Tuesday, February 28, 2012

preventative measures


Psst... I'm coming atcha with a little secret hangover cure today! Perhaps it's not super secret, but it is new to me and I thought I would share.

After our recent Valentine's party, my friend imparted on me some of her wisdom as a new nurse (yay smart friends!)... after you drink and right before you go to bed, take a multivitamin and you'll feel good as new in the morning.

I'm happy to report that after a few weekends of testing the theory, she is totally right! Hangover free with just the pop of a multivitamin? Sign me up!

I've only used a generic multivitamin I already had in my bathroom cabinet, but I'm sure any kind would work. Do you have any other tried and true hangover cures or preventative measures?? Please share!

And please drink responsibly!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Confessional Friday!

Annye's confessions:
  1. I'm getting my hair done today and it's probably shameful how excited I am. My mane is a mess ladies. Hopefully phase 1 of becoming a wannabe ginger will be complete by approx. 5 p.m. this afternoon. We shall see!!
  2. I was one of the nerds who bought tickets to the midnight showing of Hunger Games a month in advance on Wednesday. I cannot wait for this movie. If you haven't read the books, please do so ASAP.
  3. I got my dramz with United worked out!! Whoo hoo! They ended up calling me the very next day and giving me exactly what I wanted :) Persistence pays off y'all! So I'm headed back to Chicago in the very near future to see some of my favorite people and I cannot contain the excitement!!
  4. Does anyone else go on spending binges or is that just me? It seems like I can go weeks and be a good little spender/saver. And then I have weeks like this week where I feel like I'm just throwing money out left and right. But hey, that new spring wardrobe isn't gonna buy itself riiiight? And at least today is pay day!
  5. I feel like I think this a lot to myself but don't vocalize it as much as I should.... I have the best friends and family ever. I seriously sit back at least five times a day and just bask in the thankfulness for those I've been blessed to have in my life. And that includes you dear readers! I am so thankful I have this little corner of the internet to share with Jena. Thanks for reading and coming back daily! xoxox

Jena's Confessions:
  1. I'm with Annye on the spending spree. Valentine's Day, my dad's birthday, my boyfriend's birthday, friend's birthday's...plus, a few things for me of course! I'll save next month...
  2. Friends, tonight will be my last night as a bartender, for now. This occupation I loved when I was 21/22 is something I don't love so much at 24. Sounds odd, but pouring loads of alcohol down people's throats and watching them become incoherent feels a little bit wrong. (This is a college bar, mind you.) It's also a lifestyle I'm just plain too old for. Maybe I'll take up knitting instead.
  3. For breakfast this morning I had a large coke and a hash brown from McDonald's. This is still one of my favorite combos of all time. Gross, I know. 
  4. My favorite moment of the week was singing happy birthday to my boyfriend at the bowling alley, and watching him and his son blow out the candles together. This sort of thing is what life is all about.
  5. I bought a yoga mat ($25) and a pass for 10 sessions ($40) and have yet to gone to yoga. Sigh. This week, this week I will go. 
We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

poll of the week: are you giving anything up?

Last week we asked about bedtimes and here's what you said...

Most of you go to bed between 11 and midnight... Which is exactly when Jena and I {Annye} go to bed. Some nights Jena bar tends and doesn't get to bed till 3 {crazy, right?} while I try to consistently go to bed as close to 11 as possible.

When I lay down I usually check my email/Twitter/Scramble with Friends one last time and that keeps me up later than it should. I'd be curious to know when you all wake up too... I try to wake up at 6:30, but usually stay in bed till 7:30. Quite a difference! I'm lucky that I can shower at night and it really only takes me 30 minutes to do my makeup and curl my hair in the morning. I've found that my sleep is far more important than my primping most days so I've got my routine down to the least amount of time possible.

This week we want to know if you gave anything up for Lent....Whether for religious reasons or not, we're curious if y'all are sacrificing something you love until Easter.

If you gave something up for Lent, tell us what in the comments!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the best revenge


It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of Taylor Swift. For starters, her music isn’t exactly my taste to begin with. But what really bugs me about T.Swift? Her ability to put down and shame others through her music. Sure her lyrics are catchy, but something about the way she talks about other people really rubs me the wrong way {and typically it's no secret as to whom she's talking about. case in point: dear john}.

I know a lot of artists use past experiences for inspiration for their songs--totally understandable. But as I was telling my friend just yesterday, there's a way to do it in a classy manner {Adele, anyone?}, and then there's.... Taylor's way. After listening to her music, who would want to date the chick? You just know that if things go wrong or end badly you’re going to have a gaggle of teenage girls hating you too and singing along on Top 40 radio.

I think when you end a relationship sourly, especially if you’re on the receiving end of the hurt, it’s easy to lash out and point fingers. You want the person to hurt just as much as they’ve hurt you—so if you’re in a position as Taylor as is, why not write a song about him and let people know about his shortcomings?

But as "they" say... the best revenge is living well. Nothing speaks louder than moving on and not letting your past hold you back. Words cut deep, sure, but I promise he’ll regret his decision and the hurt he caused if you a) find a boy 10 times cuter {a girl can dream} or b) move on and not look back for even a second.

So next time you have the urge to get even, whether it's blasting him on Facebook or slashing his tires {don’t pretend you haven’t entertained those ideas} think about how much better it will feel to make him squirm… make him THINK that you are much better off without him and I promise that will hurt worse than any song or poorly written Facebook diatribe.

PS... It should be noted that I'm sure Taylor is an incredibly nice girl who deserves someone great.

PPS... Adele and Taylor Swift are the same age. Does this blow your mind as much as it blows mine??

um...that was embarrassing.

Annye and I were a little stumped today as to what to write about. She was hoping to think of something funny to share, which prompted me to write about my most embarrassing moment, ever. A moment I am not sure will ever be topped in my lifetime, or at least I hope to God not.

My first happened when I was in third grade at Rockford Christian Elementary. On this day at school I was getting hot lunch because they were serving my favorite thing...taco salad. Why I loved this taco salad so much? After the chips, the meat, the lettuce...they put hot melted cheese on top. Yum. So, on this day, I went through the taco salad line per usual, put on my toppings, and headed for that lunch lady to scoop a ladle of luscious cheese on my tray.

She did. What happened next is history... at least in my story.

I stepped on a wet spot on the gym floor, and woosh. My feet went out from under me and I landed smack on my back. My taco salad? The tray flipped, too, and landed right on my chest.

Cue tears. Cue a lunchroom full of third, fourth and fifth graders laughing, cue a lunch lady coming to my rescue as she stood me up and ushered me to the bathroom.

Though it happened 16 years ago, my boyfriend jokes this is why I'm afraid to be in front of people. Why I've never sang karaoke or want to crawl under a table if he acts anything but normal. Perhaps. Or perhaps it's just a good reminder that even when you fall flat on your ass, it can still get a little worse. Life may throw some taco meat and cheese on there, and then laugh at you. But even then, you can clean yourself up and face the world, because something worse will happen to Susie or Johnny.

What is your most embarrassing story?

Friday, February 17, 2012

processing through it


If you follow me on twitter or are my IRL friend, you've probably seen/heard me complaining about a certain situation with United Airlines. After a very infuriating two hour phone conversation last night, I was left with nothing resolved and a whole bunch of pent up anger. And if I'm being honest, I'm still feeling a bit of that rage today.

The conversation didn't start off angry. In fact, I'd say for the better part of those two hours, I was able to keep my cool. I understand that the people I was talking to are not the ones responsible for the ridiculous regulations and rules imposed by the company. However, when the representatives I was speaking to started to belittle me and place the blame on me for the situation {which couldn't be further from the truth} that's when I lost my cool.

Have you seen the video of Kristen Bell and the sloth on Ellen? She talks about how if she's anywhere outside of the 3-7 range on an emotional scale, she's crying. That's basically what happens to me. I got angry last night, and because I knew it was so far out of my control, all I could do was cry. Only a few tears, no sobbing, but it did feel good to just let release it.

This whole ordeal has got me thinking about how we process our emotions. Some people do kickboxing or work out in other ways. Others, like me... cry. But I'm also a big writer.... hence the million twitter updates/blog poss/emails that took place last night. It's somewhat therapeutic for me to write it all out... partly because I feel like I can get my point across much better in writing, and partly because I just need to get it out there regardless of whether anyone reads it or not. And a glass of wine and trashy TV seems to do the trick, too. :)

How do you deal with your anger or other emotions? I'm learning that I need to be able to let go of these things before they become bigger issues, and this is just what works for me. I'd love to hear how you "process" everything.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

poll of the week: when do you go to bed?

It's baaaack! After a brief hiatus last week, we're back at this week with a new gripping question that I know you've all been on the edge of your seats.

But FIRST! We want to say thanks for weighing in on what you want to see more of here on S&E. We always love hearing what y'all think and we're happy to oblige. Most of you said you want to hear more personal stories of our dating and relationship experiences. Well... I think we've got you covered there! It's safe to say between the two of us we've got a couple of stories to share.

Now... back to this week's question. We want to know about your bedtime! Scandalous and unexpected, right? ;) As I (Annye) was up way to late last night, I sat there wondering if I was the only one who felt pressured to be in bed by a certain time. So out of curiosity, we want to see how many of you lovely ladies give yourself a set bedtime (and if so, what time?) or if you're one who just sleeps when you're tired. Spill!

Now, those of you who have a bedtime... How many of you actually go to bed on time?? Hmm...?

Come back next week for the results!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

party time, excellent

Are we all recovering from our Valentine's Day hangovers? Oh.. just me? Ha! I enjoyed my margs + wine last night and I am feeling a little sluggish today, I won't lie. To wrap up our Valentine's Day coverage here on Smith & Emma, I wanted to share a few photos of our Fondue Party from Saturday night.

The evening was a lot of fun... we ate our fondue, which if you've never done is a total blast. We did meat and oil, which is different from the cheese fondue you may be thinking of. You basically cook bite-sized pieces of meat in the oil and dip it in different sauces. It's hands on, everyone eats as much as they want, and it's always a fun experience especially for guests who've never done it before.

There was lots of pink! We asked that guests to dress up a bit, and most everyone came very festive. You can see in the photos below that I rocked a hair bow.... basically one of my favorite things ever. And Jena wore a very sexy red lacy dress. Ow ow! Can you spot us below??

After lots of photos in front of our streamer backdrop, a few of us passed out on the couch (wink, wink) and a few of us continued our shenanigans well into the night.... pizza may or may not have been ordered. We ended the evening with a very intense late night discussion on my bed (not intense at all actually but totally hilarious).

All in all a very fun evening full of laughs and lots of wine (I'm talking 6+ bottles, don't judge). I am glad I got to celebrate with these beauties. What did you do for the big day?? If you're with someone, I hope they spoiled you! And if you're single like me... I hope you found some ways to spoil yourself!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the best love of all

Happy Valentine's Day to all of our Smith & Emma fans. For the last week or so we have talked about love in terms of family, romantic relationships and friends...but today it's time to talk about the most important love relationship of all...the one with yourself!

Of course it is great to be loved by others. But it is essential to be loved by yourself. Not only is it the basis of healthy relationships with those said loved ones, you deserve it!

Loving yourself isn't telling yourself you are perfect (even though you are quite fantastic), but treating yourself with patience, kindness, gentleness and forgiveness, i.e. loving yourself the way you try to love others.

So, today, do something to show yourself a little love. Forgive yourself for something you did wrong, or splurge on coffee and a bagel, instead of just the coffee (this was mine ;)).

And of course, what would today be without a quote from Carrie Bradshaw? "But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself..."

Have a wonderful day ladies...and don't forget to celebrate YOU!

Monday, February 13, 2012

blind date to soul mates

My favorite love story is that of my grandparents. So today I wanted to share the abridged version for you.

My grandparents met on a blind date... their mutual friends set them up. Six weeks later they were married. :) And as if that is not sweet enough, my favorite part is that they truly built a life with each other. They were married and had four beautiful daughters and lived very happily for many years.

I was very young when my grandfather died so I don't have any memories of him. However, my whole life my grandma has worn his wedding ring around her neck and it always struck me as the sweetest thing. No matter what, he is always with her.

A few weeks ago I asked her if she had ever considered getting remarried after he had passed. She said no. She never went on any dates and wasn't ever interested in meeting anyone else. The way she sees it is that she pledged her life to him. And although he probably would give his blessing to her dating, she didn't feel right making those same promises with anyone else. they were soul mates and she had no desire to try and find that with anyone else

Listening to Gram tell their love story is truly one of the most endearing things ever. They are the definition of true love and their story gives me a new perspective on blind dates :)


PS. Do you watch Parks & Rec? If so... Happy Galentines Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

all you really need are good girlfriends

Let me just start off by saying.... I am single. {wah, wah} It's probably for the best because who can compete with Jena's story from yesterday? I know a lot of girls get worked up about being single on February 14... I'm just not one of them. The way I see it: I've had great Valentines {of the male variety} in the past. But celebrating with my lady friends and a bottle of champagne ain't so bad either. And that's just what I plan on doing.

My roommate and I decided to host a fun little dinner party for several of our favorite ladies on Saturday night. Basically an excuse to celebrate each other and prove that sometimes all you really need are good girlfriends.We're gonna get dressed up, eat fondue, drink {too much} champagne and have ourselves a good ole time. Some of the ladies coming to the party are also single and some are in relationships. Which just goes to show you.... you don't need an excuse to celebrate with your lady friends.

This year, regardless of if you're single or in a relationship, show some love to your girlfriends. They'll appreciate that you took some time and thought about them. And you'll feel like a million bucks for making their day, trust me. It's always nice to know that someone is thinking about you and wants to make you feel special.

My advice to younger girls is always this--don't worry about boys so much... they'll come. What you need to worry about is the girls in your life. Men come and go, but your girls will always be there. I'm blessed to be surrounded by fabulous ladies who I can't wait to celebrate this holiday with. And I hope you are too!

Ps. I know we usually post our Poll of the Week on Thursdays. We'll be back at it next week... so there's still time to tell us what you want to see more of on S&E! Check it out here.

finding your fairytale

As a blogging practice, I do try to keep from spilling my guts about current relationships--whether that be with my boyfriend, a friend or my parents. However, in light of Valentine's Day, I'm going to dish--a little--about the romantic love in my life...for one reason mainly...our tale is certainly not out of a storybook.

My boyfriend and I met when he was on the verge of divorce and I was on the end of a much-too-long yet much-needed healing process to get over my ex. Put plainly, we were two people dealing with a lot of shit. We both went into the date, I think, for the same reason...to start moving forward from our pasts.

I call our first date my first "true date" in life. He asked me out. In person. He picked me up, came to my door and rang the doorbell. He opened my car door. He picked the place.

What happened next over appetizers and drinks was another date "first" for me. He asked me questions. About myself. A ton of them. He actually wanted to know who I was.

We ended the night on my porch with a hug and I agreed to see him again soon.

My point in telling you all of this wasn't a romantic, magical evening. We didn't talk all night long and I didn't lift my leg when he kissed me. He didn't even kiss me! But what was there was a high level of respect. He wasn't in it for a piece of ass. He wasn't in it to get a girlfriend. He was simply in it to get to know the girl he saw across the hall every day. For me, this did sweep me off my feet. It was something real.

We have dealt with a myriad of challenges since that first date. But what has remained true, and I think, has kept us together through the hardships we've faced is that same respect our relationship was founded on. We're in it for the other person. For no other reason than the fact we want to share our lives with one another. It helps, too, that the other small signs of respect, i.e. opening my door, hasn't stopped nineteen months later. Either have our pleases and thank you's, or our ability to think of one another (Today, for example, he called and asked if he could take me to class because it was cold outside. He's a prince, I tell ya).

My piece of advice on love is to find someone that is magical...to you. Not according to the rom com you watched or compared to your friend's beau. For me, the fact he walks on the outside of the sidewalk closest to the road is worth way more than a piece of jewelry. But that is just me! Find a person that suits you and that you suit. Find the guy with the right intentions. Who does his best to make you happy. And do your best to do the same for him. Because that, my dear lady-friends, is love.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

baby love

On a Wednesday night in November of 2010, I was standing outside a local dive bar when I found out I was going to be an aunt. As the murmurs of karaoke flooded out from inside the bar, I sat on the curb crying on the phone to my sister. "Holy crap," I said. "You're going to be a mom! I'm going to be an aunt! How did this happen?"

Well we all know how it happened. But what I really meant was, when did we get to this point in our lives where one of us would be having children? That phone call was the culmination of a whirlwind year for my sister and our family. Just months before she had said I do... a day that until that night in November topped my list of "holy crap, how did this happen" moments.

Cut to seven months later and a four a.m. wake up call on a morning in June from my little sister to tell me it was time, we're going to be aunts today! You know those moments that happen in movies? This seemed to sticking pretty closely to the script. Two hours later we got the text... "It's a girl!"

Everyone tells you that being an aunt is the best thing ever. And they are not kidding. What they say about spoiling them rotten and giving them back to mom and dad, or getting the best parts of the baby and skipping the worst, all true. The highlight of my days are picture messages from my sister, that I proceed to forward to all my friends... you know, sharing the love.

One day I'll have kids of my own, and I'm sure my "holy crap, how did this happen" moment will be topped. But becoming an aunt for the first time has been one of the best things ever {which is well documented here on S&E}. Watching her grow over the past eight months has been so much fun. I'm excited to watch her grow for a much, much longer time. She'll go through terrible twos and be a teenager before we know it. She'll make mistakes and she'll probably do a thing or two she shouldn't. But I hope that she always knows that she is surrounded by unconditional, unwavering love and support. And that kind of love is one of the best kinds I get to celebrate this year.

Do you have any nieces or nephews? Please tell me I'm not a crazy aunt and that these feelings are normal ;)

Monday, February 6, 2012

smitten with smith & emma

As we discovered in our poll results from last week, the majority of our readers are skeptics about the upcoming holiday--Valentine's Day. Although I admit this is typically an over-hyped and under delivered day of love, I am still firmly situated in the camp who loves the day despite its misgivings.

Never one to let a holiday go unnoticed {[I love festivities, what can I say}, it is my belief that the day is what you make it. So, in light the aforementioned poll results and my inability to leave well-enough alone, we here at Smith & Emma have made it our mission to share the love and hopefully inspire you to find a little something to love about February 14.

This year, Valentine's Day is about spreading the love. For the next week on Smith & Emma, we'll be featuring love stories of all kinds--we do not discriminate! Sweet and romantic stories of first loves, a guide to loving yourself and perhaps even a few ideas of how to celebrate February 14 as a single lady {I've got that down pat!}. And we want you to join us!

Do you have a fairytale love story to share? Or even just a simple story of love? Do you have a group of girlfriends you love? Or do you just love yourself and want to shout it from the rooftops? We want you to hear about it! Post it to your blog, then share it with us in the comments section here on Smith & Emma. We'll gather them up and make sure the world hears about it on Valentine's Day!

Help us spread the love and prove that Valentine's Day is more than just a commercial holiday devised by card and chocolate companies who want to make lots of dough.


PS. If you do decide to share, feel free to steal the banner above!

Friday, February 3, 2012

dishing out the dirt

Confessional Friday. Read our dirt then dish your own!

  1. My mom and I have been busy "menu planning" for our Super Bowl party on Sunday. Y'all. It's probably kind of shameful how excited I am to eat this food. Who cares about the game!
  2. I won at Bingo last night! That's right. I'm officially $100 richer. Responsible Annye is putting it immediately in her savings account. Right after she buys a new pair of shoes. ;)
  3. Other than the aforementioned Super Bowl party, I have no plans for this weekend. I am 100 percent okay with that.
  4. The new Hunger Games trailer came out yesterday and I've already watched it approximately 10 times. I can barely contain my excitement for that movie.
  5. In unrelated and completely random news, I cannot stand Donald Trump. There's just something about him that does not sit right with me.
  1. I don't even know if any of these will make any sense. I am that tired.
  2. Obsessing over said missed sleep is pretty much the only thing I have thought about all week long.
  3. I have to brag about my friends a little. They rock. They all suited up and showed up to my boyfriend's first show in nine years. I am very grateful to have such supportive gal pals. PS- My boyfriend, he kicked ass! I will share some of his music with you on here soon!
  4. For one of my graduate classes I am keeping a journal to sort through the "Who Am I" stuff I mentioned in my last post. Currently, I feel like I have more bad traits than good. But, I think that's okay. First step--pointing them out. Second step--making some changes!
  5. One of the main highlights of my week was getting to pick out anything I wanted from the boutique I work at for a bonus. It is almost sad really how happy adorable clothes can make me. In case you were wondering, I picked out this to-die-for cream crop top with beaded lace sleeves and a lace band on the bottom. 

If you haven't voted in yesterday's poll, please go do so here! We love the responses we've received so far!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

poll of the week: what do you want to see?

It's Thursday! And you know what that means... Poll of the Week! Yay!

Last week we asked about your thoughts on Valentine's Day and here is what you said....

What cynics you are! An overwhelming amount of you said it was an overrated holiday. Well, we here at Smith & Emma have something up our sleeves to try and improve your views on February 14. Stay tuned next week to find out what....!

In the meantime, be sure and cast your vote in this week's poll. We want to hear about what you want to see more of on Smith & Emma. Your honest opinions are important to us, and we want to make sure you're interested in what we have to say. So tell us what you'd like to see more of in the future, and we'll do our best to give you that!

Thanks y'all!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

money matters


Happy February, y'all!

We're officially one month down in 2012, which means I've already started reflecting on which resolutions I'm totally slacking on. Though I have tackled some head on, there is one in particular I want to focus on this month: saving money. But more specifically: budgeting.

Now if you're like me, just seeing that word makes me cringe. Ugh. There is nothing I dislike more than thinking about finances and money, especially obsessing over them--which is essentially what budgeting is. But I try to remind myself that budgeting is supposed to be obsessing in a good way. And hopefully if I get the whole budgeting thing down, I'll have MORE money to obsess over, which wouldn't be a bad thing...

So after a little research, I gathered some tips and have decided on what I'm going to make an effort to do this month to get the ball rolling, and of course I thought I'd share those little tips and tricks with you.

Five quick and super simple ways to save money and budget in February:
  • Write down everything you spend. This will help you get your head around exactly how much you're spending and immediately point out things that you could cut back on. Seeing it in print will really get the point across. After knowing what you're spending, you can set goals for cutting back your "discretionary" expenses.
  • Automatically transfer funds to your savings account after you get paid. If you're fancy, you already have your place of employment do this for you. But if you're like me, you don't. A good amount is 10-20%, if you can swing it. But just $20 is better than nothing. Plus, if you don't do it right away, chances are you never will.
  • Take out a certain amount of cash at the beginning of the week and only allow yourself to spend that on "extras." You'll quickly be deciding if the morning coffee from Starbucks is really worth it, or if you absolutely need those new shoes. I've tried this before and it totally works... you just need to have the willpower to leave your debit card at home :)
  • Join Mint.com. (And keep up with it!) I joined while I was in college, but never check it anymore. The site keeps track of all your spending, loans, mortgages, etc. and can easily show you how you are spending your money each month. Super handy, you just have to use it!
  • Set an end goal or splurge. Incentives always work for me. So I try and think of one "big" thing I really want and once I've reached my goal of saving a certain amount (plus enough for the splurge) I let myself purchase it. Have you been dying for a new purse? Start saving your pennies! Knowing that you'll get to splurge a little bit may just be the motivation you need.
Now let's see if I can hold myself accountable and hopefully my bank account will be thanking me come March 1. I'd love to hear any tips you all have for me! Trust me, I need all the help I can get.