A Chicago Invasion: My Weekend with Molly

I was lucky enough to ring in December with Molly, one of my best friends and past roommate at the infamous 419 Benj house. Our lives were filled shenanigans, debauchery, all- nighters, and all of that great stuff that goes along with being a college student. Why would her two night stay in the Bay Area be any different?

Molly got in at about 11PM on Friday and it was off to downtown San Jose! Glamorous? Absolutely not. But Im old and it’s close to the airport so off we were. We went to the Wagon Wheel so I could try to get Molly good and drunk with an epically sized mug of beer that is so heavy I can barely bring the glass to my lips when full.

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After the Wagon, I thought I would try and be a good friend, reminisce about college days and hit up Tres Gringos. Lucky enough for Molly, we ran into a group of my friends who persuaded me that if I liked Molly at all, I would NOT take her to Tres. They were right, so we went to The Brit instead keepin it classy. The next step was to go to La Vics for Molly to get a taste of the orange sauce. YUM.

The next morning we woke up feeling a little on the hungover side but not too shabby. We THOUGHT that the BCS championship football game would be on in the earl afternoon so we got ready and headed over to Double D’s to fight the holiday parade traffic and the marching band to find a parking spot. Naturally, we were wrong and the BCS game wasnt on until about 5PM, lucky for us MHoops happened to be playing!  Kevin and Dwight met us  there and we started drinking.

After lunch I could not let Molly be in the Bay Area another second without taking her to Aqui for  a swirl, or three. Me, Molly, Dwight and our friend John spent a good chunck of the afternoon hanging at the bar introducing Molly to the wonderful world of swirls. DID YOU KNOW THERE IS A MIMOSA SWIRL? Only on the weekends, check it out. Paradise Patron Swirl + Champagne, I was in heaven.

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One thing Molly told me that she wanted to do was see the Golden Gate. Dwight booked a hotel room for all of us earlier on Saturday  in San Francisco so at about 6PM we jumped in the car and headed to the city to meet up with Renee and a group of her girlfriends. My luck prevailed and we drove to SF in the most ridiculous downpour of rain, ever. Can I just tell you that Gloria (My 1998 Mazda) hates San Francisco. I could smell her breaks burning from the RIDICULOUS hills on Divisidero, you know the ones that are so sharp that you can’t see anything on the other side until you are at the peak? then you go shooting down the other side as if you were on the world’s word roller coaster.

It took forever but somehow we still made it on time to our reservation at Zushi Puzzle- which is tiny tiny so we still had to wait, of course.

After a few sake bombs and some sushi, we checked into our hotel, Marina Motel. Which is adorable and looks like a little Italian villa. We changed and headed to Bar None for some drinks.

Marina Motel

The night went smoothly with tequila shots, bar hopping, irish car bombs, jager bombs etc. Until Molly and I decided it was again time to eat, thus we stopped at Mels where we were invited to join a conga line. Molly “politely” refused.  Then we made the walk back to the hotel.

Upon waking up the next morning, we realized that we had to get our asses in gear to make it to The Republic for bottomless mimosas. One thing Ill say for The Republic, their food is terrible but the atmosphere is awesome. It was crowded with groups or people just enjoying their Sunday football.  At this point we still have not seen the golden gate, next stop!

We drunkenly jump in the car (sober Kev driving) and made our way across the bridge…

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Then stopped at the vista point for a photo shoot:

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Kevin drove our sorry asses back to San Jose. At this point we had probably averaged 9 hours of sleep Friday and Saturday night combined, not to mention Molly had jet lag (such a trooper) so the both of us fell asleep in the car. When we got home we cuddled up on the couch for a bit then went to Amattos to introduce Molly to the Philly Cheesesteak. I think it was a success.

Sadly that night I had to take my sweet Molly to the airport for her midnight redeye flight. I can only image how tired she must have been for her next day at work! So glad she had the chance to make it out here. Even just for the weekend! LIKE A BOSS!

Holiday Party Chic

Well, hello there. How nice of you to join me. Lets talk about makeup!

I was just thrilled when Jacque’ agreed to let me spill my glitter filled glamour vomit onto her blog. I love taking about makeup and there is absolutely no doubt you’ll love reading about it. My humble charm will win over the most tom of tomboys.

Last week, Jacque had a fabulous Holiday Party for her company and was a little stumped on how to rock her face for the night. No fear, I will help, I will film, and we will all learn. You might learn a few new tricks or pick up a few ideas, and I have learned that I am awkward on film. Enjoy the choppy bits as I am not quite the editing master my fellow Gen. Y-ers are.

*Jacque’s added disclaimer…I apologize for my facial expressions, it can’t be helped**

We start at the face.

Dont freak out. It takes a lot of products to be perfect.

Dont freak out. It takes a lot of products to be perfect.

Products used are as follows:

Dermablend SkinPerfector Primer
Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye Primer
Napoleon Perdis Concealer in “Medium”
Urban Decay Naked Foundation in “4.0”
Maybelline Age Rewind Treatment Concealer in “Fair”
Bare Minerals Well Rested
Pur Minerals Perfectly Natural
NYX Matte Bronzer in “Light”
Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten in “Sunswept”
Benefit Watts Up
MAC Loose Powder in “Drizzle Gold”

Big Beautiful Brown Eyes.

photo-1Products used:

 Lorac Pro Pallet
MAC Paint Pot in “Painterly” & “Rubenesque”
Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof Mascara
Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in “Black Gold”
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in “Perversion”

Colors Nude, Gold, and Taupe were used.

Colors Nude, Gold, and Taupe were used.

Colors Garnet and Espresso were used.

Colors Garnet and Espresso were used.

Nude, Gold, Garnet, and Espresso.

Nude, Gold, Garnet, and Espresso.

Black Gold and Perversion.

Black Gold and Perversion.

Pucker up, Buttercup. Lips.

Products used:

MAC Lip Liner in “Redd”
MAC Lipstick in “Ruby Woo”
Benefit Lip Gloss in “Rave Reviews”
MAC Dazzleglass in “Amorous” (Used in the “Dramatic Look”)

Redd, Ruby Woo, Rave Reviews, and Amorous.

Redd, Ruby Woo, Rave Reviews, and Amorous.

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Jacque looks stunning, doesn’t she? Well just in case you want a little more drama, using the same products, there is this:

You made it! Have fun at your Holiday parties and don’t drink too much egg nog. Or do, I won’t judge you.

xoxo

FYI- This is what I ACTUALLY looked like at my holiday party 🙂

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Know Nothing About Make Up? Neither Do I- Thank God AMANDA DOES!

Make up is something that is amazing to me, its like art people wear on their face- unless its me, then it’s like a creepy mask you wear on Halloween. Clearly I am not good at it, I don’t know what brushes to use, what the difference is between using a power foundation vs a mineral foundation (if that even makes sense…) or how to do a “smokey look” OR even how many looks there can be… Thank God for Amanda!

My beautiful and talented cousin has agreed to do weekly blog entries on various topics relating to makeup from “How To’s” in regards to certain looks, fresh ideas for various occasions or just the day to day and video tutorials as well! The topics will vary maybe with her mood, maybe with the seasons (trends, budgets etc) but it will call come from a professional!

Amanda graduated from the Paul Mitchel Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology in San Francisco and is currently in a management role with Ulta. She has done numerous freelance cosmetic projects and has worked for makeup counters for many different lines from Benefit to Bobby Brown and everything in between! She can even make my mug ready for any occasion I throw at her! Christmas party? No problem. Girls night? Obviously. AN INTERVIEW??? Of course.

I will selfishly steel some of her spotlight by putting pictures I like of BOTH of us below 🙂

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How we feel about each other

How we feel about each other

Please stayed tuned for the first addition of aManda’s Makeup Miracles.  If you miss a week- I have added a category called “Makeup Miracles” to the side bar. Make sure to check it out!

Best Sick Day Movie and T.V. Series List

In honor of the illness that has overwhelmed my life the last three days, I have decided to make a list of my favorite movies and TV Series that I enjoy watching while on my deathbed. I always sit on the couch for about 30 minutes trying to figure out what to watch- never remembering what my favorite movies are! I have selected a variety that remind me of my childhood because its comforting, ones that are easy to watch because who wants to over think when they feel like their head is going to explode, and ones that are easy to get wrapped up in and forget that you are feeling icky! Here they are!

 

Top Ten Sick Day Movies

10. Princess Bride

9. Duck Tales- Treasure of the Lost Lamp

8. Fried Green Tomatoes

7. Tombstone

6. Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers

5. Sleeping Beauty

4.Lord of the Rings

3. Harry Potter

2.  Mystic Pizza

1. Practical Magic

Top Ten Sick Day TV Series

10. Intervention

9. Band of Brothers

8. Without a Trace

7. Property Brothers

6. Law and Order: SVU

5. Revenge

4. House Hunters

3. The Big Bang theory

2. Game of Thrones

1. Once Upon a Time

Such a great fantasy (NETFLIX IT!)

Since I’m sick I don’t feel like giving much description or reason why they are my list, but hopefully you can trust that these are winners! I wish you all good health this winter season!

A Pre Thanksgiving Slamdown

I feel like when you are getting close to the holiday season, it’s bad form to write a SLAMDOWN. I think two days prior to said event is sufficient. I hope you agree. Otherwise you can do your own slamdown, put my name under Things you DON’T like, and we can have an epic blog battle.

Things I LOVE:

Thanksgiving at my Aunts house. Best turkey, best company, best turkey (still)

3 day work weeks

Tea- of all varieties. Currently Cucumber White (Tazo)

Freeways with no traffic

Puppy sitting, not once, but TWICE, two different Coco’s and a Buddy

Kickball! Go Brews On First??!!

Seeing a post from a friend on Facebook saying “Thank you for biting my face last night”- What? I didn’t have any bath salts? #soundsmadeup Lindsay

Going to yoga after having a swirl, I think I felt looser

Michigan

The fact that this weekend is the Michigan vs. Ohio State game

Booking hotel rooms in Napa!

THAT MOLLY WILL BE HERE IN 11 DAYS!

Molly and I on the left, NEVER LEAVE ME!

That we are going to have a whirlwind weekend of Single Barrel, Campbell, Swirls, Napa? Golden Gate Bridge, Boozy SF Brunch?, Slide? East Side West? The Brixton? Flames…So much to do, so little time.

Things I DON’T Love:

That Thanksgiving is 2 days away- I want turkey now.

That Black Friday has become such an institution that people MISS Thanksgiving to sit in line. STUPID CONSUMERISM

Traffic on the freeway/San Thomas Expressway.

Having to give back said puppies to their mommies

Hangovers and realizing you may have given your friend a love bite on the cheek.

Goodbyes, in general.

A Little Message About Student Loans

I haven’t written in awhile because work has been crazy busy. I was inspired this evening to write this post because I AM PUMPED! Yesterday, I paid off my first of two college loans. Yes, I am only half way there – I count it as halfway because I previously had maxed out a credit card that was almost the equivalent amount of the loan I just paid off, which when added together ALMOST equate to the amount of the debt I still have left. Had I not maxed out a credit card, taken out a loan from the University of Michigan, and a loan from the good ole federal government, I could have the down payment on a house, as so many people my age I am sure can relate too.

 
I didn’t work in college, which at the time seemed like a GREAT idea. However, looking back, I think had my schedule been filled with work and water polo, my grades would have been better off than they were with the water polo and partying. I took out loans to pay for most of my education (thank GOD for financial aid) and then instead of getting a job, I deferred my loans once I graduated and took a trip to Australia where I continued to party and maxed out my credit card, did I mention that my interest rate was 18%?

When I was in college I had NO freaking clue about interest, savings, financial aid, investing or anything that I was getting myself into. Once I met Kevin (the boyfriend), I realized my spending habits were normal, but very inefficient if I wanted to STOP living paycheck to paycheck and get my ass out of debt. I have an emergency fund with Vanguard now where the money is invested in ETFs, and a savings account with a credit union which I cannot see and do not have easy access to the funds so it makes it harder to withdraw for that last minute trip to San Diego (pair of shoes, concert tickets, etc etc…). A portion of my paycheck is distributed directly into the savings account, after I do a budget for that month  I take the extra money out of my regular checking account and put it into my credit union account, this extra money in my savings was just used to pay off loan #1!

I also had been making double the minimum payments on both of my loans- most loans make the minimum payment just enough to cover the interest you are accruing on that account plus a little bit of the principle, if you pay the minimum amount requested on loans, you will be paying them FOREVER, which banks and loan offices want. The longer it takes, the more money they get- if you can, put as MUCH towards you loans as possible, or talk to the company that has the loan out and see if there is anyway to have the interest reduced if you are always on time with your payment. I was able to reduce my credit card interest to 14%. Since I paid off my Michigan loan,  I will be able to quadruple the payment towards my federal loan and hopefully have that paid off before I am 30!

The most important thing I learned is to live within your means- going out every night is not conducive to your bank account (at least MY bank account) or your hips for that matter (at least MY hips).

Day I have No Idea: Utter Failure & Benihana

This week I failed miserably. Not just the little cheats here and there, but two nights of pure, unadulterated  cheating. One of my beloved coworkers is leaving, sad day, so we had to have a few get togethers. To start, a few of us went to her house on Wednesday  for some “us” time. And it kind of turned into pure shenanigans.

 
The cheating started when I had a panic attack at the store trying to get a snack everyone would enjoy and I was overwhelmed by the cheese selection. I finally caved and just took the easy way out, getting Brie and baguette, just thinking that I wouldn’t have any and would watch my coworkers eat this heavenly substance without me. Stupid. It’s Brie, of course I’m going to have some! So we get to her house I cut the bread and open the Brie- game over, fail #1.  Within seconds the first (of many) bottles of wine is open, and its WHITE, so there is fail #2. Another coworker had brought chips and 7 layer dip- I don’t even LIKE the top layer of said dip but I still could not resist the Tostitos Scoops and guacamole hiding at the bottom. Fail #3. We soon realize we are running out of libations…

Off to Safeway! We get there and proceed to buy 5 more bottles of wine… Kit Kats and a pizza. We get back to the house, throw the pizza in the oven, eat the Kit Kats and pound some champagne. Then eat  pizza.
Needless to say Wednesday I caved to temptation and failed.

LAST NIGHT- we went to Benihanas, and how can you NOT eat all of the food they put in front of you after they so artfully cook if for you?? The fried rice is amazing, The chicken is amazing, the steak is amazing…so is the name brand ice cream at the end. Dammit.
Here are some of the dishes we were served….

Our Hibachi…

The BEST Miso soup I have ever had

The BEST chicken fried rice I have ever had

The cooking of the main courses…

My beautiful chicken!

Keep in mind this was followed by some ice cream… So I failed this week, not to mention the alcohol consumption was on a whole other level. Instead of admitting to this defeat and eating my face off in depression, I will be starting over…at Day 1. So far today, coffee and almonds!