: the most important element of an individual; one’s greatest accessory.  Your attitude defines you.  I try to keep mine positive, creative, open, and motivated.  I attempt to rid my life of those with a constantly poor attitude. One should always attempt to be their best self… and a great attitude is the first step to do this.

Bikini: an invaluable invention combining scraps of fabric and strategic placement to achieve a sexy summer (or, for those of us who throw fashion rules and weather to the wind {or live in California}, year-round) look. I gravitate toward animal prints, metallics, and things that are crocheted or sequined. Embellishments are always encouraged. With so little fabric to work with, you can’t afford to be subtle. Large sunglasses enhance the effect.

Cocktail: a delightful concoction consisting of alcohol and mixers. I try not to favor one cocktail too heavily. However, I feel you can never go wrong with something pink. Remember, a cocktail is more than a libation, it’s an accessory.

Devastated: a word to describe what occurs during/after you consume too many of the aforementioned cocktail. Though it may be difficult to achieve, one can be elegantly devastated or even gracefully devastated. If you are a master, you may even be thought of as charmingly devastated. However, the morning after, unless you have eye drops, powder, and a change of clothes on hand (or offensively large sunglasses… see below) you are likely simply devastated.

Energy: a force that propels you to live (aka make beautiful/creative/unique decisions). I tend to have a lot of this. I may be a bit too energized for my own good, but I figure that it takes an awful lot of energy to make one’s life painfully fabulous so I will use my energy to the best of my abilities. I will only do frivolous things with it.

Family: a wonderfully random, strangely arranged, functionally dysfunctional unit that is pivotal to one’s existence. Sometimes you despise them, sometimes you adore them. I always love mine. My pops tells it like it is and keeps my ego in a hard check. My mom is all about encouragement and love. My sis never hesitates to challenge me. My bro gives me perspective. I trust them. That’s hard to find so I’ll hold onto it.

Girlfriend: an invaluable element in one’s life. An absolute necessity. If you are blessed, you may even have more than one. They are there for you when he infuriates you (with ice cream or a trip to the gym), lend you their dresses (and you better do the same in return), giggle with you, remind you how fabulous you are (you must be if someone as fabulous as she is hanging out with you), have your back, and are there to tell you when you are being ridiculous and/or PMS-y.

Haute Couture: a regulated fashion term that refers to something more exquisite than can adequately be put into words. It’s like Playboy for women. I drool over it. Crave it. Fantasize about it. Mmmm…

Ice Cream: a delicious combination of cream, sugar, and a variety of flavors to which women are unable to say no. I am partial to cookies and cream. Ice cream is delicious at any time of day, any time of year, and in any social setting. I will occasionally pretend, when in the company of my girlfriends, to only indulge in frozen yogurt. This is something women claim frequently. And, dissatisfied, we head home for a pint of Ben ‘n Jerry’s.

Jealousy: a very unattractive emotion commonly experienced by women ages 13-95 and the men who are dating/interested in/married to these women. Women experience jealousy over the most trivial things: her clothes are expensive. Her waist is tiny. She is pretty. She is rich. Her boyfriend is pretty and rich. Please, do us all a favor, and get over it. Jealousy is unattractive. If you want something, get it for yourself. Get a better job. Work out. Better yet, just be satisfied with yourself. Men experience jealousy over other men looking at his woman. Yet, if other men do not look at his woman, a man assumes that his woman is not pretty enough and may covet another woman and further fuel the jealousy experienced by females. Let’s make this easy for everyone involved. Try not to get silly jealous. It’ll give you wrinkles.

Kissing: the touching of one’s lips to another. Pretty much the worst description ever for one of the most amazing things ever. If done incorrectly, it is surely disastrous. Pursed lips, a rigid tongue, and halitosis are surefire ways to fail. If done correctly, it is beyond description. I live for the kiss. Not a kiss. The kiss. It crosses your eyes and takes your breath. Please pardon the romantic female weakness evident in this statement. It also suggests that there is possibly more to come. Everyone knows that anticipation is half the fun.

Love: specifically of the romantic variety; something elusive, terrifying, and electric. To fall in love sounds like a very enticing endeavor, while at the same time it can be potentially disastrous if no one is there to catch your fall. I believe that, to some degree, everyone lives for this. Some are too fearful to allow it into their life and, in turn, they push it away. However, love of the fairy tale variety is always a possibility… head over heels love induced incapacitation. It sounds awful. So why do we all want it? Maybe it’s worth it.

Money: typically found in paper sheets in varying denominations and can be used to buy wildly fabulous things and experiences. Many women seek a man to provide her with these paper sheets. I, however, find this kind of pursuit to be empty and would rather be self-sufficient… and unbelievably frivolous. So I am running my own business (ah, my passion) and attempting to pay off my graduate school loans in the process… all to reach complete and utter euphoria (aka self-sufficiency). I believe I may have lost my marbles.

Nonsense: a state of being that is perpetually misunderstood by outsiders. Let me give you an example. You are sitting with your friend and eating sushi. You begin to talk about the movie Happy Feet. Within seconds you are a penguin. You do not pretend to be a penguin… you are a penguin. Does this sound crazy? It is. And it is wonderful. And then your friend is a penguin. And then you have an inside joke that lasts forever. It is nonsense. It is the only thing that makes life make sense.

Offensively Large Sunglasses: the one and only thing you need to be considered presentable/chic/mysterious when the rest of your fashion/external self may be a bit mussed.  Maybe you didn’t have enough time that day for your typically fabulous winged eyeliner and cheekbones meticulously sculpted with your high-end multi-toned bronzing compact.  Do not despair.  A pair of skinny jeans, a comfortable V-neck, your hair in a ponytail, and huge, over-the-top, oh-my-lord-that-woman-must-be-famous sunglasses.  Now you are a creature to be envied.  The only hang up is that you must continue wearing the sunglasses… Try not to end up in a dimly lit area or your chicness will be lost in a stumbling jeans and a ponytail quasi-blind mess.

Parties: Social gatherings made up of interesting people, mouth-watering food, breathtaking decor, and a million reasons to forget the real world.  Very simply – what I live for. Never shy away from the whimsical, imaginative, dramatic, or glamorous when hosting or dressing for a party.  The hostess’ job is to set the scene, paint a landscape, and drape the room in a certain mood… If you are an attendee, you are there to increase the ambiance.  You are a strategically invited ornament of sorts… so bring your best self and shine.

Question: a sentence which seeks an answer or, if considered rhetorical, contains the answer in its phrasing. A woman can use a question in a myriad of ways and they are often passive-aggressive in nature. Before answering a question, I ask myself if there are any ulterior motives included therein. If you are a man reading this, I give you sacred advice: question the question. Think before you speak. As a woman, I know my species and we know what we are doing. We have the potential to be emotionally manipulative vixens. I tend to avoid emotional manipulation at all costs, but I am constantly wary of walking into a carefully laid trap. I respectfully request that all of my girlfriends cease with the manipulative/trap style questions. If you want to know something, please just ask me directly. (ie Q: “Do you want to drive to Vegas?” A: “No, I would rather fly.”)

Rose: a flower with a myriad of meanings (woman’s definition); something you give a woman because you feel as though you have to do so due to the romantic pressure placed upon you by romantic comedies or you are forced to deliver a bunch of buds to demonstrate that you are really, truly sorry for some wrong that you have committed/that she thinks you have committed (man’s definition). I am a woman. I like flowers. I like to give flowers, as well…to my friends and my family. I have yet to give a flower to a man I am dating. I do not know if I am able to do this. To the men: please give me flowers only if you want to, not because you feel like you have to. I would rather buy my own flowers than take them out of some antiquated/irrational obligation.

Sex/Stilettos: both examples of a union of the soul with the body. Two irrefutable necessities. No need to pick just one. Every girl deserves both anyway. And, hey, the two can be combined… just proceed with caution.

Tres Chic: an overused French saying with underused real world application.  Though you will never, ever hear me saying out loud that something is “tres chic,” if you are doing anything right at all, you should want to make me (and all others in your life) think that something about you is, in fact, “tres chic.”  It could be the way that you effortlessly glide through the options in a wine list, the way that your side-swept bangs are always perfectly out of place, the black leather boots that you are able to walk in gracefully, or your affinity for theater.  A million teeny tiny itty bitty aspects of an individual can be “tres chic.”  Trust me, you already have it in you.  Now flaunt it (in a not overly obvious, oh-so-tres-chic kind of a way).

Umbrella: used to deflect water falling from the sky from mussing one’s hair; also a killer accessory (especially if leopard print/European/metallic). Where there is an umbrella, there is rain. Unless you are one of those people who carries a “parasol” so as to protect your delicate skin from the light of the sun. If you are one of those people, please stop reading. Yes, I just judged you. Openly. Back to rain. I love the rain. It is sexy, creative, unusual weather that I have a complete and total obsession for. I am a different creature when it rains… As are many of you, I may presume. Consider yourself warned.

Vivacity: possessing a liveliness of spirit; the sparkle in one’s personality.  It is utterly undebateable that a woman should possess said vivacity.  It suggests a thirst for life, an intrinsic sense of humor, and the idea that something fabulous may bubble to the surface at any moment.  Without vivacity, you will lack fabulous friendships, invitations to parties (see above), and any desired glitter in your life.  You don’t desire glitter in your life? Ah, do not lie to yourself.

Wine: a snobby alcohol that tastes amazing and provides a gentle, calming buzz. The beauty with wine is that there is always a kind of wine that you haven’t tried. You could drink wine for the rest of your life and never run out of something new. Opening a bottle of wine is a beautiful ritual. You open it with a girlfriend and you know you’re in for a good, long talk. You open it with a man and you know you’re in for a good, long night. You open it at dinner to celebrate an occasion or to just make the day more special. You have a glass alone with a movie and ease into sleep worry free. I love wine. I love Charles Shaw as much as I love Screaming Eagle. Okay, so I haven’t had Screaming Eagle, but I’ve heard good things.

Xenophobia: a (completely irrational) fear of foreigners, all things foreign, including (but not limited to) foreign countires.  I have included this in my alphabet because this is something you should never ever be (and, let’s face it, the list of words that begin with “x” are incredibly limited).  Expand your horizons.  Travel.  Talk to people from other places.  I have a dream list of all the places that I want to go and it keeps me motivated and, when other topics of conversation may fail, it keeps me interesting.  Be interesting.  Do not be xenophobic.

YouTube: a place where all things ridiculous and all people unrecognized can transmit their madness. If you are bored and you cannot occupy yourself with YouTube, then you are useless. You have either no imagination or no sense of humor. Basically, you would save all of us from tolerating you by just ceasing to exist. I love the ease with which I can pull up my favorite movie clips, music videos, and see videos that my friends have created. I love that sharing YouTube while mildly intoxicated in the company of friends is now a tolerated and even encouraged practice.

Zenith: the ultimate peak of existence. I have yet to reach this. It’s total enlightenment. The closest I have come is leopard print Christian Louboutins. The zenith is even more wonderful than that. So I’ve heard… hey, I’m skeptical, too.

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