My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Halloween circa 1997. So an angel, a witch, a cheerleader and a tube of toothpaste (Best. Costume. Everrrrrr!!!) walk into a bar…

It doesn’t matter how old we get, when Halloween rolls around, we get to be silly and immature and act like a kid again, and that is just plain AWESOME!

Whether you’re playing dress up and headed out to a party, or staying in and gorging on candy and horror flicks, you’re gonna have a good time. But some of us (*cough* me *cough*) don’t want to watch real horror movies (I can’t even handle the trailers for scary movies, guys. I saw the one for Annabelle recently and couldn’t sleep for a week!) Some of us (*cough* me *cough*) want to be innocent bystanders in the Halloween game of spooks and scares and instead, watch our far tamer (and usually more entertaining!) childhood fav’s.

Let’s take a look back at some of my go-to’s for all Hallow’s Eve….

1. Hocus Pocus

The crown jewel of childhood Halloween films is Hocus Pocus. The cast is absolutely star-studded and even features a talking cat (pre-Sabrina the Teenage Witch). Not to mention, young Thora Birch is the sassiest little witch you’ll ever meet. The cherry on the sundae? A musical number led by the queen of Halloween: Bette Midler, with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy singing backup.

2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Snoopy and the whole Peanuts gang add a new touch of mystery to Halloween in the quest to spot the Great Pumpkin. The best part of the movie? When the gang goes trick-or-treating and Charlie Brown gets a rock instead of candy. Repeatedly. Poor Charlie (but hey, I think I would actually prefer getting a rock than these nasty little nuggets of nastiness which kind of taste and resemble rocks).

3. Casper

Another outstanding cast featuring the likes of Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman. Pullman, guys! And, duh, Devon Sawa. Though, much to the dismay of ’90s tweens everywhere, he spends most of the movie stuck in the body of an animated ghost. This one is hilarious, haunting, and a tugger of the old heartstrings. Don’t we all wish Devon could’ve kept Christina?

4. The Witches

This movie, based on a Roald Dahl classic, is flippin‘ terrifying. It still gives me nightmares. The kid turning into a rat. The wigs and long skeletal fingers. Yikes! Not to mention Anjelica Huston is the Grand High Witch herself.

5. E.T.

Not strictly a Halloween movie, but it does feature an alien and they do dress him up for Halloween. Besides, who can pass up this Spielberg classic that has a fantastic and magical story, an adorable Drew Barrymore, and that iconic flight silhouetted against a giant moon? Me, that’s who. And if you don’t agree with me, you can just “phone home” yourself (yeah, that really sounded more clever in my head).

6. Beetlejuice

The king of Halloween, Tim Burton, introduced us all to so many things as children and has all the elements you look for in a Halloween flick: ghosts, haunting, Winona Ryder, and, of course, a musical number or two! It’s the movie that launched a thousand perfect Halloween costumes: Lydia and Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice FTW!

7. Ghostbusters

Who ya gonna call? I mean, you’ve got your Bill Murray, your ghosts, your giant Marshmallow men. What more could you ask for/want?! I’ve seen this movie a hundred times and still laugh until it hurts.

8. Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Can we all just take a second and soak up the pre-Blake Lively Ryan Reynolds? That hair, that smile…sigh. I am a closeted Sabrina the Teenage Witch uber fan (you better believe I stop, drop and roll everything when the TV show comes on). What girl didn’t want to be able to dress herself instantly with just a point of her finger (hello extra 15 minutes of sleep time, amiright?!)

So there you have it, friends. My top-eight fav’s non-scary scary Halloween movies. I’m not sure what you’ve got planned on Friday, but you are sure to have a good time with one (or all) of these flicks, some friends, some popcorn and of course a whole lot of candy :)

Question of the day: Do you like scary movies? (said in the Scream voice)

What are some of your childhood favorite Halloween flicks?

I’m a bit of a dating expert.

Hahahahaha!

Whoops, sorry, had a typo there. I meant to say that I’m a one-date wonder, who has been on so many first dates that I’ve perfected the art of conversation with strangers.

What’s my strategy? Well, I kind of like to cut to the chase. No wasting time on small talk or appetizers (unless they’re cheesecurds, or cheese sticks, or cheese quessadillas because YUM)—I need to get down to business. For me, it’s all about asking specific questions, weird questions, trick questions, anything that sparks conversation and maybe a little super-ridiculous debate.

After all, first dates are all about getting to know someone in a very relaxed, fun and not-so-serious way (I’ve found through experience that it’s best to save all of the “I have an irrational fear of tornadoes and spiders and a world-wide ice cream shortage” stories for your third date, at least!)

Amiright?!

So you might be wondering. Wendi, dating guru, what should I be asking if I want to find the love of my life? First of all, I’m more of an anti-dating guru, an expert on what not to do. But, after years of dating, watching other people date and listening to my friends’ tales of their years of dating and watching other people date, I think I may have fine-tuned some first-date questions down to a science.

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

Ok. Here they are.

1. Did you cry when Dobby the House Elf Died?

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If you didn’t cry when Dobby died, then you have some serious vulnerability issues. I still can’t read and/or watch that scene without sobbing into a bowl of froyo. But that’s just me.

2. Have you ever used the Kelvin filter?

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We need to talk about Kelvin. If you find out your date has or is ever planning on using the Kelvin filter on Instagram then RUN FOR THE HILLS HE MIGHT BE A SOCIOPATH WHO WANTS YOU TO LOOK BAD IN PICTURES! Or he might just not know about Kelvin, so you can cut him slack and explain why Kelvin is such a problem. Bad filter! Very bad!

3. Do you use a lot of emojis?

If so, can you spare a moment to teach my mom how to use them? Pretty please? I’ll owe you.

4. Would you ever pumpkin latte shame me?

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I refuse to apologize for thinking seasonal beverages are fun!  If you don’t love me at my Pumpkin Spice Latte, then you don’t deserve me at my Oprah Chai, you know?

5. Do you consider bread pudding to be pudding or nah?

Nah. Nah. Please let the answer be nah!

6. How many naps are too many naps?

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Trick question. There are never too many naps. My ideal relationship involves a 3pm nap every day. I don’t even care if I’m the big spoon. #BoysNeedCuddlesToo.

7. If you found out 6 months into dating me that I’m not actually allergic to cilantro, I just don’t like it, would you break up with me?

Let’s ignore the fact that I’ve been lying to you and more focus on how gross cilantro is.

8. Are toes important to you?

Asking for someone who has weird feet. She’s not me. Swear.

9. What are your thoughts on the PT cruiser?

You: It has a revolutionary body structure! It’s so interesting looking!

Me: ….Is this our first fight?

10. How many times do you wear your jeans before washing?

Because I’d like to have a nonjudgmental relationship rule when it comes to laundry, if that’s okay.  Don’t be surprised if I’m wearing my “Wednesday” Day of the Week underwear on a “Sunday.”

11. Would you give me free reign over your Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu Plus passwords?

Sharing is caring, and mama has a lot of Parks & Rec to watch. PS. Do you care if I call myself mama sometimes?

12. If I was depressed, would you spend the entire day talking in the *Bane Voice* until I felt better?

admit you were!!!

13. Would you rather back into a parking space or parallel park?

*crosses fingers* please say neither, please say neither, *crosses fingers*

14. How many phone chargers do you have, and do you have an outlet next to your bed?

Now that I think about it, this should probably be question number one….

So, maybe these are some questions you should ask on your first date. Or, maybe throw everything I just told you out the window. What do I know? Be open to something new. Have fun. Practice vulnerability, kindness, and authenticity with a stranger. Who knows what you might find.

That’s what dating is all about, right?

Wednesday “Wendi” Addams

Just in time for Halloween, Kat Dennings admitted on Conan that she idolized Wednesday Addams as a child. Conan’s quick to make a joke about it, and ask Dennings if her parents thought it was “strange.” She laughs, and then Conan laughs, and it’s all in good fun. But let’s get one thing straight, loving Wednesday Addams is no joke. I, too, thought Wednesday was super cool and wanted to be just like her. I still kind of do.

I’m of course talking about Christina Ricci’s portrayal of Wednesday in the two Addams Family movies of the early ’90s. Those two movies, The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, spend a lot of time setting up this strange world of the family, and what appears to be the even stranger outside world. Wednesday isn’t necessarily “strange” in the latter world, she just doesn’t fit in with the bright perky colors of everyone else. Finally. Someone who isn’t afraid to go against the status quo and own their awesomely awesome weirdness.

She’s kinda sorta totally my hero in that regard.

Let’s go back to younger me here for a second. I was never really a “girly-girl” growing up. It was next to impossible to get me to wear anything pink and sparkly, or any sort of shoes that weren’t sneakers (I still have a major Nike addiction). I hated playing dress-up and applying poorly done makeup (I can’t tell you how many times I have poked my darn self in the eye with that darn mascara wand thingy mabobber) and loved getting down and dirty, playing every sport imaginable, climbing trees and participating in winning epic burping contests.

You’re probably thinking, “So? That doesn’t make you in the likeness of Wednesday, that just makes you a tomboy.” But I wasn’t a total  tomboy, either. I played with Barbies and Polly Pockets, enjoyed going shopping with my friends/mom/sister and was obsessed with boys, both real and fictional (speaking of fictional, can I get an “Amen!” for my girl Christina Ricci’s ghostly costar in one my other fav movies, Casper?! The moment he became a real boy and walked down that staircase to dance with Kat, girls across the world did some major swooning. I think it is safe to say that was the first time I had a legit crush on a ghost.)

Anywhoo, back to my point. See, just thinking about Devon Sawa (the 90’s version) makes me get all flustered.

Growing up, it felt like I was stuck between being a girlie-girl and a tomboy, and if you look across pop culture there are very few females who can perfectly sit between those two distinctions. There are even fewer kids who fall into that grey area — except for Wednesday. She became someone I wanted to be if only because she didn’t fit into any of the norms of childhood either.

And let me tell you, Wednesday has got the monotone droll and eye roll down pat.

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Plus, as if I need more reasons for her to be one of my childhood female heroines, she isn’t afraid to speak her mind to anyone (or, in some cases, admit what is exactly on her mind). She’s not trying to prove herself to anyone, and doesn’t need approval from everyone to keep doing what she’s doing.

She’s also a super-smart. While other kids are playing with their dolls, she’s asking the big, scary, introspective questions like:

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Then there’s the matter of her dress. Dressing up as a young girl is like, super complicated. It’s a reflection of your developing identity and how you choose to fit in with others. And Wednesday’s sartorial identity was all her own. I love all of the contrasting images in Addams Family Values with Wednesday’s black colors, flanked by all the other colors of the rainbow. Why does she need to fit in when she’s clearly destined to stand out?

The fact that she isn’t afraid to be different is what makes her such a role model. There’s bravery in how she embraces her outsider status and her, er, uncommon interests and doesn’t apologize for it. As a kid, that was so refreshing to see in a movie character, or otherwise.

And while her stoic face may suggest she doesn’t care about anything, she does care. She loves her family and proudly represents where she comes from. And that’s another reason why she’s so cool: She isn’t ashamed of her unique background. As a little kid, something like that is important to know. As an adult, it’s still pretty important, too.

And on a totally surface level, I wanted her little black dresses more than anything. I still want that dress. Coming from someone who shies away from any sort of tulle and ribbons, her simple black button up was absolutely the perfect choice. Sure, I might throw a splash of color on it, maybe jazz it up with a necklace or some rocking earrings now, but that’s not to say she was styling. I know the proper term for the pleats over a collar is a Peter Pan collar, but I think I’m only ever going to think of it as a Wednesday Addams collar, because that’s the look I was going for then — and sometimes still go for nowadays, too.

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What I’m really getting at is that Wednesday had a real and positive impact on my psyche. (Also, her dancing is pretty great.) Dear Wednesday, thanks for showing me that it’s okay to be a little bit different, to be yourself, and to own it.

You go, girl!

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.

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