My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Friday Faves

Well hello there, friends! In the words of my middle school Principal (shout out to Mr. Schuman!) who would blast this through the loud speakers at John Muir every Friday morning…”Yippy skippy! Ittttttt’s FRIDAYYYYYYY!” He may have smelled like onions and feet, and I swear he wore the same two pairs of pants throughout my three years at the school, but he did have a ceratin way of getting the student population pumped up for the weekend.

I’m YIPPY SKIPPYing it to you all today because it’s not just a regular Friday, but a three-day weekend Friday. (Only my favorite kind of Friday.)

What, what!!

I’m looking forward to the next couple of days, even if it’s supposed to *rain all. weekend. long.

*Yes. It’s still raining. Grr. For realsies though. Just sooooo over this weather.

This weekend is the kickoff to what is looking to be a very busy but very amazing summer! Tonight I’m meeting up with the BFF and the sister for a celebration dinner–my sister just accepted a job offer (and I couldn’t be more proud of and excited for her) and my bestie Jill turned the big 2-7 last week so we’re doing a belated bday thang. On Saturday morning I’m hiking it up with a pal and then later than night I’ve got a blind date (insert nervous giggles here. I’m actually really excited about it–more so about getting a chance to wear my new LBD that I got a few weeks ago and trying out this new Mexican restaurant downtown. And hey, if they guy ends up being super great, it’ll be the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the sundae. Wish me luck!) Sunday night I’m meeting up with my cousin and his wife for dinner; I haven’t seen them in over a year so it’ll be really nice catching up and then on Monday, another hike (hopefully—weather, I’m looking at you). Phew! Now that is what I call strawberry jam-packed!

I hope you guys have an equally fun weekend planned, but let’s all be sure to remember the real reason of this holiday. Join me in taking pause in between your barbeques and pool parties, and take a moment to thank and pay respect to those men and women in uniform who lost their lives so that we could be safe and have a chance at an incredible life. They selflessly gave their lives for our freedom, happiness and safety and for that, we will forever be grateful.

To kick off this holiday weekend, let’s take a look at some of my finds from around the web and more in this week’s Friday Faves!

Favorite bikini buster: Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars. As if the 5 (yes, FIVE) things of Oreos I  bought last week weren’t tempting enough…

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Favorite Funny with a cause: Yesterday was #RedNoseDayUSA, a day dedicated to raising awareness and funds to help combat childhood poverty in the US and around the world. NBC ran a telethon featuring some of our favorite celebrities, bringing the laughs to bring the funds! Below is one of my favorite sketched of the night. It was an incredible telecast which helped to raise more than $35 million dollars! If you didn’t get the chance to donate, there’s still time. Go to rednoseday.org for more information. Remember, every little bit helps!

Favorite fashion: Nellore Blouse. Love this sweet and flowy blouse, right? Can I please look as cool as this girl does when I wear it too?

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Favorite “why didn’t I think of that?”: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Krispies. My favorite cereal on earth in krispie form!

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Favorite view: Ariel view of Angel Falls (click on the picture on the website). This is THE sweetest view of the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls, in Venezuela. Check this out!

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Favorite DIY: Personal S’mores Roasters. I think these personal s’more roasters made out of mini terra cotta pots are so adorable – plus, no bon fire required! Crap. Now I want s’mores.

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Favorite new to me: I just discovered Cold War Kids and let me tell you: Ob.Sessed. Check out their song First and just try not to ugly karaoke to it! I dare you!

Favorite furballScrub-a-dub-dub. What a sweetie!!

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Favorite travel: 29 Surreal Places in America You Need to See Before You Die. I am drooooling over this list. Anyone down for a road trip?

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Favorite print: United Stereotypes of America. Tee hee – this gave me a little giggle. ;)

USA

Hey guys! Reporting from a very quiet (too quiet) library, on another gloomy and rainy day. Blech. The college term just ended which means the students are on break for a week, which means a very long and mind-numbingly boring next seven work days for your truly. Double blech. The good news is I can now have epic dance parties behind my desk without getting any of those questioning impressed looks that I usually get from my students whenever I pull out my running man.

Or I could just pull a *Costanza.

The more that I think about it, George really was a genius well ahead of his time.

I thought I would switch things up a bit today and have a little fun. I’m a huge sucker for all things survey, so when I saw this one that my girl Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers posted a while back, I knew I had to do it too! I always love sharing little bits and pieces about me, and learning more about you as well! So please feel free to play along, leaving answers to any or all of these 11 questions in the comments below!

The 11 Question Survey

1. In baseball each player gets a “walk up song” that plays on his way up to the plate. What song would you pick?

I actually was having this conversation with my friend Chris (my fellow Milwaukee Brewers fan[atic]) and decided that it would probably be a tossup between Black Widow by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora or Centuries by Fall Out Boy.

2. What’s the best thing that happened to you last weekend?

The best thing that happened to me last weekend was being able to spend time with my sister. We didn’t do anything to terribly exciting; I helped her practice for an interview she had on Monday (which she killed beeteedubs! Proud sister right here!) and then a Target run, but just being able to hang out with her is pretty incredible. I forgot how much I missed her when she was living in Georgia. I mean, yes, half of my closet has mysteriously gone missing, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. No, but seriously. Lindsay, if you’re reading this, I want my sweatshirt back.

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3. If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?

Since Field of Dreams is my all-time favorite movie, I think I would go with either playing the role of either Annie or Karin. I know it’s not necessarily a staring role, but to star alongside Kevin Kostner and James Earl Jones, in any capacity?! Heaven. (actually, it’s Iowa.)

4. What actor/actress would you have play you in a movie of your life?

Emma Stone. Funny, humble, and incredibly talented. LOVE her!

5. What is your favorite quote?

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7. What was your first concert?

The first concert I ever went to was Hanson. I was thirteen and obsessed with Zach, the youngest of the brothers who was also the drummer and had the most envious of hair. Confession: I’m still obsessed with Hanson, Zach, and his incredible hair.

8. What Internet website do you visit the most?

I’m a bit of a Twitter fiend but also love visiting Hellogiggles. :)

9. Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you the best and why?

Today it would definitely be Sleepy (*see Costanzaing above), but on most days, I would consider myself Happy. I try to keep a positive attitude about pretty much everything and instill that same joy in others. Life is way too short to be the Grumpy of the group.

10. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

Good Gobstoppers, this is a hard one. I think I would have the most epic of brinners ever: Pancakes, French toast, waffles and scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, a bowl of Frosted Flakes the size of Texas, a cold glass of chocolate milk and for dessert (because every breakfast should have dessert), a vat of Culver’s frozen custard with chocolate chip cookie dough on top. Crap. Now I want waffles.

11. What is the background of your computer?

The background of my computer is one of my favorite pictures of my main man Thunder and I. Every time I look at it, my heart explodes into a million smiles. :)

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Questions of the day: Now it’s your turn…

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I am so very blessed to have such a great group of friends. If you’re talking about Squad Goals, I’m so on fleek! Some of these people I’ve known my whole life, surviving our awkward elementary and middle school years together, full of terrible fashion choices and even worse hair. (Remind me to never, ever let my dad cut my bangs again. Ever!) I’ve met a lot of my friends in college as we tried to navigate the late-night study sessions, awful dining hall food, and impossible professors; some I’ve met through work or church or simply by happenstance, a combination of serendipity and luck that brought us together forming a forever BFF bond.

Your friends can come into your life in all sorts of ways, but the one thing that is pretty much universal is the impact that they have on your life. They are the people who lift you up, who make you laugh, who inspire and motivate you. They’ve more often than not helped you get through the worst of the worst, and have celebrated the best of the best. They understand you like no one else, accepting you (and loving you even more) for your weird quirks and eccentricities.

One of the things that I value so much about my friends is that no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen or spoken to each other, we’re able to pick up right where we left off, feeling as if time and distance were ain’t no thing but a chicken wing. Which is great because as my friends and I have gotten older, we no longer have the liberties of meeting up at the local diner for disco fries after school or having weekly Bachelorette viewing parties like we used to. While we still are very much a part of each other’s lives, we’ve begun to live our own, moving to different cities/states, careering it up and even starting families.

We’ve heard of the challenges that having a long distance relationship with our SOs can be, but what about those we have with our friends? How do we survive when the person who knows you best lives thousands of miles away? It can be hard not being able to rehash last night’s dating disaster in-person over Appletinis, but there are ways that can help make your BFF LDR a little more bearable.

1. Have regular phone dates. I know it may seem like a foreign concept, that act of using your phone for something other than updating your Instagram or dominating level 499 on Candy Crush. But that mobile texting machine that’s glued to your hip 24/7 also allows you to, wait for it…call someone. I know, right?! I try to schedule regular phone dates with my besties, giving each other life updates or just to simply talk about last night’s episode of New Girl. This whole adulting thing can make life pretty crazy sometimes with school, work and other responsibilities taking over, but that doesn’t mean your friendships have to suffer. If you’ve got five minutes on your drive home or while you wait for your Eggos to toast, pick up the phone and give our friends a call, even if it’s just to say “hi”. There is something to be said for hearing someone’s voice, especially after not having heard it for a while, that a text or instant message can’t replicate.

2. Send random texts to let them know you’re thinking about them. When you can’t call your friends, texting is a great option to stay connected. Sending random messages or pictures of things that remind you of your BFFs is not only a fun way to break up the mundane of a Monday, but it will bring a smile to their face and act as a replacement “you” when you can’t physically be there.

3. Use social media to your advantage. The best thing about social media in my opinion, besides being able to watch incredibly ridiculous but oh so cute dog videos on YouTube of course, is how all of these various mediums allow you to keep in touch with the people who mean the most to you. I Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook my peeps on an always basis, sending messages, funny photos and links to incredibly ridiculous but oh so cute dog videos on YouTube. While these social media platforms are no replacement for the actual thing, being able to communicate and share special moments (an even the normal, average ones) with them whenever you want, wherever you want is pretty awesome.

4. But also remember how great snail mail is. I think we as a society have forgotten how great it really is to send and receive actual mail. I remember as a young girl, running out to the mailbox at the end of my driveway with anticipation, seeing that letter or package from a friend or family member. It was so personal and unique. You also knew that whoever sent it to you took the time to pick out the perfect card, the most beautiful wrapping paper, even taking into consideration the choice of stamps making it all the more meaningful. There really is magic and power in snail mail, which is why I try and send letters and small care packages to my friends every once in a while. It doesn’t have to be Christmas or their birthday; in fact, the more of a surprise it is, the better. Because as they go out to check their mail on that random Wednesday night after work, among the bills and grocery store flyers, they will find a little piece of you.

5. Reminisce about the past. One of the things my friends and I love to do whenever we talk or get together is remember all of the crazy shenanigans we had together (and there were a lot of them, let me tell you); moments that spurred side-splitting laugh attacks, inside jokes, and a lifetime of memories. Taking a walk down memory lane, the nostalgia of a lifetime of experiences has a way of making you feel closer to your BFF, even if miles and miles separate you. Plus, spending time reflecting on the past makes you even more anxious to start making even more of the same crazy shenanigan memories in the future.

6. And plan for the future. And that’s just what you should do! While it may not be feasible to visit each other on the regular, it’s most definitely possible and should be done as often as you can. Go to each other’s respective towns/cities or pick a location in the U.S. and meet each other there for a long weekend of crazy fun. The anticipation of seeing each other will also make the long months leading up to your visit a lot easier knowing that you have something incredible to look forward to. Plus, there’s nothing quite a long-awaited bestie bear hug.

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Friday Faves :)

Well hello there all of you lovely people! And a very happy Friday!

It’s another rainy, gloomy day here in Seattle, I mean Denver. But for realsies though. *What is the deal with all this rain?!

*Said in Seinfeld’s voice

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good dreary day every once in a while. It’s the perfect weather to curl up with a good book (or five), a cup of hot chocolate, and some major Netflixage. But three weeks in a row?! Mother Nature, you know I love ya, but you’re kind of turning onto a Debbie Downer.

It may be cloudy outside, but I’m not going to let that rain on my TGIF parade. Pun intended. This weekend is shaping up to be a good one (but aren’t all weekends good by default?). I don’t have a whole lot planned; dinner tonight with a good friend, some retail therapy on Saturday, and and then maybe a hike on Sunday (if Debbie Downer decides to cooperate with me). I’m also looking forward to relaxing a bit since the next few weekends are going to be strawberry-jam packed (Memorial Day weekend, Barenaked Ladies concert, my sister’s birthday, my friend from college is visiting and the Brewers/Rockies series). Just so much to look forward to, I can barely stand it!

Whatever you guys have planned for the weekend, I hope you all have the bestest time! But before you start sipping on those 5 o’clock happy hour cocktails, be sure to check out my finds from around the web and more in this week’s edition of Friday Faves!

And have a Bellini for me, will you?

Favorite reminder. Ugh, most amazing thing I’ve read in a long time.

BeHappy

Favorite sweet: Cookie Butter Cookie Dough. Make edible raw cookie dough with Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter, or Biscoff Spread, then stud it with white chocolate chips. YES PLEASE! (Locals: FYI Trader Joe’s just got a new shipment of cookie butter in! Not that I was impatiently waiting or anything.)

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Favorite funny: Grandparent’s Wedding Toast. You have to watch this video of grandparents who have been married for 72 years give wedding advice to their grandson, who’s about to tie the knot. HIGH-larious!

grandparents

Favorite picture. Pure happiness! I need this as a poster, or something. :)

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Favorite devour: Red Velvet Brownies. Red, chocolate, chewy lusciousness. OMG.

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Favorite place: Lighthouse Cove Cottage. I’m kind of obsessed with lake houses right now. How fun would it be to have an adorable, summer retreat like this?

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Favorite inspiration. Every other day I threaten myself with chopping my hair short again. This picture keeps me going for the gold though!

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Favorite squeal. Hot sand! Hot sand! Hot sand!

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Favorite funny: Jimmy Fallon, you never cease to make me laugh so hard I pee a little. TMI? Maybe, but just check out this hilarious video of him and Rebel Wilson playing an intense Whisper Challenge. “Feel my balls?”

Favorite furballs. Best buddies! Look at the eyeballs of the pup on the bottom – BAHAHA!

dogs

That horrifying moment when you’re looking for an adult but then you realize that you are an adult. So you look for an older adult, someone successfully adulating. An adultier adult.

Yeah.

That horrifying moment.

Oy.

Where’s the beef?

When one thinks of the month of May, they think of flowers blooming, Memorial Day and of course…hamburgers? That’s right, everybody’s favorite fast food find has a whole month dedicated to celebrating the hamburger in all of it’s cheesy, onions, pickles, lettuce, special sauce on a sesame seed bun deliciousness.

While nobody seems to be certain when this meaty month was first launched (I have a hunch our friends Harold and Kumar had something to do with it), it is sponsored by White Castle, the oldest hamburger chain in the US, and supported by other chains and independent burger bars. All kinds of special events are organized each year to mark the occasion, including burger tastings, food festivals, giveaways and even a burger battle between rival chefs in Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale. Now that is one tasty competition.

There are many ways that one can and should celebrate the beloved hamburger this month, including channeling your inner Hamburglar and eating as many as humanly possible.

Obviously.

*Side note: The meat sweats are definitely a thing, and if and only when you get them will you know you’re doing it right.

But besides eating your weight in burgery goodness, you can also celebrate by donning these ahhhmazing hamburger accessories!

1. The hamburger jump drive. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to take a byte out of that!

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2. A hamburger laundry bag. Perfect for when you need to carry a load of clothes to the wash–particularly that shirt you got mustard on from eating said hamburger a few days ago. Oops.

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3. Have you ever just wanted to curl up in a giant bun and dream sweet, sweet dreams of sugar plum fairies pickles dancing in your head? ME TOO! Well folks, now you can with this hamburger duvet with pillows!

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4. With this hamburger ring, I thee wed. I do, I do, I dooo-ooooh!

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5. And of course you can’t don that delicious ring without the matching earrings to go with it.

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6. For the man who has everything…the hamburger tie.

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7. I’ve got a feeling my head down to my tippy toes that these hamburger socks would definitely be a worthwhile purchase.

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8. Who says food can’t be fashionable?

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9. Talk about fast food! You’ll be rolling in style with this hamburger motorcycle!

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10. Call Eat me, maybe? With this super cute hamburger cell phone cover, absolutely!

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Hey guys! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

To kick this week off with a bang, I thought I would share with you my review of one of the top five books I’ve read so far this year (and I have read a lot of books, so you know this must be a goodie).

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*Warning: This book will make you feel all the feels.

My first reaction to Colleen Oakley’s incredible debut novel, Before I Go: Oh don’t mind me, I’m just over here ugly crying.

On the cusp of Daisy’s four year anniversary of being cancer-free, she gets the dreaded call from her doctor: her cancer is back! But this time it not only invades her breast, but has also travel to other parts of her body. Including an orange size tumor that has taken up residence on the back of her brain. If this news isn’t enough to cause a huge blow, her doctor proceeds to inform her that she has approximately four to six months to live.

But Daisy doesn’t have time to die. She has too much to do. Including caulk the windows, fix the door that sticks, a laundry list of other household chores … not to mention, her husband Jack needs her. Who will pick up his dirty socks off the floor or scratch his back? Who will pack his lunches and make sure that he doesn’t eat cereal for every meal? And, that’s when it hits her. Daisy will find Jack a replacement wife.

And so her search begins. Along with her best friend Kayleigh, she searches coffee shops, dog parks and even places an ad (pretending to be Jack) at an online dating site. She is going to make sure that, before she goes, Jack is sufficiently taken care of. What she didn’t expect was the guilt and jealousy that would come along with it. Could she really handle seeing Jack with another woman? But can she go in peace knowing that he doesn’t have anyone to care for him?

Cancer has touched all of our lives at some point. We tend to watch how those afflicted, whether it be a friend or a loved one, navigate through the disease, struggling, fighting and not giving up hope. And we feel incredibly hopeless, knowing that there is nothing we can do but be there and offer our support, our love, our prayers. But what if it was us in that position? If we were the ones to be told we had a limited number of days/months/years left to live? We all have an expiration date. But what if that date was imminently sooner than we had hoped. How would you spend your remaining days? Would you think of others like Daisy did? Or would you live out your last days checking things off your bucket list?

Saying that I loved this story doesn’t even begin to touch on how I truly feel about this book. The way the author brings the characters to life with each word that she writes is amazing. There are many books that I’ve read and enjoyed, but it takes a special story and writing style to get the effect that this book had on me. And the way that she takes such a serious topic and perfectly incorporates humor is sheer brilliance.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh one minute, cry another, but leave you appreciating life a little more than you did before you started the book, then you must read this book!

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