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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 In Review


Well, according to the 2015 best nine automated collage, my selfies, Italy trip and newborn niece were the highlights of the past year, which is pretty spot on. With the addition of 10 pounds, bad decisions, a new job, a new apartment and the beginnings of wedding planning, 2015 was a kick ass year. So enough with the explaining, because I have lots of good pictures and highlights to show off during my yearly recap.  


January
URI Alumni
Remember that time the first of many Average Girl Chronicles' posts went viral? Me neither. But this was the closest thing to it, my post on 50 things a University of Rhode Island alum might miss. Go Rhody Rams!
 
As a small blogger, blogging out of the smallest state with the smallest chance of being recognized as a "Blogger to Watch in 2016," getting 7,000 views on a single post is unheard of. And I was, and still am, loving it. Be sure to click and share this link a couple thousand more times because I'm itching to go viral.

That sentence sounds so wrong on so many levels. #yolo

February
 
Anyone living in New England remembers where they were during Blizzard Juno. Although the blizzard was in the end of January, the aftermath lasted for months which allowed me to frolic in the snow well into February. For me, it was the first declared state of emergency where I could make Bloody Mary's, breakfast pizza and make snow angels in the yard of my very own apartment. Ahhh, the life. Plus, I wrote this post. Why is this post so memorable? Because I wrote it. That was pre-weekly blog posts for the AGC so new posts were few and far between. 

Blizzard Juno
 March
 
This was a big month for us because my crazy sisters and I took this photo. It's hard to get a good one of the three of us so when we captured this guy at Julia's birthday, I knew I had to share it. Don't I look more like my older sister than my twin? We are still trying to figure out where she came from. 


April
yellow lab
Lou Dog's first birthday was in April. This beast of a Labrador is the most lovable, sneaky, curious, snugly, cutest companion one auntie could ask for. Just look at him! He sure does love his ice cream. Yes, sometimes he chews on my bun on the top of my head and yes, sometimes his breath doesn't smell the greatest but seeing this giant of a dog turn one year old is one of the happiest moments of 2015, minus going semi-viral and getting engaged.
 
Rounding out the top three, Louie, you have a real special place in my heart and earned a spot in my new king bed. More space for you to sleep over! Now get your mom to let me take you... I mean borrow you. 

May
 
May. The beginning of wedding season. Jake and I had five weddings in 2015 and this was the first. There is nothing like heading north to Vermont for a family wedding on a lake resort with lots of laughs, dancing, wine and singing. Gotta love my soon-to-be in-laws. 

Between the lake, love, my strong selfie game and Jake's bow tie, this wedding takes the cake for my May highlights. Plus, it was the first time I started to think of specifics for me and Jake's wedding, even though we weren't engaged for another two months after this wedding. Foreshadowing much? 


June
twins

Me and this chick celebrated our quarter century birthday this month. I couldn't resist with this picture. Look at that pose! I'm a natural. And Sam? Effortless. 

Back to our birthday.

Contrary to popular belief, twins don't do everything together 247, well at least until their 18th birthday. Now, with our own lives blossoming into something completely different, on June 14th we get together, share a cake and open the same gifts just in a different color. I have to say though, this year we FINALLY got our own individual cakes. Look, I love my chocolate and no one or nothing can get in between that....until you have a twin sister who likes vanilla cake. Then we have to "compromise" and get marble cake. SOOOO STUPID. Thanks to our older sister who took the initiative and finally got us our own cake, probably because I bitched about it for 25 years. Hallelujah.

July
 
Something very special happened this month. In case you didn't hear, Jake made all of my engagement dreams come true by proposing on top of a castle in Itri while I was on a family trip in Italy. Since I haven't stopped talking about since the day it happened and to stop sounding like I am bragging about how awesome my fiance is, just read about it by clicking here.

italy

August
 
Del's Lemonade
 
Nothing beats a summer in the Ocean State. With the endless amounts of seafood and ice cold Del's (spiked with vodka) sitting on a beach with not a cloud in the sky, those are the signs of a damn good summer. It's tough having a full-time job during the week because the only times I can hit up the beach was on the weekends. And of course, most of the weekends weren't ideal beach weather. But I made it, and I got somewhat of a tan so I didn't look like Casper, which I currently do now. #thestruggleisreal

September
 
Tying into the seafood theme, Rhode Island has so many iconic festivals revolving around seafood. It always boggles my mind when I meet a Rhode Islander who doesn't like seafood. It's like sacrilegious. Our state's official appetizer (which is apparently a thing) is calamari, dammit. I can't get enough of it and in September, Jake and I were able to hit up the Seafood Festival in Providence with plenty of local fish, beer and food trucks. Who doesn't love food trucks? Add a Narragansett beer and you, my friend, are in the making of becoming a true Rhode Islander. Plus, this photo I took in September screams everything Lil' Rhody.  I just HAD to represent. #401
 
Rhode Island seafood

October
 
October was the month of #Anderoni2017. We booked our venue, set a date (10.8.2017) and took our engagement photos. I didn't do a post dedicated to our very awkward engagement shoot, but I did do this post as a teaser to our pictures. Since our awesome photographer's wedding package included engagement pics and because I wanted a good save-the-date— which I think we got— we went against everything I said and did the damn things. See this one? It's a contender.
 
 
November
 
This was the month of added pounds. I probably gained five pounds in this month alone. In fact, I split not one, but TWO, pairs of pants. Seriously. But like I've always said, there is no such thing as diets during the holidays.
 
Also this month was our second annual friendsgiving which a friend of ours hosted. There is nothing better than cooking a Baffoni's Farm turkey with all of the fixings, plus booze and these turkey hats during a cold night in November. Plus, my brother came straight from the airport after a work trip to New Orleans and what did he bring? Beignets from Café du Monde. Damn, were they good.
 
No wonder I split two pairs of pants. 
 
friendsgiving

December 

 
Last, but certainly not least, this chunky monkey turned one. Ava has been the cutest bundle of joy that I've had the pleasure of seeing grow up. With her and my sister living on the second floor above us, I can play with her all I want and there is nothing more than I love laying on her floor while she crawls over me, trying to walk. Did I mention she is a drool monster? But I love it.
 
She got her first dose of cake at her birthday party and it was the CUTEST thing I've seen in a while. Well, everything she does it the cutest thing but this is close to the top. She is growing up so fast. Next thing I know, she will be knocking on my door in the morning wanting to play with Auntie NeeNee (that's me) and eat all of my snacks. I can't wait.
 
For some resolutions for 2016: learn how to suck it up and change a nasty dirty diaper because some of Ava's were too bad for me to do. I know, I'm a bigger baby than she is.
 
Some others may be to put more love into the Average Girl Chronicles, which is a common resolution among bloggers. 2015 was a great year for the AGC though, and I am looking forward to see what else is to come. Maybe, just maybe, I'll start making money off this thing.
 
There is lots to come in the New Year, what they are, I don't know. What I do know is that I'm going to have to start a diet (a resolution I should probably keep) because it's crunch time for #teamweddingbod since I'm going to start wedding dress shopping in summer 2016. If it's one thing I'm good at it, it's forgetting about New Year's resolutions. Let's see if that will change. Probably not.
 
Also on the preliminary agenda for 2016 is another trip to Europe. Maybe Paris and Amsterdam? Hmmmm. Another blog post on those plans to come.
 
With all of that said, enjoy the last few days of 2015 and may 2016 bring you all lots of success, smiles and achieved goals.
 
See you next year!
Monday, December 21, 2015

The Average Girl's Guide to Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Guide Last Minute Christmas Shopping
 
Holy shit. Christmas is in four days. 

This happens every year when Christmas is one week away. The holiday pressure is at an all time high and then you realize, you have no shopping done, zero. Last minute Christmas shopping, it's something I and all my fellow procrastinators know well. The struggle is very real so anything I can contribute to help those brace the crowds, long lines and traffic that comes along with shopping less than a week from J.C's birthday, I will gladly do so. 

Here is the Average Girl's Guide to Last Minute Christmas Shopping. 

1. Patience

If you are foolish enough to go to a mall t-minus six days from Christmas, patience will be your best friend. Take a deep breath when you start to get swallowed by traffic that takes 20 minutes to get off the highway ramp, less than a mile away. Channel good thoughts when you accidentally pull into a hotel parking lot where you get blocked in by valets (like I did when attempted to do my Christmas shopping two days ago). Stay calm while you are sweating inside Newbury Comics, waiting in line to buy a "coffee makes me poop" mug. 

F.Y.I. I am the farthest thing from patient, so I would take my above words lightly.
  
2. Car charger
 
Because while waiting to get into the death wish of a parking garage, the last thing you want is for your phone to die, especially since you know you will need something to occupy yourself while waiting in line at Newbury Comics. 

3. Parking lot etiquette
 
Perfect. Your phone will be fully charged because you'll be on the hunt for a parking spot for the next half hour. Now, I understand finding a spot in a parking garage is tough, but don't be a douche. If someone has their blinker on, don't sneak up and steal their spot. Your just asking for some hot tempered Italian Johnstonian to go bat shit crazy in the middle of the garage. That shit happens in Rhode Island. So don't be an asshole.

4. A small purse
 
Leave your massive purse at home, ladies. Whip out your handy dandy cross body bags with the bare essentials because on top of bags of heavy presents, you won't want your clunky purse. 

5. Know your plan
 
If you go to the mall without any idea what you are going to get for someone, you might as well pitch a cot and spend the night. Get in and get out, because you will start to go on a shopping spree since there are the irresistible holiday sales. At least I have a killer dress for my work's holiday party. I know, I'm terrible. 

6. Lay low
 
When I'm last minute Christmas shopping, I take out my hipster wide-brim, floppy hat and lay low. With the amount of people crowded in the Providence Place Mall, it is guaranteed that you will run into someone you know. It always ends up being someone you totally didn't want to, like an old co-worker or your homecoming prom date. Keep the hat on and keep your head low. People will be too busy admiring your hipster hat that they forget to look at your face. #RhodeIslandproblems 

7. Resist food court temptation

After standing in lines and dodging people who walk ridiculously slow, you're probably hungry. You're bound to walk by the food court and get temped with the smell of Johnny Rockets and the sound of a milkshake being made. DON'T DO IT. You'll wait even longer and pay much more than what it would be at a location outside of the mall. Yes, eating the delicious Route 66 burger and chili cheese fries will be easy going down, you will 100 percent regret it while sitting in traffic on your way home. Get a snack and hold off until you get home.

I never said anything about free samples, though. Do a quick food court round and keep it moving.

And most importantly...

8. Don't forget the real meaning of Christmas

The holiday season can bring out the worst in people, unfortunately, especially when last minute Christmas shopping is going on. Everyone is miserable because it's like a million degrees in the stores and you just dropped $300 on who knows what. Regardless, all of those Newbury Comics gag-gifts won't mean as much as getting together with family. I know, super sappy. I can't help it, IT'S CHRISTMAS.

As a side note, you can probably get all of your Christmas gifts for everyone on your list at Newbury Comics. At least I do. #truth

I'm soaking in the glorious 2015 Christmas joy. My internal holiday spark is igniting and I'm feeling the Christmas love in the air, and I can't get enough. Mariah Carey Holiday Pandora radio is playing constantly at our apartment (Jake isn't too thrilled about that) and I find myself getting lost in the glow of my Christmas tree and overpriced crystal angel candle holder with my pine tree scented candle. So much Christmas tree smell!

Admiring my tree, I get a glance of my childhood handmade ornament that brings me back to the good ol' days, when I used to make Christmas crafts and tried to glue my lips together with Elmer's because my older brother dared me. Oh, there's nothing like family.

With that said, get your shopping, wrapping, baking and whatever else done because the clock is running out.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Walk Down Baffoni Christmas Lane

90's Christmas card
^^^ I'm the one cheesing towards the top right

As with many Italian families, tradition lives and breathes through Christmas. From the annual baking of the Italian cookies to preparing the elaborate feast of the seven fishes, to even going to the same Christmas tree farm for the family Christmas tree hunt, us Baffoni's have all of our quirky traditions, and my mom made sure to always have her disposable camera ready. 

Since there have been so many good throwback 90's Christmas pictures popping up all over social media and on my blog feed, I figured I join the fun. And duh, it's throwback Thursday.

Any chance my parents could, they would take pictures of us in front of anything holiday, especially when we got our Christmas tree. It was usually involved us  looking directly into the sun and us not being able to keep our eyes open. Perfect shots for a 90's Christmas card. 

Each year we go back to the same tree farm in Connecticut, full of hayrides, hot chocolate and photo ops for families to cherish for many years to come. This year was the first for my niece so it really brought this sometimes silly tradition, full circle. 

Oh, and the outfits us four sported thanks to my mom, Fran, speak for themselves. 

                                                              ^^^ in case you can't tell, I'm furthest to the right


Another apparent common denominator that I found while searching in our family picture box, we always took a group photo in front of anything holiday. Until this day, the four of us usually don't huddle together for a posed picture unless it is Christmas, and it usually takes 10 takes for us to get one "good one". Mainly we do this just to amuse my mom. Oh, you want to know what Frannie is like during the holiday's at our house? Click here. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

I'm sure she could probably tell you where we were headed in any of the insane ensembles, but for this next photo, all I remember is it being referred to "the muffin man outfit". My poor brother; he was dragged along with his sisters who are six years younger to take these damn pictures. He never looks too amused. And for my twin, she looked like a walking Christmas wreath. Shit, her bow looks better than the wreath's. #winning

^^^ bottom right

It wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't take a picture in front of the tree right before our house was filled with family, food, chaos and LOTS of toys. I look so miserable, probably because this was most likely after I had to iron, yes iron, three dozen cloth napkins for my mom's Christmas table. That shit was the worst. After sweating through my t-shirt from slaving away prepping the house and cleaning the seafood, we found our Sunday best and smiled big. Except, I always forgot to smile. 

But those silk shirts though? AND the Mary Janes?! Killing it. 

^^^ I think you can figure it out

Not much has changed since our silk shirt days. We always get together at my parents house for Christmas Eve. Although the chaos has dimmed and there aren't as many Barbies getting thrown around, this family gathering is near and dear to all of us. Now, we are passing on the traditions to each of our lives, with Jake and I in our second year getting our very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree for our place. Years from now, I plan on bringing my children to the very farm that I grew up at during this glorious season. 

So much Christmas nostalgia this glorious Thursday morning and I am looking forward to all of your embarrassing childhood Christmas pictures. 

P.S. my lack of presence on social media is due to my new job as at a local news talk radio station as a reporter. Going from a crazy schedule to working 9-5 is such a change and I'm not adjusting too well. For my lack of Instagram's, I figured I'd overload you with lots of throwback pictures. 

Good news, it's almost Friday! 


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Letter To The Men Whose Ladies Are Obsessed With Bravo Television

A Letter to men whose ladies are obsessed with bravo


To Whom This May Concern:

If your lady is obsessed with anything Bravo, this letter is to you. So listen up.

Bravo is in the midst of some of the best concurrent reality television series and we are freaking out. There are only so many episodes that we can DVR until the anticipation kills us where we have to watch the nail biting new episode of Vanderpump Rules where James makes a fool of himself and we start to feel bad for Kristen, then we realize she is still bat shit crazy, with you home. 

It's not JUST another episode. It is the one episode that we have been preparing ourselves for mentally all week. In some cases like last night, it was the start of the second season of Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce (which is arguably the best scripted Bravo series of all time) where it is close to impossible not to watch tonight. Because how else would be live tweet the episode's twist and turns? I mean, for the first episode, shit got cray. Yes, the petty drama is silly and probably not good for a developing girl to watch, rather a 20-something year old with a bottle of wine on the coffee table, but there are things in these bitches lives that encourages ourselves to be better, believe it or not. 

For example, Abby McCarthy's writing career, I envy. Like I would do or write almost anything to get to the point where she is at during the show. Not only does she do and write what she loves regardless of what the "norm" is, she makes $$$ doing it. I mean, do you see her red bottoms? And house? And wardrobe? And success? While I'm watching her sleep with her supposed-to-be ex-husband Jake (coincidence, I know) when her potential job is riding on her divorce as her newest segment and she is able to still be a beloved writer, I think to myself, damn it, I want that. I want Abby McCarthy's career, minus her divorce of course. She can juggle it all, so can I. 

Let's use an analogy, shall we? 

It's the Patriots vs. Bronco's and its the fourth quarter right before Gronk injured his right knee. For argument sake, the NFL decided to make this game, the first in 10 games they lost, into two part episodes. You only know about Gronk's knee injury because there have been a million previews to the episode all week. Right before he hits the turf, the "next time on the NFL" sneak peak comes on and the you yelp in the thought that you have to wait one week, seven days, 168 hours until you see what happens next and if the Patriots will win and Gronks injury status. But then you realize, your lady hates football. She thinks the all-male sport is misogynistic and poses no benefit to those who religiously follow the game and won't shut up for the entire hour-long episode. But since we are so kind and understanding, we will use my iPad to catch up on reruns on the Bravo app. 

We mustn't forget about the Real Housewives. With all of the petty negativity and consumerism on all of the different seasons of the show, Bravo manages to encourage women to be independent and strong willed, partly thanks to Andy Cohen. No matter how juicy the reunion is, which they always are, Cohen reinforces their positive female roles in society, which is so critical of women. Think about it. Half of the cat fights that take place are at these women's charity events, some of which these ladies founded. Although the episode's gossip takes away from the charity, at the end of the day, thousands of dollars are raised. 

What I'm getting at is for you men, to take a look at the deeper message of girl power underneath all the petty housewife trifles. That means it is good for us to watch this stuff. Do you believe us now?

Yes, watching the endless amounts of drama that takes place is kind of gross, it is our guilty pleasure because its drama that we aren't involved in. For the only time ever, we have no consequences for talking about these women, or blogging about them, as if we are in their inner circle. 

Bravo isn't for every women. In fact, there are a significant amount who refuse to watch reality television, and I feel bad for them because it is so damn entertaining. It makes an otherwise mundane weekday into something to look forward to. So do us a favor, stop giving us so much grief about watching our shows because if a show meant this much to you, we would let you watch them in peace. Return the favor. 

With this, I end my letter, from the wise words of the Countess, the one and only LuAnn de Lesseps in all of her glory...



Sincerely, 

One of Bravo's most loyal viewer

Monday, November 23, 2015

2015. American. Music. Awards.

Trainor Puth kiss AMA

Turning on my television after getting out of work early and having the 2015 American Music Awards just beginning was the last thing I expected, and one hell of a way to end off a great week. I don't remember the last time I watched the AMA's because lets be honest, the MTV Music Awards has a heightened popularity, but this year's AMA's made my future self always watch the AMA's because it rocked my world.

There were too many things that happened that got me all sorts of excited, so of course doing a blog post was the best way to expense my emotions before Jake kills me for talking about celebrities he doesn't give two shits for. In random order, here are the highlights and reasons why I loved this year's 2015 AMA's.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez pink dress AMA introduction

She would pick the best pink, sparkly dress ever made. I barked like a Chihuahua when she walked out because, LOOK AT IT! Who wouldn't love to wear this dress any chance they could. I know, me too. As far as her introduction into the three hour-long show, Jenny really took us back to the block when she spoke about her rise to fame, watching the award show as a child. Not only is she super nice, I sure hope my skin looks that good when I'm in my 40's. And for anyone who hates on JLo, take a look in the mirror. 

Miss Piggy and Kermit's "Hello" Parody

Muppets Adele Parody Miss Piggy

The trailer to The Muppets was short yet amazing and if you didn't pay attention you may have missed it. Do yourself a favor and watch it now because HELLO it's the Muppets. Miss Piggy was so on fleek in her video to Kermit singing Hello. In it, Queen P belt her heart out to ex-boyfriend Kermit, then managed to get a mouthful of leaves. This is a testament; don't play with Miss Piggy's heart because you will get hit like Kermit did, with a tea kettle and a keyboard. 

Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth's Makeout Sesh 

puth trainor kiss AMA

Me, along with anyone else watching the AMA's had their jaws drop when Meghan and Charlie (we are on a first name basis because we are best friends) got all shorts of steamy after singing their Marvin Gaye tribute song, which I can't get enough of. It was so amazing I put two pictures in this post, of course one being a gif. so you could catch it in action. It is fitting that they gave us all sorts of PDA because after all, it is Marvin Gaye. This was pure genius. A total publicity stunt but they rocked it well. Well played, guys. 

Ariana Grande's Performance

Ariana Grande AMA performance

She can lick donuts all day because Ariana Grande can do no wrong, to me. Her voice is like an angel and amazes me every time. It is so effortless and better than most of the other singers who performed on the show. I found myself comparing her to others (as if we were besties) saying, "Ariana's was way better." This girl did something that no other artist did. She got her first single of her first three albums on the Top 10 of the Billboard 100. Get it girl. 

Alanis Kicking Ass, 20 Years Strong

You Outta Know AMA performance Alanis

It is Alanis mother effing Morrisette. Either you are for her or your not, and I am all sorts of for her. When she and Demi Lovato sang "You Outta Know" she brought the house down, When I say she, I mean Alanis because lets face it, no one can sing Alanis songs besides her, sorry Demi. There is something about the way she hits those notes that no one else can replicate. But at least now all the Demi tween fans might learn a thing or two about Alanis. And to think that song was about Uncle Joey from Full House. 

When Gwen Stefani sounded like a chicken
I've never been a fan of Gwen. So when she performed on the AMA's, I took a second to warm up some queso dip because I'd rather use my time more constructively. However, hearing Gwen sing a "personal original" clearly about her recent divorce reminded me of a clucking turkey. Not about it. 

Sam Hunt's red bottoms
I'm not sure who Sam Hunt is but once I saw them red bottom shoes while he was walking onto the stage, it made me consider listening to country music. That was short lived. 

Nick Jonas' best hit yet
Nick Jonas AMA performance

"Levels" is such an annoyingly catchy tune, but I love it. For me, Nick has been on the back burner but his performance last night brought him center stage in my book. I love me a good choir, so when Nick used a giant choir made up of two dozen Aretha Franklin's, he nailed it. I can't go without mentioning Nick going back to his Jonas Brothers roots and having his Phil Collins' moment by busting out a solo on the drums. Good for you, Nick. Plus, he dates a Rhode Islander, Miss Universe Olivia Culpo. Gotta represent Lil' Rhody!

And as embarrassing as this is, here is a picture of when I met the Jonas Brothers before they were uber famous, circa 2005? I'm so cool enough to have saved one of Nick's drumsticks that he threw off stage (at a dingy venue in Providence). 

Jonas Brothers

Penatonix Star Wars tribute

Anything a-capella I'm all for. So when Penatonix performed in the full costume getup in anticipation of the new Star Wars movie, I died. Once the orchestra came out, belting the Star Wars theme song, it gave me chills. It doesn't get any better than a live orchestra (coming from me, a band geek). And leave it to Harrison Ford to bring back all of the nostalgia that goes along with any soundtrack John Williams composed.

The Biebs.
Justin Bieber AMA rain performance

First of all, what the hell what Biebs wearing? It looked like he rolled out of bed. But then when he started dancing during the finale of the AMA's in the rain without managing to slip, it made sense why he wore an over-sized sweatshirt and trucker hat, right? And OF COURSE, he cried. It's Justin Bieber, that is his new thing, he cries. Clearly his microphone was off during his dance in the pouring rain, which was kind of a bummer. I have to say though, his recent album is really catchy and I can't get enough. #imabelieber 

Leave it to Celine
Celine Dion Paris tribute AMA

It only makes sense to have Celine Dion sing a song in memory of the Paris victims. Anytime there needs to be a ballad sung in a foreign language, leave it to Celine. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. #prayforparis. 

Coincidentally, this is my second consecutive blog post about musical artists, so that means I'm a real deal music critic right? No Anita, you are just writing about pop culture, get a grip. 

As a side note, please excuse the formatting on this post because Blogger is clearing having a Monday morning moment and not aligning with what I put. Dammit.

So now that I just ranted about this year's American Music Awards, what were some of your favorite moments? 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Why Millennials Are Pumped About Missy's Comeback

Missy Elliot WTF

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott just dropped her first music video in a decade and people are freaking out.

For all of the millennials and 90's babies who got all kinds of crazy when her billboard toppers came on during your high school homecoming dance in the cafeteria, let us rejoice. The baddest bitch is back, even at 44.

Find me a millennial who doesn't manage to remember every word to "Work It" anytime it comes on in their iTunes AND is one of the most played. Find me millennial who doesn't bust a move when "It's Really Really Hot" comes on during lunchtime rewind. Find me a millennial who hasn't put a trash bag on with a fan underneath, trying to be Missy in "The Rain." Impossible.  


The new song that was dropped on Thursday (Nov. 12), titled "WTF (Where They From)" featuring Pharrell, was Missy's first lead song in years, like since 2005-2006. In more recent years, she has collaborated with artists like Pitbull, Ciara and Janet Jackson and now, WTF is her first lead on a track, which has been long overdue. It is truly remarkable what a Missy song can do to a millennial at any given point throughout the day. I'm talking millennials from all walks of life. Her music is universal and today's radio desperately needs more of Missy, and less of Fetty Wap. Yup, I said it. 

The reaction of her nostalgic fans to her tweet releasing the video on Thursday (her first in seven years) pays tribute to how pop/hip hop has missed her unique street culture, futuristic, one-of-a-kind beat productions. We all could use some more Missy in our lives and on our radios.  

Instantly, flashbacks of yourself trying to watch MTV after school to catch TRL before your mom catches you just to catch a glimpse of Missy's latest music video take over seconds into any one of her songs. Because everyone knows, Missy Elliott's videos are insane. The costumes, the makeup, the lyrics, the dance moves. And now, in 2015, she's using hover-boards and puppets of herself. YES.

When Missy raps in WTF, "I'm a Big Mac make you wanna eat that," you know she means business because skinny Missy I'm sure is missing big Missy's food habits so when she brings food into her new track, shit just got real. 

Plus, if someone even says Big Mac, I instantly love you/it because I am a closet Big Mac lover. 

Missy Elliott was Lady Gaga before Lady Gaga was Lady Gaga, in a strict fashion sense. This bitch would wear the CRAZIEST things and get away with it. She made a trash bag trendy, for God's sake. And her newest idea, being dressed as a living crystal ball with bedazzled lips... pure genius. 


Even though Missy faded into the background for a minute, she is back and back with vengeance, to show those tweens who didn't know who she was when she made her surprise appearance on the 2014 Super Bowl stage for the halftime show with Katy Perry, who Missy Elliott is. #bowdownbitches  

My lasting impression wasn't of Katy Perry on a massive lion, rather Missy because she managed to steal Perry's thunder in a black trucker "Wang" hat and black subtle outfit. She didn't need to pull out all of the stops because she knows, she is Missy mother-effing Misdemeanor Elliott. Pay respect.  

Katy Perry suggested Missy come out for a guest spot during the show and it was to everyone's surprise. When she came out for three minutes (out of the entire 12-and-a-half-minute performance) and kicked the shit out of three of her biggest hits, "Get Ur Freak On," "Work It" and "Lose Control," my twin sister and I instantly got sucked in, sucked in to being the 16-year-old Baffoni twins rapping Missy on the way to school and harmonizing each line. Let's just say, our parents were impressed that we knew "put my thang down flip it and reverse it" was said backwards in the chorus, which we can also say without a hitch. 


This bitch is so good that she could not be around for nearly 10 years then crash a halftime show and get her song downloads and album sales to gain 996 percent in the week of the Superbowl 2014, as reported by Billboard.com. You do you, honey boo boo child. 

She hasn't put out a complete album subce Respect ME in 2006 so maybe this can be Missy's way of telling us one is coming soon, really soon.

So why are millennials pumped about Missy's comeback, you ask?

Simply put... because she. is. back.




Happy weekend and happy Friday the 13th, everyone !
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Your Average Trip to Hobby Lobby: Christmas Edition

It's not even one week into November and I'm already thinking about Christmas. Christmas decor, that is. 



Once day light savings blessed me with one more hour of sleep and I flipped my calendar's page to November, I had the sudden urge to fill my apartment with glittery, nostalgic and basic as-eff decorations that tickled my fancy in anticipation of Christmas 2015. Each year that goes by, there is always the thought that, this year will be different. I'm going to upgrade my collection of holiday vomit to have a more cohesive, chic holiday vibe. The irony is that I end up picking out similar shit, just in a different color. Well, if it ain't broke...

With a Hobby Lobby conveniently located minutes from my work, I decided to take a trip to "see what they have." I was in no place to drop a benji, so I convinced myself I would just "look around." Nearly two hours later, all I purchased were glittery holiday balls, an oval bowl to put on my coffee table and a wooden letter A (for Anderson, duh) with a side of dizziness and headache. 

*(Although I enjoy shopping at Hobby Lobby, I do not agree with their recently publicized religious, personal opinions)

As soon as you walk in, the clearance fall decor is sadly sitting on a shelf near the cash registers, wanting some attention by the grazers waiting in the long ass line that always takes at least 20 minutes. But with a focus on anything red and white, I powered through the temptation. You see that picture above? How can you NOT be attracted to this wonderful isle and naturally be driven to it? THERE ARE GIANT PEPPERMINT LOLLIPOPS for God's sake. Come on, Hobby Lobby, that's not fair. 

But just like a kid in a candy store, I got easily distracted, however, with this glorious display of shiny metallic everything. 


On top of it all, the best Christmas decorations (like these ones) were 50 percent off. It's Jesus' way of telling you it's okay to self indulge on decor. After all, it is in honor of his birthday. 

I was seconds away from getting that feathered wreath because... it's amazing. I then saw the mock feathered Christmas tree to match, and then a second tree. Since this entire display was cohesive, I probably picked up every single item and thought, this would all look good on my side table in my living room. Snap out of it!

"Anita, it isn't even Thanksgiving and you are wasting your time looking at things you won't even buy," I thought. "But if I do, I'll be getting the pick of the litter for Christmas decor." 

"Lets take a break from the Christmas stuff and take a fresh look at it all in a few minutes." 

To clear my mind from Christmas overload, I took a stroll down the everyday isles. Even displays unrelated to the holidays are so damn tempting. I think those star-type-things that serve no purpose are kick ass. I almost bought two but since they weren't 50 percent off like its holiday counterparts, I became a cheap ass B and decided against it. 


After circling the same three holiday isles and picking up the same three items, I finally committed, which is really damn difficult in a store that is just so damn tempting. With the frosted cranberry ball ornaments and burlap, pine cone ornaments to go with, I re-purposed the once tree-hanging decorations to a decorative centerpiece with a hint of the holidays.

Perfect. 


I was unbelievably able to only spend $38 at my recent trip to Hobby Lobby. Yes, I got some Christmas decorations and it's only November 4th, but I'm slowly easing my way to complete Christmas decor overload. Now I will have an excuse to go back. Think of Christmas decoration season as drugs for basic bitches. It's just too damn good. 

TIP: Make sure that if you plan on going to Hobby Lobby for Christmas decorations, plan your trip ahead because it will be at least an hour and a half. 

Although decorating for the holidays can seem just as exciting as the actual thing, let us take some advice from The Grinch, to keep our minds in perspective to what Christmas is all about. 

"It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags." 

The Grinch thought of something he hadn't before 

"Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas (he thought,) means a little bit more." 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Our Halloween Engagement Photos

Did you really think I would do Halloween-themed engagement photos? Absolutely not. I just needed a title for this post that would get you to read my blog. And I guess it worked.

We did take our engagement photos this week and since I won't get them all for a next few weeks, I decided to take the time to admire some of our past Halloween costumes— some that worked and some that didn't. 

So for shits and giggles, let's take a trip down memory lane to some of our costumes as a couple we wore to dingy college parties. Because where else do 20-something's go if they can't get into a bar... random college parties which is also an excuse to wear anything, or nothing for everyone's favorite college trollop. 

Popeye and Olive Oyl

I have every intention on recycling this couple Halloween costume because, holy shit, we really do look the part! This was the first year I didn't spend $50 on a scandalous one-piece and made my first DIY Halloween costume. This was also the last year (2010) Jake and I ever did a corny "couple costume" because we haven't thought of a pair that hasn't been over done. I really want to be Carmen SanDiego and Waldo, but Jake refuses...maybe one year. 

Only two years into a relationship, we sure did work well together in winning that Halloween #teamwinning


Gangster and Lady Cop

Speaking of skanky costumes, here is our very first picture taken as a couple, Halloween 2009.

I'm pretty sure the Lil' Wayne song about a lady cop came out in this year. That is the only excuse I can make up for my sad self who decided to wear a cop costume that barely kept my warm. Side note: I was a serious Lil' Wayne fan... and then I grew up. Why the hell did I ever do this? Who knows? Also what I didn't know was that that gangster was going to be my fiancé nearly six years later. 

^^^ We look like babies! 

Johnny Bravo and a Mermaid/ Lady Gaga during her 2013 VMA performance

I figured out over the years that spending over $50 on a Halloween costume isn't worth, partly because I can't afford a stupid costume for one day. Plus, I never end up having good plans for Halloween, besides in 2013, when Jake and I went to Foxwoods Resort and Casino to see Benny Benassi. (It was one hell of a show). At this swanky joint, I had to actually put more thought into it. And being my frugal self, I spent all but $20. 

I teased the shit out of my fro and found a cheap seashell clip to put in my hair to mimic Lady Gaga's outfit she sported earlier in the year. Of course, hers probably had crystals (or diamonds at that) whereas mine was probably in a basement covered with dust somewhere that I purchased on eBay for $4.99. Now that I'm thinking of it, I'm pretty sure it came from China. 

Throw on some seashells that I decorated with glitter and made, a make-shift bra, wear white bathing suit bottoms with super-glued fake flowers and a beach wrap I bought in Puerto Rico conveniently with mermaids on it, I had a killer outfit for cheap. Real cheap. Jake's was even cheaper. Other than spray paint for his hair, it was an easy Halloween. 

The best part about it, the girls who probably spend $100 on the most revealing, typical Playboy Bunny/angel/butterfly/skanky Michael Jackson costumes were complimenting mine, asking me where I got it. GOT EMMM. 


Napoleon Dynamite and a poor excuse of  a "Devil"

Oh, the good ol' college days. Jake made a great Napoleon Dynamite that year (2012) and I didn't make a good devil. First off, what was I thinking with that tutu?! And if you look closely, my winged eyeliner was not on fleek. I often get asked how I get my eyeliner matched on both side, and I tell them, I sure did have a lot of bad makeup days, this being one of them. It's like they were sliding down my face. Get it together, Anita. 

Back to my stupid costume.

That year in college, I lived on Angel Road so my roomies  (my twin sister and bestie) decided to be angels and me, of course, be the devil. Being Tina the llama would have been a better decision. 


Sadly, Jake and I forgot to take a picture at last year's Halloween party we attended, which is probably for the better. Having to work at the restaurant on Halloween last year I had to go right from work and throw on something that wasn't to difficult. This year, although I am working Hallows eve again, I will make sure to take a picture. For me, I'm going to be a Rasta...because my twin was it last year and I don't have the time or patience to think of a better outfit. As for Jake, he will be a Sensei. He found the craziest wig/mustache and I will be sure to get a candid of that. 

For those in the Rhode Island area, Jake and his band, the Tai Chi Funk Squad, will be playing at Escada in Johnston for a Halloween bash! Be sure to check it out.

I digress.

Our engagement photos were probably the most awkward thing we have done together, but after seeing the sneak peak from our photographer, they came out great. When I get them all, I will be sure to share my favs with you guys! Here is one of my current favorites.


What Halloween costumes have you been with your partner? I need ideas for next year...
Monday, October 19, 2015

Fallen For Instagram

Instagram, you've done it again.

The most addictive social media app has changed the way I enjoy seasonal activities, like hiking up a mountain in nearby Connecticut to enjoy the foliage and October air. Instead, I end up rushing Jake from work to drive us 40 minutes over the state line to hopefully catch a glimpse of the sunset against the colorful trees that are fall. Our outing turned out to be anything but that. 

Rushing to Ross's Cliffs, also known as Old Furnace State Park, we were hoping to get to the top of the small mountain before the sunsets, and according to Siri, sunset on Thursday was at 6:04p.m., which gave us 57 minutes to make the drive and get to the top of the mountain (when I say mountain, I mean a cliff...mountain makes it sound more adventurous). This left no room for error...but of course something went wrong. We got lost. 


The GPS had the wrong address but after a minor freak out about missing the view before sun down, we turned around and made our way. There was something about racing against the clock sun that  instantly got me thinking about prehistoric times when humans relied on the sun for everything, like for its energy or for telling time. Here we go, Anita. Get your ass up that mountain to see the glorious light we call sun. If cavemen can do it, so can you. After pumping myself up like an Arnold Swartzenager movie, we make our way into the park half lit park, having 15 minutes before it got dark. So we start trekking, frantically. Damn you Instagram. This once calming activity is now an anxiety attack waiting to happen. 

You've got this Anita. A little hike won't kill you.

Well it did. I was panting like dog five minutes in. You're so incredibly out of shape, Anita...I know, it is something I'm working on. 

The lighting was TERRIBLE for a good Instagram picture. I'm so wired into social media, that Jake had to yell at me to enjoy the view then analyzing the few good pictures I took at the top of the mountain. The resolution was all off and all photos were blurry, like a photo pre-iPhone time. What the eff? 

That's it. This whole trip was't worth it because I couldn't get a good Insta pic. Let's get out of here.

^^^ I mean, come on, the resolution is awful

I'm so pathetic. There I was, overlooking the best of fall foliage with my fiance and all I can do it be down in the dumps because I couldn't take a good enough Instagram photo. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Now I have to use the main photo in this blog post of someone else's picture I found on the internet. Great, I have failed you, blog

We stayed at the top enjoying the view (once I was told to put my phone away before it was thrown off the edge) and realizing the diminishing light and flashing back to all of the horror film trailers on T.V. all month, paranoia set in. 

I can barely see in front of me and keep tripping on tree branches that are covered in fallen leaves. As most women would, I let Jake lead the way to fend off any serial killers that found us wondering in the woods at night. And I seriously watch WAY too much Law & Order SUV.  It's as if I was in a scene from the show when a body turns up in the woods, except, it's mine. Get it together

There was faint laughter coming from a group of stoners who headed down the mountain before us. I probably looked behind me three dozen times during the walk down. I have serious paranoia issues.

Long story short, we got to enjoy the nice view and a much needed physical activity to get my lazy ass of my couch and my face out of my iPhone. Although Instagram made an otherwise calming experience a stressful one because I couldn't get a good picture, at least I got a blog post out of it. Isn't that what life's about, getting a great Instagram photo?

Now you tell me, how has Instagram affected your last outing?

^^^ 
At least I got one decent panorama of me pretending to meditate

Now I can rest easy.
Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Friends Table

Being at the friends table at a wedding is probably the most fun you will have at a wedding, other than your own. Having been at the friends table twice in two months, I know this experience well. And nothing beats it. It is a complete judgement free zone because you don't have to worry about your great aunt and grandmother giving you the stank eye for having your third dirty martini. Sure, someone's great aunt or grandma may be judging you, but it isn't yours, so cheers to that! 


Of course there is a line of respect you must hold while at a friends wedding because there is nothing worse than be that drunk idiot who has no regard for the bride and groom's wedding day. I think every bride has that concern that one of her infamous drunk friends will make a fool of themselves, leaving a bad taste in the whole guest lists mouth. You can enjoy yourselves, but don't be rude. I sure hope I was never that person. 


It's a whole new way to enjoy a wedding. Endless amounts of ridiculous photos will be taken, like this snapshot that was one of the photographers last shot of the night. Good thing she caught my outfit because it was genius— I'm so proud. God forbid Jake takes a normal photo...

Speaking of photos, photobooths are a new craze and I'm loving it. Jake and I will go in so many times, partly because I can never get that one good photo with him, since he hates posed pictures. Either I have a double chin or Jake is blinking, we go in the booth a minimum three times. Each time he throws a temper tantrm and each time the pictures get worse and worse and the first round ends up being the best. That's what I get for dragging Jake into my ridiculousness. 


Plus, you are put at a table with people most likely the same age as yourself all with the same agenda: having a good effing time. 

Take a look at the next wedding you attend. The friends table is ALWAYS located near the dance floor because they know how to get the party started and are usually the first to get funky.

Friends will be sure to request the most ridiculous song that is outside the norm of a traditional song played at a wedding, obviously to rehash memories of the tune with either the bride or groom. Like, the Whip and Nae Nae, anyone? Best believe I'll be whipping my way around the ballroom. 

And of course, all the traditional songs the friends table will be leading the way. All I know is when the Electric Slide comes on, get out of my way because I'm always in the front. I get down to the Electric Slide. 

On top of it all, there is no pressure to have to speak to your extended family who you haven't seen since the the last family wedding three years ago, which gives you more time to enjoy the night with (hopefully) good company. I've heard some gnarly wedding date stories that I'm glad I won't have to ever experience. 

Some of the very little things that do suck about being at the friends table is if it is a buffet, because of course it will be the last to get called. But once we [friends table folk] ate, we chewed and screwed our way out of the seating dinner and hit the dance floor. With that said, nothing beats a home-cooked buffet like the recent wedding I went to. Maybe I can convince my 94-year-old grandma to cater mine...that's wishful thinking. 

^^^ it took us 20 takes to do this one. FINALLY one good one

It is always a good place to meet new friends, too. I mean, there is nothing better than bonding on the dance floor all sweaty and tipsy because some serious friendships are bound to be formed. Plus, I love trying to help the single ones get together. Just doing my part and paying it forward. 

I'm always honored to be invited to a friend's wedding because not only is it super expensive, of all of the people in their life, I was chosen to come. Plus, it's a free dinner, an excuse to get dressed up, a chance to boogie on down and a time to celebrate a friend's wedding. I'm super pumped about the friend's tables at my wedding!

Which brings me to #Anderoni2017... we booked the date! Two years from today, Jake and I will be tying the knot, 10.8.17. Holy shit. 

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