hot mess-cipes, joey waffles, life, love, weekend

When did we become parents?

So I know fourteen people that are currently pregnant. Yup, fourteen. Eight are from my high school graduating class. This doesn’t include one of my best friends Sarah who just had a beautiful baby girl Haley. With all this talk of baby talk, Joey and I have been even more firm with our no baby lifestyle. The best laid plans right?

Joey Waffles and I will feel like parents for the next month but I am definitely NOT pregnant, just wanted to give you all a  little panic 😉

Here’s the story. JoeyWaffles has an older (by one year) brother who is as different as him from night and day. He is an aspiring musician who works in IT (when he’s working) and has never really held a steady job. He got himself into some financial trouble and in order to help him avoid another huge mistake, we offered to let him stay for the month. Trust me it will only be the end of the month and then he’s out. He is looking for places and going on job interviews.

JoeyWaffles and I have to make sure he has a curfew since we didn’t give him a key to the house. We have to make sure he’s applying to jobs and that he’s being reasonable about them i.e. not ignoring a job because it’s in a close suburbs, not downtown or he thinks less than $20 is too low. We live in small two bedroom and the spare bedroom is filled with video games, so he is sleeping on the sofa in our dining room. Yeah, we have a love seat in the dining room that Winston the cat sleeps on. We also only have one bathroom.

So no privacy, no alone time. Having to make sure he makes it home on time. No sleeping in on Saturdays. It’s like raising a child. We have to make sure his homework i.e. apt/job hunting is done. This just drives home the fact we don’t want kids and think we must have jinxed ourselves being so happy we’re childless while everyone is living it up in babyville.

I know that if you want a be a parent, everything your baby does is a miracle and amazing and it’s the best experiences. Rick and Sara are going through it right now and it’s awesome to watch. They are falling in love with their baby and it’s amazing. Just not for me. Ever.

I don’t want my weekends interrupted or to have to sneak sex around a baby sleeping or out or who knows where babies go. I want to be able to drop everything and do whatever I want. I want lazy Sundays and extra income and peace and quiet. This doesn’t by any means think I think it’s the better lifestyle, I just think it’s better for me. After living alone, even cohabiting with JoeyWaffles, I still love my alone alone time, even from him. So having a third person living with us is like having a child and extremely not fun. I want to be able to watch my trashy tv in my underwear or walk around naked or dance and sing while I cook without an audience.

Having no alone time all last week with JoeyWaffles meant Sunday I wanted to just hang out and have fun. So we drove to Elgin and had Sushi Station, went thrifting, had smoothies, I got supper pissed at the guy in the Old Navy dressing room for not wanting me to try on jeans when it was 1 minute passed 6 o’clock (might have thrown the jeans down…) and then we did some meal prep. Sometimes I get bored with the same thing so we tried something new this week. I’ll be posting my Presto! Paleo Pesto Chicken Stuffed with Garlic Spinach and Bacon in a new section called Hot Mess-cipes. Look for it later today!

So since I have to see everyone’s numerous baby photos which are sickeningly cute, here’s my version of a overly cute photo.

You’re welcome.

benefit, benefit makeup, cosmetics, deals, fashion, happy, holidays, joey waffles, monday, monday must have's, must have's, wish list, xmas

Monday Must Have-5 weekends til Christmas!

Since it’s only 5 weekends away, I thought it would be fun to post my Christmas Wish List. My Dad still asks my brother and I for them so I have to start thinking about what I want. My brothers hasn’t changed much from when we were kids, the newest video game system and this year’s was no different, the Playstation 4. My list is definitely more practical than when I was little but I also buy myself the fun stuff now instead of relying on my parents. So here we go!

Monday Must Have’s Christmas Edition

North Face Winter Jacket-BlackWhen I was heaver I had the typical North Face that everyone has but I had to buy it in a Men’s XL which was pretty mortifying even though no one could tell. I always felt bad knowing that, so when I lost the weight and the jacket was huge on me, it was a huge victory. I’ve had a nice coat for the last two years but it’s time for a change. Something classy, something warm and functional with the Polar Vortex that’s sure to happen again. This coat looks great on everyone and I am totally copying my friend Carly, who has this and looks amazing in it.
Benefit Cosmetics Gift Card or productsBesides the advent calendar I’ve previously mentioned, I pretty much want anything else that’s from Benefit. I love their products: Big Easy, Hello Flawless, Gimme Brow, Brow Zings, They’re Real, and on and on and on. Benefit is my favorite make up brand and I am almost out a lot of my products so it’s gonna be a great time to fill up. The products last a long time without getting gross so it’s a great for the wallet as well!
Erin Condren Life Planner with this photoI’ve ordered a planner before and I love it. It’s fun to use and I love that you can make it personal. Picking a photo from my instagram, I get to enjoy keeping track of all my shit with stickers and color coded pens. I love being organized and this is a great and useful way to keep myself together. A little pricey but if you still like hand writing things and not using your phone or a tablet, this is a great way to go. 
Hunter Boot Welly SocksFirst off, if you don’t own Hunters and you live anywhere with snow or heavy rains, stop reading and run to Nordstrom’s and grab a pair. They are AMAZING. Your feet will absolutely not get dry but I will warn, even with Wellies, your toes can get cold. I has a glossy black pair and grey cable knit socks and want a few more for outfit choices. If you want to wear hunters with leggings to work, these really class them up and are comfy. Long term for $140, these are a great investment.
This or this funny notepad from PapyrusAnother great way to stay organized and they’re pretty funny. These are going to be great for work and they make me laugh out loud.
Lifefactory 16 oz Classic Cap bottle (pink)Because I’m trying to stay away from bottled water and the big bad BPA’s and because it’s super cute. It’s never bad to stay hydrated and be fashionable at the same time.

Fleece Lined Leggings from WalgreensLast year I wanted a pair of fleece lined leggings but wasn’t sure what direction to go or where to start. One day I was in line at Walgreen’s and saw 2 pairs for $10 and took a chance. I have never looked back. This is a STEAL. These pants are one sized fit all, comfy, the perfect thickness, and they look great. They havent’ ripped or gotten nubby ad they keep my really really insulated and warm. Grab a pair!

This weekend I had the new Starbucks cranberry bliss bar and it was so delicious. JoeyWaffles and I had dinner at Sushi Station, I did some laundry and visited a psychic. I wore adorable leg warmers and meal prepped for the week. Most importantly I got to catch up with a dear friend Kristen. I had a wonderful time seeing her, meeting Bacci her adorable Chi mix and learning about Essential Oils. It was a great party and I looked forward to seeing more of her! I also got to play a lot of Tetris Attack with JoeyWaffles and hang out with the pups and relax. All I need now is a fireplace
What are you asking for this Christmas? Hannukah? Anything special you really want? Or are you excited to buy gifts and enjoy the gift of giving?
banana bread, benefit, benefit makeup, cosmetics, criminal minds, food, happy, joey, joey waffles, life, life lessons, love, monday, monday must have's, must have's, recipes, taylor swift, thrifty

Monday Must Haves!

Monday Must Have’s is something that a lot of people participate in and I decided that NoShoPo will be no different. So enjoy the first of (hopefully) many North Shore Poor Monday Must Have’s. It will be a mix of things you can buy, watch, experience, things I just like, etc.

The Worlds Best Banana Bread Recipe I had some overripe bananas and decided it was time to make some delicious banana bread. I added dark chocolate chips,  a teaspoon of cinnamon, and some brown sugar on top and it was AMAZING. JoeyWaffles has something to eat with his morning coffee and I found the only banana bread recipe I’ll ever need. Easy to make and the house smelled glorious. See my instagram for a scrumptious picture.

Benefit Cosmetics Advent Calendar I already emailed this to JoeyWaffles as a pre-holiday gift. He get’s stumped on gift giving, even though he gets me things all year, so usually we make lists for each other. This way we communicate what we want and it’s still a surprise because we give a bigger list then we are going to get. This is top of my list because I love all things Benefit and these would be get things to travel with and keep in my purse.

Criminal Minds Marathons Because sometimes they can’t all be about Law & Order: SVU, as much as you want them to be. Not just because you miss all the Elliot episodes no matter how good Danny Pinto can be but because Criminal Minds is amazing and thanks to ION you have just figured it out. I am pretty much obsessed with this show about the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) and love the character relationships. Starting at season one, while watching season 10 and it isn’t even weird. If you aren’t watching this, you should be.

This weekend I made the above mentioned banana bread and some inside out carrot cake muffins (the frosting was on the inside) so my beautiful Kitchen Aid mixer got lots of love. We resurrected the Keurig for some Saturday morning coffee and breakfast at home. I cuddled with Bella and Dante, went shopping with a good friend, hung out with my Grandma at the nursing home and enjoyed a great Jeep ride Sunday. Went thrifting and grabbed 3 sweater and some books for under $18. Found two fun dresses at Forever XXI…this one is really cute and was on sale for $12.
Living well doesn’t have to mean living large. It’s the simple pleasure that bring the most happiness to my heart. A warm cup of coffee while curled up with JoeyWaffles and a warm blanket. Driving on a gorgeous fall day with the Jeep top down and a great song on the radio. 
Love the life you live. Live the life you love.
bob marley


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go buy and listen to Taylor Swift new album “1989“.
In the meantime, what are your Must have’s this week?

crafts, DIY, fall, goals, happy, joey waffles, life, noshopo, thrifty, weekend

Falling Into the Season

I love fall. I loves pumpkin spiced lattes, boots, the crisp weather, saying the word ‘crisp’, well…you get the picture. Thanks to the interwebs freaking me out about PSL giving me cancer(yeah google that shit, kinda scary) I have been drinking cinnamon dolce lattes with soy and whip (I like no dairy usually but whipped cream cannot be ignored). Fall in Chicago is pretty breathtaking and I am hoping we can actually commit to a season because we had no spring and a weird not summer summer.

Friday night I made a mixture of the Pioneer Woman’s chili with some help from Jamie Deen. So delicious. I added coco powder, cinnamon, a Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer, and a jalapeno. Made some Bob’s Red Mill gluten free cornbread muffin mix and an Angry Orchard cider and life was real good. 
Saturday was a huge score at the garage sales. Joey Waffles and I had to have hit up at least 15, some duds, some pretty amazing. Also went to my first estate sale, not so great but won’t stop my from trying again in the future. We supported C.A.R.E in Evanston by going to their rummage sale first and I got a new litter box, car seat booster thing for Dante and a picture frame. By the end of the day, I had 2 more frames, a mini muffin top pan, a sewing machine, and a vintage tray with flowers on it. Oh, and a corkboard.
Thanks to pinterest, I found inspiration for my office and used thisthis, and especially this to help me DIY my new frames. With some metallic spray paint from Home Depot and some fabric from JoAnn fabrics, I now have a beautiful corkboard, a frame to use over a dry erase calendar and another I am not sure exactly what to do but it’ll look pretty. Grabbed some extra fabric to make curtains to hide Joey’s random junk on the bookshelves and a matching seat cushion for my chair. Pictures soon of the rest but here’s the corkboard:

I spent Saturday night at the rehab clinic/home my Grandma is currently staying at and had a great time with her. We talk and laugh and play scratch off lotto and watched the new Lifetime Movie Deliverance Creek which was a departure for Nicholas Sparks but I absolutely loved it. I hope they make it into a mini series because I love a show with a strong female lead and a great plot.

Sunday JoeyWaffles and I went to Kauffmans for bagels, Starbucks, and then Home Depot. We are so yuppies in our 30’s but whatever whatever I do what I want. We bought mistake paint at $9/gallon for our bathroom and the new laundry room, which will apparently be a bright lilac. Then CarlitaRosita and I went on a lady date to JoAnn fabrics, Sears Outlet, and the grocery store. Who knew Sears even had an outlet and what great sales they had? Not me! I snagged a cute ress (olive green with light pink hearts) and a fall skirt along with a pair of gloves with the thumbholes cut out for $7.92. Who says you can’t be a baller on a budget? NoShoPo for life #noshame.

We also cooked steak, steak fajitas, chorizo burgers, chicken kabobs, salmon, chicken thighs, chicken leg quarters, and then I baked these yummy carrot cake muffins (sans the cream cheese). I love that we can cook for the week, be healthy, spend time with each other, and save money. It’s all abut balance and I am loving what we’ve got.

This week’s goals are:

  • Completing the laundry room by Saturday for the washer/dryer delivery. 
  • We have to put the new vessel sink and vanity in the bathroom and lay down the new tile. 
  • Sewing my curtains/making the sea cushion/finishing touches on my office
  • Sign up and study for the GRE
  • Work out 4 times
Happy Monday! 
advice, dating, happy, joey waffles, love, love lessons, north shore poor, relationship advice, single, soul mate, taylor swift

North Shore Love Lessons (or this is why you might be single)

Thanks to JoeyWaffles, I am out of the dating game and hallelujah for that. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed dating and the single life but I was always a long term kind of girl. I am not that old but dating now seems so hard! Dating when you’re in your twenties in the current social climate, yikes! I have seen a lot of articles popping up on dating from dealbreakers to power struggles and the qualities that matter in a mate, and there is a lot going on. Being me (and having once wanted to be a certified relationship and sex therapist) I have some strong thoughts/opinions and advice. So many people I know are dating and looking for mr/mrs right and wondering why they keep meeting the wrong types. Wondering why you’re a catch and still single?

I’m gonna break it down for you, using  some old school adages with new school philosophy.

1. Never chase deals, streetcars, and a woman/man. If someone wants you, they want you. Plain and simple. When a person wants you in their life, they call and text and make it happen. If they can’t handle this simple communication and have issues, ask yourself why you want them. If they can’t even be a friend to you, why want them for a partner? Obviously people have issues and everyone ALWAYS has a reason why this doesn’t apply to them but at the end of the day, it’s just a fact. You call people you want to see and make them a priority. Someone might be worth it and like you but if they don’t call you for weeks and you see them out and about, it’s you they don’t want to see. Move on.

2. To find a prince, you have to kiss some toads: I believe Foxy Brown said this and she’s right. Not every kiss or date is going to be perfect and it shouldn’t be. Life is all about experience and sure, there are people who got lucky their first kiss was their last first kiss but that’s a rare case these days. Going out with a guy for a drink and having a kiss that taste of bourbon and mystery, why the hell not. Having a list of expectations and limiting yourself to an ideal type just closes off the amount of people you meet. You may not like short guys with tattoos and a nice smile but go out. Have a drink or tea. Maybe you don’t click with him but the waiter is your type or his friend. Or you just make a great new friend. Does this mean go out with anyone who asks, absolutely not. But if someone intrigues you, is respectful, interesting and seems like a good person and you feel comfortable take a chance. Even toads offer the experience of learning what you don’t want.

3. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire: Trust your instinct. That’s it. If you think you’re a side piece/they’re lying/something isn’t right, you’re probably right. Go with your gut. If you want to know, ask. If you get evasive answers and there’s a pit in your stomach, don’t ignore it. Oprah said the only mistakes she’s made were when she didn’t trust her instinct and well, she’s Oprah so I believe her and so should you.

4.Opposites attract: So this is a funny one because I think it over simplifies things. People who say this to justify relationship problems can be downplaying the real issues. On the surface a lot of thing can be opposite but your core beliefs need to mesh and be on the same wavelength. Your morals, ethics, and who you really are, that matters. What music you like, tattoos, favorite foods, they all play a role but it’s what you believe that should not be opposite. So while surface opposites might attract, don’t apply this to everything.

5. All you need is love: Ha. If it was only it was that simple. Love is great but it doesn’t pay the bills. You also need respect, commitment, time, laughter, and on and on.

6. You’ll find it when you stop looking: You know why this works? Because when you love yourself and are happy and satisfied with your life, you stop looking. You know you don’t need anyone to be complete you. Before you can be in a relationship and love someone else the way deserve, you need to love yourself first. I love JoeyWaffles more than anything…except myself. I love me more and that makes me all the better as a partner. It’s the biggest cliche but it’s absolutely true…unless you find your soul mate online dating and then, go you!

The best part? No matter how rational and heart smart we try to be,
Taylor Swift says it best:

“If you have enough natural chemistry with someone, you overlook every single thing you said would break the deal”

beach, joey waffles, susan, tan, vacation

North Shore Vacation

I just  came back from traveling to the Dominican Republic for 11 days with my Aunt Susan. She’s only 13 years older then me and more like a sister. We’ve been vacationing together the last few summers and they have been some of the best times of my life.  We’ve done Longboat Key, Fl a few times and last year ventured to Puerta Vallerta. This year we heard good things about the DR and decided to be a little more adventurous.

I left the boo, JoeyWaffles at home and spent my time tanning, laughing and reading 40 or so books. Pretty much paradise. One of the best things about my relationship is that I missed him some but I was free to enjoy my time without needing him or thinking about being home more then where I was. Plus, he let me use his t-mobile phone so I could text and use data for free and I left him mine. That’s trust folks, trading cell phones for 11 days away and not worrying about any texts, emails etc.
I did a little shopping before I left to get ready for the trip. Thanks to an awesome 20% off from Kohls and some already great sales, I bought a one of those 360 spinner luggage bags from Samsonite in teal. Susan made the smart point of no black since that’s what everyone has and she was right. Getting my luggage from the carousal it was easy to spot. I also had a Target Tantrum trying to buy underwear. Listen, I love my VS panties as we all know but I really do love my Hanes string bikinis and I could NOT find a good pack to save my life. They had the wrong sizes and ugly colors and I tried to look at every brand, shelf, etc. I finally gave up and tried some Hanes bikinis and I actually love them. Good fit and did not look like granny panties thank god. I was really being lazy buying new underwear for vacation but 7 pairs for $10 is pretty much a steal. A girls gotta feel good from the inside out and that includes underwear. Add in a cute “you go glen coco” shirt from Target, a basic black cover up along with 5 of spray tanning lotion, some coco butter lotion and I was good to go!

Typical day
Pool. Breakfast.
Pool. Read. Tanning.Flip.
Pool. Read. Drink. Flip sides. 
Pool. Lunch. 
Pool. Read. Flip.
Pool. Nap. Dinner.
Criminal Minds. Balcony sitting.
I accidentally read a lot of erotica which was interesting and also a lot of really great non sexy fiction books. I found SVU and Criminal Minds in English and brushed up on my TV crime shows. I talked with Susan about anything and everything. I learned I really missed not having avocado everyday and that tripadvisor really works (sorry Barcelo, not going back to you!) Also, AirTran was HORRIBLE in the Dr which was a huge surprise. Delaying a flight for 4 hours and NEVER once announcing it? Yuck.
So I am back, tan relaxed and rejuvenated.  One of the things I love most about my job is that I came back and everything was done. No one bothered me and life was good. I came back to my favorite faces, a clean desk, and warm welcomes.
I might have jumped poor JoeyWaffles as soon as I saw him in the car and attacked him with kisses. Being home and cuddled up with him and the pups was pretty tops. What can I say, I love that man.

There’s nothing like home sweet home.

bbq, book club, family, grillin, joey waffles, mom

North Shore Grillin’

So I am pretty much obsessed with grilling. A perk of living in the suburbs (of which there are many IF you legit live a mile or two away from Chicago) is that we have a nice sized backyard and can really enjoy grilling. We didn’t have a grill so after a few Home Depot and Lowe’s trips…on the weekends…driving the Land Rover with Starbucks in hand…we purchased a new grill which fits us perfectly. First how #noshopo were those trips? At least we weren’t matching or wearing khakis or plaid or anything. But still.

So we picked a grill that was the right size for us, went with our vintage house aesthetics, and did NOT looks shiny and new and have to many lights and gadgets. We both have really simple needs and liked the same one and voila! A Char-Griller that has two cute smoke stacks, nothing flashy,and looks awesome in our backyard. Plus being my thrifty #noshopo self, i went to the Salvation Army and picked up some pretty much new grilling veggie baskets and definitely new cedar planks and some other cute things…and more books of course. New and old, got to mix it up.

So obviously I needed to use the grill right away and we cooked up a storm last Sunday night (the one before Mother’s Day). By we, I mean Joey. I’m the prep cook. We grilled: BBQ chicken breasts, Lime chicken thighs, Bison Burgers with garlic, Chicken and Steak shish kabobs, Steak filets, a mixed peppers and onion medley, grilled asparagus and my favorite: jalapenos stuffed with garlic/onion chorizo and wrapped in bacon. Those were so good we made them for Mother’s Day…HUGE hit. My boo is a damn good griller and the fish he made later in the week, hell yeah.


Oh and Mothers Day was awesome. Love my crazy Italian Family. My brother and sis-in-law (who live in St. Louis) came over to see our house for the first time on Saturday and it was great spending time with them. Dinner went great on Sunday because everyone loves Joey, which has never been said about any of my previous boyfriends. My step-dad and he even bonded over motorcycles and went outside to look at his Harley (Joey has a Suzuki).  We got to eat, relax, and just have a nice time. Low key in Lake Forest. My Mom’s house is simply stunning with a beautiful lawn, everything perfect but not in the uptight way. I love going over there and just having everything be familiar and comforting and Mom-like. As you can see, I get my personality from my Mom and also really needs to get a haircut, hello shaggy dog bangs. Seriously my Mom is so darn cute!

Book Club was last Friday night and all I can say isMy book club can drink more than your book club.  (Article - 5 Tips for a Successful Book Club)