Month: August 2016


I used to buy magazines as an indulgence. I didn’t have a ‘go to’, rather whatever I was drawn to at the moment.  Sometimes I needed really really trashy clearly false stories with ugly pictures of “celebs without makeup, barf!” Other times I opted  for one that I wouldn’t  be embarrassed to pull out on a train  while seeing an attractive AND smart man/boy- whatever that is.

Lately though nothing  has caught my eye, and when I flip through a few pages I always feel like I’ve read it before or I know what’s coming. Something along the lines of an article about loving yourself , followed by a 3-4 page spread on how to lose weight with detailed workout routines, and then the final page dedicated to a cheesecake recipe to just “indulge!” Does anyone else see how that could be confusing?

My best bet has been to read more books. My latest, and likely final book of the summer is called  “The Taliban Shuffle” It makes me feel smart and like an idiot at the same time because the topic is confusing even to experts- or so I’ve read…
Image result for the taliban shuffle

Anyways, if you’re looking for something that’s kind of funny but also educational this is a good pick.

And alas, summer is nearing an end. For all those people that openly judge me and other teachers for having summer “off” you can direct all the judge towards me. Usually we have to defend ourselves and talk about all the P.D we had to do, and prep for next year etc., but I really only did that for about 2 weeks. So yes, I have been able  to heal from my jaw surgery-It’s so luxurious, and you can do it too if you want. If I had any other job I would have taken time  off- you have to. It’s like a legal thing. And it’s impossible. Unless you work in a cave where you don’t have to speak and you hand things to people with a nod of your head. Then you could definitely continue working.

So maybe I’ve been making it all look easy breezy because I’m not that swollen and I do try to go out and do social things when I can. And in those situations I’m like “yeah, totally great, healing fine! Ate a sweet potato again! wooh” But deep down I’m mumbling this is some bullshit.

Thursday (of week 5 post surgery FYI)  was probably my biggest success in being a normal person. I got a haircut and since I have to at least semi- chat with my favorite ever hairstylist Jen, I took out my two front-ish rubber bands. Shortly after that I strolled home in what happened to be a 5 minute long misting of mist- not rain, but just enough to slightly ruin and frizz up  my haircut.

Naturally curly hair, frizzy thick hair problems- LMAO!! Yes!:

I had just enough time to try and undo the damage before meeting my friends for some noodles. So yes I can eat noodles and have been able to for about 2 weeks now- but doing so public is like a whole thing.  I  went  with mac and cheese even though there were way more tempting options. Something like pesto would have required me to full on brush my teeth in the public restroom. Not there yet. Le sigh. I brought my little compact mirror with me  and navigated the noodles in no problem.

No problem, but is that really an Ideal way to dine with friends? (It’s not, in case you were like well, it’s really not soooo bad……)

The comparative thing is bogus at this point. I’m  reading about Afghanistan and watching movies like Beasts of No Nation (yipes) to convince myself how beyond blessed and lucky that I am. But it sure feels  good to have a pity party every now and then.

Speaking of rape and child soldiers, I went to a comedy show after the noodles. Yes, three cool things in a row. Free plug for the show- It’s called BLT comedy- It’s free- It’s at Beer Bistro in the West loop  on Thursday evenings.

It’s a small show and I’d only gone once before where I was so close I was pretty much onstage, but no big deal. It’s not your typical pick on the audience show. They just do quick sets and you get to see like  4-5 different comedians. So this time my sister got there ahead of time to make sure we had a table and it just so happened to be up front again. No big deal right? Maybe it was the haircut, maybe it was the sweat dripping down my face from being under the spot light or some je ne sais quio, but I was not in the clear.

I got called out because I wasn’t really smiling or laughing at one point- things that are still challenging for me. By the way- wake up lower lip, please wake up!

The guy said something along the lines of “I just did a ring check, and you are looking at me just….not happy”

My table died laughing. He went on to say a few more remarks and then later in the act he mentioned that he had taught English in Spain and he caught my eye “You hate that we have that in common now, eh?”

I later had to apologize and say that while he was very funny I just had jaw surgery, to which he replied “Omg sorry, you just reminded me of like  an unhappy Kristin Wiig.”

Compliment accepted.

My final conflicting thoughts before some photo updates involve this whole “you look the same, cool!” sentiment.

Bitch, did I just get major reconstructive surgery to “look the same?” I guess I’ll have  to just give in and admit that I  don’t look like a different person– there was no Margot Robbie special going on- and I’ll  most likely just have to accept that the differences are only things I ever did- and ever will notice. Like when you have a pimple and people are like “oh I didn’t even notice” which for me is such a lie because I always notice pimples- I notice that I’m the only one still getting them.

Mind you it’s just week 6 and people say they notice changes in their face continue for about a year when they are fully fully healed.  As long as I don’t have to keep reaching into my mouth to pull my upper lip out for much longer, it’s all good.

These photos range from about week 3.5 or 4 to 5. Shout-out to #Walterpcomer for doing some extra therapy with me.

And for the photos below, the middle one is from haircut day: aka the 2nd day out of almost 6 weeks where I didn’t have my hair in a grease frizz bun or ponytail.


Just to compare….week 2.5 versus week 5


Again I can’t compare my current face with how it was before because I never ever took a head on photo like that- which I find very telling of my previous discomfort with my face. The other day I even caught myself breathing through my nose for an extended period of time despite the fact that I still only have 1 nostril at my disposal. Blessed!



My Oprah moment: favorites

Hello! I feel like I should immediately give the disclaimer that you will not receive any of the things that I mention in this post because unfortunately, I am not Oprah. I’ve just had some time (lots of time) to reflect on the things I’ve enjoyed this summer. These will all change in the fall/winter because TV shows end, my skin becomes more dry (yet still oily), and I probably eat 1,000 more calories to guard myself from the harsh wind. Also, “me time” will be something I will have way less of. Yipes.

Favorite summer beauty (that isn’t makeup):

**(This is likely the only favorite category that will have an intro, but don’t worry. Mostly photos after this).

I used to believe that if I only had time to put on one product/ makeup thing, I would put on two (foundation and mascara). But now, after much research (YouTube, Amazon product reviews, $$$expensive$$$ trial and error), I am changed. I used to wear foundation sitting in my house alone because I just didn’t like how  I looked. Now thanks to some basic skincare and nutrition I only fill in my brows.  Fine, I put on mascara too so as not to frighten people. It’s a blond person problem mmmkay.

3 way tie: Cleanser,  oil, *sunscreen



*Funny story about Neutrogena: Miracles. I seriously wore only this on a (first) date. I didn’t have time or moisturizer. Totally worked. Still single.

Bonus favorite: Grapefruit toner. May or may not work- just bought it. All that matters is that you spray it onto your face. Spray = yay!


**Bonus Pro-tip: Contouring on a daily basis; especially in the light of day; should be prohibited. It is meant for going to the Oscars and being in a magazine. That’s it. Those are the only scenarios.

Favorite t-shirts/ tanks: Funny but not annoying cute sayings/ phrases (but slightly annoying).


*These are all REALLY SOFT and I mostly sit around in my in my apartment in them, and then when I leave it looks like I’m going to workout, but I’m not! I’m fooling everyone.

Runner up- Anything blush/ nude.

(Shout out to VS Pink, Target and Banana Republic)

Favorite TV show (to binge watch): 30 Rock 

I had yet to find a show that made me laugh as much as Family Guy. This seems more mature because it’s people and not cartoons. That’s what growing up is all about.

“Hey, nerds! Who’s got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn’t cried once today? This moi.”

30 rock funny30 rock funny 330 rock funny 2


Favorite summer reads:

 Final book pending…

**If you’re feeling judge-y just keep in mind that I needed light post surgery. And you’re also a jerk because at least I read. And yes, I have a Tina Fey thing.


Favorite summer photos: 

Favorite smoothie recipe: Refreshing


I’ll leave the amounts of things up to your discretion. That’s the beauty of a smoothie.


Favorite  sweet yums:

I make this all the yummy and you can "experiment" with it using different ingredients!: 20160811_130710

Favorite other yum: (Just so happens to also be sweet) 

Yums that require no real baking, intense cooking or talent: (And are also “soft diet” approved)

Eggs- any way, any how i ❤ an egg. Hard, soft, ooey and gooey. Although QUESTION: When did egg whites become “a thing”? Is the yolk too delicious? Along with my gluten free sentiments, pass me your yolk and I will have your gluten for you too if it must be so.

Avocado– Apparently there is an avocado crisis of some sort because of the realization of the awesome powers within the avocado, but I am surely not the cause of it. It’s all you avocado toast people. #toast #basic #pfff. I prefer a squirt of lemon juice, salt, lime. Or just straight up.

Tofu- May weird some people out. It’s a texture thing and I totally get it because I have it with mushrooms and most peppers not prepared by me. I’ve actually always picked tofu over chicken on my Thai food. Something comforting and easy about the squish of it.

Salmon– 425, foil,  olive oil, lemon slices, throw a dash of your fave spices (for me that is paprika and pink himalaya salt) 25 minutes (I think) melt in yo mouf.

Sweet potato– 425, foil, fork it, olive oil it, 45 min and that’s it. Don’t ruin it with anything else. If you must, butter it.


Favorite words and conclusion:


Finally, I leave you with this video that I feel like I really relate to, even though we have nothing in common (not a model born in France that smokes). But I just get her want to be well. Whatever that means. It resonates with me right now.

Camille Rowe- Wellness Journey: Shot by British Vogue so it’s also very pretty and soothing.


Past, present, future

I actually have come to enjoy the Facebook memory application (thing?). It sickens me sometimes to see how much fun I was having just 3 or 4 years ago, but then it’s also a good reminder that I have not always been SO low key. I feel like I probably stay in more than an Olympic athlete in training, and I will definitely not be  in the Olympics ever unless they create a witty remarks event about the people competing.

5 years ago today I only had one memory.  I wrote “visa appt tomorrow:wish me luck” OMG, little me hadn’t even been to Spain yet 5 years ago!  Now that chunk of time is a huge part of my life.

I  think I should have more memories, but that may just be a critique of Facebook. I was pretty sure that I got braces exactly one year ago, but maybe I was too nervous to post the photo? Anyways, now you can see  that there are all kinds of flawless post surgery photos of me on this blog so that means I’m actually maturing into the person that doesn’t care what others think-hallelujah. Side note- it’s helpful that I’m  not a celebrity and that only 100 people max have ever looked at this blog.

This photo sequence is approximately week 2 into week 3. I really have been terrible at keeping track of days despite how much free time  I have; which by the way is almost all of the time- don’t be jelly!

All right,  now you can be jelly! Maybe that makes it look like I’m a pro at eating but it’s  really not a pretty sight. Sure I CAN eat most squishy things, but doing it out of the comfort of my own home still makes me uneasy. I’m never quite sure (unless I have a mirror) how much ends up on my chin, which is still the part  of my face I really can’t feel…at all. Most other parts are kind of numb like after wisdom teeth, or other tooth extraction, but my chin is on another planet. A small percentage of people have it happen where the feeling never comes back to some parts, or it’s kind of just ‘tingly.’ I feel like my chin is something I’d be okay with not feeling…never  really noticed it before aside from  all the zits I get there (still happens).

Hoping you agree with me, but I think I am kind of looking like a regular person these days, which has it’s pros and cons. The pro is looking regular. The con is that other people out in the world think that I am regular and ask me basic questions that I can’t answer. That dress photo was the day I told the store attendant my name was Emma and she was like “Okay Monica, let me know  if you need anything.” I quickly left.

Another great example happened yesterday when I went on a (HOT) stroll to Whole Foods. What do you know, a woman in some kind of traditional African garb asks me where Best Buy is. Lucky for me it’s straight ahead and you can see the little yellow tag sign. So I mumble and point and her takeaway was “YELLOW?” So I gesture again and say, forget the yellow part, it’s right there. She politely says thank you and 5 minutes later I see her ask someone else. WTF- I know I was hard to understand but It was RIGHT THERE.  Then by some miracle another woman with a thick accent asks me where something is. Lucky for me again, she has the directions up on her phone and I know the street she is looking for, so I sucked back my drool and did some more  pointing and we made it through.

The other major thing I noted that makes me feel bad are all those poor unfortunate  youth that have a cause. They believe in the environment, LGBQT (RSLMNOP?), Women’s rights, health, etc. So they ask do you have a minute? Some earnest and eager,  and others with a tinge of regret that they cared in the first place. Well, I’ve never had more minutes and less money, but either way I can’t sit around on this hot weirdly homeless street corner and listen to you tell me all of the things that are so blatantly wrong with the world. Mainly because I know and I still don’t want  to give you $20 a month, $25 for a tote bag and a photo of a puppy. Some people are real jerks though. Like you are allowed to speak to them and say “No, sorry!  business call” and urgently reach for your phone. Or “I believe in your cause but I am also poor, good luck!” Yesterday I witnessed this total douche-lord brush past this girl who asked if he had a minute, and she was like uggghhhh have a nice day! I tried to make eye contact and be like omg, douche-y right? But I remembered I was about to do the same thing.

So the photo on the left is exactly 1 year ago the day that I got braces. The photo on the right is from last night. Obviously you can’t see my teeth because I can’t smile that widely but I’d say that is the biggest difference. My bite is so clearly (to me) over and off center a year ago.  Now my mid-line is on POINT!

Also good to remember how far I’ve come. Day 5 versus day 24?! Much more interesting to see that contrast than the day to day.

I’ll likely try and show some more contrasting photos as the days go by. I’m  almost  coming up to a month and after that people say they almost forget they even had surgery.


An avocado a day…is awesome!

I’m nearing the end of week two of my made for lifetime movie Made it through the wire: Food is great. So much change has happened in a matter of days, and all for the better.

I have my splint out (aka dirty lisping mouth guard) and I can take my rubber bands off for meal times; goodbye syringes! I even went out to eat in public with my parents and slowly spooned polenta and fried egg into my mouth while looking into a blush compact. People must have thought ‘that girl is really obsessed with herself.’

The soft food diet is not half bad and I’m really embracing this healthy as fuck lifestyle. I could instagram my meals each day but I’m too busy eating them. That was the old me. The chewing me.

I have lost some weight (refer to: no time for snacks), but to be fair I did gain weight in advance just to be safe, so it’s not a drastic change. Also I’ve been out in the world more than a handful of times at this point and I’m not like THAT skinny. There are some skinny bitches out there if you know what I’m saying #kale #suddenlypeopleareonahealthkick #notabadthing. I’m eating kale too. Totally. I’m making smoothies and drinking tea and going on walks etc. The key difference is that I’m not the girl drinking a green juice before spin class and a full day of teaching yoga. I’m blending my kale with cream and sitting on my couch watching 30 Rock only to pass the time before my magical peanut butter bedtime smoothie.

Speaking of aesthetics…I have been asked if I had this light casual jaw surgery for aesthetic reasons.

While I enjoy my left profile more than I used to, it’s a hard no. If you want to change your looks I would recommend getting yourself some regular plastic surgery and not doing this. Seriously. Today I walked out of my apartment building into the fresh sunshine and saw a cute boy and got all self conscious and looked down… and only then did I know that I was drooling because a long string of it was leading down to a puddle just above my right boob. Dating applications available at

But really it’s not so bad. My parents took such good care of me and I’m so lucky.  I highly recommend that you have retired parents if you are considering any major surgery. Otherwise good luck, it’s a tough world out there. They went back up to Wisconsin now that I’m “in the clear” and I have not been afraid to shove a child that’s getting a little to close to jostling me. Watch it ya filthy animal, I’ve been waiting 20 years to have straight teeth and your little spoiled rotten lifestyle of touching whoever you want will not ruin it or cause me strife! Good day! (Said in New York and British accents respectively). 

I think now comes the other hard part of the recovery. The first 2 weeks were the dark days. The queasy, dirty, booger, crust, puffy, lethargic, death medicine days. Moving forward it’s like sooo now that I feel fine, can I just promise to close my mouth really tightly but otherwise feel free to talk like a normal human being? Alas, I am not. One hint was when I went shopping the other day and I tried on three dresses, but I had to sit for a few seconds in between each of them. Literally chilling on that small triangle excuse of a bench in a closet regaining strength. I think that mainly has to do with the fact that I don’t like shopping, because I did attend a full on baby shower and survived with energy to spare for an afternoon walk. If you’re wondering how that went, I mostly contemplated if I could take a macaroon for the road and blend it. I ultimately decided it wouldn’t be the same and in a few weeks (maybe 5?!) I will buy myself all the macaroons I want.

The photos show approximately days 7 until about day 18/19.



So the things that jump out at me are that my eyebrows have indeed grown into fuzzy little caterpillars, and I wear the same 3 outfits on rotation. Regarding my face though I think I’m still totally me and the biggest change is in my profile. I used to never ever ever ever take a photo of my left side because I was missing a tooth and I had a weird crooked nose thing going on. Maybe you never noticed and that’s fine, but I did so that’s all that matters. My smile is still awkward and lopsided due to swelling more on one side but c’est la vie.

I will leave you with some yummy smoothie ideas because I will be bringing this into my future lifestyle for sure. The screenshot below I actually changed a bit and I did pitted dates and forgot about the cacao nibs…but I’m sure I’ll try the chocolate chip thing because anything with almond butter/ peanut butter is my friend.


This morning I made myself a little healthier kind of smoothie….

Raspberries, blueberries, Siggis berry and acai yogurt, splash of milk (I did whole but you can do any kind you want), some spinach leaves and a dash of maple syrup. #healthyasF!

I had that with an egg and avocado. See, soft diets can be cool.

I’ll confess the only drink of boost that I had was at the hospital (I was just showing off that I COULD drink, otherwise bleh). There’s literally 1 jillion other things that you can drink to get calories and vitamins besides that chocolate bullshit.

Also, cashew butter is really yummy and I like eating it with oatmeal and bananas. It’s kind of sweeter but not in a sweet sugary way, more in a coconut-y way. Which leads me to my other new best friend, Vita coco! Maybe it’s not the best thing for you or the jury is still out on it, but for the times when I don’t feel like taking my rubber bands on and off it’s been a decent “snack.”

If anyone wants to talk smoothies/ soft snacks just let me know because I can see I’m rambling now. Food was and always will be my favorite thing and having a jaw wired shut has not held me back.