Another Awkward Week [1.30.14]

Goood morning, you perfect sunflowers. How was everyone's week? Mine was...meh. I'm in the midst of the blissful lady time known as pre menstrual syndrome and have been basically a living breathing cliche of a hormonal woman. Judd Apatow himself couldn't write me better.  I was even more hyper-emotional than usual which, as you can imagine, is a real treat. I nearly burst into tears at the slightest of upsets (count your blessings you were not present Wednesday when I was six minutes late to a department meeting at work and almost threw myself out the window in melodramatic despair) and all I wanted to do was eat chocolate chip cookies and listen Taylor Swift. Which is basically my regular life, I know, but this week, it was all the ballads you guys. THE BALLADS!

Ladies are like...I know it all too well! HAHA get it? NO please don't. That's a lyric to a Taylor Swift song. WHAT is wrong with me, I need a musical slash life intervention like, yesterday.

If only we could go Back to December...Speak Now if you'd like me to keep this going...NOPE. Nope. I'm done. Let's end this TSwizzles fest and take a look back at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This Coffee:

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Sunday morning I woke up at like 7 AM semi hungover and totally groggy and realized we were out of coffee, so I bundled myself up for the subarctic temperatures and struck out in search of some joe. (Or, jo, if you're being tricky in Scrabble, which...don't even get me started.) I could and probably should have just gone to the coffee shop on the corner and had them give me an already brewed cup, but on weekends, it's just so much nicer (and more cost-efficient!) to brew at home. Plus you can drink out of a real mug, instead of one of those terrible, flimsy paper cups that always leaks out the lid and gets all over your mittens. Or does that just happen to me?

I had a number of options for purchasing coffee within a few block radius of my home: bodegas which have the cheap stuff BUT don't take credit cards or fancy organic grocery stores that mostly only carry the expensive stuff but take plastic. As I had no cash, I decided to try my luck with the swanky place.

Now, Brian and I are coffee snobs, but like, on opposite day. We stand very firmly in our belief that the fancy stuff is overrated. Bring us a plain old cuppa joe! Preferably Chock Full O' Nuts but we'll go with a Folgers if necessary. None of this fancy, shade grown, pure bean, slow pour hipster bullshit.

I'm sure that stuff actually tastes "better" and is organic and fair trade, while we're drinking the equivalent of carcinogenic motor oil picked by child slaves in Somalia or whatever and I do feel bad about that, I DO! I feel bad about everything, literally every single thing that I eat or drink or do but sometimes I just don't have the money or energy to do the right thing, so I'm just going to go right ahead and enjoy my cheap, slave labor coffee.

Today's unnecessary long winded guilt stricken rant brought to you by the letter C...for coffee!

Anyway, where was I? Oh! In the coffee aisle of the grocery store. Which is actually just a shelf right in front of the register. I was the only customer in the store, so the two clerks got a real show of me wandering around like a homeless person in my 2 layers of sweatpants, fur boots and ear-band over top of a hat over top of bedhead.

I have long maintained that the hardest thing to do before coffee is acquire coffee and this shopping spree proved that theory. OF course they had no regular coffee, and I wasn't nearly awake enough to make any quick decisions so I stood there staring at all of the options, wandering back and forth, touching all the containers of coffee, staring at labels, trying to figure out if I'd prefer Guatemalan over Colombian. Most of the coffees they sold were whole bean which honestly,why? Why would you make yourself go through all that effort? This is America. In the 21st Century. You can pay someone to do that for you.

I mean, again, yes, it's probably an impoverished 8-year-old but come on. Get over yourself. No one thinks you're cool because you smush up your own coffee beans, ok?

(Said the woman who refuses to buy bottled salad dressing...pot calling the coffee ketttle super black.)

Finally, 20 minutes later, I settled on a bag of coffee that did not anywhere on the label at all, trust me on this, guys, say that it was whole beans, paid a cool $12.99 for the stuff (as compared to $5 for a can of chock fulla!) and slogged my self home fantasizing about a steamy, dreamy cup of coffee. I ripped open the bag and OH WAIT ... IT WAS WHOLE BEAN!

Come on. Is this grounds for a law suit? I'm going to go ahead and assume YES. I mean, hair dryers have to include  a warning not to put them in the bath tub, I think coffee distributors should be legally mandated to give their friendly customers a heads up on their bean situation BEFORE they shell out approximately six hundred dollars for their overpriced nonsense. I'm seriously taking this straight to the White House.

I'm sure they'll have time for me just as soon as they resolve this whole Bieber situation.

So, after all that, I strapped my outdoor gear back on, walked over to the coffee shop and did what I probably shoulda done in the first place: I bought a takeaway coffee, in a flimsy paper cup. And honestly...it was delicious.

While I was gone, McGyver Scott tried to grind the beans in our food processor and it did NOT work. Sadly I missed this whole process which is probably for the best, as I would have likely videotaped it and put it on the internet with 50 paragraphs about how great he is ... I'm becoming like a weird stage mother to my boyfriend. It's creepy.

In other grocery shopping news...

This Olive Oil:

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$6 for a full liter, only at Trader Joe's. Once you've purchased oil at the Teej there is NO turning back. I can't justify buying it anywhere else. It's just so cheap! We ran out this week so I had a TJ's trip scheduled for Wednesday night when a friend suggested happy hour instead.

I know what you're thinking, another drunk Trader Joe's trip, Liz? NO! I solved my Trader Joe's splurging issue by shopping before I hit the bar.

I mean, OK sure, were the bags of groceries super bulky and awkward as I tried to push myself into the one snug open seat at the swanky wine bar? Yes.

Did the super attractive couple trying to enjoy their date next to me give me suuuurious side-eye as I rearranged my food purchases around me like a bag lady? Sure!

Did they give me double the side-eye when I then spotted a better seat had opened up a mere two minutes later, grabbed my groceries, coat, hat and cetera and begged them to move their chairs so I could snag those seats before anyone came? Of course.

Yes, all of these things happened and yes I definitely caused a scene and yes I then spent $30 on wine which kind of negated the whole olive oil savings which was the reason for this whole trip in the first place but it was worth it guys, it was. I finally found a way to keep my impulse shopping in check while in Trader Joe's! I just need to make sure I shop for necessities on my way TO somewhere, then I'll be forced to put down the frozen spanikopita and chocolate covered espresso beans and 8 lb bag of sweet potatoes: ain't no room for that!

I am a money saving, grocery shopping genius.

This Sleeve:

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The other morning I changed my outfit three times because everything I tried on felt too sloppy. Finally settled on a semi-nice cream colored top only to get to work and find the sleeve covered in this ENORMOUS stain.

And it was bone dry, so definitely way old and not fresh coffee. What IS that? How long has it been there? And how sloppy were my other clothes if THIS was the best I could come up with?!

Classay.

Speaaaaking of sleeves...

This Sweater:

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But wait! We've seen this sweater before. OH YEAH. Just wanted to reassure you that I'm still wearing this bad boy, pen stains, huge holes and all. I'ma keep wearing this until it just literally disintegrates right off my body.

Aaaaand I am done now. I'm done! I'm going to go pour myself a piping hot cup of home brewed, non-organic, cheapass coffee, crank up the T Swift and get this day STARTED.

Smooches!

Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [1.24.14]

Good morning, snowflakes! How is everyone? If anyone is looking for a bland and unsatisfying snack, might I recommend a semi-stale, untoasted, whole grain english muffin spread with some almond butter? It'll quench your hunger, yes, but also leave you feeling deeply depressed and remorseful that you just wasted your time and snacking energy on such a boring, dumb morsel. GRR! I'll be starting my spin-off food blog annnny day now.

Anyway, what is up?! I know I'm stating the obvious here but it is flipping FREEZING. I've been wearing tights under my pants all week and I'm not going to lie to you guys...I LOVE it. It's so cozy and everything feels all snug and secure. I'm might just do this forever. I want invisible full body spanx that just keeps everything feeling all nice and tight.

I realize this effect can be achieved naturally via something called "exercise" but wouldn't it be so much better if you could just BUY it?!

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be in my science lab, working on this invention.

JK, if anyone's looking for me I'll be right here, like always, talkin' about myself.

So without further ado, why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this [polar vortexy] week.

These Jammies:

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A college roommate of mine (Hi Alli!) turned us all on to this crazy superstition of wearing your jams inside-out the night before a snowstorm to bring on a snow day the next day. It snowed this week  so I gave it a try ... and it totally failed. Whomp. Not like I would ever get a snow day, publishing stops for no man or winter storm!, but Brian was really jonesing for school closure and I'm the nicest fiance ever so I bossily made him put on his pajamas the wrong way but alas: we were foiled.

Bill DiBlasio! I would take back my vote...if only I'd actually voted instead of being such a worthless citizen!

PS. the mismatched socks have no superstitious value, that's just how I roll.

This Nail Polish:

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So this was part of a themed gift from my brother and I love my brother and the gift and the polish IN the bottle, but once it was on my nails it was just TOO much. Too bright or purple or both. No bueno. I hated it so much I couldn't concentrate. Seriously. I would just sit here all day distracted by the site of my garish fingers moving on the keyboard.

There is this wacky lady at our office who rumor has it took too much LSD at Studio 54 back in the day and now just toddles around the office wearing fur vests and cut-off jort overalls with stockings underneath and hats indoors (a peeve of mine, if anyone's curious) (as always, no one was) singing in French and disturbing everyone she passes.

She's a real treat.

Anyway, I found myself standing in the kitchen at the same time she was there (every morning at 11 AM she peels and eats an orange standing over the shared trash can and I KNOW I should avoid the area at that time, but I wanted tea!) and just in case I wasn't already self conscious enough about my gaudy nails, Crazy Town McGee stops mid peel and squawks: "WOOOOW now THAT is some great nail polish!"

As you can guess, a compliment from this gal = you're doing something very, very wrong.

I ran away from her, quickly, thinking I must immediately remove my nail polish, but first, I must take some photos for blogging purposes. You always see those photos on pinterest or wherever of a person's nails with them holding something...I tried to recreate with my own hand and it was straight up impossible. I had to bend my arm in at this totally unnatural and claw-like angle to get my nails in the camera.

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WHAT IS THE TRICK? How do they do it? Am I missing something? This seems like a skill that is ESSENTIAL to master if I want to be a successful human.

Here are the photos I managed to snap:

[gallery ids="2583,2584,2585,2586"]

L-R: homage to Twilight, amazing crass mug from my assistant, some vitamins because I saw how rapidly this was spinning out of control, so why not make it extra weird, aaannnnd displaying my engagement ring with my hand pressed firmly against the wall.

I can have this made into a collage & framed if anyone's interested?

Also YES I did this during work hours yesterday...how am I still employed?

These Meatballs:

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Lately our grocery store has been having amazing sales on 3-lb packages of ground turkey so I've been stocking up and freezing it to have around.

Fuuuuck me I sound like such a grown-up. "Gotta run down to the deli, Bonnie, they're having some serious sales in the deli section!"

Oy.

The first time this happened, I did the extra super grownup Real Simple Magazine move of separating the meat into appropriate sized portions and freezing so we didn't have to deal with thawing and eating 3Lbs of turkey meat in one sitting but for whatever reason, this time I just shoved it right in the freezer whole hog.

Er, whole bird?

It turns out that a solid three pound hunk of turkey meat is NOT that easy to cut into. Just FYI. Brian is an Eagle Scout (!) and if you'll allow me to get a little schmaltzy for just un segundo, one thing I just love about this guy is that he has a super cute butt. And another thing I love about him is that he always likes to try to tinker around and MacGuyver things until he can fix them. It doesn't always work, but he always tries and it's always so adorable and I just want to squeeze him and smooch his face.

Gross, sorry.

Anyway, his solution to the ground turkey sitch? The ol' chisel trick:

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Like Michelangelo turned a slab of stone into David, that sexy hunk of marble man meat, Brian turned our turkey log into two sexy hunks of meat meat, which we then grilled and ate, burger style.

Delicious!

We still had a full 2 lbs left in the freezer, so I decided to thaw it out and make a big batch of  meatballs, about 14 of which we ate with spaghetti in one sitting (it was snowing! don't judge) and the rest of which I planned to freeze for later consumption.

Like a grown-up!

I put the hot meatballs in a container on the counter and left them there to cool before putting in the freezer because one time, on Thanksgiving, I got into a big snit with my mom because she told me you should let your food cool before putting the leftovers away and I was all "Mooommm! Don't tell me what to do!" (teenagers, am I right!) (JK, I was 28) and everyone knows you should always listen to your mother.

Except then I totally forgot about them and left them out all night long.

Pwomp.

The ever helpful Yahoo! Answers assured me that eating poultry left out overnight would surely kill me and so, into el garbagio they went.

SO MUCH EFFORT went into using up this godforsaken lump of turkey meat only to throw half of it in the trash. That's the last time I ever try to responsibly bargain shop at the grocery store. Or just grocery shop at all.

From here on out we're just going to Taco Bell every night.

(I'll def need those invisible spanx then!)

This Appetizer:

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Chips & Guac! There is this restaurant in my neighborhood that has amazing guacamole which they serve with either fried tortillas or soft tortillas. I went the other night & I guess I forgot the word "fried" and also the word "tortilla" because when I tried to order, it went a little something like this:

Waiter: "Hello, may I take your order?"

Liz: "Yes please. We would like some guacamole and the hard ones. Those hard things. Not the soft ones, the ones that are hard?"

Waiter: "Chips. You mean you would like chips?"

Liz: [red face shame] "Yes please."

CHIPS guys! A new invention I apparently just learned about. They're GREAT with guacamole!

This Coffee:

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Purchased to keep me warm and energized during a 45-minute wait at the Post Office yesterday afternoon. Except I realized I forgot to put milk in the cup and I haaaate black coffee. I considered going back to Starbucks and just sort of serruptitiously putting in some milk but I had already gotten to the Post Office and there were literally 4576 people ahead of me in line and it was so cold out, so I just stood there and held this stupid, piping hot cup of coffee until it started to burn my hand, at which point I put on one of my mittens (indoors!) but then I felt weird and also I managed to get coffee allll over my white mitten so I took it back off and the coffee had cooled enough to hold and then just 27 minutes later, after the woman in front of me finished arguing with the teller about the availability of rare tiger face stamps, I finally made it to the front of the line,  bought my stamps, came back to work and poured some milk into my now lukewarm, half-spilled cup of coffee.

Best $2.77 I ever spent.

Speaking of money, stamps are increasing by 3 cents starting this Monday, so if you have, say, a pile of save the dates laying on your bedroom floor begging to be sent out, go stock up on those stamps immediately!! I got stamps for STD's (nope, can't abbreviate that) and response cards (even though I just want to use internet RSVP's but my mom thinks it's tacky...more on that at a later date) and saved a whopping $7.50 by getting them this week before the prices went  up.

How many doves do you think I can buy with 7 dollars and 50 cents? Like a hundred? Two hundred?

This Music Video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSFlvxnbgk]

 Actually this is only awkward if you're the kind of person who hates joy and pleasure because this movie is the jimmity JAM, y'all. I'm actually not that big into Disney films. In truth, I kind of find adults who are still super into Disney to be a little stunted and off-putting and as a feminist, I have a lot of problems with the whole Princess genre but as a human being with two ears, two eyes and one sentimental heart: I effing love them.

So the only awkward thing about this video is if A: you're an adult who is super into Disney in which case I just offended your kind, SORRY! and B: the amount of times I have watched it this week which would be approx 673. And counting.

I urge you all to RACE out to the theaters this moment and watch this film. You won't regret it! Unless you hate musicals or sisters or animation or FUN in which case you definitely will but you sound lame, so forget you.

And that's that! What did we learn this week? Frozen is amazing, tiger stamps are hard to come by, fried tortillas are called "chips," inside out jammbos do NOT guarantee snow days, purple nail polish is horrible and NEVER EVER listen to your mom when it comes to leftovers.

Good stuff!

Stay warm this weekend, kids.

xoxo Liz Ho

Winter? I barely know 'er!

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You see a lot of you know "real" bloggers accompany their posts with charming candid photos of themselves hangin' out in stylish outfits,

so here is a photo of me, wearing my winter indoor wear and dumb hat. It's slightly topical. You are welcome!

So listen. You don't need me to state the obvious, this isn't facebook (burn!), but winter is upon us. It is here. Baby, it is not warm outside.

Some people love the winter. Other people hate it. I generally come down on the side of No Thank You, but in the interest of fair and open-minded thinking and attempting to blog with more frequency, why don't we just make a little list of all of the myriad good and bad things that Old Man Winter has to offer and rejoice in both the glory and the horror of this present season on earth. And now, without further ado:

Winter! The Pros :) and The Cons :(

Con: Everyone is so pale. Even if you're a naturally pale individual, there's something in the air in the doldrums of winter that just sucks all of the color and life out of your flesh until you are just  white, like, beyond Edward Cullen level of pale, like an inhuman, dead blob monster.

Con: Every November, 5 - 10 lbs attach themselves to your hips and midsection and it is 100% impossible to lose weight in the winter. Look it up. It's science.

Pro: No reason to be seen in a swimsuit or any sort of cropped topped apparel!

Pro: You basically never have to shave your legs.

Con: So, your girlfriend is probably a hairy monster at this point.

Con: Hats. Miserable! I look terrible in hats. I have a small, scrawny head and un-brushable, frizzy hair that is impossible to restyle once a hat has been donned and removed. Hats are just not my friend.

Pro: Maybe you are one of those assholes who looks cute and stylish in hats and can pull them off with aplomb. So I guess, then, hats might be a pro for you. GOOD FOR YOU.

Con: When the little fringy bits of your scarf get stuck in the zipper of your coat.

Pro: How delicious is a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs on a brisk evening? SO delicious.

Pro: See Also: Red wine.

Con: Death by frostbite.

Pro: Death by chocolate. This doesn't really have anything to do with winter, I just always thought it seemed a pretty good way to go.

Con: Overheated apartment buildings. My landlady keeps our building at about 80 degrees at all times (probably needs climate control for all of those holiday decorations), to the point where I'm sleeping in shorts & t-shirts with the windows open in the middle of January.

Similar Con: The heat is so drying, my skin is basically peeling off of my body like some kind of molting snake or moisture starved magma rock or something.

Another Similar Con: Loud, clangy, bangy radiators.

Pro: I suppose we should be grateful for central heating...

Con: It gets dark at about 2 PM.

Con: Standing around in crowded bars holding your bulky coats and scarves and layers and such because, obvi, there are no available tables or coat hooks to be found.

Pro: ALLLLLL the more reason to just stay at home and go to bed early!

Pro: Control-top pantyhose. There's something just so reassuring about knowing all of that winter white flab is locked in and secure. Not goin' anywhere.

Con:  Friends sharing photos from their mid-winter tropical vacations. The weather is there, I wish I were beautiful!

Pro: Flannel.

Con: Wool.

Neutral: Cotton, the fabric of our lives.

Pro: Snow, while falling and the first 3 hours of laying upon the ground.

Con: Snow, anytime from 3 hours until the final meltdown.

Pro: Ending on a pro, because I am an optimist:  Adult Snow Days. Rare and beautiful things.

And on the subject of rare and beautiful, here is another stunning photo of me, acting cash in my loungewear. Arousing, I know.

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