'll have to stare at them a lot more given my predictions of him being the next Bachelor.

Chris takes Andi to his farm, where she acts like he's showing her the Eighth Wonder of the World. "YOU DRIVE THIS? SHUT UP." "THIS IS YOUR HOUSE? SHUT UP." "YOU LIVE HERE? SHUT. UP." No Andi, you shut the fuck up. Why don't you tell us all how much of a MAN Chris is?
They go for a picnic in the cornfield where Andi wonders what she'll do for work in Iowa. As though there's no lawyers in Iowa. Andi claims she's a country girl at heart because her family has a lake house in Alabama. Yes, that's a serious statement. Chris woos here with a cutesy little I love you sign on an airplane (I'm sure this was the talk of the town!), but despite that, I think it's pretty clear here that Andi ain't gonna cut it in Arlington, Iowa, population 500, of which Chris' family makes up half. His family was super nice, as most folk in Iowa are. (I'm from there, I say that confidently.) However, it's still not going to be enough for her, in my opinion. We shall see..

Next Andi shows up in Tampa to see Josh wearing no pants, another clue that this is the man of her dreams. Josh's entire date is a snooze fest. Either Josh is talking about baseball or they're talking about his brother, who in case you missed it, now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. I don't really have much to say about this date. Underwhelming, for sure. Foreshadowing for the life they're destined for when she picks him.
Oh, Marcus, you little rodent look alike, you. Marcus takes Andi to a strip club in a strip mall to kick off their date. You know, normal. Nothing says "I love you" like taking off your clothes with disco lighting. Marcus  introduces Andi to his abusive and apparently European mother, and also to his brother. I honestly can't think of anything witty to say about this date. I was bored.

Eric Hill Thing
The Eric thing. I'm not sure what to think of this. I think it was good they addressed it. I mean, they had to, given that they showed him on the show. The whole thing was just really uncomfortable watch. It got even more uncomfortable when they "put down the cameras" and the crew and producers were hugging everyone. It's a terribly sad situation, to be sure, but I still think Andi was upset mostly because she was a total bitch to this guy in their last conversation and no one wants that on their conscience. The good news is, I'm pretty sure Eric had moved on by this time and didn't think twice about it. Sad nonetheless and hard to watch.

Marcus goes home and I have to say I'm surprised - I thought Chris was a goner. Don't be too sad about Marcus ladies. I read a SPOILER that he is on Bachelor Paradise and gets engaged on the show, so I think he's just fine.

Can't wait for the fuh-fuh-fan-ta-ta SEEEEY dates!
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4th of July Weekend Update

Hey friends, happy Monday!

It's been awhile since my last weekend update, and I just had such a wonderful weekend, I couldn't resist today.

After the few weeks I've had, we were so looking forward to a trip down south to Nashville to visit our good friends Bret and Annie. Two of my other best friends and their husbands also made the trip from Chicago and Iowa.

The weekend was just perfect. Everything from what we did to the weather. It wasn't too hot, sunshine every day...amazing. We spent the weekend outside, having sparkling conversations and eating delicious food (authentic pizza, barbecue, burgers, Mexican). Sounds as healthy as it was!

On the 4th of July, we spent the day at one of Annie and Bret's friends' pool. It wasn't too crowded and we spent the day eating yummy snacks, floating and drinking beer (most people, anyway). It was truly relaxing and so much fun.

Afterward, we headed downtown for the 4th of July celebration. Billy Currington was playing a live concert and all of the bars had live music as well, so we hopped around until it was time for the fireworks.

Apparently, Nashville's Fireworks display is #2 in the country, after New York City. The show is 27 minutes long and is synchronized with the Nashville Symphony. I LOVE me some fireworks and the show did not disappoint!

Annie's 30th birthday is at the end of this month, and since we were all in town, Bret decided to throw her a bash on Saturday. Since she's 32 weeks pregnant, the day was centered around all of Annie's favorite things. 

We started the day with a ladies brunch while Bret and the husbands set up the party back at the house. When we came home, we enjoyed a Ben & Jerry's Sundae Bar (heaven), followed by games, catered Mexican food and finally, movies outside complete with popcorn and candy. It was truly such a fun day and amazing to be there to celebrate!

Being sober on the 4th was a new experience indeed, but the fact that I was with others who weren't drinking made it MUCH easier! We had a sober blast.

As a final cherry on top to the weekend, our nephew Tate got to come home from the hospital! We are so thankful for his health and strength and can't wait to see them soon!

How was your fourth of July?
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