Saturday, December 29, 2012

My #1 Pet Peeve

What is my number 1 pet peeve?  Is it mandals?  Is it people who don't respect my personal space?  Is it men in pea coats?  No, no, no.  It's something way worse.  It is the question:  Are you seeing anyone?  We all get asked this question and unless it is immediately followed up with, my brother Channing Tatum is free, it should NEVER be asked. 

I'm not talking about guys you meet out at  a bar, club, or in life.  No please single cute guys keep asking.  I'm not talking about old friends you haven't seen in a while, no that is permissible because every one's just trying to catch up on your life.  I'm talking about fringe people in your life.  When fringe people ask, "are you single/seeing anyone?" It's just awkward and uncomfortable.

Why Erin do you hate this question?  Well, I'll tell you.  There is no appropriate way to answer this question.  As a perpetually single lady I have been asked this question multiple times and have NEVER been able to find an appropriate way to answer this question.  When asked this question, your answer basically falls into one of four categories:  Bitter, Man-hater, Desperate, Boring/Super Busy.  I am not any of these, yet I am forced to assimilate into one of these categories.  Why?  Because these are the only answers appropriate for a question of this caliber.  The other response is rude.  This is not appropriate though and I don't suggest/encourage it.  Rudeness answering rudeness does not solve anything.  While it may be entertaining and make you feel better, you just look rude and/or bitter.  No one wants that.  Rude isn't chic.  

Bitter-"No, I went through a really rough break up and I'm just trying to lay low right now."
"I got really hurt by my ex and I'm not ready for a new boyfriend,"-DON'T EVER SAY THIS!  NEVER!!  IF YOU SAY THIS PEOPLE WILL LITERALLY RUN AWAY FROM YOU.  YOU'LL GET AN OPEN MOUTH HEAD NOD AND A TURN ON THEIR HEEL GOODBYE.  No one wants this...

Man-hater-"I don't need a man"-true, but don't ever verbalize this or you will die alone.  Also, this is one likes a rude girl (well some guys do but we don't want them ladies)  Remember what we learned in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, "Be the neck and turn the head,"  Pretend like you need them.  Personally, I think it's best to be wanted not needed because it isn't a duty it's a privilege.  
"There are no good men in the world"-While most women would agree, you can't verbalize this!!  While I agree that if men wanted us to believe they were awesome they should send better representatives to planet Earth, we can't say this.  Why?  Because as women we must fulfil our womanly duty and believe in the naiveté that when the stars align, when God sees fit, when it's your time, (insert whatever cliche your mom/aunt/friend/sister/cousin/gramma told you in regards to men) Prince Charming will come along.  We have to believe the fairy tale because let's be honest, sometimes always its rough out there.  I wholeheartedly agree, but you gotta keep the faith and keep calm and carry on.  Not all men suck.  Some do, yes, that IS true.  But some are fabulous.  Think like Dori and just keep swimming.  

Desperate-"Yes I am single. *insert sigh/look at your food/puppy eye the questioner* Do you have a great guy to set me up with?"  OMG never ask...seriously...
"I've just been hurt so many times/I've given up/I don't know where to find guys *says weeping girl*" Ok, instead of getting the blind date like you might be angling for you will get a referral to a mental health professional.  We've all been hurt.  But we're women, channel your inner country song and just smile and look good.  No one wants to hear about your break-up/emotional pain/scars.  Unless it's your bestie/mom/mental health professional NO ONE CARES!  How do I know that?  Because I have paraded my breakup battle wounds around and believe you me, after so many glazed over eyes and poor you sympathetic faces you realize, hey everyone has problems, mine are mini problems.  Don't do's not cute.  It looks just that...desperate.

Boring/Super Busy-"I have so many things going on right now, I couldn't even dream juggling a boyfriend now,"  ok, seriously?  We're all busy.  If the right guy came along, you'd find time.  
"I'm just super busy with school, I'm working two jobs, and I really like hanging out with my friends, and being a homebody"-this is a direct quote from yours truly.  Ummmm, yes while all of this is true, I would/could easily fit a boyfriend into my busy lifestyle.  And I have!  With luck and success.  This luck and success was fleeting but yes I made it work.  

The final reason why I don't like this question is that it is a conversation ender.  I'm a HUGE fan of talking (if reading this blog it isn't obvious to you, you probably don't want to appear on any game shows because you won't win) because I'm a social girl!  I like people, I like learning about people, and I do not like conversation enders.  After I rattle off one of these aforementioned answers to the question that should not be named, the questioner just stares at you.  Why?  BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING TO SAY!!  Sometimes these questioners say, "Well, don't worry you'll find someone," or my favorite "It's okay,"  Uhhhhh, I know it's okay!  It's freakin' awesome!  I have a great time with my life.  I love my life!  It's just this question that peeves me because I don't want to be bitter, desperate, boring/super busy/man-hater.  But when asked this question I have nothing to offer up.  It's also hard to answer this question and not sound rude!!  I'm not rude and I don't like being rude but when asked this question I immediately go on the defensive and feel the need to defend my singleness.  What would you like me to do?  Just go to the boyfriend farm and pick a ripe one?  If that farm existed, TRUST me, I'd be there.  But, quality over quantity ladies.  We're all just waiting for Prince Charming.

So, please, in conclusion, do not ask this question.  If you are the recipient of this question and come up with a great/non-rude/make yourself look awesome but not braggy   response,  please let me know because I have no clue how to do this!



Thursday, December 20, 2012

How To Be The Bad Guy

Okay, this is a sad/awkward/personal post.  This is about boys who are just really nice guys.  They are the guys that would treat you like a princess.  You know the guy that would do anything to make you happy.  Literally he would drop anything just to see you smile.  However, this lady doesn't like to be treated like a princess.  It's just too much!  We've all seen the episode of Sex and the City where The Russian writes a song for Carrie, buys her the pink Oscar dress, and takes her out on a romantic night on the town.  The whole night is perfect, everything any girl would want.  Then Carrie faints.  She says, "It's just too much!  I'm an American!"  This captures my feelings to a T! 
I prefer to be treated like a lady.  What's the difference between a princess and a lady you ask?  About a million miles!!!!  A princess girl (PG) will write on her honey's Facebook wall at least once a day.  These posts usually fall into 2 categories:  Extreme Praise or Extreme Complaining.  An example of each?  Sure!  

Extreme Praise post:  "I love love love my (enter name here) because he painted my nails OPI's Privacy Please before he bought me new diamond earrings then surprised me with dinner at (enter name of an expensive chain restaurant)!  I love you baby so much!  Mwah!"  This is just a typical usual post for the princess girls.  

Extreme Complain post: "(enter name) I couldn't say good night to you last night because you didn't answer your phone!  Now I'm sad and mad at you because I had to go to bed without saying goodnight.  I love you!"  This is a passive aggressive post from PGs.  If you want a really good laugh just read the comment from her honey that usually looks like this "I'm sorry I was out but I texted you before saying I wouldn't be able to talk,"  poor guy.  GET OUT NOW!! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

p.s.  These PG posts are probably written within 2 weeks of dating.  PGs say I Love You like it's their job...because it very well may be.

Ladies are women that don't need a man.  They want a man.  Their man doesn't define their lives he only enhances the level of awesome.  Ladies don't expect men to do anything for them.  Ladies go on dates without expected men to pay for them, but ladies allow men the privilege of paying for them.  Ladies also offer to go halvsies on dates because ladies have jobs and are not self-conscious about ordering "real-girl dinners".  Ladies act like ladies and do not post a lot on their honey's FB walls.  Ladies' posts fall into many categories (because a lady is not defined by such simple constraints as praise/complain)  These categories are (but not limited to) funny jokes that are not too personal, random  YouTube videos, quotes from movies/tv shows you have seen together, NO WHERE/WHEN/TIME/PLACE will a lady ever complain or air her grievances with the Facebook community.  Why don't ladies do this?  Well, because ladies know that if their man doesn't answer them there is probably a REAL reason.  Ladies also have full plates and don't have time to worry about where their honey is.  Ladies trust their men.  

Okay, so now that I have explained the difference (and you probably have categorized every girl you know into one of the two) I will now go back to the title of the post.  How to be the bad guy.  We've all been there, the guy we've been on a date or two with just isn't it.  He's probably too sweet, too put together, just too much!!  He's the guy that you'd be lucky to date, but there's just no spark.  

Sparks...ahhhh the worst line in any break up.  Literally I hate this word, but sometimes there is nothing else to describe that certain je ne sais quoi.  Sex and the City calls it the zsa zsa zsu.  Another one of my favorite bloggers, Shallon Lester, calls it The Icks.  The Icks means that the guy is probably attractive, sweet, nice, smart, great, but you just aren't attracted to him.  

Okay, why am I writing about this?  Because I have recently experienced this.  A few times actually.  I'm not the type of girl who always has a boyfriend...the opposite is true.  I'm usually the girl who is single because I am extremely picky.  (That's for a different blog post)  I really like being single and doing my own thing.  I need my space and with that being said I really don't like when guys crowd or suffocate me.  Some of my most successful and happiest relationships have been long distance ones.  LDRs work for me because I get my space, he gets his space, and when we see each other it becomes a treat not a chore. 

So, what to do when the nice guy starts talking to you and you realize there just isn't anything there.  Well, here's what I do...please tell me if you have a better plan because I would like LOVE to know.  Okay here goes:  

Put your big girl pants on and fess up-he deserves an honest answer.  I always say, "I did have fun tonight, but I'm really not looking for a relationship.  I don't want to lead you on.  I wish you nothing but the best and I hope that (enter career venture/class/hobby) goes well."  BE HONEST!  You would want/deserve that from someone and he does too. You need to respect him and his feelings.  

Accept that you are going to be the BAD GUY-You are the bad guy there is nothing you can do about it.  This is going to hurt him but you want to do it as gently as possible.  He's probably going to be sad or upset or hurt and you need to take the focus off you and just make it as quick and painless as possible.  I hate when people say it was amicable or no one's the bad guy, because let's be honest, someone wanted the other person more, somebody got hurt, and somebody IS the bad guy. You can be the nicest person in the world and be as caring as possible but if you dump someone, you hurt them, and that makes you feel/look like the bad guy.  Most times when you dump someone you are the bad guy and you have to accept this.  I try to point out all of the positives in the other person and I never say what they were lacking.  That's disrespectful and rude.  That is not "accepting being the bad guy" that's relishing in being the bad guy and that is wrong.  

How did I come up with this?  Well, my dears, it comes from being dumped...repeatedly.  I have been dumped with a variety of fun excuses.  Here are some of my favs:

"Your birthday and Christmas are really close together and that is expensive!"  Ahhh what  a gem!
"You're not the kinda girl anyone dates in college.  You're the kinda girl you marry."  This one is a sorta compliment and I do take it this way because it clearly says A) I'm not a slutty girl B) I'm marriage material lol
One person quoted the scene from He's Just Not That Into You...I didn't appreciate the irony because Jen Aniston is my girl and she's in that movie..

Most girls would be sad and upset about this (and believe you me, I was/am) but I brushed myself off and learned from these experiences.  I decided to dissect these words and compiled a list of things I wished they would have said.  I also mined these lines for things that I did like.  (i.e. the marriage material bit).  And what did I come up with... my bad guy line.  Obviously after you are the bad guy, you need to bow out gracefully.  DO NOT text/call/email/FB chat/comment/tweet/like/retweet/etc them. Let them move on with dignity.  Don't confuse people or lead them on.  

We can't help who we are attracted to.  We can't like someone we don't.  But we can follow the Golden Rule which is "Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated".  This is a motto that LADIES follow.  Princesses don't follow this motto.  PGs only care about themselves.  Ladies care about others' feelings before their own.  So remember be a lady not a PG and tell him early and as nicely as humanly possible.  You don't want to waste theirs or your time.  



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Birthday Weekend!!

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22!!  

     These are the words that have been ringing in my head for almost a week now!  I LOVE being 22.  Twenty two is gonna be a good year.  Every two years I always have a GREAT year.  I feel that my 22nd year will be my time to shine.  When I was 20 I had a great year.  Twenty one was okay.  But 22 will be awesome! 
     My birthday is also doubly fun because it signifies the end of the semester!  And after the semester I had, I am soooooo ready to for winter break!  This semester wasn't particularly tough, it was just, well, tough at the end.  I had 4 enormous projects due within 2 weeks.  So, yes, by December 14th, I was ready to be done! 
     I decided to celebrate my birthday at Dave & Buster's in Philly on December 15th.  I am not really a bar, club, or AC kinda girl.  I prefer just being a six year old stuck inside a 22 year old's body.  If a child would find the activity amusing, chances are, so would I!  So I invited about 10 of my best friends to join me.  I love love love my friends.  I have always lucked out when it comes to friendships.  For this I am truly grateful and know how rare it is.  And I do cherish them!  None of us are big drinkers but we are big on playing car racing games and eating junk food so Dave & Buster's seemed like the perfect fit! 
     But since we had such a big group going it was inevitable that not everyone could go.  So we decided to celebrate a little on Thursday with half apps at Applebee's!  Applebee's half apps literally sustains most of the TCNJ students.  Half apps is a brilliant concept.  At nine we all trekked over to Applebee's and had a variety of treats!  We all got wings with various sauces, fried green beans, dessert shooters, and Red Apple Sangria.  We cleared our need to worry about us.  We're not those girls that only order "cute foods"...we eat wings, then order dessert, we're those kinda girls!  I loved dinner with three of my friends because we just have so much FUN!  Not bad girl fun, just good wholesome, silly, laugh til your sides hurt fun.  The Best Kinda Fun!
Brunette side of the table

Blonde side of the table (we didn't plan this but it's still funny)

All our delicious food!

     So I come home and my roommate and I wait til midnight and then....We sing happy birthday and play T-Swift's 22!  Best song for the occasion.  So I go to sleep and then get up and go to work.  I love my job because my kids are awesome!  I love love love all of my students.  Then, I went to my second job, teaching ballet to 3-5 year olds.  It was so sweet!  I made them cookies and they sang to me.  When they asked how old I was I told them and they were like, "Miss Erin, you are old!!"  and "You're a grown up!"  I love it, they're so cute!  So from there I went home and just relaxed!  For the first time since August I had NOTHING to do!!  I loved every second of it!  The first few days of break are always the weirdest.  Not only can I read what I want, do what I want, but I do NOT have homework/projects/papers etc! Best Week Ever!  Well, it is awesome until I start getting random mini panic attacks that I haven't turned something in, or that I should be doing homework, or my teacher voice starts saying, "Okay only five more minutes on Pinterest Erin then you have to do your work."  But no!  I can relax and have fun!
     On my actual 22nd birthday my parents and I went shopping at the mall.  I couldn't have been happier!  I had a California Chicken Cheesesteak while shopping the Christmas sales...that's my kinda birthday!  Anyway, when we got home we had cake, double chocolate cake from Wegman's!  Seriously this is the best cake of all time!  DAAAALISH!  I got Tiffany blue ball earrings for my birthday.  Every year since I was 13 I have gotten something from Tiffany's for my birthday.  I love this tradition and plan to continue it with my future daughter(s).  Some stand outs have been a Tiffany champagne flute for my 21st and a Tiffany key chain with my key to Madden for my 17th.  For my 20th I got a beautiful cross.  I love the simplicity of Tiffany's designs.  Just beautiful!
So Saturday was finally here!!  Because I have Murphy's Law when it comes to hair.  I can straighten it or curl it but nothing in between.  So I decided to have my hair blown out for my birthday.  Best.  Decision.  Ever!  It looked fabulous I was so happy!  It only took her 35 minutes to wash, blow out, and  It takes me 30 minutes to just blow it out, let alone style it, perfect it.  Hairdressers are miracle workers.  It's the truth.  
     So I drove back up to my house and got dressed, did my makeup, and waited for my friends.  Five of us rode together and met three of my other friends at the barcade.  Everything was perfect!  It was so much fun and we literally laughed the whole 4 hours!  I love my friends because they know me so well.  One of my friends got me a box of chocolates--perfect!!  I have the world's biggest sweet tooth.  My other friends got me books--all Kennedy/Princess Diana related books!  I have some reading to do over break and luckily none of it is school related!  My friend/co-teaching partner/ex-cake competitor gave me a framed picture (which she made herself and it looks fab) of our kindergarten class!  They were so cute and the picture literally brought back so many memories.  We were doing our observation in Trenton.  Being from a small town you really are jaded to the world outside your little bubble.  
 The most beautiful bridge!  I love this city!
Pretty girls racing cars

 Me losing at racing least my car is PINK!

     This was a great birthday!  I couldn't/wouldn't change a thing!  I was so grateful to be surrounded by such an amazing, inspiring, beautiful group of ladies that I'm fortunate enough to call my friends.  I was also happy that I got to spend quality time with my family!  Also, Dylan came home Sunday!  I miss my little brother a lot when we're both away at school but I know that he's having as much fun as I am and that he'll love college as much as I do.  We celebrated Dylan's birthday a week late but it was still great.  Dylan gave me Boy Meets World on DVD and I gave Dylan a shirt from Gap.  
      All in all it was a great birthday.  Very low-key, very fun, very me.  I had a great time and am so happy that my friends were with me to celebrate!  I love love love them and am going to miss seeing them when we're on break.  



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

     HO HO HO!  Christmas came early this past weekend for me and my two best friends!  We made the annual trek to Macy*s to see the light show and the Dickens' Village.  This show is tradition for so many people in the Philadelphia area.  I grew up going to this endearing holiday tradition and I will continue to go every year until I'm a billion.  The place is kitsch to the enth degree.  AND I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!  
     So my friends and I drove over to Philly jamming all the way to B101.  After belting multiple Christmas jams, we finally arrived.  We walked into Macy*s which is the old Wanamaker Building in Philadelphia.  The Wanamaker Building was home to Philadelphia's first department store!  (History for the shopping inclined).  Macy*s is home to the Wanamaker Organ. This beautiful and historic building now houses one of the best Christmas Spectaculars in the area.  Every hour on the hour there is a musical light show that tells multiple Christmas tales including The Nutcracker.  The show is spectacular and so much fun to watch.  We missed that hour's show by 10 minutes so we lined up for Dickens' Christmas Village instead.  
     Dickens' Christmas Village is a miniature replica of animatronic figures acting out Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol.  It is adorable!!  The only thing that is not adorable is the line.  The line is about 30 minutes in length.  It does move pretty quickly and you get to walk through historic rooms in the Wanamaker Building.  These rooms are etched with gorgeous sculptures and designs.  You also get to watch Yes, Virginia, in the second of 3 holding areas.  On a side note, I always end up watching the movie from the same scene.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  YEAR.  How does this happen?  I don't know.  I think it falls under the same magical shtick that you never get to hear Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You from the beginning.  I think this is so as to keep any/all passengers I have in my car from trying to escape Madden* by any means humanly possible.  Anyway, when we finally entered the animatronic heaven, we were greeted by animatronic, slightly  extremely scary Charles Dickens, and he welcomed us to the show.  As you walk through the animatronic figures you can read a synopsis of each coordinating scene at each stop.  When Scrooge is greeted by the Ghost of Christmas Present, the little girl in front of us asked her dad who that man was.  She asked, "Is That Santa?  He's not old.  He doesn't have white hair.  But he is wearing a red suit!"  Her dad looked at her and said, "Yes!  That's Santa when he was 35."  This answer pacified the little girl and melted our hearts.  I want my husband to be the cute and to think that quickly on his feet!  ADORABLE!  
     So we finished walking through the Village and then watched the light show from the optimal viewing location:  2nd floor, dead center.  The show was great.  Even the intense PDA couple couldn't ruin this for us.  #PDAisgross.
    After we left Macy*s, we were going to go to Reading Terminal Market for the BEST pretzels/cannolis in Philly, but it was closed.  But, what to our wandering eyes should appear but Mids and Cadets fresh out of the Army v Navy game at the Linc!  Whhhaaaat a great day!  If anyone is wondering which side I'm on I will state for the record I support Navy.  I have only good things to say about Navy and the Mids.  Plus, the uniforms are way better.  You would be surprised though, three different girls, three very different opinions about which uniform is better.  Anyway, Navy won for the 11th straight year in a row.  Bravo Zulu Navy!  
     Next, we went to Geno's.  Parking at Geno's is the only draw back to the experience.  We ended up parking on what can only be described as a Christmas Street.  Lights hanging across the street, beautiful decorations in every window, greenery and garland hanging from the doorways and windows.  Exquisite.  It put us in the Christmas mood.  Geno's is the greatest place in the city.  You can not get a better steak anywhere in the world.  Plus the people watching is second to none.  Plus there were tooooons of hot Mids there.  All the more reason to enjoy our dinner!  We congratulated several Mids on the win and ate our steaks and fries (for me).  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!  
      This was the best way to put all of us in a Christmasy mood.  It was also the perfect distraction from studying for finals and writing term papers.  

     So spread a little Christmas cheer and visit Charles Dickens' Christmas Village because it will instantly brighten your day!

My two besties!

 Cutest Village
Kate & me

Lights Show!

xoxo  Er
 *Madden Rowse is the name of my beloved car.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why My LIfe May or May Not Be an ABCFamily Christmas Movie


     Well, the most wonderful time of the year has found us all again!  This means that once again ABC Family provides me with round the clock Christmas Joy in the form of ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas!  This is my favorite movie season of the year!  The merriment, joy, influx of baked goods, and surprisingly the parallels between Christmas movies and my real, actual, human life.  So here goes: the reasons as to why my life may actually be an ABC Family Christmas movie (p.s. I'm totally okay with this)!

     So yesterday my roommate and I were watching one of my favorite ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas movies, 12 Dates of Christmas.  *If you've never seen it I suggest you get yourself to Netflix ASAP.  But in summary, the movie takes place on Christmas Eve, with Amy Smart's character, Kate, still wallowing over her breakup with Jack.  She calls him at Christmas hoping that their interaction will remind him that they should be together forever, love, hearts, you may kiss the bride, etc.  Meanwhile, Kate's loathed step-mom sets her up on a date with her incredibly hot godson, Miles (aka Mark-Paul Gosslaar aka THE Zack Morris).  Kate doesn't take her blind date with Miles seriously at all and on her way to the date she stops at a department store to buy Jack an expensive sweater.  As she's leaving the store a saleslady sprays her with perfume.  The perfume causes her to go dizzy and she faints.  When she comes to she goes on her date.  She ends up being uuber rude to Miles and takes a call from Jack during the dinner.  She leaves the date to go meet up with Jack.  Well, turns out Jack's engaged.  Kate wallows and goes to bed only to wake up the next day, on the floor of the department store where she was sprayed, finding it to be again, December 24th. This pattern continues for 12 days straight.  Each day she finds out a little bit more about who she is and why she is in this place in her life.  At the end Christmas Magic takes over*  Anyway, as we were watching, I noticed some alarming parallels between this movie (and all holiday movies) and my life.  So join me:

  1. These movies have extensive mall scenes-  Being a proud Southern New Jerseyan, I spend a considerable amount of my time in malls.  Now I know why I avoid the "Spritzers" like the plague.  Gahhhh, what I would give for a Serendipity-esque meeting.  
  2. Optimistic blonde who believes that her ex will magically fall back in love with her and want her back-I consider myself an optimist.  I am blonde.  And I do, on occasion, wonder why I can't work it out with a certain ex.  I (as I'm sure you know) love Christmas and always share my feelings about this day with everyone I meet.  So I believe, in my delusional mind, that he will think Christmas and instantly think of me.  Probably Definitely not true.  Maybe it's just the romantic notion of it all.  But let's be honest, we all wonder.  Blondes are usually used in these movies to help convince the audience that they would believe their own self-indulgant fantasies about love, life, and what makes the world go 'round.  
  3. Finds Love on Christmas-This is always the dream.  Call it a delusional stereotypical whimsy, but every girl wants to believe in the Christmas movie plot lines of Serendipity, 12 Dates of Christmas, Just Friends, Rudolph, and heck Elf!  We all want that.  
  4. Way Too Matchy Matchy Costumey Clothes-Just see #1.  I love love love shopping and buying cute cute cute clothes.  Do I sometimes find myself dressed as a character in an ABC Family Christmas movie?  Yes.  Am I proud of this?  Actually yes!  I've heard it said that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  So applying the commutative property, (see, I am good at math) dress like the life you want, and you will get it.  So I dress as optimistic blonde girls living in a Christmas World!  Whatever works right?
  5. Plethora of classic Christmas Jams remixed for the 21st century-We all enjoy the classics.  But when a spunky C list pop star redoes them with a kitschy little beat attached?  You can't beat that!  
  6. The lead always has a crazy focused life plan-Hello!  That's me.  23-masters, 26 start my doctorate at Penn.  Graduate when I'm 30 with my degree in Ed Administration.  Work as a teacher until I'm 35, then supervise for 5 years, then vp for 5 years, then principal for 5 years, then superintendent for 10, then work as a curriculum developer for NJ.  Then become Secretary of Education.  See the correlation? 
  7. Zack Morris or AC Slater is the guy she ends up with-As a proud child of the 90s I can honestly say that I heart Zack Morris and AC Slater in all their acid-washed jeans glory!
  8. Ability to relive days I think I can do better-Ok, while I don't have the actual ability to do this, I do replay my days and think about how I could improve upon them should I magically be granted the ability to relive them.  Some days I would totally do over if given the chance.
  9. Christmas lights are EVERYWHERE!-If I could, I would have Christmas lights everywhere.  In my house, outside, in stores, everywhere!  I just think they are sweet and romantic without being cheesy or cheap.  But not colored lights.  They look tacky.
So to wrap up, (Christmas pun intended and relished) I do love Christmas movies.  My life does mirror them to an uncomfortable parallel.  But I will relish in it...and now I will be more open to letting the crazy perfume spritzers splash me with whatever celebrity is making a fragrance fueled comeback.  But only if it means I can jet around town in an overly color-coordinated outfit, jamming to Christina Millian Christmas jams, while planning my crazy awesome overly driven life!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black Friday Success Story

If anyone had any doubts Black Friday was a huge success!!

     I have been doing Black Friday shopping for a very long time and I have contingency plan.  The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I went to the mall and hid all of the things I planned to buy.  I tried on all of the things I wanted to buy on Wednesday at my pre-shop to ensure proper fit.  I do this at 9:50, 10 minutes before the store closes!  I know that none of the sales staff is going to readjust the store the day before madness starts!  Thanksgiving Night was capped off with pie and changing into my traditional Black Friday outfit:  jeans, black turtleneck, Uggs, and a white puffy vest.  So my dad and I arrive at the mall at 11:50 pm.  T-10 mins til showtime!  We join the other Varsity Level Shoppers outside of Macy*s.  The energy was high, the people were all psyched, and ready to go!  A random man came up to a woman standing near us, "Hey,  what's going on here?  Why are all the people standing here?" She looked at him and said,"It's NJ.  It's Black Friday.  The mall opens at 12."  He just nodded and walked away.  We were at a mall people!  Not just a random store in a city.  No.  A mall.  In a small town.  Why was he here if he didn't know...So now the Macy*s workers open the door and people start moving...slowly.  I am bouncing off the ceilings with excitement to get in and people are taking their sweet time!  Knees to Chest People!  Knees To Chest!  So I dodge and weave my way past the Sunday Strollers and grab my stowed prize...Black Jeggins.  I know...Dream Big!  And guess what?!  I was the first purchase at the mall!  Woo hoo!  The saleslady was like "Whoa, you know what you're doing!  That was so fast!"  I was like yep I was here on Wednesday getting the lay of the land.  So I dash upstairs and buy a faux camel leather jacket.  Super cute!  In love!  Then I got two bracelets from LOFT.  Really chunky, cute, bright pieces.  I love them.  They're the perfect chunky.  They're the Goldilocks of bracelets:  not too big, not too small.  Now it's time to go home and prep for round two.  I don't have a death wish so I will not be going to Target until 10 am on Friday.  So at 9 am I make my second rounds at the mall picking up some tops.  Then, I head to Target and buy...guess...CHRISTMAS MUSIC!  I need help.  I really do.  It's a sickness!  I bought Sugarland's Gold & White.  Then I bought Toby Keith's Hope On The Rocks.  So I had a jam sesh all the way home.

     I also have this belief that whenever you go to the mall for Christmas shopping you have to buy a present for a child who is in need.  Christmas was always a huge deal in my house and my brother and I are incredibly spoiled.  So I bought a game for my KDP toy drive.  I love buying games because I think they promote cognitive skills, teamwork, social skills, fine motor skills, and they're awesomely fun!  My family was always more like the Geller family in the sense that we were never allowed to play games because we were are too competitive!  Seriously in our house the LIFE game pieces are all bent because we'd fight over them.

      So long story short, I accomplished a lot and I had so much fun.  This is one of the highlights of my year!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Festivities

Thanksgiving...T-7 DAYS

So my favorite holiday is just around the corner!!  One week away!! I can't wait!  I love Thanksgiving because it is the unofficial kick-off to the best season...CHRISTMAS!!  The Kitley's have many holiday traditions centered around Turkey Day!

My little brother will return Saturday from college for his fall break so that's exciting.  Whenever Dylan comes home we usually go out to eat A LOT because he's never really home.  

Okay so on to traditions!

Wednesday before Thanksgiving:

One of my oldest best friends and I get together for "Cheap College Kid Day"!  First we meet up at 9 am (again this should indicate how much I loooooove hanging out with her because I don't wake up early for annnnyboddy.) and we go to the diner for "Cheap College Kid Breakfast".  That's not the official title but it's $2.95 for pancakes so it really is for Cheap College Kids!  Then, we're off to Shop Rite to acquire the accouterments for the best chocolate chip cookies.  My friend is an expert chocolate chip cookie baker.  I excel at brownies not cookies.  Her cookies literally make the world better.  When you eat them you just are instantly happy.  It's like rainbows+sunshine+happiness in cookie form.  BEST!!  We bake cookies for two reasons.  Ourselves and our FAVORITE teacher!  Our favorite teacher literally changed our lives.  She was so dedicated and so invested in her students that she literally would do anything for us.  LOVED HER.  I always felt like the girl version of Cory Matthews because she was my Mr. Feeny.  She lived next door to me and taught me for so many years.  She and I have heart to hearts over the hedges and talk about life, books, relationships...everything!  She was our ACE teacher (Advanced Classes for Education) from grades 3 (4 for me)-8.  A special privilege afforded to the middle school ACE students was that you got to stay after school on the half-day Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  We got to eat pizza, snacks, and paint the windows of the classroom with Winter Scenes!  These winter scenes were soooo cool because we got to paint depictions of classic holiday activities.  One window would have a skating scene, one would have a "holiday tree" (gotta love public school and their ability to crush Christmasness), one would have sledders, and one would have a log cabin.  Every year since we graduated 8th grade (2005) we have returned to help paint the windows!  This will be our 10th year!!  We are college seniors and we still relish in decorating windows!  So we join in the fun and paint windows and wear Santa hats and listen to Christmas jams (they can't kill the spirit that much because as Buddy taught us...The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!)  After we've painted the windows (a tradition that I fully plan on continuing when I teach) til our little hearts are content we say our goodbyes and head out to look at model houses.  Model houses have been something that our favorite teacher took us to visit when we were younger.  On the drive over to the model houses, the three of us cooked up a "story" about how we were studying architecture and therefore needed the floor plans of all the houses.  I'm sure the sales reps saw right through our story but we didn't care we thought it was awesome!  We thought we were super slick and supercool!  

This Thanksgiving Wednesday we will probably celebrate my parents anniversary with dinner.  We can't celebrate on the 17th because all four of us having different schedules.  After dinner we will watch  A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. 

     Thursday is the BIG DAY!!  I love Thanksgiving because it is just the four of us.  My parents, Dylan, and me.  It's just a nice intimate and relaxing day for our family.  When I was in high school I always had to cheer on Thanksgiving Day and it caused a lot of stress for our family.  Deb would have to get up early to put the turkey in the oven and do all the prep stuff.  I was also sad because I used to miss the Philadelphia Parade.  But NOW I  get to see the parade in all it's ginormous turkey, Cecily Tynan, high school marching band glory!  I am pumped!  You should know that my Deb owns Thanksgiving.  My Deb is seriously the best cook.  Yes my Deb is my mom but as I always say, everyone has a mom but not everyone has a Deb.  So while we're watching the parade, Deb always makes Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls...every year.  We NEVER eat them besides Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.  I mean they take literally no effort to make yet we never buy them.  I've talked to a few of my friends about this subject and they ALL have the same tradition:  you only get Cinnamon Rolls on Thanksgiving and other time lol.  
      After we munch our Cinnamon Rolls and Santa rolls on by, Dylan and I start watching every Thanksgiving themed episode of FRIENDS.  FRIENDS is our family's favorite show.  Dylan and I watch all 8 (yes 2 season do not have episodes) and laugh ourselves silly.  We started this tradition because Deb DOESN'T like helpers in her kitchen.  She pretends like she does but we "help" by setting the table and staying out of her way.  #bestideaever!  Yes Dylan, my dad, and I have the collective helping skills of a 4 year old.  You better believe that we rock setting that table though!  We combine staying out of the way and constantly praise our Deb.  This has seemed to work thus far-so why stop now?  So around 4 we all sit down to eat.  Before dinner we all say Grace and then say what we're thankful for.  It seems cheesy but it really is good to verbally say what you're thankful for and thank God and all the people sitting around the table for everything they have done for you.  So now it's time to EAT DEVOUR dinner.  Deb makes the whole dinner from scratch.  She makes 2 different types of mashed potatoes (fully mashed and lumpy (for me!)), 2 different kinds of stuffings (my Mom-Mom's recipe) one with turkey sausage (for me) and regular sausage for them.  Then we have turkey, cranberry sauce (another thing we suspiciously only eat on Thanksgiving) broccoli, rolls, and then 2 pies for dessert.  We have pumpkin with whipped cream and Deb's famous apple pie.  This apple pie is bubbling with deliciousness.  The pie is jammed full of apples and cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, and butter.  It's fantastic.  After dinner we all watch Elf.  

    After Elf, I power nap because Black Friday is my 3rd favorite holiday!!  It is time to revamp my energy!  I take Black Friday very seriously.  Since I am not a toy-obsessed parent or buying any electronics (although I fully intend to one day be those women) I usually just stock up on teacher clothes.  However, you have to have a contingency plan.  I go to the mall a week before Thanksgiving and try on all the things I want to buy.  This allows me the opportunity to know what my sizes are before the mayhem sets in.  Then at midnight on Thanksgiving I can run into LOFT and buy buy buy!  Believe you me, size 4 women get pretty testy and competitive when black pants are on sale.  I also get a feel for how the store is laid out and where all the good stuff is.  Black Friday is something I take very seriously.  I wear the same outfit every year.  Why do I do this?  The answer is two-fold.  One luck.  Two it is comfortable and warm and I don't have to wear a big puffy coat.  I hate shopping in a coat because it takes up too much room, you get too hot, and it is uncomfortable.  So I wear jeans, Uggs, and a black turtleneck with a white puffy vest.  Hair in a ponytail is essential because it helps keep you competitive.  You can lose valuable time (therefore clothes) by having to push your hair out of your face.  So armed with my snacks (usually cereal), coupons, and passion for shopping and head out to the mall.  I get so excited because I don't know what I will find.  I shop from 12-3am then come home, sleep til 10-11 then go back out.  Target is a place that I will hit up around 11:30 the next day because the crowd is gone, yet the sales are still going on.  I have collected many Sex and The City DVDs this way!  Then I go home and have Thanksgiving Dinner part II!  I love love love Thanksgiving leftovers.  

So now all I can do is just sit and wait for a week.  I can't wait but I know that I have so many fun Thanksgiving things to do!

So there are our traditions!  They may seem silly but we love them and we can't wait to continue them for many many many years to come!



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Happy Poll People Are Half The Reason I VOTE

Happy Day After Election Day!!

Yesterday was the first time I was eligible to vote in a Presidential Election!!  I was so excited!  I've always been a huge fan of voting (literally I will vote in every election...fireman's, favorite color, mayoral, school board, etc.  Doesn't matter, I will vote) and since last time I missed the election by a month I was superpsyched when I got to go yesterday.  So after work yesterday morning I went to my old high school (not something I love doing, but it's my civic duty so I'll put my feelings about my alma mater aside #growth) and as I'm walking in one of my favorite teachers was leaving and said that I "as always looked like a class act!"  This made me so excited because a) I loved her class and consider it to be one of the most relevant classes I've ever taken b) I really liked my outfit yesterday.  Why did I like my outfit so much?  Well, God knows I love a theme, so my Election Day theme was...Modern Day Jacqueline Kennedy Votes As A 22 Year Old Girl From NJ. I achieved this in black Loft pants, nude flats, and a magenta cinched waist structured jacket.  Obsessed much?  Yes, but it resembles the coat she wore on Inauguration Day 1961!  

So now I'm walking into the cafeteria and I sign all the voting slips and get on line.  While standing in the patriotic queue, I begin to wonder why I do not have to show ID to vote.  Granted, my hometown is insanely small and everybody knows everybody else so if someone came in and tried to pose as somebody else no one would believe them.  (This mostly stems from the fact that not only is a greater majority of my town related to each other, but the fact that feuds/friendships run generations deep)  But if I lived in a bigger town or if I was new to the area and voting precinct, why wouldn't anyone check my ID?

After I push identity theft out my brain the magnitude of what I'm about to do finally sets in.  Since I am in college I obviously could have mailed in my ballot but something about being in the high school cafeteria heightens the weight of what I'm about to do.  I LOVED the atmosphere.  Everyone voting and partaking in their right as Americans...LOVED it!  As I'm standing on line with a hugely dorky grin on my face, I begin to realize what an awesome and rare experience I am about to partake in.  I have the opportunity to exercise MY opinion as to who I think should be the leader of the GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH!  My opinion!  I was overcome with a great sense of responsible and pride because I know so many people across the globe do not have and will never have the opportunity to vote.  I'm most definitely not a feminist (well...mostly not) but I do very much feel lucky and blessed to have the opportunity as a woman to vote.  I know so many other women would KILL to have half/quarter/smidgen of the opportunities that I have being an American woman and therefore I vote for them.  I vote for the women who will never get the opportunity to vote.  I vote for the women who risked their lives, reputations, families, jobs, everything, to avail me with the right to vote.  I vote for all the people who have lost their lives in the pursuit of being able to have their voices heard via vote.  I vote for all our armed forces members who have died for my right to vote.  I vote because I care about my country.  I vote because I CAN!  I have that right and responsibility to do so.  

So as I'm standing in the voting booth, I proudly made my selection.  (Did I love either candidate whole heartedly?  No, but I did agree with one candidate more than the other)  Even though I am a registered Independent (and strong McCain supporter in 2008) I voted for President Obama.  I like him as a person and I think he is doing the best he can with the cards he was dealt.  I read a funny meme the other day that said, "Re-electing President Obama is like resurrecting the Titanic and hitting the iceberg all over again.  Electing Romney is like resurrecting the Titanic and hitting a new iceberg"  I actually really laughed at that and I thought it was a pretty accurate portrayal of the current candidates. 

Also, I voted for my dad for school board!  And congrats Daddy on winning!  I'm so proud of you and I know that you will do a great job!  My dad is one of those people who is always fair and can see the bigger picture.  As a high school senior I was the student representative to the BOE and therefore, I as a previous Board member, endorse my dad and can say he will do a very good job!

Anyway, regardless of political leaning I really am a huge believer in voting.  Vote because you can!  This is your country and you should vote.  You have the right and the responsibility to do so.  Vote because not everyone in the world can.  Vote because someone (a lot of people) don't have the right to. Vote because you deserve to be heard.  Make a difference.  Do good.  Also, on a cynical note, there is nothing I hate more than people who run their mouths about politicians and then DON'T VOTE!  If you're not going to vote, don't complain!  You had your chance to make a difference and you did not.  So shhhhhh!  

Now I'm going to take a moment to thank all of the positive poll people!  Aren't they so freakin' cute?  I can't wait to be an old person because they're just so cute and funny!  I love old people!  Maybe because my Gramma and Mom Mom were such a huge part of my life, but I've always felt a very strong affinity towards the elderly.  They are just hilarious and awesome.  They also steal jellies/sugar packets/napkins/plastic utensils from diners and restaurants and let's be honest, that's one of my strongest qualities, too.  So in short, my favorite non seismic part of Election Day is the Precious Poll People!  How cute are they?  When I retire I am going to be one of those Dunkin' Donuts Box O' Joe fueled, patriotic, white haired wonders!  They are the sweetest people ever!  I am going to say  "Hi Honey!  What's your name?  Thanks for voting!"  or "It's so good to see young people come out and vote!"  Gahhhh I just love them!  They have the best job.  I will probably not even mind waking up at 5  am to take the line of curlers out of my white hair and dab on my hot pink lipstick and meet my other fabulous twilight year friends (because I'm so not a morning person) because I'll be so excited to live out one of my greatest dreams!  I just really want to do this.  Obviously I will be a fabulous old lady who will perform all of her stereotypical old lady rituals/habits/routines/rights but I'm gonna rock the vote even in my rocker!  I'm gonna flirt with all the other old single men and rock my tan velcro sneakers like no other! 

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”-John Quincy Adams

Peace. Love. Democracy.



Saturday, November 3, 2012

What I'm Obsessed With November 3, 2012 Edition

Very often, okay wayyyy too often I become obsessed with some youtube video and watch it on repeat.  Today I am obsessed with the video If Guys Were Like Girls.  This is a fantastic representation of how guys see girls.  And the scary part is that it is actually accurate!!  I love all parts of this video!  Brennica?  Who doesn’t love that name?  These boys are not far off with their satirical banter. The boys give us girls a clue into how we come across.  This reminds me of Andie Anderson’s How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days article.  I am just obsessed with this video because it is so funny and scarily accurate.  Is my life goal to be like the girls they are parodying?  No, quite literally the opposite; however, this is a fantastical Bering Strait between how girls see themselves and how boys see us.  It is equal parts hilarious, perfect, and fantastic!  Enjoy!

If Guys Were Like Girls

If Guys Were Like Girls II



Friday, November 2, 2012

Christmas Is In...ONE MONTH AND 22 DAYS!!

***Notice the red and green typing...Christmas is soon people!!  I have foregone my usual know I mean business***  PS sorry this was posted twice...I don't know why

So today at 1pm my day got infinitely better!  Why do you ask??  Because that was the time that I walked into Target and bought Christmas JAMS!!  Being a December baby I feel an extra special affinity towards Christmas.  In my house, December is literally the busiest and most expensive month...EVER.  Both my brother and I are December Babies (he's the 9th and I'm the 14th).  Then comes Christmas Adam (a term I copped from my friend...i.e. the day before Christmas Eve...who came before Eve?  Adam #ChristianityHumor) a day filled with shopping or just people watching at the mall with a Starbucks Caramel Apple Cider in hand, then, Christmas Eve (a day filled with eating hors d'oeuvres/primping for church/having my hair not work with me even though I've had wayyyyyy longer than usual to perfect it/arriving at mass an hour and 45 minutes prior to ensure we get the "best seats"/going to Red Lobster for dinner (I know it may seem a little strange but we will get to that in a later post titled Kitley Family Holiday Traditions)/my Aunt's house for Christmas Dinner part II/wrapping presents/watching 24 straight hours of A Christmas Story/then reading Twas The Night Before Christmas/getting new Christmas jammies.  Then, finally Jesus' Birthday!!  Then December 26th shopstravaganza!  And then New Year's Eve and finally New Year's Day.  As you can see Christmas and December are a big  FREAKING GINORMOUS deal in my house!

Back to today, Target is my all time favorite store.  Literally who doesn't love Target?  You can buy dog food, lawn furniture, and moderately priced nail polish all in one place...Heaven?  I think so!!  Well today Target reached a new level of epicness.  As I strode through the Jedi-like sliding doors, I was debating what I wanted to buy.  It's payday and payday means Target Day!  Do I need a reason to go to Mecca?  No, if it is a day that ends in y, I will most likely be at Target.  Anyway, I decide to buy myself some new music.  Maybe a little Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Jana Kramer, who knows whichever I feel like.  Well, I didn't even make it to the country section because what to my wandering eye should appear but the glittering Christmas display that can only be described as having been created and primped by angels or Jovie...THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC DISPLAY!!  Be still my beating heart!

Well, I just went nuts.  EVERYTHING was on sale!  Nothing was more than $8.99!  God knows I love a sale, let alone a Christmas music sale!  Amy, Nat, Luther, NSYNC, Kidz Bop, all the greats were sitting there staring back at me saying BUY ME BUY ME BUY ME!  Well, I did.  I bought three CDs...Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers...Brad Paisley...Rudolph...wait for it...the original with Burl Ives!  I had to verbally command my self...out loud mind you..."Walk away from the Christmas display Erin...walk away."  So I went to the register with my glee in full force (literally a huge dork smile on my face) and paid for them.  $18.97...I think yes!  Before the saleslady could hand me my bag I grabbed it and said "THANKYOUVERYMUCHHAVEANICEDAY!" and pranced out the store!  On a scale from 1-Kristen Bell and a sloth, I was right with her!  So as I bounce to my car, barely withholding my glee, I rip open the Dolly/Kenny jam and...well, let's just say it was a Hard Candy Christmas in my car allllllll the way home.  

While jamming out and smiling like Ralphie when he opens the Red Rider BB gun, I decided I wasn't going to make it to the gym today, no sir...I was going to weigh train while watching Elf   *First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle*  Much better decision I think!

Well, the moral of the story is that Christmas is soon and there is room for everybody on the nice list!  So remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!  So I will continue to jam (exclusively to Christmas Jams) and I expect everyone to be as happy as me!  So if you see me standing outside a department store dressed as an elf handing out candy know who to call...yes that's right Macy's Security!

xoxo AND ho ho ho