Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ladies, take some time out for you!

Ok, ladies, usually my blog is directed at all the single ladies, but this one is a bit of a departure. This post is directed to those married moms out there, ladies, you know who you are! Oh married moms, you have the most underpaid, overworked, and usually most unappreciated position in the world. You are generally the primary caregiver for the children and probably for your husband. Many of you have a parent to care for as well. So now that I have told you what you already know, here is what you may not know or believe...ladies seriously, you spend most of your day giving your time to others, you need to take one hour FOR YOURSELF each day.

As most you know, I own a Jazzercise business. At each of my centers, I offer 30+ classes per week, classes start as early as 6 AM and go until 7:05 PM at night. We also offer weekend classes. And I am regularly disappointed in how many of our customers cancel their account because they can't make the time to get to class. The majority of our customers are working married mothers. And it is so upsetting to me to see these women who need a fitness program either to lose weight or to improve their overall health and do not make the time for it.

I have seen it time and time again, married moms are willing to have their children in 15 different activities and wouldn't dream of asking their child to give ONE thing up, but when it comes to themselves, they readily give up a fitness program. And ladies, I am not asking you not to give everything possible to your children, but trust me, your children will be better off with a less stressed, healthier, happier mom to take them to their activities.

On the flip side, I have heard of a lot of great stories where women were considering giving up Jazzercise and their husbands or children begged them not to because it was improving their health and their well being. I have also been witness to countless stories where doctors have told women to continue exercising (or Jazzercising) because it is helping their health. SO LADIES SERIOUSLY, this means you moms, take some time for don't have to exercise everyday, 3-5 days per week is plenty. On the days when you don't exercise, take that hour to relax, read a book, a magazine, catch up on your shows, or just have quiet time. However you choose to spend your ONE hour a day, trust me, your family will see positive changes in you. And if Johnny has to give up his 8th sport, so be it, let him pick 2 or 3 that he really enjoys and get rid of the rest. You have to draw the line somewhere. Parents have to have a life too.

Lots of time for family and job, a little time for you! A good recipe. And now is the time to start a fitness program, all of them are running New Year registration specials. If you want to dance, see you soon at Jazzercise! Cheers and CIAO BELLAS!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another greeting card holiday is just around the corner!

Ah my 2nd most disliked holiday on the calendar (right after Sweetest Day)...Valentine's Day. No, it is not because I play a jaded, evil female on the Internet. I just think it is silly that we need a holiday to remind us to tell our spouses or significant others that we love them. Honestly, ladies and gentlemen, you should be doing this every day, not just on Valentine's Day. And it just seems so cliche to send candy and flowers to your girlfriend or boyfriend and take him/her out to dinner for Valentine's Day.

Since I don't have a boyfriend or a husband, what did I do?...planned a pub crawl in the city and invited all of my friends, yes including those coupled and married ones. Funny thing is that one of my couple friends cancelled their V Day plans and are coming on the pub crawl with our group. LOVE IT! To heck with spending all of the money on something fancy because it is V Day, have fun with friends. Love stinks, let's drink.

Did you know that the U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. AND that the association estimates that, in the US, men spend on average twice as much money as women on this holiday. Yep, that is straight from the wiki.

So here is my suggestion, ladies and gentlemen seriously, save your money, don't spend a bunch of money on a silly dinner at an expensive restaurant (plus in Chicago, you need to have your reservations a month in advance). Or don't spend extra money on RED roses for V Day (do you know that florists increase their prices on a dozen red roses for V day by as much as $35?). Instead...make a nice dinner at home or go out and have fun with friends. Have game night with your family. Spend quality fun time with your significant other, family and friends. That is how you tell them you love them...not throwing a bunch of money at it. And dare I say, that is the classy way to do it.

One of my most memorable Valentine's Day was with my old BF, Joe. I was teaching Jazzercise class on Valentine's Day. He had keys to my apartment and while I was teaching, he came over and baked me a GIANT cookie that he decorated himself. So when I came home, he wasn't there and my apartment smelled like warm chocolate chip cookie. thoughtful and sweet and cost about $2. Too bad, a year later, he cheated on me and we broke up...but oh well. And some of my best childhood memories are when we stayed home, had a fire in the fireplace, Dad made dinner, and we watched Love Boat (I know, I grew up in the 80s).

Now, you know from reading my blog, I have expensive taste, but that is only when it comes to fashion, shoes, cars, handbags, wine and jewelry. When it comes to having fun with loved ones, I don't need an expensive outing. So, I say ladies and gentlemen seriously, take a stand this V DAY! No cards, roses, or expensive dinners. Spend quality time with those special people. Make it a memorable one.

Happy Valentine's Day to you! And to my friends and family, I LOVE YOU! Cheers and CIAO BELLAS!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My mother would be so disappointed...

That is what I say to myself all the time, if I do or say something rude. Ok, ladies, it is time to talk about rude people. And the reason why I am reminded of this is, of course, I had an experience this past weekend with a rude individual. So I was at the movie theater this past Saturday seeing Carmen, The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD simulcast. It was SOO amazing. But anyway, you pay $22 and you get to watch the live performance in a movie theater. So I have been told that I had been told to get there early to ensure I got a good seat. So I arrived AN HOUR early, I got a great seat and I was reading my Kindle and hanging out. So I had put my coat on the back of the chair. I decided to take a potty break and get some popcorn, so I left my stuff. YEP, you guessed it, when I came back and someone was sitting in my seat, with her coat over mine. So I walked up and said that was my seat...and she said rudely, how do it know that? I said because my coat is on the back of the chair. She said, No that is my coat. And I reached behind her and pulled my coat, picked up my items underneath the seat and moved to another seat. Fortunately for her, there was a seat right behind her and was a still a great seat. But here is what I am saying...REALLY?? at the Opera, you are going to take my seat. The kicker was that she was about 60+ years old and should have known better. For that matter, I was the youngest person in the audience by like 20 years...which I just don't get, doesn't anyone in their 30s like the opera?

ANYWHOO, I am sure that you all can think of countless times at the grocery store, the post office, etc, where people are just plain rude. Like their time is more important than yours. OR my favorite, because the person has a kid or is pushing a stroller, they should get preferential treatment. Here is another great the airport (several years ago) at Christmas time, it was so cold at Ohare, that the baggage handling system has gone down. They were fixing it and many of us were waiting outside to use the Skycab service. There were probably like 15-20people in line. I was the first in line. There is a man several people behind me that said something like, he should get to go first because his kids are waiting outside with him...REALLY? Dude, first of all, put your kids inside, they shouldn't be waiting in the cold and second, you don't get to CUT in line because of your kids. And don't get me wrong, I do like kids, but I can tell you my niece and nephew don't expect to be treated differently because they are 8 and 5.

Another example, my upstairs neighbors are the most amazing loud people in the entire world. They have two dogs that run the hallway starting at about 5 AM. Well, GOODIE, GOODIE, guess what, she is having a baby this week. So for the past several weeks, she has been letting her dogs pee on my deck and others' decks in my building. Her excuse is that she is 9 months pregnant and can't run down the stairs with them. OK, so what is the solution...either don't get pregnant, don't have dogs or train them otherwise. It is just so rude. And plus, let's just say that she is not the nicest person in the whole world, there is a permanent scowl on her face and it was there before she was 9 months pregnant.

So, ladies seriously, I know that you are all classy women and would never do anything rude, but just take note to be cognizant of those around you. For example, I always take my shoes off when I come into my condo so that my downstairs neighbor doesn't have to hear me. Be classy and polite. Don't cut in line, don't have the attitude of entitlement because you are over the age or 60 or you have a kid. One exception, if you are on public transportation, please give up your seat for a pregnant woman or elderly person...WHY? because is the polite, classy thing to do. And unless you are disabled, you can probably stand for a longer period of time. When in doubt, ask yourself, is this a classy thing to do?

Cheers and CIAO BELLAS.

Monday, January 18, 2010

For crying out loud, put a coat on....

Ladies, does that sound like your mother? Well, if that bothers you, you might want to stop reading right now. Because on Saturday night, the hot redhead and I went out to a bar in Bucktown with our wonderful gay friends, and let me tell you, it was a ladies seriously MECCA of fashion don'ts. First, let me say, I think that at the ages of 35 and 38, we were definitely increasing the average age in the facility. SO, let's temper these comments with the fact that these women were maybe not old enough to know better (but then again...) Ok, just to review, the following rules are some my fashion basics:
1. Dress for your body style and age
2. Boobs need to be up, out and covered appropriately (no party hats)
3. Wear the appropriate panties for your outfit

4. LADIES SERIOUSLY, if the temperature outside is 30 degrees or below (with some snow on the ground), don't wear a short skirt with no tights and open toed shoes. We live in Chicago, this is not Vegas or South Beach. It makes me cold thinking about it. Plus their legs are just pasty at this time in the year, it just looks bad.

5. Wear an appropriate coat. We used to call the people with no coats IWOCs...idiots without a coat. Again, if it is below 30 degrees outside, PUT ON A COAT. Most bars have coat check, spend the extra $1 and save yourself freezing to death. Especially when you are silly enough to stand in line at a bar to get in (REALLY, we live in Chicago, there is another bar two doors down) And when I say appropriate, if you have a cute, "going out" outfit on, please don't wear a down filled "puffy" North Face coat, you should wear a dress coat at least. The image of George Costanza in his huge Goretex coat comes to mind.
6. Lastly, but most importantly, never, ever, ever, ever wear a top with jewelry screened on or sewn in. It just looks silly and cheap, you can get the same effect by buying a cheap tank and cheap necklaces.

OH there were so many more that I could get into, but hey these were the recurring themes. Like don't wear a white shear dress in the dead of winter with black tights...I'm just saying.

So those are my new fashion rules. In March, the redhead and I are going to Vegas for 4 days. I cannot wait for the fashion critiques there. We decided Saturday night was a good warm up for that trip. So in conclusion...ladies seriously, it is cold outside, baby, wear a coat and cover up those legs until the Spring.

Cheers and CIAO BELLAS.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Why I hate the words fat and ugly....

Happy New Year ladies! It has been a while since I have posted, as I have actually been busy. You know January in the Jazzerworld is like December at the mall...JUST CRAZY. All those people with New Year's resolutions you know. BUT, I am not complaining, bring those new people in the doors! Anyway, I have been thinking about the words fat and ugly. And I have decided to remove them from vocabulary...why? Because they are just over-used, uncreative, just simply BAD words.

Let's start with fat! How many times have you heard men make jokes about fat women? You see the "classy" bumper stickers, No Fat Chicks. I mean come on, I think it is hilarious that usually the guy driving the truck with that bumper sticker is usually overweight himself. How many times you do tell your girlfriends that you have a fat gut or butt? Well, let's get rid of that right now. The next time you say something like that about your body, you are required to stand up and say three nice things about yourself. I am not kidding. Ladies seriously, stop putting yourselves and others down. Stop calling yourself and others fat. Men say it enough for us already. Here is what I like to say...maybe he/she could use a little Jazzercise. Or perhaps a Weight Watchers meeting would be good for him/her. It just sounds a little less of an accusation and more of an observation. And simply less judgmental, because in my estimation, it is not our place to judge others.

And then there is UGLY. I just simply hate this word (and I really don't like the word hate either, but it is appropriate here). Ugly is just an ugly word. And honestly, I don't think there are any people in the world who are in ugly in terms of their physical looks. Every person out there has someone that believes they are beautiful. So, let's say that there are only people whose actions are ugly. There are some people that might unfortunate looking or maybe only marginally cute (feel free to use those), but not ugly. Again ladies seriously, don't refer to yourself as ugly or my hair looks ugly, because it is simply not true. You might be having a bad hair day or you may not look your best today, but you are not ugly. And once again, if you find yourself saying anything that sounds like this, you are required to say three nice things about yourself, OUT LOUD to anyone standing around you. Not kidding.

So New Year's resolution suggestion for all...ladies and gentlemen seriously! Drop the words fat and ugly from your vocabulary. Why? Because it makes us classier! And while you are at it, perhaps removing some of that judgement from your world would be good too!

Have a wonderful weekend, we have a benefit tonight to raise money for St. Baldricks at one of my Jazzercise centers. Great cause, fun class. Cheers and CIAO BELLAS!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...

Happy New Year ladies! I trust that you were responsible, classy ladies on NYE and are now ready to get back to reality. Man, does it stink? OR, is it nice to get back into a normal life? I think my OCD would pick the latter, can't wait to get the tree out of the house and get the decorations put away so my office is neat and orderly again. So I was struck by a conversation with the redhead yesterday and she says to me...Oh no, I smell a ladiesseriously post! And guess what, she was right.

So here is the deal, you know I have written several times about the fact that I believe the electronic age is creating social morons out there. How many times do you have a friend or acquaintance email or text rather than picking up the phone? Many times, right? My sister works with youth at her church (high school age) and she said all they do is text each other. She will call one of them and they won't answer, but she can send a text 5 minutes later and the person will respond immediately. But I have also noticed that since people don't actually talk to other people that they know, they are also losing the ability to get to know new people.

I am talking the art of conversation and learning about someone. Kids and adults today are losing the ability to understand how to get to know someone. So I really don't want us to lose this ability, because meeting new people is one of the things that keeps life fresh and exciting. Now, I am NO expert on this, but in the hopes that we try to be more conversational, here are my ideas on the subject.

So say you meet a guy at a bar, you think he is cute. How do you break the ice? What types of questions do you ask? I usually start with Hi, my name is Jzzrgrl. No pick up lines, please, they are cheesy and silly. Then you can proceed with any of the following questions, assuming that he is sending the "I would like to talk to you" vibes.

1. Where are you from?
2. Where did you go to school (undergrad, grad, whatever)
3. Where do you live?
4. Do you have siblings? Nieces, nephews, etc.

Then, ladies and gentlemen, you take these answers on expand on them to get to know the person. IE. Where did you go to school? Let's say the answer is: The University of Illinois. And say Jzzrgrl is having the conversation...this is how I would respond, oh really, I love that campus at Champaign, I used to manage the Gamma Phi Beta chapter there and had a chance to visit a lot. Next question: Where did you live on campus? Or are you an Illini fan in sports? And then go from there. SEE, the art of conversation is getting to know someone so that you can find common ground. And once you find commonalities, you can have a more in depth conversation. The idea is the give and take. It is usually better to stay with neutralish subjects and not hop into politics or religion right away.

Not that difficult, right? It is amazing how many ladies and gentlemen don't get understand it or choose not to participate. And guys are the worst! Come on people, come together! In fact, I am giving you a homework assignment, try to get to know someone new in the next 2-3 weeks, test out the ladies seriously technique. You have so many chances everyday to meet new people, even if it as easy as chatting with the person behind you in line at the store. Go forth, be social and meet new people!

Cheers and CIAO BELLAS!