joeywaffles, love, wedding!

365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, and a whole lot of minutes until #WoodGotHerGood

I can’t believe exactly one year from now I will be walking down the aisle and marrying the crazy, handsome, funny, kind, and tall Mr. Joey Waffles. In lieu of my weekly #weddingwednesday post, I wanted to take today to write down how and what I’m feeling.

I am spending this Friday night and Saturday morning with three of my (unofficial until I formally ask) bridesmaids and my Mother trying on wedding dresses. I will probably have my maid of honor face timing in. I get to enjoy a rite of passage with my favorite people, and honestly I never thought I would be excited about this. You see, I was married once, when I was 24.

Ten years ago, I went to a courthouse and said “I do” in a black shirt and jeans and had my wedding meal at iHop and then went to work. I was young, in a rebound relationship, and thought loving and being in love were the same thing. He was my friend and let’s just say 90 Day Fiancé and I had a few things in common.We divorced 4 years later after living apart for over two years and I guess it just made marriage feel like a transaction. It was something I didn’t want or care about and it never felt real to me.

When JoeyWaffles and I got together, it was something neither of us wanted and we didn’t even know where this was going. Sure, we had both been in a few long term, serious relation ships but nothing had ever been smooth sailing. We both had  trepidation’s and had been hurt, so we were kind of going in with some restraint. Luckily the more time we spent together we accepted this was something totally different and that meant our future could be too.

In 365 days I get to join my life path with his, in front of family and friends. We get to share our love and goofiness with the most important people in our lives. We get to show faith and trust in each other and in love. We know that there is always a worse, when you say for better or worse, and we’re ready.

In 365 days, I get to dance and sing and enjoy a day full of love and acceptance. A day that 50 years ago, we couldn’t have had without breaking a law. A day that symbolizes our commitment and the life we’re choosing. No, a piece of paper won’t change much but it will be a sign of love, joy, of promises, of a bond, and will remind us that we are sharing this thing called life together.

In 365 days, I get married to my favorite person. My person.

You're my person..png

 

 

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.

christmas, family, happy, holiday, holidays, home, italian, joeywaffles, kansas city, love, taylor swift, xmas

Wednesday is the new Monday

Christmas 2014

So my holiday 4 day weekend was busy and fun and went by too fast! Don’t they all though? I spent it shopping, Christmas tree decorating, removing bathroom floor tile, playing Tetris Attack with JoeyWaffles, and just enjoying time at home, I missed posting my Monday Must Haves but since it’s my blog, this week it’s going to be on Wednesday. Bear with me the next few weeks because life is crazy around the holidays. I have to finish shopping, find shoes for my company holiday party, clean the house, make Christmas cookies, get end of the year stuff done at work and so on and so on. Blogging is such a great outlet to relax, be inspired, and reflect. I love my cozy office so maybe I’ll end up writing more.

Now on to the Must Have’s!

When I was younger, we had a lot of Christmas traditions that I sadly no longer do but really loved. We always drove out to the boonies to a tree farm to pick and cut our own tree. We would get dessert at the same local spot and then get to play video games at this crazy arcade. I always spent my $5 on the crane/claw machines and had to wait patiently for my brother to go through his which took forever. We would read from the bible, ever year a different gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and light the advent wreathe. We also took the ubiquitous holiday family photo in front of the tree, although the year we had the chicken Betsy and the dogs was rather memorable.
So while I no longer have those traditions, there are still a bunch that are going strong and are what Christmas means to me. I have added a few others the older I get so read and enjoy!

Christmas Crime Scene Tape: When we were little and always wanted to peek at the tree, my Dad came up with the idea that the Elves would block off the tree and if we crossed it, we wouldn’t get the gifts. That wasn’t really the point, it was really how funny the signs were and still are to this day. There is usually a theme and now with FB my Dad has all year to collect photos and embarrass us. The youngest person gets to cut the tape, or ribbon if we can’t find any. Then we race to the stockings and Christmas can begin!
The Santa Claus: This is my favorite Christmas movie, I actually love all three in the series. They are funny and silly and sweet and I love Tim Allen. When JoeyWaffles and I were first hanging out and it was Christmas and I mentioned how much I loved them, he downloaded all three and watched the first one with me one night all cuddled up. The fact that I had mentioned it in passing and he remembered and surprised me was one of the million reasons I fell in love with him. There is nothing better then watching this while cuddling with him and all the animals, the soft lights of the Christmas tree, and a soft blanket on us. This is probably our first Christmas tradition so I really cherish it.
MiMi’s Peanut Butter Balls and Grandma Fern’s Brownies: When my great Grandmothers were alive, they each made a signature amazing desert and my Aunt has kept the tradition alive. Mimi’s PB balls are the best frozen and there is s special gold tin they have to come in. They are the perfect size and go so fast. You have to make sure to hide some so they don’t run out! Grandma Fern’s brownies are probably my favorite desert ever and I look forward to these all year. Paleo be damned, these are worth a few days at the gym.
Traveling: Christmas has always been huge in my family, much like many people. I have so much family that it had to be precisely scheduled when I was younger. My older brother and I celebrated Christmas Eve morning with my two Dads, then headed over to my Mom to open gifts with her and my stepdad and then we headed over to my Italian grandparents to celebrate with cousins, aunts, uncles, and more. We would go home around 11 or 12, sleep for a few hours and then drive to the airport, get on an early morning flight to Kansas City, MO for my paternal grandparents, aunt, and other family. We did this until one day in my mid 20’s I had enough of the missing or delayed flights and being stuck in airports and now we go to Missouri the weekend before Christmas.  Plus without going to Kansas City, I would miss out on the one meal a year my Grandma cooks, a delicious roast with mushrooms and bacon, patrician potatoes, Rhodes rolls, green beans and corn casserole.  
Pop Christmas Albums/All Christmas music: Mariah. N’Sync. BSB, 98 degrees, Hanson. I love em all and need my fix of their holiday albums. Taylor Swift and Josh Groban too. Plus 93.9FM in Chicago plays all holiday music from November ’til Christmas and I don’t change my radio. You can’t leave out Bing, Frank, and all the originals. Favorite Christmas song? “Baby it’s cold outside”
Italian Christmas Eve: My Mom’s family is Catholic so we don’t eat meat on Christmas Eve and instead have pasta, homemade cheese pizza, and seafood. Food is a big part of our culture, the making, eating, the family recipes, the warmth it is to be in a kitchen. Some years we’ve had eel, calamari salad, mussels, and more. The stuffed artichokes my Aunt Laurie makes are out of this world and what’s being Italian without some wine?We eat my Aunt Diane’s special chocolate chip cookies. Our Christmas’s are loud, full of laughter, smiles, the most wonderful smells coming out of the kitchen, and of love. It’s cheesy but I’ve always been so proud to be Italian and of my heritage and of the strong people who came before me.
What are your favorite holiday traditions? What is your favorite holiday movie or song?
Check out Kristen’s post on balance and the traditions she and her husband keep!
Bella and Dante in their holiday wear
beauty products, bella, dante, dry shampoo, duh, holiday, holidays, joeywaffles, love, mom, not your mother, pteri, thankful, thanksgiving, turkey, winston, work

North Shore Thankful

(Thanksgiving 2013, hosted by JoeyWaffles and I)
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it’s all about the love and happy and warmth and most importantly, about family. Maybe your families blended or all over the country (like mine is), maybe you live with them or they’re right down the street, maybe it’s a friendsgiving, but it’s the time of year time to be thankful for the people and things in our lives. Of course, we should be thankful everyday but it doesn’t hurt to have a day to officially celebrate. Plus, the history of Thanksgiving is a bit awful so turning into a day of being grateful, well as Martha Stewart used to say, “now that’s a good thing”. So without further adieu, here is what I am thankful for this year, in no particular order. Obviously it should go without saying that my family, friends, and health are the duh, of course ones.

My job-Getting to love what I do and where I work and who I work with is a blessing. I always quote Charlotte from Sex and The City when she is asked about being happy in her marriage and she says “Not all day, every day but yes, every day”. That is how I feel about work. I love driving there and have never dreaded a Monday. I actually look forward to my job, my boss, my co-workers, and just loving the work. I get to grow and learn and laugh and it can’t get better than that. Work is where you spend most of your time so you might as well make the best of it, enjoy it, and find something that combines a passion with paying the bills. Plus with the PR girls, Alex, Paul, JBeast, Sara, and more, I work with the best, funniest, goofy, most amazing group of people who like to laugh about everything and snort, especially about T-Ruddy Rex ya see.(work joke duh)

My Mom-She is the strongest, funniest, most hardworking, goofy, and kind person I know. She is the definition of selfless and she also can share celebrity gossip with me. The older I get the more I look/act like her and I am proud of it. She is a huge source of health tips, working out, eating well, and just being my biggest cheerleader. My Mom is absolutely without a doubt the person who loves me the most and who would do anything for me. She can make anything better no matter what and she can drive me crazy at times. The older I get the more and more I really get to appreciate her. Plus she loves movies like Booty Call and Wayne’s World and Tommy Boy. She’s a classic.

Heated Car  Seats-I mean seriously, my butt feels so warm and toasty when I drive, especially when it’s so cold out. Every time I get in the car and turn them on, I’m happy. Joey has them in the Mini and the Wrangler so our butts are always warm like our Starbucks. I am lucky to have a car, let alone a wonderful car like Taylor. I pretty much don’t want to own anything but another Land Rover and it’s the North Shore in me but no matter the car, heated seats have become a must.

JoeyWaffles- I don’t always publicly gush about him, I mean I post our photos or some of the sweet things he does or even just how cute he is, because he really really is. The thing is though, he makes me a better person. I love him more than I love being right which is HUGE because I love being right. I am Italian after all. He makes me sharper, smarter, kinder, funnier, think more, he challenges my mind and shows me a whole new way of thinking. He encourages me to be myself and learns from who I am. I love that we both have stayed ourselves as much as we have become a team. When I take a two week vacation every year without, all he wants is for me to have fun while he gets to stay home and hang out with his friends, take care of all the pets and watch comedy central in his boxers. Whatever floats his boat really. Every night I get to fall asleep feeling safe and loved and at peace. Knowing that we bring out the best in each other and not just encourage each others bad habits is something I cherish. You might be thinking “duh Tiffany, that’s what’s supposed to happen” but a lot of people can be in love and not have that. So I am thankful that I do. I am thankful he chooses me and I choose him and that we play Tetris Attack at 2am and watch New Girl together.

Dry Shampoo-Seriously, this is life saver. I use Not Your Mother’s or Bed Head Rockaholic and they are AMAZING. For someone who has thick hair and a lot of it, shampooing my hair everyday is not an option or even every other day. I don’t have the 45min to an hour prep time. This is a great solution and I recommend everyone keep some at work or in their car for an emergency.

My Dad-Hands down, he’s the best guy and I am so lucky Joey has so many of his traits. He is thoughtful, funny, kind, smart, tells corny jokes, and always lets me ramble on. He deserves the best and I am so excited to meet his new bf because I think he finally found a man who deserves him. So I am really thankful for Andre as well because he makes my Dad so happy. I am thankful that they are happy in California and I get to see them in less than a month!!

Duh-Apparently I am trying to bring this back or it never really left my vocabulary but I am thankful this word is still fairly relevant and fun to use. It’s nice then a swear word and really gets the snark of course without offending everyone. Try it out. Feels like a guilty pleasure right? Just go with it, trust me and now I sound like a sleazy guy at a bar. Hmm.

My animals-Bella, Dante, Winston, and Pteri are the silliest, goofiest, sweetest, goofiest little pack of furbabies. Winston is at the vet and has been, battling a urinary blockage and infection and $1500 we know he;s worth every penny we’ve spent and will continue to spend. He’s the sweetest little grey jerk ever and while it’s nice not to be woken up at 6am by a hungry cat, I can’t wait til he comes home. Pteri is the cutest most unladylike cat ever and got me to like cats after years of indifference. Bella is my babygirl, babychubs, fat little loyal sausage who loves Joey better but knows I will always protect her from anything and then there’s Dante. My sweet sweet baby boy who has the biggest heart, the best personality; he would protect me from anything and curls up next to me with his big brown eyes and sweet face and I melt. He makes the funniest noises and has the worst breathe sometimes but he’s my little guy.

What are you thankful for? What makes Thanksgiving for you? Are you shopping on Black Friday? Whatever you’re doing, have a safe, happy, and wonderful Thanksgiving.

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?

advice, frenemy, friendship, love, relationship advice

The NoShoPo Signs You Have a "Frenemy"

It starts. Maybe you met through a mutual friend, maybe it’s a new co-worker, maybe you take a class at the gym together. A common joke, a favorite tv show or cult movie, you “click”. You’re smitten.
No, it’s not a new boyfriend. 
I am talking about a new girl friend to bond over RHONJ, Couples Therapy, and the fact all your other friends are getting married/having babies/etc. A girl who reminds you of your grade school best friend combined with your college roomie. You start doing everything together and it’s like you’ve known each other forever. Soon enough you become besties and are crying on each others shoulders and telling inside jokes and know each others Starbucks orders. Because really, the older you get, the less people you have that magic spark with and so you try to keep it when you find it.
Then something happens.

You buy a dress and she suddenly has the same one. You eye a purse and the next day, she has the more expensive version of the one you wanted. Something good happens to you and you text her and she’s nowhere to be found except she keeps updating her facebook. Suddenly things are feeling a lot less Carrie Bradshaw and much more Regina George.

So how do you know who’s a bad apple? A toxic friend? How do you identify a frenemy?

1) Backhanded compliments. Does she says things like “I mean…if you like it…”? Remember, the pauses and tone are VERY important here. She’s not telling you to trust your instinct, she’s basically telling you it’s hideous but “too polite” to say so. First, if she’s really your friend, she’ll you straight up if it’s ugly or that she’s jealous if it’s amazing. No hidden messages. Second, if she tells you “you’re so lucky you don’t care how you look and can eat whatever you want”, she is calling you fat when she should probably be the one putting her McDonald’s down. Slow your roll bitch, I do care what I look like and if you think I need to lay off the Sprinkles cupcakes, just say so. 
2) Delusional but think she keeps it real. She’s the kind of girls that pins things instead of just saying them to your face.She think’s shes a take charge lioness but when she get’s confronted acts like an injured kitten.  She prides her self on being honest but will never tell you what she really thinks about you-she’ll just tell everyone else and when it gets back to you, swears it was misinterpreted. She’s delusional, about her looks, life, her changing opinion to reflect her current man and deep down she knows she’s a basic bitch, So she’ll do anything to project that on you or any other close friends.

3) She loves when you’re down but when you’re happy…she’s gone. This is simple. She’s always there for you when you’re down and you think this is amazing. What a great friend, always trying to give you advice and help you out with all of her “wisdom”. Then you get a promotion or engaged and suddenly she’s “super busy”. She wants to feel superior to you and when you’re happy, she feels insecure and threatened.

4) She does #3 because she’s insecure and masks it as in control. This is the root of a frenemy, the insecurity. You have to love yourself before you can love others and this bitch does not love her self. This is the part where you almost want to start feeling bad for her…until you remember how mean she can be. You can feel bad she has self-esteem issues (too low or too high, which stem from too low) but putting yourself in her path isn’t good for anyone but her. Because remember, letting her trim your hair and then seeing she’s taken 4 inches off, that ho ain’t nobody’s friend and she’s lucky she was holding the scissors and not you. I mean…continuing on…

It’s always sad to lose a friend but the scales of life say that if something is making you more unhappy than happy, like Queen B says,”to the left , to the left”.

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”