Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Cyber Monday...let the SHOPPING commence!!

Hello ladies. Yes, it's true I am back from the desert. Wow, what a great place to spend Thanksgiving. We ate our dinner by the pool, drank lots of great wine and had a great time. So, it is time to start thinking about the holidays. And YES, Virginia...I do put up a REAL tree. My niece and nephew are so accustomed to the artificial kind, they did not understand what it means to have a real tree (my niece asked if it talked, isn't that about the cutest thing ever?). I go to the local lot, have them strap it to the top of the Silver Ultimate Driving Machine and drag it up my back stairs. And yes, I have needles all over the house, the cat sleeps under the tree and then drinks the water out of it. REALLY GOOD for a diabetic cat to drink water with sap in it.

Enough of my that Thanksgiving is over, we should officially talk about shopping and the holidays. As most of you know, I am a bit of a shopaholic, although now that I have been BROKE for two years, I don't get on eBay as much, but here are some ladies seriously tips for shopping and the holidays. Some are practical, some are funny and some lend themselves to the whole purpose of my to be classy. SO, HERE WE GO!!!

1. MAKE A BUDGET for gifts and STICK TO IT. I personally use a spreadsheet as it helps me narrow down what to buy and where to buy. And I can see how far over or under budget I am.

2. If you send out Christmas/Holiday Cards, please be sure to personally sign them. Unless you are a business, it is a bit impersonal to have your name imprinted on them. And if you have a very daunting card list, maybe it is time to pare the list down. Does that friend that you NEVER speak to or hear from really need a card? Also, I do write a holiday letter but I don't send it to family and close friends, they should know everything that is in the letter.

3. Don't assume that everyone celebrates CHRISTMAS. That is why I like to call December into early January...the HOLIDAYS. CHRISTmas is exclusive to CHRISTians. With Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Chinese New Year, you need to respect how all people celebrate their holiday. OH, on a side note, Kwanzaa and Christmas are not mutually exclusive, many African American families celebrate both.

4. For those people that are important to you in life, put some thought into the gift that you buy for him/her. No matter what you can afford, buy something that will mean something to the person you are giving it to. I like to buy something that I know the person wouldn't buy for her/himself. Gift cards are nice, but if you are really close with someone, it might be a bit impersonal. There are exceptions...last year I got my sister a GC to Victoria's Secret because I knew she needed bras. Remember, the post about Up and Out sister needed a little assistance there.

5. OK, office parties...ladies seriously, be careful here. Dress appropriately, nothing too low cut or too short, remember you work with these people. Also, watch how much alcohol you drink! You know how those things go, free alcohol = TROUBLE.

6. Make sure to take care of yourself during the holidays. This is a stressful time of year! Don't get so caught up in everything that you don't get a proper diet or sleep. Remember, we are into the FOOD holidays, which means extra pounds!

7. Don't worry about being SUPER MOM or SUPER WOMAN! Really, is the world going to come to an end if Sallie Sue doesn't have homemade cookies to take to school. The local baker at the grocery store makes great cookies. There is so much pressure on us to get to parties, cook, shop, do cards, and plus keep up on everyday stuff that we do throughout the year, it could drive a girl crazy! Don't try to take on too much.

8. Remember the reason for the celebrate and enjoy your family and friends. Count your blessings for what you have because there are so many people out there without homes or food. And that reminds me, if you have time, volunteer to those people in need, give food or clothing to a shelter, help cook at a meal, and keep hoping that things get better for all.

I am heading home tonight to continue to take advantage of Cyber Monday and YES, not so soccer mom (you know who you are), it is a real thing. Enjoy the upcoming weeks. Ladies seriously, be safe, be merry and enjoy!

Cheers and CIAO BELLAS!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sell crazy someplace else...we are all stocked up here!

AH, one of my wonderful sorority sisters reminded me of this quote from the movie As Good As It Gets and it still makes me laugh out loud. Ok, so I am going to talk about a subject that might tick some of you off, but hey, I only exist in cyberspace, so the worst you can do is make bad comments to me ;)!

So I have been thinking a lot about families, friends, ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, our background and experiences lately...must have been that high school reunion in July. And we are all who we are because of our life experiences, they say that the school of hard knocks is sometimes just as educational as college (just ask my dad). So, I grew up in suburbia land in middle America...what do my friends, the Counting Crows, say..Omaha, somewhere in middle America. And sure, we would all like to think that we were raised in the house with the white picket fence and June Cleaver at home baking pies. But I wasn't, and I am guessing that neither were most of you.

So here it is, no one had a perfect upbringing, we have all had tough times, people treated us bad, your parents were hard on you or you didn't get along with your brother/sister, blah, blah, blah. It sucks, but that's life. Hey, my mom yelled at me a lot for the first 7-8 years of my life..And now, yep, I am people pleaser because of it, I know it and so does my mom. AND? SO WHAT? I still think my mom is the best ever! And as one of my good friends likes to say, hey I ain't perfect, but I am here!

Ladies, seriously, here is my message to you, take care of your own issues! None of your friends or family wants to listen to you boo-whoo regularly about your life baggage. And no, I am not saying that your friends and family shouldn't to help you out in times of trouble (death, mental health issues, financial problems), but...for something that happened 20 years ago...might be time to let some of it go. If you have issues to deal with (and talking to a close friend or family member doesn't help), SEEK counseling. There is NO shame in that game.

Generally speaking, our parents do the the best they can, no one gave them a guidebook and sometimes they did great and sometimes not so much. And believe me, even those families that "seem" perfect aren't, everyone has some type of issue with their family. And if you are now a parent or are going to understand or trust me, it will hit you like a 2 x 4 real soon (this is coming from someone whose only parenting skills have been practiced on a 15 year old, lazy, diabetic cat, who is QUITE mouthy and really only tolerates me because I feed her).

Now, I know I am being a bit harsh (you might call it the ugly truth) and there are many circumstances in life that require more than some counseling or owning up to your baggage. In fact, there are COUNTLESS people in this world that have had a substantially more difficult childhood than me or you (foster parents, drugs, abuse, physical disabilities, prolonged illness, homelessness, etc) and they are SUBSTANTIALLY better people than me. Why? Because they did not let their shortcomings and experiences (not matter how bad) steer them away from a fulfilling, successful life.

So ladies, please remember, that you will be remembered for the things that you did in your life, the people that you helped, the ones that you loved (and who loved you). Notice, I did not say, what you when your dad was mean to you when you were 7.

So, don't worry, be happy and live the life that you want. And as we approach Thanksgiving, be thankful for your life. Cheers and CIAO BELLAS.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It is NOT OK!

So, let me tell you about my dating life for the past year or so...pretty much the Sahara desert of dating! I am personally not really good at the online dating thing and my only two activities are Jazzercise and Gamma Phi Beta...READ ALL WOMEN ALL THE TIME, except for the men that only like men. And of course, the one guy that I really did like...ending up dating someone from a foreign country, SIGH! Oh, and there was another one that I actually liked, the Hot Cheater (OH BOY IS HE HOT), as the redhead and I like to call him, WAS living with his finace. He did txt me last week to tell me that they had broken up. And I have to give the man credit for waiting until they broke up to contact me again. Hopefully, more to come on that one...

ANYWAY, the crowning blow was a few weeks ago! There is a man that I had considered a friend (who has been married for many years) and we have known each other for around 4 years. He decided that our relationship was possibly more than friends (OH YEAH and he communicated via TXT, classy). He lives in another state and we used to work together, so we had dinner in October. Apparently, he felt that something more was going on. I suspected that he thought that was the case, but not there for me. And I haven't really spoken (or TXT with him since then)

In 2008, I had re-connected with a man with whom I had worked with previously (we re-connected at holiday reunion party). He has also been married for many years with teenage children. He owns his own business and so do I, so we started to have lunch every 3-4 months to discuss business ideas. He had some good ideas and it was nice to connect. Well around Christmas time, he wanted to take me to dinner on a Friday night...alarm bells started to go off, but I agreed to dinner. YEP, you guessed it, he wanted to date me as well. He could be my "stand in" boyfriend. I asked him never to call me again.

So here's my statement tonight, gentlemen seriously, if you are married and are good friends with a single woman, it is NOT OK to hit on her. If you are hitting on other women besides your wife, then either your marriage is not right or you are an A-HOLE. If it is the first one, then fix your siutation, if it is the second one, there is no help for you. What makes it worse for me is that these guys were men I considered friends. Seriously, it is insulting to me and highly disrespectful.

Ladies seriously, I hope you don't come across the same scenario and if you do, please walk away. The worse thing you can do for YOU (and for his wife) is to get involved with a married guy. I know that there are those of you out there that do get involved or do believe that he will leave his wife for you. But really, you are all way too fabulous to be in 2nd place! AND if he does leave his wife and marry you, what is he going to do when the next one comes along...?

Ladies, I am headed to LOVELY Scottsdale, AZ for 10 days for Thanksgiving. As you may or may not know, that area is considered to be if I get any good stories for you, I will be sure and report from the desert. I ALWAYS have my laptop.

Until then, cheers and CIAO BELLAS.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ladies! Keep it classy...

So, as you all know, this past weekend was Halloween. Now, me personally, not much of a dresser upper for Halloween, would rather just wear my cute BCBG top, jeans and my Manolos, but the feisty redhead wouldn't go out with me if I wasn't in costume both nights. So Friday night was a witch costume and Saturday night was Holly Golightly (PS, if you don't know who Holly is, you may lose your qualification to the read the LADIES SERIOUSLY blog, she is only like the epitome of class). However, I decided that in this day and age, Holly would not think smoking is classy, so I did not use the cigarette holder thingy (plus I didn't have one and wasn't going to try to find one).

On Saturday night, three of us girls went out (plus the Michigan grad's husband, who was not in costume, but quite a lucky man with three hot women). BTW, 7 hours, 6 bars and no one threw up or did anything stoopid. We had a ton of fun and kept it classy all night long...well, that is until I couldn't find a cab at 3 AM on Halsted! ANYWHOO.

The redhead was Little Red Riding Hood and the cute Michigan grad was Snow White. Classy cute one had short skirt, an overabundance of cleavage or had a costume that started with the word NAUGHTY. Snow White actually won a costume contest! We were very proud. PS the guy dressed as a tampon at the bar (CLASSY) was NOT happy that Snow White won, he wanted the cash prize.

So here is my question...when did Halloween become the time when women think it is OK to dress naughty? I mean, short skirts, cleavage, fishnets, high heels (ALL TOGETHER IN ONE OUTFIT)...and men simply droll. I just don't understand! There are a ton of costume ideas out there that can be sexy without looking nasty. I considered being Lara Croft and I wasn't going to wear super short shorts (you wouldn't want to see my legs like that). On Friday night, we went to a party and there was a whole group of people dressed as the Project Runway judges, Tim Guinn, Heidi, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. They all looked cute!

I saw a ton of cute costumes, Mrs. Mia Wallace (Pulp Fiction), Scooby-Doo, Bride of Frankenstein, Elle Woods (Legally Blonde), Frida Kahlo, etc, etc....none of which were inappropriate or disguisting.

So ladies seriously, have fun, dress up for Halloween but keep it classy! Next year, let's reduce the number of naughty nurses and witches out there. Also, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT dress up to mock a minority group or any group where your costume would offend...that is the ultimate of classlessness.

Cheers and CIAO BELLAS!