Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thankful for Reality Shows

Today I am thankful for reality TV.  Shallow?  Probably.  Cheesy?  Definitely!  Fabulous?  You Betcha!  Reality TV is a train wreck.  It is juicy and terrific, and terrible, and romantic, and delicious, and eye roll worthy and just bad.  Horrendous really, but it is sooooooooo good!  Reality TV holds a special place in my little pink sparkly heart because some of my favorite memories of hang time with my Mom-Mom include "late night" (i.e. 8 pm) Monday nights watching The Bachelor.  We would scrutinize all the girls, pick our favorites, mock the dates, (but secretly want them to end up with each other in true everlasting love), pray for the best candidate to be the acclaimed last one standing and win the coveted "Final Rose".  We would watch Chris Harrison MC the most dramatic rose ceremony ever rose after rose, week after week, year after year.  We would have long discussions about life, love, and just die laughing at the ridiculousness that is reality shows.  Reality shows are just the juicy best.  I can't tell you how many friends I have made through bonding over the sentence, "Did you watch last night?"  Just great stuff.  My mama always asks me, "What are you doing to your brain cells?  You're a smart girl, why are you watching this stuff?"  The answer?  I don't know.  I am addicted to it.  I lerve lerve lerve it!  It's juicy, sweet, gross, and something I can't stop salivating over.  Reality shows also let me de-stress...something I need a lot of lately.  Between finals, COMPS, life, and work stress I'm a wreck and a half and if reality shows let me blow off some steam and forget about my craziness for a little be it!  I embrace my inner reality fan girl dorkdom.  Also, reality show date nites are my absolute fav!  In high school my cheerleading squad would bond over Two-A-Days on MTV.  We'd all watch the Hoover Alabama boys and cheerleaders wrestle with high school dilemmas and relate to all of them.  A different group of friends and I would watch Laguna Beach and/or The Hills/City every Tuesday night armed with popcorn and chocolate.  Then, college came and my next door neighbor floormate and I would watch every teen pregnancy show and RHONJ episode together while munching on the greatest/most important thing I ever learned in college pop corn & m&ms.  Now that I am legal we have champagne and brownies while watching The Bachelor or Bachelorette sojourn through their quest for love.  Reality shows are a great medium for catching up, laughing, and secretly wanting to be a part of the drama yet simultaneously thankful that you are not.

 Last night one of my besties and I had a total NJ Fan Girl Nite.  We drove our big haired, red bottom shoed, Jersey Girl decked out selves up to Hoboken!  We went to dinner at Little Town NJ and then had dessert at Carlo's Bake Shop.  This isn't the first time I have gone to a Real Housewives of NJ event.  No sir.  I'm a crazed fan girl.  I went to a Blk Water Signing last year and totally embarrassed myself.  Good Times Erin!  I won't recount the details (if you so choose to read about them you can on the bloggy post from last September)  but it does involve me Cajun Voicing for Chris Manzo and having him walk away in sheer terror.  So that's a win.  Also, two year ago, my same friend Kate and I went to Rowan University to see Teresa Giudice and have her sign our copies of Fabulicious.  

Back to Little Town NJ.  We weren't sure how the food was going to be.  You know, kitschy reality show yields kitschy restaurant.  FALSE!  In case you don't know what Little Town NJ is, it is a Jersey themed restaurant (no not the big hair, sparkly dress, leopard print, boobs&Loubs kinda place) owned by the Manzo brothers.  The idea was to bring together and celebrate NJ's unique food culture.  The menu included veggies (we are the Garden State after all), seafood (Hello Jersey shore...the real kind not the show that I abhor.) and fresh meat.  The restaurant was beautiful!  I was blown away.  It's a bar vibe but a very upscale bar with little pictures of NJ landmarks on the immaculately painted walls.  It's super hot!  I loved it!  The service was insanely good!  I ordered one of the night's specials--a salmon burger with not one, but two ginormous onion rings, mixed greens, Jersey tomatoes, and an avocado spread.  The side was fries, and not just any fries--no I'm talking the greatest fries I've ever eaten.  They were thick cut, salty, seasoned, and just...wait I'm having a foodmoment...okay I'm back...delish!   (I'm not a fries girl but I managed to eat the whole plate no problemo)  Our food came out in less than 15 minutes.  You can't even get a water in most Jersey diners in under 8 minutes so this was a shocker!  The best part was when the check came (everything was pretty reasonably priced, too) and included were Salt Water Taffies.  I missed those little bad boys.  I would highly recommend Little Town NJ for dinner/lunch/late night.

Store Front
My Salmon Burger (p.s. it is great as a leftover)

Kate's Epic Mac & Cheese
Since we both have a penchant for sugary desserts we headed a few blocks over to Carlo's Bake Shop, home of the TLC famous Cake Boss.  No we didn't see Buddy & Co., but we did see the shop and more desserts than our little hearts could tolerate.  I was kind of disappointed by the slow service.  There were 6 people working standing behind the counters but only two people were actually taking orders, running to get the food, packaging it, and ringing up customers.  The others were just kind of staring at everyone.  Anyway, I ordered a Nutella Lindsor Torte and cupcakes for the famsquad and Kate ordered cupcakes and brownies for her famsquad.  The man serving me messed my order up though ( and because they package everything up before they show it to you) I didn't realize this until I got home later that night.  Anyway, the famsquad said the cupcakes were great so I guess all isn't lost.

My Treats and Me
Kate and Her Treats

Anyway, back to Reality, (oops there goes gravity...sorry I loved Eminem as a little kid) here are a list of my top reality show loves from yesteryear and today in no particular order:

The Bachelor/Bachelorette 
Dancing With The Stars
The Newlyweds
The Ashlee Simpson Show
Keeping Up With the Kardashians (I stopped watching 3 years ago when they went totally bonkers.  Not a fan anymore)
Say Yes To the Dress (Atlanta and Bridesmaids)
Real Housewives of NJ/OC/BH/DC
Laguna Beach
The Hills
The City
Teen Mom (2&3)
16 & Pregnant
Rock of Love (come on, you know it was great)
Eric & Jessie:  Game On
Girls Next Door
Kendra (season one)
Denise Richards It's Complicated
Cake Boss
Two A Days
Love or Money
Melissa & Tye
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making The Squad

All are disgustingly fabulous and addictive and I love them all.  Anyway, I am thankful for reality TV because it makes you feel a little more normal, appreciate what you have, and laugh your booty off.  It also lets you relax and just go completely coo coo for 30 to 60 minutes.  *Also I maybe had a soda last night at Little Town NJ.  I felt bad about cheating and I stopped drinking it about 4/5th of the way down.  Womp Womp*



Skinnies:  Jessica Simpson
Top: Old Navy
Necklace: LOFT
Shoes: Mr. Christian Louboutin
Ring: Macy's
Purse:  Kate Spade
Earings: Tiffany's
Bracelets: Lia Sophia
Kate at Little Town NJ 

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