Monday, December 27, 2010

...and to all, a good night.

Every year, I think I find myself saying the same thing: "It's over already?"

And yet, every year Christmas seems to pass just a little quicker and all of us seem to be home just a little bit shorter. Never the less, it's one of the holidays that (to ramp up my cliche use) truly makes me feel so blessed.

Christmas Eve has quickly turned into a night where friends who have turned into family head over to the Angel household. It now includes delicious lasagna (home-cooked by the amazing stupendous Chris Pecorella) and a spirited singalong in which we've recently added "So This is Christmas (War Is Over)" as a nod to Ricky's favorite carol. We've learned it's also the song that never ends. Mark claims "it just fades out then it's over" yet our Christmas Eve version can often carry on for a good ten minutes. As Jen pointed out this year, Christmas Eve is often filled with the same songs, the same routine, the same pictures, but different clothes. Yet none of us ever complain.

I love that the crowd seems to multiply each year and I love that this year we could celebrate two engaged couples. Two Jasons, one Jen and one Chris Anne. We had the fathers of the bride pop the bottles of champagne open and the mothers of the bride pour.

Growing older (not up), I found myself looking around our T-shaped dinner table (I claimed it was in honor of Da Bears...we'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation, with your T-formation) and thought how awesome that all of us fit in this room and have created the festive atmosphere.

Maybe I should have warned you this post was going to be a bit sappy. It happens.

Though Dad and Larry are ridiculous on the piano and guitar and make quite the pair, every year, I moved just a bit more by Mark's clarinet playing. It's an annual tradition for he and Larry to play "Oh Holy Night" (personally, my favorite carol) and it's an annual tradition for us to all to watch in awe.

The girls lost again in the great trivial pursuit battle - but we held our own. Even though we got a repeat question - which is curious in and of itself since we changed versions of the game this year - we still struggled with "What does IMHO mean in Internet lingo?"

First of all) I've never seen that used before and second of all) neither had the rest of the team.

Bless Lauren Pecorella's heart for thinking it meant "I am a HO!" Knowing that wasn't the right answer, we came up with "in my home office." Correct? No way. Amusing? Heck yes.

It was a holiday for the books and so it's only appropriate to wrap this post up with a
Merry Christmas to all...and to all, a good night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

apartment therapy.

Many are familiar with the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" a la the version I previously posted. This year, I became familiar with "The Twelve Days of Moving." Since Mark inquired, no, that does not mean it took me twelve days to move from point A to point B. Child isn't well versed in the art of moving. I was merely referring to all the phone calls/logistics/packing/shifting that occur to prepare one's self for a move.

I've been in these new digs since Saturday and I feel settled and really excited to begin this chapter of living. Here's a quick tour:

We enter through the front door.

Here's the trunk that sits in the front hall. Peg found these amazing lamps for a bargain price and my Woof & Poof collection grows just a bit each year.

If you peer to your left, you see what many call "the kitchen." I call it "a room I avoid at most costs unless I'm thirsty."

I have fond memories from my kitchen at my last apartment. Mainly because it was the room I used to get the worst cell phone service in. I was on the phone with my mom one day and she asked where I was. I said the kitchen and she responded, "Have I taught you nothing? Get out of there!" Welp, here I am again: view from the kitchen.

Not wanting to overstay my welcome, let's move on to the tv/family room. Those darn shelves you see there took forever to find a home, but I'd say it's the perfect place for them!

Giving you a sense of the space. Thank goodness Mark was on hand during the move-in. None of my artwork would be on the walls if it weren't for him. He's good.

Enter: the bedroom. And in one corner - the infamous yellow bookshelf. Painted by yours truly and truly loved by yours truly.

And in the other corner - the yellow nightstand. Seems I like yellow things in my room? I do enjoy the huge window which serves well as an extra shelf.

And last, but certainly not the least - the best furniture purchase ever made. That navy dresser has served many a purpose (it's first starring role was as a headboard in Philly) and I'm so excited to have it for the rest of my life.

And that's a wrap! And a lot of pictures!

straight up talent.

One of my favorite versions of one of the hardest Christmas carols around:

These guys are legit and I'm really bummed to have missed their performance in Chicago two weeks ago.

room with a view.

There's something in the air around the holidays. Maybe it's people feeling more generous than usual (sad, but true). Maybe it's the festive lights at night. Maybe it's the fresh smell of cold air. Maybe it's the snow.

Whatever it is: I love it.

What else I love? The lucky view I have from my new digs.

I enjoy the Sears Tower and Merchandise Mart's red and green decor.

This holiday season, I want you to look around and really & truly grasp the fortunate means in which you get to live. I challenge you to try to go the rest of the year without complaining and say "thank you" to someone unsuspecting. Help a stranger out when they have too many grocery bags on their arms (read: that's usually me) and spontaneously smile. And maybe, just maybe realize that spending these next couple of days with your family - or friends whom have turned into family - is one of those things we should be most grateful. Also, don't judge me for listening to Hanson's "Merry Christmas, Baby" right now. (1997 what?)

Sit back and enjoy these holidaze which go by in a blink.

Friday, December 17, 2010

"dad said u were very stressed this morning. i feel bad 4 u"

When my dad got an iPhone a couple years ago, brother Mark had to review "unnecessary texting," a phrase we have embraced in our family. In this lesson, he attempted to show Dad how many of the texts he (Dad) sent which were, in fact, unnecessary. My dad is slowly catching on and Mark's patience is slowly increasing. Little victories!

This brings me to my new favorite website, When Parents Text.

It gives you hope when you realize your parents are not the only ones to send loony texts. In fact, there's even loonier parents out there.

Here's one of my favorite examples - due to its timeliness, the attempted reference to Ryan Reynolds' break-up (maybe I'm too obsessed with this? I just want him to be happy) and the double-take I had to do because it looks like something my dad would write given his history of mixing up celebrity names:

My favorite characteristic of my mom's texts is she hates using punctuation and instead of commas or periods, she'll use spaces. Lots of spaces.

boxes         check        here we go

As for my dad, our text conversations typically look like this:

me: It's flurrying!!!
Dad: A few flakes of fluffy stuff was famously forecasted

God bless us children...every one.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

happy new year to me!

I knew there was a reason I was going to Canada for New Years:

Ryan Reynolds is single again.

Image credit

What better way to ring in the new year? Give him to me please.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

ahead of the times holiday gift ideas

It's almost mid-December. You're almost hitting that mid-breaking point of AHHH WHAT TO GIFT FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

End the meltdown now with these two brilliant ideas (both courtesy of Vermont Teddy Bears)

Brilliant idea #1: 
Pajama Jeans!

"Looks like denim...but feels like PJs!"  and I can attest this is truth. My Uncle Bob sent me a pair about a month ago and I've been fooling people left and right since. Strangers most likely assume I'm wearing jeans while grocery shopping - ha! Fooled you! These things are like wearing a great secret. They are flattering, comfy and don't require any zipping or buttoning. I admit, when Bob was first telling me about this new invention, I was skeptical. How can jeans be made to fit and feel like PJs? Well, I'm skeptical no more.

It's true - those are the pajama jeans! I'm styling and so comfy. This is right up my alley of fashion. Every girl should own a pair. Heck, every guy should too. Word on the street is male pajama jeans are coming to a drawer near you sometime in the near future.

Brilliant Idea #2: 
The Hoodie-Footie

It's that time of year - when snuggied up on your sofa watching the snow fall is much more enticing than bundling up just to go grab some milk. And let's be honest: the snuggie is so last year (don't worry, I still use the two that I own).  I introduce to you the adult-sized onesie. It's everything you'd think and hope it to be, only more! It's one of the warmest things I've ever worn in my life and so stinkin' soft! Because of the covered feet, you truly do get hot so fast. Luckily, the hoodie-footie is innovative and you simply unzip the feet to give your little piggies some air.

If you're laughing at how ridiculous you think I look, then I'm laughing at how cold you probably are whilst I'm snuggled up so softly.  I'm a normal sized person (or so I like to believe). Check out former NFL great Boomer Esiason trying on the male version then we'll talk.

You're welcome for sharing these gifts and it's okay if you want to go ahead give them to yourself. You owe it to you to be comfy cozy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

this one's for santo.

Chicago Cubs' games broadcasted on WGN Radio will never be the same. We lost the voice of the Cubs when we lost Ron Santo.

Ron Santo lived a vivacious life and addressed the Cubs' ups and down in a classy, humorous manner. He was honest and it took you just a second to realize his life and soul was the Cubs.

Image credit

In the summer of 2005, I had the pleasure of seeing him in person during an internship stint with Comcast SportsNet. It was a brief moment of passing in the press cafeteria at the Friendly Confines. For once, I was starstruck. I wasn't able to meet him, but I felt his presence as I was clutching my overpriced turkey sandwich and Diet Coke.

His colorful commentary of our beloved Cubbies will never be forgotten. And as Ricky says, "Maybe he can persuade God into throwing the Cubs a bone."

I'd like to think Santo's Christmas Wish List looks a little something like this:

1. Stay consistent.
2. Win the division.
3. Win the pennant.
4. Win the freaking World Series already.

Here's hoping because as always, there's always next year. Only this time, we've got #10 cheering from way up above.

Image credit

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

totally whipped.

Adios, Four Loko....Hola, CREAM?

Since the demolition of Four Loko (which I really just learned about maybe three weeks ago), I know you've been searching for the right alternative.

Search no more.

Enter: alcohol-infused whipped cream.
Yes, you read that correctly. 

Learn more here.

I just did a little sampling of the US-version called CREAM and holy moly, it went above and beyond my expectations. Added a little caramel to my coffee and it got me: I'm whipped.

Add it to coffee, hot chocolate, jello or heck - go crazy and take it straight from the bottle.

Beware: it is 15% alcohol (read 30 proof) so consume wisely.

Christmas is already merry, but you have the ability to make it just a little merrier.

right as rain.

Mark isn't usually wrong. Even when he is, he speaks with such authority that sometimes you change your opinion because if he's talking like that, how can he not be right?

Today, history happened.

I called him out for spelling Chick-fil-a wrong on his Facebook profile (thanks, social media!) and he tried to call me out for being wrong, saying "no, it's Chik-fil-a"

Then this happened:

That's right. "Six words you'll never hear me say again: I was wrong. you were right."

I may not have heard the words in the first place since everything happened in writing.

But now I have this proof FOREVER.

let your heart be light.

I acknowledged Hannukah in the last post so it's only fair to acknowledge Christmas.

Until this year, I hadn't really played close enough attention to the words of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and until this year, I've never been more grateful for a Christmas carol.

So go on and have yourself a merry little Christmas
and let your heart be light.

Friday, December 3, 2010


What better way to celebrate Hanukkah than with a well-written parody? It seems the Maccabeats have jumped on the Taio Cruz bandwagon (I've been aboard since he told us how he felt with "Break Your Heart"). I'm happy to report the Maccabeats have joined the ride.

This acapella group from New York, New York embraces Hanukkah in the best possible manner:
I flip my latkes in the air sometimes
Singing ay-oh, spin the dreidel
Just want to celebrate for all eight nights
Singing ay-oh light the candles

This version is more dynamite than the original and I'd be happy if it went on and on and on.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

spin it to win it.

Winter mornings make it so easy to stay snuggled in flannel sheets and enjoy the warmth of your bed for...just...a...bit...longer.

Last night, I had stayed up a bit later than usual, cleaning up after having some friends over for chili and Love Actually. (That's the kind of clean-up I don't mind doing. It makes me appreciate having people over to clean up after! What better way to start off December, eh? ) Before calling it a day, I set my alarm to make sure I would wake up for a 6:30a spinning class.

At 6:01am this morning, my alarm went off and the mental battle began. My initial thought was: "Ugh - I didn't get much sleep - it'd probably be better for my body to get another hour of rest" (I spy: Kerri making excuses for herself!).

I stretched out, grabbed my phone and reset my alarm for 7:12am. As my head went to go hit the pillow, I had an epiphany.

The choice to workout was in my hands. I could chose to go back to sleep in my warm cove of flannel or not think twice and just get up and get moving. It was like my brain switched on and the latter became my only option.

I'm happy I got my butt out of my bed and into the spinning class. This was my first REAL attempt at a spin class and I have to say: I'm not sure how I feel about it. I definitely got my heart rate up and got a sweat in. Not to mention getting to the gym when it's still dark out, but leaving as the sun is slowing adjusting in the sky definitely has its perks. But the class itself just didn't give me the same satisfaction as a good, hard run.

I kind of felt like this guy, minus the slight Canadian accent:

Things I did like:
• when the music matches the speed you're cycling
• you cycle in a semi-dark room!
• even though you're surrounded by others doing the exact same thing, it doesn't have that sense of "she can kick so much higher than me" than say a cardio kickboxing class has because you can't really see how others are doing
• there's a definite finish line: end of class

Things I don't like:
• holy moly SORE BOOTY
• less satisfaction than a run
• not being able to choose my own music (biking to Coldplay's "Clocks"? I'd rather not)
• my amateur move of forgetting to bring a water bottle

Needless to say, I'm definitely going to try it again. It'll be a nice change of pace for working out and not much beats actually getting up and going!

Photo credit

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

product placement.

I have a lotion obsession. I like having smooth hands (stop judging me and start commending me for admitting something not many people would admit outloud) and especially when battling the wicked dry winters in Chicago, it's pretty darn important to keep one's fingers and palms properly lotioned.

Over the summer, Tina introduced me to some awesome stuff from Victoria's Secret called Flirty Peony & Waterlily. I let some coworkers borrow it a few weeks ago and I'm glad they made me say the name outloud because I totally butchered the word peony. As it turns out, pee-ONY (pronouncing the "ony" as in pepperoni) is not the proper pronunciation. As much as I'm not a fan of the word "flirty" so much, I'm a fan of the lotion.

While in New Hampshire, my mom and I were poking around this store of trinkets and wonders next to the restaurant we were waiting to eat. Always one to test out the testers, we dove into Olivina's Honeysuckle Rose and really haven't looked back. Sorry boutcha, Vicky's lotion!

I wish I could add a link to the scent of this lotion because it's seriously awesome. It's strong enough to smell fresh, but not so strong that people don't want to be around you. (Or maybe you have other issues - we're not judging here).

It's expensive stuff but trust me when I say it's so worth it and your hands will thank you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i objectively agree.

I, too, think "Duke sucks"

but even if you don't think so, you still have to think this is funny.

And on that note, TAR! HEELS!

Monday, November 22, 2010

keeping banana randoms alive.

At the risk of repeating myself, it's the little things. It's always the little things.

Like this message I received this morning from Megsters:

"everytime i have a banana i think of you and your random blog. so it was a little random treat from me to you."

It's a RANDOM banana.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

seeing the light on a saturday night.

When I'm feeling under the weather, the things I crave the most are endearing movies, hot chocolate and the relief in knowing I can lay horizontally on my sofa without guilt.

Last night, I went to go pop in Love Actually (always a fantastic go-to) when I realized my television was already on TBS and Shrek 2 was about to begin. Always a sucker for clever cartoony movies, I opted to watch the ogres find love...again.

The second movie of choice was again on TV by chance: The Holiday. While its focus is around the Christmas holiday - and I'm a big believer in waiting until post-Thanksgiving to think about Christmas - my fuzzy brain couldn't switch it off.

Photo credit

It was a fantastic decision because it reintroduced me to what I had forgotten is one of my favorite movie quotes of all time:

"I'm looking for corny in my life."

If that doesn't hit the nail on the head for my life, I don't know what does. I embrace corny with my whole heart and this movie - while overall, not corny - understands this.

What's not to love?

Friday, November 19, 2010

the most literal pie chart in the world.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I find I am thankful for literal and visual charts.

Photo credit.

Now add some cool whip, hand over the fork, and no one gets hurt.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

live in a colorful world.

I'm a sucker for personality tests.
Always have been.
Always will be.

Here's a quick two minute personality test that simply uses color.

Take it here.

Feel free to share your results with me - I'd love to see 'em.

Here are mine - pretty darn right accurate:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

when strangers impress me.

I got back to my apartment last night to find an envelope above the apartment mailboxes with my name on it.

Capitalized and sturdy, KERRI ANGEL on one side.

Curious as to what was going on, I flipped the envelope over and found this note:

Not knowing what check they were referring to (I knew my rent check had already been cashed), I ripped it open.

It was a check I had given my dad to pass onto my mom, which he must have dropped in the flurry of last week.

I had no idea that my mom hadn't gotten the check so this gesture was so unbelieveably awesome to me. It's proof that people still do things without needing or receiving acknowledgment (there was no name on the envelope so I have no way of knowing who this was from).

When strangers impress me, it reminds me that there are good people in this world, which is refreshing and rejuvenating.

Monday, November 15, 2010

new victories in new hampsha.

After an intelligent conversation last weekend in Dallas about why Illinois is in the Midwest (it's pretty mid, but far from West), it makes me appreciate the Northeast and all the seacoast has to offer.

Roughly 3 months ago, I came back from a great run in Chicago, called my dad and suggested we run a half marathon together. I know Joe and I know the idea would strike him as "genius" (many of my ideas often result in this thought for him). We did some research and he stumbled upon the Seacoast Half Marathon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Timing was perfect and it was in a location with a bit more scenic views than our beloved Midwest.

Suddenly after nine weeks of training and logging miles, the weekend was here!

The lure of the weekend was taking in all the sights. We started Saturday enjoying downtown Portsmouth and picking up our packets. It's the kind of town you just want to place in your pocket and carry with you everywhere because everything is so freaking cute.

Adorable church on Congress St.

After our packets were picked up, we drove north all of five minutes to the Maine coast. Holy gorgeous. My best educated guess is it's named Maine after its mainly ridiculously gorgeous views. Bless Amanda's heart - she provided a list of "Opportunities" for us to enjoy our time up here in New England. On the list was Nubble Light in York, Maine. After realizing the mini lighthouse found in the middle of the parking lot was not the actual Nubble Light, determination led us to this view of the sunset.

Nubble Light sunset

Ever since Dad got an iPhone,
he's stripped me of my camera happy fame.
And I'm okay with it.

It was a delightful Saturday, but since I'm a competitive person, my stomach spent the day in knots. I was ready to run and put my training to the test. My goal for the race was just to finish with a smile on my face. Luckily, I was not only running with one of my biggest fans, my other biggest fans were cheering us on along the route: my mom and my godfather, Mr. Bob Crowley. Thank goodness for all three.

Pre-race shot. That's a nervous smile if I've ever seen one.

The cool thing about official races is strange fans come out of the woodworks. As seen here:

Every race needs one.

I don't have any post-race shots yet, but I can tell you I sit here, writing this, as a finisher. Miles 1-9.5 were strong until I felt a BOING in my right hip. My darn IT band started acting up and we managed to shuffle our way through the finish line. It was pretty painful, but I was a happy girl just to finish. 13.1 miles is a long way to go for me and the wicked awesome ocean views made me appreciate natural beauty, even while running.

For anyone thinking about running a race (of any length), chose wisely because the US has some pretty awesome hidden treasures to enjoy.
Make it an experience.
Enjoy the experience.
And trust me when I say, it makes it a much more delightful experience overall.

Monday, November 8, 2010

making lemonade.

You know the phrase: "When life hands you lemons, make some lemonade" (and toss in some blueberry vodka for good measure).

Labor Day weekend, I was putting my "Favorite Daughter" title to the test when Mom and I got up early on Labor Day to cheer on my dad as he finished a half marathon. We greeted him at the finish line after awarding people with random awards: Mr. "Should not have worn those shorts," Mr. "Americana," Ms. "Ouch it hurts to run,"etc.

As we loaded back into the car, I glanced down at the right hand and almost cried. My Nana's ring was missing its pearl. We looked everywhere but turns out a grassy knoll is not the ideal place to lose something of value. Luckily I still had the gold setting the pearl was not so securely nestled in.

Flash forward until now: I assigned my mom the task of finding a cool stone to fill the pearl's void. I thought it was a neat idea to have her pick it out since it was her mom's ring. It'll make for a good story if I have a daughter or my brothers do (oh that thought just freaked my freak so we'll come back to that at a much later date).

BUT here's the outcome!

I love how it's something that no one else in this whole big wide world has. Just don't ask my dad what stone it his first answer was "sapphire," then "amethyst." Poor guy :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

McLovin? what kind of a stupid name is that?

What are you trying to be, an Irish R&B singer?

We just wrapped up a long six days of booth set-up and trade show wonderment - PACK EXPO. It's the biggest trade show of the year for us and having handled all the details, planning and coordinating of the show, I'd say it went pretty well!

However, the highlight of the show for moi occurred at the booth next to ours. On Sunday, day one of the show, I saw him working their booth and thought, "He looks like someone I know," but I couldn't quite place it.

Flash forward to Monday and it came to me. It wasn't that he looked like someone I knew - he looked like a grown up McLovin from the hysterically inappropriate movie, Superbad.

I don't want to think about what it says about me that I was so gung ho about capturing him on film, but day four was slow. Picture success! One other success I wish I had gotten? Him saying..."!"

Oh well - picture vs audio? Samesies.

I'll take what I can get. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

you go, girl.

I'll admit it: I looked down on the Spice Girls and their whole "GIRL POWER" movement. (Their music, however, fits into a different category of my life, aka one I embraced and still do to this day)

Yesterday I blogged about the MarieClaire article and the backlash it's caused.

Liz also blogged and tweeted about the atrocity of the article and MarieClaire contacted her to be a guest blogger! Check out her guest blog here. The hitch is they changed the title of the article a bit. We originally had "Get Real: A Real Woman's Perspective on the TV Woman." But whatever.

The bummer is that the comments people left on her guest article didn't create constructive conversation - they are just still sipping the hater-ade for Maura Kelly.

Just proves once again: you can't control the actions of other people.

Photo credit

Thursday, October 28, 2010

i'm horrified

to learn that I actually did enjoy the music of "The Rocky Horror Glee Show."

I saw the previews and normally shy away when I know an episode is going to include music of which I know nothing about. Sorry I like singing along. But...

Shame on me! The storyline of this particular episode of Glee? Ehhh, I could do without. The music, however? So catchy - so fun - so...ummm...awesome!

Talk about a Time Warp indeed (I'm thinking of adding this song to my fitness playlist).

I'm gonna go ahead and give Glee! a pat on the back because what they pulled was a very Disney-esque move.
1) Resurrect an older movie (of which Glee!'s younger audience will be familiar with if only because of the name, but not really enough to know the music).
2) Relate the older movie to the present (so the younger audience can enjoy).
3) Make it entertaining.
4) Genius.

Who's coming with me to rent the real deal? Because now I want more.

allow me to weigh in on this.

Yesterday, my co-worker buddy Liz sent me this IM:

"Please tell me your thoughts:"

 Share my thoughts? Don't mind if I do.

Before we tackle the article, let's tackle the TV show. CBS introduced Mike & Molly this year. I haven't seen the show and I have no interest in it, simply because I'm already addicted to too many TV shows as is - not because of the weight issue. It's only been on the air a couple of weeks, but viewers are watching. And people are commenting.

Now let's address the article that Marie Claire chose to publicize and post. Reading the URL title (and the headline of the piece: "Should 'Fatties' Get A Room? (Even on TV)?" was enough to get me to click. My jaw hit the ground (Did the word fatties really just appear in a headline?) and stayed there after the first two paragraphs. It didn't take me long to realize that Maura Kelly was right about one thing: she is "kind of clueless."

Now I completely understand what she said is a matter of opinion. I'm all about speaking your mind and sincerely believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Hence, this is me - speaking my mind - a main reason to blog at all. What I'm not all about is a lack of tactfulness. When addressing sensitive subjects, there's a certain approach that needs to be taken.
Not attack.

She mentions "Now, don't go getting the wrong impression: I have a few friends who could be called plump". Too late. I already went and got the wrong impression and once again, I'm completely turned off. I start thinking would she think I'm plump? Then I realize I don't care what she thinks, but I read on. It's appalling and I know immediately this article is going to cause a stir - because it has in me. The manner in which this was presented is inappropriate and just downright mean.

She's right to compare obsesity with alcohol and drugs: "To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair." But her manner of comparison? No go, sister. A lot of things are "aesthetically displeasing," but that's life. Heck, Frank Sinatra even wrote a song about it.

Addiction is addiction.
A battle with food is just as much of a battle with drugs or alcohol.
All psychological fights.

As a mid-twenties female, I have been athletic and active all my life. Sure, I eat more candy/junk food than I should but I enjoy it. I don't mind running an extra half mile, mile, whatever, if needed. It's not an easy thing to lose weight. It takes commitment, dedication and above all - mental toughness to overcome the "I'll just have one" mindframe. I struggle with it everyday, but I don't let it consume me.

Maybe Maura is feeling ashamed about her words or maybe she took the article in a different direction than Marie Claire ever intended. That being said, I have a hard time believing she could be so ignorant as to think she wouldn't really and truly anger many, many, many people (weight has that effect as does money, religion, politics, shall I go on?).

I appreciate the attempted apology, but the writing tone is so completely different than the actual article - I'm second-guessing not only its sincerity, but also the fact that it was written by her.

It's been a while since I've had a venting post - but in a society where we're trying hard to teach girls it's okay to be whatever shape, size or color you are as long as you're happy. This article just really puts a damper on it all.

Liz has some thoughts too. And I'm loving her tactful manner of sharing her opinion too. Oh the irony!

Monday, October 25, 2010

if you've got the time

No singalong is complete without the inclusion of an old-school beer commercial.

Thanks to Uncle Tom and dear ol' Dad for introducing us youngens to an instant classic. Although we sang at a slightly different tune and beat, still a great jingle. Bring da beat back!

..."If you've got the time
we've got the beer (Miller beer)
Mil-ler tastes too good to hurry through
but when it's time to relax
Mil-ler stands clear (beer after beer)
If you've got the time (if you've got the time)
we've got the beer (Miller beer!)...

It's always time to relax.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

we'll never forget

• how you served orange juice in a small (what i thought was a) wine glass in the mornings
• how you put plastic covers over your furniture whenever we visited because we were bound to spill
• how we spent hours putting change into change holders so you could take it to the bank already counted out - "No need to make their job harder"
• how a kind word was never far from your mouth
• how "wonderful" any and every drawing we ever gave you was
• how your mind was taken from you much, much too early
• how perfect we were in your eyes
• how you hid your extra condo key in an old ceramic turtle and were convinced that was the absolute best hiding place in the world
• how you would buy Frosted Mini Wheats just for us
• how the oversized checkers blanket you had was definitely the coolest thing in the world
• how much you loved those Cincinnati Reds
• how you taught me that tuna and cheese sandwiches were really the only decent food one could eat while sitting by the pool
• how happy Naples made you
• how much you loved UDF strawberry milkshakes

and you.

We'll never forget you. Though the Nana we knew and loved so very well has been gone for more than seven years, that doesn't take the pain away.

It just gives me peace that she and Pops are finally...finally back together again. Now that's definitely something that "your Pops and Nana Blinn are going to love."

We'll miss you, Patricia Shea Blinn.

Friday, October 15, 2010

marcel the shell.

Quite possibly one of the best videos I've ever viewed.

Her exasperation is so endearing.

Also, her creativity with Doritos is unreal awesome.

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

Thanks for sharing, Megsters!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

permission to brag?

Permission granted.
By me.

When Ricky played baseball during college, I would often learn from my parents the latest and the greatest of D3 Baseball from what they read at I'd listen, agree when appropriate and pretend to be interested in what the number 3 seed in the other bracket was doing. I was a Titan fan - hook, line and sinker.

Combined, my brothers have received more honors and awards than is probably humanly possible. And the coolest thing about it? You'd have no idea unless you asked. Even then, it'd be like pulling teeth and they'd play it off like it's nothing. Let's be honest: who asks weird questions like that? "So how many awards have you won?" Lame on, lamoid.

Status means nothing to me. Never will. Don't care how much money you earn. Don't care how tired you are from how hard you're working. I get it. We all work hard - well, most of us.

But when you work hard and quietly earn every gosh darn award you receive, that's when I pay attention.

Today, I learned that Ol' Rick earned yet another one of these award dealios and I think it's so freaking cool that I'm blogging and bragging about it (there's no pretty way to combine those two terms into a new one). Anyways, today named fifty players to their "All Decade" Team. Intrigued, I click on the link that brought up the PDF.

Ricky was named to the Second Team. Sister bias aside, he should totally have been First Team All-Decade, but based on the fact I just learned that an "All Decade" team actually exists, I'll let it slide. This once.

The MLB may have blown it, but here's to you, 1-6. Damn proud of you, boy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

a glimpse into my little abode.

So here's the thing: garage sales are awesome.

As are moms with a sense of style and a habit of keeping their eyes on the prize.

I love my Peggy and I love her ability to see things that we would both enjoy.

My old coffee table had seen its better days (you can imagine what kind of shape it was in having witnessed the poor Cubs swept not once, but twice in the playoffs). Needless to say, it was time for an upgrade.

Welcome to my brand new (to me!) coffee table:

Sorry - I'm not one to normally brag about my things, but since this wasn't my find and it's a coffee table from Pottery Barn, purchased for 40 bucks...I'm gonna go ahead and just braaaaag away.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

get out of town!

So today's been a day and I just Googled a word I'm sure we've all used to find out what its plural form is.

The word, you ask? Snafu. Today's been full of them (but that's neither here nor there).

Who knew:

Definition compliments of
I had no idea snafu really stood for something.

It's all so clear now. So clear and so awesome.

Monday, October 4, 2010

not just for women.

Important Women's Health Issue:
• Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
• Do you suffer from shyness?
• Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
• Do you suffer exhaustion from the day to day grind?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:
- Dizziness
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Incarceration
- Erotic lustfulness
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of clothing
- Loss of money
- Loss of virginity
- Table dancing
- Headache
- Dehydration
- Dry mouth
- And a desire to sing Karaoke

• The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
• The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
• The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.
• The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

**I wish I could take credit for this genius e-mail I just received, but alas, I can't. Thanks for sharing, Steph!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

wind blows.

This afternoon's attempt: walk to Lake Michigan to enjoy hot chocolate whilst sitting on a bench in the sun.

Results: Made it to the lake, completely wind-blown, chilly fingers and a total time of one minute and 43 seconds spent on aforementioned bench.

Why were we so weak, you ask? Why leave so soon?

Because the waves on Lake Michigan looked like THIS (white caps!):

Some say weak, I prefer smart.

best use of random flute player goes to:

The new Burger King breakfast commercials.

For no reason other than it's catchy, funny and ironically doesn't make me want BK breakfast at all, I am completely enthralled with their new marketing campaign of singing humans and the singing humans singing about their love of bacon.

Now where where did he get that flute?


As a Bears and Cubs fan, optimism is something you grow to love and appreciate. With the poor Cubbies, "there's always next year" and with da Bears, there is always the chance that calls will go our way and our stars will show up to play as a team.

The second half just got underway and while I have faith that we'll decide to actually play football (hard to win a game with 22 total yards of offense in the first half, but who's counting?).

My favorite thing about this game so far has definitely been a quote from a one Cris Collinsworth: "Somebody put a tent over this circus...this is unbelieveable."

As an ex-circus worker, I couldn't agree more.

Somebody make this game more exciting and less ugly. And make it happen fast.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

higher ground.

I commuted in from the suburbs this morning.

After a rough day yesterday (as any day that starts with a funeral is rough), sometimes it's just about looking around and appreciating the little things.

Like the view from my parents' backyard last night:

And like the view of Chicago from my train seat this morning:

bear down is what's up.

What a month.

What a week.
What a day.
What a night.
What a Monday Night Football game.

As a Bears fan, I can say the game wasn't pretty, but a W's a W. I now understand that when Green Bay Packers fan refer to "GBP," they must really mean Green Bay Penalties because really, that is the only reason we won that game. But am I complaining? Heck no.

My favorite part was maybe two plays pre-Hester's punt return, my dad commented that he didn't understand the hype of Devin Hester. Mind you - he was talking to me, owner of a Hester jersey and believer in #23 who can't speak coherently enough to be understood in an interview. I simply noted that in order to "live up to the hype, he's got to be given the chance." Enter his now what will be infamous return of the 63 yard punt return. Yessir, yes please.

Picture courtesy of
Amid the rivalry, it's always nice to win a big game in your own spaceship. Quiets the critics and quiets the rivals - who are very quick to speak out. Seriously, relax Penalties' fans, I'm sorry your team kept kicking themselves in the ass, but that's what happens.

What I feel worse about is that Aaron Rodgers? I actually really like the guy. Not only is he a ridiculously impressive quarterback with a laser of an arm, but he seems like a great guy off the field. Poor guy just plays for the wrong team. If Jay Cutler continues to prove that he's colorblind and keeps throwing to the wrong team, I'll start the petition now to get Rodgers on our squad.

It's going to be a long season, but as Cutler said (and it hurts me to actually quote him but): “I didn’t play very well...I thought we were out of sync, missing throws I should have made. We didn’t play our best game and we won. That’s got to be a good sign. Offensively, we’ve got to get a lot better. I’ve got to play better. The defense did a good job of keeping us in there.”

At any rate, I'm happy to BEAR DOWN any day of the week. Sunday night is a big match-up against the Giants. Records don't mean a thing. I don't care if we're undefeated. We've only earned one win. I'd like to earn them all. And I sure hope Cutler agrees.