My LDL and I are entering into our last week of geographically separated loving. One word: hallelujah! Here's a list of the things that the BF and I did this summer to maintain relationship merriment.
1.) We saw each other on most all weekends.
This was a somewhat expensive yet crucial move on both of our parts. At the beginning of the summer, the BF and I knew that in order for the two of us to not be exceedingly sad (and by we I mean me), we would have to make an effort to see each other every single weekend. Whereas it was usually me going back and forth between DC and NYC--an exhausting feat that fell on my good graces via the fact that I am able to telecommute to work--the BF was able to provide me with some much needed mental solace via weekend trips to DC for three out of the eleven summer weekends we were able to spend together. All in all, the weekend time that us LDLers got to spend together was priceless and worth every DC2NY Bus penny.

2.) We carved out time every morning and night to have some phone time.
Both the BF and I are not "phone people." We rarely prefer chatter over texting however, when you aren't seeing your loved one on a daily basis, the idea of picking up the phone is one that is welcomed with open arms and middle school like giddiness that is reminiscent of the first time my 7th grade crush smiled at me (...only a bagillion times better because this time around, I'm actually in love with the person and not just horrendously stalking them/hoping to dance with Mr. Prepubescent hottie at Rebecca's Bat Mitzvah). Nevertheless, it was those five minutes in the morning and ten to twenty minutes every night that made our weekdays apart go by just a little bit faster. 

3.) We sometimes surprised each other with little gifts.
Whether it was a notepad or nice pen for me from the law firm the BF was working at, or a pair of flip flops for the BF to replace the ones that broke at the beginning of the summer, surprising each other with small presents made that moment when we first saw each other every Friday afternoon that much sweeter.

4.) We did things other than just hangout with each other--both during the week and on weekends.
It's nothing new for me to tell you that, when it comes to relationships, making sure you and your SigO maintain your friendships and relationships with people other than yourselves is of the utmost importance. That said, if you and your boytoy are doing the long distance thing now or anytime soon, making sure that you both stay social should be on the top of your life priority list. If you don't the time you spend away from your LDL will be filled with well, nothing. But, should you fill your nights with friends, family, and fun, then feelings of super loneliness due to your partner's absence should be minimized. Same goes for the weekends you spend together. Just because this is the only time that you two lovebirds are get to share together doesn't mean that you should immerse yourselves and all of your time into just "being" with each other. Try to make your weekend time similar to how you two used to spend your time together pre-long distance loving. If this means going on a double date with friends, or letting your man go play b-ball with the boys while you go and get mani/pedis with your bff, then so be it. Life goes on despite the fact that you and your man no longer live in the same city. The only thing that you must do is make an effort--an effort to keep your hearts filled with love, and your heads with happiness.
 
 
It's official, if my whole digital PR/creative strategy/life coach/blogger career doesn't pan out, a stint as an official Olympic commentator is a legit possibility. So, before I make my journalistic TV debut on NBC, the official Olympic network (see, I'm great at this already), allow me to demonstrate my sport spectator skills for you.

Take 1...
The "Olymposphere" is all abuzz due to gymnastics' reigning all-around world champion Jordan Weiber's lack of qualification for the all-around finals. While Weiber, 17, will still be allowed to compete for a metal in the team and floor categories, Weiber will not have the chance to defend her world title...at least not at this Olympics. The worst part of it all is that Weiber did indeed make the top 24 in terms of scoring high enough to qualify for the final round of competition. But, due to a new rule (one that most, Weiber included, are having a hard time coming to terms with) that only allows each country to have two gymnists qualify for the finals, Weiber's 4th place all-around score was not enough to get her into the next tier of competition. Instead, the "flying squirrel" (Gabby Douglas) and "Miss Dependable" (Ally Raisman) will be representing the United States. While a clear upset for Weiber, the rules are the rules and hopefully Weiber is able to channel her dismay into fuel for the upcoming team and floor competitions.

Take 2...
The Men's 4x100 relay race has been a sight of contention for years. Russia won the gold in Athens and the US pulled what was thought to be an impossible feat whilst competing in Bejing. Yet it was the French last night who, for the first time ever, came in first place in last night's relay race...the US pulling up short (literally) and winding up with the silver. So, "what happened?" many have asked. Phelps, after a disastrous race in the 400IM, seemed to be back in the game last night when, swimming second, he was able to get the Americans what appeared to be a substantial lead. Yet Lochte, who swam last (the anchor position), was unable to hold this lead despite his new power player positioning. With this in mind, many have blamed Lochte for the relay upset. However, as information overload began to unfold last night it seems as if Lochte, who appeared to be in a state of utter disappointment post-race, may not have been the one to blame. Apparently, the US men's swimming coach switched up the team's swim order last minute; a decision that arose after Lochte took the gold the other evening. Perhaps this means that Lochte was unprepared to swim in the "anchor" position, or maybe it means that changing things up last minute isn't the way to go. Either way, the US took the silver and the French took the gold, as well as insane bragging rights.

So kidlets, how did I do? Seeing how all of the above info was not copy and pasted from news websites, instead gaining this Olympic knowledge via pure spectatorship, I think it's safe to say that when it comes to London 2012, I win the gold in information absorption (#mentalsportwin).

Photo Sources: Pic 1
 
 
First off, "TDF" means "to die for" and "AYR" means "all year round." Get it? Got it. Good! The trifecta of waist, eye, and shoulder wear depicted below make up the three things I'm currently obsessed with and therefore can be found wearing on a daily basis.
First off, is the waist wear (also known belts). I got this Michael Kors belt at the beginning of the year and I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I wear this baby at least once a week. Then again, this belt is reversible (geek chic) and makes for the perfect waist whittler and occasional pop of print. Obviously the furry leopard print side is my favorite (things you already knew), however the black patent leather side is very practical and, well, it's black so of course I'm partial to that side as well. Overall, I'd say it's a must (especially since it seems to be on sale everywhere you look now)...especially if you're planning on doing any last minute summer travels. Less belts packed means more room for shoes. Travel #win.
Diane von Furstenberg, how I love thee. Especially your vintage cat-eye sunglasses in light brown. You emphasize my cheekbones and slim my face, all the while protecting my eyes from this thing we call the sun. You didn't break when I accidentally sat on you. You held strong when you fell to the floor in a spat of my disarray. I may have gotten you half-off, but you will forever hold a full place in my heart...and on my face.
My favorite Longchamp bag broke the other week. You know, the one that every JAP totes around to hold her MacBook, nail file, and bedazzled iPhone. I guess it was a sign that it was time for me to bid fairwell to my college-day tote and upgrade to a somewhat less generic carry-all. Enter: the above Hype black leather striped canvas 'Harry' tall tote. With strips of black canvas and baby soft leather, this tote is sturdy, holds a lot, and doesn't make me feel as if I am carrying the weight of a bowling ball around on my shoulder. It also lacks my photogenic tendencies. Nevertheless, in person, it's super cute and doubles as a large purse/grocery bag when weekend farmers market shopping is a non-negotiable priority. How Fashunctional.
 
 
The other evening, whilst out to dinner with the familia, I ordered what I thought would be a light and healthful dish--seared rockfish, spinach, and roasted potatoes--seeing how my morning eats hadn't exactly been very "fruits and veggies are good for your body" friendly (i.e., copious amounts of froyo, two bagels n' schmear, and an exceeding amount of iced coffee for good measure). Nevertheless, when my dinner was placed in front of me, I couldn't help but feel as though the menu's meal description had deceived me. The whole meal was dripping in oil and frankly, I wasn't exactly looking to ingest a $25 meal that was mostly made up of liquid fat. 

So, what's a starving girl to do? No, not send it back (although, that wouldn't have been a bad idea either). Instead, I just grabbed a piece of uneaten bread from the bread basket and sopped up all of the excess oil with my little loaf of loveliness. Once all the oil was gone, I just dropped the oily bread on my bread plate and got to eating. Guess what, it worked like a C-H-A-R-M! Surely this was gloriousness at its finest. 

Side note: I imagine this could be a superb tactic to use in other scenarios when reaching for a paper napkin to blot your food could be perceived as bad manners, prissy, and just plain tacky. 
PHOTO SOURCE: Pic 1
 
 
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Everyone has tips and tricks to offer a friend, below are my 10 tips/tricks for your home...

1.) Jelly jars and salad dressing bottles that have a unique shape and functioning lid (as long as they don't contain company logos and non-removable labeling info) make for wonderful containers for homemade dressings and sauce. They also make for great desktop/miscellaneous holders.

2.) I love a bargain (I am a Jew after all) and thoroughly enjoy the discount hunt for that clearance treasure. Some of the best things to buy on clearance are serving pieces and utensil odds and ends. This is especially true seeing how a lot of the time, should a matching serving piece component go missing, it automatically goes on clearance. When this happens, you better swoop on in there and get your inner-discount shopper on. Trust me, you'll be happy you did.

3.) Keep a container of Q-tips with your laundry detergents, stain removers, and the like. They are great for adding a touch of bleach or stain remover when small stains are one big problem.

4.) I like to keep my favorite go-to recipes in clear plastic pages (so food stained paper becomes a problem of the past) that I then put in a black notebook. Divide the notebook into categories--appetizers, soups, main dishes, desserts--and making your favorite dishes will be easy as pie (literally). Oh and for the record, I do indeed call my cooking notebook my "little black book." It's more fun that way.

5.) Have you even noticed that kitchen dishtowels lack this thins called absorption?! I have, and it's a pain in the neck...that is, unless you do what I do and use bath hand towels instead. Yup, the best dish towels are bath hand towels. Besides the fact that these babies come in cool prints and colors (no more fruity-floral, I live for plaid prints here), they also tend to be a smidge larger which means more drying surface area. Win-win.

So tell me, what are your best around-the-home tips and tricks?


PHOTO SOURCE: pic 1

 
 
Helllllllo. My grandmother is having surgery today, so blogging on this beauteous Monday will be kept to a minimum as I just wanted to pop in and announce the Toka Salon gift card winner...lucky number 7!!
So, Jessie, aka winner of good hair, please email me so I can get your contact info and mail you your gift card!
 
 
Last night I had the pleasure of indulging in a blow-out at the exclusive Toka Salon Summer "Blow-Out" Blowout event! There were cocktails, whoopie pies, lots of hairspray, and (of course) great company in a fantastic atmosphere. 

A few pics to make you jealous...
Obviously fun was had, beauty was beautified, and hair was blown...out that is. 

But wait, before you "x" out of the screen in a fit of jealousy, let me tell you this: I am giving away a $20 gift card to TOKA SALON AND SPA (located in DC and NYC) so that you too can have a chance to get your pretty on. This is especially awesome seeing how head stylist and founder Nuri Yurt is one of the top stylists in the country. Yup, cue your excitement. 

So, here are the deets... To enter to win this Toka Salon gift card (perfect to use for their new, express blow-out), all you have to do is follow me on twitter @LinzSimone and then leave a comment on this post telling me why YOU need/want this gift card. I'll use a random number generator and pick the winner Monday morning so you have until then to get your tweet and comment on.

Let the gift card games begin!!!
 
 
The title alone pretty much sums up where i'm going with this post. It's pet peeve central over here and things are about to go down and get dirty (sorry for the sexual reference. It made me laugh. Obv all that matters). Oh and for the record, the reason there is a "part 1" at the end of the title mainly stems from the fact that I can purely just assume that this post is going to be a two, three, or perhaps even four parter. What can I say, I get ticked off easily (but that's mainly because I'm perfect and no one else lives up to my high standards... kidding, kind of. Don't you just love reading posts that boost my self esteem? I DO, I DO! Alright, I'll stop, but only because this is probably turning into something that gets on YOUR nerves. Apologies. Moving on).
Pisser-offer numero...

1. When my froyo isn't quite frozen or yogurty enough. It's called FROYO for a reason. Get it right. Same thing goes for the obligatory rainbow sprinkles. I need a full 1/2 cup of rainbow sprinkles...especially when I'm paying $0.50 extra for a sprinkling of edible confetti. Pour it on b!tches, pour it on!

2. When people don't cover their mouths when they sneeze. One word: germs! Three words: need bubble suit!

3. When the elevator doesn't close fast enough and I am forced to be in a confined space with someone other than myself and my ego for an entire 11 seconds. Hate that.

4. When mother nature realizes I am wearing suede shoes and decides to "shower" my feet in H2O loving.

5. When people don't use their turn signals.

6. When I wake up and realize that indeed, it is not the weekend.

7. When I get out of the shower and my hair dries curly. I want you STRAIGHT! Listen to me...I grew you!

8. When my doorbell rings and I peak through the peep hole only to realize that I have NOT won the lottery and the receiving of a big cardboard check is not in my near future.

9. When I walk into a public restroom and discover that the person before me failed to "please be neat and wipe the seat!"

10. When I go to write a TLM post and find myself in a state of writer's block, forcing me to resort to topics like "things that get on my nerves..."
PHOTO SOURCES: Pic 1
 
 
Sparkly fixtures are no longer just for the dining room. Foyers, living rooms, bedrooms, over a kitchen island...these and more are all places where unique chandeliers can not only hang, they can shine (literally). 

While any home can benefit from a chandelier, it is important to take the time to not only choose a chandelier that compliments the space at hand, but also one that you will love forever. So, before you search online or swipe your cc at a design store let's talk chandelier basics--material, size, place of purchase, yada, yada, yada...

Today, chandeliers are made from crystals, metal, glass, lucite, and a host of other materials and combinations. It really depends on the look you are going for, however, the right material can really help to define the space's style. For instance, a lucite chandelier will definitely lend itself to a more modern feel, whereas a crystal chandelier will likely make the space seem morre upscale, traditional, and classy. Then again, if the chandelier's size is not proportionate, the chandelier, void of its material, will never look good. This brings me to the topic of size. Choosing a fixture that is too large overwhelms the room and seemingly shrinks the ceiling height to the naked eye. Likewise, if you install a fixture that is too small, it will disappear into the room and, if that's the case, what was the point of splurging for a chandelier in the first place?

To get an idea of what options are available for you and your space, start shopping around online, at a local lighting store, furniture store, and/or a home building store. While this may make the selections seem endless, the truth of the matter is, if you take it step-by-step you should have a delightful chandelier hanging in your home before you know it. 

Below are my guiding principles:

1.) Balancing the room size and the chandelier size is determined by measuring the length and width of the room. Then, add the two sums together. As a rule of thumb, the sum is the diameter of the chandelier for that room. For illustration purposes let’s say your foyer is 10 feet wide and 10 feet in length, added together you get 20. Thus the chandelier’s diameter should be about 20 inches.

2.) The height of the chandelier is determined by measuring the ceiling height of the room and then for each foot of height you estimate the chandelier at approximately 2.5 – 3 inches. For illustration purposes let’s say your foyer is 12 feet high; so if I multiply 12x2.5 that equals 30  and if I multiply 12x3 that equals 36 thus the fixture should be approximately 30-36 inches in height.

3.) Seven feet from the floor is the lowest measurement a chandelier should be hung. This provides proper clearance, unless your families are basket ball players.

4.) If the ceiling height is taller than 10 feet then hang the fixture at 7 feet 6 inches.  This provides better balance in the room and proper focal point.

5.) Hanging a Chandelier over a table or kitchen island?  Choose a fixture that is half of the width of the table or island for a complementary dimension. Over a table hang the fixture roughly 30-32 inches above the table top. For a kitchen island I like to hang the chandelier a bit higher roughly 36- 38 inches so people can see across the counter without having the fixture in the way.
  
Now you know the guidelines the experts use to hang chandeliers, but keep in mind everyone has their own comfort level with height and width so use these as guidelines along with your best judgment. 

PHOTO SOURCES: Pic 1
 
 
When it comes to dating, I'm sure you've heard it all: do this, do that. The advice just goes on and on and on... Lucky for you, I'm here to add to the advice pool. Well, actually, I'm here to tell you what advice to ignore from said advice pool. Oh heyyyyy. Read on.
OLD ADVICE: Look for "Mr. Right"...and when you can't find him, go with "Mr. Okay."

I've always been a firm believer that, unless I think you're potential husband material, I will not date you. I'd rather be single then with Mr. Douche. That said, when it comes to love, many often settle. I have a few theories...

First, settling and compromising are two different things. It's okay to compromise when it comes to love. (i.e. The guy you like isn't over 6 feet tall. Okay, compromise. He isn't a lawyer/doctor/rain maker. Okay, compromise.) Settling, however, is not okay and should be avoided at all costs. (i.e. I have no chemistry with this guy. Not settling. He doesn't have a job...or a desire to get a job. Not settling.) This is especially true seeing how settling tends to lead to feelings of loneliness, sadness, and all those other feelings that love is not supposed to breed. 

REFURBISHED ADVICE: Look for "Mr. Right"...and fall in love with "Mr. Right for You."
OLD ADVICE: Never accept dates last minute.

Maybe I'm just biased because the BF and I had multiple last minute dates before we became "official." Then again, seeing how in this day and age we as a society work around the clock, are always on the go, and all carry these things we call iPhones, proposing dates on the fly (not to be confused with proposing on a date) is really just a form of dating progression made possible by our evolving society.

REFURBISHED ADVICE: If a guy you like asks you on a date at the last minute, say yes.
OLD ADVICE: Maintain some mystery.

It used to be said that maintaing some mystery would make the guy your interested in stay interested in you! Not going to lie, at first glance this advice sounds somewhat respectable, but think about it: if you aren't being completely yourself because you're trying to maintain "mystery," then how the hell is the guy you're dating going to get to know you (also known as that thing that leads your date to eventually liking you). For the record, I am not telling you to reveal the fact that you used to be a bed-wetter when you were eight. I am telling you to just be yourself and see where things go from there.

REFURBISHED ADVICE: Be yourself and see where things go, naturally.


PHOTO SOURCES: Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3