10 Tips for Bridesmaids

I’ve been in my fair share of weddings.  The first and the last one were polar opposites because I’ve learned so much along the way about being a perfect bridesmaid.  Here are my tips for you:

tips to be the best bridesmaid and maid of honor

  • Bachelorette parties do not require strippers. For my first bachelorette party, we went to a Hunk-o-mania copycat show.  We paid $40 to get in and it was the most unpleasant, disgusting experience for all of us.  Haven’t included one of them since, and they’ve been 10x better.
  • It’s not about you.  I missed my sisters first wedding dress appointment.  She’s super spontaneous – booked the appointment without consulting my availability and ended up buying a dress that day!  I was so pissed at first that I wasn’t a part of it.  Then I realized, it’s not about me.
  • It’s okay to say no.  Being a bridesmaid = spending a whole lot of money.  You need to buy a dress, pay for alterations, gifts up the wazoo, contribute to the bridal shower, and shell out cash to ensure a kickass bachelorette party.  It isn’t a cheap commitment.  If you’re not the best of family/friends or can’t afford it you can graciously decline.
  • You can’t research a Maid of Honor speech.  Well you can, but it’s not going to get you very far.  I spent countless HOURS watching speech after speech on You Tube.  I was inspired by the wedding parodies, funny one liners, etc.  However, the speech needs to come from the heart.  You won’t know what to write by researching those who have come before.
  • You are responsible for starting the party! If that dance floor is not started, it is your duty, to shake that booty.
  • You’re about to get a whole lot closer to your BFF.  That’s right, you’ll be taking field trips to the bathroom together, holding up her 40 pound dress and listening to her tinkle (if you’re lucky).
  • There’s a proper way to hold the bouquet.  Man, I am on a rhyming kick today.  In all seriousness though, if you don’t want to f’ up the pictures then hold your bouquet right in front of your lower belly with the pretty flowers pointed outwards not in towards you.  Oh, and be careful of drips! Ruined a few pictures with water stains from the flowers.  My bad.
  • Props are necessary at a bachelorette party. I don’t care if the bride to be doesn’t want a penis straw.  You should always have them.  It marks your group as a bachelorette party and people are a lot nicer, outgoing, and forgiving when you act a fool.  Just make sure you’re not whipping them out at family friendly restaurants.
  • Get those alterations done ASAP.  It gives the bride one less thing to worry about.
  • Divide and conquer – You can’t do it all, nor should you have to.  The bride picked a lovely team of people who would do anything for her – so let them.  Everyone can contribute to ideas, party stuff, and fun!

what not to do as a bridesmaid

 

Botch: Scammed By Craigslist Movers

Avoid a Craigslist scam when moving

Let me cut to the chase.  I got scammed by Craigslist movers.

I crossed some river and moved from NYC to the good ole garden state.  It was a mere 16 miles, so I was shocked when moving quotes flowed in for $800.  I barely had any furniture – a bed, small couch, and 2 lamps.

This really pissed me off.  $800 for 4 hours of work seemed ridiculous to me.  So, I resorted to Craigslist.  The ad seemed reputable calling out “no hidden fees” and spelling out rates by hour and # of movers.  When I called, the man had a thick russian accent.  He didn’t force the sale and just told me to call him back, the date was open.

At this point – there was only 1 red flag.  He didn’t ask me for inventory like the rest of the moving companies.  He basically just said 2 men or 3?    I took it as he wasn’t a professional, just a decent man looking for some work.

The night before the move, I called to confirm.  He knew right away it was me and confirmed tomorrow’s move.  He did attempt to switch the time to 8AM because that Saturday was “super busy” but texted me that we would stick to the original time of 9:30 AM.

Okay, I felt relieved.  I had confirmed my movers and wouldn’t be stuck moving myself.  Or so I thought…

Next morning, they’re late.  I give it a half hour before I give him a call.  Straight to voicemail.  So I text him and he responds “Can’t talk – busy. The guys are on their way.”  That right there should have been a red flag.  I was tempted to call him back and say forget it – you’re late, unprofessional, and rude.  But the thought of moving myself seemed overwhelming.

So after another half hour of waiting I asked for the movers number. Minutes later, a different number called me back.  He said he was on his way and babbled on about which tunnel he should take.

Alrighty- so he finally arrives.  He gives me an invoice, explains the charges, and collects a $150 cash deposit.  He took some inventory and went as far to say “no mattress pad, I’ll give you one for free.”  He grabs my suitcase, props open my door and leaves.

He never came back…

Boy was I pissed.  They wasted my time, stole my money, and left me moverless.  Those idioTs!!!  My 30 year old self cried an ugly cry, cursed this stupid city, and let out a few screams.  Luckily dad came to the rescue.  He got a Uhaul and we moved ourselves (the exact thing I was trying to avoid).

How to Avoid a Craigslist Scam (Or at least protect yourself after)

  • Take a picture of the mover.
  • Take a picture of their license plate.
  • Do not pay any fees up front.  Ask in advance if a deposit is required.
  • If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • Make sure they take inventory of what you have in advance.  Can’t provide a proper quote without that!
  • Scan Craigslist for similar ads with the same phone number, this SCREAMS scam.  I went back and looked at Craigslist ads and there were quite a few featuring the same phone number but with different company names.
  • If they’re rude and unprofessional, cancel right away.
  • File an internet fraud complaint here.  No one has followed up with me yet, but if enough people complain about the same scam, perhaps it will get resolved.

There you have it.  A mega botch and learn.  Ugh. I am NEVER using Craigslist again!

Bachelorette Party: New Orleans

New Orleans is a fun place to have a bachelorette party!  The city definitely has that “I don’t give a f***” attitude.  We took advantage of the numerous bars, live music, and good old cajun restaurants.  This is a strange city.  I’m not sure why Austin gets the tagline “keep Austin weird” because I think New Orleans’ weird factor is astronomical.  Either way though, it’s super fun and you don’t really need to have a plan before you go.  Just walk outside and you’ll stumble upon fun.

new orleans bachelorette party guide

Hotel:  We stayed at Harrah’s it was far enough from the chaos of Bourbon Street (a 15-20 minute walk) and close enough to delicious restaurants.  The rooms and bathrooms were big, always necessary for a bachelorette party.  The casino was actually quite large and seemed to wrap around endlessly.  I put in $20 into the slots while I waited for everyone to arrive and walked out nearly $300 richer.  Safe to say, I like this place 🙂

Must Try Drinks: There are a few drinks you must have in New Orleans.  Brace yourself for the high state of intoxication these induce and the headache to follow.  Drink plenty of water since these are ridiculously sweet.

  • Hand Grenade – a melon like drink served in a grenade shaped cup served at Tropical Isle
  • Hurricane – Pat O’Briens made these famous.  I’m not a fan since they taste like medicine… but when in NOLA you can’t leave without one
  • Jester – This frozen drink also packs a mean punch.  I’d liken it to Miami’s Call a Cab at Wet Willie’s.

Bourbon Street:  Over the course of 4 days, we checked out most of Bourbon’s streets bars.  They all blur into one another but these ones were noteworthy enough to remember the name.

  • The Beach – This was my favorite bar on Bourbon.  It’s on one end of the strip.  I liked this bar because it was quiet enough in the front to have a conversation.  Then the back had quite the club scene with fabulous music and a huge stage flocked with other bachelorettes.
  • The Swamp – We ended up here one night.  The crowd wasn’t really my scene but the music was great and the VJs were highly entertaining.  Avoid the bathrooms here.  They’re worse than Port Authority by a landslide.
  • Bourbon Cowboy – Go here to ride the bull.

Restaurant: We went out to eat quite a bit this bachelorette party.

  • Emeril’s – this was close to our hotel.  There was a lot of fish on the menu and cajun/creole food.  I ended up sharing the truffle fried chicken with my cousin.  It came with 4 sides and literally a whole chicken for $60.  Too bad I was too full for dessert because the menu made me salivate.
  • GW Fins – So cute, they printed out a custom menu for the table with the bride’s name and date.  The menu changes daily, so you never know what you’re going to get.  They served mainly seafood.  Everyone seemed to love their dishes.  I had the potato gnocchi with grilled chicken.

Other Stuff to Do:

We also went on a swamp tour.  We’re probably the only bachelorette party in history to arrive to this thing without a cooler of booze.  What on earth were we thinking?  I think that would have made it way more fun because touring through dirty water with alligators just isn’t my thing.  However, the driver was entertaining and I learned a little.

We also checked out the Real Drag Queens of New Orleans.  We went to a day show so we were in the front venue area.  It was just funny and some of the ladies truly looked like the celebrties they were impersonating.  And damn do those ladies have sass and confidence.  I could take a tip or two from them.

You must go to Frenchmen Street to listen to live jazz.  Just a warning, don’t try to walk around from bar to bar with drinks in hand.  It doesn’t fly on Frenchman Street. I’m so pissed at myself because for the life of me I can’t remember what bar we ended up or the name of the band that played.  They weren’t a jazz band, but they were ridiculously talented and all I could think was… I need this group at my wedding someday.

As my parting NOLA story, I will tell you how my mouth got me into trouble.  We were all donned in our matching bachelorette t-shrits.  A couple of guys came up, they were friendly.  They asked if we went to the strip clubs.  My response – “no, we heard the men were nasty.”  Their response, “well do you think I’m nasty, because I’m a stripper…”  #embarassing

 

 

PS – we still didn’t go to the strip club 🙂

Bachelorette Party: Austin Texas

Hot off my sister’s bachelorette party in Austin Texas.  Austin is the place to have a bachelorette party if you’re looking for no judgement, ratched fun, a variety of things to do, affordable nightlife, and a damn good time.

austin bachelorette party

Ultimate Austin Bachelorette Party

Hotel:  Omni Downtown

We stayed at the Omni downtown.  It was the perfect choice.  Originally, I was scared to choose this location. Many of the reviews talked about their no noise tolerance.  Our group of friends is about as quiet as a rocket launching.  Luckily, we didn’t run into any problems with hotel security.

We took advantage of their rooftop pool with downtown views.  The lunch there was extremely affordable, the drinks – not so much.

The hotel was in a convenient location – walkable to a liquor store and dirty sixth street.  The two most important things for an Austin bachelorette party.

Dinner:

When in Texas with picky eaters, what do you eat?! Tex-Mex! We ate plenty of that.

Hula Hut:  The Hula Hut is about a 15 minute cab from downtown.  It’s Hawaiian themed Mexican food.  The atmosphere is so adorable – it’s on a lake, features a tiki bar, and colorful decor.  The chips are A-Mazing.  I ate like a whole basket on my own. The rest of the food… mediocre.

Iron Cactus:  They don’t take reservations, but arrive before 8 PM and you should be fine.  Our group of 9 had enough time to grab a drink at the bar before we were promptly seated.  The food is much better than Hula Hut.  They make the guacamole tableside, which is always a sign of a good Mexican place.  Iron Cactus is conveniently located on 6th Street, so we ate here and went straight out.  Word on the street is their jalapeno margarita is a must try.

Boat: Lakeway Marina to Party Cove

Prior to heading to the marina for the best day of the bachelorette party, we stopped  at Whole Foods.  We picked up lunch, snacks, and more than enough booze for our party of 9 – (4) 15 Packs of beer, (2) bottles of champs, (2) bottles of vodka, and (1) Liter of wine.  I am sad to say it all went except for a half bottle of vodka and the wine… whoops, but we shared at least!

Anyway it was about a 40 minute uber from downtown.  Once there, they were super sweet.  Angel, the best captain ever, helped us load our coolers, blow up rafts, and get the party started! We took a leisurely 30 minute ride on our pontoon to Party Cove, a lake where boats go just to party.

After a minor heart attack when we nearly capsized as we pulled into the cove, we linked boats with another bachelor party.

We spent the next few hours shotgunning beers, hopping from boat to boat, floating around on noodles, and having the time of our lives.

Nightlife:

Most of Austin’s downtown nightlife is on 6th street.  There’s an East side (dirty sixth) and a west side, which is more late 20s / early 30s.  Additionally, there’s Rainey Street, and the Warehouse District.  Our preference was dirty 6th.

Thursday: We went out around 10 PM.  6th Street was virtually empty so many of the bars lured us in with free drinks for the whole group.  This was typically super sweet drinks.  Eventually we learned to say no to them.  We bar hopped a little and ultimately settled on the roofdeck of Blind Pig. We walked into a live band that swiftly brought our bachelorette on stage for their last song.  A DJ came on shortly after and he rocked.  This was by far the best night of the bachelorette party.  Mainly because we had no expectations.  We started dozens of dance circles, completed plenty of dares, and our bachelorette even had a “Hair-off”.

Friday:  This was supposed to be our big night out.  Although I think people were hesitant to rage knowing we had the boat the next day.  We started off at Kung Foo on West 6th Street.  This bar had giant Jenga and Connect 4, ski ball, and plenty of other arcade games.  I guess it’s an appropriate low-key way to start.  The DJ played some old school hip hop which I enjoyed.

We then went to the Ranch.  I thought this was a good idea since I saw many bachelorette parties there during a prior visit.  However, the place was a total taco fest – which really isn’t that fun for a bachelorette party.  It started to fill up, but we weren’t impressed.  So we ended up at our favorite place once again – The Blind Pig Pub!!!  Shakespeare across the street wasn’t bad either.

Saturday:  We were all drunk from the boat.  In fact the ground was rocking a little.  We grabbed dinner and drinks at BB Reillys then hit up Bat Bar.  They had a fabulous live band.  The kind you’d want playing at your wedding.  The crowd wasn’t our scene so we headed to Library Bar.  This bar is extremely chill.  We busted in like we owned the place quickly starting the limbo with our caution tape, daring people, and participating in a game of shoulders.  Beer was $3 a bottle – seriously can’t beat those prices.  Had a few, then ultimately ended up at our favorite spot The Blind Pig Pub!

And now for a few things I didn’t touch on, but helpful to know…

Boch and Learn – Avoid a Botch-lorette in Austin Texas:

  • Don’t try to re-enter a bar after 2 PM, they don’t let you
  • Uber is cheaper than cabs
  • The restaurant at The Driskill has an AMAZING breakfast
  • Dirty Sixth street shuts down to traffic at 9:30 PM
  • Drink beers – it’s so much cheaper
  • Go shopping on South Congress Street (right over the bridge).  Make sure to check out Texas National Outfitters.  They have a “special” bachelorette party hat, serve free booze, and play live music.  Plus I’m told they sometimes bring in a horse for bachelorette parties.

austin bachelotrette

Wedding Embarassments

Wedding fever has consumed me.  Does that make it sound like I want to get married?  That’s not what I mean.  I mean, I’m at the ripe age of 29 and I have several weddings to attend a year.

As y’all know by now, I am a klutz.  So I managed to do a few things at the last wedding that were slightly embarrassing.  I don’t exactly have a solution for this, other than to be more cautious but none the less, they make for an interesting story.

For starters, all the guests enjoyed specialty cocktails in champagne flutes during the ceremony.  Most people finished and set their glasses down.  Then, at the end of the ceremony we were supposed to throw rose petals as the bride walked up the aisle.  Oh, I got the memo to throw the petals (kudos to me).  But in addition to throwing the petals, my clutch opened up and I threw the contents of my purse (tampons everywhere) and smashed a champagne flute along the way.  Luckily, no one but my immediate friends near me noticed.  But holy you can’t take me anywhere.  At this point, I was sober too…

So I saunter into cocktail hour and I manage not to embarrass myself there (at least I think…)

At some point, I walk into the reception area and completely wipe out on nothing.  Totally blame my 6″ heels for that one.  Who do I think I am?! It didn’t help that I spent most of the time earlier that evening complaining I was going to twist my ankle in those heels.  So definitely put that in the atmosphere.  Next time I’m wearing 3″ heels and having confidence that I’m not going to fall.

Needless to say, I switched into my flip flops.  That didn’t save my reckless self though.  Wiped out again while dancing.  Maybe I need to stop jumping while I dance.  Twisted my ankle that time and decided I had enough dancing for the evening.

So the moral of the story kids.  Think positive thoughts, learn to walk in heels before wearing them in public, actually zipper your clutch and always bring a pair of flip flops to a wedding … although even those can’t save a drunken klutz

fall

How to Throw a Kick A** Bridal Shower

My gorgeous twin sister is getting married in a month!!!!  So, let’s talk about her kick a** Bridal Shower.  I must admit, I was completely worried with how this would turn out. My mother and I asked dozens of people for help and I was concerned it would turn into a hodge podge, chaotic, pot luck that you’d see at a Senior Citizen home…  Luckily, it came together nicely.

The Food

My mother rented out the clubhouse in her development.  At $300 this was a decent chunk of change.  However, with a bridal shower of roughly 60 people, we’d be looking at 10x the cost for food and drink alone if we held it at a restaurant.  She asked all of her friends and family to bring something.  So, you can see why I was concerned.   But the secret to being a fab host is always in the presentation.  We set up catering trays which made it look much more uniform.  Shout out to my aunt too for making the cutest desserts that fit the pink and purple theme.

I had each of the bridesmaids bring 2 bottles of champagne for the mimosas and my aunt made her famous sangria!  We had a cute mimosa bar which consisted of berries and pink champagne flutes rimmed with purple sugar.  I set up a crate and placed mason jars atop for the sangria.  My mom painted them all with chalk paint and guests wrote their names with a silver paint marker.  They were a huge hit, especially with the purple straws.

Bridal Shower bar

The Decorations

While mom took care of leading the food brigade, I managed the decorations.  I worked with the bridesmaids to make this a smashing success.  I started with a list of tasks that needed to be completed.  Rather than asking all of the bridesmaids for money, I had them sign up for tasks.  We’re all in different financial places so I thought this would let them take on what they could.  None of them disappointed!

We had the most beautiful paper flower centerpieces flanked by pictures of the bride and groom to be.  We hung personalized banners and designed signs.  One of the girls bought the most gorgeous wine container to hold the “stock the bar” items.  She also made tags so people could leave a note.  Lets not forget about the beautiful candy bar too.  I was so impressed with what a few of the bridesmaids pulled together.  They filled candy dishes spelling “love” with purple M&Ms and flanked it with glass jars filled with purple, pink, and gold candy.  They picked good candy too!  None of that tootsie roll dum dum pop BS.  They also found the cutest bags on Etsy!!

bridal shower candy bar

The Flow

As for the flow, we got a lot of great feedback.  We kept this show moving!! Bridal showers can really drag out but we wrapped everything up within two hours.  However, everyone still lingered since were having such a great time!

Here’s the trick.  Once everyone arrived, I kicked it off with a slideshow featuring the bride and groom.  By the time that was over, the food was ready.  We let everyone eat, drink, and chat it up.  Then mom and my sister made a little speech followed by Dana (my sister) opening presents.  DAMN, that girl got a lot of presents. We played gift bingo.  I always feels like that helps with the monotony of opening gifts. We also had a system in place just for opening them!  Half way through we broke it up with the newlywed game.  Then we let her continue opening gifts.  Once that was a wrap, we had dessert.

Yay for a fab bridal shower!!

married

How to Enjoy The Beach

I love staring at a vast ocean and getting tan but the pleasantries of beaching it stop there for me.  The wind whips my hair in every direction and throws sand all over my towel.  That sand then sticks to EVERY piece of my body.  I walk on sand hotter than fire to rinse off.   Then, I get to the ocean and it’s unbearably cold, the seashells cut up my feet, and there’s critters and seaweed floating around.  I return to my sanctuary that is my beach chair to sip my water (or cocktail) and discover it’s piss warm and rendered undrinkable.  I attempt to read my kindle for 10 minutes before it overheats and I sit there bored, hot, sweaty, tired, and looking like a dog attacked me.

BUT, a day at the beach doesn’t need to be that miserable.

how to enjoy the beach

Dos and Don’ts to Actually Enjoy the Beach

botch

Getting brown spots: One bad day at the beach and I’ve got a cluster of brown spots gracing my forehead for eternity.

Walking barefoot down the beach: I hop like a rabbit down the beach screaming “ahhh, I’m walking on fire!”

Leaving hair down:  At the end of the day my hair looks like I brushed it with a grenade and it’s going to take me 3 hours to comb out.

Reading on a Kindle:  I get through 10 minutes of Girl on the Train before it shuts down from over heating or loss of battery.

Sipping out of a water bottle:  It starts boiling after 15 minutes (well almost).  So much for refreshing.

Bringing a towel to sit on:  Within minutes of laying my towel down, it’s covered in sand and curling over.  

Sunglass Tan:  I love my sunnies so my nose always burns and there’s a white border around my eyes.  Can we also talk about that time I lost my Guccis to a battle with the Atlantic. That was a sad day for me #RIPGucci

learn

Wear a hat: Hats are not my thang.  But, I now wear it to the beach every time.  It protects against 2 botches – brown spots & grenade hair.  I got a cute baseball cap from Pacific Sun.

 Move faster: I really have no idea how to avoid that hot sand.  I try to walk in flip flops but that just throws sand all over me.  My advice… RUN.  I guess that’s my cue to get to the gym.

Detangler is your friend:  This serves 2 purposes.  It protects your hair from the sun and also stops that grenade hair.

Read a real book:  This is the only time I buy a paperback.  You could probably borrow from the library too.  #oldfashioned

Wear sunnies with caution: Wear these only when you’re moving around and remove while tanning or frolicking in the ocean.

Look stylish while ensuring no loss of sunnies Buy from Sintillia a sunglass strap that resembles body jewelry as opposed to clunky grandma straps.

Buy a bubba mug:  The bubba mug  promises to keep cold stuff cold for up to 12 hours!  And size does matter here – no need to run across that hot sand for a refill!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAN AM I A DIVA.  I can’t believe I just wrote a whole post about hating the beach.  These tips and tricks make it much more bearable.  Now can someone find me a pool to jump into?

enjoy the beach

Bachelorette Party: Charleston SC

Like all bachelorette parties, we acted a fool in Charleston South Carolina, drank more than necessary and returned home 5-1o pounds heavier – no joke.  Before I continue though, shout out to my sister for planning. I got scolded last time I forgot to mention her in the Vegas Bachelorette Party. She knows how to throw a good one!

charleston bachelorette

Hotel:

Lucky us, there were no hotels available, so we rented a house outside of Charleston in Folly Beach!

It was about a half hour cab ride to downtown.  Drinking heavily and getting in the back of a taxi is extremely nauseating as some of us found out!  But whatever, it was worth it to stay at the beach and still enjoy the Charleston restaurants and bars.  We didn’t make it out until 2AM, because we’re lushes who love to day drink.  But locals warned us, that if you want to make it back to Folly Beach, you need to call a cab by 1:30 AM or they won’t take you.

We loved having a house because we were all together, blasting music and hanging 0ut.  The only draw back was they couldn’t accommodate us for an early check-in.

Lunch & Day Drinking

Lunch @ Rita’s – Take a walk up Center Street in Folly Beach and there’s a row of restaurants. We grabbed lunch at an outdoor cafe, Rita’s.  They had A-mazing macaroni and cheese… and fries.  Did I mention we all gained weight?

Day Drinking @ the house – The benefit of renting a house is you have a giant refrigerator to fill just with booze.  Hello drinking on the beach!

Late Lunch & Drinks @ Loggerheads  – Loggerheads sounded so appealing and promising.  Live music NEAR the beach.  But the music didn’t start until 6 PM, so we missed that.  Gotta say, this is NOT the place to day drink for a bachelorette party.  The Manager told us to put our penis props away, and yelled at us a few more times for our loud obscenities.  It was a total buzzkill. What good is a bachelorette party without them?  We would have stayed there all night probably, but not after that!  My advice, skip it.

Snapper Jacks Rooftop – I LOVED Snapper Jacks and you should definitely go there  for a bachelorette party.  Their happy hour is insane.  We’re talking $2 beers and $3 vodka drinks. Everyone was having a great time.  Some hot guy (he worked there) serenaded the bar with his guitar and singing skills.  They didn’t give us a hard time about drinking from our penis straws or throwing around penis shaped confetti either.  In fact, an older group of women were so amused by them, we gave them the pecker straws as a momento.

Party Bus

We took a party bus out to the boondocks to a winery/firefly distillery.  An event called Winestock was going on.  It was supposed to be like Woodstock with live music etc.  We parked our towels in the grass and sipped some vino, including frozen wine!  We also did a firefly tasting for $6.  OMG I have never done a vodka tasting.  Good thing their stuff is so good.  We tried lemonade vodka, moonshine, and all other types of deliciousness.  Most of them tasted divine.  However, you should have seen our faces after the moonshine, woof.  Needless to say, after that we all felt great.  Our ride home in the party bus was a lot livelier.  We took advantage of the bluetooth speakers, my Spotify booty playlist (yes, I did curate one of those) and pole.

Dinner

Husk – This is one of Charleston’s top restaurants and it’s tough to get a reservation here.  Luckily my sister called months in advance.  Husk is a great place for a girls dinner, but definitely not a sloppy bachelorette one.  They change their menu twice a day.  We all know I’m a picky eater by now, so I kept checking the menu to see what they had, but it wasn’t posted til nearly 6.  But, phew… they had a banging chicken dish.  We arrived to Husk 15 minutes early so they couldn’t accommodate us.  They sent us to the bar around back.  We walk in, and immediately the bartender can tell we’re all feeling good and that we’re from the north.  She told us there’s no jager bombs or flavored vodkas… not that we asked. Then she tried to pass us off to the bar upstairs.  We checked it out, but it was a snoozefest and came back downstairs.  We were greeted with, “did they kick you out up there?” For the record… they did not.   Anyway, we acted a lot better during dinner at Husk.  My chicken dish might have been the best thing I ever ate.  No lie.

Hominy Grill – If you want southern food, you must go to Hominy Grill.  Keep in mind though, they run on southern time.  They didn’t seat us until nearly an hour after our reservation time.  Plus, they only had one bartender to serve the restaurant and the outdoor bar area.  He was SO slow, and the last member of the group got a drink a half hour after the first.  They should have comped us some biscuits…  If you’re going to a bachelorette party in Charleston, wear your patient pants!! Their fried chicken was delicious though.  I didn’t care too much for their mac and cheese which tasted like it had nutmeg on it.

Nightlife

Republic – We went to Republic on a Thursday night, where it was ladies night!  Can you say, $1 BOTTLES of champagne?!?!?!!?! You heard that correctly.  We couldn’t believe it.  Anyway, there was hardly anyone there since it was 10 PM on a Thursday.  The DJ basically catered to us and played all of our requests.  He was AWESOME.  They also had a live band out back in their outdoor patio.  Not as awesome though.  We lasted until midnight.

Trio – Everyone kept telling us great things about Trio, but it honestly didn’t live up to the rave reviews.  Again, we arrived at 10 PM, because we’re old and can’t hang like we used to.  There was no one there.  I mean no one! The DJ didn’t even start up until closer to 11 PM.  So we grabbed drinks and went to the outside area and sat patiently waiting to shake our booties.  The DJ finally came on, he was at least good.  So we started the dance party.  Creepy men quickly encircled us.  We lasted until 12:30 this night.  When we left the bar there was a giant line.  It was kind of funny though because the place was maybe 1/4 fill.  They were defintely trying to make it look like the place was the best time ever.  I think if you go here for a bachelorette party, you need to come a little later.  We did see like 5 other bachelorettes, so it’s got some notoriety for it.

While we had a great bachelorette party in Charleston, there is always an opportunity to botch and learn:

  • If you’re planning a bachelorette party in May, make sure it’s not a college town or plan around graduation!  Hotels were booked or absurdly priced.
  • Charleston is not exactly a walking town so plan to spend a good chunk on cabs
  • Charleston is appreciative of southern manners.  Leave those penis props at home.

bachelorette party penis straw

Bottomless Boozy Brunch in NYC

If you are a 20-something in New York City and say you don’t like brunch, I’m calling your bluff right now.  It’s one of the most magical things about this city.  There’s hundreds of options, and I’m always looking to discover the next best brunch place.  I spend more hours salivating over pictures of french toast and  reading reviews about atmosphere than I do actually brunching.  You see, each of my friend groups like very different things.  Some are stingier than others, some like to rage more, some need a hamburger and fries, and some are like me… picky.  As the picky one, it is always bestowed upon me to pick a place, because they’ll eat everything and “I’m the picky one.”  Yet next thing I know they’re saying, “It needs to be affordable.”  “It needs to be easy to get to.”  “I want a party atmosphere.”  Suddenly there are always new criteria so I’m constantly going back to the drawing board.  To spare you the hours of research here is what I learned.  Consider this the boozy brunch special.

bottomless boozy brunch nyc

Bottomless Brunch

Bottomless brunch most certainly does still exist in NYC.  And there’s a myriad of places to get your fix of bubbly, bloodies, and breakfast… clever, I know.

CROOKED KNIFE  – 29 E 30TH STREET

There’s two locations.  One on 14th, and one in the Murray Hill area.  Make sure you make a reservation.  They certainly don’t take walk-ins after 2 PM (That was a total brunch fail).  For $34 you get unlimited bloodies and mimosas + an entre.  There’s a variety of lunch foods and breakfast so there’s something for everyone.  Expect loud music and a fun atmosphere but don’t expect to hold a conversation with 8 of your closest girlfriends.

CALLE OCHO – 45 W 81ST STREET (INSIDE EXCELSIOR HOTEL)

It’s traditional Cuban food with unlimited sangria!  The sangria packs a strong punch though so beware.  House rules proclaim you can only have one glass at a time.  So no double fisting or ordering before you’re done.  There’s nearly a dozen flavors to try, so you’ll have to come back to try them all.  My favorite sangria – the Havana Banana.  I must say though that their sangria is sweet and headache inducing but so worth it!

POCO – 33 AVENUE B
$30 gets you bottomless sangria, bloody marys, or mimosas for 1.5 hours + an entre.  If you don’t feel like drinking (preggo friends can join), you can pay $17.95.  Like all the other bottomless brunch places, make sure you make a reservation and tell your perpetually late friends to meet you there a half hour earlier (you know who you are!)  Also note, it’s cash only.  Food is great but not worth the wait.  Hey, I rhymed there…

TRIBECA GRAND– 2 SIXTH AVE
This Buffet Brunch will cost you $35 pp and an extra $20 each if you want a bottomless brunch for 2 hours. So yeah, it’s a little pricy.  But hello… look at that buffet picture above.  The brunch buffet has belgian waffles made to order, an omlette station etc. plus there’s a live jazz band.  Also if you’re bringing the kiddies, there’s always a movie for them to watch.

LIPS – E 56th STREET

Enjoy an entertaining drag queen show as you sip on mimosas and consume menu items such as “Legally Blonde” and “Sister Act”  for just $21.95.  For an additional $6 you can consume unlimited mimosas and bloody marys.

bottomless brunch

Carry On Essentials

Carry On Essentials

Tote:

I’ve been eyeing the OG Bag by Lo & Sons.  It’s the perfect woman’s carry on.  There’s hidden pockets everywhere, which will satisfy any organized nut on the go.  There’s a slot for a 13″ laptop, front pockets, and even side pockets. But here’s why it’s really the perfect travel tote – there’s an adjustable sleeve at the back that allows you to attach it to your suitcase’s handle.  Bye bye bag falling off my suitcase and dumping on the floor.

It’s slightly pricy at nearly $300, but I may just treat myself to it, and double it as a gym bag (when I finally get my butt going there again!)

Entertainment:

Airlines are getting stingy.  I can’t tell you the last time there was a movie on during flight, or when the stewardess gave me a free set of headphones.  Delta charges $16 for a 24 hour wifi pass.  So on a 6 hour flight, you’ve got to entertain yourself.  Especially if you can’t take a siesta on a plane (like me).

I always bring a notebook when travelling.  Travel time can be productive brainstorming sessions or just time to get organized.  I find myself making to do lists, to buy lists, and blog post idea lists.  Ummm… so am I type A??

Headphones are mandatory.  I rarely listen to music on flight.  So why do I need headphones?

  1. In case that stingy airline decides to play a free movie
  2. To make it clear to the Chatty Cathy sitting next to me that I’m not interested in engaging in 5 hours of dialect
  3. To reduce the noise of crying babies around me

My iPad is also an essential.  I always purchase an ebook before the flight and download it to my kindle app while I’m still connected to wifi.  Airlines recently changed their policies which allow you to keep the ipad on from take-off to touch-down (provided it’s on airplane mode).  Hello uninterrupted reading… bye bye bulky book. Just finished The Girl on the Train on a flight back from Florida. i highly reccommend it.

So Fresh So Clean:

I don’t know what it is,  but flying makes me feel dirty and dried out.  I have a compulsive need to wash my face.  Meanwhile my face feels tighter than an unopened jar of artichokes. (Did that even make sense?! Totally not Simon Cowell with the analogies).

I’m pretty sure I’m getting ripped off here, but I need my Evian Mineral Water Spray.  A quick mist rehydrates skin and/or refreshes makeup. I just paid $7.50 for 1.5oz of water, so I’ve convinced myself it’s just as powerful as a face shower.  I’d also like to point out that over 10,000 people have given this a Sephora like, so I’m not that crazy.

If you’re really having the urge to wash your face, try a cleansing wipe.  One of my favorites is Simple.  I also use these to wipe down areas around me like my tray table and arm rest.

Hand cream – does that need to be explained?

Germs are rampant on flights.  You’ve got sick people flying (why can’t they just stay home), tiny dirty bathrooms, and sneezing culprits. Use Purel as a precautionary measure so you’re not arriving to paradise with the flu.

There – now you can travel in style, entertain yourself for hours, and ward off dirt and germs making flying more appealing.