Old Dog, Old Tricks

30 May

It’s been awhile since I posted (what happened to WordPress, it looks so different!), and I promise to write something soon! But in the meantime, here is the YouTube debut of my favorite pooch, Barley the vizsla! He’s a little TOO smart for his own good.

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New Adventures

17 May

Around this time last year, I was getting ready to travel to Prague, Czech Republic to take a global marketing class with students from a school in Chicago that I had never met. I was terrified, my family had bets on whether or not I would actually get on the plane, and I cried my eyes out all the way to the airport. My only saving grace was that, apparently, once you take off you are in “International skies”, and the flight attendants fed me wine till I stopped bothering them and went to sleep.

Once I landed, I met my new friends that I would be spending the next six weeks traveling Europe with. Over those next six weeks, we had a blast. Some of the most memorable times included staying out at our favorite club Nebe until four in the morning, and walking home as the sun rose, eating pasta, pasta, and more pasta in Rome, spending a day at the pool in the mountains, boat cruises in Budapest, finally visiting Germany where my family is from, singing “God Bless America” at the top of our lungs after America wins a World Cup game, and family dinners with Tom and Mitzi, our professor and his wife. Not to mention all of the historic sights I saw and museums I visited, and all of the things I learned in class (Hi mom!).

Working at advertising agency DRAFTFCB on the Kraft account

View from the boat cruise in Budapest, Hungary

Me in pasta heaven in Rome, Italy

The crowd where we watched the World Cup game in Berlin, Germany

Me at the Berlin Wall, standing in both East and West Berlin

A night out at our favorite club, Nebe, or "Train Bar"

The light up dance floor at the 5-story club in Prague

At a bar in Prague watching the America World Cup game, where we broke out into "God Bless America" after they won

The awesome people I did it all with. See you guys Thursday!

It was the trip of a lifetime, and I will never forget it. My family still comments how much going off to a foreign country all by myself matured me and gave me a true understanding of independence. After coming back to America, and finding myself missing almost every single thing about Prague, nostalgic discussions with the friends I had met on the trip became a weekly occurrence. Every time we talk about it, I cannot believe I was so lucky to do the exciting things I did with the awesome people that I met.

While a reunion in Prague is not in the cards for us this summer, I will be taking off for Chicago this Thursday to visit my Prague friends, who are all from the Chicago area. I have never been to Chicago before, so once again the end of May brings me traveling off to a new and exciting place.

This time of year brings new adventures for so many people, whether it be the recent Emerson College 2011 graduates, those making final decisions on what college they will attend, those starting new jobs and internships, or those who are finally 21 years old and now allowed to explore Boston nightlife (yayy Emily Dyess!). Good luck on your new adventures, whatever they may be.

Best Job Ever: for Dog Lovers

9 May

I love dogs. Like, really. love. dogs.

I consider myself to know more about dogs than most of my friends. As far as breed recognition, breed behavior knowledge, and overall ridiculous excitement, I’m your Housewife. I have a cocker spaniel back home named Maci (dumb as a stump but I love her. See photo). I don’t get to see Maci very often, but my other Housewives are willing to share. I always give Celia’s pooch Barley a big hug (to the point of scaring him) and love to hear stories about Rosie, Julie’s oldest best friend.

Maci Mae

Last summer, I lived in the South End and would routinely make trips to the local dog park, get to know the owners, and – of course – play with the puppies (I’d like to give a shoutout to Winston the French Bulldog and Stella the Irish Setter). Sometimes, I feel like the creeper at the playground who socializes with other people’s kids. But, in general, people are more laid back about strangers petting their dogs than their children. Someday, I’ll have a dog. Someday, when I’m not away from my house for 12 hours a day, when I have a steady income, and when there isn’t a constant stream of friends coming in and out of our apartment, I’ll get one. Right now, my favorite breed is the Wheaton Terrier. They’re good-tempered, require mild exercise, and barely shed at all. Oh, and they’re freaking adorable.

Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier

I’m always pretty excited about dogs, but recently, I am even more excited because I’ve just been hired by Four Preppy Paws in Beacon Hill. From the moment I walked in the first day and met Pipa, my co-worker Melissa’s adorable terrier, I couldn’t help but think this is the best job ever. Dogs come in with their owners regularly to peruse the shelves of authentic collars and harnesses, cozy bedding, and delicious-looking treats (seriously, they look delicious. Who’s gonna judge me if I eat a dog treat?).

I’ve been bummed that I don’t have a dog of my own, but now, I can meet many other people’s pooches on a regular basis! Dogs make me happy. I could be having the worst day ever, and the sight of an Lhaso Apso in a Patriots jersey would cheer me right up. Here’s to my new job and all the dog-lovers out there!

A Sweet Gift for Mom

5 May

Two things that I will always love, without exception, is my mom…and chocolate.  This Sunday is Mother’s Day and great opportunity to bring my two favorite things together in perfect harmony.

I’ve experimented with chocolate dipping over the last few months, and I think I’ve finally got the hang of it. Whether it’s chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate dipped marshmallows, chocolate dipped popcorn, chocolate dipped potato chips, or chocolate dipped chocolate, handmade treats like this make great personalized gifts that take about 20 minutes.

What you’ll need:

1. A bag of chocolate chips. I recommend milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Or both.

2. A ceramic or glass bowl (plastic will heat up and that hurts), a spoon, a lightly greased cookie tray, and a microwave.

3. Dippers! Today, I cut up some oranges, with the rind still on, and dipped half in the chocolate. They look wonderful, and are fun and easy to eat. Just make sure you warn people that they’re supposed to tear the orange off the peel. I also recommend strawberries (not too ripe!), marshmallows (very easy, great beginner dipper), potato chips (the thicker kind), and bananas.

Empty the bag of chocolate in the bowl and heat for a minute in the microwave, stir, then heat for another minute and stir. Please melt the chocolate in the microwave. If you do it over the stove, the chocolate can burn, crumble, and it’s just a sad, frustrating mess.

Dipping by hand is the best way. If you have tongs (which the Real Housewives do not. For being housewives, we are seriously lacking in kitchen utensils), use those, but for the most part, using what God gave ya works just fine.

Tips from my disastrous experiences:

  • Don’t use cold or chilled dippers. They need to be room temperature or the chocolate won’t mold to the shape of the dipper.
  • If the chocolate starts to get thick, throw it in the microwave for another fifteen seconds. Don’t try to make it work with partially-melted chocolate.
  • After dipping, hold the dipper above the bowl and let the chocolate set for 5-10 seconds. If you set it on the tray too quickly, the chocolate will pool and dry at the bottom.

Sadly, the closest my mom will get to my dipped delights is this blog post. A mother’s day gift shipped 3,000 miles away needs to be a little more transportable and a lot less perishable. So, my motherly figures in the east coast will get these goodies, and mom will have to settle for something inedible. I love you though, mom, and I want you to know I’ll be thinking about you this weekend…while I’m munching on marshmallows.

Happy dipping and happy Mother’s Day!

Thoughts on Osama

4 May

I vividly remember sitting in my 6th grade classroom, with all the teachers gossiping in the hall. Eventually someone let us in on the secret and rolled out the classroom television so we could watch the news for a few minutes. I remember getting picked up by my friend’s mom and asking question after question. I remember my parents worrying that my second cousins had been in New York at the time. I remember going out to recess the next day and talking to my friends about it. “What’s the World Trade Center exactly? Will this start a war?” I remember selling cookies at my soccer games to raise money for the recovery efforts.

At the time, I didn’t understand the implications. I didn’t understand that we would live under the shadow of this event for the next decade, fighting an endless war. I didn’t understand that it would define us, as a generation, and our grandchildren would someday ask us where we were on that day.

When I got out of the shower on Monday night to the news, I was, like everyone else, excited. We had been looking for this guy for years. He ruined so many people’s lives. He changed our world. But as the jokes circled on Twitter and Facebook, as the riots started, something about it all bothered me. Many conversations and a few arguments later, I’m slowly understanding what about it bothers me personally:

We are celebrating a human’s death. In the same way that al-Qaeda celebrated when they killed those 2,977 people on United States soil, we are celebrating a human death in glorious fashion. I’m not upset that he’s dead, and I think his death probably saved many lives – but it bothers me to celebrate a death, any death.

This is not about politics. This victory should be unifying, not dividing. Yes, Obama was in office when we caught Osama. But it was the result of our troops, our intelligence, and many politicians. No one should be taking or giving credit for this death.

The war is not over. This does not mean that we can pull out all troops or stop supporting them. This does not mean that we are safe from future attacks. If anything, it means that we are at risk for retaliation. It’s a scary thought, I know, but it’s reality.

I am someone still struggling with my own beliefs when it comes to politics and issues, and I fully admit that I have a lot to learn about terrorism, the war, and even this operation. I do think that Osama was innately evil, and I am proud of our country for following through on this operation. It scares me, however, that we are becoming like our enemy as we celebrate this death. My hope is that we use this as a unifying symbol, a reason for our country to stand tall with pride, a reason to continue working towards a world not ridden with war and hurt.

Living Alive

29 Apr

It has been a rough year. Full of breakups, broken hearts, fights, questions and losses, we have struggled through it. But we have survived and, I would venture to say, thrived. Through all of this, I have watched the future unfold in the least likely way possible. Maybe it’s not what any of us expected, but it’s reality. And let’s be real — it will be awesome, no matter what.

I have learned that it’s the moments that count. It’s the night that we all made Thanksgiving dinner or turning the living room into a dance floor. It’s the times Ben plays his guitar to cheer us up or inventing Nerf Gun roulette. It’s the weeks where we’re ALL having bad weeks and decide to laugh instead of cry. It’s disposable cameras and “unicorns and barnacles.” It’s ridiculously and totally not PC parties. It’s discovering a neighborhood bar to make us a little bit more like the characters on Friends. IIt’s falling asleep on the couch at 8 pm and still going out later. It’s stalking people on Facebook and finishing double bottles of wine in one night. It’s losing an old friend, or a complete stranger, and realizing how valuable life is.

Sure, life doesn’t always go your way. And sure, I may never achieve my life goals of 1. writing a book 2. writing a hit tv show/movie and 3. owning a business. But it’s okay. Live in the now, not the future.

Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future. — J.S. Foer

Losing Gracefully

27 Apr

So, in case you haven’t heard by now, the Real Housewives were not nominated for an EVVY award this year. We are sad about this. But, like any glamorous academy award loser, we will clap politely and pray that the bitch onstage trips in her 6-inch heels*.

As good marketing majors (and a minor), we can’t help but evaluate why we weren’t successful in achieving our goal for an EVVY nom. We had to think really hard as to why someone wouldn’t pick us, but here’s the meager possibilities we could think of:

  1. Not everyone is as interested in what we had for lunch as we are.
  2. We aren’t “focused” enough. Unless focusing on the lives of opinionated, loud, goofy college girls counts as a focus.
  3. The judging panel was composed entirely of straight men who don’t care about our favorite beauty products.
  4. We didn’t flirt enough at the informational meetings.
  5. We don’t talk enough about sports.
  6. The judges didn’t like our Music Monday selections.

If anyone else can think of any other reasons they didn’t just give us the award, we don’t want to know**. We will still be attending the EVVY awards on May 15, glammed out within an inch of our lives and with our heads held high.

Here’s where you can see the losers – ahem, I mean lovely bloggers – who have been nominated right here (Outstanding Blog nominations at 6:30).

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*In all honesty, we want to congratulate the nominations and we will be relentlessly stalking your blogs to learn your secrets to success.

**We’d actually love to hear your suggestions and constructive criticism. This is fun for us, but we do want to make the blog more interesting for the world to read. So, world, tell us what you think at realhousewivesofcambridge@gmail.com.