It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The glamorous life?

I won't be able to blog much this week because I'm an extra in a TV show pilot, and we're working about 16 hours days. I got up at 4 a.m. this morning, and here it is almost midnight, and I'm still up. I'm exhausted.

I can't share too many details just yet, but what I can say is it takes place in the 1960's, so I spent my entire day in a crazy fun costume. I had to wear huge false eyelashes, which as I said on Facebook, are the most annoying and uncomfortable things I've ever worn. I really don't know how the Kardashians do it. All day the ends of them were stabbing me in my eye, and every time I looked at someone all I saw was black hair. My hair was so teased and sprayed with Aqua Net, I was pretty sure if someone dropped a match next to me, I'd go up in flames. And that was a real possibility, considering every 3rd person or so had to smoke. Unfortunately, it was my turn today, and with shooting all day, I ended up smoking an entire pack. Luckily there are Herbal and I didn't inhale, so I can still run for President.

Oh yeah, and between my tight pantyhose and huge bra, it created the perfect storm for a muffin top. Gross.

And you think high heels are uncomfortable now? Let me tell ya, they were a bitch in 1963. Mom, how did you do it??

Monday, March 28, 2011

When it rains it pours

Why is it when you get one bill you get like 20 others? You can go weeks without thinking you owe a thing, and then wham, your mailbox is full of white envelopes that say "Open Immediately" or "Change Service Requested." I really hate those.

Today my "open immediately" was a $240 bill from the City of Chicago. Yep, it seems our city parking sticker (you have to have one in order to park anywhere within the city) is expired, so when we parked at our friend's apartment on a quiet street on January 14 to enjoy a nice dinner, we didn't know a parking attendant was sealing our fate (And really, they work at 8 p.m.?). Apparently the ticket was originally $120, but since we moved, the city sent the bill to our old apartment, hence why we now have late fees. And we still need a new city sticker.

Oh, but that's not all.

I also opened a bill regarding our Cobra insurance coverage which we need until our new insurance kicks in. Apparently the $1800 I already sent wasn't enough...we owe $417.56 more. Sheesh.

Oh, and did I mention gas in Chicago is now $4.09?

In other news, I'm starting to sell things in order to make some extra cash. Let me know if you need a Chihuahua or a kidney...or a Chihuahua's kidney. (Okay, that made me giggle.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

To 'Burb it or not to 'Burb it, that is the question

I've realized there comes a point in every city couple's life where they question should we or shouldn't we? The should or shouldn't I'm talking about is moving to the 'burbs.


This city is a lot of fun and offers great restaurants, museums and night life. You can get a late night taco at 4 a.m. You can walk to Michigan Avenue and some of the best shopping in this country within minutes. You feel the energy and know there's opportunity around every corner.

But when it comes to doing the little things like running to Target or going to the grocery store, it ain't easy. When we lived in a high-rise going to Target was like a 3-hour ordeal by the time I walked a mile to my car, drove there, shopped and then stood in line forever, drove back, double parked, unloaded, drove the car back to our parking spot a mile away and then walked a mile home. Phew! When it came to the grocery, I ended up going every few days because I could only buy what I could carry home. In a city, sometimes you feel like all you're ever doing is running errands or sitting in traffic.

Courtesy: Downsize to
However, no one ever wants to be the first couple to give in and move to the 'burbs. We all worry we'll have to give up our fun cards, and we'll never get invited to cool parties anymore. We worry we'll be thrust into a boring life of diaper changing and parent-teacher conferences. We worry we'll all start to look alike and live in cookie-cutter homes.

But then again, we would have more space. We'd actually have a yard! We could quickly run errands and park right out front of the store. Can you imagine that? We would no longer see drug deals in our 'hood and probably wouldn't have to carry mace when we go out at night.


No one ever warned me that being an adult came with some very tough decisions and constantly wondering if you're doing the right thing. Um, hello, 22...remember me? I'd like spend more time with you.

Friday, March 25, 2011

If Brooklyn Decker can make it work, so can I!

As many of you read in a previous post, it's been a traumatic couple of weeks for me after cutting off 7 inches off hair. Totally not ready for such a look-altering decision, I've cried and wondered what the heck I was thinking.

Now, I'm feeling soooo much better.

Courtesy: Brooklyn Decker
Last night I was scrolling through and saw the headline, "Brooklyn Decker Chops 10 Inches Off Her Hair!" For those of you who don't know Brooklyn, she's a super sexy Sports Illustrated model who's married to tennis pro Andy Roddick. She's also starring in the new movie "Just Go With It" with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Brooklyn oozes sex appeal and could probably turn a gay man straight.

In the article, Brooklyn's hair stylist Ted Gibson says, "Brooklyn's updated, modern bob is on trend for 2011. Shorter hair can be sexy, confident and super modern, and I think hair that is too long isn't chic or fashionable right now."

Yes! Bless you Mr. Gibson.

Brooklyn tweeted that she "Loved it!" and she totally should.

Courtesy: Jeannie Crofts
I'm not going to lie ...seeing this sex kitten with the same haircut as mine totally made my night. Instead of me thinking I had the 'do of a 12-year old, I know realize it's actually the same 'do as a 23-year old smokin' hot model. Yep, I can live with that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Follow a small town girl...

I've had so much fun the past year and a half sharing my life with you through this blog. I've shared the joys of a new marriage, the crazy things I've seen in Chicago, and the ways in which I've adjusted to living in a city of millions after growing up in a state with only thousands. I truly appreciate all of you who have continued to support me by becoming followers and sending sweet comments and feedback.

But I think it's time for a change. When I first started this blog, I put in the description, "Follow a small town girl trying to navigate the big city of Chicago. She's unemployed and planning a big, fat Italian wedding, so it should be entertaining."

Then after we got married and I got a part-time job, I figured it was time to change the banner. It became: "Follow a small town girl trying to navigate the big city of Chicago. She's an underemployed newlywed who gets annoyed with large crowds, so it should be entertaining."

As life continues to change and I'm no longer underemployed, I think it's time to update this again. Any suggestions? I'm thinking about, "She's a semi-neurotic smart mouth who gets annoyed with large crowds and is no longer afraid to take the L train by herself." (In daylight hours, of course.) Or "She's a small town girl who can't believe Chicago drivers are so crazy and isn't afraid to yell back at the crazy homeless people yelling at her."

Your thoughts?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 is the year of savings

In January, I decided 2011 is going to be the year of savings. The year of never paying full price. The year that I become more fiscally responsible.

I'm here to tell you it's totally working. 2011 savings so far? $678.76!!

Here's the thing...if you dig enough, you'll realize there are ways to save money everywhere. Before I order anything online, I first type in the product name in a google search along with the words "coupon code." About 75% of the time I find ways of not paying for shipping or getting 10-25% off my order.

There are great websites that offer daily deals such as Groupon, CBS Local Deals and Living Social. These are fantastic for finding deals on a wide array of things such as facials, dental care and travel deals. Now there are also websites that have capitalized on the popularity of these, like The Dealmap, that combine all the deals into one e-mail sent to you daily. Also, is great too, offering gift cards to restaurants for incredible prices. It's not uncommon to find deals where you only have to pay $2 for $25 off.

In terms of the grocery store, there are oodles of ways to save. Many stores have their own cards you swipe when you check out, and I found out you can go online and electronically load coupons on to those so there's no clipping. I saved $43 on one shopping trip that way! There are also plenty of other coupons you can cut through places like Coupon Mom and Coupon Suzy.

Do you feel like you always have coupons to clothing stores but inevitably leave them at home? I started keeping a Ziploc baggie in my purse with all my coupons so I always have them with me. As soon as I get one in the mail, I put it in the baggie. Also, don't be afraid to ask! I've saved more than $60 in the past few weeks by asking store workers if I could use coupons on sale items (at Macy's you sometimes can), and also asking another store if they could still give me a discount even though I forgot my coupon. (When I worked in retail, I would always take care of polite people.) 

Hopefully these tips help you save too! Let's make 2011 the best one yet!

P.S. Thanks for all the nice Facebook comments on my hair! My shameless way of asking for compliments totally worked!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hair Trauma!

It's been a traumatic 48 hours in the Evanchan household. There's been a lot of crying, pouting and moodiness, and no we don't have a 2-year old. I'm talking about me.

That's because 48 hours I did something I wasn't ready for. Something I instantly regretted. my hair majorly cut, I literally mean chopped. I'm talking about 7 inches of hair that just sat on the ground like a sad little pile of regret.

Here's the thing...I didn't cut my hair because I wanted to. I took a job as an extra in a TV pilot and they gave me the gig as long as I agreed to get my hair cut. (Yes, I'm going to be on TV! I'm dying to spill all the details....but I can't just yet.)

hairSo there I was, with my back to the mirror, feeling my hair drop first to my shoulders and then to the ground. I suddenly noticed my head felt much lighter. I turned around, and after being told my hair would be cut to shoulder length, this is what I saw. (See picture) Apparently a bob is the new shoulder length cut. Yowsers. I saved my tears for when I got home, because I never cry in front of the stylist. (I save that for Mike.)

Yes I know, hair grows, get over it. But growing out my hair was really important to me. It represented freedom...the fact that after 8 years in television news and being told what length and color to keep my hair, I could finally call the shots. I started growing it out for my wedding, so it represented what I wanted for the best day of my life. I also felt like my long hair was a way to hold on to my youth. (Yes people, I'm a woman. We analyze EVERYTHING in our lives, get over it.)

After a long chat with my girlfriend, a.k.a. therapist Holly, I decided I'm going to embrace this change. I'm going to enjoy the stages of it growing back out. I'm going to channel my inner Jennifer Aniston.
(However, it would really help if you assure me that it's cute. Again, I'm a woman, therefore needy and insecure. Thank you in advance.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Three Words Describe Chicago Bicyclists....

Awe yes, finally. WE MADE IT PEOPLE!! The weather is in the 60's, the birds are chirping, people are happy and some even broken out the shorts today. Yes, they had shockingly white legs, but considering their walkers haven't seen the light of day in 5 months, it's forgiven. After getting blasted with snow, wind and even thundersnow this winter, Chicagoans have finally earned a little taste of Spring. You can toast your green beer to that!

You know it's Spring-like in the city when you see dozens of people on their two-wheeled death machines, a.k.a bicycles. As I've said in a previous blog, there are three words to describe Chicago bicyclists. Crazy insane a-holes. (Really, so sorry Mama Mays [my grandmother]. Are you still reading this blog anyway?)

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that people are trading in their SUV's for a more environmentally friendly option. I love that people exchange a slice of cheesy Chicago-style pizza for a helmet and a way to get exercise. I love that this means there are fewer cars on the road.

What I don't love?

Crazy insane a-holes.

Some bicyclists act like they just got the awful news they have two weeks to live, so they'd better make the most of it. They act like they just got the stomach gurgle that let's them know they have 2.2 minutes until they have brown pants. They'll whiz by you, cut you off, even ride over a toe if you get in their way. Today I actually saw a poor women trip on the sidewalk, fall to her knees and drop all her groceries because she was trying to get out of the way of a bicyclist about to hit her. Poor woman. She got bloody knees and ruined jeans, but the bicyclist didn't even stop.

Just remember fellow Chicagoans--we all have to make room for each other in this crazy, big city. If we follow the rules of the road and show a little respect, we're all much better off (and we won't have to deal with poopy pants.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Want to feel stupid? I have the answer!

There's really nothing else in life that will put you in place quicker than taking a really hard test, such as the SAT or the LSAT. You know that feeling--you go in thinking you're confident and smart, and you leave feeling like a dumb mouth drooler.

I've decided to pursue a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. There are just a couple of obstacles in the way-one is the $40,000 I don't have, the other is taking the GRE test before I can get accepted.

Scan 15
I wish I would have studied more as a kid!
I had a moment of panic when I realized all of the math equations I didn't understand in the 8th grade are coming back to haunt me. Yep, even though I've never used any math problems in my adult life, and I'm 99% certain I never will, I still need to learn the value of (x-2)(x+3)-(x-4)(x+5). Dear God, help me now.

Think that's bad? How about his....
If 1 micron=10,000 angstroms, then 100 angstroms is what percent of 10 mincrons?

My answer=Who cares?

What also cracks me up is the vocabulary I'm studying. Some of the words I'd never use in everyday life...this I know for sure.

Auroral- Adj. Pertaining to the aurora borealis. (What?? Oh wait, they give an example. Hopefully this helps!) Example: "The auroral display was particularly spectacular that evening." (Picture me with my mouth wide open right now. It ain't pretty.)

Avuncular- Adj. Like an Uncle. (Huh? Like an Uncle? Is he or isn't he my damn uncle? Is Mike "Like my husband? Are you "Like Reading a Blog?")

Bedizen- V. Dress with vulgar finery. (Isn't that a contradiction?) Example: "The witch doctors were bedizened in their gaudiest costumes." (Yep, pretty sure I'll never need to use that line.)

Bugaboo- N. Bugbear; object of baseless terror. (What???) Example: "If we become frightened by such bugaboos, we are no wiser than the birds who fear scarecrows." (A wise man once told me the same thing...oh wait, he wasn't as much wise as drunk, it was in a bar and really what he said was,"If I controlled the alphabet, I'd put "U" and "I" closer together.")

Uh-oh, I'm taking this test in a month, and I'm bristling in fear. I'll be unmitigated until I take it. I hope that if I don't have the right answer, I'll at least have some witty repartee.

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patty's Day in the Chi

Source: Chicago Tribune
Another St. Patrick's Day celebration in Chicago is over, and I say thank goodness. This entire city goes nuts for this holiday, and I've seen enough green vomit and boobs to last me until next year. (Not even exaggerating...keep reading.)

Even though the holiday isn't officially until Thursday, Chicagoans celebrate it the weekend before with a parade, bar hopping and plenty of drunken debauchery. The entire city goes nuts with green t-shirts, painted faces, green beer...even dying their dogs fur green. Starting at the crack of dawn, people start drinking and partying, so by noon they are super annoying if you aren't drunk with them.

On Saturday, my mom and stepdad came into town to hang out with Mike and I for the weekend and they weren't aware that the entire city would be going nuts. As I was walking to meet them at their hotel, I saw dozens of 20 something's nearly getting hit by cars. Apparently drinking all day does not equal common sense, and therefore, looking both ways before crossing the street is not a top priority. (It does crack me up when a drunk person crosses the street illegally, but puts up their hands in a stop motion to all traffic in the street. Suddenly by drinking Jim Beam all day, you now have a police officer's authority.)

I kept on walking towards the hotel, and my mom and stepdad saw me on the street and starting yelling and honking. Honestly, the city was so loud, I didn't even hear them. I continued walking, and literally had to step over bodies of people passed out in the streets or girls who were too tired to keep walking in green high heels. I also stepped over vomit and green liquids which was? Not fun.

Then as I was walking into the hotel, a drunk woman across the street starting yelling "Whoo, hoo!" as she pulled up her green t-shirt and exposed her Ta Ta's. (She apparently predicted this would happen when she dressed that morning, which is why she chose to go sans-bra. Mike is bummed that I didn't get a pic.)

I finally connected with my parents around 2 p.m., and quickly said, "I need a drink."

Next year I've determined I either need to a) start drinking at 7 a.m. or b) lock myself in the apartment or c) leave the state. (Unless by then scientists develop a time machine that shoots me back to 1999 and a time where day drinking rocked!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trying to get Health Insurance? It's Not Fun

The health insurance hunt continues, and man, it stinks. As I mentioned yesterday, since I'm a freelancer and Mike is starting his own company, we need to find our own health insurance. I thought it would be easy considering we're young-ish, healthy and not trying to have children.

Boy, I was wrong.

I started looking for quotes online yesterday because I avoid human interaction as much as possible. All I remember is filling out our zip code and my name, but all of a sudden my home phone started ringing. Then my cell phone. Before I knew it, both phones were ringing every couple of minutes with different insurance agents offering me coverage. Sheesh, it was like I was a bleeding surfer and they were the sharks. I continued filling out the online paperwork, and the phone continued ringing. When I answered a couple of calls, they started asking me about my health history, and I freaked out, not sure who I was giving my info to.

Finally, I got a quote that seemed decent (especially considering our Cobra is $900 a month), so I applied for that. We're now in the process of getting approved, but only after I took part in a health interview today. I was asked about illnesses I literally had years ago, and they asked if I had any intention of going to the doctor in the next 6 months.

Um, no? How am I supposed to know? And forget about even trying to have a family. That's not covered.

Hopefully health care is just getting worse before it gets better because if two healthy adults like Mike and I have a hard time getting covered, I can't imagine the struggle many other Americans face.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dear Mr. Obama

Dear Mr. Obama,

You're right sir, getting health insurance in this country is the biggest pain in the butt ever. I'm 32, healthy, thin, I don't smoke, I work out 5-6 times a week, and I rarely go to the doctor. I obsessively wash my hands, use anti-bacterial hand wipes and I never touch an L-train pole with bare hands. (Ew, gross.) With those cautions, I've only been sick once this year, but it wasn't sick enough to see a doc.

My husband is even lower maintenance. He's younger than me (I'm what you call a cougar), he's thin, works out and hasn't seen a doc in 13 years. He can be around 95 sick people, but he'll somehow avoid even getting so much as sniffle.

So considering our circumstances, why is the federal government asking us to pay $899 a month for COBRA health insurance? Seriously? We don't even use $899 worth of medical services in a year, so why should we pay that for a month?

Mr. President, the reason my husband and I don't have health insurance is because we're trying to make it on our own as a freelancer and an entrepreneur. We're what drives this country's economy. We pay our taxes, we work hard and we're good to others. And this is how we get re-paid?

Please fix this system soon, or else you might drive me to drinking, smoking and eating, and then I'm guessing I'll never get covered.


Jeannie Crofts

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fun Times in Fort Myers, Florida

White pants in great!
This past week has been ridiculously fun. I'm in Southwest Florida (Fort Myers to be exact), enjoying the place where I lived and worked for three years during my journalism career. Many of the good friends I worked with at WINK-TV have moved on and moved away, but we all meet during the winter months to escape the brutality that is winter in most parts of this country. And for those of my friends who still live in Fort Myers, we quickly pick up where we left off and laugh about the good ole' days.

Since Wednesday I've been laying by the pool, eating out, meeting friends for dinner, going to the beach and shopping. I've nearly wiped away all the memories of snow and gloomy skies that are inevitable in the Midwest right now.

Perhaps it's revisionist history, but I've always looked back at my time in Fort Myers at the best of my life. I met Mike and three women who would eventually become bridesmaids, I soaked up the sun, grew professionally and learned a lot about myself. It's funny though how time magically erases the memories of the miserable salary I made, the awful traffic during tourist season and the hurricanes I spent many an hour covering with rain-soaked clothes and a worry that my condo might be wiped away or my dogs injured.

It's interesting to come back now as a person who's no longer a local, because I've made some interesting observations this week. If you've ever been to Florida, you'll probably enjoy these...

* Everyone with an Ontario license plate is a terrible driver who goes 20 under the speed limit. Always. I'm guessing the trip from Canada to Florida must take an entire month at that snail's pace. (By the way Ontario drivers--a middle finger in the U.S. is not a good thing.)

* When I look around at all the people with snow white hair, I'm amazed that Florida is the spot where I met my husband. (Really, it's somewhat of a miracle.) To anyone still looking for that special someone, this is proof that miracles really can happen.

* European visitors love tanning their skin until it's of a dark, leathery consistency, and clothing is minimal (think speedos), if not all together optional. Plus, they are either really confident in their bodies, or they don't own full-length mirrors.

* My cellulite is not as bad as I thought.

* Give yourself at least 30 minutes to get anywhere. At times, it seems like you're spending more time sitting as stop lights than lounging on the beach. (It doesn't help that many drivers are older/don't know where they are going/always drive in the left lane.)

* There really is something magical about eating outside and laying by the pool in March. It's also amazing how quickly you forget that it's snowing and cold in many other states.

* Finally, It stinks that the most relaxing years of our lives have to come with arthritis, health problems and white hair. Why can't we retire in our 20's, and then work later in life, like our 70's?

Tomorrow, I'm trading sun for snow and heading back to Chicago...ugh. Yet somehow I'll get by, knowing there will always been good friends and good times waiting for me in the 239 area code.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jeannie Crofts is Sweaty

Recently I found a cool feature on this blog that allows me to see how people find me, meaning what words they typed into google to find this blog. There are the usual suspects like "Jeannie Crofts" and "Jeannie Crofts blog," but some of these really crack me up.

Who typed in "Taylor Swift Sweaty Armpit" to find me? Does Taylor Swift even have sweaty pits? Perhaps she's like me and gets a little nervous when she sees Taylor Lautner without his shirt on.

A couple of weeks ago someone typed in "Bill Murray Armpit Sweat," "Bill Murray Armpit Sweat?" (one with a question mark, one without), and "Bill Murray Armpit." Have I ever blogged about Bill Murray? Hmm, I don't think so. Someone else typed in "Jeannie Crofts Sweaty" (thanks a lot people), and another one typed in "Brad Womack's Pits" (You know, the Bachelor. He does sweat a lot. Particularly on the forehead. He also says, "I like her, I really do" quite a bit. Have you noticed that?)

Some of my other favs..."Sweaty Chihuahua Armpits" (Good memory...I've blogged before about how my chunky Chihuahua sweats in his 'pits), and someone actually found my blog by typing in "20-year old who's 350-pounds blog." Okay, now that's just weird. Everyone knows I'm clearly not 20-years old.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is Tuna Shrinking Your Balls?

Be aware, be very aware of what you're reading and/or looking at on an airplane, because people are watching you.

I posted this on Facebook yesterday, but it's just too good not to mention here. As I was flying back to Chicago yesterday, I sat in the aisle seat and I noticed the man sitting caddy corner to me was reading an article called, "Why Tuna May Be Shrinking Your Balls." What in the world is that? As I said on Facebook, now I know Mike will never eat my tuna casserole. (He claims to hate tuna. I think he must have already read this article.)

Here's the thing: I often take magazines like Cosmo on board with me and they have risque articles like how to find your inner sex kitten, but I'm not going to read that when I know people around me can see it. Remember my experience a couple of months ago? The man sitting caddy corner to me then asked the flight attendant to get his laptop for him while we were still ascending so he could do some work. Well that "work" turned out to be looking at pictures of nude women. (All the while, his son and wife were sitting next to him. His wife may not have seen, but I sure did. Gross. Plus, when the flight attendant opened the bin, the man's bag fell on my stomach, knocking the wind out of me. So I got injured so this ding-dong could look at happy sacks. Nice.)

So men, I know it's tempting to read about your man parts or to see women parts, but can't you wait until, oh I don't know, you're in the comfort of your own bathroom?