Werkout Clothes

While Hillary is my political icon, the same can’t be said of her being my fashion icon. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Women should be judged for their brawn not their beauty. That said, I’m a woman that strives for both beauty and brawn. I lean-in at work, but my face also leans-into all of Kylie J’s latest makeup products (although I DID show self restraint last week when she launched her birthday goodies).

While Hillary may not be a fashion icon for us to idolize, the gods at Netflix created the ultimate style icon for the daughters of Hillary to bow down to – Claire Underwood.

 

A few weeks ago at the Democratic National Convention, Meryl Streep said that Hillary had grace and grit. Well Claire Underwood is all grit, no grace. And I kinda love that about her.

But back to the fashion inspiration part of this post. I’ve been trying to work out more lately and my athleisure-wear is seriously not cute (mostly a mish-mash of see-through Walmart leggings and oversized college t-shirts). I was doing some online research for athletic inspiration, and came across this hauntingly gorg pic of Claire Underwood.

Damn, girl! That high-collared jacket is so Lady-MacBeth-on-endorphins and the black on black just screams “I will not negotiate with terrorists!” Since I don’t have the corrupt millions that the Underwoods do, I had to settle for some less-expensive duds than Claire, but I think my look has that Claire evilness that I was going for.

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ShoesPuma Narita v3 Heathered Women’s Running Shoe (Pumas? Well, cause Kylie.)

JacketForever 21 Athletic Cowl Neck Pullover

Tank TopForever 21 Active Perforated Mesh Tank

LeggingsForever 21 Active Capri Leggings

Sports Bra – Forever 21 Faux Leather-Paneled Sport Bra

Now all I need is one of those rickety, old-fashioned rowing machines and I’ll be so Claire!

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Golden Age of Television

TV is so good these days and Adam and I can’t get enough. Believe me, we’ve tried to limit ourselves to only a few shows per night or a few hours, but it never works. We try to balance our nightly TV-binging by waking up early to workout, read, and do house chores – so we’re not total degenerates.

Here’s what’s on our tele these days:

Mr. Robot

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This show will make you want to update all your usernames and passwords and put tape over your laptop webcams. Yowza. Computer hackers take down evil corporations (and each other) in this disturbing and compelling show. Think House of Cards meets Wikileaks. We usually have to watch an episode of 30 Rock or The Office after each episode because I’m totally creeped-out. And it’s on the USA network… isn’t that the network of Baywatch and Sweet Valley High? Who knew you had it in ya, USA network?

UnREAL

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Adam and I must be in a creepo TV phase cause this is another crazy show on another lame network (Lifetime). It’s a scripted, behind-the-scenes look into the filming of a Bachelor-type reality show. The creator of the show is a former producer of the actual Bachelor and apparently some of the happenings on UnREAL are straight from the Bachelor (like locking contestants in closets until they go crazy). But don’t be fooled and think this is some cheesy Lifetime POS, this show is a dark and twisted masterpiece. Constance Zimmer, of House of Cards fame, is the leading lady (on the left in the pic) and she’s so brill she’s nominated for an Emmy this year. Go Constance!

Crazy Ex Girlfriend

Last Fall there were tons of Crazy Ex Girlfriend billboards in Chicago and I ignored them cause it looked like a throw-away CW show. Then I was watching the Golden Globes in January and the star/writer/creator of the show, Rachel Bloom (sitting on the giant pretzel above), won the award for best actress in a comedy. That sparked my interest (same when Gina Rodriguez won the year before for Jane the Virgin! BTW… Gina confirmed that Jane finally loses her V-card this season… yay!). Crazy Ex Girlfriend IS cheesy, but it’s cute, funny, and clever. Plus they sing and dance in it (a nice departure from the creepy shows we watch). Oh and it’s on Netflix so no excuses not to watch.

Well TV network executives, thank you for your tireless work to entertain the masses! Of course I didn’t even touch on our Bravo obsession, but that goes without saying! God bless you, Andy Cohen!

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Goodbye, Gideon :(

Gideon

Last week my parents’ sweet dog Gideon passed away. His breed, Great Pyrenees, is nicknamed the Gentle Giants. That nickname perfectly describes Gideon and his precious personality (and impressive 150 lb weight). He was a happy guy – always smiling and putting his paw up for us to hold.

His happiest memories were in my parents’ backyard. Rolling around in big dirt piles and sleeping in the shade. He had lots of backyard friends – the squirrels that would taunt him as they scurried across the top of the fence, the (live) mole he carried around in his mouth until my dad rescued the rodent, the skunk that sprayed him one year on Christmas day. But his favorite times in the backyard were when we’d be out there playing with him. He played defense during many of our family backyard basketball games, ate a few of our croquet mallets, and loved catching sticks and Frisbees that we threw his way. In one of our favorite memories of him, he got stuck in the swing set. Like in a swing. Swinging and howling as his legs kicked underneath him. He earned the affectionate name of Gideon the Gideot after this incident.

I’m going home to Indiana to visit my parents this weekend and it will be the first time since my dad brought him home that Gideon won’t be there to greet me with his big goofy smile and giant white paws. A bittersweet reminder of the unconditional love that few humans can offer us but that we always have from our pets.

We’ll miss you big guy!

 

Podcast Playlist

I actually don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, but the ones I listen to, I love. Here’s what’s on my playlist.

The Diane Rehm Show

Hands down my favorite hour of radio everyday. This NPR podcast delves into the relevant political, social, and economic issues of the day and Diane Rehm masterfully moderates a panel of journalists and experts through the discussion. If you love politics and current events, you gotta listen to this. If you wish you knew more about politics and current events, this is your podcast. Or if you don’t know where you stand on certain political issues or current events, tune in to hear both sides of the argument.

And talk about a boss lady. Diane is queen.

Bitch Sesh: A Real Housewives Breakdown

If you are a Bravo diehard like me, you’ve got to listen to Bitch Sesh. A friend told me about this podcast a few months ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Casey Wilson (from Happy Endings and SNL) and her comedy-writer friend Danielle Schneider are meaner versions of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as they breakdown every Bravo show from the week before (not just the housewives) with an unapologetic sarcasm. Plus they try out all the housewives products and give reviews (Dubrow skincare, Gunvalson perfume, Lady Morgan Prosecco). Listen and be prepared to LOL.

Invisibilia

Invisibilia rode the wave of the post-Serial NPR podcast boom. (I won’t even list Serial as a podcast I listen to because it’s just too obvious – minus season 2 – WTF, Koenig!?) Invisibilia is hard to explain, but the tagline says its about “invisible forces that control human behavior.” Sounds boring, I know. But once you get into it, it’s fascinating. Like there’s this one episode about this dude who had meningitis and lived in a vegetative state for 12 years, yet 2 years into this coma, he became mentally aware but no one knew. He lived like this for 10 YEARS until he was finally able to communicate to his family that he was aware. Can you even imagine? I get bored with my own thoughts after 10 minutes. He finally got out of the coma, got married, and lived happily ever after. Dang.

Mambo Italiano

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have a work trip to Italy in October (Milan to be exact). Adam and I have been trying to figure out if he could meet up with me after my event so we can explore Snookie’s homeland. Luckily the airline miles gods blessed us and we were able to get Adam a roundtrip ticket fo’ free (well, minus a few dollars in taxes that the airlines trick you into paying with miles rewards). Cha-ching!

We haven’t made plans yet of where exactly we’re headed, but we’re thinking Milan, Venice, and Rome in the 6 days we’ll be there (we prefer busy vacations unless we’re on a beach).

I’ve compiled some gifs to express what I’m most excited for in the land of pizza, Pisa, and Pauly D:

Milan Fashion

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The Pope

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Eating Pasta

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Drinking Wine

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Eating Pizza

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Yum, can’t wait for the carb overload!

If you’ve been to Italy, please let me know if you have recommendations for us! And stay tuned for posts about preparing my Italian fashions!

Summertime Blondeness

I have several “never have I evers” that (for some reason) I take a lot of pride in.

I’ve never been on a roller coaster (cause I would definitely have a heart attack).

I’ve never smoked a cigarette (cause gross).

And I’ve never dyed my hair (mainly cause I’m too scared that it would look bad).

Then in May, I was at my hair salon and saw this pic of  Khloe K on the cover of Shape Magazine. I immediately knew I needed me some blonde hair. I pointed it out to my hair stylist of almost five years (a straight Indian dude with the hair of John Stamos and the confidence of Donald J. Trump) and he said flatly, “you’d look better with blonde hair.” Jeez – thanks for the heads up – could you have told me this 5 years ago?!

I tried making an appointment to get the job done, but it wasn’t working out with my schedule. Then a few days later, I was at Walgreens and saw John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Go Blonder hair products. I added the shampoo, conditioner, and conditioning spray to my basket and crossed my fingers that I hadn’t just bought $40 worth of products that were the grown-up version of Sun-In.

I was shocked at how quickly I went blonder! While I don’t have the carefully crafted balayage of Khloe, I can’t believe the blondness I’ve achieved in the 8 weeks I’ve used the products. The first pic is of my hair’s natural color and the second pic is from 2 weeks ago.

I’m wearing Kylie’s Dolce K lip kit in my blonde pic and doing a new center side part ( a la Adele). I’m inspired by lots of ladies’ style and not ashamed to steal it!

While I’m digging the blonde locks, I know my hair stylist will judge the living daylights out of me if I go in there and tell him how I achieved this blonde lewk. This means I’ll either have to wean myself off of the blonde before I get my hair cut again, or I just have to grow my hair out. Do you think he’d believe me if I said my hair gets lighter in the summer? I’ll let you know how that convo goes.

 

 

Busy Bee

If you’ve ever read my blog, you know how it goes. I don’t blog for a year, then I blog for a month, then I don’t blog for another year. In fact it’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I need to change my “About Me” page (I reference whether Bruce Jenner is becoming a lady and that debate is decidedly over).

So, this may be the first of a few posts I post this month, or you may not hear from me for another year, but here’s what Adam and I have been up to since you last heard from me:

We moved back to downtown Chicago!

Adam and I moved to Chicago 5 years ago this month! We lived in downtown Chicago for 3 years, then moved out to the burbs for a year to live close to my sister, and now have lived back downtown for the last year. We live in the neighborhood River North with a gorgeous view of Chicago’s concrete jungle (pic above). We are within a few blocks of Whole Foods, Forever 21, TJ Maxx, and Trader Joe’s. And just 2 blocks away from world-class shopping on the Magnificent Mile. We love our new neighborhood and also our building because it has a 24-hour Seven Eleven in the lobby. Score!

We vacationed!

Adam and I did our fair share of traveling this past year. Our biggest trips were to Turkey/Greece and China/Japan. We had life-changing trips that continue to chip away at the notion that the United States is the best country in the world and Americans are the best people in the world (because helloooo other countries are pretty awesome, too). This has been a tough year for travelers with so many terrorist attacks, but Adam and I are following the wisdom of our travel guru (Rick Steves) and saying “F you” to the terrorists. We don’t have any specific travel plans coming up, but you know we’re always working on something!

I met my idols!

Neither of these pictures are amazing, but I met met the two biggest, baddest, boss ladies this past year! Hillary Clinton, duh, and Amy Sherman-Palladino, writer and creator of Gilmore Girls. On a whim, I bought tickets for Adam and I to go Austin, TX last summer for a Gilmore Girls reunion where I met the Grande Dame of TV, Ms. Sherman-Palladino. She’s a genius and I hope a few of her brain cells jumped into my brain when we were head-to-head. I met Hillary at a rally in March right before the Illinois primary. I stood in line for hours so I could stand in the front row, and then shook her hand and met her after the rally. I’m so inspired by these brilliant women!

I leaned-in to my career!

If I want to be more like Hillary and Amy, girl needs to werk!  I’ve been a busy bee planning events and traveling (this past year I went to Paris (pic above), Berlin, Dusseldorf (pic above), Orlando, Dallas, DC, NYC, San Antonio, Orlando, and…. Orlando a few more times). I’ve been inspired to lean-in more this year and have been very specific about my goals (planning more international events), getting a promotion recently (where I’ll get to plan more international events), and negotiating a higher salary. I’m off to Hong Kong at the end of August and Italy at the beginning of October!

As you see, it’s been a busy year, but my motto is “everyday I don’t die in a terrorist attack or a plane crash is a great day!” Grim… I know. But I’m just trying to make the most of everyday for myself, my man, and my kitty! Thanks for reading!