Books & Booze | Week 4

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE ON BOOKSTAGRAM

Hello friends! I’m taking a break from book reviewing this week to bring you a social media movement you probably don’t know is going on: bookstagram. No, it’s not yet another social platform, but rather a group of books nerds like yourself gathering on Instagram to share their love.

So what’s the deal? WTF am I talking about? Let me give it to you straight – bookstagram is literally just Instagram for book lovers. It’s a group of people, usually that have separate accounts, posting beautiful pics of books. The pics sometimes include links to a review, blog, video, shop, etc, but not always. It’s right on Instagram, and all you need to do to find it is search the hashtag #bookstagram. The community is usually pretty good about tagging posts, so just search and start following! But why? Why would you want to look at pictures of books instead of the other glorious instaphotos on your feed? Well.. as fun as your hipster neighbor’s avocado toast is (or yours, I don’t judge, avo’s are delish), here are 5 reasons you should intersperse some bookstagram accounts with your normal followings:

  1. Gorgeous pics – here are some from a few of my favorite accounts. Talk about #bookporn.

.. oh that one by me, basicwhitebook, how did that get in there?!

  1. Book recommendations – you simply can’t be in a reading rut while on bookstagram. You might find your TBR (to be read, in book nerd terms) list growing at an exponential rate once you join, but you will definitely never be in need of a recommendation ever again. PLUS, the bookstagram community is really on top of what’s popular. You could go to the best seller table at Barnes & Noble, OR you could hop onto some of your favorite book accounts and see what everyone’s loving.
  2. Bookish merchandise – you think you don’t need a “fairest muggle of them all” tumbler, or a Jane Austin tote bag, but you do. Trust me, you do. Bookstagram is full of artists and etsy sellers who love the same books you do – I promise, someone likes that weird book you think no one else is reading. They all promote their products, and it’s a great way to find things you like to fill your office, cube, library, or other “you” space.
  3. Fangirl central – ever read a really good book and think dayum, I wish I could talk about it with someone? It’s not like a popular show that EVERYONE is watching. Sometimes it’s hard to find a friend who’s on pace with your reading and actually into what you like… enter bookstagram. This place is bursting with other fans ready to discuss theories, questions, or just swoon over your favorite OTP (one true pairing.. you gotta get down with the lingo girls).
  4. Healthy, wholesome fun – this sounds lame, but think about the other people you follow on Instagram. It’s great to see Stephanie on her third beach trip of the summer, Brett hanging out with his bro’s at the bars, and your 500th friend getting engaged… really it is… but even though we don’t want to give in to FOMO, sometimes it happens, and sometimes our Instagram friends don’t help. Bookstagram literally promotes nothing but good, clean, reading fun. And if you’re feeling some FOMO, it’s easy to fix – read the book! What a cheap (I’ll use that term loosely here..), healthy, and fun way to connect with other people.

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Here are a few of my favorite accounts to get you started. Yes, the first one is me – I don’t have a lot of followers, help a girl out!

 

@basicwhitebook | @she.turns.pages | @harleyisreading

@booksandsparkles | @honeydukesbooks | @januaryrabbit

P.S. since it IS thirsty Thursday, Cupcakelet’s pair this post with one of my all time favs: Cupcake Malbec. Malbec is my favorite wine right now. I do enjoy a good Merlot, but Malbec is a bit lighter and almost a little spicy. It can have a fruitier taste than Merlot too, and if I’m being truly honest, Cab is way too heavy for me. Cupcake brand is one you see all over the place, and they have a few really fun flavors I’m sure I’ll feature in later posts, so I tend to gravitate towards them. It’s on the cheaper side (a girls gotta live), and always on sale so I never feel guilty grabbin that bottle.

xo, gal-pal, Meg

5 Ways to Stay Fresh at Work (in the middle of summer)

5 WAYS TO STAY FRESH AT WORK

It’s that time of the year, the dog days of summer! And you know what that means — the longest days, the shorty-short shorts, and the sipping of lots-n-lots of tropical dranks. But summer also means mosquitoes, unflattering bikinis (gag me), and endless amounts of boob-sweat. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I could drown a cat with the amount of perspiration coming off these teets by end of July.

Staying fresh all day at work, and especially at work all day during summer, is a challenge. That normally brisk morning walk to clear your head turns in to a steamy drudge that leaves you sticky and stanky. That lunch time workout sesh leaves you with a face redder than the underside of an unworn Louboutin.

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Even a desk job, like mine, may keep you inside most of the day, but by 2pm, you might still be leaning back in your rolly chair, with arms in the air to sneak a sniff and double check if yo pits are also experiencing their own form of caffeine crash.

So how do keep it fresh when you secretly need to go wring your bra out from all the under-boob sweat?

Here are a few tips to keep from looking (and feeling) like your office’s air conditioner went out for the 6th time this summer…

Eye drop it like it’s hot

Stock-up-eye-drops-caffeineBetween burning up outside and burning your eyes up on a computer screen, those baby-blues might be looking like you just got out of a Jerry Garcia tribute concert instead of your afternoon meeting. My go-to for red eyes is Rohto Drops. Or as some people called them in college “Stoner Drops.” But real talk, Rohto works magic on red peepers. You can find them at Target, next to the contact lens solution: Rohto Maximum Redness Relief Cooling Eye Drops.

Call me Miss Mist

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As much as we would love to dunk our heads in a pool to cool off… let’s give this beauty fad a try. Facial spray. So when your skin starts looking as dehydrated as a frat boy after Bid Day, I recommend Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray. Facial spritzes deliver instant and refreshing relief to that goddess face of yours.

So I have a basic b*tch confession, I’m a total sucker for those travel size products leading up to the cashier in Sephora and Ulta. I know… not really worth it, but they’re so little and cute. I just wanna squeeze em. So because of my mini prod impulse buying, I now keep a travel size of the Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb and Rosewater in my work bag (also, a huge plus to have this when you’re travelling, cause we know airplanes suck the freaking life out of your skin).

The Dirty Secret

giphy (3).gifOh, you’re already on this band wagon? Grrreat! So you won’t be surprised when I tell you to go buy a bottle of dry shampoo and put it you desk drawer, NOW. Summer humidity is a hair volume cock block. The humidity in the South is seriously thicker than Jay-Z’s side Becky, allegedly. But for real, the steamy heat does a number on a girls lady lock volume. So to keep your hair looking fresh and not looking like your grandma’s Pekingese lap dog’s by giving it a little dirty shampoo afternoon-delight action. I keep a travel mini of Tigi’s Rockaholic Dirty Secret in my desk at all times. I know. More travel mini madness. No wonder millennials can never save enough money to buy a house…

Wipe Me Down

So about those sweaty tig ol’ biggies… what do we do when the girls need a little refreshing too? Since most of us can’t take an afternoon shower at the office, I have a simple solution, wipe em down. tenor (2).gifThat’s right, faking a shower. AKA – giving yourself a little bird bath in the women’s restroom. I recommend Pacifica’s Deodorant Wipes, but I also just found these GoodWipes on Amazon and am curious-o to give them a try. 1-Click impulse buy. Damn you, Amazon Prime. I’ll keep you posted on the results. Oh! And for you fellas out there, my hubs, Todd, likes to use these Yes to® Men’s Cleansing Wipes after his morning gym sesh.  Hot man sweat, approved.

Powdered  Do-butt

You know we save the best for last. And we saved the end, for your rear-end. HA. There’s nothing worse than sitting back down in your leather rolly chair with a serious case of swamp ass. IDC if you think I’m being gross. We’ve all been there, even if your to vain and/or prude to admit it. So whats the DJ Khaled key to success here? Prevention. Be proactive and powder dat ass. 7b4b4a00-c758-0131-90f9-66179691fbe8

So there’s a couple of options out there…

1/ Baby Powder. Simple enough. Especially if you have small children ’cause odds are, you own some. Just be sure you get something Talc Free, like Burt’s Bee’s Dusting Powder. If you’re a holistic, all-natural hippie wanna be like me, there are some great cruelty free, USDA organic options, like this one from E·ra Organics.

2/ Feminine Powder. Hail to the V. Gah, I freaking love their marketing. Sorry, marketing fan girl moment. But seriously, Summer’s Eve is lady part safe and sets the standard for go-to fresh femme products.

3/ Ball Powder. Just because this is a women’s blog doesn’t mean we have to leave out the men. Hail to the V, but don’t forget about the D. swamp-but-corinne-bachelor.gifAgain, for you fellas out there (or ladies if you wanna help out yo man), men I know swear by this stuff, Chassis Premium Body Powder for Men.

But what are the actual pros of powder? Oh, honey. *finger snap* Prevents chaffing, absorbs moisture, keeps you dry, cools your buns, deodorizes, soothes skin, over all freshens… need I say more?

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Alright, that’s it. We hope you found these hot-day quick tips helpful! And please let us know how you keep it FrFreFreFresh, as always we love to hear from you! Happy comments welcome below 🙂

xo, your gal-pal, Al

Books & Booze | Week 3

Books & Booze Banner

Happy thirsty Thursday, book nerds! This week, let’s have some fun. Fantasy is great, I love me a good action novel, and I’ll be sharing plenty of other fun genres for you, but this week let’s get into some trash. Some good old, E! True Hollywood Story, white girl wasted, TRASH.

So grab your martini glasses, take off your heels, and let’s talk about everyone’s favorite Playboy Bunny, Holly Madison.

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Book(s): Down the Rabbit Hole, Holly Madison Photo Shape Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/shape-tool

Summary: Get ready for the dish, ladies! Sit back and sip some tea while Holly Madison gives us the down and dirty deets on her life as one of Hugh Hefner’s infamous girlfriends.

At age 21, Holly Cullen left her small-town in Oregon and eventually became the girl we know as Playboy Tycoon Hugh Hefner’s number one girlfriend, and star of the E! show The Girls Next Door. Her story takes us inside the mansion, the A-list parties, the drugs, and her relationships devolution into rules and manipulation. She also guides us through her relationship with all the bunnies, including Hef’s other girlfriends at the time, Bridget and Kendra.

Why I read: Curiosity of course! I know I’m not the only one that watched The Girls Next Door on E! and wondered what was reality and what was pure TV. The story is fascinating – you have a VERY old man, who runs arguably the most infamous “gentleman’s” magazine of all time, dating three bombshell blonde models, all living under one roof. PLUS, I distinctly remember the commotion Holly caused when she left Hef and the show (that was back in college when E! was my go-to channel for pregaming). So I admit, I picked the book up just to find out what the deal was… for realz.

Why I recommend: This book is chalk-full of goodies. Holly dishes on everything from sleeping arrangements, to night life, to leaving the mansion, and IT’S ALL GOOD. Ever wonder whether Hef really makes the girls sleep with him? You’ll find out! Want to know how much money they actually get, and if they get to keep it? Read on! She takes you from the moment she entered that house, through the TV show, and how things ended and why. Everything you could ever want to know – it’s in here. PLUS, I don’t know if you guys knew this (because I didn’t), but after dating Hef, Holly totally dated master Vegas illusionist Criss Angel! Towards the end of the book she wraps up her story with him, and life after the spotlight – it’s juicy stuff.

But let’s get real for a second too. Sure, this book is full of tasty Hollywood treats, but it’s so much more than that. Whether or not everything Holly says is true, the book lets you into her life and her feelings. She opens up about childhood experiences, her deepest and darkest moments while living in the mansion, trials and tribulations post-Hef breakup, and brings her story full circle to what finally made her happy. It’s well written, and really puts you in her life at that moment. I found myself feeling happy, sad, scared, and rooting for her to find that happiness she seeked so badly. cotton candy.png

Pairing – we’ve got to get girly on this one. Dust off that martini shaker your mom got you when you turned 21, and get ready to impress your friends with a Cotton Candy Martini. I know it sounds fancy, but check out the recipe – it’s easy. It’s the perfect drink for a summer night on the beach dishin on the latest drama with your girlfriends.

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As always, you can get Holly’s book on Amazon. She wrote a sequel too, but I’ll admit it didn’t really appeal to me. Even though I was invested in her life at the time I read Down the Rabbit Hole, I’m just not sure I care enough to keep reading. When I’m craving some gossip I’ll pick it up and let you know 😉.

Down the Rabbit Hole

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The Vegas Diaries

P.S. after just reading the description of Holly’s second book, literally as I’m finishing up this blog (coming at you live!), I think I’m going to have to give it a try. It delves into the time period between leaving Hef and finding her true happiness (you know, when she had that other E! TV show) and it looks good. Stay tuned.

xo, gal-pal, Meg

5 Ways to Calm TF Down When You’re Stressed TF Out at Work

Post- Stressed at work

Back-to-back meetings, conference calls, expense reports, endless incoming emails… and then all of the adult things you have to handle outside of work?! Sometimes life can feel so overwhelming – it feels like the working world is running you instead of you running the world. Remember, even super gal Leslie Knope got stressed TF out sometimes…

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Before you can even think about managing the elephant sized crap load of work on your desk, you have got to get your mind right. The more level minded you are, the clearer you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the task list tunnel. Here are a few ways to zen out and focus in when work has got you hearing phantom martini shakers by 8:30AM:

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Center your head space 

If you haven’t stuck your head out the office door in a while, mindfulness is all the health community rage right now. So what is this hippie-dippie mindfulness crap all about anyways? Google defined it best for us..

nounmindfulness
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

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So how do you achieve this inspiring self-awareness state-of-mind thing? A great beginner’s step is trying a guided meditation, like this 10 minute meditation on YouTube. Pretty sure you can sacrifice 10 minutes out of your work day morning to keep from stress biting that mani off by noon. Do yourself a favor, when trying guided meditations for the first time, keep an open mind. It may seem cheezy, but give it the old college try. K?

Walk outside

Have you been stuck inside the four walls of your cubicle for so long that you have forgotten what the sun looks like? Have you been working from home and fallen into that “I’ll never leave this house again” rut? Let’s go, get yo’ ass up! Time to get out of the florescent and into the incandescent. tumblr_m9w256EbFl1rot40u.gifWalking outdoors and connecting with nature can have a seriously positive impact on our happiness and our productivity. It’s crucial to get up and move around throughout the workday. A quick stroll is a simple way to decompress and loosen all that body tension that tends to build up behind a desk. If you find it’s still hard to step away, schedule time for yourself on your Outlook calendar to get up and walk around. Pencil that ish in.

If you’re boss is wondering about your frequent walks to the green way outside your 03-90s-workouts-power-walking.gifbuilding (you don’t want them to think you’ve picked up a vaping habit), share with them this awesome article about why it’s important to take a break and go outside. Hell, encourage them to go for a walk with you or see if you can schedule your next meeting outside! Get moving together, a little colleague or boss lady bonding time can never hurt.

Tea Time

We’re all a big fan of a coffee run when we feel like we got to get sh*t done. But sometimes *It’s so hard to say this* coffee isn’t always the best choice. WAAAT.

Mulan-Pouring-Tea.gifThat’s it, she’s lost her mind. Someone check her pulse. Is she still alive?

Hear me out. I’m not saying don’t drink coffee when you’re stressed, by all means drink coffee when you’re stressed. But what I’m saying is maybe try another option that better compliments your stressed environment? Like maybe some herbal tea? I like the Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea by Yogi. It’s caffeine free, but the simple calming affects of this tea are worth sacrificing the afternoon latte buzz for once. Pro tip: it also makes a great pairing with the guided meditation video we discussed earlier.

Essential Oils

Essential oils, again? Mhmm. Breath it in, b*tches. Sometimes you’ve just got to give in to the healing powers of a little aromatherapy. Obv you can’t get all mantra-chantra at your desk with your patchouli oil and sage smudge stick (that could raise several kinds alarms, including the smoke alarm). So if you need a quick and easy pick-me-up to help regain that work-life-I-got-this-sh*t balance, try Nature’s Truth Essential Oil Blend Roll-On in Calming.

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Inhale the good the good sh*t, exhale the bullsh*t.

 I rub the oil on the backs and palms of my hands, cup my hands in front of my face, and take a deeeeep breath in. Double points here cause deep breathing is also a great stress relieving trick. Nature’s Truth also has another great scent for Focus. Seriously, just buy both. They’re only like $6-7 a pop. You’re welcome.

 

 

Supplement

As much as we would all just love to pop a Xanax and move about our day when we get stressed… there’s a couple a probs here… 1/ not every one is blessed enough to get a xannie script cause sometimes they “get nervous on flights” and 2/ taking downers at work is well… frowned upon? At least that’s what they tell me. giphy (2)So instead, try taking something natural that doesn’t require a doctors note or visit to your drug dealer. Ah-ha, no one is assuming anything here. That guy with the dreads in the Grateful Dead t shirt was totally just a friend of yours from college. *Wink-wink*.

I’m a fan of supplementing a little stress relieving L-Theanine into the diet. This Olly brand combo makes a nice little (fully legal) addition to the office medicine cabinet: OLLY Goodbye Stress Gummy Supplements.

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Learning to manage a crazy schedule and all the stresses of working and adult life can be a struggle bus. But if you can learn to channel your stress into excitement, managing everything on your plate will seem much more tolerable. And remember, unless you’re curing some type of world epidemic disease at work, most things can wait. Don’t let unnecessary little stresses get in the way of your most important items or the bigger picture in general. A lot of it is perspective. You got this.

So at the end of your day, take a deep breath, pour yourself a heavy handed poor of some rose colored vino and take a nice long soak. After all, you deserve it.

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xo, your gal-pal, Al

Books & Booze | Week 2

Books & Booze Banner

What up, book nerds! I’m back again for Books & Booze on this fine thirsty Thursday. You may be wondering, dayum, how is she talking about what she’s reading THIS week when we just heard from her LAST week. Well, I have a secret for you – I’m a book whore. I never read just one book at a time, and at the moment I’m reading five (yes you heard me.. five..), so I literally will never run out of current reads.

That being said, let’s take a vacay from fantasy (don’t worry, we’ll come back) and talk about some good old classic thriller fiction.

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Photo Shape Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/shape-toolBook: Ice Station, Matthew Reilly

Summary: When a something is found buried beneath the ice of the remote Wilkes Ice Station, and a subsequent distress signal is sent by the scientists inhabiting it, the USMC sends Captain Shane Schofield, code name Scarecrow (get ready to swoon), and his team to investigate. Upon arriving, they are immediately assaulted by French assassins, insider US forces trying to destroy evidence, a murder on base, AND mutated giant elephant seals.

If that sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. Ice Station follows Scarecrow and his team through a maze of conspiracy theories and a barrage of action hitting you at every turn.


Why I read
: This is actually a reread right now. It is what I like to call a summer “boat book.” You see, I have this fiancé that LOVES to boat. And I love to boat too, but prefer a quiet relaxing trip on the bay with my book in hand and the sun beating down on me. He loves the concept, but really enjoys talking and playing Despacito real loud (he’s not a belieber, but very much into Reggaeton.. don’t get me started). I can’t very well read a new book with that kind of distraction around me, so I pick an old favorite and reread it on the water.

Now that you have the entire backstory of why I am CURRENTLY reading Ice Station, let me tell you why I picked it up originally. Matthew Reilly is one of those quirky things I tell people when they want a fun fact. Papa Dubs (as I lovingly call my Father) first discovered the author while traveling in Canada. He brought me back Ice Station because of whatever reason, really he’s just as nerdy as me so he probably thought the cover looked cool and I’d like it, and 10 years later I am obsessed with the guy. I’ve met him twice (phenomenal speaker and uber nerd), and have my coworker in Australia hunt down his AU releases early and ship them to me so I don’t have to wait the 6 additional months it takes to release in the US – I cannot be expected to wait that long. Long story short, I’m hooked on Reilly – and Ice Station is the first in a long list of epic reads.


Why I Recommend
: let’s go down the list here, because this is arguably my favorite book of all time …

Action, Action, Action – this book does not quit. Think Fast and Furious, but in book form. There are very few breaks in the drama, but rather than feeling exhausted, Reilly leaves you invigorated and wanting more after each chapter.

Cool factor – if you look Ice Station up on Wikipedia, it defines it as a techno thriller. Translation: it is super cool. The plot gets deep into military conspiracy theories, and I swear you’ll walk away thinking you just took a crash course in the CIA. You’ll want to start using words like “recon,” “maghook,”and “assault position,” in daily life (maybe don’t though because only the adult white men at your office who watched M*A*S*H as kids will know what you are talking about *cough, Papa Dubs again, cough*).

Surprisingly loveable, yet badass characters – At first, Scarecrow and his team of brutes seem like your typical high school football jocks that were good enough with a weapon to get themselves into the military; but, the more you read the more you’ll see the complex personalities of each and swoon-worthiness of our main man. Throw in some bad ass mother’s (seriously one of the women’s call name is Mother..), a quirky young kid and her pet seal, and a tiny lil’ love story and you’ll be hooked.

IT’S A SERIES – if you’ve been keeping up with me, you know that I love a good series, and the Scarecrow books are as refreshingly low maintenance as they come. They are all connected, but have their own storylines and don’t necessarily need to be read in order. So, you can start this bad boy up, maybe read another or two, but you won’t lose anything by taking a break or even skipping around. Count me in.

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Pairing
: Vodka club on ice – because this just makes sense. You’re going to be reading about hot men and badass ladies jumpin’ off glaciers and dodging bullets in a big ass igloo, so vodka is really the only pairing here. And this time, I recommend saving those coins and splurging for some Double Cross. Talk about cool factor – the bottle is gorgeous, and it’s made in Slovakia which is just a primed and ready conversation starter for your next happy hour.

I also have to give credit where credit is due – this recommendation actually comes from the Despacito -loving fiancé I mentioned earlier. He considers himself a vodka snob and says it’s as smooth as butta. Not sure I’m totally convinced, and he almost takes my ring back when I wince after a shot, but hey, throw in some club soda and ice on that baby and get crackin’.

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You can find Ice Station on Amazon, and if you really get into it check out the other Scarecrow books while you’re at it. Maybe I’ll review some of Matthew Reilly’s other stuff in the future – he’s not JUST an action junkie 😉

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Ice Station

Area 7

Scarecrow

Hell Island

Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves

 

xo, gal-pal, Meg

Hangover Cure Review: Hydration Therapy IVs

Gah, is this girl going to ever talk about anything but binge drinking? Maybe she’s got issues… 

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Yes, yes. We will. And yes, we all have a list of issues ten Porsche’s long. Don’t judge. But we kinda got on a roll here, so enjoy this last drinking related post before gal-pal Al here goes on a no-alcohol hiatus – do not panic, nothing is wrong. I just have hopes to not look like the Michelin Man next to my super hot, mom of three, effing gorgeous sister-in-law at the beach next month (don’t worry there either, we heart her).

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So perhaps by now you’ve heard about on the latest trends in hangover cures – hydration therapy IVs. And guess what, this boujee treatment isn’t just for rich business men on their f*ck boy trips to Vegas anymore. Hydration therapy has found its way into the cities and ‘burbs across the cun-try.

Photo Shape Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/shape-tool

 

During a recent visit to the old college town, former party girl brain was excited to learn there was a new IV bar in T-town. And you can guess just how extra one must have felt to drag the bestie out of the hangover comforts of her bed to go get stuck with a needle after a long night out (it was cruel, but she thanked me later).

 

So then, what’s it like? 

When you arrive, first things first, you’ve got to check yo’ self in to “rehab.” They will want your basic information: name, DOB, telephone number, emergency contact, list of previous sexual partners… OK, totally kidding on that last one, but you do have to give them your typical basic info.

After signing in, they’re going to ask what sort of treatment you are in for. So be honest and tell them what you are in for. I.e. You are here because you are hungover AF and also desperate AF to feel any other way than you do right now. Don’t worry, they won’t judge you. They have seen much worse, trust.

From here, a real life RN will help you determine which treatment is suitable for you. They will take you back, review your basic info, check your vitals, and get a better understanding of your symptoms.

If you lost your inhibitions and couldn’t say no to those Patron shots, they will probably recommend you get the big bag. If you have a basket-case of bad decision symptoms, there are a series of other other custom IV cocktails you can chose from.

 

Here’s a little idea of the supporting castPhoto Shape Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/shape-tool members you can chose from:

 

  • If you’re head is banging louder than a bad porno: Toradol
  • If you’ve been reenacting scenes from the exorcism (aka puking your guts up): Zofran
  • If you plan on doing anything besides wallowing in self pity on the couch that day: B12 complex

 

And again, these folks are medical professionals, they will be able to hold your hand and help you figure out what is best for your current oh-shit-uation.

And pro tip: if they offer you oxygen, take it. It may tickle your nose and make you feel like you’re having an Bewitched nose-twitch flashback, but it’s so worth it.

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What if I am scared of needles?

Stop being a little b*tch! But real talk, my gal-pal is super not OK with needles and she was so sick to her stomach when we got there, she was super worried about getting stuck and passing out. But the needles they use for these IVs are even smaller than the IV needles used in most hospitals. How? Because these places are boujee and pay extra for their special clients to have teeny, tiny, baby needles. So woman up and don’t worry about being a little bish. If her insanely hungover butt could handle it like a champ, so can you.

 

Does it hurt?

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IMO, no. You will feel a little prick-and-stick when they first place the IV into your vein. But after that, you can’t even feel the needle in you arm. The needle is TINY, remember? You can relax into that comfy reclining arm chair and scroll through your Insta feed or start deleting those goddess-awful snaps you don’t remember adding to your my story. If you’re lucky, they will give you the Apple TV remote and you can watch Netflix or take a little cat nap while the IV drips away your sorrows.

How long does the whole process take? 

From start to end, the whole process takes about an an hour: Signing in and vitals check took about 10-15. The actual IV process took about 30 mins. Check out took around 5 minutes. In all reality, I could have laid in that recliner for hours and been just gucci with it.

How much does it cost? 

Full disclosure – it’s not the most budget-girl friendly thing in the world (I’ve placed some of the pricing in the street creds section at the bottom of the post). BUT the great news is, they accept HSA cards for payment! So if you have an HSA account and you’re one of those lucky ducks that gets a “health allowance” from your company, you’re getting this sh*t paid for FO’ FREE! Embrace the feeling of being a corporate gold digger. It’s a little perk of being a working girl.

Was it worth it?  giphy.gif

Simply said, (if you can afford it) FACK YA. Like I’ve said before, there is no true “cure” for a hangover, but I can’t imagine how much worse I would have felt without getting that IV.

Do you have any extra tips?

Yes – Eat something before you go. We made the mistake of not eating before hand, which ended up with us resting our pretty heads on the brunch table until our very concerned looking waitress finally brought us our lobster omelets. So if you want the best results from your treatment, you should really try to get something on your stomach before hand.

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So if you’re considering an IV for your next hangover recovery, we say go for it! And no matter how hard you pray and swear you’ll never drink again after a terrible hangover, lesbi-honest girl, we both know it’s probably going to happen again. And thank goddess for modern medicine, because no amount of prayer or meditation is going to save you from the hangover-grim reaper. And the nurse at our IV outing said it’s never a bad idea to get a bag before hand for a little extra hangover prevention. Food for thought.

Also, these IV treatments don’t just have to be for hangovers. You can also receive IV therapy for athletic prep/recovery, weight loss, illness recovery, general health & wellness, etc. If you want to learn more about where we went, check out hydralivetherapy.com.  Oh and for our ladies loves in the Tennessee Valley area, allegedly, Huntsville, AL is supposed to be getting a location soon! Manicured fingers crossed!

 

xo, your gal-pal, Al

 

PS – If you missed our last post, be sure to check out 9 Steps to Hangover Recovery!

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Paying to play: 
  • 1 Hydralive Treatment (non-member) – $60 (big bag)
  • 1 Zofran (non-memeber) – $18
  • 1 B Complex (non-member) – $18
  • 1 Pepcid (non-member) – $18
*Figures listed are from hydralive Therapy – Tuscaloosa. Prices may vary depending on your IV therapy provider. 

 

9 Steps to Hangover Recovery

Post- 9 Steps to Hangover Recovery

*Live thought process in action*
OK – I need to write this… Where’s the coffee… no way I am STILL hungover from last Friday. Check yo self, Al. Get it together, girlfriend.

So. You had a little fun last night. What do you do when you find yourself at the bottom of the bottle one night, and face down on the toilet seat the next morning? First of all, been there. Done that. If you are a former party girl like me, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about… you’ve left the cheek imprint of NARS Laguna Bronzer on the porcelain seat a time or two. If not, then you are probably one of those freak-a-leaks of nature who never-god-ever over indulges and/or has never had the life changing, joyous experience of a life crippling hangover… in which case, screw you, Lucy.

Well then, how do you begin un-doing the questionable life choices you made at your office’s extended happy hour. The honest answer is you can’t. And I hate to the bish-bearer of bad news, but you can’t actually “cure” a hangover either. Now wait a second! Don’t go! Don’t be disappointed! Life is full of disappointments. I.e. Were you really that shocked that your Bumble date didn’t turn out to be your soul mate? Or that your middle-class fancy dinner to the neighborhood Applebee’s was a taste palate let down? Come on now.

With age comes experience, and with experience comes knowledge. And this little subject right here happens to be one that I un-regrettably happen to have a bad-girl phD in (but lesbi-real, those stories won’t be dinner table talk for the future spawns of our loins). So let me share with you the do’s and don’ts I’ve learned when it comes to bouncing back from the tornado disaster you left your life in last night. Here we go…

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Preface:

S L E E P  L A T E

First of all, ask yourself this: Do you have the option to sleep a few more hours? If you’re answer is yes, turn off the bloody alarm, take off your bra, and get your slutty butt back to bed. NOW. Rest is one of the best things you can do to ease a hangover. But for most of us, sleeping in is a long gone, very missed, distant memory. If you don’t have the option to sleep in til 10AM like a twenty year-old soro-stitute, please proceed to Step 1.

 

Step 1:

E R A D I C A T E

Time to purge. I know what you’re thinking. Purge? You mean, like puke? Again, you’re thinking “No way, Rosé.” Trust me honey, I know. And I’m sorry. And my real phD friend (Hi, Bay!) might come back and smack me in the tit for this, but I wouldn’t solicit this advice unless I meant it. Sometimes the worst thing you can do, is also the best thing you can do. Where you might not be able to get the smell of Camel Lights out of your hair or your new shirt, you might be able to get some of that Jack and Jim out of your stomach. A lot of times when we’re hungover, we focus so hard on NOT getting sick that we forget to realize our bodies are acting sick for a reason. That sh*t needs to come out (and I don’t mean literal sh*t, but sometimes that happens too… Hey – no one’s judging here).

So try and woman up and pull that trigger. Eradicating your body of the alcohol gut slushy you’ve got going on right now, could put you on the road to recovery much faster. Oh and erhm… Brush your teeth afterwards, cause I mean… that sh*t gross. (That’s your freebie, in-between step called “C O L G A T E”).

 

Step 2:

H Y D R A T E

Now that I’ve scared you all off with my advice to go gag yourself… this next one should be a no brainer: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Water, Gatorade, some form of green stinky kale juice… it doesn’t matter. What matters is getting the electrolytes back into your body. Whether you purged intentionally or not, you are going to be super dehydrated. Start with taking baby sips of something cold. If you happen to plan ahead, or have access to a fridge where small children live (wow, that sounds creepy and kinda pedophile-y, but trust me I’m getting to a point here…) try Pedialyte. Even better, try a Pedialyte Popsicle. Then you can suck on a hydrating popsicle just like the big baby that you are right now.

OH, and quick tip – I know some people prefer straws in their drinks, but I actually advise against this right now. Reason being is that with a straw, you’re sucking (you dirty ho) in extra air into your already super uneasy, super gassy belly. Never thought of that? Uh-huh, told ya’ll I knew what I was talking about… sometimes. Another don’t in this category is drinking coffee, cokes, or other sugary dranks. Coffee will come later love, don’t your worry your caffeinated little heart. The reason I say no to these three is because the last thing you need to do right now is dehydrate yourself more. Caffeine is a diuretic, and it WILL dehydrate you more. You also don’t want to load your gut up with a bunch of sugar that will ultimately add to the system crash your body is currently experiencing.

And if you have the option to get hydration pumped directly into your veins via IV, by all means DO IT (I hope that doesn’t mean you somehow landed your DA in the ER). But we will talk IVs more veryyy soon.

 

Step 3:

F I X  A  P L A T E

Now that you’ve got some liquids back into that sexy, sinful body of yours, the next best thing you can do is try to get a little something on your stomach with sustenance. I’m talking a piece of toast, an English muffin, hell, a butter biscuit if carbs really are your best friends (in which case, no fair and I hate you). Just kidding, all love here. But seriously, if you’re like me and carb is a four-letter word for you, try fruit.

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Slices of cold watermelon are a GREAT go-to hangover food, not to mention it’s called watermelon for a reason. There is a TON of water in watermelon. Just look at all the juicy hydration. YASSS, queen!! OK – not quite ready for that energy yet. Other good options are honeydew melon and cantaloupe. I love me some pineapple for hydrating fruits, but steer clear for now. The acidity in pineapple will likely upset your tender tummy.

 

Step 4:

M E D I C A T E

Wondering why I’m force feeding you right now? Because I want to give you medicines that will make your pitiful little life all better… well sort of. Now, I’m not a medical professional (resident marketing pro here, remember?), so I’m not going to give you actual medical advise. But what I’m going to do is tell you what I take when I’m in recovery mode:

  • When I feel like I’ve been hit by a MAC TruckALEVE. But why Aleve specifically you ask? From the research I’ve done (and I’ve done quite a bit), anti-inflammatory pain killers, like Aleve, seem to have the best clinical results. Take two of this OTC pill to help ease the head and body aches. And if you weren’t to white-girl wasted to plan ahead, take two before going to bed to start alleviating the hangover before the sun and the regret-level rises.
  • When the room won’t stop spinning out of control: DRAMAMINE. But that’s for motion sickness, Al? YUPP, you bet you bish-arse it is. And that is exactly what you are feeling every time you lay your pretty little head down and the room becomes a Tilt-A-Whirl. This stuff is a goddess-send. But PS – Dramamine can sometimes back you up, if you know what I mean… which might not actually be a bad thing given your situation right now.
  • When my stomach hates me more than Bella probably hates Selena: PEPCID. This stuff is great if you are feeling a different kind of post brown-liquor upset stomach.
  • When I want to feel better about my ‘adult’ life choices: OLLY MULTI-VITAMINS. I mean… getting some extra vitamins in your system can’t hurt your case right now, can it?

Full disclosure, any time you are medicating, you should double check any prescription or OTC meds for interaction. Or if you’re super concerned, ask your doctor. Srsly.

 

Step 5:

C A F F E I N A T E 

If you’re a caffeine addict like me, your head will start to split in two if you don’t get some coffee stimulation stat. Now that you’ve completed Steps 1-4, you can start putting your big girl panties back on and move onto sipping some Joe (if you woke up next to a guy named Joe, than this is ho-lariously ironic.. and hurry up and get TF out before his roommates wake up… unless your married, in that case, stay and snuggle).

But real talk, hopefully by now your stomach is starting to settle and you can handle the ‘light’ acidity and total basic-ness of an Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte. I’d recommend sticking with blonde brews for now. The weaker flavored body of a blonde brew might be easier on the tum-tum for now. Totally not throwing shade at blondes here, I’ve paid a lot of extra money to look like you in the past.

And whatever you do, don’t go for the Red Bull. Energy drinks are never that great of an idea to begin with, and especially not a good idea when you’ve got a bad case of the wine flu.

 

Step 6:

P E R S P I R A T E 

You’re ability to complete this step will be 100% determined by the level of your hangover. If you spent the night sleeping next to the toilet, you’re probably not going to feel up to hanging out downward doggie style in a hot yoga class. And fair enough.

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But if you’ve been able to successfully complete Steps 1-5 so far, a 30-min sweat sesh could sincerely do you some good. I recommend a good 20-30 minutes on an elliptical (moderate tension) followed by 10 min deep stretch sesh. This will help to loosen the muscle tension you’re feeling and let your body sweat out some of the toxins that took up residency in your liver last night.

Afraid your hangover stank is too much for the group-ex instructor to handle? Not ready to face the outside world just yet? That’s not an excuse, you can get your wanna-be-fit-girl on at home too. I recommend Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown. There’s nothing like a little Jill-pill to kick your unmotivated, post-inebriated arse back into gear.

 

Step 7:

I R R I G A T E 

If you were unable to to complete Step 6 and you had to skip straight to Step 7, that’s OK, we can’t always be winners. Goddess forgives you. But lucky for you, you can still get your detox sweat on in a little place called the bathroom. Sometimes a good long hot soak or super steamy shower can still give you the sauna detox affect you’re looking for. Now be careful, you’re still a little dehydrated. You don’t want to go getting to hot and pass out on the bathroom floor, again. That would be no bueno, big problemo.

Cleansing off can you give a literal and metaphorical feeling of washing away all your bad decisions. I once had a boss tell me “If you wake up and feel like sh*t, and you really feel like you can’t make it in today… Just get your ass in the shower and then reevaluate yourself.” OK, Corey. Truth. And hey – sometimes an ice cold splash will do the trick. Getting hit with a blast of icy water might just sober you right up. Personally, I’m a fan of the steam. But hungover or not, I love to give myself a shock of super freaking cold water at the end of my shower. Huge plus, it makes your skin look tighter and your hair shinier. Free fun beauty hacks for you and you and you *insert Oprah meme*.

 

Step 8:

C O M M U N I C A T E 

Now this doesn’t quite go along with the self-care theme we’ve got going on here, but it’s a topic that must be covered. Sometimes we not only have to recover the physical damage from last night, but also the emotional damage of last night. Maybe you said something unintentionally derogatory to your SO? Maybe you cock-blocked a sex-drought-ed bestie? Maybe you just had a series of unfortunate ho-ments? Whatever you did or didn’t do, you’ve got to start handing out the “I’m sorry for what I did when I was drunk” cards ASAP. Don’t let any animosity towards others OR yourself brew to long. The hangover guilt feeling is rough enough with or without knowing if you did something hurtful and/or stupid. Your real friends will forgive you and you gotta forgive yourself too. And honestly, the best thing you can do is laugh it off, be self-aware, and know that feelings are just thoughts and they only exist in your head. YOU ARE OK. K?

 

Step 9:

P O T A T E Photo Shape Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/shape-tool

And lastly for everyone’s favorite thing to do during a hangover crisis, potate. That’s right bishes, this IS a Step: Be. a. couch. tater. You are welcome. If you were able to complete Steps 1-8, I sincerely applaud you. You deserve this. I hope by now you feel a little better, but like I said, there is no true “cure” for a hangover, only ways to try and recover. And sometimes the best medicine is piling up with a furry blanky and snuggling with your Apple TV remote. So go ahead, binge watch that new season of Game of Thrones or re-watch (for the tenth time) that episode of Friends where Ross cheats on Rachel. “WE WERE ON A BREAK!” No, Ross. No. You weren’t.

•     •     •     •     •     •     •     •

I hope you found these 9 Steps to Hangover Recovery helpful for either your current situation or to better prep for a possible future inevitable situation. Maybe you already do these things or some form of these steps when recovering from our ho ways. However you bounce back, remember you’re a boss b*tch and nothing shakes your game. And although these hangovers seem to get worse and worse every year, the ability to have some self-discipline slowly gets better. Key word there was SLOWLY.

If you want to hear more about a recovering from a hangover “extra” style, tune in Monday for our follow-up post on our first time getting a very extra, very boujee hangover IV. Yes, girl. I’ll tell you all about what it’s like and the tips to get the most out of your experience. Oh! And how you can get it paid for, FO’ FREE.

See you next time!

 

xo, your gal-pal, Al

 

PS – As always, we would love to hear from you! If you have any life hacks for preventing hangovers or more tricks for hangover “cures”, please leave your tips or thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Street Creds:
image: http://www.careergirldaily.com/how-to-survive-a-hangover-the-essential-guide/
image: http://www.self.com/story/will-exercise-cure-hangover

Books & Booze

Books & Booze Banner

Hey there party people – guess what time it is? Reading and drinking time! My name is Megan, and I’m your resident Nine to (Twenty)Five book nerd – you may have seen my recent post about Young Adult (YA) books.. hopefully you’ll get on that train, IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, after reading this..

So here’s the deal – each post I’ll give you a little info on what I’m reading and what to pair with the fab book (or books!), because if there’s one thing I love more than books, it’s drinking. OK, more specifically drinking wine, but lesbi-honest (I’ll steal that one from our hostess with the mostess), sometimes you need a good shot of tequila with your read. This week, OK the past few, I’ve been on a YA fiction kick (like I said, check out my last blog to find out why you should be too…), and my series of choice is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

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Book(s): A Court of Thorns and Roses series, Sarah J. Maas

Summary: A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR, because us fans can’t be bothered to spell out this ridiculously long title) follows Feyre, a human girl living on the edge of the faerie world of Prythian. Feyre’s family has hit hard times, and while trying to hunt for food she gets pulled into the faerie realm and her life changes forever. The story takes you from the beautiful Spring Court and it’s beastly High Lord (think Beauty and the Beast, but way sexier), to the horrific mountain castle where the reigning evil bitch queen is holding half the realm hostage.

Books two and three, A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin, follow Feyre through the aftermath of her trials under the mountain. I won’t spoil anything for you (except that she lives through ACOTAR.. sorry), but through a TON of twists and turns she endures a fractured soul, relationship problems like you wouldn’t believe, and the threat of war that would bring the whole world down.

Why I read: These books pop up all over social media, and I got sucked in. Instagram, Amazon, Goodreads, etc. all recommend them, and after reading another Sarah J. Maas series, it wasn’t hard to pick up this one.

Why I recommend: Queen Maas, as we like to call her in book world, has really outdone herself with these. And I’m not being dramatic when I say the series is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Yes, ok, Harry Potter captured me as much as everyone else, but something about these have just hit me like a freight train – I’m in the middle of rereading all three books just a month after purchasing the third one, if that gives you any idea of my obsession. Throughout the series, Maas throws characters at you who have gone through emotional and physical abuse, families that aren’t as perfect as you’d hope them to be, love, pain, despair, and everything else that comes with a relationship that doesn’t quite have a fairy tale ending. This book is REAL, and will hit you in the feels almost every chapter.

And one more thing – don’t let the faerie thing deter you. With just a little extra sparkle and strength, that we ALL wish we had, these characters are relatable AF. Plus, if you are anything like me, getting yourself out of regular old earth world is very refreshing – loved you 13 Reasons Why, but DAYUM I can’t go back to high school again like that.

Pairing: Cabernet. This guy is a classic. It’s rich and bold and will help you cope with the trauma, and joy, Maas puts you through. (PS, I’ll give you my drink of choice but you pick the brand! Because truly guys.. although we’re now sophisticated enough to know we don’t want Vlady in our vodka sprites, we’re not sommeliers over here… everything tastes mostly the same…)

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Check out the books on Amazon, but PROCEED TO THE INTERNET WITH CAUTION. This series has gone as viral as a book can go (it’s coming for you Twilight), and trust me when I say you do not want to read the spoilers. Photo Shape Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/shape-tool

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Wings and Ruin

P.S. the stories don’t end here! Maas has already promised SEVERAL full length novels following some of the minor characters in the series. So when (not if) you get hooked, you won’t have to wait long for more.

xo, gal-pal, Meg

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Psssst! Gal-pal, Al, here! LOVING Meg’s pairing for this week. I’m currently reading A Court of Thorns and Roses myself (which Meg obv recommended to me recently too).

Photo Shape Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/shape-toolAnd homegirl,  if you don’t mind me quoting a lil’ face band-aid era Nelly, this book is starting to get “SO HOT IN, SO HOT IN HERE.” So naturally, I lurve that she chose this series to pop our Books & Booze cherries. But you know sometimes we can’t help but put our stripper pole two-cents opinion in… especially when it comes to men & fine wine. Historically, I like to support my main man, Francis Copolla, for my under $20 faves. But for this kinda dark red night, I gotta switch it up and tell you swipe right on the other fancy fella in my life. Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is delish and available at most local groceries stores for a glorious budget-bish price of $14.99. Kk, that’s all. See ya’ll lady loves this Cat-urday as we lay out the law for hangover recovery!

& xo, your gal-pal, Al

5 Things I Learned From Visiting My College Town (Post-Graduation)

Post- 5 Things I Learned From Visiting My College Town (Post-Graduation)

This past weekend I got the opportunity to visit my college roomie and relive the whorey-glory days of our Alma mater (calm your tits, I’m happily married, that’s just a saying). Old roomie landed herself an awesome big-girl gig post-graduation. That career also happened to land in our, you-guess-it, said college town. She works with a hospitality group in what, I think we can all admit, is the best college football program in the nation (total bias, not sorry). I got to hang with her at her office (aka stadium), which was certainly a change of scenery from my little cutie-patootie, fluorescent office space. After giving me the game-day preview, we spent the rest of the weekend catching up, sharing work stories, gossiping more over dranks, and ultimately recovering from a negligent insistence to think we were still capable of going quite so hard.

So while I had a blast re-visiting the old stomping grounds, I still managed to take my self back to school and learn a few things…

 

1. I’m not as good as I once was. As if I needed a reminder of that. The older I get, the worse the hangovers get. Hangovers after college are the bitter reminder that Forever21 is a retail store, not a lifestyle. Simply said – I don’t bounce back like I used to. Waking up after a long night of drinks and walking across downtown leaves your feet and your health feeling dirty and grody. Hangovers past twenty-five become a production. I might as well assume that after a night out drinking, I will be incapacitated for AT LEAST the next 24 hours.

 

2. The he said she said BS of who wants to hook up with who no longer phases you. We’re all adults here (well, most of us). If you’re not married or carrying some form of VD, who gives a flying poop-shoot who you do?? You do you, boo. Go for a little joy ride. [Which Joyride is also apparently a new golf cart DD service in Ttown… Where were you five years ago, homie?] But back on point…  You make a big girl pay check, you can make big girl decisions (or big boy if we are being PC). Sext me your hook-up meeting minutes afterwards. Then LMK if there are any homent action items we need to follow-up on, ya dig?

 

3.Waking up early is a GD curse. I know the quote “in memory of when I could sleep in” is geared for mums, but it def can still apply to us non-gestational working millennial babes too. After a few years working the corporate world, my inability to sleep past 7 AM is a crippling problem. Especially when you’re hungover and nothing in that goddess forsaken college town opens before 11AM. Like WTF is that. I remember sleeping in, but dayum son. Come on now, momma wants her bacon and a bloody Mary’s to drown the regrets she has from drinking vodka Red Bull’s next to a 20 year-old kid last night… who I very likely could have baby sat growing up.

 

4. I have this theory there is a reason they isolate college towns (i.e. the geographic location of places like UA and Penn State). They isolate these towns to keep them out of reach of normal society. Maybe society can’t handle them and maybe they can’t handle society. Idk. The expectations and realities of a college town are two of the most obscene things I’ve ever experienced. All the girls expect to be carrying Birkin bags by the age of 23 and the rest of the working women’s world just wants to un-eat the 3 tacos and plate of nachos she ate at happy hour last night. Sadly, I was definitely one of those misconstrued-reality girls, but now I can barely stand to hear them walking to close to me downtown. Get. It. Together. Girly. Lawd knows, if I can do it, you can too. But real talk, life isn’t all babies and big houses after college. It’s kinda hard out there in the real world. So enjoy those 3 hour naps until your next class and complaining when your Grub Hub order is 15 minutes late. Cause trust, that late night Jimmy John’s sandwich won’t work off for you so easily in the next 5 years. Enjoy it while it lasts, because you won’t get that bliss and metabolism back.

 

5. I LOVED my college years. But lesbi-real, I don’t want to relive them. I don’t miss scrounging for pennies for dollar beer night or making sure I shaved the backs of my thighs so I can rock those high-waisted shorts and OTBT wedges to a club… all to just have to fight your way to the bar in between two frat-boys discussing the likelihood of Susie Q riding home with them in their daddy bought Mercedes. My thoughts are your chances are still pretty low, Tristan.

 

Needless to say, college was a blast. It was the best times of my life for that point in my life. But if I’m being honest, I’m happier with myself the older I get. And thank goddess those insecurities that got to me then, stayed with the back then. Early twenties are scary and confusing, mid-to-late twenties are pretty great, but I’m looking forward to those dirty flirty thirties.

 

Lastly, lady loves — Stay tuned later this week when we share our tips and tricks for binge drinking recovery, as well as sharing our first experience at an IV bar! That’s right, IV bar. Mhm, we’re hangover extra.

 

xo, your gal-pal, Al

 

Oh, and PS – RMFT.

9 Reasons Why Young Adult Books aren’t Just for Teens

Copy of Al's 25 Top 25

What do you think of when you hear Young Adult (YA) fiction? Maybe gangs of teenage girls arguing over #teamedward or #teamjacob while sipping on their mocha lattes at the mall? Or kids walking into school with a quiver of arrows or trident, trying desperately to be the Katniss Everdeen or Finnick Odair of gym class? Maybe even a simple image of Barnes and Noble packed to the brim on release day for the new Game of Thrones… anything. While these may be accurate representations of some of the more mainstream YA fandoms (because every YA kid does turn into a GoT nerd), I’m here to tell you that there is more to the genre than meets the eye.

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As a self-proclaimed bibliophile, I’ve read everything from mystery, to romance, to good old Hollywood autobiographies (Holly Madison, you my girl). Don’t get me wrong, I have my favorites, but over the years I’ve read a bit of everything. Somewhere down the road I discovered YA books, oddly enough after passing through the young adult phase of my life (post-25 is a bummer, ladies), and am hooked! While I can promise you I don’t dress in Gryffindor colors at work (I’m actually a Hufflepuff..) or participate in the endless debate on Peeta versus Gail (#teampeeta obviously), I do find myself heading towards the Young Adult section of the bookstore more often than I ever imagined. But… why?

    1. YA themes are universal – love, heartbreak, family struggles, fitting in, these are things everyone goes through at every stage of their life. Arguably, more so as an adult – because let’s face it, we’re not all getting married and having kids in our early 20s anymore.
    2. Speaking of themes – they don’t shy away from the tough topics. Young Adult novels hit everything from rape, sexual identity, abuse, loss, and all the other things no one wants to talk about but many have experienced.
    3. They provide an escape – sure, all books provide some sort of escape, but many YA books take place in fantastical words beyond our comprehension. While faeries and trolls may seem like childish fantasies, they’re really just an escape we can all relate to dreaming of.
    4. The covers are spectacular – if you haven’t purchased a book purely based on it’s beautiful cover, you really should. Sure, YA books don’t have the market cornered on great cover art, but they seem to be trying! Head over to that side of the bookstore next time you go.. you’ll see what I mean.
    5. They’re just as thick and plot rich as any other book – I think YA books get a bad rep for being short, easy reads. And yes, some of them are, but that’s not a universal rule for the genre. The ones I’ve read have been plot heavy, with great character development, and hefty page counts.
    6. Love triangles – ok so this is a stereotype I AM going to confirm. These books tend to have a lot of love interests and create all sorts of geometric shapes between them – think love triangle, pentagon, PARALLELOGRAMS – I mean the dating possibilities are endless. Cuz really, who doesn’t love a good romantic drama?!
    7. Social media – now this is a weird reason to read a specific genre, but hear me out. Let’s face it, we’re all on social all the time. And guess what, so are our fav YA authors. They tweet, interact, appreciate fan art, and are generally more available to fans. Plus, you can #fangirl all you want AND find a million other people crushing right along with you.
    8. They’re filled with hope – while these books are certainly centered on romance, action, and adventure, almost all of them have an overarching theme of hope – which is something we all need in this cruel, harsh, world.
    9. Most YA books are a series! Do you ever get that tragic feeling of emptiness when you finish a really good book? Well, that’s called a “book hangover,” and the only way to combat it is to get going on a new read. The YA genre is full of trilogies, and even some with more than three in a series, which means you have a built-in way to keep that hangover at bay. Essentially, a good series is the Pedialyte of the book world… you get it…

    So get reading! And make sure not to scoff the next time one of your friends admits to reading a Young Adult book… at least not until you’ve tried one out for yourself.

    If you need a few YA recommendations to get you started, check out some of my favorites:

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    A Court of Thorns and Roses series – Sarah J. Maas

    The Bone Season series– Samantha Shannon

    The Red Queen series – Victoria Aveyard

    The Hunger Games series – Suzanne Collins

    .. you see what I’m saying about the series thing, right?

    Follow me on Instagram @basicwhitebook for more book related nonsense and pretty little pictures. PLUS stay tuned for my Books & Booze guest blogs – I’ll give you a recommendation, along with a pairing of whatever I’m drinking at the time. I’ll start with my fave YA book of all time, so get excited!

    xo, gal-pal, Meg