Archive | February, 2014

The Rent Is Too Damn High

28 Feb

I’m moving tomorrow! Hooray! But, within the same building. Womp womp. To a nicer apartment! Yay! Still pricey. Booooo. I live in pretty NW DC. Perfect for my commute, not terrible for getting anywhere else (although my friends often complain about the trek…it ain’t that bad guys!), and I have a pool, gym, washer and dryer in unit, NOW granite counter tops, wood floors, etc etc, for a reasonable (for DC) price AND my closet(s) actually resembles this:

21 Stages Of Having A Shoe Addiction

Initially, I wanted to move to Logan Circle/Dupont area. I had so many reasons: close to going out, close to friends, close to all metro lines, close to restaurants, etc. And I found a perfect building. Not too expensive for the area, sacrificed a lot of amenities, but definitely doable – I recognize I’m living the serious high life currently, and I could scale back. That didn’t work out. Then came the question, should I get a roommate? Couldn’t find anybody who was willing to move out at that point, and I certainly wasn’t going month to month on my current lease, as that price would SKYROCKET. So, I decided to stay where I am-ish.

I looked for a LONG TIME before I made this decision, and I’m still KIND OF unsure about it. Finding housing in DC should absolutely be added to Dante’s Inferno. THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH. If you’re entering the apartment search in the District, here are 10 things you can expect to feel:

10. Optimism

OOOOOHH so many red pins on pad mapper in my price range in the general area hooray!!

21 Stages Of Having A Shoe Addiction

9. Confusion

What do you mean all 4 of these pins are for the same craiglist ad with no pictures and a studio advertised as a 1BR/1BA?

8. Stress

Ugh none of these are perfect they’re all ugly and moldy and WHAT? WINDOW AIR MAY BE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST?

10 Stages Of Finding Out Your Ex Is In A Relationship

7. Exhaustion

It’s 3am?! I started this process at 7pm! I’ll just try to take a nap and finish at work tomorrow.

Surviving Your Senior Year Of College From A To Z

6. Delusion

Well I could probably afford this 400 sq. ft. $2,500/month studio on P Street if I don’t eat or drink more than once a month and live off lettuce and ramen….

10 Stages Of Finding Out Your Ex Is In A Relationship

5. Rich

Wait wait wait!! Just “steps” from the White House?! Brand new renovated?! ROOFTOP POOL? 1 BED/1BATH? $1,200??!! Robbery! I’LL TAKE IT!

21 Stages Of Having A Shoe Addiction

4. Poor

Should have known better. Steps from the White House? Actually a 15 minute drive that includes the Anacostia Freeway… ugh. Back to the drawing board.

15 Emotions You'll Feel Your Final Semester Before College Graduation

3.  Bougie (similar to Delusion)

Do I really need all these amenities? I can afford it…right? Yeah. I can. My friends will want to hang out here ALL the time. I won’t spend money because I won’t need to go out! This will become our new bar!

15 Emotions You'll Feel Your Final Semester Before College Graduation

2. Lonely

Who am I kidding? Nobody will want to hang out here it’s awful. I can’t afford this. I need to get roommates. WHO WILL EVEN WANT TO LIVE WITH ME? Help. Mom? Can I come home now?

10 Stages Of Finding Out Your Ex Is In A Relationship

1. Acceptance

Oh. This place will do. I can still drink alcohol, I can still order Seamless. People will sometimes hang out with me here. It’s still overpriced though.

12 Signs Your Desk Is Your Second Home

So, Washingtonians/ennes, enjoy the search. Your sanity will come back eventually.

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A Tribute to Office Space

27 Feb

Office Space was on TV the other night – an all-time classic, especially when you’re as pissed off at your own office environment as that film’s noble, Jennifer-Aniston-loving protagonist.

As tribute, I would like to begin a list of all of the most irritating things people do in the office. I am sure this will be a running list, because hell is other people [sidenote, click the link. that is fucking hilarious].

By the way, many of these items are things that I do. Like warming up maple & brown sugar oatmeal in the shared microwave and stinking up the office for the rest of the day. What can I say? I was out of granola bars.

  1. Yelling through the door. I know you have a phone. Just call me. Also, feet. Also, don’t talk to me.
  2. Forwarding me emails that I was already CC’ed on. OH MY GOD.
  3. Also, though, the passive-aggressive BCC. Just don’t do it. It’s as bad as breaking up over text message.
  4. Assuming that I can do work when I am out sick. Or even assuming that I can respond to your emails. I cannot. I am sick  cutting work to hang out at one of these places.
  5. Talking to me and assuming I will hear when I have my headphones in.
  6. Not answering me because you have your headphones in. Who the hell do you think you are?

What are your contenders for most annoying office habit? Leave them in the comments!

xoxo,

Brownout Betty

TACO SOUP IN MY BELLY!

26 Feb

YAYYYYYYY THE SNOW IS BACKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!


Just as we thought spring may be popping it’s beautiful face into DC, we are back to the winter wonderland… Fortunately(?) I’m cooped up in my apartment this week due to surgery on my knee… thank you, birthday party. My mama decided to visit and is literally making me all of the foods. Therefore, I’m going to introduce you to one of the most glorious soup recipes you will ever encounter in your life.

Taco. Soup.

You’ve probably had some form of it before – but my mom’s recipe is the best. Sorry I’m not sorry. She makes this soup each winter, and each time I eat it, my tastebuds sing a Josh Groban anthem (this is not unlike my Burrito experience). Because I love you (and Josh) so much, I want to share with you this delicacy. It’s a great food to bring to work to piss off all your co-workers (because it smells so friggin awesome), it’s perfect for parties, and best of all – it’s super simple.

 

You require:

Your favorite trusty crock pot
1 pound of ground beef
1 package (1.25 ounce) taco seasoning mix
1 onion, chopped
1 can (16 ounce) chili beans with liquid
1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans with liquid
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans with liquid
1 can (15 ounce) whole kernel corn with liquid
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
2 cups of water
2 cans (14.5 ounce) peeled and diced tomatoes
1 can (4 ounce) diced green chili peppers
1 package (1.5 ounce) ranch dressing mix
Franks hot sauce, optional (but is it really? I recommend a lot…)

In a skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain. Add taco seasoning. Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chili peppers, and ranch dressing in a slow cooker. Add a few shakes of Frank’s hot sauce. Mix to blend and cook on a low setting for 8 hours.

Serve with tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, and shredded cheese for good measure!

Does that sound like a trip to Taco Heaven or what? I will be devouring more than a few bowls this week as I watch West Wing and update my iTunes. At least there’s some benefit to a dislocated patella!

Happy Eating!

Belle

Watch What Happens.

25 Feb

by Stacie Smack

My friend Kate recently broke up with her boyfriend and also my friend Matt. They are both very much part of my tight-knit friend group. Their relationship had been shaky for about a month now, so the break-up was not devastating for either of them. Kate, being the proactive woman that she is, didn’t hesitate, reactivated her Okcupid profile, and started scheduling dates. Of course, she told me and a couple of our other girlfriends, including Jenna.

I’ve talked about Jenna before (love you, gurl…). So it should come as no surprise that the first thing she did was tell her current boyfriend that Kate was already online dating, after they only broke up on Sunday. He, being the tactful man that I once made out with and also part of our friend group, immediately g-chatted Kate about it. When I found about this breach in privacy, I was IRATE. Mostly because we are trying to spare poor Matt’s feelings by keeping him from finding out that her ex of three days is already dating. Already, too many people know about this.

The point of all of this is that why did Jenna have to tell her boyfriend about it right away? Why do significant others trump girlfriends in the secret-keeping hierarchy?

Relationships are built on trust and honesty and blah blah blah. I get it. We shouldn’t keep secrets from the people we love, but please someone, agree with me. This was not a secret. It was sheer gossip. And let’s be honest. We all gossip like our lives depend on it. We don’t intend to – we think we’re being concerned friends by discussing other people’s lives. And sometimes that is genuine. You try and find ways to be helpful by talking it out with other people – people who also already know about the situation.

But what’s the advantage of telling someone who’s closer to the ex-boyfriend? Kate didn’t tell him – she chose not to tell him. And now, he’s going to tell his friends, and eventually, the ex is going to hear about it too. And it’s because Jenna likes drama. She wants to watch the ball start rolling, she wants to watch it get bigger and bigger and she wants it to explode in front of her while coming out of it unscathed.

If you want drama, go watch Bravo instead, honey.

Tasty Political Dramas

24 Feb

By Capitol Jill

*warning- GIF heavy*

So you’ve watched House of Cards by now, right?

No?

Have you been living under a rock?

It’s alright, we all make mistakes.

For those of you who HAVE seen House of Cards, and are obsessed with it (like I am), I thought I would put together a list of my other favorite political TV shows, many of which are also available to binge watch on Netflix. If you loved HOC, give these guys a try!

Continue reading

Thursday Tunez

20 Feb

My darling readers,

Betty has been laid up in bed with a mysterious disease. As such, this week’s planned ruminations on favorite Instagram feeds, feminism, style blogs, and all the other things I wanted to discuss with you are going to be postponed.

Instead, I give you one of my new favorite artists:

 

Happy Thursday babies. We’re almost there.

Let It Go! (again and again and again)

19 Feb

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Disney’s newest hit movie “Frozen” – if nothing else, you’ve heard the song “Let it Go”… aka Winter’s newest anthem.

My family was kind enough to go see Frozen the day before I came back home for Christmas, and honestly I haven’t seen a movie in theaters since. However, I utilized the $5 Movie Monday deal at a local theater when I went home for the long weekend, and finally had the chance to see what all the fuss was about.

I haven’t been able to get the song out of my head since.

Not that I’m complaining! It’s a brilliantly catchy tune, and Idina Menzel’s vocals are rockin’. I’ve heard that if you listen to a song that’s stuck on replay in your brain, it can help it go away. This is not, however, the case for “Let It Go”. So I figured, why suffer alone? I’ll just make sure that everyone reading this post gets a taste as well.

Maybe we can have a sing-a-long??

Frozen hasn’t been out for that long, but even so, plenty of awesome covers have already been done of Let It Go. So I’m happy to present to you my favorites.

The Original. (In case you’re a crazy person and have somehow avoided hearing this song by any number of friends and family).

 

Alex Boyé and the One Voice Children’s Choir. Oh. My. Gosh. You have not heard insane child-star-status vocals until you have heard Lexi Walker belt out this song. Just incredible! Girl can SANNNGGGG!

 

Let It Go/Let Her Go (Passenger) cover. Bro needs a new shirt, but I kinda like what he did to mashup these two songs!

 

Christina Bianco sings as Idina Menzel, Demi Lovato, Brittany Spears, Julie Andrews, Liza Minelli, and others, as she performs this song as famous female singers… and nails it.

 

I’m sure there are plenty more where that came from, but for now, I hope you all enjoy this song on repeat for the next 48-72 hours!

Happy Singing!

Belle

After the Fade Away

18 Feb

by Stacie Smack

Some friends and I were recently enjoying some delish food at Ted’s Bulletin on 14. In the midst of my enjoyment, I noticed that seating at the bar directly in my line of vision was a guy I briefly dated last summer, Jason, having dinner with a [male] friend. As soon as I noticed, I started uncontrollably laughing, I tried to hide under the table, and my friends proceeded to discretely turn around [in a very obvious way] to look at him. Similarly, Jason’s friend did a little 360 head spin that lingered too long in my direction. I am confident that it was evident that we were both aware of each other’s presence.

The back story:
We met at Policy not by sucking on each other’s faces. We went on a couple dates before he tried to kiss me – amateur move. He seemed interested and interesting enough – we went on some dates, had some sleepovers, and texted every once in a while. I went abroad for a week, came back, and after some pleasantries about my trip, he blew me off a week later with the classic “I’m really busy and my sister is staying with me” excuse. My response (in classic Stacie fashion) was “well good luck. You know where to find me ;)”, followed by a contact deletion. I never heard from him again. It was a classic case of The Fade Away*.

There’s enough on the topic to know that this is just a way of saying “I’m just not that into you”, but I was still left wondering, in this situation if perhaps I should have gone up to say hi? Or if he should have come over to say hi? I didn’t want to say hi, because my strongest emotion upon seeing him was anger and sadness from feeling rejected. He probably didn’t want to say hi, because we all know that the first thing we think when someone fades us out is that they probably had to go into witness protection and that’s why they stopped texting us. This leads to the question of the post fade away spontaneous run-in: for whom is it more awkward after a fade away? The one who did the fading? Or the one who got faded?

The one who did the fading –
My first instinct is that the one who does the fading has all the power. He/she is the one who gets to make the shot “I’m not interested” under the assumption that the other involved party probably is interested. Power overcomes awkward – Jason should feel good that here’s this girl that HE got to dump.
But upon further over analyzing, it’s perhaps incredibly awkward for him. I mean he now has to face the fact that he can’t go on pretending that I think he moved to Iowa, or that he got hit by a bus. Now, he has to come up with actual believable non-awkward excuses for why he never texted back, “I was really busy” for the last 6 months would not cut it.

The one who gets faded-
As implied above, I felt extremely awkward. I felt powerless. I didn’t have a good explanation as to why he stopped calling, and so the default (as it is with A LOT of women, don’t lie to yourself) is to focus on my insecurities and blame every single one of the things I’ve decided is “wrong” with me. I felt awkward because the first thing I thought he thought when he saw me was “oh there’s that girl, still looking/acting/being the same exact way she was when I decided to end things”.
But, let’s be real. That was probably not his first thought. He probably also turned beet red and felt awkward! Because, here was this perfectly fine girl who he never called again. He hopefully realized that he came off as a coward who was too afraid to tell a girl it’s over so instead went for the disappearing act, not thinking that [YUPie NW + gentrified NE] DC is actually small, and the chances of running into someone you’ve met are pretty high.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure it’s awkward for both people, unless you’re a fairly confident person, in which case very few things are awkward for you. I would like to think that when I become a grown-up, I’ll be able to say hi to people I’ve dated regardless of how things ended. Maybe. Or, I’ll continue to giggle, twirl my hair, fix my make-up and completely ignore him, while trying to make him regret all decisions that led to him never calling me again. Maturity.

If nothing else, listen to my favorite singers and nod your head in agreement:

*Also called sometimes the Fade Out and I’m sure like a trillion other things.

Let’s Celebrate My Favorite Celebrity Couple…

14 Feb

Happy Valentines Day!

(duh – House of Cards season 2 is out)

I’m a 23 year old female WASP in 2014, it goes without saying that I love love. I went into high school when The Notebook was peaking, and obviously had this lengthy quote  in my ~*MySpAcE*~ profile and thought I praaaaactically WASSSSSSSS Allie and my flavor of the week was Noah. (spoiler: I was not Allie. The 14 year old boy I sometimes kissed in the back of the movie theater was not Noah, womp womp). I went into college with “He’s Just Not That Into You” and quoted it at every opportunity I had, especially when it came to my bitties drunk texting bros.

21 Reasons Ryan Gosling And Rachel McAdams Need To Get Back Together

In the spirit of the holiday, I’m going to share with you my favorite couple of the moment. They make me want to be in love SO BADLY that it’s disgusting. If you follow SR on the twitters (you should, we’re hilarious, le duh), you know that at least one of us has a sick obsession with Chrissy Teigen, and that one of us is me. (woman crush wednesday all day err day over here clearly)

PDA players: Meanwhile, newlyweds Chrissy Teigen and John Legend could not keep their hands and lips off each other, despite playing on opposing teams

After I discovered Chrissy, I re-discovered her equally amazing husband (then boyfriend/fiancee), John Legend. I don’t need many words here, just all of the pictures and links to their twitters. You guys. They. will. rule. the. world. Look at this picture she posted after their super secret nuptials in September…

And the couple together:

COULD YOU DIE

Okay so not only are they both extremely attractive, the way they banter and joke and jdff;ldsj;laf OH MY GOD. They’re my new Noah and Allie. Chrissy gets so genuinely excited and giddy over John and his accomplishments that it could melt Regina George’s heart. I think I love them more than I love Bey and J, which is a lot.

John had a wedding album made for Chrissy for Christmas and again, I died. When rumors circulated a few weeks ago that Chrissy was pregnant, I was like, inappropriately excited. A tiny human that looks like both of them with his voice and her humor? FUTURE PRESIDENT. Also, Chrissy’s response to rumors when she was on E! News the next night? A snarky remark about all the tequila she just drank. God love her.

If you haven’t heard John’s song, “All of Me” here are a few things you need to do:

1) Watch his Grammy performance here. They spotlighted Chrissy in the background and it is perfect.

2) Listen to the Tiesto remix and add it to your pregame and elliptical playlists

3) WATCH THIS VIDEO JOHN TWEETED TODAY…ALL OF ME PLUS SCANDAL MASHUP DFJFJKADL;LD YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE LOVE SCANDAL

Anyway. enough of my mouth yapping away at how creepily obsessed I am with 2 strangers, here is some eye candy. I hope you’re all feeling loved today, and if you’re not… I LOVE YOU FOR READING THIS! xoxo

Racy post: Chrissy Teigen, 28, posted a video of herself topless while being held by her 35-year-old husband John Legend on Instagram on Sunday

Opposing teams: Chrissy posted a picture of herself holding her musician husband's hand just before they faced off in the DirecTV Beach Bowl in New York on February 1

The Treat Yo Self Guide to Cooking on a Budget

13 Feb

One of my 2014 goals has been to cook more, in order to eat healthier, practice the skill of making edible food for the human beings who may someday depend on me for it, and – of course – save money. On that last one, I’ve found that the trick may actually be somewhat counterintuitive. Rather than forcing yourself into annoying and unnecessary austerity measures, you can save surprising amounts of money by actually being a little bit more extravagant when it comes to grocery shopping and cooking. 

In other words, TREAT YO SELF!

Allow me to explain how this can work.

1. Buy a lot of shit, part 1: I always feel like I’m outsmarting the system when I see something that’s $2 for 5, or something and I don’t fall for the deal. I’m like, “whatever I’m never going to eat two hunks of cheese so I’m actually saving myself $2.50 instead of 30 cents. TAKE THAT, MARKETING PLOY!” But in reality, falling for those deals and filling up your grocery cart with a bit more can definitely save you money if you are smart about freezing things. Bread products are especially great with this, I find – I’ll buy a big thing of mini-bagels from Whole Foods, freeze them, and roll them out 3 or 5 at a time so that I can eat one for breakfast several days in a row. 

This is essentially just buying in bulk. Obviously it’s a thing. But the reason it’s especially good for young people who are tempted to eat out all the time is because I think it can get exhausting “trying” to finish all your groceries before they go bad. You feel like you’re racing against the mold clock and you experience a backlash and you eat out 4 days in a row. Freezing some of what you buy can take off that pressure.

2. Buy a lot of shit, part 2: The other obstacle to regular cooking – and therefore, enticement to eat out – is not having things on hand when you make a last-minute decision to make dinner. So the smart – yet counterintuitive – thing to do is to buy extra food that you don’t plan on cooking that week, because that rushed grocery trip always fucks up the schedule and it becomes easier just to order in. Even though I can be super cheap at the grocery store, I’m trying to make it a habit to throw down a few extra dollars for a 2nd box of pasta or quinoa just so that I have it as a backup. 

3. It’s okay to be a lazy ass! No one expects you to reinvent the wheel. Sure, it’s better to whip up everything from scratch, but it’s probably better to milk your own cows too and that sure as hell isn’t happening. Don’t feel like you aren’t allowed to buy frozen food, mixes, pre-seasoned items, etc. It’s okay! You’re still saving money, and keeping yourself sane, too.

4.Wine on and shine on. No really! If the food didn’t come out well, or you just kind of wish you were at Chipotle, or you’re sad to be eating alone, or whatever, pouring a glass of wine can help you  feel like you’re not just eating the evening/weekend version of a sad desk lunch.

5. Treat yourself to a good time! This may be the most important (or at least it feels kinda deep and important): treat cooking as a fun activity rather than a chore! I’ve come to enjoy it, scheduling it into my day day as a way to decompress. It’s also, frankly, a more constructive way to kill time than watching TV. If you enjoy cooking – even if you’re not great at it – you’ll start to look forward to eating at home, rather than seeing it as some sort of New Years’ resolution-imposed punishment. 

Happy cooking!