Monday, February 28, 2011

Everything I know about shopping, I learned at Gabe’s.

10. When shopping with friends, have a back-up plan to entertain yourself if you cannot find what you want.  
As fate would have it, sometimes you cannot find anything worth buying.  Now you are at the mercy of your friend(s).  And while that may be fine for some, I cannot handle more than ten minutes of wandering and hovering. Unfortunately, the snack bar at Gabe’s is defunct, and you cannot get a soft pretzel and a Slurpie to occupy yourself. So the only hope for salvation is holding up the really, really big bras and putting them on your head (which only is amusing for about three minutes). This is not promising. Now, if you are at the mall, and you find yourself waiting on a friend, I highly recommend following the scent of cinnamon sugar to Auntie Anne’s and ordering one of her pretzel-wrapped hotdogs. It may sound “suspect,” but you will be pleasantly surprised… and at the very least, occupied.
9.  Don’t buy into trends… literally.
We all know that trends come and go, and then come back around twenty years later to haunt us. For instance, I never thought that leggings would come back around. Actually, I thought that they were safer “staying put” in my third grade school picture; but, nevertheless here we are in 2011 and I own five pairs. So if you are dead set on buying into a trend, don’t spend too much money.  Spend enough that you don’t look cheap, but don’t spend a fortune.
8.  Cost should equal quality… in proportion.
Leather goods in a Coach store should be more expensive than leather goods in Gabe’s.  Furthermore, leather should ALWAYS be more expensive than pleather.
7.  Try on everything.
Whether you are at Gabe’s or any other retail venue, it is of paramount importance that you try on anything you are thinking of purchasing. You might find that one sleeve is longer than the other, one shoe is bigger than the other, or that the cut is downright unflattering. Remember, it’s not the size that matters; it’s how the garment or shoe fits. And pants that have one leg longer than the other DO NOT FIT!
6.  Community dressing rooms are efficient and honest.
Speaking of trying things on… more stores should have “community dressing rooms.” For instance, the limit is 8 items. You have 12 items (five of which are leggings) and your friend only has 4. If you both head to the “community dressing room,” you can try on everything without having to get re-dressed, and go back out to your cart. Genius! Also, trying on things in fluorescent lighting with multiple mirrors and with a friend is as honest as it gets.
5.  Inspect garments with every ounce of forensic science you know. 
My Aunt Libby calls this the “eagle eye” technique.  You must inspect every inch of the garment. Does the zipper work? Is the hem in place? Is it missing fasteners like buttons, snaps or hooks? And even so, do they work? Are there mysterious stains? Is there a security tag? Is there a funky smell (see #4)? Are there random holes or snags? If it is something that can be remedied easily, make sure that the cost is relative to the amount of “doctoring” you will have to do to bring the garment back to life.  
4.  Wash before wearing.
Imagine that everyone follows #7 & #5. Then it becomes very important to clean the item before you wear it. Would you wear something that ten or so people have already had on their bodies? I hope not! Clean out the insides of shoes with cleansing wipes.  Dry clean or wash all clothing and towels, sheets, and other linens. Spot clean minor stains.
3.  When someone asks you where you got your outfit and how much it cost, LIE.
Lie like a bear skin rug in front of a fireplace, my friends. Lie like O.J. Simpson. But do not, under any typical circumstances, give away your bargain/treasure hunting methodology. Your savvy shopping skills are to remain part of your mystique! The only exception to this rule would be when the inquiring person is a twit and you would like to claim victory over both the bargain and the cutest outfit in the room. In that case, brag away!
2. Be patient.
It is a virtue, remember? Quality shopping is a mini-series, not an after-school special. Avoid the cliché shopping drama and embrace the experience. You might not find what you need in the first episode, and there could be cliff hangers; but if you “stay tuned” next week or the week after, chances are you will find what you were looking for.    
1. Have fun! 
Some of my most favorite memories from high school and college were shopping with my girlfriends at Gabe’s… this usually involved less than ten dollars in loose change and a phone conversation like this:  
FRIEND:  “What are you wearing to [insert event here] tomorrow?”
ME: “I don’t know, you?”
FRIEND: “I don’t know. Want to go to Gabe’s”
ME: “Yes.”
FRIEND: “Pick you up in five.”

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thinking Of Spring... And Spinach!

Warm days like today really remind me of spring, and one of my favorite recipes. I prefer to make it on warm nights... you know, the nights when you can eat outside, with a nice glass of wine, and in good company.

Here's the recipe... and consider yourself warned, because the dressing is drink-able!

Spinach Salad w/ Chicken (toss together and serve with dressing)
1 bag/bundle fresh spinach
6-8 strips of crisp, cooked bacon, crumbled
3 hard boiled eggs, crumbled
1 package fresh baby bella mushrooms
1 lb chicken, cooked/grilled and diced

Dressing (blend all ingredients together and chill)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup oil (not olive)
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup sugar

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Word

frivolige (noun) /friv-a-lij/:  a frivolous privilege; an advantageous opportunity given to a celebrity simply because they are famous

The producers who gave Shaq, Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis and Paris Hilton record deals, granted them serious frivoliges.

Facebook Profile Pic Rule #1

Recently, there have been three requests to start some rules about profile pictures; and I feel an obligation to indulge the requests of my readers. Thank you Meridith, Scott, and Kelly!

Facebook Profile Pic Rule #1: Do not change your profile pic to an image of you making the "duck face." Pursing your lips and turning your head ever-so-slightly is not attractive. You look like a duck... and in some cases an ibis.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And we are up and running!

So let's see how this "blog-thing" works. I have always enjoyed writing, and look forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas with you. For now, much of my inspiration comes from pop culture and social networking. However, I am sure that will evolve.

Rules 11-13

Facebook Status Update Rule #11 (courtesy of Scott Bush): Use the "Like" button sparingly. Overliking status updates screams insincerity. You wouldn't tell every single person in a room that you like what they just said, would you?

Facebook Status Update Rule #12 (courtesy of Bethany Annette): Please refrain from updating your status regarding up-to-the-minute news about traffic and/or weather conditions while you are driving. It's just not safe.

Facebook Status Update Rule #13: Proofread.

New Words

pervfessional (n) /perv-fesh-in-al/: a co-worker who is caught between acting like a pervert and acting like a professional.

Right before his speech on using cover sheets on all of the TPS Reports, Dick, a true pervfessional goosed his secretary.

covertsation (n) /ko-vert-say-shin/: a dialogue that occurs when you are trying to discuss something with somebody in a crowded room covertly.

HGB: I hope you know who isn't in our group today. 
HER: That would be torture. He is such a pervfessional. He just said I looked hot, and then brought up work stuff. 
HER: Oh no one. Did you see Melrose Place?  
HGB: Yeah... Jake is such a bad boy. 

It All Started With Some Rules About The Facebook...

In January, I posted two little rules about facebook status updates (on my facebook page, considering that The Steel Trap didn't exist yet)... which led to people making suggestions about their social networking peeves.  Here are the first ten and a half:
Facebook Status Update Rule #1: Don't complain about the weather. To every thing there is a season. Duh. Be grateful that you are alive and surrounded by nature itself.
Facebook Status Update Rule #2: Don't post status updates that demand to be reposted. It's bullying. I am not going to have seven years of bad luck, I don't support cancer, I don't hate my sister, and I don't believe in animal research, okay?!
Facebook Status Update Rule #3: Do not post depressing song lyrics. No one [really] cares. Here are your options: A. Get a Twitter account. B. Get a therapist. C. Get a pint of Ben and Jerry's and eat the whole thing D. All of the above
Facebook Status Update Rule #4 (courtesy of KWK and BLB): Do not update your status compulsively. If you find yourself "checking in" and updating every ten minutes, you need to visit immediately. 
Facebook Status Update Rule #5 (courtesy of MRF): Do not concern your facebook friends with questions regarding your dinner selection. "Pork chops or chix pot pie?" is not a status update, it's a cry for help. Part of being a domestic goddess is shopping for and planning your menu on your own. Good luck.
Facebook Status Update Rule #6 (courtesy of RLB): Don't swear in your updates.
Facebook Status Update Rule #7 (courtesy of AHP): Avoid posting too much about your fitness. It's exhausting. This doesn't mean we aren't rooting for you. But you should know that we are not going to give you a trophy, okay?!
Facebook Status Update Rule #8: Check your security settings before you tell 300+ of your "closest" friends that you are away from your home. You might get robbed.
Facebook Status Update Rule #9 (courtesy of WNJ): Please do not write status updates about your dreams from last night. They're boring enough in person, and even worse on facebook.
Facebook Status Update Rule #10 (courtesy of KWK): Don't like your own's redundant. We know you like it. Duh. You posted it.
Facebook Status Update Rule #10.5 (courtesy of MVB): Don't be the first person to comment on your own status. Ever.