A Traditional vs. Modern Christmas

Which direction do you go for your Christmas decor?

I'm a traditionalist when it comes to the holidays. The many colors. The variety. The random ornaments that you question how it gets on your tree every year. The new glitzy, modern decorations aren't for me. So why do I find myself comparing my Christmas decor to others? 

I've followed a ridiculous amount of interior decor Instagram accounts which has me questioning my traditional Christmas decor but when I'm home in my cozy robe with a mug filled with hot chocolate gazing at my illuminated tree, I know that the traditional route is right for me. The only stipulation is the tree lights. Jake is all about the clear lights but I personally love the multi-colored. But since I choose 99.9% of the decor, I'll let Jake have his stupid lights. 

A Letter To My College Self

Dear college Anita,

Soak up every second you are on the University of Rhode Island's Kingston campus. It seems far now, but in a short five years, you will have earned your Bachelor's degree and be wishing you could go back and do it all over again. Your time at URI will go by quicker than you can say Rhody, Rhody, Rhody. 

The terrible experience you had at the Community College of Rhode Island will soon be a distant memory because you will fall in love with URI and forget about any other college institution you went to. 

5 Stages a Bride Experiences While Making a Wedding Registry

Of everything an engaged couple needs to do while planning a wedding, the registry should be the easiest. You get to make an inventory of what you would like to have to start your new life together. I loved making our wedding registry. Who doesn't want to pick out a bunch of expensive household necessities you've needed for a while but couldn't afford? Who doesn't want to pick out corny Mr. & Mrs. things that are just too cute to resist? But I'm taking a bit of a different approach. 

I Have Wicked Bad Theater Etiquette

Wicked Broadway

There are two sides to every story and here is mine. And for those who don't know, not only is Wicked a popular Broadway show, wicked is a word Rhode Islanders use to describe something that is in excess of. See what I did there?

I was told I have bad theater etiquette while I was seeing Wicked in Providence last weekend. In case you can't tell, it struck a nerve with me so here I am venting about it.  

I've seen Wicked about six times and when I get asked to go with a friend of mine, of course I will take up the offer. The songs, the script, the story line... I love it all and know basically all the words because I'm a freak. 

Things They Don't Teach You In Journalism School

News Reporter POTUS

Maybe it's because I graduated with a print journalism degree, but I've experienced many things in my days as a broadcast reporter that I would have never anticipated I would be faced with. Granted, if I landed a job at a reputable newspaper, I suppose I'd be put in similar situations. I'm lucky enough to have found what I'm good at. I'm inquisitive, curious, a wee bit nosy and compelled to share with the public what is going on in the world around them.

The Average Girl's Guide to Getting Pumped for Pumpkin

Fall pumpkin spice starbucks

There are still a few weeks left of summer but with the start of September and back to school, it's basically fall already so it is time to prep for all of the fall goodness. I've already seen countless one-liners reminding me fall is approaching and pictures on my Facebook feed of pumpkin spice everything so it is officially time to start hibernation. 

Coffee shops have already launched their pumpkin flavored coffee and although I haven't gotten my hands on one yet, it is only a matter of time. The temperature has dropped a few degrees and I'm ready to trade in my maxi dresses for chunky knit sweaters. Nobody loves fall like basic bitches...I would know because I'm as basic as one gets. Here is a guide to getting pumped for all things pumpkin.

Pros & Cons of a Two Year Engagement

Two year engagement
Now that I'm back from a two month hiatus, lets talk weddings because what bride-to-be doesn't want to talk about weddings.

I'm at that age where many of my high school pals are getting engaged so why not write a blog post to maybe help them out in the crazy, overwhelming process.

Jake and I are doing a two year engagement. Well, technically it's over two years but for this post's sake, lets just round down. There are many strong opinions about not doing the traditional one year timeline. Personally, I cringe at the thought of planning a 200-plus person wedding in 12 months. I could never.  Two years was ideal and I don't think it's ridiculously long, but that's just me. 

Anita, why would you ever take that long of engagement? Get it over with already.

We have to way THAT long for your wedding?

Your sister will get engaged and married before you if you don't do it quicker.

I've gotten it all but you have to block it out. It is what's best for Jake and I and that's all that matters, so screw. After all, the long engagement allows me to build a life while preparing for marriage. Which gets me into the point of this post...

The pros:

* You're able to build a life while preparing for marriage. I got a new job shortly after the proposal and the best part of having a two year engagement, I don't have to put my career aside, which is something that is very important to me.

*It gives you time to change your mind a million times before the big day. The more you change your mind, the more sure you will be with the final outcome. For example, I changed my mind on my centerpieces three times already and my latest focus, my honeymoon which I change every damn day. There is a ton of pressure to plan the perfect honeymoon, full of honeymoon-ish things like champagne, rose petals, and towels folded into a swan on the bed upon arrival. SO. MANY. DECISIONS. On top of it, the many weddings that I've been following did a two week honeymoon and I can barely afford a seven day. I want to throw a temper tantrum... but, I want a two week honeymoon. Shit isn't cheap. Anyone with all-inclusive honeymoon suggests in a tropical location, holla atchya girl. 

*The most obvious pro— it gives you time to save money. Maybe with the money I'm about to save I can afford a $5,000 honeymoon. Probably not. But at least the money saved allows me to splurge on some items like a videographer. You can also save money by booking vendors early and  it gives you more time to pay off the hefty price tag. You're going to want all the help you can get. 

*DIY overload. With all of the time I have until the wedding, I can Pinterest my heart out and have ample time to make stuff, like cute escort cards and party favors for a two-for-one package. My current idea, using these mini succulents for them. And I save money doing a two-for-one.  

Wedding escort cards

*You have time to enjoy being engaged. Don't let anyone make you feel selfish for having a long engagement, this is you and your fiance's time to enjoy the wedding process. It can get super stressful, but with a longer timeline, it lessens the burden financially and emotionally. And yes, a long engagement lets you drag it out because it goes by in the blink of an eye so it's more time to savor the moment and build up excitement for the big day. Plus, who doesn't want more time to talk about their wedding?! This girl right here. 

The cons:

*Envying the couples who get married in under six months. Believe or not, it's a thing— pulling off a wedding in a few months and under $3,000. Their logic, "to get it over with." Personally, I like the anticipation of an engagement but it's just not for some brides. But once contracts are signed and deposits are getting sent out depleting your wedding fund, pulling off a cheap and quick wedding sounds really tempting.

*The guest list can constantly change and in some cases, increase. I already have a 200-plus guest list, I can't afford any more! But while making friends, meeting new co-workers and family members' new boyfriend/girlfriend, you feel obligated to invite them. My advice: set boundaries. Mine, for example, is if you are with the same person for over a year than you can get a plus one. Anyone who has planned a wedding can understand this.

*Second guessing every decision you make. I am the WORST at this. I see other brides get a venue that I love, or come up with the cutest ideas for decor, or are spending three times less than you with the same size wedding, but turn those blinders on ladies and trust your judgement. It's about what works for YOU, not what others are doing. Now if only I can take my own advice.

*You start to get annoying from all of the wedding talk. I'm already getting it....Anita, are you still talking about your wedding that is light-years away? Dammit, yes I am! Just because I took a long engagement doesn't mean I shouldn't share my wedding plans with anyone who is willing to listen. The best thing I've realized— find another bride-to-be because they will be more than willing to chat about wedding stuff.

*Following a timeline. It's difficult to start wedding planning for a two year engagement because you never know when the right time is to start. When do you send out save-the-dates? Is it too early start my wedding registry? How come flight fares won't be released sooner than a year before the desired date? You can Google long engagement timelines but I didn't find them super helpful. I set a goal to have all of the big items checked off my list before the one year mark and I'm pretty much on target. Another issue, the engagement party. It's been a year since we got engaged and it's way too late for an engagement party so what do I do? Have a "one year kickoff party." Problem solved. 

A pro & con: time to get in shape for the wedding
This can get tricky because you can take your time to get in shape and eat healthy and once you start, you find yourself reaching for the left over chocolate cake because I have plenty of time to shed the weight. It can be a double edged sword but stay focused and again, set a timeline. After the New Year, I'll buckle-down and keep my eye on the prize...and scale.

That's enough wedding talk for now, but of course there will be plenty of wedding stuff to talk about because I still have a year and a half to write about it. Are you guys on board? GREAT!

Working On Your Birthday

I almost dodged a bullet this year. With less than 24 hours until my birthday, I got hit. Of course I did. 

Unfortunately, I'm still working at the radio station on my birthday this year but there was a 90 percent chance that I would have had to go at the state house until the wee-hours in the morning, possibly 3am like in years past, for the budget to be heard and voted in the full House. This probably means nothing to you nor do you care but basically I don't have to cover a super long hearing, instead it got pushed back to Wednesday. For once, politicians talking a long time to do something worked in my favor. But I got a glorious text on this fine Monday morning saying I have an event at 6pm on my birthday that I must cover and in that instant, my birthday bubble burst.

I got this lump in my throat, like every time I have to work on my birthday, and I want to moan, groan and whine my way to having my birthday off but none of that will help. I guess my birthday dinner will have to wait until Thursday. UGHHHHH

There comes a point where you have to grow up because stopping life to celebrate the day you were gifted to the world has to stop at some point. Is 26 that age? 

My twin and I turn 26 on June 14 and it's going to be a big, big year for us. Wanna know why? We are off our parents health insurance. This is a day I've been dreading and I am in the grueling process of applying for benefits which I don't know how I can possibly afford. I'm an epileptic so medication is super expensive but I'll make it work, I have too. I have no choice. So I'm hoping working on my birthday Tuesday will distract me from the coming expense that will deplete my paycheck that is small to begin with. 

Your birthday is the one day you feel extra special because it's a day all about you— in my case, about my sister and I. So when we spend the day separately, I have an amplified desire for everyone I make eye contact with to jump for joy and start singing the happy birthday song, because everyone on the planet knows its my birthday, right? That's what I'd like to think on my day. 

I interact with more people as a news reporter than other jobs. Tuesday's are usually busy days at the state house so there was a good possibility I would have had to be there, mingling with people who have no clue it's my birthday. Is it totally bat shit crazy if I say, "Hey Governor! Governor! How are you? It's my birthday, FYI." Yes Anita, that is insane. 

You shouldn't feel selfish for wanting everyone to know it's your birthday. I sure don't. Maybe it's because I share everything with my twin that I feel the need to wear a birthday sash to work just to remind everyone that June 14 isn't just Flag Day or the day after the Olsen twins' birthday. So naturally, I was so exited for our separate donut cakes we got on our birthday last year (pictured below). Side note: look how little Lou Dog was! Now he is a ham, tipping the scale at 100 pounds.

Working on your Birthday

So how do you make the best of working on your birthday?

Keep your Facebook open at your desk to see all your birthday posts because we all know how social media birthday's work.

Suggest going out for drinks after work because it will feel more special.

Lower your expectations because people are going to continue their workday without caring it's your birthday.

Spread your holiday cheer! Who doesn't like working with someone in a good mood, spreading good vibes to everyone in the office. All you need is one person to realize it's your birthday, probably by Facebook, and say happy birthday, hopefully loud enough for the whole office to hear. The happy birthday's will start rolling in, in no time.

Or, you can write a blog post and ask for all who read this post to share it, or at least the meme, because it will be your generous (and free) birthday gift to me :) kthanks

Goodbye 25, you've treated me well. May my "late 20's" mark new and exciting adventures.

What I Learned While Staying In Hostels

When you think about staying in a hostel, I bet the first thing that comes to mind is the movie and the promise you made to yourself to never stay in one. Throw that promise out the window. My recent trip to Amsterdam and Paris taught me a lot about myself and a lot about traveling on a budget. Although I'm broke AF right now, I was able to get the entire trip for way less than what I spent in Italy last July and I think I deserve a pat on the back. It wouldn't have been possible if I didn't stay in hostels.

Cocomoma Generator
Hostels & rooms I stayed in.  Amsterdam (left) Paris (right)

Here is what I learned. 

1. Hostels aren't what you'd initially think
Hostels are not as grungy as you might have imagined. I believe it's an up-in-coming industry because I stayed at some swanky hostels, especially in Paris. But first, the hostel I stayed in Amsterdam, Cocomama, is a "boutique" hostel that is a converted brothel. Oh, the City of Freedom. It was renovated with themed rooms that had super comfortable mattresses. I traveled with four others, all my family and Jake, so we were able to stay in one room. Yes, it was tight quarters, yes there was tension at times (naturally) but it was totally worth spending $50 bucks a night. Yes, you read that correctly. Only $50 bucks. 

There is a sense of community when you stay at hostels because the travelers there all there for the same reason. Why pay a ton for a room you don't plan on spending much time in, am I right? Workers are super friendly, there are nightly events like a tour of the Red Light District we did with a native to Amsterdam and it was way cooler than any boring, follow the leader tour. It was kick ass. We saw lots of naked bodies, learned so much about how prostitution is regulated and showed us the wonders and mystical beauties of the city that we wouldn't have known otherwise. 

2. Picking up after yourself is a bigger pain than expected  
From the toiletry bag to shoes to even your bobby bins on the sink, proper hostel etiquette is to be neat and tidy because after all, you are staying with complete strangers. Even being quiet is easier said than done. Fidgeting with my lock for my locker sounded, what I thought, like a fog horn that wouldn't stop going off. You learn to master stealth mode. Navigating through the crowded dorm room in the middle of the night to get a glass of tap water after having a few too many drink takes some serious skills. And after a few nights, you are stealthy enough to be the next James Bond. 

3. Paranoia? What's that?
I've slept with complete strangers. You'd think that would trigger some paranoia with me but nope, it didn't even phase me. Maybe it's because my older brother and fiance were in the same six bed dorm with me and the eerily similar bed to my childhood bed that made me feel like I was home. At our Paris hostel, The Generator, the two other randoms in the room was one guy from Argentina who greeted me with a kiss on the cheek, which I oddly didn't find threatening. The one other traveler was this Japanese girl who was super quiet and didn't understand a lick of English. Asking if she wanted the light on or off turned into a game of charades. There was no way she was shanking me in the middle of the night. Even the people in the common room were super friendly. Shit, there was even a legit bar and mini-club in the basement of our Paris hostel. It was awesome partying with strangers. 

Quick story: While the five of us are at the downstairs bar, some random kid approaches us and is on his phone, taps Jake on the shoulder and is like, "are you Shamus' brother?!" What are the effing chances that Jake's younger brother's buddy from high school was at this very same hostel across the world, with Shamus on the phone? It's the Rhode Island curse. We are so damn small that no matter where you are, apparently even around the globe, you will know someone from home. I couldn't make this shit up.

Back to my point. With hostels, you have to have an open mind to others and put that paranoia a side. And if you can't, then hostel life isn't for you. In case you didn't realize, I survived staying in hostels. So will you. 

Paris France

This might not pertain to staying at a hostel much, but still, make sure you eat as much food as possible when traveling. Maybe it is my Italian coming out but one of the main reasons I travel is to try the food true to that culture. When I was in France, I ate a hella lot of cheese, and a fair amount in Amsterdam too. When I didn't finish the cheese, I brought it back to my hostel and secretly ate it in my bunk. The good thing about staying in the top bunk, it is like a little cave so no one can see your shameless self, grubbing on cheese and the end of the baguette that you didn't finish earlier. Did I mention the chocolate?!? I couldn't get enough, but it didn't hold as well as the cheese. I still licked the wrapper clean. 

Paris Cheese

5. Always travel with flip flops
Bringing easy slip-on shoes is a must while staying in hostels. You don't know what you are walking into as far as showers go, so be sure to have something on your feet while getting clean. I've heard some gnarly shower horror stories and I wasn't ready to rewrite that one. I've also learned that I'm not as agile as I used to be. Getting into the top bunk of the bunk beds was not as easy as I remembered. My twin sister and I always slept on one growing up, but I always got the bottom. Boy, does that ladder hurt your feet! This is where I wish I brought my flip flops with me in bed because I'm sure I sounded like a bat out of hell, groaning while trying to get out of bed. And if Jake wasn't there to help me down, I basically just fell out of it and hoped I didn't wake anyone up. Lesson learned— sleep with flip flops in your bunk. 

My brother told me that once you stay in a hostel, you will never stay anywhere else. He's right. Before you guys book another hotel while traveling, do some research into hostels. There are big chains, like the Generator, that are just as clean and have as many amenities as fancy hotels, just more relaxed and chill. Who doesn't want that? It's mostly millennials who stay at them so you are bound to meet some cool people and enjoy that country's culture for much less. If there is one thing to take away from wasting your time reading this blog post is to consider staying in hostels. You won't regret it.

Happy travels! 

Shade Queens, Please Take Your Seats

The drama. The glamour. The shade. Everything about reality TV reunions are pure gold. The season built us reality TV suckers up for the last few months for a three part episode that requires the utmost attention. Since there are two shows having their reunion (Vanderpump Rules and Atlanta Housewives) I needed to take the time to appreciate the greatness that is a reunion.

What's better than a reunion is the beginning of a new season and as it pans out, when drama packed moments happen, you can't wait to see Andy Cohen rip them a new one and readddd these bitches. Like when Joe Giudice has a scandalous phone call with some random mistress and had his mic on and Andy gave it to him, good. These are the moments I live for. And Andy isn't as innocent as he looks. He is very strategic in seating arrangements on the couches. It gets the cast heated up because they know for damn sure that if they are placed on opposite couches, some shit is about to pop off. Andy, you're a genius. 

Vanderpump Rules part three reunion is ready to play on the DVR, alas the TV is mine! You know damn well that I have the ultimate set up as I do every reunion: a blanket, slippers, wine, phone, prescription glasses and dimmed lighting. I have a full bowl of Frosted Flakes with freshly poured milk and Jake is playing his guitar in the basement...it's about to go down. 

Once the ladies sit on the couch with the oh-so-glamorous ball gowns, weaves and caked on makeup, it's the happiest I will be since the season started. Each reunion, there is always that one who is having a really bad hair day or wearing something that they shouldn't. Like Countess Luann from New York housewives who always ends up wearing a terrible metallic dress that should have never been made. Makes for good tabloid headlines. 

Even Luann agrees. 

Nothing beats the amount of shade that is dished out on reunions. It's why they exist. Let's face it, people aren't watching this shit to see them sing Kumbaya. 

Katie's face says it all. She wants nothing to do with Stassi and someone doesn't need to watch the entire season to figure that out. That's one of the beauties of a reunion. Just watch the it, you'll get all the highlights, plus the reaction of these bitches on drama they squashed months prior. You can almost feel the sting from the band-aid getting ripped off their wounds. Now, that's what I call good television. 

I get much fulfillment from watching senseless, trashy, reality television because it's a time that I don't have to think...at all. It's garbage for the mind. It's nice to be in someone else's drama without the repercussions, is that bad? 

Speaking of trashy, this is the Average Girl Chronicles top pick for reality TV reunion moments. I sure hope post jail Teresa Giudice will be just as crazy as OG Teresa. 

It's funny that reunions are painted to be a time of reflection for the cast, a time to explain their bad behavior and shit talking in the confessional. But in reality (pun intended), it just creates a hostile environment where they dig DEEP into their secrets...the ones you want to know but they are too juicy to air on national television. But when the heat is under popcorn kernels, it's only a matter a time they will pop and the skeletons will come out of their closet. 

Watching reality TV is a series commitment. You have to bargain time to occupy the living room in order to watch arguments and fights for hours. Jake will not let me even scroll over the show in the DVR without saying "no" before I even ask. So while I just finished Pump Rules reunion, I'm going to sneak in part three of the Atlanta Housewives reunion before Jake notices. 


The Tale Of Two Zeppole

st. joseph's day

To make my Irish fiance happy and to prevent the never ending argument of which holiday is better, St Patrick's Day or St. Joseph's Day, I made corned beef and cabbage for dinner and woofed down a dozen freshly made zeppole for dessert. 

Rhode Island is chuck full with Italian's so the traditional fried pastry pops up in every bakery along Federal Hill, aka Rhody's Little Italy. I grew up with zeppole and look forward to them each year, but not the cream filled, cherry-topped one, I'm talking about the light, fried goodness of a pastry drenched in honey. THAT is a real zeppole to me. I've done some research to set the story straight because I don't see enough of zeppole around town, the way that I've always ate it. 

Food for thought: if you google zeppole, the kind I'm bragging about is one of the first pictures to pop up. #truth 

Zeppole, according to my research, came about in southern Italy and there are variations from region to region. In Itri where my family is from, it was a peasant-filled town so dairy and sugar were not common and considered a luxury. The beauty of this kind of zeppole is its simplicity. With just flour, yeast, water and honey, my ancestors were able to come up with a delicious treat in honor of St. Joseph's Day. 


The labor-intensive treat takes hours to make because you can't just make a dozen that's nonsense. To this day, my 94-year-old grandmother makes sure we make zeppole  and use specific ingredients because according to her, it isn't the same without King Arthur's flour and Mazola corn oil. She's like the conductor of the operation now-a-days.  

I'm not fond of the custard/cream filled zeppole, it's not really my thing. I'm very particular about sticking true to the Italian traditions of my family and yes, it may be snobby of me but I'm just a girl who knows what kind of dessert she likes. I know, I'm terrible. 

st. joseph's day
^^^I don't think they are as good as they look

Us Italians take our traditions very seriously and whatever my Grandma Soprano tells me, I do without question. So much so, I wanted to share her recipe with all of Rhode Island and anyone tuning in by going on a talk radio show to discuss all things zeppole and St. Joseph's Day. The morning radio host at the station I work at wanted me as a co-anchor (more like commentator) and started calling me on air, Anita Baffoni the Zeppole Queen. Well if the crown fits. 

I'm going to stop writing this post now because I can't stop eating these damn zeppole and there is too much honey all over my laptop for me to continue. That's what I call a good Friday night. The quicker I eat them, the sooner they won't be in my damn apartment anymore because I'm supposed to be getting fit for my wedding...

So much for that.


Buona festa di San Giuseppe, and happy weekend. 

My Million Dollar Wedding


Anytime the word "wedding" is attached to any price quote, it will double, especially in Providence. The smallest state was just ranked by Thumbtack, the fifth most expensive city to throw a wedding and I'm really feeling the effects. We opted to a two year engagement and we are nearing the year and a half mark and the pressure is slowly building. Surprisingly I'm keeping calm.

I've made a promise to myself that we would book the major wedding services before the one year mark and now that I'm calling countless amounts of vendors, I am getting very discouraged because there is no way I'm spending $5,000 on flowers. Just flowers. Are you high? Do I look like a millionaire? 

The study shows that for Providence, brides will spend an average of nearly $14,000 on just wedding services, such as the caterer, music, limo and cake. It doesn't include the rings, dress or venue. I can remember getting engaged and someone asked me what my budget was going to be and my naive self said, $10,000. HA. I was sadly mistaken. Another study found that an entire cost of a Rhode Island wedding is $45,000. Mind you, the national average is just under $30,000, to put it into perspective how expensive Rhode Island weddings are. 

I am fortunate enough to have my parents chipping in to the majority of the cost but regardless, I want to and I want my parents to spend the least amount possible. So when I call three florists and get a quote for $5,000 each time, I just can't deal. This is also thousands more than what the study averaged flowers to be in Providence, quoting roughly $1,400. 

Here are the breakdown's, according to Thumbtack, which are oddly low then what I'm being quoted. 

Providence Wedding

Where in the world did they get $3,300 for catering?! That must be a 10 person guest list because I'm looking at triple that...well I am having a 200 person wedding. 

Fellow Rhode Islanders know how to get things done for cheap in this state. Since the state is so damn small, everyone knows someone in some business that you can use to your advantage. For me, I am channeling all of those favors and gestures from people who offered to help out with my wedding. My advice for future brides: cash in all of those favors and don't be afraid to ask family and friends for help. 

Working with family can be tricky, but just make sure you are sensitive to their feelings, however, don't feel like you can't say your true opinion because this is supposed to be the day of your dreams. Don't let anything take that away from you. It's YOUR day. 

I'm channeling my inner Martha Stewart and thinking of ways to turn expensive wedding services into DIY projects, like centerpieces. It may be more work but not only will it be fun to get the girls together, you will also be able to save that money for a kick ass honeymoon. Speaking of, another study I found said an average honeymoon is $5,000. I have no clue how I'm going to pull this off but my grandmother keeps telling me, don't stress too much about the money because you will find a way to make it happen. Australia, here the Anderson's come! 

Every wedding decision feels like an expensive one. Unfortunately for me, it's even more expensive in Providence. And I'm not even getting married in Providence but all of my vendors are around these parts so it looks like I'm working three jobs until Oct. 8, 2017. 

So the point of this post? I'm using it as an opportunity to bitch about how I need to come up with $1 million to pay for my wedding. I'll be setting up a GoFundMe account later this week. 

***this post gave me a reason to share some more of my engagement photos. Aren't they amazeballs? I'm thinking the three shown may be contenders for save-the-dates, which also cost way too much. But it's totally worth it, right? I'm accepting inexpensive wedding tips! The more, the merrier. 

As a side note, I literally got poison ivy basically on my butt from rolling around in the woods for our engagement photos. That's what I get for dragging Jake into doing them. 

Fall engagement photos

Dear Pimple

Break outs

Dear Pimple,

I am writing to you in regards to your recent outburst in the middle of my face. 

You and your pesky friends should know by now that I am constantly interviewing people, close up, and your unsightly being is not appreciated, nor do I appreciate your persistence. It is taking away from my work, so thanks, you jerk. 

We know each other all too well and I'd like to think you would have a shred of consideration, but no. You've created what looks like a planet on my face and there isn't enough concealer in my arsenal of makeup to cover you up. I don't need this drama in my life right now. 

Yes, maybe I picked at you, a tiny blackhead, too prematurely but the lighting in my bathroom is just too good to not pick at my face. For that, I am not sorry. Pimple, I take all the right precautions every night by washing and exfoliating my face, using refining toner and putting on an all natural moisturizer to ensure this wont happen. Can you give me a break? What's your obsession with my face anyway? You are the only one on my face at the moment which makes it even worse because you stand out more. You always have to be the center of attention.

I will continue to try and pop you every day until you go away for good, although my efforts will just get you more irritated, but you've left me no choice. Now I have to carry around concealer because who knows when you will act up. Stop throwing temper tantrums and grow the eff up. I can't take having lead state officials stare at you on my face. It's embarrassing! Plus, that means they aren't paying attention to me so now you are taking away from me time, after all it is MY FACE. Jeez, selfish much. 

I am a 25-year-old working professional, it's not okay to have you on my face. By the looks of it, I have a feeling you are going to continue your childish ways but don't worry, I'm calling in reinforcements. You are forcing me to whip out the toothpaste and rubbing alcohol. I would rather feel the burn then continue to see you on my face. Plus, I just bought new, expensive makeup and you are distracting from my contouring skills. 

I can tell you are having a good time on my face considering the amount of time you've been there but to be clear, you are NOT welcome. Go ahead, have fun while you can because it is not going to last. I warn you, if you plan to continue your stay, I expect you pay rent because the amount of money I spend on facial beauty products is very expensive. 

Oh, and please spread the word to your homies, I'm making an appointment for a facial next week. 


Anita Baffoni

50 Thoughts Girls Have While Getting Their Eyebrows Threaded

Threading is the best thing to come to female grooming since razors. Eyebrows are a huge focus nowadays, in fact there are a million Instagram accounts just on perfecting the craft. No more plucking and messing up your own brows. Get those bad boys threaded! Not only is it better than waxing (because your skin isn't being yanked in every which way) the overall shape is better. Fellow Italians may have to get their brows and upper-lip done frequently, which is why I found an eyebrow salon in Providence that has a $10 per month, unlimited package which saves me $30 each month. I end up going twice a month and each time, I dread it because it hurts like a bitch but in the end, totally worth it. Beyonce says it best; pretty hurts.

Here are 50 thoughts girls have while getting their eyebrows threaded.

1. Where is my normal lady?

2. She's going to eff them up royally

3. She better not, or my selfie game will NOT be on fleek 

4. Shit, I should have taken my blanket scarf off because it is way too hot in here

5. Why didn't she use a breath mint before threading my brows?

6. This doesn't hurt that bad this time

7. Nope, still hurts

8. It's not like an "I just got shot hurt" more like an annoying hurt

9. Boy, my hands are getting clammy

10. I don't know why I'm squeezing my hands so much, it isn't helping the pain at all

11. Why did the string break? Are my brows that bad?!

12. I'm glad it broke to give me a minute to itch my nose

13. I can feel your stomach resting on my head and I don't like it, but by the gurgles, you should eat lunch

14. Why are you taking so long on one eyebrow?

15. Something went wrong!

16. I hope they aren't too thin

17. Please stop telling me I should come once a week, this shit hurts too much

18. Why can't I ever seem to stretch my eyebrow correctly

19. Wow, your hands are cold

20. Thanks for showing me for the hundredth time how to correctly hold my eyebrow

21. Shit, I hope I don't rip my jacket because it is really not helping me lift my arms to stretch

22. Why do I have to stretch my skin, anyway?

23. Get through this and you won't have to come back for another two weeks

24. Can you please blow out all of the incense, I'm getting a headache

25. Is there that much hair on my forehead?

26. Why are you threading my forehead?

27. Boy this is taking a long time

28. I can feel everyone watching me

29. I'm sorry I keep fidgeting, this REALLY HURTS

30. Is my upper lip that bad that you need to make a comment about it? It's not my fault!

31. Do you have to thread that close to my nose?

32. Can the thread get nose hairs?

33. This feels like popping a pimple under my nose which is the worst pain ever

34. I think I'm getting string burn because you keep going over the same spot and, yes, IT HURTS

35. I would rather my eyebrows get done multiple times then endure my lip getting done

36. No, I don't want the "soothing gel" because its probably just hand sanitizer and I don't want to break out.

37. Please move so I can see myself in the mirror

38. THANK GOD they aren't effed up

39. She could have gotten that one hair but I'll just do it with my tweezers when I get home because there is no way in hell I'm getting back in that chair

40. Jeez, there is so much hair on my face. Did she really just pull that much hair off my face?

41. Can I have a tissue to dry my eyes?

42. Wow, my face is so red and irritated

43. Thanks for not effing up my face

44. Even if you did, there's nothing a little brow pencil can't fix

45. I'm so glad this is over

47. I can't wait to get in my car to really inspect her threading job

47. Wow, my eyebrows are on fleek

48. I hope they don't grow in too quickly because I can't handle this again

49. Ugh...two weeks will come too quickly

50. Now I know why Peaches Monroe made that vine

Peaches Monroe

To Sparkle Or Not To Sparkle

There comes a point when a young working professional needs to look and act the part. Whether that means retiring the hot pink bow headbands, start to wear appropriate makeup or dying your purple hair back to your natural color, that is what you are supposed to do. But clearly, I somewhat disregard this unwritten rule.

There I am, shoving my work microphone and gold sparkly iPhone in the Governor of Rhode Island's face for an interview a few weeks ago. Should I have a more neutral phone case, probably. But unapologetically, I do it anyway. 

I struggle with this decision. Being a newbie reporter, I tend to compare my actions to other more experienced reporters. I look at what they are wearing, their demeanor, and their equipment/tools they use while in the field. Since I am in radio news reporting, I always like to have a backup sound, which is where my 14 karat gold sparkly iPhone comes in. I always end up questioning my decision to use my obnoxious phone with this case but I don't have the patience to use my outdated work phone that is super slow compared to my personal iPhone 6s. The struggle is real.

Does the Governor care about my phone case? Probably not. She has way bigger fish to fry. Frankly, she probably likes my sparkles. So there is that. 

Just be yourself, Anita. I know, I know. It's easier said than done. There is just so much damn pressure to fit in and be "normal" but really...what is normal? Standing out a little bit isn't the worst thing in the world. I think I would rather stand out a bit with a sparkly iPhone case then fade in the background of the reporter gauntlet. It's pretty accurate to say the Governor probably knows whose sparkly phone it is every time its in her face. This girl, right here. And, don't I want newsmakers to know who I am, Anita Baffoni the news reporter? 

This confidence comes and goes more often than I'd like. Here I am in a candid shot at an event at the state house I was covering and a T.V. camera caught me, in the front row, next to state legislators that just so happened to sit in the same row as I. Noooo, I wasn't trying to be in view of the camera. I needed to be near my microphone equipment, thank you very much.

Right before I knew the camera's were rolling, I turned over my iPhone because I thought, maybe it is too much. Keep in mind, this was the day after I posted the picture of me and the Governor at the top of this post and I got plenty of jokes from my brother and others on my phone case. Yes, they were jokes but it got me thinking. 

Whatever. It's too late now to change how I do things, with or without my sparkly iPhone case. In the face of judgement, I'm going to continue shoving my obnoxious phone in the face of anyone with a good news story, and be myself. At least it isn't a bunny-eared phone case like the one Jess has in New Girl. Well, that's how I justify my ridiculousness. 

With that said,
You stay classy, San Diego. 

Side note: I've been swamped with work and catching up on my DVR'd shows that I've missed two weeks of blog posts. Sorry guys, assuming you care. Has anyone else watched the latest Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce? Becca's baby is black?!??! Mind blown.

Ok, bye. 

The Average Girl's Guide To Dealing With A Quarter Life Crisis

quarter life crisis
One's 25th birthday is a special one, no doubt. You've grown up and traded your mini skirts for pencil skirts. So much changes in each year of your 20's after your legendary 21st birthday and it's hard to get control of the reigns of your life when that happens because there are just too many decisions to be made. 

But once that day has come and gone, adulthood hits you like a ton of bricks. All sorts of new adult things start coming at you like wild fire and eventually, when you succumb to the "adulting" pressure, you have reached your quarter life crisis. 

2015 was an incredible year for me. I got a new job furthering my broadcast journalism career and I got engaged. Those are some of the major boxes I just checked off my life list. Now, I'm starting to panic because an entry level reporting job means an entry level pay and my bills seem to be piling up more and more. Do the math...I'm broke. It sucks, but I'm managing, and here is how.
Here is the Average Girl's Guide to Dealing with a Quarter Life Crisis. 

1. Get yourself the most plush, comfy robe
Mine is Victoria Secret and probably every person who has been to my apartment has seen me in it, I wear it that frequently. There is nothing like coming home from a long day of work from your two jobs, dropping everything and putting on that robe for the first enjoyable moment of the day. It's that one time you can get coddled like every working 20-something wants. 

A part of going through your mid-twenties includes that time where you focus on getting your dream job and once you are on the right path, you miss how easy you had it working as as a Dunkin' Donuts girl. And tax season? Every 25+-year-old LOVES tax season because it means you can finally go shopping with your refund which seems to last a hot second. And then you realize how much money was taken out of your pay check to pay Uncle Sam. That's a slap in the face when that moment comes. 

2. Ben & Jerry's
Find your Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor. Everyone is destined for one of their amazing flavors. I would highly suggest Fish Food or Half Baked. This small pint of ice cream can play both sides of the fence. On pay day, what better way to spend the first $5 than buying a fresh pint of goodness from your hard earned pay check. This same pint of ice cream comes in handy once you sit down and pay your bills shortly after getting paid. You will want to eat your sorrows away and hang with Ben and Jerry. It's life. 

3. Listen to your friends, because you need someone to listen to you
I've found that genuinely caring about your friends lives really makes for a good friendship. Common sense, right? Everyone likes to talk about themselves and for someone to actually care. Listen long and hard because you are going to need someone who will answer your call at all hours of the night when you realize how supporting yourself is not what it is cracked up to be. Like that time a pipe burst in my apartment in the wee hours of the morning and had to sleep on my mattress on my kitchen floor. 

I have it a little easier because I have a twin sister who is forced into dealing with my frantic calls 247. Thanks, Sam ! :::insert smirking emoji here:::

LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS AS LONG AS POSSIBLE (or until they kick you out). 

4. Push notifications are your friend
There is just so much that needs to be done now that you have real responsibilities and not everyone can remember all of the bill due dates by heart. I sure can't. So I set a reminder each day that I owe my life too that way I don't get hit with fees. And don't forget about your student loans. After all, you did pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for that education that your getting paid basically minimum wage for. 

It's totally worth it...

5. Get a Rubik's cube for your coffee table
This will come in handy when your are trying to figure out where you are supposed to be going in your life. There will be a point where you are faced with that hard decision, mostly involving a job -related crossroads that you can't manage to decide which way to go. The Rubik's cube on my coffee table is my best friend...although I still haven't figured out what journalism route to take. 

On that note, when is a quarter life crisis supposed to end?!? Because I've been stressed since the day after my 25th birthday. 

6. Lots and lots of clocks
Clocks tickle my fancy, not sure why but I just love them. I like to know what time it is all the time (pun intended). I know, super weird. When you are a teenager, it seems like the days can't end quickly enough and now I'm running out of time to do everything on my imaginary to-do list so knowing the time somewhat helps... and reminds me how much stuff I still have to do. 

7. Time Hop will bring you joy
It's the little things in life.

There is nothing better than waking up at the ass crack when it's cold as hell and as snow is piling up outside than using your precious morning social media stalk-sesh to jump back to photos to when you had it easy. Facebook has perfected it because they pop up first thing you check your social media in the morning. Genius.

It gives you a moment to reminisce to when you would line outside a college bar that turned into a sad attempt of a "club" and dressing like its Fourth of July weekend. My only two responsibilities while in college at URI: pass all my classes and get into Bonvue before 1 a.m. Ah, to be young and stupid. Speaking of, hangovers in your early 20's to mid 20's are like night and day. I just can't hang anymore. I'm sure as hell not feeling 22 anymore, Taylor. 

8. A tissue box...for your car
Those damn Andrea Bocelli songs will hit you hard when you are pondering life while driving to work and stuck in the inevitable rush hour traffic. These will also come in handy when you get a call that your bank account overdrew and now your next pay check is toast from overdraft fees. Or when you realize you have $800 in back car taxes you need to pay in order to renew your registration... in one month. Gotta love having your own car! At least I'm less than six months away from paying off that loan. Now, I can't wait to say that when I pay off all of my student loans...in 2040.

So, these tools didn't yet solve my quarter life crisis that I'm suffering from right now but it sure as hell helped me (a tiny amount) in dealing with the repercussions of my grown up decisions, or lack thereof.  

I know, I know, life is sooo hard. But with the right coping tools, you will be just fine. 

Why I Would Consider Calling Off My Wedding

Got Eem

In case you didn't catch the hint from the above photo, no, I would not call off my wedding. I just booked a trip to Amsterdam and Paris for this coming spring and considering I'm in the midst of planning and saving for a wedding, it probably wasn't the smartest idea to travel. 

I came across this new airline, WOW Air, based out of Iceland, that is offering super cheap flights to Europe. I mean, dirt cheap. Like, you can go to Paris for $250 one-way cheap. Factor in a couple hour layover in Iceland, which isn't that bad. How could I pass that up? Like the true journalist that I am, I questioned why it really is so cheap. Much to my surprise, there were numerous articles from very credible news sources about WOW that eased my overthinking mind. 

There has been talk amongst my siblings and significant others for doing some sort of trip in May and when we discovered we could book a round trip flight for under $800, there was no question. There was a $67 fee for luggage but still, it is almost half of what I paid for my flight ticket to Italy this past July.

But did booking it really pose no questions?

While I was convincing my twin sister into coming on the trip and having her tell me why she doesn't think she should do it because it isn't "fiscally responsible" right now, I started questioning my own decision to go. I was going against the very words I was persuasively and frantically texting her because looking in the mirror, I should not be going to Europe less than two years from my wedding. My brother wanted to book it before the New Year to prevent any increase in cost which gave us all but four days to decide, so we needed to think fast. Talk about pressure. 

As soon as I made up my mind, I could sense all of the shade that would be coming my way.

Tisk tisk Anita. You are planning a wedding that is very expensive and you shouldn't do anything to take away from your savings. 

But it's Amsterdam and Paris! And I'll never have the opportunity to travel this cheap to Europe, probably ever. 

An older, much wiser co-worker of mine convinced me. He said to me the day before I booked my flight something along the lines of, "Travel while you're young and able. Don't worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will every be." Now, he is married with three children and reiterated to travel as much as possible before Jake and I have anyone other than ourselves to worry about. It was a done deal. From that point, I realized I'm going to Amsterdam and Paris. 


Anthony Bourdain's show, The Layover, provided us with tons of good spots to go and all sorts food to try. Who knew Indonesian food was popular in The Netherlands? The history, canals, boat homes, Dutch food and herds of bicycles, why else would someone travel to Amsterdam? 

We plan on keeping it as cheap as possible, by staying in hostels and traveling light. My brother caught the travel bug since going to Japan in December so he has plenty of tips on how to stay alive in hostels that will get us through our trip. Hopefully. 

Is it just me or does anyone else think of the horror movie, Hostel, anytime the word is mentioned?

Eiffle Tower

With so much happening in Paris right now, it's crazy we are going there. But, it's probably the safest it's going to be for travelers because of the heightened security, right? We have plans to take a three hour train from Amsterdam to Paris and eat our way through the city. I picture myself wearing a beret, in a super Parisian outfit, holding a freshly baked baguette and several kinds of the stinkiest cheese found in the city, walking over the Pont des Arts (aka the lovers lock bridge) and eating our goods under the Eiffel Tower. 

As a side note: when the 45 tons of padlocks were removed from the sides of the bridge this past summer, I cried a bit inside. What will happen to all of those lover's dreams?! More importantly, I'll never be able to put a lock with #Anderoni2017 on it. However, I'd rather not be able to put a lock up then have mine taken down and probably melted and destroyed.

We've gotten some tips from others who traveled to these parts and with that and Bourdain's must do's, I think we can get an authentic trip in each country. And I'm not talking about standing in line for three hours to go up the Eiffel Tower or other big attractions (other than the Louvre which I'll wait for). While I would love too, I want to spend my limited time living like a true Parisian would; eating, drinking and being fancy. 

If there is one thing to take from this blog post, it's that I would never call off my wedding nor is there something that would make me consider that. The title was click bait and if your still reading this, you were hooked. 

Amsterdam and Paris is happening, even though I financially shouldn't. Why stop my life in anticipation of one big, glorious party? 

I'm just going along for the ride. 

P.S. I'm already questioning my decision on using the first photo in this post but I couldn't resist. It's borderline nauseating because it's so in your face, but worth it. 

P.P.S. Check out and follow my new twitter handle, @theAGchronicles ! 

Happy Friday.