My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Celebration’

To My Best Friend, My Rock, My Hero….My Mom.

“A mother understands what a child does not say.” — Author Unknown

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What would we do without out mothers? Personally, I’d be more lost than, well, myself on a road trip without Siri “rerouting” me every which way (my mad sense of direction just another thing I inherited from mi madre). They taught us to cook meals far more delicious than that bowl of Frosted Flakes (as if that’s even possible), they love us even when we’re unlovable, they provide encouragement and are our number one cheerleader when we need it the most, and they’re the even crazier versions of our fabulous selves (if you can imagine).

I consider myself blessed, honored and so incredibly lucky for being the daughter of such an amazingly strong, confident, beautiful, kind, loving and independent woman. There are many people out there who aren’t as lucky, who have maybe lost their mom or never really had one in their life. I can’t imagine a world without my mom and am sure to never, ever take for granted the amazing relationship that we have.

My mom and I are so much alike in so many ways, an attribute that I wear with great pride. We both are planners, worriers, and tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves (but I draw the line on those “teacher sweaters” that she is so fond of). We would rather give than take, are always willing to lend a helping hand to those who need it, and when we love, we love will our whole selves.

I’ve always had respect and admiration for my mom, but as I have gotten older, that respect and admiration has developed and grown into a much deeper appreciation and understanding, an acknowledgement of the sacrifices she made for both my sister and myself as well as for our family, of the unconditional love that she has, the strength she possesses and the wisdom she has imparted.

Plus, my mom can rock out a pair of mom jeans like nobody’s business.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I would celebrate and honor her by sharing just some of the pieces of advice she has given me over the past 28 years.

1. Happiness is far and away the single most important thing in this complicated life of ours… And amazingly, it’s all our choice. 

2. Be sure to always pee before getting into the car, starting a movie (especially when at a theater), and going to bed.

3. Think extensively before making crucial decisions. Make sure that when you close a door, you’re perfectly content with shutting it. And when a new one opens, don’t be afraid of the wonderful things that may come your way because of it.

4. Fall in love as often as you can. Fall in love with songs, with books, with places, and fall in love with people. But above all, fall in love with yourself.

5. There is nothing that chocolate can’t fix, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups specifically.

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6. Make him chase you.

7. Be worth the chase.

8. Slow down. Life is passing you by. Make the most out of every. single. moment.

9. Rompers don’t work on everyone.

10. Wear the romper anyway.

11. Your friends will give you all sorts of advice. Listen to them, take their point of view into consideration. And then do whatever you want. Because your friends are great, but you need to make your own mistakes every now and then.

12. Make mistakes. Lots and lots of them. But learn from every single one. And never make the same mistake twice.

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13. Cherish every moment, for every second spent is a second you will never get back.

14. Be kind to yourself.

15. Be kind to others.

16. Confidence is key.

17. Do not let anyone dictate your happiness.

18. Tissues, a snack, and chapstick: Three things to always have in your purse at all times.

19. When in doubt, don’t text him.

20. But don’t be afraid of texting him every once in a while.

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21. Never throw away your receipts.

22. Sometimes walking away is the hardest decision you’ll have to make.

23. You are strong enough to make that decision.

24. Be proud of who you are.

25. Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven.

26. Do. Dream. Try. Never give up.

27. Travel as often as you can. Visit places you’ve always dreamed of going to, but don’t neglect the places you’ve never heard of. Go to that country in Africa whose name you can’t pronounce.

28. You’re never too old to need your mom.

For everything that you are, for everything that you’ve done and will continue to do, thanks mom! I love you more than any words (or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) could say.

This Mother’s Day, and every day, be sure to celebrate all the moms in your life for the amazing women they are! ❤

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Hey guys! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!! So sorry for the lack in posts but I decided to take a brief break-a-roo from the ‘ol blog to spend as much time as I could with my family and friends.

BUT I’M BACK 🙂

I had such an incredible time over my holiday break.

I laughed too hard, ate too much and got into quite the shenanigans.

But that’s what life is all about, no? Especially when you’re surrounded by those who love and know you the best.

Here is just a small, itty-bitty glimpse into what went down over the past few weeks, Insta-style 🙂

Sister-sister :)

Sister-sister 🙂

The rents. Aren't they the cutest?!

The rents. Aren’t they the cutest?!

Snuggles with the pup are the best snuggles.

Snuggles with the pup are the best snuggles.

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erica

tyler

alex

Christmas with my crazy amazing family is always, well, crazy and amazing ;)

Christmas with my crazy amazing family is always, well, crazy and amazing 😉

The lil' sis really does know how to do Christmas presents. Does this not scream, "WENDI!!!!!" ?

The lil’ sis really does know how to do Christmas presents. Does this not scream, “WENDI!!!!!” ?

Okay. This is my last tattoo. I swear. At least I think it's my last one. For now. Maybe. #smile

Okay. This is my last tattoo. I swear. At least I think it’s my last one. For now. Maybe. #smile

I did A LOT of this. Like, A LOT!!!

I did A LOT of this. Like, A LOT!!!

Just ALL the Christmas movies.

Just ALL the Christmas movies.

Here’s to a great end and an even better beginning! Happy 2015 everyone! 🙂

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Hey guys!!!

Happy Halloween!

I’m going to keep this short and sweet because I’m headed over to my office’s chili-cook-off (which I am SO going to win, btw! I entered my famous white-bean chicken chili and it is off the chang, yo!). In addition to the chili-cook-off, we also had an office-wide costume contest where I am happy to report I took home second place (despite the fact that hardly anyone knew who/what I was).

Halloween? We dress like this every day at the office. I'm the one in black next to Batman (girl) and the social butterfly (how awesome is that idea by the way?!)

Halloween? We dress like this every day at the office. I’m the one in black next to Batman (girl) and the social butterfly (how awesome is that idea by the way?!)

If you can correctly guess my costume, you will get a high-five and fist bump and I will personally send you a cupcake. Okay, maybe not an actual cupcake but I will send you a picture of me eating said cupcake.

Hope you have a fantabulous, fun, safe and candy-filled Halloween 🙂

13 Things I Learned in 2013

New-Year-2013

Happy New Years eve eve everybody!

It’s so hard to believe, but this year is already coming to a close. I’m going to sound a bit like my grandma here, but each year really does go by faster than the previous one. It seems like just yesterday that I was ringing in 2013 watching the ball drop with some of my nearest and dearest by my side, raising a glass to the past and a cheers to the future.

On the precipice of each new year, I always like to take a second and reflect on what this year has brought–the things I got to experience, the people I got to meet, the fun I had, and of course the lessons I learned along the way.

This year was a Chex Mix bag full of mostly good, great, and exciting times, with a handful of trying, hard, and stressful times thrown in. I made some new friends, I looked fear in the face on more than one occasion, and I fell on my bum, literally and figuratively. I went on some pretty incredible trips, I lived the young librarian dream as an intern at the Milwaukee Public Library, and even jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.

I also lost someone very close to me this past April, and dealt with some very difficult family issues. But, as the year is coming to a close, I’m so very grateful that everyone is doing well; that they are healthy, strong, and happy.  It’s true what they say: trying times really bring people together. I learned how important it is to take advantage of every moment, each and every single moment, you have with people. Relish each laugh, cherish each hug, and let the ones you love know how much you mean to them as often as you can.

I also learned these 13 things:

1.  I truly have the best friends and family in the world Universe. I am one lucky gal. The never-ending smiles, belly laughs, overwhelming support and unyielding love that I receive from them on a daily basis is truly indescribable.

2. You should say YES to new things, even if they may seem terrifying at first. I used to be afraid to take chances, to step out of my comfort zone and “just do it” but I have learned, more heavily this year than any other, that the only things I should be afraid of are the missed opportunities, the experiences I will never be apart of if I allow fear to hold me back.

3. There are at least 33 things that make me incredibly happy. Some of these things include but are not limited to pandas, peanut butter anything, and videos of pandas eating peanut butter anything.

4. It’s okay to put yourself out there. When it comes to the dating front, I am not necessarily an expert. In fact, I could probably write a book on the many, many terrible, no good, rotten, and often hilariously funny first (and second) dates that I have had within the last year alone. But one thing that I have learned is that it’s okay to out yourself out there, to do the hair flip thing, smile, walk up to that cute guy by the bar (or in my case, the book shelf at Barnes & Noble) and say hi. Don’t give up because you may have had a few bad seeds. Like my dad always told me, “there are plenty of bass in the lake. Sometimes you just have to cast a few lines before you get a keeper.”

5. I have THE best dog. Like, ever. ‘Nuff said.

6. J.K Rowling should totally hire me pronto. I have, like, SO many ideas for the next HP book(s) and they’re 110% perfectly flawless in every way. Get at me, girl. Let’s DO THIS! Let’s give me the world what they so desperately need and want!

7. Gas station hot dogs are never a good idea. Ever.

8. Prayer is powerful. It’s not something I’ve necessarily learned this year, but something that I think is very important, something that I always come back to. When I’m faced with challenges and obstacles, when I start to question things or start to feel lost in any way, I turn to Him. When I have reason to celebrate, when I feel blessed and happy beyond measure, I turn to Him. Taking moments out of each day to talk with the Lord has definitely given me strength and I encourage you to try it. The good thing about prayer is that He will never put you on hold or ask you to leave a message at the beep. He’s always willing and ready…if you are.

9. The Brewers ARE going to the World Series in 2014. Don’t ask me how I know this, but I do.

10. Achieving the whole bed-head chic look on purpose is almost nearly impossible. Unless of course you just happen to wake up looking fabulous with no where to go. Then. Then it happens. Of course.

11. I’m almost 27 but I still can rock a pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle socks and color a wicked Hello Kitty activity book like no body’s business.

12. I thought I could get into the whole kale craze that took over this year. Nope. Just nope. But hey, feel free to give me a cronut any day of the week.

13. Apparently my car windows are NOT tinted as dark as I previously thought. I really wish I would’ve know that before I proceeded to do a full-on hip-popping, booty-shaking Beyonce-inspired rendition of “All the Single Ladies” in the parking lot at work.

I hope you all had a wonderful 2013.

Hopefully you had a lot of fun, met some great people, faced some fears, overcame some challenges, learned some things…and did not eat any hot dogs from your local Quickie Mart.

Here’s to an even better 2014, friends!

I know it’s Monday but…

I know today is Monday, and you assume that it’s going to stink, but according to statistics, there will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 births, and 42 million hugs occurring today throughout the United States. SONY DSC

Also today, there will be at least 4 people that will win the multimillion dollar lottery, 600 people that will get promotions at work, and 3,000 people will lose their virginity. There will also be 600 dogs that get adopted into loving homes, 35,000 balloons sold, and 800,000 Skittles eaten. balloon

Plus, the words “I Love You” will be said over 9 million times. images

So again, I know today is Monday and you assume it’s going to stink, but just smile, because according to statistics, it should actually be a really nice day 🙂

The Terrific Two’s

happy-2nd-birthday

Oh my pretzels, guys!

This, That, and the Other Thing turns the big 2 today!

It seems like just yesterday that I started this little passion project of mine. What at first started out as an online diary of sorts, chronicling all of my crazy, funny, and amazing life moments, has really turned into much more than that. Over the past two years, I have grown.

As a person.

As a writer.

As a friend, and a sister, and a student, and a dreamer.

I have gone through so much these last two years, the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and all of the in-betweens. Looking back, I can’t believe how much has changed, how much I have changed. And you guys have been there with me, every step of the way!

To all of my friends, my family, my readers and fans.

Thank you for sticking with me, for inspiring me, for making me smile and laugh and strive to be better.

If the last two years are any indication, the next two years are sure to bring many surprises and I for one cannot wait to share them with you!

Now.

You can’t have a birthday without cupcakes, right?!

Right.

To celebrate This, That, and the Other Thang’s 2nd birthday (or the fact that it’s officially a week before the Brewer’s opening day, or that it’s Sunday, or that you successfully fulled off matching socks today, or, well, do you really have to have a reason to make cupcakes? I didn’t think so.), I decided to share with you one of my fav’s 🙂cupcake-taste-testing-and-painting-party-15

Ahh, who can resist a cute mini cupcake with colorful confetti sprinkles?? A simple vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting is my absolute, 100%, no-holds-bar favorite kind of cupcake.

They’re cute and tiny and colorful and remind me of the Easter parties we used to have in elementary school. And…the good thing about making them pint-sized is that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating 2 5.

I used Sweetapolita’s Fluffy Vanilla Cake recipe for these cupcakes, and I’m going to just send you over there to get it. The cupcakes were gorgeous, light, airy, fluffy, and impossibly moist. Everything that this girl wants in a vanilla cupcake. Even when made mini — and that my friends is hard to do! A perfect vanilla cupcake.

I topped them with my new obsession: Cool Whip frosting, guys! 601518_532464950137632_287113732_n

I am telling you, this stuff is lethal. I’m talking grab-a-spoon-and-go-to-town lethal!

It’s so light and fluffy and tastes ahhhmazing!

Once your cupcakes are cool (wait at least a half-hour to an hour to let your cuppycakes completely cool down), lather on some of that delicious frosting, making sure to lick the spoon once you’re done, and then sprinkle your, um, sprinkles on top 🙂

Pour yourself a big ‘ol glass of milk, plate up a couple of these diddies and ENJOY!fluffy-vanilla-funfetti-cupcake

Have a great rest of your night everybody! And thank you again! You all are the bomb.com 🙂

 

Friday Fav’s

Ho-ho-ho-how are you guys doing?

Holy cow!

Guess what?! There are exactly four more days until Christmas! That means there are three more days until Christmas Eve. Two more days until Christmas Eve Eve and only one more teeny tiny itsy-bitsy day–24 hours–until my most favorite of days….Christmas Eve Eve Eve.

Holy cow! Where did the time go? Where did this year go? I swear it was just yesterday I was wrapping up the last of my gifts, baking the last of my cookies and putting up the last of my Christmas tree ornaments. Okay. It was just yesterday, but you know what I mean. Whoofta! I absolutely LOVE me some Christmas! I love to give, I love to sing carols, I love tacky sweaters and I love the lights. I love the snowmen (and/or women), I love the lights, I love the stockings and the trees. I love the cookies and cocoa and candy canes and egg nog. I LOVE me some Christmas!

But you want to know a little secret?

The real reason why I love this season, this special time of year  so, so much?

I love what Christmas represents. I love how it brings people–family and friends and complete strangers–together. I love the precious time spent with loved ones, long-lasting memories made, laughs shared, smiles given and bear hugs exchanged. Beyond the presents and bows, the fancy parties and delicious food, Christmas is a time for reflection, a time to remember the miracle that occurred in Bethlehem oh so long ago. It is a time to be grateful for what we have and generous to offer what we can to those who aren’t as fortunate. It is a time to believe, to hope, to give. It truly is magical.

But you want to know another little secret?

Christmas is FUN!

To help shed some of that joy, I decided to share with you some of my favorite finds from around the web and more…all Christmas themed!

So grab your hot chocolate and your ginger bread man, sit back and relax and enjoy my fantabulous and festive Friday Fav’s 🙂

Favorite furball: Snowball. OMG CAN YOU EVEN HANDLE IT?! Puppy_mini

Favorite frozen: Peppermint Ice Cream Cake. The other day one of my dear pals told me that snow always makes him crave ice cream. I thought about it for a second and realized I feel the same way! (Although, if we’re being honest, a lot of other things do too.) Must be why this frozen chocolate & peppermint cake looks so dang good.Peppermint-Ice-Cream-Cake-via-Bakers-Royale_mini

Favorite dip: Peppermint Crunch Cookie Dough Ball. OH YES!!! A wickedly delicious cookie dough ball laced with peppermint, slathered on top of Oreos. This would be such a hit at a holiday party. Or, you know, on a Friday afternoon. By yourself. Watching Ellen.Peppermint-Crunch-Cookie-Dough-Ball-7_mini

Favorite cozy: Hello Pullover. So adorable, and perfect for lounging around the house on those cold winter mornings. hellpSweatshirt_mini

Favorite spot. Sigh! So cozy. :)Christmas

Favorite place: Barcelona, Spain. One of my bestest friends just recently got back from studying abroad here, and I’ve always been a little jealous. I love the mix of old and new in the beautiful city. Plus, how beautiful and picturesque does look all dolled up for Christmas?!Barcelona_mini

Favorite sip: Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate. This is soooo happening!cinnamon-bun-hot-chocolate-2_mini

Favorite Song: The one, the only. Adam Sandler ladies and gentlemen 🙂

Favorite project: Holiday Woodland Wrapping. Not only is this a super cute way to wrap holiday packages, but I also think it’d be really cool to “wrap” different sized shoe box lids or cheap frames then prop them on the mantel for the holidays.Evergreenwreath_mini

Favorite cookie: White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies. Two of my faves – white chocolate and peppermint – in one cookie! Love the chewy, gooey center too.WhiteChocolatePeppermintCookies

Favorite funny: Dear Santa…Oh snap! 😉updo

I hope you guys have an amazing start to your Christmas celebrations! Eat a ton, laugh a lot and don’t forget to leave some cookies and milk for the big guy.

Oh…and don’t forget the reindeer! Carrots are always a good choice 😉

 

 

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