Monday, December 13, 2010

You Suck At Dating. (A Guide For How To NOT Suck At Dating)

While I'm not here to claim like I've got it all, I do have a particularly hard time watching friends make mistakes that I wouldn't. So I've devised a guide of mistakes and how to avoid them, from what I've learned so far.

My dad once told me- smart people learn from their mistakes, wise people learn from others' mistakes too.


Everyone's got them. Everyone's are different. Here's one mistake I've made: thinking that having high standards for looks is shallow. I've gone through my fair share "he's-got-a-nice-personality" boyfriends, and you know what I found out? It doesn't work. Chemistry is important. And while the personality might be enough chemistry for you while the relationship is new and exciting, those butterflies always wear off-
whether he's hot or not. And after the newness and excitement dies down, so will the chemistry.

If you can wake up next to him after 5 months and look over at the bed-head, hasn't-showered-yet lumpy pile in the bed and think to yourself "yep.. still sexy" then there's a good chance you will find yourself doing that when you're 50, 70, or 90 years old too.

Again, I have found myself in situations where I look over and that's not what I think at all. And it really kills a lot of the affection you have for your partner in the relationship. If he comes up to you sometimes and wants to kiss you and you think "ew" (which I have!) then you know what? You should think twice. It makes you enjoy everything non-physical in the relationship and not enjoy the romantic parts as much. Stop and think about that for a second. What is a relationship without the romance and the chemistry? It's friendship!

When you enjoy the friendship part and not the dating part of your relationship, that's just a no-brainer. You're better off as friends.

Wanting a good looking partner is not overrated. You deserve the best.

Love At First Sight

Ha. I love this. I think this is a phrase coined by Hollywood to keep their romantic comedies under 2 1/2 hours long. Lust at first sight, sure. But love? Come on.

Let me tell you something I've learned from everyone I know, myself included. It takes at least a few months to know if the person you're dating is crazy or not. (I use the term crazy because of my 'crazy ex' story.. referr back to "What Kind Of An Ex Are You?" post). The first few months will give you little to no information about whether or not your relationship is going to be a real, authentic, long-term love, or a drama-filled, soap opera kind of romance.

Unless you're at the very least 5 or 6 months in, don't get your expectations too high. It's very easy to say "I can see myself spending the rest of my life with him/her" before you really find out that this would be a nightmare!

Don't Forgive A Cheater

I'm serious. I don't care if they were drunk or high or mad at you and it was your fault. It's not worth it. Let me tell you why.

The first thing I did when I was dating a guy was let him know that cheating would be unacceptable and unforgivable. Why would I do
this? Because it lets him know from the very beginning that if he gets the idea in his head, he knows for sure what the consequences will be. If you allow him to think you'll take him back, what's to stop him?

The other reason this philosophy is important is because of self-respect. Do you really want to be with someone who isn't sure 100% of the time that they want to be with you? No. You don't deserve that.

Let me say it again. You do NOT deserve that.

The more respect you have for yourself and the more apparent you make it, the more respect people will give you. Demand respect from the person you are dating. (Remember to give that much in return!) And most importantly of all, stop wasting your time on those who don't give it to you.

Enough With The On-Again, Off-Agains

Couples who break up and get back together all the time are ridiculous. Don't break up with someone if you don't mean it for good. Don't let them break up with you if they don't mean it for good. And don't take them back if they decide they didn't mean it!

If you threaten to break up with someone and don't mean it, you're crying wolf and what you say or threaten will lose its meaning over time. You don't want this. You want them to take you seriously, right?

Aside from it being a pet peeve of mine to watch friends see-saw with their relationship status' on Facebook, I don't have much else to say on the topic.

How Much Say Do They Get?

You're a big girl/boy. You can tie your own shoes, you can cross the street without holding someone's
hand. You can hang out with your friends without permission. You can spend your paycheck on what you want without permission. You can decide how many drinks you want when you're having a night out. You can choose your bedtime and you can eat dessert for dinner.

Don't let your partner become your parent. And do not become theirs. They're adults too.


I used to think that because I had more guy friends than girlfriends, I just got along with guys better and that the men I date should accept that. And vice versa, if my boyfriend was friends with more girls than guys.

But I'm going to say what you're not supposed to say, and let you know that while you might have lots of great friends who are the opposite sex, you're still playing with fire. It's not smart to hang out with them 1. without your significant other, or 2. as often as you used to (before S.O. came along). You will create lots of unwanted tension in your relationship and even if they assure you it's not a big deal, eventually IT WILL BE.

That said, should you be allowed to be friends with whoever you want? Of course! Don't let them dictate that for you. But be respectful, even if the friendships are strictly platonic. And it's ok for you to ask the same of them.

Personal Space

It's a big deal! Every couple develops their own comfort zones when it comes to space. Sometimes moving in is a big issue, sometimes it isn't. I know the stereotypical "oh-my-gosh-her-toothbrush-is-here" is supposed to really freak guys out, and in reality, sometimes it doesn't. (Sometimes it REALLY does!)

Either way, know that you're entitled to your own time and your own space. This goes out to people whose partner's want to be around them all the time. It's healthy to keep your own identity, your own friends, and your own interests.

That said, don't forget that you can be too clingy! Let them have their own time, their own interests, and their own friends, if they so feel the need. You don't have to do everything together, and you don't have to have them around you all the time- even though sometimes you might just want to be with them! Remember, it's not all about you. Don't be offended when they ask for space.

If You Like It, Then You Should Have Put A Ring On It

When it comes to commitment, there are two types of girls you don't want to be: the pushy girl, and the push-over girl.

Pushy girls (or guys): want everything up sooner than later. Relationship, love, engagement, marriage, babies. Remember what I said about taking a few months to try out dating before making a commitment? This is key for you, but it's also key for them. Wanting to be "official" after only a short time might freak them out. And chances are, it probably will. In fact, jumping the gun on any of these things will freak out your partner, so take your time, and allow them to take their time too. There's nothing worse than pushing someone into something they're not ready for. (And why would you want them to commit to something when they're not sure about it anyway? You want them to want to be official, to say "I love you", and to marry you. Right?)

Push-over girls (or guys): let the people they're dating get away with too much non-committal.. a lot of times because they're trying to avoid being pushy, like the people mentioned above. So what's the difference? When is it okay to ask "are you ever going to marry me?!"? That's a fine line- and to be honest, if you feel like you've been waiting too long, you probably have. Have the courage and self-respect to ask for what you want. If he tells you he loves you but won't be your boyfriend, he just wants the freedom to date other girls. There's no nice way to say it. Find a guy who wants just you and isn't afraid to tell the world.

You're On Your Way

I don't know what else to leave you with, except good luck and have fun with it! Try not to suck. :)


Alright, I didn't want to post two "I'm Loving.."s in a row, but I cannot help myself. If you have not heard of Geraldine Saglio, allow me to introduce her to you as my newest muse. Geraldine works for French Vogue as Emmanuelle Alt's assistant. (Emmanuelle Alt being the Fashion Director.. hello! You mean you don't follow French Vogue and all its editors?) ;)

More pics to come. (Google her if you can't wait!)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trends I'm Loving!

Fall 2010 trends I'm loving right now: knee high boots, slouchy sweaters, black leather, black-white-gray-neutral tones, and big comfy scarves. See on the following celebrities, and keep your eyes out for much more to come!

Ashley Greene- neutral tones, slouchy sweater, boots
Jessica Alba- Neutral tones, lack leather shoes/bag, scarf
Emmy Rossum- Neutral tones, boots
Hilary Duff- Neutral tones, boots, big scarf, black leather jacket
Hilary Duff- Neutral tones, black leather
Natalie Portman- Neutral tones, slouchy sweater [dress]
Hilary Duff- Neutral tones, slouchy sweater, black leather pants, big scarf
Jessica Alba- Black leather jacket, big scarf
Mila Kunis- Neutral tones, black leather skirt
Katie Holmes- Neutral tones, leather bag
Jennifer Garner- Neutral tones
Jessica Alba- Neutral tones, black leather shoes/bag, slouchy sweather
Jennifer Aniston- Neutral tones, black leather jacket

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No Really.. They're Serious.

Is everyone here familiar with those little games you can waste your day with on Facebook? Even if you haven't played them, you've heard of them: Farmville, Mafia Wars, Cafe World..

Well here's a new one you're not going to believe. It's called "It Girl".

You start out by picking the girl's skin color, hair color and style, makeup, and facial features. To change these at any time, you can go to the salon: where you can tan and get your makeup or hair done. (See pic below).
The main point of the game is to have the "hottest" outfit, and win "show-downs" against other girls. A show-down is a fashion-off, and is done at parties and on the street. You shop at all the stores, which takes energy. Need more? Stop at the coffee shop for a latte, and continue on your way!

Each item of clothing has a certain number of points. Mix together the max amount of points, and you can beat girls in the show-downs. (This is why you must shop all day!) To become the "It Girl", you must win the most show downs and have the biggest "clique". (Your clique will include any of your Facebook friends who also have the application).
When you win a showdown, you get points and more money for shopping. Points allow you to level up, which unlocks higher-end stores and cooler parties.
Other characters in the game talk to each other. A few examples of their phrases/convos include:
"You're rocking the trends!"
"Just wanted to say, you have great style."
"Shopping for tonight's party, it's going to be epic!"
"Oh my gosh, I love your hair! Where did you get it done?"
"Nice shoes!" "Aww, thank you!"
"Find an outfit for the party tonight?" "Yes, it's so hot."

Okay.. seriously. Let's sum up this game one more time. Shopping, coffee, fashion show-downs, cliques, and parties. Oh, and you can check out the newsstands for the latest gossip for extra points too.

This has got to be the most shallow thing I've ever seen! And I'll deny saying this if asked, but I actually don't mind it that much.. its what my own life is usually revolving around anyway. Minus the fashion show-downs of course. (Those are just in my head).

Check it out for yourself!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why Makeup Makes You Prettier

Gettysburg College Psychology Professor Richard Russell found that the what makes us perceive a face as "feminine" or "masculine" has a lot to to with the contrast of the face. Women, it seems, have a higher contrast between our eyes, lips, and surrounding skin than men do.

For example, regardless of race, female skin is known to be lighter than male skin. However, the eyes and lips aren't lighter or darker in either gender.. therefore making the woman's lips and eyes to stand out more- having more contrast. A masculine face usually has lips and eyes that blend in more to the color of the face.

Professor Russell learned that faces can be "manipulated" to appear more female by increasing facial contrast, or more male by decreasing facial contrast.

"'Though people are not consciously aware of the sex difference in contrast, they unconsciously use contrast as a cue to tell what sex a face is,' Russell said. 'We also use the amount of contrast in a face to judge how masculine or feminine the face is, which is related to how attractive we think it is.'

Given this sex difference in contrast, Russell found a connection between the application of cosmetics and how it consistently increases facial contrast. Female faces wearing cosmetics have greater facial contrast than the same faces not wearing cosmetics. Russell noted that female facial beauty has been closely linked to sex differences, with femininity considered attractive. His results suggest that cosmetics may function in part by exaggerating a sexually dimorphic attribute to make the face appear more feminine and attractive."

In the black and white photo above, you see two faces. The one on the left appears female, and the one one the right appears male. Looking closely though, you see that every feature is identical. Same eyes, same mouth, same nose. The only difference is the contrast of the features.

Using this knowledge, you can see that there are definitely correct and incorrect ways of using makeup to your advantage, ladies. (And gents!) Pastel lips and lots of foundation all over your face might cover up some unwanted blemishes or match your outfit, but it does the opposite of what you'd want it to. Makeup at a minimum always gives the illusion of natural beauty- but use those beauty products to your advantage. Enhance what you've got, and you'll be the most attractive you possible!

Quotes excerpted from

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm Loving... Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment

So! I finally got around to watching Sex & The City 2 this past week. I'd heard a lot of mixed reviews- and the overall consensus was that it was good, just not as good as the first movie was. Well, I liked it. I'm just in love with anything Sex & The City anyway, so maybe I'm biased. :)

That said, it made me want to watch the first one again (and again). I found myself once again inspired by all the great fashions, and even more so, the decor!

My favorites: the wall decor- the photos above Carrie's bed in the new apartment, the fantastic couches, and the magazine and book caddies above the television. So cool!

Check out my in-depth tour of Carrie and Big's new apartment in Sex & the City 2 here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Entertaining.. Sophisticated-Like

Statistics show that the more fulfilling lives are ones centered around relationships, events, and socializing. No wonder we all feel an itch for popularity, eh? The more friends, the more you can accomplish!

Couples (and individuals) are shown to be happier and more satisfied with their lives when money is spent on trips, concerts, outings, food and drinks- instead of fancy cars, designer shoes, or the latest in technology. Less materialism, more.. experiencing.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate this in my own life is entertaining. It's cheap, it's fun, and you can increase your social network quite easily over time.

While the typical college kid's version of this is throwing a really jammin' keggar on Friday night, I prefer to keep beer pong out of my venue.

With that said, I've developed some experience in throwing some pretty awesome dinner parties on a budget, and I've decided to share with you my Guide to Throwing the Best Wine-and-Cheese Party:

The Wines

Depending on the age, the type, and the make of the wines, many on this next list can be paired with all varieties of cheese. This guide is just kind of the standard, so be sure you can't go wrong. But don't be afraid to experiment!

Soft Cheese: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Champagne, Cabernet, White Zinfandel, Vidal, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Chianti, Sancerre

Hard Cheese: Bardolino, Tawny Port, Madeira, Sherry, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, Côtes du Rhône, Rioja, Cabernet, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Ribera del Duero, Chardonnay, Chianti Riserva, Beaujolais, Dark Beer, Sangria, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir

Semi-Soft Cheese: Chardonnay, Champagne, Riesling, Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Bordeaux, Rioja, Fleurie, Beaujolais, Chinon, Bourgueil

Semi-Hard Cheese: Chardonnay, Champagne, Riesling, Cabernet, Sancerre, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chianti Riserva, Barolo, Tawny Port

The Cheeses

As with wine, cheese has all sorts of variation. At my local grocery store alone, there are 4 different types and mixes of feta. I haven't tried them all, but the different flavorings can be paired better with a different wine than standard feta. Again, feel free to mix it up and find what you like best.

Soft Cheese: Blue Castello, Boursin, Brie, Bucheron, buffalo mozzarella, Camembert, feta, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Limburger, Mascarpone, Muenster, Neufchatel, Pave Affinois, Teleme

Hard Cheese: Asiago, Blue, Derby, Edam, Emmentaler, Grana Padano, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Manchego, Parmigiano, Pecorino Romano, Raclette, Reggiano, Swiss, Wensleydale, Zamarano

Semi-Soft Cheese: Bel Paese, Baby Swiss, Colby, Fontina, Havarti, Kasseri, Madrigal Baby Swiss, Morbier, Port Salut

Semi-Hard Cheese: Cheddar, Chesire, Cotija, Danish Blue, Double Gloucester, Gouda, Graddost, Panela, Provolone, Roquefort, Sonoma Jack, Stilton

More Great Vino-Friendly Pairings

Dark chocolate: best kind of chocolate to work with wines. Goes great with reds.

Crackers: water crackers have neutral flavor for in between wines, otherwise find a variety of good ones to lay out near the cheeses.

Nuts: walnuts are a wonderful complement to many cheeses, almonds are rich and salty yet not overpowering, good for cutting through the creamier cheeses. Other good ones to try are hazelnuts and brazil nuts.

Fruit: Strawberries and peaches go well with lighter, sweeter wines. Also include plums, pears, grapes, or apples.

Look Like A Pro

How to taste your wine:

1. See. Hold your glass by the stem at a 45-degree angle so it catches the light. It’s really about appreciating what you’re going to sip.
2. Swirl. Hold the base of the stem between your first two fingers and move it around (slowly!) in a small, circular motion to aerate the wine and unlock its aromas.
3. Smell. Stick your nose way into the glass (no, it won’t get stuck) and deeply inhale. This ritual triggers your taste buds.
4. Sip. Take a nice-sized sip and let the wine touch all parts of your mouth, rolling over your tongue and hitting the sides to really get the flavor.

A few terms to define the wine and flavors:

• Acidic. The tart (or over-the-top sour) quality that wine gives off naturally.
• Tannic. Tannins create a dry, puckery, astringent sensation in your mouth.
• Body. A full-bodied wine feels heavy (the way whole milk feels thicker than skim).
• Dry. A wine is called dry if it’s not sweet. Most table wines are considered dry.

For More Ideas

A fantastic go-to that I've found when you're looking for pairings. The Wisconsin Cheese Cupid pairs your wine or cheese to its "perfect mate" with just a few clicks. I love it!

Last but Not Least!

Invite some friends. Good themes I've used- having everyone bring their own bottle, or have everyone bring another friend that you might not know. Be creative, and have fun with it. Cheers to a more fulfilling life that is sure to be yours!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Ex. What kinds do you have? What kind are YOU?

We all have an ex. There's the first ex, the crazy ex, the 'one that got away'. There are all sorts of labels we carry for these people to describe what they were to us, or what they are to us now.

They're great for stories about the past, but what if they come back to the present?

My husband has what we affectionately call his "crazy ex girlfriend". Now, to spare you the details of their relationship, they were a very dysfunctional couple, and broke up more than once or twice. After the final breakup, this girl would not leave him alone. On his end, she was crazy. But did she think she was?

How do we draw the line from taking a chance so you're never left to wonder, to harassing someone who doesn't want to hear from you anymore? I suppose it's up to interpretation of both people, but don't make the same mistake as she did. She thought she was texting her ex "one more time" in some romantical hope that it might be the one text that made the difference. posted a brilliant article to draw people out of their love-sickness and back into reality. And if you're anything like me, you'll enjoy their frankness in warning us just how crazy we might end up looking.

Check it out by clicking here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I see a trend coming...

3-D Flower Appliques

If you're a mid-west girl like I am, it'll be 6 months before this trend actually starts popping up enough to be noticable. Be a trend-setter and be the first to jump on the band wagon!

I'm seeing this from Erdem, Miu Miu, and Valentino, to name a few. This means it won't be long until your nearest Wet Seal or Express starts coming up with some copies. (I've even seen some at Target!) Look for it on shirts, dresses, headbands, necklaces, purses, anything!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Manicure Time.

Having nice nails is a HUGE must for me. Whether they're fake or natural, I always like to take proper care of my hands so they're always at their best. Especially since I just got married, so I'm always ready to show off the ring :)

Get to know your nails!

First off, what do we know about our hands and fingernails? Well, fingernails are made up of a protein called keratin. This is also what makes up your hair, and found in your skin too. You might not know this, but your nails need moisture just the same as your skin and your hair!

Ever have those little ridges up running up and down your nail? That's from lack of moisture. It causes the nail to not grow as smoothly. Sometimes your natural nails will get this from every day ware and tear, or if you wear nailpolish frequently.

Want to get them done professionally?

There are several types of ways to get your nails done at a salon. When I was in high school and went in to get them done for the first time, I was clueless. Let me fill you in.

Manicure- a manicure typically consists of shaping your nail and cuticle, some type of lotion or treatment, a massage, and polish. Pros: Manicures are cheaper than fake nails, and last longer than a regular paint jobs you'd do at home. The nail techs don't use any files or etching to thin the nail (like they would to help the fake nails adhere better) so after your manicure is worn, your nails will be back to normal. Cons: If you're a nail biter, it won't be any easier to stay away from them. Doesn't make them longer or add any protection from breaking or chipping.

French Manicure- a french manicure is the same as a regular manicure would be, except the nail tips are painted white and the rest of the nail is a pink or neutral color. Pros: Looks of fake nails without the cost. Cons: see Manicure

Acrylic Nails- typically what you hear referred to as one 'getting their nails done'. These are the standard fake nails. They're made by gluing white tips to the end of your natural nails (and cut to the length you prefer) and a powder mixed with a liquid forms a paste that they brush on, and hardens. Pros: They last from 2-3 weeks- much longer than a manicure. Women opt for acrylics because they're stronger than the natural nail, less likely to break, and if you have biting problems, you will have a particularly hard time chewing these off. Cons: After they start growing out, the ridges will be noticeable between the fake nail and your natural ones. You can now go in to get them filled (which costs slightly less then they did initially), or you can wait for them to fall off. Your nail will be damaged for a while from the abrasion used to adhere the acrylic to the nail.

Gel Nails- as opposed to acrylics, these nails are thinner, shinier, and last longer. They're the up and coming trend in nails right now, as they promise never to damage nails the way acrylics will. They're like fake nails with a more natural look. You can get a regular manicure-looking color that will last (at least!) two weeks, or get french tips like I do, so they're a better alternative to acrylics. Pros: the ridges are much thinner, and it's therefore less noticeable when they start to grow out. They last the longest. No damaging drills to rough up the natural nail. Less harmful chemicals and it's completely odorless, so they're also the safest option when it comes to fake nails. Cons: Can be a bit more expensive than acrylics, depending on where you go. Otherwise, they're great!

(**note from Sarah: I have tried all of the above reviewed procedures at multiple salons over the years, and my favorites are the gels! I highly recommend them.)

Treat your nails with respect.

While nailpolish is said to protect your nails in certain ways- preventing cracking or splitting, sometimes the best thing to do is give them a break for a day or two. If you're anything like me, it's few and far between when you're found with naked nails. But trust me ladies- I've found it's very important to take a break from nail polish every so often. If you can't give yourself a day in between color switches, try to do it once a every month or two. Take this time to treat them to a hot oil treatment or slather on some lotion. As I mentioned above, this is important in keeping them strong and healthy.

If you aren't a big wearer of nailpolish, don't think you're exempt. You still need to pay attention to those guys too! Moisturize, file, and keep 'em clean!

Invest in a multi-sided nail file (see pic below): one that includes at least one side for buffing the top of the nail. This is key in smoothing out all the ridges you already have, making it easier to prevent them in the future.
Cut 'em down to size. The RIGHT way!

Clip them? File them? Shape them? What's the right thing to do?

The answer is a combination of everything. If you only clip your nails, you leave tiny little sharp edges on the ends of your nails, or wherever the ends of the clipper have been. This unevenness can get caught on things and break down the tip of your nail, eventually making them break or split. If you file your nails, the back and forth action causes tiny little breakage points across your nail which will make them weaker and more prone to splits as well.

The best way to work around these problems is to clip your nails down to size, and THEN file them to smooth out the edges. Be sure not to over-file; you're not filing to shorten the nail, just to smooth out any rough parts.

This is the most effective way to keep your nails healthy and prevent splits or breaks.

DIY Manicure!

1. Remove all polish from your nails.

2. Clip and file the nail, using my instructions above.
If you have a nail buffer, use that to smooth out the nail now.

3. If you have a cuticle pusher, soak the nails in warm
water for 5-10 minutes. Dry hands thoroughly and push
back cuticles.

4. Add a base coat or if you don't have that, a coat of clear
polish to your nails.

5. After the base coat is dry, add your color.

6. If you choose to, add any nail decals once the color has dried.

7. Once the color is dry or you've added decals, swipe over the nailpolish
with a top coat, or if you don't have that, some clear nail polish.

8. Show those babies off! They're lookin' good!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Trends I'm Loving!

Jessica Alba- Cropped pants and flats, plaid
Rachel Bilson- Cropped tee, bell bottoms
Jessica Alba- Skinny belt, low heel sandals
Victoria Beckham- low heeled boots, leather
Katie Holmes- Bell bottoms, layering