michael jackson lisa marie presley

Halloween is right about the corner and you're probably only reading this if you swore this is the year you'd FINALLY stop dressing up, but then you received a work email out about a costume contest where the winner gets a $25 Jamba Juice gift card, and now your college friend is suddenly throwing a last minute bring your own beer, snacks, wine, liquor, dessert, toilet paper, hand soap, and water Halloween extravaganza where NO ONE can enter without a costume party so you have to dress up this year.

So, on that note, I give you my list of couples costumes that might win you a gift card.

1. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie: SUCH a classic people. This can easily be achieved with the right toy soldier jacket and set of pin curls. What will really sell this costume is if you walk around the party making out in the middle of large crowds for a few seconds, and just as everyone starts applauding you, stop and smile bashfully (re: MTV VMAs 1994 for inspo).

britney spears justin timberlake halloween

2. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in matching denim ensembles: this look can be achieved by taking all your old Abercrombie & Fitch jeans that you've been saving since high school in hopes that super low rise bell bottoms will come back in style, and sewing them all together in a misshapen mess. Top it off with some of Claire's Accessories' finest rhinestone jewelry from the prom/quinceanera department and call yourselves an early 2000s pop sensation!

johnny baby patrick swayze dirty dancing costume

3. Johnny and Baby in Dirty Dancing: oh, yes. There are so many Dirty Dancing looks to steal from this movie, so whatever you choose, just make sure every 20 minutes you run and jump into your date's arms as he lifts you above his shoulders like you're a little feather.

Grease halloween costume

4. Danny and Sandy in Grease: pretty sure everyone at some point has wanted an excuse to pour themselves into this black on black getup Olivia Newton-John wore in Grease. What are you waiting for? Now's your chance! Halloween is as good of an excuse to wear this as shopping in a Topshop on a Saturday afternoon.

don better draper halloween costume

 5. Don and Better Draper of Mad Men: again, super easy to achieve. Grab a vintage dress from a local thrift store, tease your hair into a bouffant, and then Google John Hamm's home address, break into his house, and hold him hostage as your date for the night. You might want one of those fancy cigarette holders too, but other than that, you're all set!

full house aunt becky uncle jesse halloween costume

6. Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky of Full House: a plaid shirt or plain white tee and a vest has Uncle Jesse in the bag, and some high wasted jeans and a turtleneck will turn you into Aunt Becky in no time. Caveat: this costume is easily mistaken for American Apparel employees, so just make sure you're shouting "have mercy" every few minutes.

ross rachel halloween costume

7. Ross and Rachel of Friends: this is a no-brainer. Just dig through all those clothes you saved from your Delias/Limited Too/Anchor Blue days, give yourself a good blow out, and throw an oversized sweater and light wash jeans on your guy. Bonus points if you draw whiskers on yourself and go as Ross and Rachel in Vegas.

The end of summer is near, and if you're like me, you probably had a long list of books to read and only made a dent in one or two because catching up on The Bachelorette took their place.

So in honor of the few weeks you have left of summer, or just reading in general, here are a few books I highly recommend.

South of the Border, West of the Sun: I've only just begun diving in to Murakami after everyone and their mom was flipping out over him on social media, and I must say, I'm glad I did. His words are poetic as they follow the story of a boy growing into a man, who eventually longs for the one that got away in Tokyo.

Nicknames: Who doesn't have horrid dating stories they've buried deep in the back of their mind? Well, Mary Geneva does too and she documented her dating tales from New York in this book. This might make you laugh, or cringe, because it hits too close to home, but her lessons on love are not ones to forget.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar: GUYS, this book is my bible. Not only is Cheryl Strayed a fantastic storyteller because she has been through so much, but her advice on love and life is moving. Warning: keep a box of tissues close, some stories might make you lose it.

My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me: Um, can you imagine? Because this is real. Hilary Winston's boyfriend wrote a book about her, and then she got him back with this amazingly witty in-your-face tell-all. Not only does she touch on the relationship that shall not be named, but she shares even more stories about her exes, work life, and the joys of growing up and dealing with all that gross adult shit.

Guy and girl cuddling

Thinking about moving in with your SO? Wait, stop right there. Drop the packing tape and sit down.

Now, I'm a firm believer in the "when you know, you know," theory, and I think everyone's relationships are different and everyone moves at different paces; however, I do believe there are certain things that should be considered before moving in together whether you've been dating a year or five years.

1. Make sure you're on the same page with whatever it is you are to each other: want to get married? Say it. Want to Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell it? Say it. Basically, have the "where is this going" talk BEFORE going to get a U-Haul, k?

2. Talk money: if one of you isn't contributing to the bills equally, it could put a lot of strain on your relationship. It's no fun being the ONLY one bringing home the bacon, because who wants to share delicious thick-cut, maple-glazed bacon with someone who doesn't help out, nah I mean?

3. Be okay with losing a little independence: you don't have to lose your independence entirely, but the idea of coming and going as you please and answering to no one is a thing of the past when living with a SO. Prepare to communicate more, share a bathroom, and let him/her know when you're out late, so ya know, he/she doesn't think you're dead. It's just courtesy.

4. Pass the vacation test: do you still find each other supes adorbs after long vacations (or short ones)? If so, you passed the test; however, think twice if you want to kill each other during or by the end.

5. Make sure you can reconcile after arguments: hopefully this doesn't come as a shock, but you will argue when you move in together. It might be over something ridiculous, like not refilling the toilet paper roll, or it might be over something huge. So if you can't talk it out and move on before living together, you need to take a step back and reassess. There's no such thing as "I need space" when you live together, because you live together.

What's your rule of thumb for moving in together?

Winona Ryder in Heathers

Raise your hand if you kept a diary that housed your deepest, darkest secrets (RAISES HAND HIGH)!

When I heard about Mortified, an awesome podcast about people reading their diary entries publicly, and on purpose, I had to hear it. I had only recently dug mine out after a move and lamented over my own tween tribulations, which for the most part consisted of entries about my crushes that were signed with a Lip Smacker kiss, when all those gross feelings of teenage angst came rushing back.

My diaries came in all shapes and sizes: once I tried to emulate the one from Harriet the Spy using a Mead paper notebook and some gel pens. Another time I shared one with friends that we'd pass back and forth between class and talk about how boring our teachers were, who the cutest guy was in our classes and so on. But my sickest one to date was a leather-bound Precious Moments diary (yes, Precious Moments, as in THE glass figurines) given to me as a gift. It even had a lock so I thought I was the shit!

*Embarrassing diary entries to come at a later, but very soon date.*

What really drew me to this podcast is how candid people got with awkward stuff everyone goes through. We're talkin' love triangles, BFF drama, questioning the sexuality of your hetero boyfriend, you know, the usual.

So if you haven't heard it, download or listen to the podcast HERE.

Goldie Hawn Overboard

In honor of the 4th of July, and all things patriotic, bedazzled and 80s, I thought I'd celebrate one of my favorite movies: Overboard.

is a scintillating tale of a bitchy rich lady who falls off her yacht and is taken to a local hospital where it's discovered that she lost her memory. To her rescue comes the hillbilly repair man she treated like dirt who claims her as his wife and turns her into his redneck trophy. It's quite fun.

I know it's not your typical star spangled movie, but hey, Goldie Hawn wears enough red and white getups and bedazzles enough of her sunglasses for it to be!

Plus, it has everything like:

James Brown TLC Cults Jenny Lewis Snoop Dogg Pharrell Nancy Sinatra Florence + the Machine

Because it's practically the weekend and we're all practically checked out, here's a little something to get you through whatever you need to get through before drowning in vodka and donuts for two days. Enjoy the playlist here!

Couple kissing

Broken, beaten down, devastated and facing a life of emptiness.  This break-up was surely going to finish me off.  Or so I thought.

The blunt end of her sentence resulted in an almost cathartic feeling in every cell of my body.  But I didn’t want it to be this way.  I want pain, tears but nope…nothing.  But I thought she was the one, my all, and now she’s letting me go, I demand to feel the sadness!

My efforts came to no avail.  Try as I did, there wasn’t an ounce of pain present in my body. I think it had all been left behind in the relationship that never was.  Instead, I experienced a sense of relief, and the day I was ‘let go’ was to be the defining moment of my life.

Girl and guy hugging couple

We all have that friend who's always in a relationship. You know, the person who went from "in a relationship" to "single," then to "in a relationship" and back to "single," then you hid her because your newsfeed has just been her relationship status and no thanks, Becky.

It's so common these days for people to be on the market quickly after a breakup, after all, how hard is it? Break up today, be on Tinder tonight. Problem solved.

A photo posted by Blog with Benefits (@blogwithbenefits) on

So I finally did it, I made an Instagram account. I've been thinking about doing this for a long time so I could share what inspires me on a day-to-day basis to write about what I write about, and last week I took the jump.

If you're curious, here's a taste of what I've been sharing, and if these pics make you feel all warm and fuzzy, follow me @blogwithbenefits!

This video has everything: Dating advice, life advice, and even bangs advice, and after watching this, I really wanted to be Judy Greer's friend. Scratch that, best friend. She just gets me...so watch it and spread the word.

P.S. BWB is now on Instagram! Follow away for inspirationnnn! @blogwithbenefits
Women's legs in a car

Got a first date with someone? Congrats. But before you make dinner reservations and sprtiz on some cologne, make sure you understand that the following will ruin any future you have with the lucky lady:

1. Taking a girl to Sizzler and adding a side order of how your ex "used to this" and your ex "used to that" and then topping it off with a few longing looks at the waitress for dessert.

2. Going to the club and dancing behind her like a Backstreet Boy before asking if she wants to come up for a night cap of “do you give head?”

3. Inviting her over for dinner because you whipped up your famous video games a la carte so you can show off your sweet Tony Hawk sk8er tricks. 

4. Meeting for drinks at a bar and ordering another Old Fashioned “you got too drunk and revealed a bit much about yourself like that time you stole from your boss and lied on your college application.”

5. Going to the beach to enjoy the view of surf, sand, sun, and you checking your Instagram and Facebook every 5 minutes.

6. Taking a girl on a hike to hike your way into the no-fly, call, text or talk to again zone after you tell her you can see your future kids.

7. Grabbing coffee and ordering a tall, decaf, half-sweet, non-fat, no foam, soy “what religion are you and here’s why I'm right and you're wrong ” latte with an extra shot at 120 degrees. Oh, and chocolate sauce.

Tell a friend.

Heart-shaped balloons

Are you someone who celebrates every holiday Target sells festive sprinkles for in their dollar bins? Do you like chocolate? Do you love reasons to throw back some wine? If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep reading.

Valentine's Day is almost here, and I'm not really one for making reservations at some fancy restaurant or leaving my house on this day honestly (because I love stretchy pants), so I compiled a list of things you can do for Valentine's Day with your boyfriend, girlfriend, galentines, dogs, cats, or even just yourself, because you're worth it.

Girl in a red dress

1. Feeling indulgent? Go buy a big juicy burger, fries, and a shake, and binge watch trash TV (Here’s some recommendations in no particular order: The Bachelor with Juan Pablo, The Real World: Ex-Plosion, and/or Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, any season really).
2. Feeling indulgent but lazy? Go shopping…online so you can have your wine and drink it too. 
3. Want good company? Treat yo self to a huge helping of red wine and dark chocolate and invite your "friends" over... you know, Joey, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe and Ross...on Netflix!
4. Does Valentine's Day make you take a good hard look at yourself and make you ponder why you're single? No problem, this is nothing a little makeover can't fix and you can do it here for free without even getting dressed.
5. Feeling like you just really need to vent hard about all your ex's, their current girlfriends and so on? Awesome, let it out on a private Blogger account. Or make it public you daredevil you.
6. Feel like you need to talk to a real person, but are too embarrassed to tell your friends everything Valentine's Day makes you feel? Dogs do NOT judge.
7. Feeling dancy? Dance around in your living room a la that kid in Sia videos

8. You could go see 50 Shades of Grey...but how about 15 flavors of fro yo at Yogurtland instead?

9. Not impressed with this list? Still mad at your ex? Hate Valentine's Day and want to seek vengeance? Then glitter bomb that bastard.
Couple kissing

Imagine this: It's your first date and instead of the usual questions "Where are you from?" and "What do you do for a living?," you ask each other 36 very intimate questions over the course of 90 minutes, then stare into each other's eyes for four minutes without saying a word to hopefully, possibly, most likely fall in love.

Well, Mandy Len Catron did this on her first date with a guy...it's a study psychologist Dr. Arthur Aron conducted that has proven to make strangers fall in love and I'm so intrigued.

Catron says the questions start simple with things like "Would you like to be famous? And in what way?" And then quickly become probing by asking you to name three things you like about your partner.

It's incredible to think about all these questions that are never asked on a first date. Instead, we focus on surface questions that are easy to ask but don't let you in on who someone really is and what they're about.

And the best part? The four-minute staring. A real, soul melting staring contest. No talking, just gazing into each other's eyes while trying to mask your likely uncomfortable state of having to hold eye contact with someone you just met for four freaking minutes.
Sound intimidating? Catron said this about it: 

"I know the eyes are the windows to the soul or whatever, but the real crux of the moment was not just that I was really seeing someone, but that I was seeing someone really seeing me."

So would you do it? I would, it totally beats a normal date. 

You can read about Catron's date here and find out if they ended up falling l-o-v-e.



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