The Bachelorette Season 12: The Best, The Worst, and the Guys We'll Forget

by Katelyn Melo in

It's hard to believe it's only been ten short weeks since we all watched Ben send JoJo home, right into the arms of the ABC producers that offered her 25 eligible bachelors (and one former Bachelor ...cough, cough...Juan Pablo) to really show that Ben Higgins what he's missing. She's no doubt picked her final man, but we are all about to see how this unfolds. 

When JoJo was announced as the next Bachelorette on After the Final Rose, that was the champagne glass clink heard round the world. I personally could not have cared less if Lauren and Ben got married on national television - we are getting 12 episodes of nothing but JoJo (and hopefully her two hunky brothers)!

I've scoured the internet to make my early predictions about who will stay and who will go. While I can't completely fill out my bracket until we meet the gents who will steal her heart, here's my first impression roses (and thorns).

Let's start with The Good:

  1.  Jordan Rodgers, 28, Former Pro Football Quarterback
image via ABC

image via ABC

This guy is 100% my frontrunner. He's adorable, he was a former pro football player, Aaron Rodger's brother, instagrams cute photos of he and his brother in footie pajamas, still goes on family vacation at the I need to continue or do you guys get it? He has the genuine qualities that Ben had, with more of an edge, which we can all agree JoJo is looking for. As we all know (cough, Olivia), the contestant who often looks good on paper can easily fold under the pressure of the Bachelor franchise. 

2. Luke, 31, War Veteran

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

This guy shows up on a unicorn, and he packs a pair of cowboy boots as a gift to JoJo! He seems to be "here for the right reasons", and I think he and JoJo could really hit it off. 

3. James Taylor, 29, Singer/Songwriter

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

His name is James Taylor, he's a Singer/Songwriter, and his introduction to JoJo includes an original song and his guitar. She seems to like it, and I think he is a pretty genuine guy that could go pretty far. He seems like he will be one of the "protectors" in the house that tattles on the bad actors just here to be the next Bachelor. 

3. Robby, 27, Former Competitive Swimmer

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

I have a soft spot for competitive swimmers, they are usually really good guys, but they also have an edge. This guy is family oriented, looking for love, and I think he and JoJo will really hit it off. He will be one of two - slow starter who starts to shine around Week 5, or early frontrunner who drops off around Week 5. Only time will tell...

5. Alex, 25, U.S. Marine

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

This guy is the definition of "the good guys". He's a Marine, he values his family, his military career and his civilian career that will no doubt follow, and the "most outrageous" thing he's done is "ripped the door off of a totaled, burning car and pulled the unconscious driver out to safety." He probably volunteers at the puppy rescue on weekends too. This is another one that could go either way - he could hang right in the middle of the pack the whole way through and make it to top 6 or Hometowns, or he could be a strong contender. 

I've given you my thoughts on the best of the best, and here's just the worst:

1. Chad, 28, Luxury Real Estate Agent

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

Chad spent $7,000 on dressing himself for this season, and doesn't hesitate to tell us once that he's good looking. Definitely here to be the next Bachelor. I give him until Week 4, when he does something so terribly rude that JoJo is ready to let him loose. 

2. Evan, 33, Erectile Dysfunction Expert

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

Outside of the fact his general style reminds me of Pepe Le Pew, he has made his living on the impotence of other men. I'm just not into this guy - JoJo might be, but I would say this guy doesn't make it past Week 3. 

3. Daniel, 31, Male Model

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

In a recent ABC promo video, Daniel "takes the suit out of suitor" and decides to strip down to his skivvies during the cocktail party in a completely drunken stupor. If Lace taught us anything, it's that getting drunk at the cocktail party and verbally harassing the person you're trying to win the affections of keeps you around until Week 3. I think JoJo's tolerance for nonsense is less than Ben's, so I would say this guy goes home after the cocktail party, presumably with his clothes on. 

4. Brandon, 28, Hipster

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

 I don't feel like I need to explain this. His occupation is Hipster. Unless you made a hipster app or run a hipster blog and are secretly rolling in it but still act like a hipster, this is NOT an occupation. I think we say goodbye to Brandon tonight. 

5.  Nick S., 26, Software Salesman

Image via ABC

Image via ABC

Does anyone else see the scarf this dude is wearing? He dislikes "scary cheeses". What does that even mean? I've never met a cheese I didn't like. His greatest achievement is also "Eagle Scout". Goodnight and Good Luck, Nick S. My prediction is that he doesn't make it past his first rose ceremony. 

Theres 5 Good and 5 Bad, which leaves 15 more guys who will fade into the middle and a "mystery bachelor" - my guess is Juan Pablo.  What do you guys think? Who's going home tonight? 

a very lovely engagement

by Katelyn Melo

So yes, I have been away from this blog for 6 months! I have all of the normal, ordinary excuses. Life, work, travel, etc. Translation - I haven't made the time to be creative in 6 months. Well, that's all about to change, thanks to a new life partner and some very special bling! He jokes that he proposed to me so that I would have something to write about again - which I'm sure is not the case, but it makes me love him even more that he knows how much I love the blog when I find the time to write, and how much I need the creative outlet. Here's the story, in it's entirety, with the photos to prove it! 

My birthday is the 4th of July, which is such a fun day! My parents have a beautiful house on the water we call "Hokie Cove", as it is right on Hodge's Cove off of the Poquoson River. On this particular 4th of July, two of my very dear friends were coming down on Friday and we were busily planning the progressive wine dinner I was planning for Friday night. (This detail gets funnier after you know the whole story!) You see, I live in Northern Virginia, which is two hours from where my now fiancee lives in Richmond, which is another hour and a half from Hokie Cove in Yorktown. Since I work for my parents, I had been called to Yorktown for work on Wednesday and Thursday, and we were kicking off the long weekend on Friday. Around 3pm on Wednesday, my dad calls me in what was the best acting he's ever done, and says he needs for me to go meet with our marketing consultant in Richmond, Thursday, before the 4th of July, at 4:30pm. I found this to be a terrible idea, considering that was the time I had planned on popping that first "it's the weekend" bottle of champagne at that time, like, penned in the Day Designer. To say I was unhappy with this task would be the understatement of the century. If you ask my parents, or sister, or anyone who came in contact with me in the 24 hours between Daddy telling me about this meeting and my actual arrival in Richmond, they would use some choice words to describe my behavior that a lady should never repeat. 

I decided to do something that day that I never do - arrive early. I got to Bill's house around 3:30 for my 4:30 meeting. Bill’s townhouse is about 20 minutes from where I was supposed to be, so I decided a little “rest” would do me some good before I had to put my face on for this meeting. Bill of course said “Yes, relax, take a minute. We’ll have a great dinner tonight when you finish”. What I didn't know was that Bill wasn't at his office like he had originally told me, and I was kicking him out of the house 30 minutes early, half-dressed, mind you for the marriage proposal I didn't know was about to happen. Apparently, he had to bolt out of the house and finish getting dressed in the car (Sorry, honey!). In all of this mess, I forgot a notebook for my "meeting". I call Bill, apparently, as he is furiously rushing down the interstate, to let him know I'm not snooping for my birthday present, but I need a notebook. He politely tells me exactly where to get a very chic black notebook, and I notice that all of the air mattresses are blown up in his office and the guest room. This is odd, I think, because the house is immaculate and air mattresses are blown up. (Remember how my dear friends aren’t supposed to be coming to Yorktown until tomorrow?) Hmmm...Bill cleverly comes up with a story about his guyfriends staying there for a golf tournament.

I send Bill the above selfie to let him know I'm tired and I don't want to go to this meeting. God bless him for tolerating my whining. I then start my journey downtown to get this meeting off of my to-do list, and on to the fabulous weekend we had planned. Daddy had promised to treat us to dinner in light of this torture he's putting me through. I realize I’m being slightly bratty in this situation, but to be clear, both my Daddy and my future husband called my reaction and actions to a “T”. Guess Bill really does know what he’s getting into, for better or for worse (pun intended).

I arrive at the Virginia War Memorial at 4:30pm, and it's beautiful. Even on a rainy day, it is a beautiful place. The big glass doors are locked. Great, I'm thinking. Daddy has sent me to the wrong place. The plot thickens. I see a security guard inside and proceed to knock loudly on the glass doors. She opens them, I explain to her why I think I'm there, to which she responds that those people weren't there and no events had occurred there that day. 

I look through the big glass windows and see Bill standing outside. At this moment, I think I know what's about to happen, but still not quite sure. PS - how handsome does he look here? 

Bill started with some of the kindest, loving words anyone has ever said to me. I was so overcome with emotion that I obviously got a little teary eyed. Not my prettiest face, but I love how this picture just captures exactly what that moment was like for the both of us, and I’m incredibly thankful that Bill was able to capture all of it.

Bill dropped down to one knee, asked me to marry him, and gave me the most beautiful ring I've ever seen. I, of course, said YES! and got him up off of the ground.

Bill had hired a photographer, Marek, to take photos of the entire event. Bill asked me to not call anyone until after dinner (which was literally the hardest thing to do!), and Marek stayed with us for about an hour, taking photos and capturing the moment. I've added a few of my favorites here!

We finished up taking photos with Marek, and little did I know, Bill had more surprises in store for me! He told me we were going home to have a glass of wine, and then we would go out to dinner after that. We ended up going to Patina, one of our favorite restaurants, and our family and friends were waiting for us there! The girls had come a day early, and were giggling to themselves that I was planning this fabulous dinner for the next night, knowing that there was no way I’d be doing all of that after the excitement we were having tonight.

It filled my heart with such joy to know that our families and our dear friends were able to share in one of the most special moments of our lives. Our engagement was truly the most magical day of my life, and I am so looking forward to the magical day that our wedding will be, and to call this man my husband. 

Only one short year from today, we will be celebrating our wedding! September 17, 2016. It seemed only appropriate to document the year leading up to this celebration, starting today. 


Chicken. Bacon. Ranch. (for under 300 calories)

by Katelyn Melo in

This is the most creamy, decadent spaghetti squash dish. You'll never even realize you've cut fats and calories, because we didn't sacrifice an ounce of flavor. 

Spaghetti squash is the most amazing help when you're trying to "cook light". It's not only a great substitute for pasta, in some ways, it's better than pasta, especially because it absorbs so much flavor from the sauce it seems like you're just having ranch dressing and melted cheese with smoky bacon flavor. 

And you're lying to yourself if fries/pasta/etc. are not simply a transport for cheese and ranch.

This is a multi-step recipe, perfect for a rainy weekend like we are having here in Virginia.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 medium/large spaghetti squash
  • 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 8 slices reduced fat, low-sodium bacon
  • 1 Ranch seasoning packet
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut a spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and clean out the seeds and insides. (It's one of the most terrifying things I do in the kitchen, so here's some help from Melissa Joulwan, if you've never done this before.)
  3. Bake Spaghetti Squash for 45 min - an hour, depending on the size of your squash.
  4. For the bacon: line a baking sheet with foil, lay a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet, and line the bacon on the cooling rack. (This is an expert tip from the butcher at Whole Foods - it's the best bacon I've ever had, and without the popping oil). Bake for about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and chop into bacon bits. Set aside.
  5. For the chicken: Grill. I do this inside, on my cast iron grill pan, over medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes total, flipping every 5 minutes. Remove chicken from grill pan, chop into small cubes, and set aside.
  6. Your spaghetti squash will need to cool, so once you pull it out of the oven, you can start on the sauce.
  7. For the sauce: Heat the milk over medium-high heat. You'll know the milk is heated to the right temperature when you start to see bubbles in the middle. It's real scientific. Once the milk is heated, stir in the Ranch seasoning packet. Pour the Monterey Jack cheese in, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until all incorporated. Let cheese sauce simmer and thicken for about 5 minutes.
  8. Scrape the insides of your spaghetti squash  with a fork, it should look like noodles, hence the name "spaghetti squash".
  9. Place all of your spaghetti squash "noodles" in the pan with cheese sauce, tossing evenly to coat, then toss in all of the chicken, and about 3/4 of the chopped bacon. Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
  10. Pour the chicken, bacon, ranch spaghetti squash mixture into a baking dish. You can use any size you have. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and the rest of the bacon on top, and bake for 8 - 12 minutes at 400 degrees.

 This creamy, decadent spaghetti squash will soon be a staple in your dinner rotation - for under 300 calories! This recipe makes 6 servings, each containing:

289 calories - 16.8 g fat - 6.1 g carbs - 33.3 g protein

Happy Cooking!

#womancrushwednesday - Iliza Shlesinger

by Katelyn Melo in

I’m just going to come out and say it - I have a full on girl crush on Iliza Shlesinger and she is my #womancrushwednesday every week.

After watching her Netflix Special, “Freezing Hot”, I was totally hooked. She is one of those rare smart and funny comedians, and her impression of girls in their 20s and 30s is spot on. I felt like she and I became best friends within the first 5 minutes of watching her special, I was immediately identifying with almost everything she was saying, and the satire of it all was way too on point. I was also doubled over laughing at her one-line zingers, like:

“Pinterest is porn for white women” and “Women can carry a human for 9 months, but a light jacket is where we draw the line”.  Just watch this trailer, the bit about getting your “girl card” is my all-time favorite.

After watching this, and her previous special, “War Paint”, also on Netflix (the perfect thing to watch this Winesday Wednesday), I did what I assume everyone  else does when they introduced to a new celebrity/reality star: stalked her on all social media outlets. That is where I found out she has the most entertaining audio podcast: “Truth and Iliza”.

I got roped into Serial with the rest of America, and I had been looking for more podcasts to fill my time in the car every week.  “Truth and Iliza” is the one I look forward to every week, it’s filled with great content, mostly because it’s “the podcast about opinions” and she has a new guest every week, who bring a list of their pet peeves.

She talked with Cheri Oteri, SNL alum, about how Lance Bass had fake model bridesmaids at his wedding. (Oh yeah, did I mention she is BFFs with Lance Bass?)

She talked with Melissa Stetten, author of the blog “Pretty Bored”, about her all funny girl LA rec league basketball team, of which Aubrey Plaza is a member. I would pay to watch Aubrey Plaza playing on a rec basketball team.

And, one of the funniest by far,

She talked with Bryan Callen and Brendan Schaub, of “The Fighter and The Kid” podcast, about what seemed like an epically dramatic hotel fight where one of the guys was crawling down the hall of the hotel in his tighty-whities.

You can download all of her podcast episodes (for free!) on iTunes. Trust me, there’s no better way to get through rush hour gridlock than some seriously intelligent, satirical, humor.  And watch her Netflix specials - I promise you it’s the thing you need to get through this humpday and the rest of the week!