Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I Need Christmas

My family's Christmas tree. 
As you knowbecause I've really driven it home by nowit's my favorite time of the year. I'm having a hard time narrowing down what to write about. I have so many thoughts and so much to share.

I had a great Thanksgiving at home in NC with my parents, celebrating another Panthers' win and enjoying what came to be known by my mother as "that damn turkey." I have partaken in numerous festive activities around our nation's capital. I have Instagram-ed every beautiful Christmas tree I come across. I've decked the halls, wrapped the presents, and played Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped in Red" album on repeat for a solid month....and it's only December 9th. Yet every time I post those pictures, talk about that damn turkey, or tweet about some ridiculous Christmas movie to which I've devoted an evening, I feel guilty. It all seems so frivolous and insensitive at a time when our country seems to be so very mad.

Have you ever looked up the definition of "mad"? These are the top three:

adjectivemadder, maddest.

mentally disturbed; deranged; insane; demented.
enraged; greatly provoked or irritated; angry.
  1. abnormally furious; ferocious:
    a mad bull.
Anger? Insanity? Yep, sounds about right.

Everything seems mad right now. Everyone seems madsome for the right reasons (in my opinion because it's my blog) and some for reasons that are bigoted and hateful. We're angry and scared. There are people being killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time (a time when we desperately need gun control laws. Again, my blog.) Public figurespeople who want to lead this great nationare spouting hateful, dangerous messages that endorse unfair and inexcusable prejudices. We grew up hearing the old adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." 

That's some BS, y'all. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Your Ultimate ABC Family Christmas Movie Guide

Yes, I know it is only November 11 and I'm writing a Christmas-related post. You're just going to have to get over that, y'all. I love Christmas. If TV networks can run Christmas movies the first week in November, then I'm certainly allowed to talk about them. Also, if you're one of the four people upset about the fact that Starbucks' cups don't show a full nativity underneath your cardboard hot-beverage ring, then you aren't going to like this post. This Christian girl is about to get crazy secular up in here.

'Tis the most wonderful time of the year...for cheesy, magical rom-coms. ABC Family recently released the lineup for its 25 Days of Christmas. It's the one time of year when my peers and I become ABC Family's target demographic. Similar to when CSPAN airs the White House Correspondents' Dinner, their ratings are bonkers, and they start trending on Twitter. Then, a week later they're back to airing....whatever it is they air that I never watch. 

In case you're new to this phenomenon, I've decided to provide you with an introduction to ten classic ABC Family original movies. I just love them all so much. Don't even get me started on the Lifetime or Hallmark original Christmas movies. You aren't ready for those yet. Those often involve an ugly-cry. 

(Also, I guess I have to say "the following contains spoilers." But, do you really care about the ends of these movies being spoiled?) 

In no particular order, I present to you, some of ABC Family's finest work:

The Mistle-Tones

Tori Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210) plays the villainous lead of the Snow Belles, the rival singing group of Tia Mowry's (Sister Sister) Mistle-Tones. Both groups are competing to sing in the mall's Christmas Eve service, an honor the Snow Belles have had for decades. Duh, duh, duh. There are lots of carols and Christmas clearly it's a timeless classic. 


While we're talking 90210 alumnae...Jennie Garth stars as the hardworking, overly-ambitious single gal who, thanks to a hit over the head and visit to a parallel life, learns to love her hometown and the simpler pleasures in life. 


A young, handsome Santa loses one of his reindeer to the "real world" and must get him back in time for the big day. He meets a beautiful zookeeper in the process. Will he save Christmas?! Will he make her believe?! Will they fall in love?! Spoiler alert: Yes.

Snow 2: Brain Freeze 

Santa gets amnesia! *gasp* Someone who used to be in love with the zookeeper-turned-Mrs-Claus is out to ruin Christmas! *bigger gasp* It's up to Mrs Claus and the reindeer to help save Christmas. I hope whoever came up with that title got a special Christmas bonus, because it's a winner. 


A hardworking no-time-for-Christmas single career woman (shocker) hits her head and is transported into the idyllic life of a snow globe town where she has a wonderful husband and adorable children. Not to be confused with Holidaze in which she hits her head and is transported to the life should might have had if she'd chosen love over career. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, LADIES. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Five Random Things I Just Can't Quit

There is nothing I love more than learning about new styles and inspiring products and trends from my favorite, oh-so-chic professional bloggers. They often provide carefully-curated lists of their favorite items and tips for how I too can achieve such a cool and fabulous lifestyle. I love reading those lists.  

But I'm not them, so this is not like that. 

This list is not even carefully-curated I typed it in the "notes" app while riding the shuttle on the way to work. It stops after five items because that's when I started watching a hilarious YouTube video over the shoulder of the guy sitting in front of me. 

Anyways, here's a random list of things with which I'm currently obsessed. 

1. Dubsmash

I know I'm a little late to the game on this one, but a month or two ago, I discovered the Dubsmash app. If you aren't already on board, Dubsmash is a lip-sync app that allows you to create a short lip-sync video to music, TV/movies, sounds or videos of your own choosing. Most of my best work is done end of the dayhair up, glasses on, giant sweatpants, sans makeup. But there is only so much of that mess I want on the Internet, so here's one of me as my nephew, showing off his new Mickey Mouse toolkit:

One day, I strive to be as skilled as these fantastic celebrity Dubsmashers (I think that's a word now).

Olivia Munn and Aaron Rodgers
A video posted by Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) on

Stephen and Ayesha Curry

Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph know what I'm talking about: 

2. Double-Sided Wardrobe Tape

You're probably thinking, "What the what?" I recognize this is a weird thing to be a fanatic of but I find it unbelievably helpful. I always thought this was just a tool to help celebrities contain their cleavage on the red carpet. Turns out, it's so much more! (Well, it's not that much more, but it is helpful.) 

Remember in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula's dad thinks Windex is the answer to everything? I've started to become that way about double-sided wardrobe tape. 

Pants too long and you're too lazy to go to tailor? Wardrobe tape.
Bra strap escaping your shirt? Wardrobe tape.  
Suede boots falling down because you never have time to go to the gym anymore and no longer have the calf muscles to hold them up? Wardrobe tape.
Have to adhere 15 black polka dots to your lady bug Halloween costume but don't want to ruin your dress? You guessed it. That ingenious tape. 

You may be thinking, "But, Lindsay, why not just use regular double-sided tape?" And that's an excellent question, you. I've found that tape designed specifically for wardrobe needs is superior in that it seems to be a stronger adhesive but also doesn't leave a residue on your clothes or skin. Also, it comes pre-cut and in a handy tin that you can keep in your purse or briefcase. (Do people still carry briefcases?)  

3M did not pay me for this post. Though, they should. 

3. Spiced Hot Apple Cider

You all can keep your pumpkin spice lattes. I'm all about the hot apple cider. I love it so much and I begin to crave it the minute the leaves start to turn. It's warm and spicy and fragrant and wonderful. And I'm not talking that warmed up store-bought apple juice that some places try to pass as cider. I mean true apple cider that's from an actual apple, mulled with spices, and served piping hot. If you put a cinnamon stick in it, then you're making all my dreams come true. I'm also equally as passionate about mulled wine but I'm not able to imbibe as frequently because I find that, during most hours of the day, I have to be a fully-functioning adult. 

4. The List App

Brought to you by B.J. Novak (The Office), this app allows you to create and contribute to lists on anything you could ever imagine. It sounds dumb, I know. That's what I thought when my sister told me to download it. Instead, it's the opposite of dumb. Here's a video about it. 

The List App is the social media app I didn't know I needed. Most of the lists I read are insanely creative, smart, and witty. You just have to try it. 

No, seriously, I need you to try it because I only have 5 followers, one of which is my sister and another is a sewer company. (Though that sewer company is using the app for some brilliantly hilarious content. Digital marketers, take note.) I'm Lindsaydec.

Some of my favorite lists include lists from Paul Feig, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, and my sister

5. Lenny Newsletter

Apparently I'm a sucker for any e-venture from a celebrity, but the feminist bi-weekly newsletter, Lenny, founded by Lena Dunham and Jenni  (Lena + Jenny = Lenny) is one of my favorite things to read on my commute to or from work ...when I'm not typing out blog posts or eavesdropping on neighbors' phone activities, of course.

In an incredibly simplistic explanation, I describe Lenny as bad-ass women talking about things that are important to them and society. And there is nothing I love more than learning from inspiring bad-ass women. 
Lenny kicked off with an interview with the potential-President herself, Secretary Clinton, and followed up with activist Gloria Steinem, among other incredible and accomplished women. Articles range from funnyLena Dunham's retrospective on her Halloween costumesto relevant and informativeSenior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett's "Keep Guns Away From Abusers" or Jennifer Lawrence's essay on the Hollywood wage gapLenny cover topics that are important to both genders, though especially to women who seek candid discussion on women's health, career advice, or just a little life inspiration. One of my favorite articles was this one in which Amy Poehler interviews 12-year-old, Tony-nominated Broadway star Sydney Lucas.

Fellas, you can read Lenny too. As Aziz Ansari so eloquently describes, feminism isn't just for the ladies.

Lenny, which originated in its newsletter form, now has a full website on which you can read articles, in case you didn't pick up on that through my hyperlinks. Though I recommend you sign up for the newsletter here. 

There you have it. Five things—in an extraordinarily long post—that I currently love. I hope you note that they were in no particular order. I certainly don't rank double-sided tape over feminism. Though it's probably true that I rank stellar Dubsmashes above all else.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Charlie and Lindsay's Most Excellent Adventure

Not sure if you guys heard, but I have a nephew. I know I never talk about him and I never ever post pictures on social media. But he exists. He's three and he's awesome.

Now, I've babysat Charlie many times. In fact, I'm his favorite babysitter. I'm also his only babysitter, but I don't see how that is relevant.

When my sister called and said they would "sponsor an adventure" for Charlie and me so they could attend an event all day Saturday, obviously I said yes.

On our frequent Facetime chats, Charlie often asks when he can come to my apartment. I like to think this is because he wants to spend quality time with me, but I'm pretty sure it's because he sees the TV in the background of all our calls and wants to watch my tiny, discount, non-cable TV.

No matter what the reason, I decided to fulfill the kid's wish and have him over to my neighborhood for what will forever be known (probably just by me) as Auntie Adventure Day!

Now, there are limited adventures you can take with a three-year-old, especially when you're an adventure-averse aunt. Adventure to me is going on a hike, but like, the kind that's on a trail and can be done in a day and ends with a pretty view but doesn't require me to touch much of nature.

Where can you find nature in a controlled environment? The Zoo!

Fortunately, I live just a few blocks from Smithsonian National Zoo, so that was our plan. Throw in a tour of my building (pro tip: three-year-olds love trash chutes), a quick stop at the library, lunch with friends, and frozen yogurt you've got a three-yr-old-friendly and Lindsay-approved day of adventure. 

Here is the scrapbook of our day:

We started out the day with a tour of my building. He has only been to my apartment a few times, one of which was my birthday. That explains why he walked into my kitchen, looked confused and said, "Where are the cupcakes?" Fortunately, to a three-year-old, trash chutes, elevators, and roof-decks are just as exciting. 

And then...we were off to the zoo! Well, sort of...

At the rate we were moving, it was going to take us approximately four days to walk to the zoo. Charlie insisted on carrying that tiny umbrella. "It's really important that we have this, Ninny. Don't worry, I'll carry the tiny umbrella." (Oh yeah, I'm Ninny. That's probably important to know.) Then, we found lots and lots of acorns that needed to be collected. Fortunately, I was able to bribe him into the stroller with a graham cracker. And then we were really off!

We arrived! The zoo doesn't require ties but Charlie likes to look dapper at all times.

Overall, the zoo was a hit. The elephants, ducks, sloth bear, and, surprisingly, plethora of benches and trash cans were the biggest attractions for Charlie. Then, as any good auntie does, I let him pick whatever he wanted from the gift shop, which, thankfully, was a $4 tiger-on-a-stick 

"Charlie, I think you can put the tiny umbrella down in the stroller while you look at the birds. It will still be safe."

Next, we stopped by the puzzle table at the library. Charlie learned how to open all different kinds of locks on this particular puzzle, which seems like an odd skill to teach a toddler. You're welcome, Melissa and Pete. 

After working up quite an appetite, we met my friends Adam and Joe for lunch and frozen yogurt. (Actually, I'm not sure if Charlie had an appetite because I'd been bribing him with graham crackers all morning.) Charlie got really shy at first and just kept sticking his hand in the barbecue sauce. That's always my move when I'm shy too, perhaps that's why I go on a lot of first dates and minimal seconds.  
All good adventure days end with some relaxing TV time. This is us watching some show about a talking truck named Chuck. You parents probably know what I'm talking about. It was far superior to the episode of Barney we watched immediately afterwards. Did y'all know Barney is still a show kids watch? Who knew that purple dino would be the Madonna of kids' characters and stand the test of time?  
Now, I leave you with this gratuitous belly shot. (Wardrobe change brought to you by juice mishap.) Note how this kid excels at relaxing: Arms behind his head, laid back, watching some shows. I know I'm just the aunt, but I'd like to think he gets his "chill" from me.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Love/Hate Relationship With Halloween

I have mixed emotions about Halloween as an adult. I love the creativity it inspires. Also, I love candy.

But costumes are hard, y'all.

(And, before you roll your eyes, this won't be another rant about how Halloween costumes for adults are offensively trashythough it could be. I actually have a lot of thoughts on that topic. I mean, "sexy elephant?" What the hell is that?)

I've never had a truly great costume as an adult. When you're a kid, every costume seems great. My best was Sesame Street's Ernie at the age of 3....and 4. When you have a costume as stellar as Ernie, you recycle. After that it was a series of funbut not originalwitches, clowns, and punk rockers. The latter was because my sister was that one year and I saw she got to put glitter in her hair. 
I remember being jealous of my sister's suspenders. Then again, I got that sweet wig. 

Surprisingly, not Halloween, despite what we're wearing. Just thought I'd include, in case you wondered where my sister got those suspenders. 
My sister, crushing it with her Halloween costume. Me, deciding I just wanted to wear a soccer jersey. 
As a kid, it was awesome to dress up as anything, especially because you got candy. Then I became a "grown up" and the pressure was on to have a "clever costume." You know, the ones that are relevant and witty, without being cliche. (Be honest, how many of you are considering going as Donald Trump or "Deflategate"?) You're supposed to be creative and smart.This is especially true if you have friends who are good at Halloween. And, boy, are my friends good at Halloween. 

To be perfectly clear, I have no problem with Halloween. The problem is with me. I own that. love seeing other people's clever costumes. I'm just never one of those people.  

I don't want to be the party pooper who phones it in, but I also get overwhelmed at all the options and effort that goes into a great costume. Fortunately, my best friend, the Internet, is chock-full of ideas, listing everything from "31 Costumes Your Squad Can Rock This Halloween" to "Eco-Friendly Thrift Store Costume Ideas."

I decided to start with "Cheap Costumes" on Pinterest. But here's the thing about cheap costumes: They look like a helluva a lot of work. 

Where's the list, "Top 10 Costumes for the Girl Who Appreciates Creativity and Wants to Play Along but is Sort of 'Meh' on Effort"?

Sure, I could turn myself into this pants-less Rubik's Cube (unclear why she's not wearing pants), but I'd have to cut and paint boxes? And then assemble them and then wear them? I might as well just try to solve a real Rubik's Cube. 

And then there are the classic costumes that involve inherently fun materials like balloons. Adorable. I love them. I don't love sitting on the floor of my apartment blowing up balloons to then adhere to my body. Also, how do you get in and out of your car, or the Metro, or a bathroom? (Oooh, maybe that's why the Rubik's Cube involves no pants.) 
(Santy Gibson/Demand Media)
In truth, I'll probably buy an inexpensive costume online. That's what Amazon Prime is for, right? I'll be something everyone loves, like a cupcake or Tina Fey. 

If all else fails,  I've told everyone my backup is "Myself on a Saturday Night if I Wasn't Invited to This Party." I'll wear sweatpants and a ponytail, carry a glass of wine, and text my sister. 

Or, perhaps, I'll simply create half of the Rubik's Cube costume, tape a couple balloons to it and go as "The Girl Who Tried Her Best." 

Happy Halloween. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Welcome, Pope Francis!

This week was a big week in D.C...

I was finally back in town from work travel!

Oh, and also the most holy leader of the Catholic church was in town. Pope Francis himself. The people’s pope!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to any papal festivities but, even as a born-and-raised Presbyterian, I was overwhelmed with the historic magnitude of the pope’s visit. I watched the black Fiat on TV like it was my job. Seeing him bless those babies from his one-of-a-kind Jeep? Watching him lead mass for over 25,000 people? Witnessing him standing side-by-side with our President outside the White House? Amazing. The city put itself on hold to welcome Pope Francis and that’s pretty fantastic.

Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik via ABCNews7
Not only was it Pope Francis’ first time in Washington, D.C., but his first time in the good ol’ U.S. of A! Well, Holy Father, I too was once new to the Washington, D.C. area. In fact, that’s how this blog even started. I know it’s a bit too late now….and you didn’t ask…but here is the advice I would’ve given you...had you asked...which you didn’t.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How To Attend Weddings Without Going Broke

As a 30-year-old female who follows a heap of lifestyle and fashion blogs, I have read countless posts on how to Have A Fabulous Wedding on a Not-So-Fabulous Budget or Saying ‘I Do’ When Your Budget Says ‘Don’t’.” I get it, I’m your target audience, minus the fact that I'm not engaged. I read those DIY guides and file them away in my mental vault for whenever I may need them (Which is not now, Mom. I promise. I'll let you know.) I am sure (hope) one day those posts will be helpful. But the post I really want to read is: How to Attend A Wedding Seven Weddings Without Breaking the Bank.

Let me start by saying that, I love going to weddings. Like, love love. When Donald Trump said that he’d paid Hillary Clinton to come to his wedding (I paraphrase) in the debate, I thought, “IS THAT A JOB I CAN HAVE?!” I choose to believe I’m a good guest too — I take pictures using the wedding hashtag; I cry when appropriate; I don’t get drunk; I dance my ass off; I mingle with the grandparents; and I high-five the flower girls. Really, I’m my best self at weddings.
My greatest flaw as a wedding guest: fear of sparklers

But weddings can be expensive to attend. If you’re between the ages of around 24-35, then you’re probably attending a ton of them. Your refrigerator is covered in adorable save-the-date photos and squares of that thick fancy paper with beautiful calligraphy. 

I thought my busy wedding seasons were behind me, but I was invited to eight weddings this year. (Kudos to me for having so many wonderful friends!) Sadly, I could only attend six due to expenses, scheduling, and such. Personally, I think the investment in getting to celebrate special moments with your favorite people in the world is priceless, but my bank account doesn’t seem to understand. BB&T always be hatin’.

After about 25+ weddings since graduation, I’ve picked up some tricks for attending your loved ones’ celebrations without over-drafting your account. Here are my (fairly obvious) tips:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Thirty: Like 20, But With Rent

Hi guys.

It’s me.

I’m back.

At least, I’m back for a week until summer classes start. Then I’ll probably disappear again. I’m like the Pumpkin Spice Latte of bloggers
only here for a limited amount of time, mainly followed by basic white girls (jk), and not really as enjoyable as you once remembered.

Since we last spoke, I finished two semesters of graduate school, and this time next year, I’ll be done completely (hopefully). I probably won’t make you treat me any differently or call me master or anything, but if you wanted to then, whatever, I’m not the boss of you.

Also since my last post, I entered a new decade. In the words of everyone's favorite time-traveling magazine editor in the cinematic classic 13 Going on 30, "I'm thirty, flirty, and thriving!" 

Well, I'm at least one of those things.