My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Friday Fav’s

Well hello there.

I can’t believe it’s already Friday (but I’m not complaining). I’m not sure what it’s like where you are, but we’re supposed to see record high temps both today, tomorrow and Sunday here in Denver and I am LOVING it! Yes, I love my fall to Reece’s Pieces, but I also love not having to turn on my heat, going for runs in the mornings before work without the extra padding of puffy coats getting in the way, and being able to sneak in one last final “Hurrah!” as far as my summer wardrobe is concerned. Call me a hopeless summer romantic, but I’m not quite ready to give up on you yet, especially when I know that the “s” word–which shall remain nameless–is just around the corner, along with its buddies ice, frost, and cold.

Ick.

But in the meantime, you better believe your shorts I am going to soak up every minute of this wonderful weather! I’ve got a hike planned for tomorrow and may even try to get in a bike ride (I have yet to get my own set of wheels but you can rent them pretty much everywhere for the day which is really pretty neat if you ask me). I also have some last minute Halloween decorating to do. The kids in my neighborhood will be on the hunt for candy come this time next week and I want to make sure my pad is decked out.

Whatever your weekend plans are, I hope you have a bunch-a-crunch of fun! And to help get you started, please take a gander at my fav finds this week from the web and beyond! (said in Buzz Lightyear’s voice) :)

Favorite must-have: Simple Chocolate Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream. I have never wished to turn another year older until this very moment. I NEED this cake in my life!!

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Favorite find: Corso Como Sussex Boots. I’ve been looking for black boots that don’t look like serial killer boots for years, and think these might be it. So sleek!

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Favorite gift: Gift in a Cup. As we get older it’s more difficult to figure out what to give friends for their birthdays. I love this idea for putting a bunch of fun little things in a reusable cup. Let’s someone know you’re thinking of them, but is also quick and easy to put together.

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Favorite flashback: Iced Oatmeal Cookies. These gorgeous cookies reminded me of the sweet and crispy packaged cookies I used to eat as a kid. I bet these homemade ones are so much better!

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Favorite take-me-there: Havasu Falls, AZ. This picture is equal parts barf-inducing (don’t look down!) and exhilarating. Havasu Falls inside the Grand Canyon has been on my must-see list for a few years now, and this is by far the coolest view I’ve seen of it.

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Favorite upgrade: Mini Pretzel Dogs. Like pigs in a blanket except way, way better. Bravo. I’m even thinking you could turn these bad boys into mini mummies for your Halloween party. Your guests’ eyes, imaginations, and most importantly, stomachs will thank you!

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Favorite truth. Own your weirdness. Rock your weirdness. Love your weirdness.

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Favorite tips: 10 Ways to Declutter Your Day. Wonderful ideas on how to stay focused throughout the day. I especially love the one about the laptop – if my work didn’t involve the computer/internet so much I’d be all over it!

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Favorite must have/do: DIY Book Headboard. I mean. WHAT?! How amazingly amazing is this?! Would go perfect in my room and it’s so easy to do!! Double score!

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Favorite Pooch: Pardon me, do you have any Milk Bones? Or Grey Poupon?

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Favorite thing ever: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches. DYING over this creation. Sheer brilliance!

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1. Confession: The only “ab exercise” I do is laughing. Like, a lot. I find it the most effective when you are surrounded by your closest, most ridiculous friends doing or talking about the most ridiculous things. I think I’m on my way to a two-pack, guys. At least!

2. Speaking of “ab exercises”, another great way to flex those muscles is by watching hilarious movies. Confession: I was trolling through Netflix the other night and came across an old time favorite of mine: Spaceballs. I forgot how incredibly stupid BUT AMAZING this flick was/is. If you haven’t seen it, or it’s been a while, cancel your plans tonight and watch it!!! And eat some ice cream while you’re at it. I mean, you are exercising after all. All that LOLing really works up an appetite. You deserve it! ;)

3.  Confession: Sometimes I purposely go to church late so I don’t have to do that part where you talk to the people around you. It’s just so awkward for me. I never know how far to travel from my pew, if I’m going to make it back in time before the pastor starts talking. And do we high-five? Hand-shake? Fist-bump? It’s weird because I really do love meeting new people in any other circumstance. I promise.

4. Confession: I relate to Taylor Swift’s song “Fifteen” more than her song “22”. And I’m 27, so neither should really do anything for me…

5. Confession: Somebody today at work told me I reminded them of a young Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. #goop

6. Confession: Last night, I really wanted a Reese’s PB cup, but I didn’t have any (and I already had the bra off for the night so there was no way I was leaving the comfy confines of my couch to go get some). So what did I do? I poured some white chocolate chips into my White Chocolate Wonderful PB jar. And ate it with a spoon. Standing over the counter. HOLYLIFECHANGINGBATMAN!!! I think I found my new favorite thing in the history of ever.

Have a great Thursday, friends!

Question of the day: What are your confessions?

If you were a kid in the last 30 years, you have to remember the bummer treats in your plastic jack-o’-lantern—the ones you separated from the mini-Hershey’s bars and Sour Patch Kids, and offered to your younger sibling because you had not yet developed a strong sense of what was right and wrong. Well, now you’re an adult, and if you’re voluntarily giving children the following Halloween treats, you, my friend, have a heart of darkness. OK, that might be a little harsh. In fact, props for even prepping for trick-or-treaters. But, try to avoid dishing out these items if you want to stay ‘cool’ with the kids.

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12. Smarties: Want some vitamin-tasting things with no nutritional value? No, you don’t because you’re a person (Sorry, mom. I know you love these).

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11. Candy Apples: These guys were usually too hard to bite into—even after your parents dissected them to check for razor blades.

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10.Wax Lips: Were these even edible? Nobody would give us a straight answer.

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9. Double Bubble: Points for being gum, but minus-points for being tooth-shatteringly hard.

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8. Sugar Daddies: Memo to candy-makers: we have evolved past taffy.

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7. Anything in this wax paper: Remember that whole taffy thing we talked about? And what even is this brown nougat blob? I think it actually may be Play-Doh.

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6. Strawberry Suckers: These candies were hard on the outside and weirdly jelly-like on the inside. And that’s if you got a batch made after the 1950s. If your suckers were older than that (and most were) that inner-jelly was disturbingly chewy.

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5. Bit O Honey: Oh come ON.

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4. Mary Janes: Even worse. This candy tastes like it was invented by a man who wore a non-ironic monocle and collected abacuses as a hobby.

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3. Restaurant mints: So not candy. Unless we’re talking about these. Then okay. Mayyyyyybe we’ll let it slide.

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2. Raisins: Ah, nature’s candy. Love you, nature, but Halloween just isn’t your day.

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1. Pennies: We know it’s not candy, but SOME people don’t. If there’s anything that says ‘I didn’t prepare for Halloween trick-or-treaters,’ it’s a fistful of smelly pennies from the bottom of a purse. Points for the last-minute gesture, but maybe just don’t answer the door.

This year, if you’re planning on giving out sweet treats to all of the little ghosts and goblins in your neighborhood, do them a favor and give them the good stuff. Don’t be “that” neighbor. Treat wisely. And hey, the best part about giving out White Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Take Five Bars instead of this list of blahs is that you get to eat all of the leftovers!! Talk about a win-win!) :)

My most very favorite Disney movie in the whole wide world, the one that has my heart, the one that I can’t watch in its entirety because I am too emotionally unstable to watch Mufasa die twice in a lifetime, is The Lion King. One of the many reasons why I love this movie oh so much (I mean can we talk about James Earl Jones’ heavenly voice for a second?!) is the fact that it is chock-full of life lessons, lessons that to this day, I pretty much live by (except for the whole eating bugs thing. Sorry Timone and Pumba, you know I love ya, but I will never, EVER be caught munching on a slug unless its a gummy worm because THOSE ARE DELICIOUS!!). Everything I need to know about life, I learned from The Lion King.

1. No worries!

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I definitely believe that some things are worth worrying about, but I do appreciate the overall motto here. (What’s a motto? I don’t know, what’s a motto with you!) Hakuna Matata, kiddos. It means no worries–something we need to be reminded of every once in a while.

2. Use the past as a chance to learn and grow


I just advised my dear friend today that I fully believe that it is okay to put all your eggs in one basket, and I really meant it. I have never been a big fan of people not doing stuff out of fear, because the worst-case scenario is it will turn into a learning experience. Lots of stuff has hurt me in the past, and I am such a better person because of all of it.

3. The starry sky can be a big comfort

One of my favorite parts of The Lion King is when Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba lay under the night sky, talkin‘ ’bout stuff. Even if Timon and Pumbaa make fun of Simba for suggesting a bunch of “royal dead guys” are watching them, it still always soothed my soul a bit. I take comfort in the fact that the big guy upstairs, our King, is always watching over us, always guiding our way and influencing our daily decisions. I certainly believe that you can learn a lot from the stars. Maybe, just maybe, you can learn everything.

4. Always represent your family

If you have never seen The Lion King, I am truly sorry for your life and you should go watch it, like right now. Spoiler alert: so Mufasa dies and Simba has a really terrible reaction (as he should) because his terrible Uncle Scar scared him away by blaming him for his father’s death. Simba suppresses all of his issues, befriends two rando animals who basically raise him, and pretends his old life was never a reality. Until, of course, Rafiki makes him realize that even though his father is dead, he will never be gone.

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Ugh. I get so emotional.

5. We are all connected

Not in a circle, but in a hoop that never ends. Which is also true, it’s just the wrong Disney movie. In The Lion King, we are all connected in the circle of life. The “Circle of Life” teaches us that we are all capable of facing whatever life offers us.

And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
‘Til we find our place
On the path unwinding

6. It is just fine to fall in love with your friends

And I mean, especially if they are betrothed to you in the first place. I guess that kind of makes it convenient. I should be completely honest with you guys and let you know that I don’t always think falling in love with your friends is a great idea. I have done it–oh boy have I done it–and it sucks and then when it inevitably does not work, you lose that friend or it becomes all of the awkward and turns into a big hot mess. Sometimes though, in those amazing instances, it does work out and then you have a friendship that is stronger than a relationship might have been beforehand. DID ANY OF THAT MAKE SENSE OR DID I RAMBLE? I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are lucky enough to fall in love with your BF, and he/she feels the same about you, it’s pretty much the best thing in the history of ever. After all, what is the greatest basis of a relationship than friendship, amiright?!

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Just ask Simba and Nala, the OGs.

7. Also, listen to your friends

Because Nala was Simba’s friend first and she really did know what she was talking about.

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And she has a real way of getting her point across.

8. You can always go home

When Simba finally gets his ish together and goes home to save Pride Rock, it is a true boss moment–especially because Scar had just knocked Sarabi out! Ugh, Scar is such a terrible lion. Even if the conditions were not as terrible as they happened to be at the time, Simba would have been more than welcomed home by his people. Err. . . his pride.

9. Sequels are alright

No lie, I love The Lion King 2 (plus the soundtrack is my JAM!!) I don’t so much care about the others, but that movie is legit and if you haven’t seen it, you should.

Very occasionally, a kind soul will come over toting a homemade dessert made from some combination of apples, brown sugar, brownie batter, chocolate-chips, marshmallows, sprinkles and oatmeal. They set their heavy glass dish down on your kitchen counter and peal back the plastic bag to reveal an earth-toned rainbow of deliciosity. We gaze at its sweet, sweet beauty for a moment, but then turn our eyes and look at the rest of the smorgasbord of vittles: cold pigs in a blanket, an enormous veggie tray, bowls full of potato chips and bulk-pack macaroni salad are laying on the counter just waiting to be devoured.

We walk away knowing that we’ll get to that dessert later, just as soon as we fill our stomachs with all of the cheap stuff everyone else picked up from the clearance rack at the grocery store.

And eventually, it does happen–the end of the meal arrives and the hero dessert is paraded to the table with pomp, fanfare, forks and a stack of tiny plates. By now, everyone is stuffed to the brim, so while people dip into this rectangle of tastiness, they just don’t have room to send it back empty. It inevitably gets saran-wrapped up and put in the fridge for leftovers, hasty promises made to return the dish another time.

And that’s when it gets interesting, my friends.

I’m a pretty big fan of dessert.

Okay.

I’m a HUGE fan of dessert.

In fact, if I could eat only dessert for the rest of my life, I would.

I like dessert’s style. I think it’s cool.

Which is why I eat it as soon as possible. I have a piece here, I have a piece there. it replaces the bread the next morning at breakfast, starch the next night at dinner. I really get on that dessert. I chip away at it until eventually, there is only one, sad and lonely piece left. And it is the consumption of that last piece, that final, beautiful square of leftover homemade pie/cake/brownie that is always the sweetest.

See, by this point it’s an old friend. I know it’s taste well, having succumbed to its vice-like grip over me for a few days since the party. I may actually be sick of it, but I would never, ever admit it. All I know if that there’s a few mere minutes of enjoying its company left forever. It is a very happy yet very sad time.

Bittersweet, if you will (pun intended).

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There are some ways that eating the last remaining piece of dessert can be made sweeter though:

1. First up, eating it cold. When that dessert is only a couple of feet away from your mouth, there really is no time allowed for heating (+1 points).

2. Next, eating it straight from the serving dish/container. This is tricky because if you’re watching TV, you need to awkwardly lift a three-pound glass dish with one hand so that you can shovel it into your mouth with the other. Be careful for wobbling (+2 points).

3. Methodically scrapping every last crumb, ring of dried icing and molecule of congealed syrup out of the dish, even getting up and finding a spatula if you have to. Licking is optional here, but may be necessary. (+3 points)

4. The big one: thinking about the dessert just before you’re about to fall asleep or when you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Thinking about it and not being able to get it out of your head until you walk to the kitchen, your feet freezing on the cold linoleum, touch-grabbing your way through the black maze of your apartment, until you pop open that refrigerator door, its bright light beaming at you like the gates of heaven opening. You grab that saran-wrapped slice of greatness and eat it right then and there with no abandon. (+10 points)

AWESOME!

Thoughts on a Thursday

1. At 11:30 this morning I realized that I had my skivvies on inside out. It is now almost 2 o’clock and they are still inside out. Starting a new fashion trend or just plain lazy? Much like how many licks it takes to get to the center of the Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.

2. Nothing says “I’m a single gal” like a frozen waffle box in the bathroom trash can. Not me, of course. Because that would just be silly hahahaha. Okay. It’s me.

3. I fully intend on being “that house” or in my case, “that apartment” that all of the kids trick-or-treating will want to come back to because a) my costume is going to be ALL of the best (I’m SOOOOOO excited!!!) and b) I am giving out king sized candy bars. Players gonna play, play, play, play and the dentists gonna hate, hate, hate, hate.

4. Because sometimes, we just have to jump.

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5. One of my bestest friends in the whole wide world planet universe just landed a new job and I couldn’t be more proud/excited/happy for him! Alex, this is just the start of something amazing for you and I for one can’t wait to see what else God has in store for you. :)

6. Speaking of my friend Alex, he reminded me today that even though it may be hard, even though it may be frustrating and confusing and down-right ugh-worthy sometimes, we have to remember that everything is being done according to the big guy upstairs’ timing (which is perfect, by the way, no matter what we think otherwise). We just have to have a little bit of hope and a lot a bit of faith.

7. And I’m certain that God has in his timing for me to devour this delicious chocolate-chip cookie right meow.

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Have a great Thursday, everybody!

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Come on in.

Pull open the wooden door with those giant oversized handles that are smooth and worn down to a light brown finish. Drag your boots over the dirty green carpeted floor that bubbles up in the corners and splashes tiny dust clouds into shimmery orange sunbeams with every step. Feel the calm and comforting library quiet settle like a blanket over your body and your brain as you shuffle past the counters and make your way inside…

Massive atlases, worn-out hardcovers, and crinkly plastiwrapped kids’ books fill rusty metal bookshelves and cover that overly-lacquered table at the front–dented from that time someone smacked it with their motorized scooter in 1990. Yellowed pages with pencil lines, cracked bindings and broken spines cover every corner of the glorious place.

Feel our shared histories softly swirl together through old books and stamped checkout cards as you smile and soak up all of the little library smells of shear….

AWESOME!

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