1. 2014: An Year of Living Earnestly.

    Now I know everyone’s either on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon or their like…hellz no, I suck at those. Well, I exist somewhere in the amorphous middle, stuck in some sort of resolution-based purgatory, right alongside the way I feel about flat shoes. 

    One half of me loves the beauty of change and discipline, the harder the better. The other half of me desires to live outside of the boundaries of strict deadlines and rules (like some godforsaken New York-based hippie that only eats meat), to be able to enjoy the complex grey areas of life…so this year, instead of resolutions, I’ve put some thoughts together on how I want to live more earnestly even in the little details of life. 

    I share these here with you, faithful readers (or not so faithful readers), not to gloat about how many things I’ll be kicking ass at in 2014, or to faux-inspire you (you’ve got Pintrest for all your inspirational quote needs isn’t that right?) but to honestly share things that are on my mind, and that I’ll probably fail at miserably. There’s a particular beauty in sharing missteps with vulnerability…they create little potholes in our story that others can fill in, or feel connected to. (If you would like to embroider this on a pillow at some point, please contact me at thebebetterblogger@gmail.com)

    So there.

    Instead of that nasty resolution word, let’s just call them “The Things of 2014”:

    -When something happens and I have an inclination to react with negativity via my sass-filled peanut brain, pause, and then do the EXACT opposite thing of what I really want to do. Get that? Stop. Drop. Do the Opp(osite).

    -Realize we are not put on this earth to judge humanity, our loved ones, or the gal at Starbucks for ordering an apple donut fitter muffin (1032 cals) and then pushily double-checking with the barista that her latte is skinny. Quell this as much as possible, especially at major airports. 

    -Stop eating when full. This will obviously be the hardest one as there is meat to be consumed in the world but my inner thigh meat will rejoice. Can I get a Hallelujah?! (says the small gospel choir that lives in/around that region of my body)

    -When I’m in a social situation and exchange the “We should hang out sometime!” words…actually DO IT. Or do not open my socially-supersized mouth and offer. Be a person who follows through, always. 

    -Recognize the people in life who suck energy and who give it. Spend the majority of my time and energy with the latter. Don’t feel guilty about the former.

    -Read more bookz. Because, books.

    I think that’s all folks. So pretty much, slap my hand if you see me going for thirds, if I ask you to hang out…expect to have to see me in the near future (UGH!), and if I stop spending time with you…eesh, you know what that means.

    Happy New Year Lovies,

    xo Chinae

    P.S. I’ll also hopefully be writing a little more on this ol’ thing.

    ***(Photo: The Last Sunset of 2013)***

     


  2. Be a Better…Houseguest.

    New Year’s Eve…one of my most favorite holidays each year that always seems to end in ONE GIANT THROBBING HANGOVER (my first post of 2014 and i’ve already used the word throbbing, it’s gonna be a good one folks). Every January 1st, I welcome the changing year with a woozy hello due to a pesky recurring champagne intolerance, and a penchant for not eating very much due to the “always-present form-fitting dress” situation. We all know that sequins just bounce light off any bump or crease like a lighthouse in the night…so hence the “drink your dinner” survival methodology.

    On a side note, I’d really be interested in that Survivorman guy attempting to wade through channels of lycra, cheap (and some $$$) champagne, and the LA hipster party scene…this would be the most pertinent challenge for my general interests at this point. 

    I digress.

    This New Year’s we were lucky to spend the evening with a few close friends, The Buchanan’s and some friends of theirs…cheersing with some bubbly before heading out to a random LA house party (which when we arrived, realized that we didn’t know anyone so we just talked to ourselves and then quickly left the premises after midnight kisses).

    One thing we New Yorkers are not used to is the fact that you have to not only drive TO the party, but then BACK from the party. FML. So this New Year’s I opted to be the lady off the sauce (OK maybe I had one glass of champagne and 1/2 glass of vino), and maybe for the first time, wasn’t the proud owner of a headache that would be likened to Hiroshima on New Year’s Day. Maybe I’m turning over a new leaf. 

    We planned to crash at the Buchanan’s that evening and I have to say, adult sleepovers (not those, you sickos) are just the best. You get to act like complete idiots and it’s ok, because you pay rent and have proper footwear dammit.

    To curb the impending hangovers from my compadres that next morning, I woke up extra-early, headed over to the grocery store and planned the perfect breakfast to heal even the worst hamster-wheel feeling headache (does anyone else picture a hamster wheel squealing in their head sometimes when they are in pain? This may not be a thing).

    Wanna be a good houseguest? It’s simple. 

    Get up early. Clean up. Do dishes from the previous night. Make breakfast (or reservations if you’re domestically stupid).

    No matter how incompetent you are in the kitchen, you too can make these hearty and delicious breakfast sammies. Your hosts will love you forever and might even invite you back for round two. 

    The Morning After Sandwich: 

    What you’ll need:  

    • 6 Large English Muffins
    • 2 Large Haas Avocados
    • 6 Eggs
    • 6 Slices of Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
    • 1 Large Heirloom Tomato
    • Arugula 
    • Thick Sliced Bacon (don’t cheap out)
    • Butter (softened)

    Step 1: Set oven on broil, butter each side of the English muffins and put them in the oven to toast. Do not forget about this, as your hosts’ house will burn down.

    Step 2: While your muffins are toasting, cook bacon to a crispy perfectness. Take this seriously. After bacon is cooked, set it aside.

    Step 3: Slice your avocado and tomato, and wash and dry your arugula. 

    Step 4: Did you forget about the muffins? Call the fire department now. 

    Step 5: Warm a skillet to a medium heat (with a little butter) to fry the eggs. Fry each on one side for 1 minute, quickly flip, then remove from pan, lightly cooking the top but keeping the yolk nice and runny. Set each egg on a muffin top (see what I did there) and cover up with the slice of cheese asap to get that sh*t melty and delicious.

    Step 6: Once your eggs and cheese are all in place, pile on your bacon, heirloom tomato, arugula, and last but not least, your perfectly ripe avocado. Top with muffin butt.

    I served these up with hash browns, fresh squeezed OJ, and heaps of coffee. 

    Cannot wait to share lots of adventures with you all this year! 

    Happy Hangovers (and New Year),

    Chinae

     


  3. Since I’ve Been Gone…

    Hold please.

    OK, we’re done being away from one another dear readers…since I’ve been gone (channeling my inner Kelly Clarkson…hopefully the skinny version), lots of things have happened huh? Miley has licked quite a few sledgehammers, our government peaced out for a bit, and I bought a baseball hat with a puff ball on top. Like I said, a lot has transpired.

    Much to the general chagrin of the internetz, I’m back for good and like a bad case of the ebola virus, you can’t get rid of me (although my writing has not been confirmed to cause you to bleed from your eyeballs…there’s always next post!). I know you’ve probably felt the void of mediocre humor and lax writing style, so here I am, back to fill that void in this corner of the internet. 

    So everyone  about three people have asked…”where have you been girl?” Well, I’ve been off my personal writing game, but trust me folks, I’ve been clickin’ around on this ol’ keyboard a’ plenty (jury is still out as to why I am talking like a farmhand). Here’s a little update on what I’ve been up to and whether you like it or not, I’ll be back to posting once or twice a week, per usual. 

    Let’s get the personal stuff out of the way first:

    This summer, I dated a fine gent who taught me all about wine, ginormous Italian families, and what the word algorithm means. We eventually amicably parted ways, which is always hard, but then we ate copious amounts of BBQ together to ease the heartache, as any good Texan woman does. I’m back to figuring things out in my personal/past life and will update you guys when things are firmed up over here, my thighs included. (The thigh part could take a minute)

    As for work and such….some fun things have been afoot!

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    * Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson, styled and directed by your truly

    You may or may not know, but I’ve been working in PR/MARKETING for a rad furniture design company named DESIRON for the last 6 years and I totally love what I do everyday and I am insanely thankful and lucky to like where I go from 9-5pm everyday. Plus, I get to plan parties. BUT, in my spare time, I’ve been doing quite a bit of freelancing and there’s more to come on that soon. 

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    My latest projecto was with a brand spankin’ new startup named, Timshel, which my friends Phil and Sean started. I’ve been helping them on the marketing end and also helped plan bits of their kickstarter launch party which was a total b-b-blast (READ, we got people really drunk on my cocktail recipe). If you are a human being who likes people, dogs, other people, memories, and/or has an iPhone, you should check out their new product…basically it’s a subscription service to print photos (Instagram and normal) directly from your mobile device…a blessing directly from the baby Jesus for lazy asses like me. If you’re smart, you’ll go ahead and back their Kickstarter HERE. 6 days left on that bad boy people or you’ll forget your memories forever and life won’t mean anything. 

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    * A photo from the launch party, taken by Josh Goleman, stain on Sean’s shirt, courtesy of Sean

    Some other friends doing kickass things that you NEED to know about:

    -My friend Anna writes this ultra-yummy blog called The Yellow Table and now, she’s writing a book. DANG girl. Follow her cookbook journey here

    -My bestie Becky and my friend Jon (and his business partner Benj), just launched their men’s accessory line, Passavant and Lee. The party was incredible and Stifler was there, so..YEAH. Check ‘em out. I had the pleasure of doing the flowers for the party and got to see a sneak preview of the line. SO good. 

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    - My friend Nate is helping launch a new studio space here in NYC, Drift Studio…TODAY! If you’re in need of an affordable but too-cool-for-school space for shooting or rentals, take a peek HERE.

    -Did I mention that my friends from The Lone Bellow just played Carnegie Hall? STUPID good. If you haven’t met them via your ear holes…you better get into that HERE

    I think that’s all folks. 

    Did I mention that I got a baseball hat with a pom pom on top? 

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    Whatever. I’ve missed you internet assholes.

    xo C

     


  4. Another Locale…

    Hi folks, 

    I have not abandoned you. Do not worry.

    Occassionally I write things other places. 

    Today I wrote:

    "Why Can’t We Just Be Happy For Each Other?"

    Check out my second post on Medium today about: How to Stop The Inner Cringe When Good Things Happen to Someone Else

    VISIT OTHER BLOGGITY BLOG HERE.

    xo C

     


  5. Be a Better…Person.

    Warning, this may not be the funniest blog post that I’ve ever written, but consider it a brief break from mediocre humor to get to know ourselves, just a little more. For humor, click HERE. 

    *Throughout the past two years I’ve been writing this blog, I tend to steer away from personal issues or things that may result in internet “over exposure” but I’ve learned so much in the last few weeks of life, that sometimes sharing is the best thing.

    I’m two weeks fresh off a break up.

    A break up with someone I love dearly as a human being, someone that I respect with all of my being, and a man that is the definition of discipline and honor ( I think there might be a Wikipage for this). He’s great (yes, that’s present tense). I think I’m decent too (it has been confirmed, there is no Wikipage for this). But I’ve learned that sometimes, duality in greatness doesn’t mean perfection, or even compatibility in the end…That love is not math, one plus one…does not simply just equal two. 

    image

    Now, I am so so thankful that we’ve both exited the relationship, still with a huge amount of respect for one another, and yes, I know that’s not always the case. Truthfully, I spent the first post-breakup days analyzing everything…trying to pick apart the inner sinews of dynamics and missteps within the last 2 years…and then suddenly like LA traffic, I stopped. 

    I stopped questioning the why and how, and started realizing the most important thing..was figuring out how I could remain intact, gracious, and strive to be the best version of myself….not to make the other person jealous, not to fool others into thinking I was stronger than I am…but mostly, because that’s what we should be doing ANYWAY. My mantra of “being better” can’t stop at the doorstep of adversity or change…that’s the moment when it’s as vital as the blood in your veins. 

    Here are some things I’ve been wading though, I hope some of this resonates, even a little bit:

    -Be gracious: So what the f*ck does it mean to be gracious anyway? The old dictionary describes it as: being marked by tact and delicacy,  characterized by generosity of spirt, filled with mercy and compassion. So how the hell can we do those things…in real life, when I’m too busy being glum? Well, my answer was pretty simple in the end (this is ever changing btw). Think of others. You are not the only one that feels the waves of change and difficulty. You are not the only person that’s been involved with your relationship (there’s a web of people that you’ve chosen to weave together). I had to choose to thank those who supported us at a couple (through it all), to choose to ask my people how THEY were doing, and began to realize that if one becomes completely self-focused, your soul will burst inward..and no one wants that. Get outside of yourself and your struggle for extended moments during your day, don’t ignore what’s happened, but be thankful for lessons learned and see yourself as a part of a bigger story. 

    -Understand that Shit WILL Happen: Every time something negative happens to us as people, we’re just dumbfounded and caught totally off-guard, like WTF LIFE?!! Why? Did we think that somehow, by not being a serial killer or a complete degenerate that we somehow escape hardship? I did apparently. Honestly, I’ve had a really good life. Things have come easily, and while there’s been bumps in the road..for the most part, I’ve been really blessed. But did I really expect that things would go as planned for the next 70 years (including that I would die at the age of 97, with a mojito in hand, sunbathing on a black sand beach)? I’m realizing that you can’t live your life in expectation of adversity, but to know that if and when it happens, that the way you’ve built yourself up in the meantime, really matters. 

    -Challenge Yourself and Put Down the Paper Towel Tube: In the past two weeks, I’ve realized how truly unimaginative I’ve been at viewing my story and life as a whole. We tend to pigeonhole ourselves into “what I can do”, “how others see me”, “what I’ve come to expect from myself”…and in all that, we’ve completely lost any sort of imagination and expectation of future greatness.  Now, I have to say that my relationship wasn’t the driving factor of my small-sighted view, this is generally just a problem for us as people…people who get stuck in the day to day, people who are too busy to dream, people who live with small margins.  My effort, in singleness but also just moving forward is to stop looking at my life through a paper towel tube with one squinty eye…only seeing a small, manageable vision for my existence. I’ll be tossing that tube out, and will be attempting to exist in the terrifying vast oblivion that lies outside the boundaries of what’s safe, what’s possible, and what’s known. 

    -Be Close: When things fail, it’s insanely hard to have your life be a spectator sport…it’s hard to have people watch you flail and then tune in to watch what happens next. But I’ve come to realize, that it also can be the best treatment for an ailing heart. To surround yourself with a group of people, who are deeply observant and involved, is totally scary. You could look dumb. Or unwanted. Sad, or weak. You could mess things up. You could look insecure. But…the truth is, hiding it from others, doesn’t make those things any less present. You’re still going to feel that way. You’re still going to mess up. The difference is, if you never give others a direct view into your life, you’ll miss out on the great freedom of vulnerability.  I can almost promise that you’ll be taken care of. My care came in the form of friends, waiting with posterboards at the airport after my breakup, with a rental car waiting in the parking lot to scoop me up, and take me home. Did I mention it was 5AM?

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    Take time to yourself as you need it, but remember that suffering alone still is suffering, and you’ll be surprised the amount that you’re loved, if you let go and be vulnerable. 

    Here’s a quote that I was not smart enough to write:

    ‘Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.’ -CS Lewis

    I hope that in some way, this hits home for at least one of you...To end, I remain here, thankful and completely bowled over with the mystery of life and how much joy can be in the wake of what feels like an impossible blow. 

    Love to you all,

    Chinae

     


  6. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Recently, a Be Better Blog reader wrote in with this (witty) query: 

    "I just started dragging my ass back to the gym and I’m finding that I’m in dire need of an updated workout wardrobe. My mesh gym shorts from college don’t seem quite sufficient when I know that space-age wicking technology exists. ALSO, I would like said ass not to be hanging out while I do leg things. Could you (pretty please) do post that gives like 5 combinations of gear that I can mix and match, but won’t require doing laundry every five minutes?"

    This is a great question as workout clothes can be tricky tricky. As an example of failing, I tried out some NEW athletic shorts this morning and hadn’t looked in the mirror until I arrived to the gym. TOTAL AIR FUPA people. You know as a kid when you loved filling your swimsuit with air, looking like either you had a boob job or beer belly? Yeah, those shorts looked like that except I wasn’t in a pool, nor am I 5 years old. Not to mention the lining was too short (apparently according to the manufacturer I have an elongated crotch region?!) so I had perma-camel toe. No one likes camel-toe squats. NO ONE.

    When building your workout wardrobe, here are a few basic items you’ll need: 

    //SUMMARY SHOPPING LIST//

    -2 Pairs of Loose Sporty Shorts/Booty Shorts

    - 2 Athletic tanks

    -1 Pack of White Tees

    -2-3 Supportive Sports Bras

    - Tennis Shoes

    - 1 pair of Yoga/Running Pants

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

    -Non-see through colors: You DO NOT want your days of the week undies showing through. 

    -Built in liner: It’s just a must these days, folks.

    -Great fit in the crotch region (as I learned previously): Avoid air fupas, avoid wedgies.

    -Ample coverage: Unless you are ONLY running, you’ll be bending, squatting, leaning, and burpee-ing for a full hour or more…so it’s best if you don’t accidentally get pregnant via the leg extension machine. Think enough coverage so your lady bits stay ladylike.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

    -Happy Colors: Pick a couple fun colors for tanks that make you WANT to work out. You’ll feel better about that 6am gym time and bright pops of color make your no-makeup face more alive looking!

    -Athletic or Natural Materials: This is a non-negotiable. Cotton OR Dri-fit hi-tech sh*t. If you show up at the gym in a Forever21 Polyester tank top and you’ll end up being the smelly/overly sweaty gal on the mats. The good news? You’ll have plenty of room to stretch because your odor and general wet aesthetic will have caused everyone to flee.

    -Refresh Often: Hanes men’s white v-neck tees cost a whole $10 per pack. Re-buy them every month or two to keep your whites looking fresh. 

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

    -Cups/Liner: Don’t risk poking your trainer’s eye out mid-workout with a rogue nipple. Make sure your sports bra has thin cups that keep pancake boob away and protect you from chronic NHO. 

    -Great Fit: High-knee runs should not include kicking your tatas ala David Beckham. Keep ‘em high and tight. 

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

    -Essential Fit: Be sure you get the right size for the types of workouts you’ll be doing. You may need to go a size or 1/2 size up…the best thing to do is ask your shoe salesperson to fit you properly. 

    -Keep An Eye Out: Every couple of months, check the bottoms of your shoes…especially if you’re having back or knee pain. You may be wearing out your shoes, therefore wearing out your much needed support.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

    -Dark Colors: Dark color minimize trouble areas like ass, thighs, and giant calves..not to mention the whole “mask the cellulite” game we’ve all played at one time or another. Also, you’ll want these to be able to be worn over and over without recognition so black or dark grey will always work. 

    -Wide and Flexible Waistband: A general rule of life, avoid muffins and muffin tops. You want your pants to be comfortably tight in the leg region, but beware of thin super tight waistbands. They’ll make you feel self-conscious and you’ll spend half your workout tucking in rolls, rather than getting rid of them.

    -Non-See Through: A little tip, when in the fitting room to buy workout pants, lean over and spread eagle. Can you see your vagina? Yes? You need a different pair. No? You’re good to go.

    I think that covers it. 

    A few tips and tricks for lazy people like me:

    -Mid-week, toss your workout shorts/bras/pants in the shower with you and rinse them out with a little detergent. They are made to dry quick so they’ll be fresh and ready for the next workout. Yes, you’ll still need to do actual laundry once in a while, this is just to freshen in between real washes if you are one of us who doesn’t have in-home laundry.

    -Avoid Patterned Workout Gear. The more nondescript the gear is, the more you’ll be able to wear it. Still feel free to inject bright colors but those snake skin print yoga pants might be a bit much. 

    -Keep things snug. As much as you might want to roll out of bed and throw on a huge t-shirt and basketball shorts…you should avoid this. More fitted items let you actually see your body as you work out, you’ll be able to perfect your form because you won’t be lost in a sea of college-age jersey material. As a bonus, you’ll be able to see your progress more easily when those booty shorts look a little more filled out. Feeling hot (even at the gym)= instant motivation  (And no, that does not mean to put on makeup).

    Now, go shopping.

    Chinae

     


  7. Be Better at…Fitness.

    5 Tips to Get Your Ass Out of Bed and to the Gym:

    I used to be a die-hard nighttime gym person…but between stupid adult errands, after work events,  and my obvious drinking schedule, I’d only be able to make it to the gym 3-4 days a week which in reality, is not enough for me to reverse the effects of years of “4th meal” I indulged in, in college (damn you Whataburger Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit). So what did I do? I learned to get my ass out of bed, and get to the gym before heading to work. 

    Yes, it sucks getting up when it’s dark and snowy or muggy and rainy….but trust me, you’ll be glad when your thigh meat isn’t creeping over on the next subway seat…AND the asian lady that did the impossible by forcing herself into a 1x1” space between you and fat business guy with laptop, will also be grateful for your new-found workout plan.

    I won’t lie to you and tell you it’s easy. It’s not. WARNING: It doesn’t look like a godforsaken Playtex commercial where you’re doing sunrise yoga, giggling over your newfound feminine freedom. But level with me here, getting up completely blows ass anyway. Doesn’t matter if it’s 8am or 6am…that alarm is equally annoying, so why not shrink your growing jowls in the process?

    People are always like…”I don’t know how you do morning workouts!!!! It’s so hard!…I could never do that!” and today’s the day that you need to shut the f*ck up (in a nice way) and realize that YOU CAN. No, I’m not trying to get all Obama on you (but Michelle’s arms tho)…but the first step to gaining discipline is changing your head…and then the schedule will follow. I am just like you, lazy and grumpy…if I can get there, so can you.

    Here are 5 practices that get me to the gym by 6AM everyday:

    #1 Stop Gradual Wake-ups: No snoozing or rolling around in bed. GET UP. Just do it. It feels like Chinese water torture for like 30 seconds, and then it’s done. As soon as your alarm goes off, your feet should be on the floor and you should start the next part of your new found routine (below). Then proceed to the bathroom to do full face blast with cold water, seriously, it’s better than coffee. 

    #2 Clothing Check: Once your feet are on the ground (because you’ve just launched yourself out of bed like a Hanes V-Neck coming out of a t-shirt cannon), make sure your clothes are within arm’s length. Seriously. Put them on a chair near your bed, or on the floor …when your step 2 is inches away, procrastination and sleep gets harder to convince yourself of. Pick every part of your workout gear (bonus points and motivation if you are excited about the ensemble) the night before, and even lay your shoes out…LITERALLY be able to practically roll into your clothes. I know some morning gym devotees like to sleep in their gym clothes, but to me, that promotes snoozing and let’s be honest…I don’t think a spandex gauntlet is good for the girls up top or the lady bits below, overnight. 

    #3 Plenty of Prep: I need caffeine to function as a human being with thoughts and emotions, so I need coffee to do this. Before I workout, I guzzle (literally) an iced coffee, but who has time to make coffee that early? NO ONE. So, make your coffee the night before and have it in the glass ready to go in the fridge. Chug it on your way out the door and you’ll be ready to engage with the rest of the human race in 10-12 minutes. Another part of your prep should be your post-workout meal. You should eat a little something within 30-45 minutes of finishing your workout, so planning your breakfast the night before can help with the morning rush. Boil some eggs, make a greek yogurt parfait, or munch on a protein bar for instant energy, the thought of a healthy breakfast looming will also provide some good motivation for finishing your workout strong.

    #4 Weekly Pump Plan: If you know you need to hit target areas of your body, make a weekly workout plan…Monday-Leg Day, Tuesday- Arms, Wednesday-Core, Thurs-Strip Aerobics…WHATEVER. If you have a schedule, you’ll be less likely to skip the gym…because you just can’t miss leg day. 

    #5 Buddy System: If you have trouble feeling self-motivated, go with someone. Even if all your friends are too lazy to get their asses out of bed, make a friend at the gym and commit to checking in with them or send a damn photo of you at the gym every morning to a friend who’s agreed to keep you in check (who knows, they might be inspired to join you one day). On a personal note, I went on vacation for the last week and I didn’t know this, but I have a couple of accountability partners including two city bus drivers, a random lady, and the front desk worker at New York Sports Club who mentioned my absence to my actual gym buddy. Only in New York can you get a guilt trip from strangers.   

    Why it’s awesome…

    -I feel more awake ALL day. I even said goodbye to my afternoon coffee ritual.

    -My eating is better all day, because I have already made a serious sacrifice to be healthy, so eating an entire sleeve of Sour Cream and Onion Pringles looks a little less appetizing.

    - My ass is smaller.

    - and the best thing….my nights are now wide open and available to the call of bourbon (and friends) if I so choose.

    Need more motivation? Send me your questions!

    Squat or Go Home,

    xo Chinae

     


  8. Be Better at…Spring.

    5 Ways I’ll Be Jumping the Gun on Spring Edition:

    Since I moved to New York, I have been notoriously bad at winter. Like…to an obnoxious degree. Typically you’ll find me standing outside of some dark, dank bar, complaining about how I can’t feel my fingers, yet have somehow forgotten to attach pants/tights/gloves to my body. I do this an annoying amount and am actually quite shocked that by spring, I still have friends. 

    Being bad at winter can only mean one thing…I am also terrible at spring. My small brain can’t handle the thought of something in between winter and summer so I omit that bit of information and just proceed with regularly scheduled programming of shorts and no jacket time. 

    My only saving grace is that I live in a city filled with millions of other hopeful idiots who also cannot understand this seasonal middle man. Here’s how I’ll (and everybody else) will be jumping the gun on spring 2013. 

    1) Wearing Stupid Shit: Not only will I pack up my jackets/coats/gloves/beanies a month too early, I will also coat myself in floral prints and start wearing brights so that I can signal to my body that the winter coma is over and now it’s time to have a personality again.  I suggest investing in some mid-temp jackets and blazers…because naturally, we will still be freezing our asses off because New York hates us and wants us to move away forever.

    2) No Tights Time: That first day of no-tights is always such an interesting time in a New Yorker’s life… the men are excited to see that we have girl parts again, and the women are just now realizing what all those crock-pot stews have done to their eggshell-colored cankles. The Duane Reade’s self-tanning section has hurricane-quality scarcity and women are fist fighting over the last bottle of Jergen’s Natural Glow like they are getting the last box of baby formula for their starving baby. 

    3) Spring Break: Though I am well past my college years (RIP 2003-2007), I still can’t help my mind from wandering to where I shall spend my Spring Break. Except I am an adult and I don’t get a Spring Break. I have what’s called a job and it prevents me from the fun of banana boating and consuming my body weight in drinks that are measured in yards. Anyway, kayak.com searches will still happen and I will continue to think of how I can get to Cancun and back without getting my head cut off by the Mexicans and still manage to get a good glow. 

    4) Beach Hair: Say goodbye to severe buns and shit people…It’s time to let loose, get your roots dyed, and get some serious natural wave going.  Pretty much every spring I decide it would be in my best interest to put more blonde in my naturally almost-black hair…I’m fooling everyone….shut up. 

    5) Eating Out: One of the perks about living in New York is that you can consume 3 meals-a-day and their associated cocktails on a godforsaken sidewalk. I love eating outside, it feels very European, and like any good New Yorker, I’d like to feel as posh as I can while eating my KFC double-down. Here’s the thing though…we’ll all flock outside to eat that first springtime brunch and half of the patio will be basking in sunlight (a picture of amazing city life) and then other half will be a crowd of people looking like they went on a Siberian expedition and lost their luggage. It will be miserable.

    Now, I wish I could say that I won’t do any of these things this year…and that I’m going to “Be Better at Spring”..but let’s be honest, I have three pairs of newly ordered sandals under my desk at work and a bikini on it’s way. 

    Cheers to suffering together,

    Chinae

     


  9. A Be Better Story…The Dung Wah Bus

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    Four years ago, in mid-July, I felt myself getting progressively stir crazy within the confines of the city so a first time trip to Boston seemed like an inspired idea during the oppressively hot summer. Having moved from Texas just two years before, I had no concept of bus travel beyond the occasional luxury charter bus rides to and from fraternity lingerie parties and other terrible events I’d cinched my boobs together for. So when my friend Allison suggested taking the ol’ Fung Wah bus for a mere $15 dollars, I of course was thrilled.

    I met Allison for an afternoon bus, and as I crossed the threshold of the waiting area, my heart sank. THESE are the people taking the bus? CRAP. I promptly told myself to stop being so damn judgy and prepare myself for a restful trip. Think of it as a moving respite, Chinae. It’s only 4 hours, Chinae. You’re gonna get to sleep and catch up on some reading, Chinae. Maybe they have a bar area, Chinae.

    We boarded the bus. A/C broken in 97 degree heat. Only seats that were open, were directly left of the bathroom. Lots of crazy looking people, foaming at the mouth (ok maybe they weren’t totally foaming, but they looked scary). We met eyes with some of the other normals and silently made a pact that if this turns into a mutiny, we were gonna be in this together.

    Allison and I settled in our seats…I tried to crack my window a few inches so I wasn’t ONLY smelling “Smells Like Drakkar Noir” mixed with the aroma of my own fear. I thought to myself…no one is gonna use the bathroom on the bus anyway. Who would do that? If they do, they totally only will pee, right?

    That day, I discovered the lack of embarrassment and shame that some people have about strangers smelling their feces. After three hours of reckless driving, and zero minutes of reading later (my knuckles were too busy being affixed to the seat in front of me), the driver announced that we’d be stopping for a dinner break. I’ve never been so happy in my life, I felt like it was my wedding day. Of course my joy was swiftly snuffed out when he added that we would need to bring our meals back on the bus due to us running late. Whatever, we still get to stretch our legs and breathe normal air.

    I quickly realized that our “dinner” spot was a friend chicken joint on the side of the highway. I considered running away into the adjacent field at this point and leaving Allison to send condolences to my friends and family. Again, people have no shame and proceeded to board the bus with 5-packs of fried chicken and biscuits galore. The following 3 hours were not a good time to be near the bathroom. In the end, I arrived in Boston…probably sans nose-hairs, but I arrived nonetheless. I vowed that day, that I would NEVER, NEVER tell a new New-Yorker to take this God-forsaken vomit wagon, even to save money.

    So, I was delighted to hear some good news this week and share it with fellow New Yorkers. Fung Wah bus service was suspended this week due to unsafe conditions and ignored safety regulations, and who knows when these assholes will be up and running again. ABC reports that Fung Wah drivers are in the bottom 3 percent nationwide in driver fitness, which measures training levels and experience. A big thank you to the Department of Transportation for saving hundreds of people from a ride on the Poopy Bus of Death.

    The End.

     


  10. Be a Better…Cook.

    The Best Chicken You’ll Ever Eat Edition:

    When I got home from the gym at 9pm last night, I wavered between eating a protein bar and calling dinner a failure OR roasting an entire chicken (I bought one for the first time this weekend) due to the fact that I needed to cook it ASAP before it went bad. 

    So I started on a chicken adventure last night that I have to say, was well worth it people. 

    Some thoughts before I post the recipe:

    -I’ve never cooked an entire chicken before.

    -I had no idea really what I was doing.

    -This chicken was $5.00 at Trader Joes, for a 4lb bird…pretty stellar deal.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • A small/medium chicken (4-5 lbs)
    • Fresh Rosemary spears
    • 1 Red Onion
    • Butter 
    • Salt and Peps

    1) First, you’ll need to remove the giblets and plastic bag from the interior of the chicken…bc plastic tastes like shit when it’s melted into your meat. Amirite?

    2) Wash the chicken with cool water, in and out and pat dry with a paper towel.

    3) Stuff the interior of the chicken with your chunks of onion and a couple of spears of rosemary. Lift the skin on the chicken breasts and shove a couple spears of rosemary, there too. 

    4)Take 2-3 Teaspoons of softened butter and rub down the bird, then liberally salt and pepper the whole shebang. This will give you a crispy skin and will lock in the juices.

    5) Leftover onions and rosemary can sit around the outside of the chicken.

    6) Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour and half/forty five. The internal temp should be 160 degrees at least. Baste with it’s own juices every 20 minutes. 

    7) After the roasting process is done, remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. 

    Enjoy!

    xo Chinae

     


  11. The Be Better Awards!

    The Golden Globes are really the best of the bunch when it comes to award shows.

    That is, if you are so inclined to watch 3 hours of people saying a bunch of strangers’ names in a row. It’s pretty much the modern day version of those chapters of the Bible that are just like a BILLION names you can’t pronounce ..and even more similar because in both cases, they are mostly Jews. 

    I typically don’t watch these shows but I thought “Hey! You’ve actually seen a couple movies this year…give it a whirl dumbass!” So I did.

    Here are my thoughts:

    Best Sponsor of the Golden Globes: Every single speech from every single female star should have included a shout out to Sara Blakely. Who you ask? Oh, just the creator of Spanx, because GOD knows that without a certain measure of breathable spandex, Hollywood could just not happen. 

    Worst Boobs…in Every Category That’s Ever Been Established:  Guys, did I miss a People.com update where a rabid coonhound attacked Halle Berry and stole the majority of her left breast? Because surely someone who loved her would have mentioned the …uhmmm unbalanced nature of her tatas in that dress.  

    Best Death Wish: Let’s just say I was waiting for the red laser target beam to appear on Jennifer Lawrence’s clumsy little forehead after she noted so eloquently, ”I beat Meryl!”. There are a few people you do NOT f*ck with and Meryl is one of them J-Law…she WILL outlive you. 

    Worst Decision by the Producers of the Golden Globes: Can we all agree to make the speeches tweet length and then just give Tina Fey and Amy Poehler the rest of the time to make fun of the audience?!! They were SO SO good but shame on you Golden Globes for giving them such a short time to insult so many famous people!

    Best Use of Meryl Streep’s Old Dresses: Congrats Lena! You’re the ultimate hipster..you found a way to thrift your Golden Globes gown from Meryl Streep’s gown closet (you know she has one due to the fact that she’s 100 years old and is a professional award-getter)!

    Worst Use of Feet: You know when a toddler wraps themselves around your ankles and then you walk around looking like a drunk penguin? I seriously expected to lift up Lena’s dress and find the Full House twins hanging on for dear life. Good God woman, wear flats or something!

    Best Golden Globes Crasher: We all know Chris Tucker was not invited and the cameramen were certainly f*cking with us. Oh wait..he was in that Silver Linings Playbook, but also, Rush Hour 4 is being released soon…WTF. CHRIS TUCKER WAS IN AN OSCAR NOMINATED MOVIE THIS YEAR…ways you know America is dying a slow death. 

    Best Speech: The sad news, the best speech of the night goes to someone outside of the film/tv industry, wearing the exact same dress as she always wears, that just birthed a baby…ADELE. You are the cutest ever and you make Hollywood folks look like a bunch of boring idiots that have no sense of themselves outside of a script or teleprompter (I’m talking to you Paul Rudd)

    Worst Audience Participation Award: NEWSFLASH: Tommy Lee Jones hates fun…also hates Will Farrell and Kristin Wiig. Only explanation…feeling farty. 

    2013 Trend Report from the Golden Globes Red Carpet: 

    • Cover as much of your body as possible, 50% in jewels…channel Britney without the crazy.
    • Make it really hard for your arms to look toned by wearing as unflattering of a neckline as possible. In some cases, wear a dog collar.
    • If you dress does not make it seem like you have two vaginas glued to your chest…you are doing it wrong.
    • When your dress isn’t quite pitch-hitting sexy…add a whole in the center of the chest. Middle boob is the new side boob. 
    xo Chinae
     


  12. Be Better at…Life.

    How to NOT Completely Demolish Your New Year’s Resolutions by February 1st Edition:

    Did you spend the first half of the winter packing on enough pounds to embark on a 6 month tour of Himilaya’s sans food supply? Finally join the gym only to realize that you have to actually hike your ass there to lose weight (bum central)? Want to finally meet someone that tickles all of your fancies (ehem) in 2013? 

    We all make New Year’s Resolutions and SWEAR it’s gonna stick and beach body 2013 will be in check by June, right? WRONG. Fast forward to June and you still look like a member of the Boo Boo family (Mr. and Ms. Honey, that is)…and then soon after, you find yourself once again watching Ryan Seacrest’s NYE Broadcast, a little bit fatter, a little bit poorer, and still kissing Puurrrfect your cat at midnight. 

    5 Be Better Tips to Keep Your Resolutions:

    DIETING: I don’t care if you are The Bundchen herself, I KNOW you still aren’t totally happy with that residual gut you may have gained during your sudden interest in Gingerbread Home-Constructing this holiday season. I get it. As a recovering fatass (Jesus take the wheel), I can honestly say these are a couple pointers that keep me in check daily and have ensured keeping off the poundage:

    • Tell Everyone: No, not in an annoying “look at me, tell me I’m not that fat” way (you are actually huge, btw). Let those closest to you know the details of your diet plan. It’s way harder to cheat when you’ve got a couple people checking in with you and lovingly examining your ordering skillz. You find it’s a sure fire way to deter your casual suggestion for splitting that family-style Brownie Explosion while out with friends.
    • Be Militant: Make a list of approved foods and stick to it like glue. Write it in your phone. Save it to your desktop. Tattoo it backwards on your forehead. I don’t care. There is an awesome amount of freedom in this sort of discipline and having little choice in what to eat…and yes, I know it sounds contradictory and yes, I can see you rolling your eyes. If you bend once, you’ll bend again and again so just stick to it in detail and it’ll become easier by the day. 
    • Stop Lying To Yourself: Making excuses of why you’re allowed to go off the bandwagon is utter and complete bullshit. “I had a hard day”, “I was travelling and there were no options”, and “I’m on my period” are no longer in your food coping vocabulary. Deal with it.

    EXERCISE: Now, as much as I hate waiting for a grown man to do 10lb sets on the leg extension machine (complete with the soundtrack of clanging weights from over-zealous/too easy lifting), I really feel hopeful for people getting their butts in gear and getting active in the beginning of Jan. Some easy gym-motivators:

    • New Music: When new tunes comes out, I make myself wait to listen until I get to the gym. That way, pop pop gets a treat AND I’m focused on something other than my quads burning with hellish fury on squat set #3.
    • Look Good: Now, I’m not saying to put on a full face of makeup before a tough workout, because we all know that that’s a big waste of Laura Mercier’s* time and efforts (*a brand of makeup for my male readers). BUT I am saying pull your shit together…you DO know you are in public, right? You’ll be more motivated to push yourself you don’t look like a dog giving birth in the mirrors of the gym, TRUST ME. Buy workout clothes that are slim-fitting (so you can see your body working and moving), swipe a coat or two of waterproof mascara on before hitting the mats, and for God’s sake gentlemen…buy a new pack of Hanes V-Neck T-shirts and run a damn comb through your hair. 

    DATING: I love the newfound hope a calendar-shift can bring. I really do. But girl/duder, if you think that by doing the exact shit you did last year is going to bring the love of your life to you, I think you might be mistaken. Make a plan to do things differently this year, mix with different circles, ask to be set-up through friends, join groups or find new interesting places to meet people. A hot/smart/downright hilarious girl is not going to walk into your decrepit living room, turn off your Law and Order SVU marathon, and sweep your Olivia Benson-loving butt away for a romantic vacation in the Alps. Get off the couch and make an effort, because expecting different results from the same action is insanity..and no one wants to bring an insane person on their mid-February beach getaway. 

    MONEY: Ah, saving money…SUCH an annoying concept. This one’s my personal resolution this year and man, the prospect of letting my split-ends just sit there and rot due to budgetary constraints is downright depressing. Here are some ways I am gonna try and beat my budget into submission:

    • Make a monthly goal: I’ve made my monthly goals and have to stick to them, or else I get no treats the next month. If I hit my goal mid-month…I get to treat ma’ self! This month’s treat is a hair cut and color…now all I have to do is save, save, save. 
    • Buddy System: Share a copy of your goals and progress via Google Doc with a friend/loved one/spouse/therapist….give them the responsibility and freedom to check in on it whenever they want (this will keep you updating the document and sticking to writing in specifics), and also set up a standing check in every three months to track progress.
    • Drink Less, Cook More: Ugh. Yeah, I get it…

    WORK: Want to be more positive at work and not plot your ballsy escape every afternoon? Want to feel less like you want to kick the water cooler over after a meeting? A couple tips for a great work/life balance:

    • Stop Eating At Your Desk: Chances are, if you are scarfing down your tuna melt while glued to your computer, you are overeating, you are more tired and less satisfied, and your day feels like it lasts an eon. Get up, stretch your legs, insist on eating out or at least get out of your seat and relocate. Even if it’s 15-30 minutes, you’ll feel more productive the rest of the afternoon and less like you want to slam your forehead into the keyboard to see if it would really hurt (it does). 
    • Arrive On Time: This is easy. If you start your day off rushed and off-kilter, that feeling will follow you all the live long day. Get up early enough so you’re not channeling a Cathy comic by the time you get to your desk.
    • Leave On Time: Be clear about what time work is O-V-E-R. You’ll feel less burnt out and you now have NO excuse not to get to the gym/happy hour/date night. Voila! All New Year’s Resolutions are met!

    Happy New Year and Here’s To Being Better in 2013,

    Chinae

     


  13. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Eggnog Drunk Edition:

    There is nothing I love more than Christmastime. The photo above depicts me at age 3…I should say…really not much has changed since. 

    When I was growing up my mom always stocked our refrigerator with half gallons of pre-made eggnog, starting around Thanksgiving through the New Year. Of course, when I was 8, I was not dipping into my booze collection to spike up ma’ nog.

    Obviously I did not know what I was missing.

    In other news, kids this age are complete idiots. 

    So, now that I’m a full-grown adult human being, I can make my own damn eggnog and live the life I’ve always dreamed of! 

    Here’s a recipe for you people that actually eat sugar…for me, I’ll be trying this with a whole lot of granulated Splenda and Atkin’s prayers. 

    BE BETTER NOG:

    • 12 large eggs (separate them out, yolks and whites)
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar (or granulated Splenda)
    • 2 cups whiskey (I like bourbon)
    • 2 ounces rum 
    • 2 ounces brandy
    • 6 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • Freshly grated nutmeg (for garnish and for yums)
    1. In a big bowl, beat your egg yolks together; then mix in sugar/Splenda with a whisk until all incorporated. 
    2. Gradually whisk in whiskey, rum, and brandy (take a small sip of each to make sure they haven’t gone bad).
    3. Keep whisking…then slowly add 4 cups heavy cream and stir until fully mixed. 
    4. Pop that baby in the fridge for 2 hours.
    5. With an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and then fold into chilled boozy concoction bowl. 
    6. Add the last 2 cups heavy cream to mixer and whisk until soft peaks form then fold into liquor mixture. 
    7. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with nutmeg before serving.

    Happy Holidays from the Be Better Blog and Santa! See you all in 2013!

    xoxo Chinae

     


  14. Be a Better…Groom.

    Groomsman Gifting Edition:

    So you’ve tricked some floozy into marrying you huh? Well, now you’re gonna need to buy some prezzies for your studly groomsman and you better make them GOOD because they are the ones deciding if your bachelor party begins and ends at Chuckie Cheese or not.

    Typically, gals are WAY better at buying gifts, so to assist you, future groom, I’ve locked and loaded my lady parts and will guide you on this groomsman gift guide journey. You’ve probably already thought of getting them a personalized flask, or monogrammed money clip…not terrible but I think we can do a little better here.

    The average price range for a groomsman gift should be between $50-150 bucks (best man gifts should be around $150) and they don’t all have to match, just stick to the same price range. Individual gifts are especially perfect if you’ve only got 3-4 dudes in your party. 

    Here are 5 of my faves:

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    -Handcrafted Leatherhead Football or Baseball: Even if your groomsmen aren’t typically the sporting type, most every dude likes to go to the park/beach/backyard and throw around a ball like they’re in some godforsaken Land’s End Catalog. Some Spalding bullshit is not going to do for a gift though…so get them these handcrafted Leatherhead Footballs (or baseballs) and give them the gift of showing off. Football $120, Baseball $38.

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    -Ernest Alexander Tucker Shave Kit: Now, this one’s a LITTLE more typical, but it makes the list because every guy needs a good shave kit to take on the road with him. No need to monogram, this Tucker Shave Kit comes in a variety of waxed canvas colors and will no doubt last a lifetime. Just think, every time he reaches for that jumbo-sized bottle of Gold Bond…he’ll think of you. As a bonus, it’s made in America by awesome people. Tucker Shave Kit, $90.

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    -RC Copter: Who says your gift has to be practical? Lighten things up by giving the gift of boyhood dreams with an RC helicopter! It’ll be the most unique groomsman gift they’ll ever get and they’ll be thanking you for not getting them another stainless steel flask with YOUR wedding date on it. And bonus, you’re giving the gift of annoying their significant others all at once, because naturally these need to be flown toward their gal’s head. Syma Apache Helicopter, $40. 

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    -Best Made Co. Japanese Higo Knife:  Go beyond giving just a normal Swiss Army knife and get them something truly unique. This Japanese folding knife from Best Made Co. comes emblazoned with the word Courage and is a handsome addition to someone’s growing arsenal of items to defend themselves during a back alley fights. Best Made Co. Japanese Higo Knife, $60.

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    -Dinner + Activity: Another option is to forgo materials gifts all together and create a special night for you and “your boyz” by inviting them to a manly dinner and activity after as their groomsman gift. Nothing says, “stand by my side” like a giant steak, perfectly-made Sazerac, and an hour or two at the shooting range. Or basketball game. Or Disney On Ice™. (depending on your groomsman’s tastes) Get sappy and make individual toasts or write handwritten notes to each one and pass them out at dinner. 

    All of these things can and probably should be supplemented with their favorite bottle of booze because…whiskey.

    Happy Shopping Assholes,

    xo Chinae

     


  15. Be Better at…Giving Gifts.

    I asked yesterday on Facebook…if anyone had any burning questions for the Be Better Blogger and two of the queiries were very gift-focused. 

    Now…I LOVE presents so I’m more than happy to tackle these.

    Also, send me presents.

    Here we go folks:

    Q:What’s the appropriate amount to spend on a host gift without looking like a hobo? I need to buy 654614361654 this year and I don’t want to break the bank….

    A: Obviously this was asked by a fellow Southerner, because you Yankee friends see bringing a host gift as showing up with a $6 bottle of Trader Joe’s Sparkling Wine, handing it over to the host, and then drinking it all yourself in the darkest corner of the apartment. Heathens!

    I digress.

    Bringing something to a party for the host is always a good idea and is expected, especially when someone is providing your ass with food+drink. Make sure to be interesting and thoughtful, rather than spend a fortune.. I do not want another bottle of mid-range red wine with an idiotic organza bow or an ornament that looks like Pier One Imports poo-poo. 

    Here are some fun gift ideas that won’t break the bank that can work for hosts, co-workers, gift exchanges, etc:

    -For the Cook: 

    Huset Animal Pot Guards $7/ea

    You know that moment where you have to leave something covered on the stove but then it starts exploding hot food lava everywhere because it overboiled? Yeah, how bout we fix that with a miniature hedgehog. Cutest gadget ever? Yeah…no one’s gonna hate this one and for $7 bucks, buy a ton and wrap them up reeeeeeal cute and you’ll never leave for a party without something great in hand.

    -For the City Dweller Who Loves The Outdoors:

     

    Campfire Cologne Burning Sticks $13

    Who doesn’t like the smell of a campfire? Well, for those of us who can’t get to the woods anytime, this “campy” gift is a fun treat. The packaging is perfect and to expand on the gift, wrap these up with fixin’s for s’mores and your gift will not be topped. 

    -For the Entertainer: 

    The Leif Shop Coaster Sets, Cabin Teak Set + Copenhagen Set $20-36

    You know what I can’t stand? Condensation. Yeah, I’m one of those anal-retentive assholes that will stare at you until you put a damn napkin under your sweaty drink. Everyone needs a fun tabletop addition like these wooden coaster sets from the Leif Shop. The Cabin Teak Set is perfect for the more organic-granola types and the Copenhagen is ideal for your Mid-Century snob friends. 

    -For the Ladylike-Type With an Edge: 

    Teacup Gift: Around $15 bucks

    Everyone has one…that sorta ladylike friend that is really proper 80% of the time, but the other 20% is a complete and utter shitshow. Yes, you’ve just identified her in your mind. She’ll be the one wearing a floral Anthropologie shift dress with Frederick’s crotchless panties underneath. OK so now that we’ve identified this mystical creature, now it’s time to gift her. To fulfill her sweet side, buy a mis-matched set of vintage teacups with saucers at your local Goodwill/vintage store (note this should cost you about 4 bucks total). To pair with the teacups, buy a little apple cider powered mix and throw it in a mason jar. As to not forget her bad-girl tendencies  for each teacup, buy one mini whiskey for her to mix in with her cider…even though…knowing her, she’ll drink it solo.

    -For the Fun Type: 

    The holidays are a time to indulge in a couple vices and if the gift receiver is also an occasional partaker…this is awesome. It’s smart, funny, and creative…so don’t tell them that I’m the one who thought of it.  You’re gonna create a gift basket of sorts…no, not like the ones with crappy low-grade milk chocolate and nameless Merlot…not this is MUCH better. Get your receptacle (box/bowl/cannister/etc) and fill it with a little stuffing of some sort…and then place your items in and attach a card that says something to this effect: “Cheers To Indulging Your Vices Before The New Year!”

    Throw in the following items, plus or minus a few depending on the recipient:

    -Mini Booze Bottles + Olives or Gourmet Tonic

    -Cigars or Cigarettes

    -Chocolate Bar

    -Coffee Beans

    -Deck of Cards

    -Dice Set

    -Mini Packets of Aspirin for the Oncoming Hangover

    For the Beer Drinker:

    Wall Mounted Bottle Opener $9

    Who wouldn’t want this cool piece of vintage inspiration that is totally functional in their kitchen or game room? A perfect item to buy in multiples, tie with a twine ribbon, and deliver to any party with a six-pack of your favorite craft beer. 

    Happy Shopping!

    xo Chinae