A Thousand Apologies
Monday, July 26, 2010
Or maybe just the one - b/c it's been a week since my last post. I'm sorry, did you actually want me to WRITE in this space? I thought it was just a place to regurgitate out my random thoughts about nothing in particular. I hear they call it a blog.

In other news, I'm running another half-marathon:

Crazysaywhuh?! Yes, it's true. I am repeating the very act that I claimed I would never do again. Masochist? Nah. (shrugs) I'm not even entirely sure why I decided to do it (Sean is joining me again, bless his heart), I guess I just thought it might be fun to do another one - this time around, Fancy Doorbell Style. HALLO. Wine and cheese.

So if you can pardon my posting the heinous photo above, you'll have to understand it is necessary for me to complain at least once a week about the training I'm not doing for this dang race. Not that I'm racing - right now, it's more of an enthusiastic shuffle. Regardless, it's happening and I'm going to be there, like it or not. Hopefully it will all turn out for the best, and this time around, I won't be bored and restless. I promise not to stop around mile 11 to walk and text people about how much my hips hurt. Promise promise.


Vacation Musings
Sunday, July 18, 2010
So after the small, insignificant matter of my best friend Kate's wedding this weekend (cough - KIDDING, OBVIOUSLY), there is the matter of my cousin's wedding at the end of the month. And while I am excited for this matrimonial back-to-back, it is made somewhat more complicated by the location of my cousin Becky's ceremony: Mexico. So what was a peaceful, sunshiney destination wedding has morphed into a family reunion of sorts - complete with nearly all the family on my dad's side (with very few exceptions). It's like a wedding on steroids, with a heavy dose of fabulous - a week of all-inclusive drinking and eating, with breaks taken only to reapply some 75+ multi-spectrum SPF.

So what is a girl to do? Obviously the only logical thing to do is worry about the really important stuff - like what to put on my iPod, how to assist Sean in deflecting what I can only imagine will be 2 straight weekends of questions like "so when are you two finally going to get engaged?" and "haven't you guys been dating since before I met my husband and had three kids?" and other REALLY IMPORTANT, earth-shattering problems like figuring out what event requires which dress and shoes. Never mind that I've got to work before we leave, and that the rest of my life needs to continue steaming along while these fantastic events unfold. Obviously the details are the place to start. (cough) First things first, am I right?

Naturally, my mind has suddenly clued in on the most unnecessary details regarding our trip to Mexico - primarily insignificant ones like (a) what music I absolutely HAVE TO download onto my iPod for the beach, and/or (b) whether or not I can get my beach hat to unwrinkle from its post-Greece, carelessly determined resting place inside a giant duffel. I've been surfing Maggie's Friday Mixtapes for awhile now to find great ideas, but I have to be honest - some of it is *just* a little hipster-y for my tastes. So while I will gleefully download just about ANYTHING from Fleet Foxes and the Avett Brothers, there is something clubbish missing. Like the greatest hits of John Secada - remixed by Mark Ronson. Or something. Whatever.

So what say ye? What music do I have to get before leaving for my vacation? Leave a comment with your suggestions, or else.

Thursday, July 15, 2010
I haven't done a feature like this in awhile, so here goes...today's picks and pans are brought to you by the letter C for cosmetics.

L'Occitane Wild Cherry Solid Perfume
Smells sweet but not cloying, fruity but not immature, and has major staying power! Great for those who like to travel with a unique scent, but not a giant glass bottle. PICK!

Sonia Kashuk "Recede" Undereye Treatment
Meant to de-puff undereye bags and brighten up undereye circles. That is, assuming you can get the product out of the cartridge, across the forever-stuck ball bearing applicator tips, and onto your face. Me? After the first use, I mostly just gave myself extra eye wrinkles when I didn't realize it wasn't ever going to come out of the packaging again. A total waste of money and time. (sad trombone) PAN

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish
Fabulous colors (wish there were more!), fast-drying (no, really), and usually only takes one coat to do the job. Need I say more? This stuff is the best. PICK!

Kiehl's Acai Damage-Protecting Toning Mist
Smells weird - dusty is the first word that comes to mind - and made my skin far too tight. I'm not even sure this stuff really works. PAN

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Full of information I didn't know! So much for that 100+ full-spectrum face sunblock I bought for an upcoming trip.

(click to enlarge)

From the most edition of Newsweek, here are some interesting facts that are, at least to me, incredibly relevant.

Food Blogger, I Most Certainly Am Not
Monday, July 12, 2010
I have been on an awesome run of salads over the past two weeks, what with a wedding soon (in which I need to look smoking but not SO HOT as to distract from the bride) and right after that, a trip to Mexico for my cousin's wedding-slash-family-reunion.

So right - bathing suit time. CRINGE. Anyhow, I like salads a lot so I have been making an effort to eat more of them. Here is my recipe for the best salad ever, and I'll spoil the fun right now - it doesn't contain cheese of any type and/or kind. Dairy does not belong on a salad.

Jamie's Favorite Salad:

1 large handful of mesclun/mixed dark greens
1/2 handful of radicchio
1 large handful of romaine lettuce
1/2 handful of baby spinach
cucumbers in small chunks
orange or yellow peppers
green onion
something crunchy - jicama, raw kohlrabi, etc.
protein - chicken, tuna, steak, whatever *must be shredded*
halved cherry tomatoes
chopped broccoli (lightly steamed, if poss.)

And that's it! Top it with anything containing balsamic vinegar, and I am a happy camper. You may think it somewhat plain, but it isn't meant to be some ridiculous, psuedo-fancy, nuts/cheese/fruit/lettuce combo. It's just a standard, fabulous, veggie-filled way to enjoy lunch.

Weekly Exfoliation - Garage Sale (and Some Other Stuff) Edition
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Every year, my family attempts to hold a garage sale. It doesn't always happen - we usually end up on a biannual schedule - but THIS YEAR everything is different. And by everything, of course, I mean nothing. But we have the best of intentions, and I am preparing already.

You see, for the past 4 weeks or so, I've been carefully ignoring my domestic duties. I blamed it on being too busy, but truthfully I could have vacuumed and picked up - you know in my spare time. Like between 4:30-5:30 am, or perhaps somewhere in the midnight range? Righty-o. Here is the shameful proof that something needed to be done:

I'm not proud, but I'm captain of this mess, and over the holiday weekend, I decided to do something about it.

Keeping the garage sale as fuel for my domestic fire, I immediately tackled the armchair full of warm weather clothing - and got rid of anything that didn't survive after I asked myself the following 3 questions:

1. Does this even fit me?
2. Have I worn this in the past year?
3. Does this item make me feel good about myself?

If any of those answers was NO, then off it went into the garage sale pile. Which ended up looking like this:

I felt so much lighter after that adventure, that I cleaned out the rest of my closet as well! Will wonders never cease?

Small edit/update: given that I had "rules" about my new hair care strategy, I also had to purge several products from the ol' bathroom cabinet. What my mom didn't want got dumped down the sink, bottles to be recycled. (sniff) Farewell, Pantene hair masque! We'll always have Northern Illinois.

Also exfoliated: the last 3 years of useless personal documentation!

As nerdy as it may seem, I felt a thousand pounds lighter when all was said and done.

Protein Shake (Up)
Thursday, July 08, 2010
After two months of incredibly frustrating hair days - most of which saw 3 o'clock pm come and go with me in a spectacularly unflattering ballerina bun - I had to bring in the big guns. And no, I am not referring to chopping my hair off again. (Not that I wasn't tempted...) I booked an appointment with my stylist to undergo the Keratin Hair Therapy Treatment by Coppola.

Here's a recent shot of my "before" hair - aka my natural hair - natural color, natural curl, natural predisposition to frizz:

And here is the "only a few hours later" after shot - proof that this treatment works, and it works VERY WELL:

YES. REALLY. Here's how it all went down, in 20 easy steps.

1. Show up at salon w/book, b/c this is going to take awhile.
2. Get shampooed three times with clarifying shampoo - YOUCH.
3. Get combed. DOUBLE OUCH.
4. Get blown out w/no product in hair - welcome to Fro-Ville, population: 1.
5. Keratin protein complex applied painstakingly to small pieces of hair until (a) your entire head is covered, (b) you may have fallen asleep in the chair, and/or (c) you are grateful you didn't wear any makeup that day b/c DAMN THOSE FUMES! It is suddenly as if someone has put raw onion rings on your undereye circles. Yowza.
6. Make lame joke about crying from happiness that you'll have no frizz for the next 3 months.
7. *crickets*
8. Sit for half hour, reading really horrible Candace Bushnell book.
9. Get blown out - no rinse.
10. Get flat ironed in sections so small you almost feel bad for the stylist, with an iron that has a 450-degree capacity.
11. Wonder if that burny smell is going to linger on your hair.
12. Receive your instructions not to wash your hair for 72 hours - no excuses.
13. Ponder if perhaps this is the first time you've ever seen your hair this close to your head. Like...ever.
14. Realize the burny smell IS going to stay. At least for the next 72 hours.
15. Check out with new, keratin-friendly hair products and a vague sense of dread about how absolutely disgusting your hair is going to look and be in 24 hours, never mind 72.
16. Think further on how, over the Fourth of July weekend, you will be able to (as directed by your stylist) avoid: sweating, getting your hair wet, using any kind of hair implement, putting sunglasses on your head, sweating, tucking your hair behind your ears, sweating...SCHEDULING FAIL.
17. Carefully tuck your hair underneath your seemingly enormous skull, and fall asleep hoping you won't wake up with kinky hair that needs to be burny'ed all over again.
18. Lament at the amount of product and grease that accumulates in your hair.
19. Cry one single, fat tear upon leaving the house to go to work with burny, 65-hour, homeless lady hair.
20. Sit on the train home, somewhere around 75 hours, like a child waiting for Christmas - finally reach home and take the most wonderful shower you've possibly EVER taken.

et Voila! Suddenly you've got movie star, frizz-free, fabulous (albeit significantly less curly) hair for the next 3-5 months.



Seriously, since I washed the death goo out of my hair on Tuesday night, my hair has been an absolute dream. In the photo immediately above, I will gladly boast to you that there is zero styling product in my hair. NOTHING. That's pretty monumental for a girl who has been beating her hair into a styled submission since oh, about the fourth grade.

This is awesome, people. I recommend it. I adore it. It's just in time for summer, and it is worth every penny.

Apropos of Nothing
My favorite podcasts of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me! are the ones in which Charlie Pierce is a panelist. I think this is because I adore his hearty laugh. He always seems to truly be enjoying himself. It's contagious!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010
One of the worst books I believe I have ever read.

Billy handed his overcoat to the coat-check man, wishing he could have avoided shaking the hand of Thayer Core. Why was he here? Billy wondered. Thayer Core was a blogger on one of those vicious new websites that had popped up in the last few years, displaying a hatred and vitriol that was unprecedented in civilized New York. The things the bloggers wrote made no sense to him. The readers' comments made no sense to him. None of it appeared to be written by humans, at least not humans as he knew them. This was the problem with the Internet: The more the world opened up, the more unpleasant people seemed to be.

Monday, July 05, 2010
As it turns out, putting together a list of 100 things to do before I leave the earth is no small feat. I had to cut my losses at 75 - which seemed a satisfactory, large-enough number - and besides, I'm working really hard this year on not sweating the small stuff. So 75 it is, and at 75 it shall remain.

Jamie's Life List - Part 3 of 3

51. see a movie at a drive-in theatre
52. spend a lot of money on my wardrobe in one shot with no guilt
53. throw a party with a photo booth
54. improve my skin tone
55. successfully build a sandcastle
56. name a pet "Haricots Vert" (Harry, for short)
57. retire to someplace that has waves
58. make a consistent habit of thinking before speaking
59. take a Mondo Beyondo class
60. stand up for myself
61. pull my kids from school for a surprise day o'fun
62. get back into the dance studio on a regular basis
63. cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot
64. be proud (and unapologetic) about my shoe collection
65. look good in a tube top again (even if I'm WAY too old to wear one)
66. spend more time at the local library
67. vacation in/at a Tuscan villa
68. have a closet big enough for a tufted ottoman in the center
69. go an entire week without making any lists
70. hike up a Hawaiian volcano
71. go snorkeling somewhere along the Pacific Rim
72. sew myself a dress that I am really proud to wear
73. take a knife skills class
74. attend a bonfire on the beach
75. learn to reupholster furniture

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Updates coming soon on the things I've actually done throughout the duration of creating this list. More to come!