Sarah + Joel: The Beginning

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A lot of my blog readers (hi, Dad!)  already know how I met my almost husband: we were in a wedding together. He was a groomsman, I was Maid of Honor, and it was unrequited love at first sight blah blah blah. That’s the short version that I tell people when I’m too lazy to dive into all of the dirty details of what really went down that Spring night in San Antonio, TX back in 2011. Since I have this new blog with readers all over the world and today marks the five year anniversary of the day we met, I want to write the unabridged version of it all. Consider it part of my wedding countdown. Besides, who doesn’t love a good love story? And so it goes…

Spring in San Antonio, TX can guarantee you a couple of things: bad traffic (because of Spurs games) and humidity out the wazoo. On that Wednesday evening, I rushed home from work to fix my frizzy hair and debate whether or not I, being the anti-social butterfly that I still am today, should go downtown with The Bride, Groom, and some local bridesmaids to mingle with some out-of-town groomsmen. They would pick me up (I wouldn’t have to drive in the shit show that can sometimes be Downtown San Antonio) and I did have Thursday and Friday off as to “help out” with last minute wedding things. “Screw it,” I said “I could use a drink anyway”. We went to Rita’s on the River, a total tourist trap, and ordered margaritas while we waited for the 2 Pittsburgh guys to find us. I had met one of the two groomsmen, Dave, a few years back when I was still a high school hood rat, but had only briefly heard of this Joel character when The Bride (my cousin Christina) showed me all of the groomsmen’s Facebook pages.

I saw his butt first. He was wearing khaki pants that were doing him all of the favors. He turned around for introductions and I remember thinking “daaaang, Glasses, you’re cute!” He sat across from me at dinner and ordered a sandwich + fries with a side of ranch dressing and a Gin and Tonic and I thought to myself “could this guy be more white?!” I was convinced that Joel was much more into one of the other girls I was with, but when Dave back handed me a compliment saying “wow, Sarah, you look much better than you used to”, I saw Joel’s eyes look me over as they tried to picture me not being as cute as I was that day with my ruffled satin halter dress and bleached blonde hair.

Not long after dinner, we found ourselves the only people at a trashy downtown SA nightclub. We had the whole place to ourselves, but weren’t nearly tipsy enough to do anything other than make small talk so we ordered drinks. They were blue and delicious, but deadly- AMF was their name. After blowing that hot dog stand, someone decided it was a good idea to go to Coyote Ugly. Ugh. Can you see me rolling my eyes from where you are?! Joel probably still has a picture of me dancing atop the big wooden bar right before I fell off of it. Downtown San Antonio just isn’t that happening on a Wednesday night (at least it wasn’t 5 years ago) so we went back to the gross empty club. A handful of people had actually shown up, and it was here, while dancing on a table to what I’m sure was the most popular Pitbull song of the time, Joel got in between me and my dancing friend and kissed me. Had he known that I had thrown up at Coyote Ugly, I’m sure he would have waited.

The next day, while standing with a hangover in the Party City parking lot, I got the feeling. The feeling some people say they get when they meet “the one”. There was a little voice in the back of my head whispering “Joooooeeeelll” that I just couldn’t ignore. I remember the rest of that weekend so perfectly. I can picture little details of it all better than I can picture what I just ate for dinner 10 minutes ago… Like how I creepily called him my boyfriend when he was out of earshot so a weirdo at the bar would leave me alone, or how I almost gave up on him when he texted me the wrong use of the word “your” but then immediately texted back correcting it to “you’re” and I was like ohhhhh he’s a keeper, or how we keep making eyes at each other during the wedding rehearsal, or when we slow danced to “Use Somebody” by Kings Of Leon, or how we bonded over our mutual love for It’s Always Sunny. I had fallen in love with him so quickly.

On Monday morning, I headed back to work and Joel flew home to Pennsylvania. He leaned in my open car window and said “you should come to Pittsburgh sometime” and I knew I would. I cried the entire way to work where I was sent home because I couldn’t turn off the water works. I had met my soul mate. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, long distance relationships never are, but I was ready to fight for us. A month and a half later, I flew to Pittsburgh for the first time, and the rest is, as they say, history.

 

Buy Us Brunch

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Is brunch still cool? It is, right? Trick questions! It’s basically the quintessential cool meal. Whoever said “dinner is the new brunch” was seriously disturbed…

Since I have so much family/friends traveling to Pittsburgh for the first time for this whole wedding thing, I figured I should tell people where to eat, you know- to make sure they don’t end up getting food poisoning from Subway again. Consider the hostess duty of me recommending the best brunch places accomplished! No need to thank me, it’s literally the least I can do.

Now, I have only tried a handful of these places. Trust me, though, I had every intention of having brunch at all of the following, but 1. I have to be able to fit into my wedding dress, and 2. I have a Brunch Blog post deadline to meet, which is right now. Contrary to popular belief, I am not “so into myself” that I don’t hold the opinions of others in high regard; hence why I asked some of my favorite Pittburghers (both transplants and locals alike) to help me compile the Best Brunch List. Let’s dig in!

  1. Kelly O’s Diner– I’ve never been because they’re already closed every time I remember they’re down the street from us, but Annie and Jess approve! They say it’s everything you’d want in a good cheap diner. And just look at how cute it is! Think of the ‘grams, people!
  2. The Vandal– I’m kicking myself for not having been here yet, but once again, Annie loves it. It’s in a very hip part of town, so you know they do a good brunch.
  3. Lili Cafe– It’s actually a coffee shop that serves surprise brunch on Sundays. It’s Vegan/Vegetarian and my friend Sarah named it her favorite. You can always trust a Sarah.
  4. Coca Cafe– Finally, somewhere I’ve been. Two words for you: Avocado Toast.
  5. Kaya– I’ve been here for dinner, but my friend Alisha says their brunch is grrrreat!
  6. Union Pig & Chicken– Jess and I went here when we were really hungover once, and it did not disappoint! All of their drinks are named after famous moments from The Simpsons. I had the “Lisa Shot Mr. Burns” as a little hair of the dog before we gorged ourselves on tasty BBQ.
  7. Social– Here is a direct quote about what Jess has to say about Social: “When challenged with choosing my favorite brunch spot, I found myself scrolling through my mental Rolodex of mediocre dates. Don’t hate me! A girl has to eat, and most of the time doesn’t want to pay. My favorite brunch spot (but if I’m perfectly honest, my general favorite place to get a good breakfast at 2 in the afternoon) is Social at Bakery Square. It allows me to have my bacon and eat it too.”
  8. THE WINNER of the best brunch in all of Pittsburgh is Pamela’s, of course. Not only do all of my friends love Pamela’s, but Obama (you know, the freaking president of the U.S.) loved Pamela’s so much after visiting that he flew the chef to the White House to cook him their famous hotcakes. SO FREAKING GOOD. I already have plans of going to Pamela’s with Joel the morning after our wedding, still wearing my wedding dress, to see if anyone will buy us brunch.

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Photo by Jamie Pearson

 

Thank you to all of my friends who texted me back when I asked them to help me with this list (Annie, Jess, Jamie, Surzy, Lishy)! AND THANKS, OBAMA!

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Alternate title for this post: Bitches Who Brunch.

Disco Is Dead: Fashion Trends That Should Just Die

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Do you consider yourself a “trendy” person when it comes to what you wear? I don’t. I’ve never ever purchased an item of clothing just because it was the cool thing to wear. I dance to the beat of my own fashion drum. My fashion shit does not stink.

Lies! I think everyone has fallen victim to a bad fashion trend at least once. For me, it was definitely shopping at preppy/overpriced mall stores in high school. I needed that Abercombie & Fitch to make me feel good about myself.

Now that I admitted a flaw, I have to talk myself up and say that, with the exception of A&F, I have always been pretty good about avoiding bad trends just because they’re trendy. Do you remember gaucho pants? Yeah, I can proudly say that when all of the girls were walking around with their terrible flowy gaucho pants (all complete with major camel toes) I refused to wear them. And those atrocious heeled sneakers everyone thought were cool a couple of years ago? YEAH, UM, NOPE. Now, culottes are, like, a thing and I wish they would not be. And don’t even get me started on corsets trying to whore their way into being cool….

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At 26, I’d venture to say that the fashionable part of my brain matured at around the same time as my pre-frontal cortex, so 21? That’s 5 years of dressing myself without being drunk on society’s influence. Half a decade of pushing myself to be more daring in what I’m wearing. I’m basically an expert clothes picker outer, but I put my bra on one boob at a time just like everyone else.

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Sure, I have a style that not everyone is going to agree with. Like if my mom saw me in this ensemble she’d be like “Sarah, I CAN LITERALLY SEE THROUGH YOUR SHIRT AND WHAT THE FUCK ARE THOSE PANTS?!” But I love my style because it’s mine. I’ll wear what I want when I want because I’m a grown ass woman. Deal with it, mom!

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The life of being a trendsetter or follower can be summed up by that one scene in the classic movie, Mean Girls. You know the one where Janice Ian cuts holes in Regina George’s top and Regina just wears it confidently and then the rest of the girls in the school cut nipple holes in their shirts? We should all be the Regina George of our own fashion choices.

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Top/SheIn Pants/Show Me Your MuMu

Bridal Shower

I’ve been to two bridal showers in my life and they were both, well, pretty GD boring (more like bridull shower, amIright?!). I remember the most exciting part of my cousin’s shower was when she unwrapped a Dutch Oven and I immaturely cry-laughed for a solid 5 minutes. Her Vegas themed baby shower, complete with a Craps Table, beer served in baby bottles, and a game of pin the sperm on the egg while wearing a baby daddy face mask, was much more my speed.

And then I saw the movie Bridesmaids, which completely changed the potential of any bridal shower…

FEELINGS BEFORE MY SHOWER: I can only hope at my bridal shower tomorrow that someone has a mental breakdown and calls me a “LESBIANNNNNN!” and then proceeds to “eat that fucking cookie”. But, I’m really mature now, so if it ends up being a bunch of girls watching me try not to break the bows as I unwrap all of the gifts that I picked out for myself, so be it….

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FEELINGS AFTER SHOWER: My shower was last Saturday, which you totally know if you follow me on Snapchat. Although there were parts that were awkward- like when I couldn’t bend my legs to sit down in my too tight jumpsuit (I brought an outfit change knowing this could be a potential problem) or when the leather on my chair kept making fart sounds and I had to loudly profess “THAT WAS THE CHAIR” or when I had to open gifts in front of people who looked bored to tears- I still had a lot of fun. Joel’s perfect and beautiful sisters came into town and they are always a blast to hang out with. All of my girlfriends and new family sat around and drank pink champagne and told me how pretty I looked. My future MIL Sheila, BFF Jess, and sister Annie really went above and beyond when it came to capturing the essence of Sarah in the decor: there were books and succulents everywhere.

And I gotta say… It feels especially good to have our entire bedroom completely furnished now thanks to my meticulously curated Target registry! So thank you for showering me, ladies of Pittsburgh!

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Something Blue

There are a million four things that every bride is supposed to remember to have on her person at all times during her wedding day: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. If she is seen without her tokens, she will probably drop dead or something. I’m not sure where this strange, superstitious tradition came from so lemme just Google it real quick. BRB.

Oh okay, so I have deduced from my 2 minutes of research that the saying comes from England circa 1898. Something old symbolizes continuity; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something new offers optimism for the future; and something blue represents purity, love, and fidelity.. and then there’s a line about a sixpence in your shoe for good fortune and prosperity. Cool!

So here’s my checklist

  • Something Blue- my blue knock off Valentino Rockstuds… I was going to get real ones via eBay, but then that would have thrown them into the “something old” category because no way could I budget in $1300 brand new ones.
  • Something Old- my hair extensions? I mean, technically I bought them new, but they grew on another person, soooooo…. The concept is only a little bit gross when I think too much about it.
  • Something Borrowed- hmmmm, this one I have not yet figured out. Maybe I’ll need to borrow a bobby pin from someone? LET ME BORROW SOMETHING.
  • Something New- The Spanx I have to wear under my dress will be new.

When my friend got married a few years ago, she realized very last minute that she had forgotten to wear underwear with her wedding dress. It didn’t really matter because she went with the princess-y ballgown style, but long story short she borrowed a pair of old, blue panties from one of the other bridesmaids and killed three birds with one stone. I do not wish to go that route, but I applaud her for her creativity…

 

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What’s Your Brand

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One of my closest confidants is a three year old who thinks a person’s “brand” pertains only to the smell of his/her farts. I can’t even tell you how many times a day I hear:”Ooooo wee, Sawah, that’s your brand”… Flatulence jokes aside, I think it’s pretty important as a blogger to establish one’s brand (I SAID NO MORE FART JOKES), as in: what is this my particular blog all about and who is my audience.

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For me, this is a forum for me to share my thoughts/ideas/life with the People of the Internet. I do that AND I take hella cute outfit pictures because you gotta give the People something to look at (for admiration or jealousy purposes, naturally). This is a pretty important time in my life, I’m getting married in 2 months and getting to travel a lot and I just want to remember everything, all the feels, fashions, and farts (needed to keep the alliteration going). I want to document everything.

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So here it is, my “brand” in a nutshell:

This blog is part parody part real me. I’m not that big of a narcissist, but I’m enough of one to start a blog about myself and people seem to be responding to it so that’s a thing. I’m writing this for anyone with a weird enough sense of humor to “get it” and family members who want to know what’s going on in my life (hi, mom!). I’m not trying to be like any other blogger, but I’m not actively trying not to either. THIS IS NOT A FUCKING FASHION BLOG, mostly because I am just not cool enough for that. I’m just being myself, okay?! My goal is to one day make this a blog by women for women where I invite some of my favorite ladies to write whatever is on their mind, but for now it’s just me, and I’m totally okay with that. Again, totally not a narcissist…

Oh Yes It’s Ladies Day (Oh Whatta Day!)

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, Y’ALL!

Of the many things I love about myself, being female is probably number one. I feel like part of a cool club that includes almost half of the population and there are NO BOYS ALLOWED. I am a proud feminist! Feminism isn’t about hating men, it’s about equality. It’s about being proud to have double X chromosomes.

We as women should use this day to remember to lift each other up in all aspects of life. #GIRLSSUPPORTGIRLS always!

xoxo