How to Make the Rain Suck It

Rain rain go away, I’ll look good with your presence anyway (well, here’s hoping)!

Today is full of dismal, dreary showers here in Nashville, with gray skies.  I often feel like a drowned rat when out and about – probably because my choice of shoes is limited – but I’m always prepared with a little leopard (of course).

Rainy days make the leopard boots come out and play!

Rainy days make the leopard boots come out and play!

On stormy days, I try to coax the sun to come out by wearing my sunglasses anyway (looking like a complete and total jackass).  Accompanied by my high “I didn’t do my hair today” bun, I look like I’m trying to be somebody. Anybody.

Who needs an umbrella when armed with sunnies and a bun? Not this nobody.

Today I tried kicking rain’s ass with a little faux fur action, accompanied by a sequined sweater, black skinnies and of course my fabulous galoshes (please forgive the ugliness in the background below – restroom under construction…).

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Vest, Skaist Taylor for Target, $14.98. Sweater, J. Crew, $19.99. Black skinnies, Target, $24.99. Boots, Target, $19.99. See a theme here?!

But the best part about my day? The pop of hot pink inside my jacket.

Oh snap!

Oh snap!

It’s my way wet day version of the sun.

Suck it, rain!

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Trashy Travel Tricks

I’m a germaphobe (although you’d never guess it when I become a bathroom bartender (which of course, I’m an expert in) at sporting events and concerts – but alcohol kills the germs, OK? At least that’s what I tell myself to save money).

When I am traveling on a low-budget, staying at a one star hotel or residing in a cabin owned by complete strangers that rent it out on a regular basis, I come fully equipped with my Bed in a Bag. It’s a rip off of a sleeping bag but it’s made out of sheets. There’s even room for my pillow! And I cover up with my blanket from home. Psycho? Yes.

Bed in a Bag!

Do I look ridiculous? Absolutely. Do I sleep easier, knowing the bed bugs won’t bite? Absolutely!

I always pack my flip-flops for less than perfectly cleaned showers and slippers to wear around the hotel room. But when forced to make an unexpected stop while traveling at midnight, I’m forced to compromise. I put a plastic bag down in the shower to stand on (because I might get someone elses’ left over hair from the shower curtain on my feet – THE HORROR!) and use my socks as my slippers as soon as I get out of the shower. I don’t put them on, as it’s easier to scoot around the tile.

Makeshift slippers.

Classy makeshift slippers.

A traveling companion always helps when you’re having to touch all kinds of things you dare not (doorknobs, remote control, the comforter on the bed). Luckily for me, I often travel with my dad and he acts as my official gross hotel knob toucher.

When the light was shining too brightly at 1am on a recent trip to Iowa, I asked if he could shut the lamp off in the corner (a gal needs her beauty sleep, ya dig?).  Luckily (or lazily) for him, he has long arms and was able to perform this task while seated.

going...

Going…

Going...

Going…

Off!

Off!

Thank God for Dads!

As you can probably tell, I typically do not stay the Ritz Carlton, forcing me to become a raging lunatic over germs. Am I missing any tricks and secretly acquiring stranger germs?

Tell me before I get someone else’s cold from last week!

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Confessions of a Shopaholic

The fabulous Marisa from Wear Your Vitamins tagged me in Confessions of a Shopaholic, which is a fun little cyber game of tag.

So here we go…

Do you consider yourself a shopaholic?

Oh hells to tha yes! While I lack the dough to be a bona-fide shopaholic, I love digging for a bargain on sales racks, TJ Maxx, Target and mostly my favorite department store ever, Von Maur.

Shopping the sales rack success!

Success shopping the sales rack!

How would you classify your style?

Fuchsia. Sequins. Skulls. Leopard. Gaudy. Flamboyant. Rocker. Edgy. Jeans. Heels. Flashy, not trashy (although others would probably BEG to differ).

Girls night out attire.

Girls night out attire. Express jeans, $19.99. Target top, $17.99.

Juicy Couture collared striped shirt, $34.99. Skull and crossbones patch purchased at Michael's, $2.99. You don't have to be a sewing expert to adhere spice up your wardrobe. The patch shown is an iron on and takes less than five minutes to complete!

Juicy Couture collared striped shirt, $34.99. Skull and crossbones patch purchased at Michael’s, $2.99.

Who's afraid of a sequin pant? Not me!

Who’s afraid of a sequin pant? Not me! Express pant, $24.99.

Leopard 'n' Shine

Leopard print beneath clear sequins? Um, yes please! Target dress, $34.99.

What store can you not leave without buying something from?

Target. Hands down. Whether it’s shampoo, a greeting card, a Mossimo black tank (a staple in my wardrobe) or a banana. I rarely leave without a bag (which is really doing me a favor because I need plastic bags in order to scoop Ted’s litter pan. Two birds, one stone people!).

Where do you find your best deals?

Sales, sales, sales! Macy’s, Target, Von Maur, TJ Maxx, Dillards semi-annual shoe sale.

What designer are you willing to splurge on?

It’s a three-way between Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. McQ is all about the skulls baby (I feel like the designs were sometimes created with yours truly in mind – as if). I also crave the luxury and glamour of Chanel – and received a pair of booties from my fairy god mother earlier this year (read about it, click here). And Louis…oh Louis….I ran a marathon (yes a full fucking 26.2 miles) in a bet to obtain a Louis Vuitton purse (that saga will be posted another day).

In all of their black and white patent leather shine.

Caution: May cause an extreme strut.

Do you have a go-to shopping outfit?

Jeans. Always. In the winter, my kick-ass Coach motorcycle boots (waaaaay expensive but have worn approximately 268 days per year for the last five years. Worth it!). Summer time calls for Tory Burch flops (I scored at a deep discount shoe store).

In lieu of the old fashioned shit kickers, I've opted for "I think I can kick your ass" motorcycle boots.

My alternative shit kickers.

Look cute while side stepping the pig manure!

Tory Burch flip flops, $29.99.

What is your guilty pleasure?!

I’m a beauty product whore. I love trying new things – different colored lipsticks (love MAC pigments), eye shadows (Urban Decay is my fave brand), lip gloss (just found my new love that doubles as a lip stain as well as a gloss – LIP TAR), foundations (Too Faced BB Cream is my new fave and I adore Make Up For Ever HD foundation), nail polish (OPI, China Glaze are my faves)….this list could go on for days.

LIP TAR. 100% Vegan, cruelty free and one application lasts all day. Sephora,

LIP TAR. 100% vegan, cruelty free and one application lasts all day. Sold in sets or separately at Sephora.

hd foundation

Make Up For Ever HD foundation – complexion saver!

What is the one piece of clothing you can’t live without?

Jeans. Period.

Of course leopard jeans never hurt.

Of course leopard jeans never hurt.

Who is your style icon?

Gwen Stefani – love her L.A.M.B. line.

L.A.M.B. leather wrist watch purchased years ago at TJ Maxx for $89.99.

So there are my confessions. Guilty as charged!

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Griswold Style Easter

Remember setting your Easter basket out empty, hoping with all of your heart the bunny would leave loot in the form of chocolate, candy, chocolate, candy and maybe a package of peeps?

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My sister and I with our ever ready Easter baskets from childhood…still putting them to good use!

Well these fancy Easter baskets can be messy. Especially if you like playing in the artificial grass (I for one love hiding this grass all over my parent’s house just to ruffle feathers – in shoes, purses, pillowcases, etc…I know what you’re thinking and yes I’m a grown ass woman. Aren’t you glad I’m not your offspring?).

Easter grass mania!

Do you like my green hair?

If you find yourself in despair over an annoying adult child’s tendency to play in the fake grass or if you’re so old that your basket has rotted or if you just don’t feel like getting in the garage to get the damn Easter shit down from whatever high as the sky shelf it’s nestled on, here’s an alternative for you that my family uses from time to time.

Just open your kitchen closet where you stash all of those Target/Wal-Mart/grocery of choice plastic bags (because you know you have 1,435 just lying around), grab a handful and presto chango! You have quick, easy Easter baskets. My family first thought of this idea when we were at Aunt Nancy’s ready to have an egg hunt but all basketless. The horror.

Who needs baskets when you have plastic bags?

On your mark….get set…go get those eggs!

Yeah, I know I come from a family of classy geniuses (we don’t refer to ourselves as the Griswolds for nothing).

You’re welcome for the idea.

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Sexy Skinny Spaghetti

Looking to wow the pants off your Valentine? Or maybe just a way to stay in your skinny jeans?

Avoid the bloated feeling that often comes with traditional pasta by substituting noodles with spaghetti squash.  I thought this was a ridiculous idea (how could a vegetable taste like pasta?!) until I tried it for the first time (I loathe change).

Skinny Sketti

You will need a spaghetti squash, choice of meat (if desired) and your favorite Italian sauce (I use bottled – but low sodium!).

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave the squash for about a minute.  This will make it loads easier to cut and save your hand strength for opening that tightly sealed jar of sauce (let’s be real, I would never make from scratch).

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Once cut, scoop the seeds out of the middle (if you forget this step (as I almost ALWAYS do) you can remove after cooking – no worries).

fork or spoon

Hold on tight because the squash is slippery!

Slippery Sucker

Once seeds have been removed, place halves on a cooking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your gourd.

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Use a fork to create ‘spaghetti’ noodles.

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I can make four meals out of one large spaghetti squash (thus not having to cook all week. Score!).

Spaghetti Sizzle

Typically, I add FreeBird chicken breast strips that can be found at Whole Foods (low in sodium and calories) but I’ve also used turkey meatballs and lean ground beef in my sauce.

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Mix sauce and cooked meat, bring to a boil.

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Serve immediately with or without cheese (due to the non-pasta spaghetti, I treat myself with a handful of mozzarella on top).

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Just might wow the pants off of your Valentine!

Use reduced fat cheese to keep it on the ‘skinny’ side.

This cheesy version of sexy spaghetti will cost $10 (more or less depending on the meat) has about 260 calories, 20 carbs and 11 grams of sugar overall.

Now get out there in all your skinny glory and seduce someone.

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Trashtacular Treasures

When living on a tight budget, it can be hard to spread the kind of gift lovin’ you wish…like on birthdays.

Often I get creative (in my mind) and hope my thoughtfulness doesn’t come across as a cheap, tacky “why in the F did you give this to me” gift.

I designed the cake below for a former boss and fabulous friend who always used to demand (I kid! I kid! But she doesn’t read this, so I can say what I want) Diet Cokes 14 times per day. Hence the choice of beverage here (of course, if I made one for myself, it would have bottles of wine on the bottom, Captain Morgan bottles in the middle, topped off with vodka – but we’re not talking about me, so I digress).

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Perfect treat for a Diet Coke lover?

Here are the ‘ingredients’ for this cake…

1) Start with a 12 pack of the recipient’s favorite beverage (or beer/liquor if money is no object).

2) A fake silver platter (it really fancies up the look overall, yes?).

Can be found at a flea market or the Dollar Tree. Really fancies it up.

You can find this at a flea market or the Dollar Tree. And doubles as a pretty clear mirror.

3) Packing tape, duct tape and your choice of ribbon. (You could skip the duct tape but it really takes cake decorating to a whole new level).

here I go again with my duct tape...

To read about my obsession with duct tape, click here and here.

Start by arranging cans on the platter, secure with packing tape.

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Continue tiering to desired height, making sure packing tape is all over the place (making it feel more like a gift, for sure).

Diet Coke

This cake was going to a gal who loves black and white, hence the zebra print duct tape icing.

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The $6 trashtacular tiered treat.

This was a perfect way for me to bake. No dirty dishes. No recipe ingredients or steps I couldn’t decipher. And all done in about 20 minutes.

If cake baking isn’t for you, become a jewelry designer (and if you’re lucky, an overnight sensation).

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One of a kind piece.

Go to your local hardware store and purchase a plant chain (for around $2) and two plastic numbers (intended for the side of a house).  Small string, fishing line or wire will work to attach the number to the chain.

This priceless piece will cost you about $8 to concoct.

And voila! You’ll have one bewildered, amused (?) and possibly annoyed recipient!

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Wearin’ 50 well!

And that’s how you, too, can give a tad on the trashy side gift and still buy groceries for the week (or in my case Teddy’s prescription cat food).

Happy Birthday!

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Fancy Fraidy Cat

I get so excited for the holiday season that I’d start decorating in July if I could (actually, I probably could because I live in an area of the world where folks love to keep Christmas lights up year round).

While I have plenty of decor already (and only 700 square feet to spruce up holiday style), I was perusing the aisles of a local store and came across the most needed pumpkin accessory.

How could I live without this?

Turning a pumpkin into a cat was the easiest decorating I’ve completed during Halloween season – all for $10.00.

Cute but oh so ordinary…

Not being a tabby cat owner, the orange color just wasn’t cutting it for me.  It didn’t remind me enough of my Russian Blue mix, Ted.

Enter one can of silver spray paint and…

From boring to bling in 30 seconds flat.

A little more fierce than fraidy, huh?

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