Classy Broads

While looking at upholstery samples with my mom one afternoon:

Me: “Man, who do you have know to get some help around here?”
Mom: “Did you just say ‘Who do you have to blow?'”
Me: “NO! I said ‘Who do you have to know?’ My God, what is wrong with you?”
Mom (laughing): “Well, I wasn’t sure. And I never know with you.”
Me: “That’s awesome. Thanks.”



The Fam!

Juno with Mommy and Daddy. They sure like that kid.

Lucky Auntie got to chat with both of Juno’s parents the other night and placed a request (loudly demanded) for new photos of the little Bug. They wisely complied.

It had been awhile since I had talked to Nick, and it was great to catch up. He is such an excellent husband to my best friend and daddy to their sweet baby. You can hear his smile through the phone when he talks about his girls. When Lils and I are in the same room we regress to junior high (but with more cocktails) and communicate in movie quotes, inside jokes and silly faces. Nick never demands we stop or explain why something is funny. He doesn’t even seem annoyed. He just offers us more wine and lets us be idiots. Not sure if he’s being polite, but I think he’s simply a good egg. You know, the kind of guy you want your best friend to marry.

Slowly Crushing My Mother’s Dreams

Since I am nowhere remotely near planning a for reals wedding, I find it fun to play the “If I Were Getting Married” game. Why is it more fun now? Because there’s no prospective groom to fight with. Much easier when you take that other person’s opinions out of the equation. Feel free to play along at home. Already married? Turn it into “If I Had to Do It All Over Again” and have some fun!

My game is more of an exercise in “Oh hell no, I am NOT (fill in the blank here).” For example:

1.) There will be no reaching up my dress to pull something off my leg so that it can be flung into a crowd. In front of my relatives.
2.) Sliding, Electric or otherwise, is prohibited. “The Macarena” can bite me. I’ll compromise on the Chicken Dance, but as a rule I am opposed to choreographed dances. Unless we are reenacting a scene from Footloose and then it’s fine.
3.) A white dress? Really? No.
4.) There will be no teasing of hair or crazy updo. This is not the Country Music Awards.

And then there’s the “Yeah, we are TOTALLY (fill in the blank here).” For example:

1.) REO Speedwagons’s “Take it on the Run” will be featured at some point. You won’t know when or where but it’s coming.
2.) Do a keg stand and take home a “prize” off the gift table.
3.) There will be a karaoke machine so my cousin Nichole can do her “metal scream” and I can prove that among the Ruiz cousins I am the quiet, shy one.
4.) Two words: Dance Off.

Obviously, an open bar with top shelf hooch and the best dance music ever are a given. Come on. You’re familiar with my work.

You Can Keep Your Raindrops on Roses

Fun fact: Oprah and I share a birthday. It’s not today or anything, but I joke that I should get to be friends with her and score free stuff since I, too, have a list of My Favorite Things. I am a self-proclaimed Product Whore and my bathroom cabinets are a thing to behold. Think of it as a “greatest hits” version of Sephora, Origins, Kiehls and Target. Mama likes to mix it up.

Wearing a uniform from age six to fourteen meant I didn’t really discover fashion until rather late in the game. It took me awhile to figure out what actually looks decent on me and find my own style rather than try to emulate someone else…and then get depressed because it didn’t look good on me. Sometimes I want to go back in time and reassure teenage me that everything will be OK. Other times I want to tell teenage me to sack up and get over it.

Because I know you care, here are some of My Favorite Things:

Bumble+bumble Sunday Shampoo: Yes, this stuff will set you back but a bottle will last you forever (especially my fellow short-hair types) and this stuff is phenomenal if you suffer from product build up. Use it once a week or so and your product-addled locks will love you.

Cetaphil Gentle Face Wash: I have been using this stuff since I was 12 and swear by it, especially if you have sensitive skin, which I do. Everything makes me break out into a rash except for this stuff. You can find it at any drugstore and it’s gentle enough to be used on eye make-up. Who doesn’t love something that does double-duty?

Purpose Daily Moisturizer SPF 15: Like the Cetaphil, this stuff has been a constant companion of mine since the early 90’s. And I am convinced it is the reason I still get carded at the age of 30. And of course, totally safe for you sensitive skin types.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Black Honey”: Universally flattering shade and I gots to send a shout-out to Elisabeth for turning me on to this stuff. A sheer berry color, it looks great on me, Elisabeth, my mom and my stepmom. None of us have remotely similar coloring. Magic! Perfect for day and you can layer a shimmery gloss over it for evening for a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

BCBG Black Dress and Red Pashmina, Circa 1999: I bought this dress and wrap as a big splurge for my friend Michelle’s wedding ages ago. It has become a go-to in my wardrobe and a “lucky dress” of sorts.* No, not because of that you perv, but because when I wear it to a wedding the couple lives happily ever after (right Michelle? Rico & Beth? B&G?), and you can dance in it all night. This number has seen me through some weight ups-and-downs and I always feel hot in it. Nine years after its initial purchase I still get compliments. Bonus: the fabric cleans beautifully in case you spill red wine on it…not that I would. And I don’t care what some trendy magazine says: pashminas are always “in” and red is classic.

Doc Marten Boots, Circa 1993: These shoes were the bane of my friend Kelly’s existence. She tried to convince me not to buy them in the middle of Macy’s shoe department about a month before sophomore year started. I ignored her pleas of, “Don’t do it! They are SO UGLY!” as she held up pair after pair of Timberlands as examples of acceptable boot options. Sorry, Belles. I still have them. I don’t wear them every day anymore but they are fabulous for concerts, especially if I want to retire the preppy/girlie look and unleash my inner badass rocker chick. Maybe I’ll wear them tomorrow just to keep the crew around here guessing.

Anything I Have Ever Purchased from Anthropologie, Ever: Does any of their stuff go out of style? No. Should I own all of it? YES. Especially this sweet little frock:

So there you go, Interweb. You want to be like me? Here you go. Go forth and buy stuff!

*I have an unlucky red dress which results in the couple separating and/or ending up in counseling weeks after the honeymoon. It has been retired from the wedding rotation.

What Else Do You Have Going on Thursday Nights?

Have you seen the TV show Burn Notice on USA? No? You really should watch it. Seriously. I won’t cut you or anything if you don’t but it’s well-written, fast-paced and there’s some sweet eye candy for everybody.

A few examples:

Oh, hello there, smoldering spy guy. We’ll add you to the list with Lee Adama of “Hot Good Guys Who Are a Little Complicated and Messed Up But I Love You Anyway, Baby.”

Wait…is that? Why yes! Yes it is the girl who did the tango with Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Good catch! Gold star for the day!

Bonus: Bruce Campbell. Yeah, you’re excited now, aren’t you?

Super-Bonus: Caprica Six (aka Hot Robot) from Battlestar Galactica has a recurring role as a bad spy who helped burn Michael Westen. She doesn’t have fake blonde hair and I swear she’s even hotter on this show.

To get caught up, start watching episodes on and then we can talk about how great it is. We’re early into Season 2 so there’s time. Just do it!

*The promotional music is great too. For Season One they used “Connected” by Stereo MCs, which reminds me of my clubbing days in high school. Now they are using “Everybody Wants You” by Billy Squier. Billy Squier! Of “The Stroke” fame!

Happy Birthday Cece! aka "It’s Awesome, Baby, It’s Awesome!"

Oh Cecilia…when I think of all the times we were doubled over laughing over something ridiculous, I realize how lucky I was to have such great comic relief and compassion rolled into one during the Puge years. I am lucky to have you in my life today, even though you aren’t down the hall anymore.

Cece and I met freshman year in Regester Hall, the all-female dorm (which had more males wandering the halls at any given time of the day, but I digress) and shared a house at 4306 (House of Fatty! What up?). During a freshman mixer, I saw Cece dancing and singing along to “Insane in the Membrane” by Cypress Hill and knew this chick was a keeper.

A few reasons why I love her:

Cece is an amazing dancer. The girl can dance for hours in the basement of a frat house and incite men to do crazy things in the name of impressing her. Exhibit A: the Big Dipper. One night at Sigma Chi (Beach Party? I think?) she was up on a platform dancing with some equally skilled dude when the next thing I know her head is down by mine on the main floor. Which means the Big Dipper had positioned one hand against the rafter and was using the other to dip her down into the crowd while they continued to shake it. He pretty much set the bar for dance partners and I think it’s safe to say no one else has come close.

Cece’s love of pranks and making others laugh endeared her to many, with the exception of her humorless, annoying roommate Andrea. I’m not sure if her oldest child status means she is predisposed to torture others, but Girlie is an instigator and we loved carrying out her crazy schemes. Which I will not detail here upon advice of legal counsel.

Cece’s tolerance for alcohol is lower than mine, which is kind of sad but also really cute. Most fetuses can hold their booze better than this girl. Once she turns bright red you know it’s time to switch to water. Remember coming to visit me at the deli counter during the Calobo concert? Um, yeah…

Cece and I took a class together called “Social Problems” and spent much of our lecture time swooning over CW and giggling. I literally remember nothing from this class in terms of actual lessons or case studies.

Cece is an excellent mom to two fabulous kids, Memphis and Grayson. You can read all about them here: or click on the link at the bottom of the page. An expert multi-tasker, Cece works full time, is devoted to her entire family and still finds time to maintain friendships with people all over the planet. Even if we go a month or two between chats, we pick right up where we left off.

Cece, I’m pouring out some jungle juice for you (and Biggie, of course) today and hope the coming year brings more laughter, adventure and love to you!