Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Bob: Go With the Greens.

In Strategy, Super Helpful Info on 07/18/2012 at 9:45 am

Bob and I met at church a long time ago – maybe in 2001 or 2002. His wife, Jean, ended up becoming a superhero example of how to be a loving, kind, non-judgmental person. She also referred us to the kid’s pediatrician (she works there) – who we love.

We were having a conversation once about driving and navigating city lights. I probably complained that I managed to hit every red light, to which he said, “Why do you waste your energy? Just go with the greens.”

I drive all the time, all over the place, and every day I hear these words in the back of my mind. Because there are a couple of true hidden gems in Bob’s advice:

1 – You save a ton of stress – the kind that builds up in your arms, neck, back, and legs – if you don’t stop and go all the time. Which also equates to less road rage. #win

2 – If you get in sync with the green lights on a grid system, you rarely have to hit the brakes. (Note – speed racing through this system will inevitably get you a red light every time, so just follow the speed limit.)

Sure, I still get caught at a bunch of red lights. But at least I’ve convinced myself that I’m getting to my destination faster – which is all that really matters, right?

Francesca: Wash Your Hair Like Your Clothes.

In Health, Super Helpful Info on 07/17/2012 at 11:27 am

Francesca (the miracle working hairstylist) can deal with ANY type of hair – including my unruly, coarse, thick, mangled whatever-is-on-top-of-my-head. She gives flattering cuts to complement your face, listens to what you want, and encourages hair risk-taking (like asymmetrical cuts in fuchsia) that somehow always turn out.

I get a 4-hour cut/color with Francesca every few months, and last time I was in there, I asked her how often I should be washing my hair.

“If your hair were a type of fabric, how often would you wash it? You should wash your hair like your clothes. Your hair is coarse and thick and unruly. Like wool. How often do you wash your wool sweaters?”

Some people have wash-and-wear hair (cotton) or super fine hair (silk), but I get to deal with wool hair. Which means washing every 2-3 days and lots and LOTS of Moroccan Oil.

Three days in between washes may sound gross, but honestly, my hair does behave a lot better on day 2 or 3 after a wash.

Sue: Don’t Sneeze.

In Health, Just plain fun on 07/08/2012 at 12:39 pm

Ms. Aldridge was my history teacher for both 10th and 11th grade. She was probably my favorite teacher through all of high school, not just because she was young and fun, but also because she made history about a billion times less boring than it could have been.

Aside from Louis XIV and trench warfare, one of the best lessons she taught me was outside of class, between Trig (Mr. Powers, ew) and Physiology (mink dissection, ew). I was probably complaining to her that I would never use mink physiology in my adult life (true statement) and that Mr. Powers creeped me out (truer statement).

In the middle of my diatribe, I almost sneezed all over her.

But before I could, Ms. Aldridge brushed her finger on the bridge of my nose, and guess what? My urge to sneeze totally vanished.

So whenever I’m in a meeting or in front of a group of people or just plain don’t want to sneeze, I use her trick.

I really have no clue what Sue is doing now, but if for any reason she ends up reading this, I’d love to catch up over brunch at Hobees!

Jocelyn: Conceal Your Mistakes.

In Cooking, Strategy, Super Helpful Info on 07/06/2012 at 11:02 am

Jocelyn and I were best friends in high school – a given since we had 6 out of 7 classes together. Our teachers must have hated us, not just because we were chatty, but because we were ALWAYS together (and usually being dorks).

As one of the best students at our school and probably the most Type-A person I knew, it came as no surprise when she, as a grown-up Pastry Chef, was the first to come to mind when asking myself, “Who should create some recipes for this cupcake business I have no recipes for?” (Side note: we still use some of her cake recipes today, because they’re just that good.)

When I was in CA for our first photo shoot, Jocelyn started piping cupcakes for the camera. She told me to garnish the cupcakes that were sitting on the side and to use the garnishes to conceal any mistakes. So I did.

Once back in Chicago, as we hustled through our first year of running Foiled, I quickly realized that garnishes were going to be our saving grace. Without the chocolate curls, toasted coconut, crushed peanuts or Oreo crumbs, we’d have sent out lopsided, air-bubbly cupcakes. But with the garnishes, nobody noticed anything except how good the cupcakes tasted (thanks to Jocelyn and her Type-A-ness, I promise).

We have a rockstar Chicago-based pastry team that knows what they’re doing, but just in case, we’ll always keep our garnish stock full.

P.S. Go 49ers!