Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bar Cart Styling Essentials

Bar Cart Styling Essentials

One of my favorite aspects of a stylish home is the bar cart! Maybe it's my Irish roots or the fact that I graduated from WVU, but I love a good drink. Who doesn't? A bar cart can be the perfect way to incorporate more of your own personal style into a space. Here are some of my styling essentials to make your portable party on wheels both glamorous and functional:

  • The Bar Cart, Finding the right piece that suits your own taste is crucial. If the classic, vintage brass look isn't to your liking, there are endless possibilities. Using stationary furniture like steamer trunks, end tables or a hutch are wonderful options. Keep in mind that if you find a cart at a thrift store that needs a bit of TLC, a coat of metallic paint can easily bring it back to life.
  • Art, A large piece hanging above the bar cart can make a big statement. A gallery wall with smaller prints with fun sayings (Press for Champagne!) and designs is also very stylish. I plan to frame my vintage Hermes Zodiac Scarf and place it above my cart. 
  • Alcohol, What would a bar cart be without the booze? Stocking your station with standard liquors and mixers is the proper thing to do but focus on what you and your regular guests truly enjoy. I prefer to always have my favorites on hand: Disaronno Amaretto, Bottles of both Red & White Wine, Champs, Crystal Head Vodka, Rum (Light & Dark), Gin, Whisky, Absinthe, Limoncello, etc... It's worthwhile to keep stronger spirits on hand for shots at the ready. For mixers and garnishes, with the exception of a few prettier items, I prefer to use basics that I tend to keep in the kitchen or stocked out of sight in nearby cabinets. 
  • Coasters, I have a thing for coasters. I love "collecting" them from bars and pubs while I travel and also enjoy having them custom made. Ask my sister. I have given her literally thousands of coasters since she moved into her house over 6 years ago. Geode coasters (my fav!) are a fantastic way to add an interesting pop of color and texture to your home. 
  • Straws, Paper straws add such a fun decorative touch. I am currently loving my new MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check straws. When my Rewined Champagne Candle was finished burning, I repurposed it as a holder for my straws. I love that it is a recycled wine bottle-turned candle-turned container.
  • Accessories, One of my favorite DIY projects that I ever discovered on Pinterest was transforming old trophies into bottle stoppers. Finally a use for those nostalgic pieces we have collecting dust in the attic. A tray is also terrific for sectioning off the cart and keeping objects from looking cluttered. I also love displaying decorative matches for nearby candles. I prefer not to light candles near my alcohol (obviously not a wise move) but I do have them all over the house. I find matchbooks to be synonymous with old world drinking establishments. Very Casablanca. 
  • Tools, Must-haves include a stainless steel shaker, ice bucket, tongs, stirrers, flask, cocktail napkins and bottle openers.
  • Glassware, I love collecting vintage pieces and having the proper glass for every drink imaginable. I like to only display a few tumbler glasses or champagne flutes on the bar cart at a time with the bulk of my collection being kept elsewhere. This is a nice way to seasonally rotate. If you're a fan of this sort of thing, it's a lot of fun to gradually collect a full set of drinking glasses. Just a few glasses to consider having: Red Wine, White Wine, Champagne, Margarita, Martini, Shot, Highball, Hurricane, Tumbler, Goblet, Snifter, Moscow Mule, Pint (there's so many beer glass varieties), and Absinthe. It's also nice to have a beautiful crystal decanter, if only for the style factor. 
  • Books, Of course I have to include a few books. Coffee Table books with the topic of drinks or fashion are optimal for adding height and a bit of variety to the bar cart. Recipe books also come in handy when looking to concoct something new. 
  • Lighting, I'm a big fan of the ambiance that lighting creates. Don't underestimate the impact of a small Edison bulb lamp or marquee letter sign (neither option generates enough heat to tamper with alcohol provided that it is not in direct contact). 
  • Finishing Touches, I have a thing for blue & white porcelain. A rounded vase filled with your favorite flowers (hydrangea!) creates a feminine vibe. Other found objects or ornamental accents are also wonderful for filling out the bar cart!

Now Playing: "In The Beginning" by Fahrenhaidt 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ten Things

1. Houses. I can't get enough of looking at them. Every house for sale within a 10 mile radius- check. Houses featured in movies and television- always researching. Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, Design Blogs... I've become obsessed.

2. Ice Cubes. I know it's not a wonderful habit but chewing them is so damn satisfying when you're living without air conditioning.

3. Green Salsa. Love spicy foods. Really enjoying this as a snack.

4. New Music from some of my favorites: Bon Iver, Portugal. The Man, Father John Misty... Can't wait for the albums and hopefully some tour dates.

5. Football Season. It's finally back (sorta). My favorite time of the year is just around the corner! Looking forward to fall.

6. Men from Scotland. I've admittedly been around the globe via Tinder passport and Edinburgh seems to have the most concentrated group of "my type" in the English-speaking world.

7. My shih-tzu Ireland's fur is growing back in rather cutely from her Summer buzz cut. She looks like a puppy! So adorbs.

8. Stranger Things. I first heard about this show on my favorite conspiracy theory message board (don't judge). It's cool to see how popular it has become. Love the actors and the soundtrack.

9. G Wagons. As strong as my love affair is with Lana Del Lexus, I'm craving the boxy lines on these bad boys. Being higher up makes driving much easier. Keeping my eyes open for a black on brown model that is priced well. Dreaming.

10. Amusement Parks. I don't know why it never really occurred to me but Pittsburgh is relatively close to quite a number of them. Kennywood has always been more than enough to satisfy my thrill seeking ways but I've been thinking about road trips to the several parks in nearby states and regions (Cedar Point, Six Flags, Hershey Park, Busch Gardens, etc...).

Now Playing: "Smoke Rings" by Kristin Kontrol

Friday, August 12, 2016

The MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale


I'll start with how a girl from Pittsburgh became a fan of MacKenzie-Childs. There isn't a Neiman Marcus in my city and from what I can surmise, there is only one MacKenzie-Childs retailer in all of western PA-- Glassworks, a small shop in Shady Side, that I've never been.

I discovered the brand accidentally a few years ago, while watching the (now canceled) TLC show Four Houses. I loved that show! It featured 4 home owners (all strangers) competing against each other on who had the best home. Each house usually contrasted dramatically in architectural design and decor from the previous abode. It was typical for the likes of a modern, contemporary house to be compared to a traditional colonial, a luxury high rise condo and/or a quaint log cabin. After touring each house, the home owners voted on whose place had the most panache. The episode that I'm calling upon highlighted the eccentric Victoria MacKenzie-Childs' ferry boat house in the New York City area. I was in awe of how irreverent this woman was-- a true character! When I went to research more about her professional background, I discovered that her charming decor was actually a well-known force in the home furnishing world. I was instantly a fan.

Richard & Victoria MacKenzie-Childs in front of the Aurora property.
After receiving the MacKenzie-Childs catalog in the mail and admiring many pieces from afar, I began noticing the famous courtly check print in celebrity homes from the Kardashians to the housewives of New Jersey (spoiler alert: Caroline Manzo was at the Barn Sale). I made mental notes of the things I wanted for my own house. One problem? The prices were steep and without seeing the designs in person, I felt a disconnect. When I learned that MacKenzie-Childs holds an annual barn sale at their Aurora, New York headquarters, my heart soared. Here was an opportunity to score some of the possessions I had been coveting at a discounted price and a chance for a fun road trip! It felt like kismet that Pittsburgh was within a reasonable driving distance to the Barn Sale. But for the past 4 years, summer would come and go. Excuses were made and I never made it to Aurora; that is, until now! One of my girlfriends recently moved to State College, PA. She loves a good road trip as much as I do and was eager to furnish her new house. It was decided. We would make a weekend of shopping and wine tasting along the world-renowned Finger Lakes region. I had never been to this part of the country and was excited to cross it off my list of places to visit.

Since I've never been to the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale, I did a bit of research prior to my journey. I was surprised to find that people from all over the country flock to small town Aurora for the annual event. Apparently, MacKenzie-Childs is highly popular in California and Texas. 50-80% off high-end items that rarely go on sale must be enough to send shoppers into a frenzy. I heard tales of people who camped out to secure their place in line but figured it was an exaggeration. The sale runs from Thursday-Sunday so I planned for a Friday afternoon arrival. I presumed that would be an okay time to show up. "How bad could it be?" I thought to myself. I thought wrong.

I had never been to this part of my home state before. I absolutely love the mountains so I appreciated every mile of the drive.
After a few hours on the road, traveling the scenic route from central PA to upstate New York, we arrived to the sale around 3 pm. There was more cars in the country field turned makeshift parking lot than I had seen at professional sporting events; except this time around there was no tailgaters with beer cans. It was all middle-aged white women with shopping carts full of marked down kitchenware. It was a blazing 95 degrees and the sun felt like it was out to steal my soul. The line to get in? 4 hours long. "Good luck!" was the message I received from one elderly woman as I entered the never-ending queue. I was completely disheartened. There isn't a tea pot in the world that would make me stand in line for that long, sober, in the Summer's sweltering heat and humidity. I didn't even have on sunblock. I'd rather pay full price and order my things online. I've never waited that long for anything and wasn't about to lose all sense of dignity at 30-years-old. At this juncture, it would have taken longer to stand waiting to get into the sale than it did to drive there from another state.

The MacKenzie-Child estate and studios are picturesque.
The "sane" alternative? My friend and I made a game plan to come back the following morning (Saturday) at dawn to stake our place in line. With doors set to open at 8 am, at least we would beat the heat. If you know me, you know that I'm nocturnal and to get up before the sun rises while on vacation requires a major commitment. But I came to this place for a reason and I wasn't going to leave without my damn discounted designer home decor!

The MacKenzie-Childs grounds in Aurora, New York are absolutely beautiful. 
When we got to the Barn Sale the next morning it wasn't quite dawn (too many drinks at the local pub the night before) but it was a respectable 6:45 am. I had not been that proud of myself in months. I hoped and prayed that the line wouldn't be once again overwhelmed by senile squatters. We got there just in the nick of time. At 7, the line was only about an hour long. By 7:15 am, the line instantly swelled, leaving patrons waiting a few hours to get inside. We had made it by only a few minutes and I felt like I won the lottery.

The line to get into the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale stretches to the road by 7:30 am.
Once inside the tents, I was overwhelmed by how much merchandise there was! If you're a MacKenzie-Childs lover, this place is like nirvana. Everything from basic napkins and straws to ceramics and even furniture-- all decently marked down as advertised. I'm admittedly spoiled when it comes to insider discounts, so to me, it's not really a fantastic deal unless it's at least 80% off. Not many items were that well-priced but overall, the selection was good. One thing that did disappoint me was discovering that a lot of the MacKenzie-Childs products are no longer handmade on-site in Aurora. The ceramics are generally higher quality and still crafted in New York. The enamel ware is much more affordable but mass-produced overseas. I set a budget for my shopping spree and quickly realized at this stage in my life, my money stretched farther in the enamel sale barn. In hindsight, I do wish I would have picked up something from the ceramic collection but there wasn't anything in my budget that I felt justified the price point, especially knowing that the same look could be found for much cheaper in the enamel material.

Photo Courtesy: Mountain Breaths Blog

The only thing I can compare the maniacal crowds who show up to the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale is to those who camp out in front of Wal-Mart on Black Friday. But this group of gals is far more classy and civilized. I didn't witness any brawls over the last $90 courtly check faux pumpkin (sadly, I missed out on the smallest size and felt it wasn't even worth the discounted price). If you're bothered by crowds, the amount of organized chaos happening within the tents can be daunting. On my way out of the parking lot on Friday, I witnessed one shopper, a woman who appeared to be in her late forties, loading a Mercedes SUV with the help of, wait for it, eight assistants. She had more boxes than could probably fit comfortably in her large vehicle with Massachusetts license plates. I wondered what her MacKenzie-Childs mansion might look like on the cape and if she was also in the market to adopt a 30-year-old redhead. "Probably an ebay power seller," a fifty-something solo shopper said to me as I gazed in awe of what I was witnessing.

As a member of the first group let in on Saturday morning, I was able to make my way through the tents at an accelerated pace. I seemingly made it to the check-out in record time as there was no additional wait to get to the register (note: I heard from other shoppers that you can sometimes wait an additional hour or more in line just to pay for your things). I was once again pleased with my performance. I managed to get into the sale within a reasonable time frame, find most of the things I wanted, stay under budget and get out in record time! My friend and I had an afternoon of wine tasting planned and boy were we ready for the booze. I discreetly asked the young girl who rang me up what the highest amount of money she saw spent so far was. An unfathomable $15,000 was the answer. I wondered if it was the same woman I had seen the day before. But from the looks of the shopping carts all around the Barn Sale, it seemed that this sort of figure was not out of the ordinary. I pondered my life decisions and headed toward the wineries.

Items Purchased:

  • Courtly Check Enamel Tea Kettle, This was probably the item I wanted the most as it really makes such a difference in a kitchen's overall vibe. $52.50/2 quart kettle.
  • Courtly Check Enamel Deep Container, I was happy to find this. I talked a few other women into buying these as well for its versatility. It could be repurposed for a number of uses. $22.
  • Courtly Check Enamel Salt & Pepper Shakers, I thought these would look nice in the kitchen along with my tea kettle. $25.
  • Courtly Check Pup Placemat, This is a large mat that is perfect for Ireland's feeding station. Again, another affordable way to tie in the courtly theme into your kitchen without breaking the bank. $14.
  • Courtly Check 1" Ribbon, I plan to use this ribbon for various DIY projects- vases, pumpkins, etc. The ribbon is the most affordable way to bring the MacKenzie-Childs scheme into your home. $15.
  • Courtly Check Paper Napkins, I wanted to get cocktail napkins but didn't have the energy to sort through the large bins. I was satisfied with the full size napkins and plan to use them as display. If I knew how to skillfully decoupage, these could also come in handy for pumpkin DIYs. $4.48/pack of 20.
  • Courtly Check Straws, This was one of the highest items on my wish list. I'm a big fan of straws and love these for my bar cart! $2.13/box of 25.
  • Coffee Table Book: The Way We Live With the Things We Love, I was happy to come across a small section of books for sale within the tents. If you know me, you know how much I love coffee table books and this one was actually on my Pinterest Wish List. Great price at only $13.50.

Regrets: Not having the space in my suitcase (or my wallet) to bring back larger items like the cheese platter, three-tiered sweets stand, trays, broom, furniture, and those elusive faux pumpkins. I also didn't score a ceramic coffee mug.

Pro Tips: Get there early. Really early. Before 7 am. Be prepared to stand in line for extended periods of time so dress appropriately and remember to stay hydrated. Light food, drinks and even alcohol is sold near the line. Items are constantly being restocked so chances are, even if you wait until Saturday, most of the items on your wish list will still be there.

Where to Stay: The charming hotel on the lake in Aurora was booked so we stayed at a fairly nice Inn in nearby Auburn. Not far away from the Barn Sale and relatively close to the wineries.

Will I Go Again: I'd absolutely do it over but I'll probably give it a few years and maybe stay along Seneca Lake where there are more wineries and distilleries. It was a fun trip and as a now devoted MacKenzie-Childs fan, I will be back for my big ticket ceramic items!

Shop MacKenzie-Childs

Monday, July 11, 2016


"You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life." 
-Salvador DalĂ­ 1904-1989

Now Playing: "Stay Late" by Elektrik People

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls", The Bachelor S20 E9 Recap

 After a week-long hiatus to take in everything that wasn't was The Women Tell Nothing The Women Tell All, I'm back with another recap. Let's turn the clock back as opposed to forward (ugh!) and recall all of the steamy details from Week 9- AKA "The Fantasy Suites."

Caila, JoJo, Lauren
 Ben is in Jamaica and ready for three back-to-back nights of ecstasy with his three remaining bachelorettes. He reminds us who is still around:

  • Caila: One of the most beautiful women he's been around with a smile that lights up a room.
  • Lauren: Seeing her for the first time was the closest thing he's ever experienced to love at first sight. Could it be too good to be true?
  • JoJo: Outgoing, fun and brings out a new side to him to that's more confident and playful.
 The first date is with Caila. The couple is happy to see each other. They spend a leisurely afternoon floating along the Martha Brae River. Conversation is lacking. Awkward silences. Caila is anxious just thinking about the other two women who will also have fantasy dates with her boyfriend this week. Ben can sense the tension and asks what's wrong. "Melancholy" is the seventh grade vocabulary term he feeds to a producer type when describing Caila's mood. The day hasn't been what Ben had expected.

 The couple retreat to an island bar where a few coconut drinks provide enough liquid courage and dopamine for Caila to swing to the happy side of her personality. By the time that dinner rolls around, she's once again in a manic state good spirits. She doesn't want to have any regrets. She attributes her depressive episode from earlier to being nervous to tell Ben that she loves him. Riiiight. Caila attempts to spin and manipulate the truth by telling Ben that she "appreciates" him for noticing that she was "off." Who thanks someone for noticing they're in a bad mood? She finally tells Ben she loves him to make up for her lack of charisma from earlier and he buys it hook, line, and sinker.

  The first FANTASY SUITE card arrives. 
"Should you choose to forgo your individual rooms, please use this key to stay as a couple in the fantasy suite. Love, Chris Harrison"
  20 Seasons, 15 years and that damn card always reads exactly the same (as it should to keep with tradition!)... but the handwriting is always different. Chris Harrison has so many different styles of cursive that he would perplex even the savviest of handwriting analysts. Either that or a lowly production assistant is given the grand honor of writing out the fantasy suite cards each year. I appreciate a classic, handwritten note. I like that there isn't a printed card accompanied with sexual innuendo emojis attached.

  Ben and Caila have a late night swim in the ocean as they watch fireworks. Caila says that she could "live in this moment forever." 

 "I could wake up in the morning and know for certain that Caila is the woman for me." It's good to know what Ben is basing his decision on.

  The next morning, Caila is optimistic. "I can see myself waking up next to him for the rest of my life. We woke up as a couple. He didn't have to say he loved me back. I felt it." 

 After Ben leaves Caila, he meets up with his other girlfriend, Lauren (hopefully after a very long shower). Lauren is her usual bubbly self. "There's something about the water and sunshine." Spoken like a girl who grew up in the Portland but moved to California for brighter days. 

 Ben and Lauren will be spending their day releasing baby turtles into the wild. "We're helping turtles SURVIVE!" exclaims our bachelor. As I watch the couple bathe the adorable little turtles, I wonder if it would be possible to take one home as a pet. Calm down, PETA! This would be the ultimate souvenir. Would the turtle require a makeshift pool for its habitat- how large? Would it be suitable for city dwelling? If the turtle outlives both Ben and Lauren, will they bequeath the amphibian to the local zoo?

 Ben and Lauren both say that they've missed each other. Ben tells Lauren how much he loved her perfect family. "You're too good for me," Ben says. Lauren feels the same way. She wants to tell Ben that she loves him but the other relationships are still on her mind. 

 Ben and Lauren wind up at a local beach bar with a fantastic Jamaican band playing a song with the lyrics, "so in love with you." The synchronicity is not lost on Lauren as she smirks toward the camera. Ben is having "an incredibly fun day with Lauren. She's so good to be around." 

 During dinner, Lauren opens up more to Ben. She tells him that she's invested and feels good about what they have but doesn't know where he stands with the other women. Lauren says that all of this is very real for her and tells Ben, "You're the man of my dreams." 

 Cue the second fantasy suite card. Lauren says that she needs time alone with Ben away from the camera crew distractions. Ben tells a producer that he's "head over heels" for Lauren.

 Lauren has her own chat with a producer type. "This is the night to do us." "Put it all out there." "Let all the walls down." "Open up." "All or nothing." Maybe there was an emoji memo attached to that fantasy suite card, after all. ;)

 Lauren tells Ben that she's "completely in love" with him but these aren't new feelings. Ben breaks The Bachelor code of conduct and admits "I've known I'm in love with you for awhile as well." 

 You'd think that if the bachelor told you he loved you on a show where he's not supposed to admit his feelings that you would be the guaranteed choice but don't count your roses before they bloom. 

 Lauren says that waking up next to Ben is "a dream" and something that she wants to do for the rest of her life. Ben reaffirms his love for my pick from night one as he departs for a date with his final contender. 

 Another day, another woman. JoJo will be joining Ben for a tropical adventure. Ben admits that his heart is with Lauren but he has to sleep with JoJo "explore things" with JoJo to know for sure. 

 JoJo is ecstatic to be spending the day with her boyfriend in a serenely remote locale. After the helicopter drops them off in their own private oasis, Ben leads her to the beautiful YS Falls. I love the name because it reminds me of one of my favorite designers. As JoJo and Ben leap from a cliff (with JoJo looking smoking hot in an adorable bikini, might I add), she says it was "an incredible moment" and that she "feels safe with Ben." 

Is that a bottle of Red Stripe in your swim trunks or are you just happy to see me?
 As the couple spend time on a rock overlooking the Jamaican waterfalls, Ben probes JoJo for further insight into their relationship. "There's not a doubt in my mind that I want to spend my future with you," she says. "I do love you."  Ben shocks JoJo when he shares that he loves her as well. "What?! Are you allowed to say that?" Nope. He's technically not supposed to say anything. After 15 years, the producers have finally figured out that this is sort of a critical thing to hear in order to accept someone's proposal. Through the magic of editing, it's completely okay for the bachelor to say back those three magic words. Duh! 

 Ben doesn't know what to do. He's in love with both JoJo and Lauren but neither woman is none the wiser. I wonder why none of the finalists on the show have ever spied on the other fantasy dates. The producers stupidly seclude each of the women. That's where they're making a mistake. Think of all the drama that could ensue with a pair of binoculars and a sonic sleuth listening device.

 When dinner rolls around, Ben admits that in the back of his mind, he's having flashbacks to sleeping with two other women the previous nights before the other things he did this week. 

 JoJo is feeling confident and safe with Ben. "It was the best day of my life!" It really is tragic when you think about the fact that for part of that day, Ben was "with" someone else. 

 Ben is feeling hesitant about JoJo's brothers who weren't exactly welcoming. "If they don't support our relationship then that's a concern." JoJo says that her brothers were just being protective and that the entire situation was surreal. She thanks Ben for not running away. 

 When the third and final fantasy suite card arrives, JoJo tells Ben she would love nothing more than to spend the night with him. The couple enjoy champagne in their private hot tub before exchanging "I love yous" in the bedroom. 

 The next morning, kisses and snuggles are exchanged. Ben tells JoJo how cute she is and that they're "on the same page." JoJo is a user of the term of endearment "baaaabe."

 Ben seems to have really enjoyed himself with the exuberant brunette. "Last night with JoJo was one of the best nights of my life." And this, ladies and gentleman, is why the fantasy suites are crucial. You gotta test drive each model before you decide which is the best fit

 Despite Ben's perfect date with JoJo, he's still reflecting on the other women. When Lauren is brought up, he has this to say. "I've been enthralled by her since the moment I met her." 

 As for Caila? "For some reason, I can't get there with Caila." Hmmm. Very interesting choice of words post-fantasy suite, Ben. Caila, on the other hand, has no clue of the reality of the situation. Someone must have slipped her some uppers because she heads to surprise Ben. As she scours the hotel suite with her hands giddily over her mouth in steeple position, I can't help but remember Rebecca Sealfon, the 1997 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion (bitch stole my title). 

 I can't handle the forced perkiness. I read Caila like a book. She's not the burst of sunshine she wants you to think she is. As she surprises Ben, he's taken aback. He tells Caila that he's glad she came over. She immediately senses the discourse is not headed in the right direction. 

 Ben tells Caila that he's in love with two women but she's not either of them. Ouch. He attempts to sugarcoat. "I just couldn't say it (I love you) back to you and I don't know why." He goes on to basically tell Caila that she's his perfect wife on paper but it's not there for him. Caila's mood quickly swings and tells Ben it sounds like he's feeding her a line. That sounds familiar. Maybe she should date one of JoJo's brothers who shared the same exact sentiment. Ben tells Caila that he really will miss her... but not before she jumps out of her escorted vehicle to ask one final question. "Did you know you were going to let me go before you slept with me?" "So, did you know this week?" Ben skates around the issue. I have a feeling Ben's not being able to get there might have had something to do with the break-up. But not really. He simply liked the other women more.

 Caila realizes that slamming Ben will only make her look like a fool (and lessen her chances at being selected as the next bachelorette!). She has a manic mood swing and goes from tears to smiles and back to tears again. I just don't trust this girl. Ben is emotionally exhausted with her as well.

 Caila shares with a producer how she's feeling. "I thought I'd be getting engaged in a week and a half. I was ready to be his wife." At 24-years-old, Caila doesn't know why she hasn't found love yet. Through tears (she's an adorable crier) she says, "I thought this was it! I didn't see this coming! I still love him!" 

 The unnecessary rose ceremony (two women, two roses) resembles a scene from Sister Wives. JoJo and Lauren seemed friendly enough throughout the season but their energy has shifted. They're now the only ones remaining, competing against each other, for the man they both love. JoJo is on a bit of a confidence trip, unbeknownst to her, Lauren is as well. Thinking that she's the only one who Ben told he loved, JoJo asks her competitor "Are you the most anxious you've ever been?" Lauren keeps a poker face and isn't really giving in to any of it. "Um, no. He told me he loved me, you hussy," Lauren thinks to herself. 

 Ben awards the first rose to JoJo and the last to Lauren. The order could be read from two different perspectives but I'll withhold judgment until after the final rose. Ben tells a producer "I could picture both being my wife." My money is still on my original pick, Lauren. We shall soon find out! 

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm 30 and living life in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold a journalism degree from West Virginia University. I have worked in television news, PR, and cosmetic sales. My love for writing and sharing with the world my various passions is strong. My ambition is to be published and continue creating in the fields of digital and print media, literature and film. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, reading, following Pittsburgh sports and traveling as often as possible. Some of my favorite things include beauty, style, architecture, books, tarot and astrology, thrifting and my shih-tzu, Ireland. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!