Good Reads

Sunday, August 31, 2014

1. On The Street What a cool photo representation of the summer to autumn fashion transition! Bill Cunningham has outdone himself with this one.

2. Who's Buying J. Crew's New XXXs Clothes? Trying to read this article objectively was a bit hard for me, as I'm a massive fan of J. Crew's, but also a positive body image supporter. Interesting read nonetheless.

3. Demi Lovato Reveals How She Learned To Love the Skin She's In Speaking of positive body image supporter...Demi Lovato has been killing it over the past couple of years after her stint in rehab dealing with various health issues. I love her confidence and her attitude...and pretty much everything about her, if we're being honest.

4. Shop For a Cause: Kate Spade's On Purpose Collection Creates Jobs for Women in Rwanda Just another reason for me to respect a beloved company...and spend more money on their products. You bet your bottom dollar that I ordered one of the friendship bracelets.

5. Arctic Monkeys' Emotional Goodbye To 'AM' Had Everything - But Where Do They Go Next? Arctic Monkeys are a fantastic band and AM was a brilliant album. Sad to see the "era" end, but excited to see what will follow!

6. Andrew McMahon's Life After Pop Punk Andrew McMahon's music, through his various projects, has gotten me through the entirety of my middle school, high school, and my college years up until now. What a genuine and incredibly talented guy.

7. I Believe... Such a refreshing look on life! I especially love the "chocolate is acceptable currency" bit.

8. Describe Yourself In 20 Seconds I'm a talker, especially a nervous one, and for as narcissistic as I am, I can never think of the proper words or phrases to describe myself. Can you do this?

9. 21 Things I've Learned in 21 Years I wanted to just describe this with a series of exclamation points, but that didn't seem to do this post justice.

10. What's Your Weird Thing? Everything I do is a weird thing if we're being honest here.

11. Lipstick Love You know that line in "Hot N Cold" by Katy Perry "you change your mind like a girl changes clothes?" Yeah, that's me with lipstick colors.

12. Photography I love taking pictures and wish I had more time to properly dedicate to it.

13. The Fake Leaf Print Romper Genius! I love rompers, but when it comes to the ease of getting them on and off, these separates in the same print seem a lot more appealing to me.

14. What Do You Love Most About Where You Live? In New York, the thing I love the most is my family (yawn) and The Book Corner. In Cleveland, the skyline and Voinovich Park are what I love the most.  

15. J. Crew Fall Picks I am so excited for fall fashion. I have to hit up a J. Crew before we get too deep into the season so I can pick up some new pieces.

What have you been reading lately?

Managing Your Time In College

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I will forever be jealous of people who can just "wing it" their whole lives. Perhaps it's a bit lame and might take the fun out of things, but I need some aspects of my life calculated to my best ability. I like routines and schedules and getting things done at my own pace rather than rushing. In my experience it makes things, generally, run a heck of a lot smoother. You can fight me on this and I probably won't argue because everybody has their own way of handling situations (in this case: college, more specifically the workload that comes along with it).

How do I handle my college workload? After crying for a few minutes and complaining about how incompetent I am and how I should just drop out of school all together, I collect myself and proceed with how I actually handle it: managing my time. 

Time management is one of the easiest and most helpful steps in trying to get your life together (side note: is it possible for any college student to have their life together? I've never met one). It's free, it requires little to no materials, and it could possibly save your sanity.

Between actually going to class, the work that comes along with it, eating (legitimate use of time, sssh), a social life, regular work, and sleep (which seems totally optional at times), there is probably little to no time for anything else. Life would probably just seem simpler if there were 3 or 4 extra hours in the day. If you can correctly and successfully manage your time, it's going to feel like you tacked a few extra hours onto your day without really trying. 

I will talk about agendas for the rest of eternity, but GET ONE. Writing down all of your assignments and important due dates in the future will make your life easier when it comes time to actually doing them. This will also put everything in one place to keep you from flipping through various syllabi and loose sheets of paper that you might have used to jot down a date or two. Having everything in one place lessens the chance of an assignment getting lost or forgotten. I got a Lilly Pulitzer agenda for the second year in a row and I am in love with it. I always get pumped to pull it out during class! 

Pick a class to work on. Hopping from homework assignment to homework assignment can get confusing, especially if it's two completely opposite subjects. For example, this semester I have 3 Communications classes and 2 Spanish classes. Therefore, I will do my Spanish 302 home and Spanish 202 homework in succession so I'm not hopping from English to Spanish back to English and back to Spanish once more. This could go for any combination, really. Getting your work done class by class will keep you from forgetting to finish an assignment or missing a section because you thought you were done but you weren't.

Once you've got your class chosen, make a game plan. What needs to be done first? For a real life example, this was my Spanish 302 assignment from Tuesday (translated into English, of course):  Read pages 2-4, complete exercises on pages 5 and 6 ABC, review pages 7-12, complete exercise B on page 12, and fill out handout. Reviewing pages 7-12 would help me complete the handout, so I did those two first. Next, I read the short story on pages 2-4, which I would need to do exercises ABC. Exercise B on page 12 had no relevance to either of the two other clusters, so I saved it for last. 

For an online class, my professor listed what we needed to do for the assignment in a numbered list and I loved that she did that. I copied to down onto a post it note and stuck it above my desk so I don't have to access Blackboard one million times to check the assignment. You just have to cross the tasks off as you go and voila! you've completed your homework.

Dealing with distractions is the hardest part of managing your time. On Wednesday, it took me 5 hours to do my Spanish homework and I wanted so badly to just sit and chat with my roommate. The problem is that we could talk for hours. If I didn't stop myself from doing so, I would get absolutely no work done. A reward system is great for managing your time. If you do a solid hour of work, reward yourself with something, whether it be a break for food, chatting, working out, a Youtube video, whatever. You're going to hate yourself and resent the work you're doing if you force yourself to complete it in one sitting. That's just craziness. Time management is not sitting down and making yourself do work with time constraints--it's about planning out how to use your time wisely while still managing to have a life. 

You've got to find yourself someplace comfortable--but not too comfortable--to do your work the way you prioritized. It's going to take a few tries and a bit of time to be completely comfortable with the way you learn to manage your time. It's not a one size fits all sort of situation. Different things work for different people! Time management can be the biggest savior when it comes to productivity in a college environment. With so many activities going on, why would you want to be tied down by work for hours with no end in sight? 

What's your favorite way to manage time whilst in school? 

Francesca's Focus: First Week of Classes

Friday, August 29, 2014

Congratulations everybody, you've made it through your first week of classes! Unless you have a class tomorrow and if that's the case, then I'm sorry that you have a class on Saturday. That really sucks. Making through the first week of classes is the first of many small victories. The seventh week and finals week are the next two, in my opinion, worst weeks in the school year.

I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I've technically only had two days of classes this week. It isn't quite late enough to judge any of them at this point, but I've definitely got some opinions that I hope change sometime soon.

This semester is going to be hard. I knew that from the start, but I got home from all of my classes on Tuesday, collapsed onto my bed and just sort of...lied there, very limp, very sad. Then I'm sure I thought of Harry Styles and immediately perked up because that's how my mind works. I know from experience last year, the first week, though lighter on the material, definitely feels the most busy. Maybe it's because of the transition from the nothingness of vacations (as long as you didn't take summer classes) to the sudden addition of what seems like a whole boatload of work.

Generally, if you feel lost on the first day of classes, you are not the only person. Remember my story from Spanish class last semester? I was chatting with a classmate of mine before my Spanish Writing Emphasis class yesterday and want to guess what we talked about? How it seriously took us 5 hours to do our homework assignment and that neither of us were that confident or comfortable with the language yet. See what I mean? It's hard getting acquainted with a class again (especially a foreign language, though I know I'm biased) after one or two classes, so there's no need to wig out at first like I did (and continue to do as I skim through my textbook).

It feels like I've been at school forever. I think it's because my roommate, N, was my suite mate last year, so it just feels like it's a continuation of last semester. It's not really a bad thing, unless you count the disgusting amount of coffee I've consumed in less than a week...

I'm pretty pumped for week two, just so I can start forming my routine again. I'm a big routine person and right now I don't really have one. Next week I have to add laundry in there at some point (HAH, just kidding. I'm talking about it like I don't already have Wednesday morning planned out) and taking some leisurely walks downtown. Pray for me and my mounds of Spanish assignments that will surely overwhelm me at some point or another.

How was your first week of classes? 

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, August 28, 2014

1. The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Face Wash

I picked this up on a whim whilst at Ulta with my friend and beauty genius Aly. It was $4 and I'm always interested in trying new face washes. I really like using Tea Tree products on my face as I find that they don't break me out further and actually, y'know, help with my acne.

2. Smashbox Full Exposure mascara

In the same Ulta trip, my friend was talking about how this was her favorite mascara. So when I saw a sample of it near the counter, I obviously had to get it. It reminds me of Bad Gal Lash from Benefit, but this formula definitely lasts longer and holds a curl better.

3. Real Techniques stippling brush

I swear, if you want to spend all of the money in the world, go to Ulta with my friend Aly. I wanted a brush to use for my cream blushes because I have enough of them that go unused because I can't stand applying them with my fingers. On her recommendation, I picked up the Real Techniques stippling brush and I cannot believe I went so long without it in my life. It applies the blushes like a dream and makes them look natural, as if I applied a powder blush normally.

4. Nars Cactus Flower cream blush

Everything is connecting to one another today! With the Real Techniques stippling brush now in my life, I can finally get some good use out of my Cactus Flower cream blush from Nars. It's a red blush with gold shimmer in it and it's absolutely gorgeous, especially during the summer. I'm trying to wear it as much as I can before the season is over!

5. Being back at school

I'm that weirdo that loves school. I'm really excited to be in classes again (though I'm also stressed to the max. It took my 5 hours to do my Spanish homework yesterday!) and to just be on campus again.

6. Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date by Katie Heaney

I started this book on the beach and I finished it a few days after I got home. This book had me laughing so hard at some points, I couldn't believe it. Katie Heaney is the type of person that you want in your life and it's always nice to find somebody in the world to relate to. This book definitely provided a hefty amount of entertainment and that reassurance that I'm not the only (seemingly) perpetually single gal in the world.

I'm really happy in the mornings.

7. Donut Shop and Caribou Coffee K-Cups

My roommate was a doll and brought a Keurig to the dorm this year. I have been using that contraption like crazy. It's so much easier to make coffee on my own accord than having to get it while the shop in my dorm's lobby is still open. And now I can have coffee on the weekends! I'm going through them like crazy, so mom, if you're reading this, please send some my way.

8. "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift

This song is my life. I wrote a whole post about this song, so I'm not even going to go into detail about my spiritual connectivity with it.

What have you been loving lately?

VMAs and Emmy's Fashion

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Two big award shows have taken place in the past few days and I figured that instead of doing two separate posts, I might as well shove them both together to make one big MTV VMAs and Emmy's fashion post because I do what I want.

First things first, we'll starting with MTV's Video Music Awards, which were on Sunday. I watched the show with all of my roommates as a sort of "bonding" ritual, which turned out really nicely actually. In a youthful star-studded event, there's plenty of room for sinking or swimming.

There wasn't a lot of ensembles on the red carpet that really popped out to me in a good way. I mean, sure, Katy Perry and Riff Raff's homage to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake circa 2001 stood out. Similarly, Amber Rose's "outfit" (?), or lack thereof, made me blink a lot and wonder if I should applaud her for showing off her post baby body or question why she wore a bunch of chains and a thong on a red carpet, even if it was just the VMAs.

I'm more interested by the ensembles worn on stage by the performers.

I really don't understand how somebody could possibly look so inhumanly perfect in a bejeweled leotard, but Beyoncé does it. Every. Single. Time. Clearly, this Tom Ford get up is no exception to Queen B's reign.

I didn't realize that Taylor Swift had a midriff! All jokes aside, it's really awesome to start seeing this new side of Taylor over the past couple of months, and especially Sunday night. She wore a playsuit on the red carpet and, GASP, it beared a bit of bum. Call the police, entertainment magazines, why don't you? These tasseled separates makes me really happy. I just wanna steal it, spin around for a bit, and then return it in pristine condition. Is that too much to ask?

Not surprisingly, I was more impressed by what was happening on the Emmy's red carpet this year. Better luck next year, VMAs!

I'll be the first to admit that I don't watch Downton Abbey, but I know enough about Michelle Dockery to realize that she dresses phenomenally. I'm low key obsessed with this dress and its color scheme and shape. Everything paired with the simple hair and makeup is perfect, even so that I can forgive the ill-fitting bottom.

Kiernan Shipka is arguably my favorite human being alive. All I want is to either be best friends with her or become her. I'm not even picky at this point.



I'm loving the color blocked separates as much as I'm loving the bun. Obviously, Sarah Hyland is a beautiful girl (and totally hilarious, have you seen Modern Family? Haley cracks me up), but holy sh*t, she killed it at the Emmy's this year. Look at those eyebrows!

Seeing red gowns on red carpets will always make me giddy. As I'm not a huge fan of red, this whole obsessions with "red on red" is already odd to begin with. It's such a classy color though! Claire Danes knocks it out of the park with this simple silhouette amped up with texture, lace, and a very interesting neck detail. I could live without the belt, but damn, that red lip looks great.

What was your favorite look or moment from the VMAs or Emmy's?

First Day of Classes Jitters

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If you don't get even the slightest bit nervous for your first day of classes, whether it's high school, college, grad school, etcetera, I would assume you're lying. Even if it isn't the most terrifying day of your life, in the moment, it feels like it is. And I firmly believe this is normal and healthy.

Of course you're going to get some first day of classes jitters. It's your first day of classes! With new surroundings, new professors, new classes, new classmates, it's all a bit unfamiliar. I know that my past two semesters, and definitely this semester, I'm feeling the nerves to the umpteenth degree. I'm not alone in this, that I know. And now you know that you're not either!

My nerves are definitely caused by these two fears: the fear of not liking my major(s) and having no back-up plan and the fear of embarrassing myself in my Spanish classes because, plot twist, yo hablo español mal. The first won't be easily solved until I get through the semester and see if I can survive the introductory journalism courses at my school. The second, well, the second can be solved with practice, loads and loads of practice. Problem solved!

That's how I somewhat solved my personal struggles when it comes to the first day of classes. There's no sure way of doing so, besides really reminding yourself that everybody else is probably just as nervous as you and that after the first day or two, the feeling will subside. I figured that while I'm struggling with some first day of classes jitters (my first class, Media Writing, is at 8:30 today, AHH!), I'd share some tips that I've picked up over the past couple of semesters.

1. Remind yourself that you're not alone. 

Really, you're not. I can guarantee that almost every single person in that classroom with you is feeling every bit of nervous that you are, if not more. Some people are just really great at hiding it. I'll never forget my first day of Spanish last semester. Everybody else seemed so confident with their Spanish on the first day and I was 50 shades of intimidated. Weeks later, after we all become closer, we confessed that all of us were so nervous on the first day and thought that everybody knew more than we did. We were all terrified of the same thing, but tried to put on this act to mask our jitters.

2. Read and re-read the syllabus

You'll most likely get your syllabus on your first day of classes, but in the off chance that the professor e-mails it to you beforehand or posts it online through a platform like Blackboard, read it, and then read that sucker again and again until you get a grip on what is to come in the next 15 or so weeks. I feel so much more prepared when I know what to expect from a class and from the professor. If I have a detailed explanation of assignments, grading, and schedules, I'm put at ease (or at least feel a tad bit less nervous).

3. Get your belongings together the night before

Nothing is worse than feeling like you're running late for your first day, or even worse, being late for your first day. Set your belongings out the night before, or even pack your bag the night before classes if you have early morning classes. If you're lucky and have afternoon classes, maybe set your supplies to the side and pack your bag about 20-30 minutes before you actually leave. Knowing that you have everything where it needs to be is one less thing that you have to worry about.


I cannot stress this enough, which is why it is on my list twice. Talk to your roommates, friends, parents, people from work, whoever will listen to you and will be able to sympathize with you. Being nervous is a normal feeling when it comes to the first day, and I wish somebody told me sooner than it was a fleeting feeling, one that was easily solved by making friends in my classes, getting comfortable with the material and with myself.

When was/is your first day of classes?

CSU, Here I Come!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hi guys! This is my first blog post from my new dorm room *screams*. I am so pumped for this school year and it hasn't even begun yet. I don't start classes until Tuesday, so I'm spending today getting things ready in my dorm and getting reacquainted with the campus and residence life in general.

Move in weekend was a lot more calming and relaxed than last year. My mom and I enjoyed the Indians game on Saturday night. They played the Houston Astros and the game was fairly uneventful until the bottom of the ninth inning when Cleveland won on a walk-off hit. The crowd went wild and the fireworks after the game were INCREDIBLE. It was a nice welcome back to the city, that's for sure.

My dad and brother met us near campus the next morning with the remainder of my belongings right before move-in. It was a lot less hectic trying to get in and out of my residence hall this year, especially because we got to campus a wee bit early. But, people were there before us so we weren't that early apparently. 

Last year, I was completely spoiled with a really large room. My residence hall was a refurbished and every room is a bit different from another (there are 4 lofts and apparently one room has a mantel from an old fireplace!). My room this year was a "normal" sized room for the tower, so it was a bit weird moving in to a place significantly smaller than my space last year. But, I'm making it work. I quite like my cozy little nook. Plus, I've got a window sill...which is currently home to my records and record player. So much for my window seat idea!

When my room is totally set up (my guess is after this weekend), I'll do a proper sort of tour of it. For now, here's the head of my bed. The comforter is by Cynthia Rowley (the pillows came with the set) and the gray sheets are from Bon-Ton.

When do you start classes again?

Good Reads

Sunday, August 24, 2014

1. 5 Seconds of Summer: Guitars, Good Lucks, and Screaming Girls My not-so-current obsession lives on.

2. In Fashion Ads, Plenty of Déjà Vu Seriously, I love Cara Delevigne (and her eyebrows), but I think she is on every other page in every magazine in my possession right now. 

3. Fishtail I'm about 100% sure that I'm going to have to attempt this braid sometime this week.

4. All In Ballet Pink I agree with Naomi--ballet pink is a great color! One of my favorite nail polishes is Ballet Slippers by Essie!

5. Happy Birthday, Kristen Wiig! She remains one of my favorite female comedy actresses to this day. 

6. Little White Dress This dress needs to be in my possession. Krista always looks flawless!

7. Why It Is Important To Be Nice I make a conscious effort to be nice to everybody, even those who aren't very nice to me. I find that it's just a lot easier to do so and the reward is so lovely. 

8. Birthday Girl Look at that dress!! Look at those roses!!

9. Selflessness On the other side of being nice to everybody, I realize that sometimes I'm not completely selfless (is anybody?). Sometimes it just takes a second to remove yourself from a situation and wonder 

10. Ocean Drive This just makes me so excited for fall and sweaters (even though it's paired with a skirt...and the photos are on the water...but still). 

11. Having a Cute Back to School Season I move in today and start classes on Tuesday, so needless to say, this post made me excited for everything to happen!

12. Meet Patricia Batatas Have I met my match when it comes to shopping addictions?

13. That Time I Made Peace With My Size This is so important!!!

Personal Touches for Bleak Dorm Rooms

Saturday, August 23, 2014

As I mentioned in my Best Of: Posters & Prints when you dorm, you get a blank canvas, quite literally. My walls were white with no texture, no personality, nothing. My furniture was sparse (a dresser, a bed, a desk and a chair) that was all the same: a light wood with black metal. The floors were a dark carpeting that showed every bit of blonde hair. The room was, to put it nicely, terribly boring. I'm sure that this is the same for most people, no matter where they are going to school.

It's weird going from a colorful room at home that you've spent your entire life (or something like that) decorating and adjusting to your ever-changing tastes. My room at home had knick knacks I've collected over the year, wall art that I made at the beginning of high school, and was a vivid shade of turquoise. It was a weird adjusting going from my bright room at home to a bland dorm in a city that I wasn't very familiar with.

Transitioning from a comfy home atmosphere to a stuffy and foreign dorm atmosphere is hard enough as it is. Factor in classes, a pinch of homesickness, and you've got yourself a trifecta.  In order to make myself feel more comfortable in my dorm, I had to do tweak a few things.

1. Personal photos

I had pictures of me with my friends and family in frames around my room to make everything more familiar. When I came home for a long weekend, my friend had rallied together some of my other friends to make a photo collage that I kept on the wall next to my bed so I could always see some familiar faces when I was relaxing.

2. Corkboard/Inspiration board

This might just have worked for me, but in front of my desk at home, I had a massive cork board and to mimic the feeling of being at home working at my desk, I got one for school and decorated it accordingly. Maybe you have a large piece in your room that you'd like to recreate in your dorm room to make it feel like you're home.

3. Favorite colors

Including your favorite colors into your color scheme for your dorm will make it more comfortable and all around just more you. Pick out pillows and comforters that are aesthetically pleasing to you! Find posters and prints that fit your style and that you'd like to look at for the rest of the year.

4. String lights

Some dorms don't allow string lights (boo!), but I swear putting these up in your rooms is such a great idea. It's a cute light source and instantly transforms your room without having to follow a color scheme (though Target had some cute decorative ones, like birdcages and paper stars).

What's your favorite way to personalize your room? 

Francesca's Focus: Packing Tips

Friday, August 22, 2014


That's right, guys. Today's the day that I've been putting off all summer: IT'S PACKING DAY. I shouldn't say put off because I've been slowly but surely filtering through my closet for my most worn clothes and putting those off to the side and going through boxes to make sure they're ready for everything that I've left in its bag. It's all a matter of getting what I need into boxes and suitcases. That's the easy part when you've got a mom like mine (guys, she packed up pretty much my entire dorm into one Jeep at the end of the year. ONE. JEEP.)

Packing day might be packing week or packing month for somebody else. I just think it depends on where you're living, what your car situation is, and various other factors that I don't think I'd ever be able to predict. If you're living close enough to home and are lucky enough to have a car (or live in a city with decent public transportation!), forgetting a few things while packing isn't the biggest deal in the world. However, if you're shipping off to the other side of the country with no car and no contacts, well, then being adamant and precise about your packing might be the best idea for you.

1. Make lists

I make lists for everything, so it should come as no surprise that I make packing lists. After a preliminary shopping round, where I just kind of let loose in Target and threw things into my cart that I may or may not have needed, I made a list of everything that I didn't grab. I separated my lists into clothing, beauty, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and school supplies. The categories can obviously be adjusted if you don't have a kitchen (though having plates and other utensils is always convenient) or any of the other "speciality" amenities.

2. Recruit an expert packer

I can pack things like books and towels and things that require little to no folding skills. When it comes to clothes, I am absolutely the worst. My mom can fit what I stuffed into a large suitcase into a medium sized one without breaking a sweat. Needless to say, she is going to be packing away all of the clothes that I hand her from my closet once again this year.

3. Take breaks

Nothing is more stressful than trying to pack up your life and temporarily move it someplace else. Take a few breaks here and there. Watch some TV, go for a walk, go out shopping for something that you forgot to put on a list. If you do it right, packing shouldn't take the entire day, so breaks should be welcomed with open arms!

4. Label boxes

If you're worried about labeling your boxes with the actual names on the side (i.e. kitchen tools, clothing, etc.), use numbers and write down what each number means on a separate sheet of paper that you carry with you for your own reference. This will make packing easier, as everything will have its place, and will most certainly make moving easy for the same reason.

5.   Double check everything 

Do this while you are packing, not after it's all been said and done. Nothing is worse than having to tear apart the boxes you've just spent so much time and effort trying to pack just to make sure that you have a toothbrush and toothpaste or something minor like that.

One thing to remember about packing day is to not let yourself get too worked up about it. It is very stressful. Trying to put your life in boxes is hard to do and hard to watch as well, but letting it get to you is distracting and almost not worth it. Packing and unpacking is the hardest part, but once it's over, you get the most wonderful sense of relief and accomplishment.

Good luck to everybody who is going back to school or who is starting college for their first year!

The Tale of the Ruby Red Slippers

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Back when I was in Pre-K approximately 10,000 years ago (or in like 1998 or whatever, my mom will fact check this), the cool thing to do was pop molly. Kidding, kidding. The cool thing to have if you were a girl in Pre-K was a pair of glittery ruby red flats. They were straight out of The Wizard of Oz and everybody who was anybody had a pair. They donned the aisles of every department store, and I always eyed up a pair at Target, determined to make them mine (much like I am determined to make Harry Styles mine today, but a lot different now that I’m thinking about it).

I begged my mom for a pair of these shoes. BEGGED. We were frequent Target visitors (and still are), so my pleading for a pair of these glittery flats was consistent and, I'm sure, extremely irritating. I’d lure us to the shoe section and would ask for a pair of the ruby red slippers because “Cara* had them”. Yeah, well Cara also probably has an STD by now so I guess I shouldn’t always ask for the things that Cara has.

“They don’t have your size,” my mom said time and time again. Since I was, y’know, 4 and all, I didn’t question this. Target was just suspiciously out of my size for an entire year. It seemed plausible. Then again, so did eating crayons and monsters underneath my bed.

By the time I had gotten to Kindergarten, the ruby red slippers were old news. Since Kindergarten was the year that everybody had to learn to tie their shoes, a sweet pair of kicks became the new fad. I'd always wonder about those flats though. I couldn't help it. I thought they were gorgeous (plot twist: they're not)!

A few years back, as my mom and I were perusing the Target shoe section for a gift for my niece, my eyes landed on an old flame: a pair of ruby red slippers. I ran to them (probably?) and laughed. “Mom look, it’s the red slippers I always wanted but they never had my size!”

She looked at them with disgust. “Fran, they always had your size. I just never wanted to get them for you because they were so f**king ugly.”


*Names have been changed in the off chance that said person is reading this (thought I’d be surprised if she could even read, the daft thing she is).

5 Things That I Grew Up On

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1. Barney

No joke, I used to watch Barney VHS tapes for hours. I was completely enamored by the enormous purple dinosaur. In fact, when my dad wanted to relax, he would set up my carseat in the living room, put in a a 6-hour tape of Barney, and let me sit there in front of the TV and watch it while he slept (I'm only assuming, because he loves sleep more than he loves me) (Okay, that's exaggerating a bit, but he sleeps a lot).

2. Chips and coke

My grandparent's watched me almost every day when I was really young, before I went to school, because of my parent's work schedule. I would also watch Barney at their house, and always with a bowl of chips and a giant glass of Coca Cola. To my day my grandparent's still ask me if I want chips and coke when I go over their house and I always answer, "I've switched to Baked Lays and Diet Coke."

3. Walks to the library

In addition to my grandparent's watching me, my aunt Anch always used to watch us as well. As a result of not having a license and us being pretty young, she always used to take my brother and I on walks to the park, which happened to be next to a library. We'd always go in, look at the books, then go sit at the playground and wreak havoc. 

4. Homemade chocolate chip cookies

By the time I was in school, my other grandma would come pick my brother and me up from school. Pretty frequently we found ourselves making homemade chocolate chip cookies in her tiny kitchen. I was always allowed to lick the beaters and constantly devoured warm and melty cookies fresh out of the oven. 

5. Sunday night dinners

My family is Italian and Polish, so Sunday night dinners are very important to us. We don't always have pasta and sauce (in fact, we rarely have it--not many of the kids in the family like sauce!), but we haven't skipped a Sunday night dinner for as long as I can remember. Sunday nights expanded into Wednesdays (now Thursday), and with a day delegated to each kid, when I'm home from school I end up eating dinner with my grandparent's 3 nights a week. 

What did you grow up on?
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