Another Awkward Week [4.17.15]

Happy Fridaaaayyyyyy!  How was everybody's week?! It was so sunny and warm and springy and that just fills me with pure delight. Delight! 

My week was basically just an endless lesson in how (not) to properly care for my belongings. Let's take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week. 

These Pants:

holey pants

Y'all I went on a bit of an online shopping spree a few weeks ago. The Monday after Easter I came in to find my inbox full of blasts from stores crowing "Easter Sale! Last Day! Buy Buy Buy!" and I fell hardddddd for the guerilla marketing and went into like, a full on trance and just bought all kind of stupid stuff, which on one hand is great because I did need some new things for spring/summer but also bad because a. $$$ and b. half of the stuff doesn't fit and now I need to deal with the whole return process.

Sigh. MY LIFE IS SO HARD.

Anyway, one of my many purchases was this pair of navy blue trousers from Old Navy's "pixie" line (as always, not sponsored), I already have them in black and a checked pattern so why not add on. It's my signature look! 

I decided to wear to work yesterday and had not yet cut off the tags (do you wash new clothes before you wear them? Am I gross? Not the point!) and I just knowingly, lazily put them on my body with the tags still on and then even lazierly (new word) tried to cut the tag off the back by grabbing a pair of scissors and blindly reaching around behind myself.

Andddddd cut a hole in the butt of my pants.

Great. Job. Liz! 

PS totally still wore them to work yesterday, just FYI. Hole and everything. 

How much time would it have taken me to cut them off before I put them on? Or to call out to Brian who was standing 8 feet away from me and ask him to do it? 5 seconds? 12, max? Now I have to spend a million hours dealing with this. It's prettty mendable, I think a patch on the inside will do just the trick but now I gotta like, sew? Or iron? I don't even know. I am going home next weekend and will probbbably bring them home and ask my mommy to do it for me because I am 30 Going on 13. 

ALSO was this the only new item of clothing I managed to destroy before even wearing out of the house? Of course not. See also... 

This Shirt:

spray shirt

SO CUTE RIGHT? What you can't see in this photo is teeny, tiny little dots of hair spray all over the shirt. I always spray my hair with clothes on and I don't know what happened this time, guys! It might be the fabric (100% Rayon) (Is Rayon tacky?!) or just some bad luck or I dunno what but now I have a new favorite top and a new laundry disaster to deal with. I THINK I'll just take it to the dry cleaner but, any tips? 

Aside from constantly covering myself in a plastic poncho???

ALSO not new, but still destroyed within the past seven days... 

This Purse:

burnt purse

Last Saturday I attended the lovely wedding of my friends Ursula and Nelson and it was really a perfect day - warm, sunny and a beautiful celebration.  Also, there was a bit of down-time between the ceremony and reception (#catholicprobz) and we realized we were in the suburbs WITH A CAR so how do you think we killed the time?

Oh yes, we went to Target.

stud in tarjay

(Such a stud.)

Ok totally sidetracked. Anywaaaay, at one point during the reception I got up to go to the ladies room and then leisurely walked back to our table, stopping at the bar, saying hello to people and when I got back to the table, the rest of the crew sitting there were in hysterics, yelling "your purse! On fire!"

Apparently I had left my clutch sitting a little too close to a candle and the oh-so-faux leather CAUGHT FIRE and went up in flames!!! 

My first question to them was not a) was anyone hurt or b) is my stuff ruined or even c) did the bride notice but d) Did anyone take a picture?!

No one took a picture! They were too busy "putting out the fire" and "not burning down our friend's wedding." 

Uh, priorities, guys. Reevaluate them.

PS: what is it with me and fire at weddings?

PSS: Congrats Ursula and Nelson!!  And special shot-out to MOH Andrea! 

PSSSSSS: Extra Bonus Awkward Family Photo:

awkward peacock

There was a peacock roaming the grounds of their reception and every time he would come by everyone at the wedding would run out and chase him around and hope he'd open up his tail. Finally he did right towards the end of the wedding, almost like he planned it, and everyone posed for photos with him and THAT is the best of the bunch of me and Brian.

WHY am I standing like that? Why. We have like 9 pictures with this GD peacock and in every single one I'm squatting like I have to pee...and I'm really excited about it. And Brian's just like...let's get this over with, folks. 

Framer.

And that was the week! Anything fun planned for the weekend? I'll obviously be doing laundry, mending and/or shopping for new clothes since I've destroyed all of mine.

Actuallllly I'm excited for the weekend - Brian is hosting a bachelor party for his bestie (can boys have besties? GOING WITH IT!) and a bunch of dudes are crashing at our apartment tomorrow night, so I'm vacating and having a slumber party at my bestie's apartment! Kathleen was my old roommate for a million years (you may recall her from the Round Brush Incident of 2010...or the lighting things on fire at weddings incident just mentioned above) so it'll be just like old days. We can share clothes and then we're going to a birthday party together and then we can sit around and be hungover and eat bacon egg and cheese sandwiches together on Sunday morning. YAY! And thennn I'm going to a bridal shower! What. A. Weekend.

I hope yours is equally jam-packed and fun and fabulous. Be careful around open flames and hairspray and DEFINITELY around both together!!!

xoxoxo Liz Hott 

 

Pack It Up, Pack It In

I will have you know that the original version of this post involved an original adaptation of the classic jam "Jump Around" by House of Pain,  all about effectively packing carry-on luggage for a long trip. 

Sample lyric: "45 linear inches, is all I'm carrying, bitches" 

I almost published it, I almost did, but even I have my self-mortification limits. So now you'll just never get to read my rap masterpiece. Maybe someone will discover it after I'm long dead and buried and they'll call me a poet before my time.

Doubtful! But anything can happen.

Anywaaaay, our big trip is rapidly approaching! We are well within the 10 day forecast, kids and it is looking GOOD. 80's and sunny! I can get down with that. I spent the majority of my weekend finalizing my pack list and I am feeling pretty, prettttty good about it. 

While planning this trip I read about 80 zillion blogs, Tripadvisor posts and forums for tips on what to do, wear, eat, say, etc. These were so helpful to me, I figured I'd toss my own two cents in the mix. When I get back, I'll recap what I'm glad I had, what I wish I'd brought and what I could have done with out.  Who knows, maybe this might help someone in the same scenario someday! 

ALSO I love listening to myself talk so, there's that. 

Sahoooo. If you are looking for Vietnam packing tips or have one hundred hours to kill and low entertainment standards this is the blog for YOU!!!

HOW TO: Pack for two weeks in Vietnam with only carry-on luggage 

I'm planning to fit most of my things into my Herschel Novel Duffle and Brian's bringing the Herschel Little America Backpack (both wedding gifts!). We're also bringing a small backpack, which will be my "personal item" on the flights and serve as our day pack as we're boppin around 'Nam, (Is it OK to call it that?) as well as this rad little bag that my mom gave us -  it folds up into a teeeeeeny little pocket that one of us can stuff in our bag on the way over and then unfolds into a decent sized duffle, for us to fill with souvenirs and goodies we buy over there. We may have to check that on the way back but that's no biggs. 

packing

1 pair jeans, 1 pair shorts, bunch of t's and tanks, 1 t-shirt dress, 1 maxi dress, 1 maxi skirt, raincoat, 'kini, jammies, sunnies & my favorite sandals

(Yes, 80% of this is from Old Navy. No, none of this is affiliate or comped in any way. I wish!)

And because apparently you're not allowed to fly in the nude (THANKS OBAMA), I'll be bringing a few more things on my bod, in the form of this uber-chic travel ensemble:

travel duds

Leggings, baggy white t-shirt, chambray, jersey-knit scarf, sneaks and the hottest accessory for Spring 2K15: an eye mask.

(Only TWO of these items are from Old Navy, booyah!)  

If you've ever thought it must be super awkward for bloggers to pose for "fashion" photos while their husband begrudgingly snaps a few photos, well I can now answer, with the experience of one 12 second photo shoot in the comfort of my own (messy) home: it is. It really, really is. I don't see this becoming a part of my repertoire anytime soon. Unless, of course, Old Navy (or anyone) wants to send me some free swag, in which case, just call me Cupcakes & Cashmere, babies. I'm a model!

Not pictured: 15 pairs undies (one sexy pair, it IS our honeymoon), 3 bras, 1 sports bra (you never know!) and a bunch o' sox. Also a few pieces of inexpensive, informal jewelry that I was too lazy to take a photo of. You'll live. 

To be honest, though, it's not the clothing that stressed me out the most - I basically wear the same crap everyday anyway - it's toiletries. A human can go 12 days with just a few outfits but can NOT go 12 days with one quart-sized Ziploc baggie filled with as many 3-oz bottles of liquid as they can stuff in. And I knowww you can use what you find at the hotel but some of us have beautiful curly hair and sensitive skin and just need our own stuff, OK? 

This this article proves they may have an actual point but I H-A-T-E the TSA rule about liquid sizes. At my most rational, I feel like it is an arbitrary, reactionary precaution which gives the illusion of safety while not actually achieving anything. At my most bananas, I think it's a giant conspiracy by the makers of all those little travel-sized toiletries so you're forced to buy all their little bottles. DOWN WITH BIG... um...MINI!!!! 

99% of the time they never even check. I sometimes sneak on more than just my 3-1-1 approved clear plastic bag but I'm such a goodie two shoes it gives me agita. 

What's stressing me out the most this time is sunscreen! Statistically I am more likely to die from skin cancer than from plane explosion. FACT! TSA! Did you think about that? I don't know what kind of toiletries are available to purchase when we arrive and sunscreen is kind of important for 2 palies bopping around Southeast Asia, but sunscreen counts as a liquid, ugh. I bought a few 3-oz bottles and need to get a few more this week and plan to spread it between our 3 bags and hope for the best. And I'm still not sure what to do about bug spray. We NEED like, legit deep woods style bug spray, skeeters in SEA are no joke, but they don't sell it in travel sized bottles. I still haven't figured out what we're doing there. Sneak it on? I'd buy one bottle and transfer to a bunch of smaller bottles but we still need to fit it all in 3 or less quart sized bags. I'm already at 2 quarts with just my overpriced shampoo. 

Whoops? 

Here's what I have so far: 

toiletries!

Face wash wipes, buncha sunscreens, q-tips, face lotion, ibuprofen, bandaids, neosporin, tide pen, bugbite cream, Vitamin B1*, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, hair gel, deodorant, anti-bac **, eye makeup remover pads, toothpaste, toothbrush ***, hairspray, travel diffuser****

See! I'm not even that into like, products, and this is already pushing the limits of the law.

* Apparently B1 can help lessen the severity of bug bite reactions. My friend is suuuuuper susceptible to mosquito bites - onetime at the beach she got bit on her eyelid and the whole eye swelled up and it was not funny to her but it was kind of funny to look at but so sad but also so hilarious - anyway, she just took B1 before and during a trip to Nicaragua and said her reactions were way less terrible than usual. And she was in the rain forest and everything! So I figured I'll give it a go. It may be the placebo effect but I LOVE placebo effects. Sell me all your snake oils!! Worst case scenario I still get bug-bites and my pee is really neon. I'll take it. 

** I am normally not that into anti-bacterial gels (you might go so far as to call me an "anti-anti-baxxer" HAHA!) because I think they actually make us weaker in the fight against germs, butttt we were warned by many people to have this and use it, liberally in Vietnam and I know the germies over there are different than here so I'll set my moral elitism aside just this once. JUST THIS ONCE. 

*** Don't worry I know there's not an actual toothbrush in the case in this staged photo. I'll bring one when the real time comes!

**** I'm NOT bringing my hair dryer even though my hair looks so much more voluminous and adorable when I blow-dry it so I'm compromising with this travel sock diffuser to use with hotel dryers. I'm sure the humidity will destroy any attempts at styling as it is, but my hair is the strongest of my many (MANY!) vanities and it doesn't take up that much space so just let me be me, guys, let me be me. 

Not Pictured: bug spray (still need to purchase, due to above drama), soap (I forgot to bring it in for this pro photo shoot, don't worry, I use soap!) and lots and lots of tampons which, thanks to the always impeccable and polite timing of biology, I'll be carting overseas. Thanks uterus!!!! 

We're also bringing this stock of drugz:

pills

Here we have TWO separate bottles of Target brand Immodium, one bottle of Target brand Pepto AND a prescription antibiotic in case the travellers' D gets real, reallll bad. Our weird doctor said only take the antibiotic if we start BLEEDING from the rear. 

Sir, I hate to seem squeamish, but if I'm pooping blood I will be in a HOSPITAL not just casually hanging around popping Cipro, but thanks. I figure I'll just know if/when it's time to switch from OTC to prescription. And I may be overreacting with all these stockpiles of poop pills but the way I see it, you can never be too prepared.

Also pictured: malaria pills (AAAAHHHH!!) for Cambodia - not scary at all, why do you ask? - and my BC because the traditional honeymoon souvenir of a human baby is not exactly what I'm hoping to bring back with me. 

And just to drag this further into dull minutia than you ever thought a person could go, I'm also bringing a light amount of cosmetics: 

makeup photo shoot

Only the finest brands and products for me! I'm not really a cosmetics gal - my one necessity is mascara - so this isn't that exciting but I spent like 45 minutes artfully staging this on our night-stand soooo, to the blog it goes! 

Not pictured: nail polish because I'll be getting a gel manicure on Friday before we leave, ha! YES this may be extravagant but painted nails make me happy and I'm getting them the same color as our wedding day because I'm a cheesy cheeseball. ALSO, this is so gross but I'm always less likely to bite my fingernails when they're painted - especially when I paid a lot of money for them - so I figure a manicure is actually a health precaution. The fancier my nails the less likely I am to contract some kind of bacterial infection by chomping on my fingies the whole time.

Yuck, but true. I really need to quit that habit. Le sigh. 

After much deliberation, I decided against water shoes for our little kayak trip - I realized we'll actually be on the water for like 2 hours max of this whole trip, I didn't want to waste the money or the space on special shoes, so I'll just buy a cheapie pair of flipflops or sandals there and throw them out after. I also plan to buy a bunch of pretty scarves over there, some of which can serve as shoulder-coverings if going to any temples or holy places where modesty is appropriate. 

Am I missing anything?! I also want to share the electronics & entertainment (SO hard to pick what books to read!) I'm bringing but this is long enough so I'll save it for another post. 

Ok, SEE YOU TOMORROW when I will answer such thrilling questions as "what sorts of electricity adapters are needed in Vietnam?" and "how many iPhone chargers are you bringing?" and "will you be wearing one of those dorky mom-approved moneybelt fanny packs?!?!"

Spoiler alert on that last one: obbz. 

Try not to die of anticipation in the meantime.

TTYL, lovers.

xoxo Liz Hott 

 

Another Awkward Week [3.6.15]

Hiii guys! Happy Friday! How was everyone's week? I'm not even going to mention the s-n-o-w word because I'm over it. Yesterday I decided I'm taking a zen sort of approach to this winter situation. I will acknowledge the s-n-o-w, marvel at its beauty, accept it for what it is - one of the four glorious seasons of this planet - and then move along. I'm hoping Mother Nature will pick up on my gracious 'tude and usher in spring like, stat.

Listen, I'm not saying that makes any sense but it doesn't NOT make sense, you know? Just trying to embrace the power of a positive attitude. 

I'm also a leeetle frazzled this morning. I walked all the way to the subway (five blocks! uphill! in the slush!) before realizing I'd forgotten my cell phone, so I raced back (5 blocks! uphill! in the slush!) to get it and then had to go allll the way back, yes, 5 blocks, ok no it's not really uphill but it is covered in slush, to the subway again. My life is so hard!!!! 

This was a marginally better morning than the last time I forgot my cell phone, though. That day I didn't realize until I was on the train and should have just kept on keepin' on, but instead made the ill-advised decision to get off at the next stop and go back home instead I accidentally just got on a different train still going towards Manhattan, instead of back to my home, and then that train got rerouted due to track issues and then I had to transfer to yet another train and that line was so backed up I had to let three trains pass me by before I could finally squeeze onto one and I was 45 minutes late to work ... and still had no phone.

There is nothing sadder, though, than forgetting your phone all day and panicking about all the messages you're surely missing, only to come home and find ZERO texts and realize no one missed you as much as you thought.

So somebody make my running around this morning! First person to send me a business sext wins...nothing. But do it anyway!

Ok, move along, weirdo. I have a story to share! One quick tale of what was keeping it oh-so-awkward this week.

This Dressing Room:

dressing room TRAUMA

 

Ok numero uno, yes this is an all around amazing photo. I know. Where am I looking? Would it have killed me to wipe off last night's mascara before going out in public? Woof. Stars, they're just like us!

ANYWAY. As I mentioned earlier this week, we're trying to pack super light for our big trip (next week!!) which for me means buying a whole new wardrobe because if I'm packing light, I'm packing right. 

Last Sunday I woke up bright and early and took the bus to the Atlantic Terminal Mall, just across the street from the Barclay's Center. The plus side to this "mall" is that it contains both a Target and an Old Navy, which are basically the only 2 places I ever shop. The down side is that it is the worst goddamn "mall" in all of American and I'M NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING. It's always over crowded and understocked, with abandoned carts everywhere and children screaming. When I first moved to NYC lo those million years ago, my mom came up to help me move in. We went down to the Tar-jay to stock up on household items and we two country mice were terrified by the sadness that is a city Target. We needed a dish drying rack and curtains. There were no dish drying racks in the kitchen aisles, but we did find one laying on the floor in the middle of the curtain aisle.

HORRIBLE I SAY. That is one thing the suburbs has over the city (aside from cheaper rents) (and outdoor space): better Targets. I have been brought to actual sexual climax just walking in the doors of a big suburban Target. Goodness, I'm getting all worked up just thinking about it now. 

Gotta cool myself down over here!

But, alas for me, I've become a city mouse through and through so the best I can get is this shithole of a Target and the adjacent shithole of an Old Navy located next-door. 

So blah blah BLAHHH what a saga this is becoming (!), on Sunday I bussed my buns down to the Atlantic "Mall", stopping first in Target to stock up on household goods (ok mainly just scented candles) and first aid items for our trip (lots and lots and LOTS of Immodium) before popping down to Old Navy. By the time I got to ON, I had my hands full with bags from Target so I was delighted to see that the store was stocked with shopping carts!

Shopping carts at Old Navy?! Is this a thing now? Whatever, I'm on board. It was one of those little double-decker ones, so I put my Target purchases in the bottom and set to shoppin'. I quickly filled the top row with clothes and made my way to the dressing room. 

This dressing room is absolute crap. It's in the middle of the store and really cramped and every time I've been there, there are just clothes EVERYWHERE. Everywhere. I don't think they have a back-of-store inventory. They just throw everything in there and hope for the best. This place is the worst.

A middle-aged man was working the dressing room and showed me to a room, large enough even for me to push in my cart. Hoorah. 

I tried on a number of items - primarily various different shapes of pants, in an on-going attempt to break out of my strict jeggings-only wardrobe, but alas, I still don't think I can pull off any pants but jeggs. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess!

I had just finished trying on and was getting ready to re-dress in my clothes I came in, when suddenly the dressing room door swung open! I guess in my haste to pull that goddamn cart in with me and start trying things on, I forgot to lock the door behind me. Maybe I thought it locked automatically? Who knows. All I can say is I did not lock the door and the dressing room manager must have not realized I was still in there, for he pulled the door wiiiiiide open to find me inside in nothing but my bra and underpants.

Kill me now?

It gets worse.

He quickly slammed the door shut, all the while yelling and I do mean YELLING what began as an apology and turned into a full on exercise in mansplaining and humiliation. 

"I'm sorry," he began, "I didn't see anything. You should have locked the door. You didn't lock the door. It wasn't my fault, you need to lock the door." 

"I know!" I yelled back "it's Ok!"

He kept going.

"She didn't lock the door, everyone!" he yelled to ALL THE OTHER CUSTOMERS. "You have to lock your doors. Everyone lock your doors." 

In my room I quickly pulled my clothes back on, and outside I could hear other shoppers LAUGING at me, talking among themselves about how another shopper (ME ME ME!!) had just inadvertently flashed the entire dressing room, all the while the attendant kept repeating how vital it is for us to lock our doors, continually asserting his own blamelessness.

Guys. It was MORTIFYING. 

And I don't mean being seen half starkers by a bunch of strangers in an Old Navy, I don't give a shit about that kind of stuff.  I mean the whole scene that followed. 

Why did he have to keep TALKING about it?! He just made it worse!! I understand it must be difficult as a man to work in a lady-heavy dressing room and I'm sure he was worried I'd complain or accuse him of being a pervert or something but a simple apology would have done the trick. He did not need to call me out, loudly, to all of the other shoppers and shame me for not locking my door. I get it, dude. I should have locked the goddamn door. I didn't. We're all still alive, move along here.

Not to get all preachy (JK I LOVE BEING PREACHY!!!) but this is the kind of low level, pervasive #yesallwomen, sexism that women face every day. This guy was so hellbent on making sure everyone in the store knew not to worry, he didn't MEAN to peep on ladies in their undies, he's actually a good guy that instead of being an actual good guy, he humiliated a woman in public to reassure himself. Screw you, dude. 

I should have actually reported that behavior to his manager but I was too stressed and shocked to do anything. I just kind of threw my clothes back on and fled.

Well, as fast as a woman with a loaded shopping cart can flee out of a crowded Old Navy dressing room. With a short break to snap this attractive photo, natch. 

I still managed to drop a cool $100 and I'd so love to say I'll never shop there again butttt let's be real. I'll be back this weekend. Ugh.

So what did we learn today, kids?

1. Ladies: lock your dressing rooms.

2. Men: don't be dicks.

3. Apparently I'll let nothing stop me from scoring those sweet Old Navy Deals.

Le sigh.

And that, friends, was that! It was so weird!!! I think I just realized re-telling it how actually traumatizing and not that funny it was.

debbie downer

Whomp whompppppp. 

THE END! Good story, as always. I know! 

I hope everyone has a delicious weekend and if you are shopping BE CAREFUL. I have a few more pre-travel errands to run...including Old Navy, ha! I think I'll try one of NYC's myriad other locations, though. It may be time for me and the nightmare Atlantic Mall to take a little break. 

xoxoxo Liz