Focus on the good.

My flight home from Minneapolis was delayed on Thursday. Actually, my flight home from Minneapolis was delayed three times on Thursday. 7 o'clock, 8 o'clock, "hopefully we'll be out of here by 9," they said, "as long as the weather clears up".

It's always promising when the flight crew uses words like "hopefully" and "as long as".

I texted Kyle. "Looks like we're delayed again." Since he was supposed to be picking me up from the airport that night. "At this rate I won't get home until after midnight." And we both still had to get up and go to work the next morning.

Apparently there were storms in Chicago. At least that's that they kept telling us. I didn't see any of the little-rain-cloud-icons on my Apple Weather App (because as soon as they made this announcement - I whipped out my phone to double-check, like an asshole) - but otherwise, I had no reason not to believe them.

Why would they make that up? It's "raining" in Chicago - aka, the pilot is missing, or the engine fell out, or one of the wings snapped off on our last flight and we've got to duct tape it back together.... but... those things sound scary and hard to explain, so... "There are 'storms' in Chicago." (I don't really know how it all works, but I'm 99.9% certain this is not how it works.)

I tried to imagine a scenario where I walked up to the counter, pulled out my iPhone and said: "Um... excuse me? Hi. Yes." *shoves iPhone in their face* "According to my weather app here, it looks like there aren't actually any storms in Chicago. See? If there were, you would see little-rain-cloud-icons, but there aren't any. So..." *Points to phone, as if talking to my grandma* "Look - you can even scroll out to see the future forecast - this one can predict until 5AM tomorrow. And look! No rain! See?" 

I'm sure that would go over well. They would probably say, "You're right! Thanks for bringing that totally-accurate-weather-app to our attention! Our high-tech-weather-checker-thing must be broken. Alright, ya'll - hop on board!"

And then we would all die because the plane tried to land during a storm in Chicago. And the CEO of the airline would go on the news and say, "Yea, look, some girl told us it would be okay? She said this app on her phone was TOTALLY trustworthy. She looks at it every day to decide what she's going to wear! You know, like jeans, or a sweater- And it's only been wrong, like, ten percent of the time. We thought those were good odds!"

What to Pack: Beauty Essentials For Your Carry-on.

You know how grocery shopping has that cardinal rule about "never go shopping when you're hungry"? God forbid you end up with an extra bag of potato chips.

Sephora should have the same rule. Never go shopping when you're... feeling... shall we say, less than confident. Like, super-model-hot confident, particularly about your face. Because once you get in there.... well, that's it. Suddenly everything you see becomes THAT THING YOU NEED to be mistaken for a dewy-glowy Victoria's Secret model.

This concealer is $80, and claims to have "pore vanishing" powers? It also has the word "clinical" on it, so it must be legit. Everyone knows 'clinical' means 'doctor' - so buying this is kind of like having plastic surgery - for ONLY $80! That's a bargain!

This stuff is called "Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder"... Airbrush powder! Like how they airbrush supermodels on magazines? So if I wear this, people will believe that I look like a supermodel in real life? Well, YEA, duh.

I'm not making fun of people who shop in Sephora like this. Because I genuinely shop in Sephora like this. 

This foundation is called "Your skin, but better". So, people will think it's MY skin - just, better. Natural. Naturally flawless skin. This foundation is going to CHANGE MY LIFE... Face. It's going to change my face. Yay!

I'm not saying I'm PROUD of it, I'm just saying... I am easily swayed by marketing. 

Getting out of your comfort zone.

We went hiking on one of our first dates. I say "one of" because neither of us can remember which "one" it was. I think it was the sixth or seventh, and Kyle thinks it was, "Maybe the fourth? Fifth? I don't know."

Here's what I can tell you - it was late enough in the game that we were comfortable spending an hour and twenty minutes in the car together, yet it must have been in the EARLY stages, because I remember waking up at 6 AM to shower and "get ready".

Get ready. For hiking.

A day in the woods. Weaving through trees. Climbing over rocks. Walking through spiderwebs.  Doing that thing people do where they take really big, wide steps over puddles and act all, "What? Like it's hard?"

That time I almost worked for a fashion company in New York.

Contrary to popular belief - working in the fashion industry was never really my "dream". People always assumed it was because A) I wanted to move to New York City, and B) I liked to go shopping.

That's it. There was also a brief stint during my childhood when I begged my parents to let me pursue a career in modeling because the lady at the mall from the Barbizon Modeling School told me that I could. For a fee. But she thought I had a real "look", so the $750 application fee would be totally worth it.

To this day, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I'd just gone to the Barbizon Modeling School. Maybe that lady WASN'T just trying to scam me as a poor, unsuspecting eighth grader with low self-esteem, maybe I really did have "the look" - if that look was 'glasses and frizzy hair'. Instead my parents got hung up on that measly $750 application fee. Even though I was like, "The lady said it's TOTALLY worth it! I have THE LOOK." And my parents were like, "uh..." and I was like "The Barbizon lady said that! And she knows what she's talking about, SHE WORKS THERE." 

Right. She works there. So, she said it because it's TRUE. Not because she's trying to scam my family out of nearly $1,000. She wouldn't do that, she was so nice.

Advice for the grads.

The first time I brought Kyle home - like "home" home, as in "meet the parents" and "let's see how long it takes before my mom breaks out the baby pictures" home - it was Easter weekend. Of last year. He had met my parents once before when they were visiting in Chicago, but I had considered that more of a 'practice round'. A 'by the way, this is the guy I've been hanging out with -- see, I told you he's not a murderer!' sort of thing. This was the real meeting. The "family holiday" meeting. The "staying for a weekend" coup de gras (my parents live in Ohio, so it would have been tough to turn around and drive back after dinner.)

My parents are not the kind of parents who live to embarrass me. In fact, when my mom suggested "We should dig out those old home movies! Kyle, do you want to see Jennifer's first Christmas when she was a baby?"- my dad mumbled to my mom, "I thought we said we weren't going to embarrass her. Remember...?" and she was like, "Well, THAT'S not embarrassing! She was so cute! It's only the FIRST Christmas."

'It's only the FIRST Christmas'. Not the fourth or fifth when I turned into a real diva about Santa and got really specific with my Barbie demands "Dear Santa" Christmas-list-letter.

So my parents dragged out the old home movies. And the baby pictures. And the articles I wrote for the county newspaper during my journalism internship as a high school senior.

"Did Jennifer tell you that she had a journalism internship as a HIGH SCHOOL senior?" my mom asked Kyle. And of course Kyle was like, "Why no, she didn't!" 

Thank God for moms. Right?

Saint Patricks Day 2018 | Chicago, IL

Before we could even DISCUSS plans for Saint Patricks Day, I had already made up my mind that I wanted to go into the city. It's tradition that Chicago dumps green food coloring in the river that runs through the city, and the whole day is just one big-huge-ginormous Saint Patricks Day party. All of the people from all over the land come to Chicago to party it up. They wear green, and watch a parade, and have a grand ol' time.

And I told my boyfriend - again, before anyone ever said anything about Saint Patricks Day - "I want to do a blog post about it." 

#ThingsBloggersSay

Creating a capsule wardrobe.

When I hear the term “capsule wardrobe”, I immediately think of it as a “time capsule” wardrobe. Not in a weird way – I don’t imagine putting all of my clothes into a box and digging it up in fifty years. But there’s something about the idea of a “capsule” that makes it feel timeless. Like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly. Not so much ‘the trends’ -  just a classic, elegant style.

I’ll tell you that’s what I strive for – a ‘timeless, classic’ look – but what I’m not telling you is that I’ve been on a mad hunt over the past three weeks for one of those winter beanies with the fur pom. Or as I’ve been calling them “you know those hats with the fuzzy ball? Yea, I want one of those.” I don’t know if that look falls under “timeless” or “classic”, but I LIKE IT. Even though I'll be looking back at pictures with my grandchildren in fifty years and they will ask, “Why does your hat have a fuzzy ball hanging from it?”, and I’ll be like, “I don’t know. That was the style back then.” *Shrugs*

For the record, I couldn’t find one. The department stores swept those winter hats clean in January when they made room for their Spring collections. So, I’ll just have to stick with my regular, old, BORING, non-fuzzy-ball winter apparel until next year.