If you dress like a slut on Halloween, will you turn out to be a slut?

Friday, October 31, 2008

All over the news this week, there have been a ton of stories about risque tween Halloween costumes. According to The Today Show , mom's are outraged at the tummy baring options for kids these days.

Shot of Brandi* readers, you know how I feel about this subject. I think it's just wrong for people to slut up classic cartoon characters and I applaud creativity.

However, I don't think dressing your daughter/teen like a slut will make her become a slut. Take the MSNBC story I link to above. Here is a direct quote from the story...
"Studies show that the oversexualization of girls correlates with depression and eating disorders. Some girls are consumed with jockeying for social position, altering their looks and winning popularity contests. It consumes their emotional energy and makes them feel really bad about themselves."

You know when they do these studies, it's always "9 out of 10 girls experienced..." I guess I am that 10th girl. The slutty French Maid is moi at age 7 (1st grade). At this age, I didn't know what a slut was. And, if I would hear someone say it on the bus, I would come home and ask my mom what it was - I was just that type. I wasn't in a child prostitution ring and I didn't grow up to be a stripper, rather I was labeled "goodie two shoes" or a "straight ruler" for some time.

I know almost all of my 18 readers don't have kids, but regardless. If and when you have kids and decide to let them wear a risque costume, just talk to them about it. I remember my mom telling them what a French Maid was. I can't remember how she explained it, but we did talk about it. I followed this costume up in second grade with a belly baring jeanie number.

If you want to dress as a slut tonight, that's fine. Just remember that people might think that you are a slut because you are dressing the part. And don't be surprised when guys are looking at you all night.

Like the story says, "I am not suggesting that you dress in a potato sack..." I'm just trying to encourage creativity.

I know you've been asking what I am being this year. Because I feel like 2008 is all about "Going Green" and "recycling" I decided to jump on the bandwagon and recycle a costume. That will give you a hint.
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Dia de los Muertos

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

As a “marketer” by day, trend analysts have been telling us for years that we need to consider Hispanic Americans when we are planning because their presence in the United States continues to rise. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007, 15 percent of the estimated total U.S. population of 301.6 is Hispanic.

More and more bars in Chicago are piggybacking the popularity of Cinco de Mayo by creating specials around Dia de los Muertos. What exactly is this holiday?

Dia de los Muertos, or for those non-Spanish speaking folk, “Day of the Dead,” is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November. The holiday celebrates friends and family members who have died. Groups of people typically get together and build a private altar to honor the deceased using sugar skulls and marigolds. The beverage of choice of the deceased is typically placed at the grave site as well.

This holiday dates way back thousands of years to an Aztec festival to honor the goddess Mictecacihual (known as “The Lady of the Dead).

The more I research Dia de los Muertos, the more it creeps me out. The deaths of infants and children is celebrated on Nov. 1st, while adults are toasted on the 2nd. When people visit the children, they bring toys to their graves. Adults get some tequila.

Ahhh tequila. The reason bars are trying to get this holiday going for us young folk. They want us to drink tequila year round – just not on Cinco de Mayo, in summer margaritas and Patron shots.

Whatever way you decide to celebrate this weekend – just have fun and get drunk.


(Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Wikipedia and photo from destination360.com)
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Non-reader Margaux called me this week in a panic. She had three days to pull together a creative, cute Halloween costume.

First thing first, I directed Margaux to a past Shot of Brandi* blog posting for some inspiration. While my ideas didn’t excite her, I e-mailed Margaux some additional last minute ideas.

With Halloween one week away, let these ideas inspire you too!

Morton Salt Girl:
Okay, chances are a lot of people may not know who you are unless you carry a canister of salt with you, but this costume is just adorable. To pull this off, you need a cute yellow dress (Forever 21 has some options), yellow Mary Janes and a fancy umbrella.

Election Options: A co-worker of mine is a fan of the John Stewart show. Earlier this year, he was mocking “Joe Six Pack” and mentioned his lady friend is “Jane Wine Box.” The co-worker is putting together a Jane Wine Box costume, but both make a good couple idea! OR you can get the whole election gang together – Sarah, McCain, his tight-faced wife, Joe Six Pack, Joe the Plumber, Palin’s husband in a snow suit, her knocked up daughter…all the losers (and let’s hope they are losers!).

Amy Weinhouse: This is so easy to pull together in the 11th hour – especially if you are my sister. Tease your hair up really high, wear a jean skirt, black out some of your teeth and tat yourself up. Get really wasted to complete the look.

Crazy McCain/Palin Supporter: Similar to Kristin Wigg on SNL, you can don a McCain/Palin sweatshirt, mom jeans, white hair and glasses.

Olympian: Dress up as an Olympian of any sort – swimmer, gymnast, tennis player, etc. Just raid your local Niketown sale rack.

Madeline: Along the same line of cuteness as above, you will need to have a copy of the books to make sure people get this idea.

To Catch a Predator: This is good for a threesome. One guy can be Chris Hanson, the other can be a predator and the third person can be a teenage girl. Add a camera crew/FBI for fun.

Yinzer: If I was ever in need of a last minute Halloween costume, I thought about putting on my Big Ben jersey, tying it up with a 80’s-style shirt clip and pulling on some leggings and going as a true McKees Rocks, PA resident.

Juno: Especially cute if you are in a couple and half of the team is knocked up. Do a search on Google Image and check out the movie cover – not too hard to pull off (see right). Don't forget the prego teens from Mass. if you have a group of girls.

90’s Bands: I think it’s a good time to bring back some good ole New Kids on the Block, Debbie Gibson (electric youth), McHammer, TLC (Left Eye!) and Salt ‘N Pepper.

Have fun! And stay tuned for my costume!

(pictures: videogum.com, flickr.com)
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Apple a Day

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back when I was a toddler, I had an addiction to apple juice. I would demand that my bottle be filled with my beverage of choice. However, my parents began to notice that there was a little more of me to love, so cut it out of my diet. Don’t worry, I found ways to satisfy my obsession. I manipulated my great-grandmother, who baby sat me, to sneak in the goods via an oversized purse. I would later use my manipulation skills for McDonald’s trips.

Now that I am an adult, I rarely drink apple juice nor prefer apple-flavored cocktails. However, now that it is apple season, a number of drink recipes are popping up. Enjoy!

Apple Pie
1 part DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Hot Cinnamon Burst Schnapps
1 part DeKuyper® Pucker® Sour Apple Schnapps
2 parts ABSOLUT® Vodka
Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Caramel Appletini
1 part DeKuyper ButterShots Burst Butterscotch Schnapps
2 parts DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple Schnapps
2 parts Vodka
Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass

Juiced Apple
1 part DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple Schnapps
1 part Vodka
1 part lemon-lime soda
Build ingreidnets in a highball glass and stir

Sour Apple Margarita
1 part DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple Schnapps
2 parts Tequila
½ part Signature Triple Sec
3 parts sweet and sour mix
Build ingredients in a highball glass and stir

(Sources : DeKuyper, Pictures: timeout.com, poetryfoundation.com )
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Trick or Drink

Monday, October 13, 2008

Two years ago a colleague from Milwaukee told me about the most adorable party her condo community was throwing – an adult Trick or Treat or “Trick or Drink.”

The community was filled with twenty and thirty –something couples, so each house served a different cocktail or shot and neighbors went from house to house enjoying “treats.”

I think this is the most wonderful idea for almost any place – condo community, apartment building or event neighborhood. Here are some tips.

* Stuff fliers into mailboxes with information about the Trick or Treat into mailboxes. Include your e-mail address on the invites so people can send questions your way and tell them you will offer drink suggestions.

* Hand deliver paper luminaries with a pumpkin shaped note with details of the night. Tell people to light the luminaries to show neighbors that they are participating in the festivities.

* Create a map of the neighborhood that highlights houses participating.

* Select one residence as the final destination for a big gathering. If the weather is warm, create a block party at the end of a cul de sac.

* At each stop, encourage each house to serve a signature drink and a spooky treat.

* Hold a contest for the house that decorates the best! For apartment buildings or townhouse complexes, deck out your door.

* Really want to wow your visitors? Purchase dry ice from a local retailer. Use the dry ice to create a fog effect around your door. Add a block to the food table to create a creepy display.

(Pics: masterpeicepumpkins.com, nypost.com)
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Decoding the Dress Code

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Earlier this year, I mentioned that I attended my cousin’s wedding in which people from the groom’s side wore jeans to the reception. I was in awe. During my rant about dress codes to my mom, she made a good point…”If you don’t dress up for a wedding, what you dress up for?”

I was discussing the whole “jeans at a wedding” thing with some co-workers. A bride-to-be mentioned that she listed the dress code on all of her invitations – to the rehearsal and wedding reception. The attire for the rehearsal dinner was “creative casual.” Typically I hate when I receive an invite with this type of nonsense request, but co-worker brought up a good point…”If they don’t know what it means, they will ask me and I will tell them what I want them to wear.”

Decoding the dress code sometimes takes some research. Here are some tips.

Casual Friday: Many companies who require employees to where Business attire during the week, have “Casual Friday.” Most employers allow jeans and sneakers. According to Wikipedia, Casual Friday began in the late 1950’s in attempt to raise worker morale.

Business Casual: Monster.com defines business casual as “In general, business casual means dressing professionally, looking relaxed, yet neat and pulled together.” I used to simply tell interns “no jeans.”

Informal: For guys, this means a suit. For women, this also means a suit – with a skirt or pants.

Black Tie: Typically the dress code for evening events, this attire is semi-formal. For a dude, it should be a tuxedo. Chicks can wear a conservative cocktail dress or a long evening gown. This is also known as White Tie in the UK.

Now for the tricky dress codes…

Festive Attire: This showed up on two of my holiday party invites last year and let me just say I was extremely puzzled. When you search for this via google, you get a number of suggestions. Basically you wear looks with a bit of sparkle or holiday flair (reds and greens).

Creative Black Tie: A twist on regular black tie, this leaves some freedom to go a little more modern with your tux. A woman is able to wear a long or short dress with some bold colors.

Dressy Casual: This is just dumb. I mean can’t you just pick one. If you see this on an invite, it means dressed up casual. For guys, wear pants and a sports coat – no jeans.

In the end, if you are having a party and list a strange dress code, it might be helpful to list some examples for your guests.

If you are unsure what to wear to a party, just ask the person hosting the event or someone else attending.
My rule of thumb is, if you are looking at yourself in the mirror and are questioning your outfit, don't wear it.

And please, no jeans at a wedding reception, funeral or for dinner with the president or queen. Thanks.

(sources: Wikipedia, about.com, handmadegiftsandcards.com, thestationarystudio.com)
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