My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Fun-Facts’

You Had Me at First Lick

Happy July everyone! Well, almost July ūüôā

Gosh where has the summer gone? It feels like just yesterday I was doing the happy dance because all of the snow finally melted…oh wait, that was yesterday :P.

I would have to say that July is one of my favorite months. Not only is it usually the hottest time of the year,¬† making it prime swimming, water balloon fight¬†and¬†Slip N’ Slide weather, but it also¬†is National Ice Cream month. That’s right, a whole month that is designated to recognize and honor one of life’s greatest and tastiest and oh-so-gosh-darn-yummiest of all things…

ICE CREAM!!!

For those of you who know me and/or read my blog, you know that there is nothing that I love quite as much as a big ‘ol bowl or cone or dish or pint full of ice cream. It is a love so deep, so pure, so vanilla-y and good. I’d eat ice cream on a cold day. I’d eat ice cream on a hot day. I’d eat ice cream in the sun. I’d eat ice cream on the run. I’d eat ice cream as sure as a cow moos. I’d eat ice cream win or lose. I’d eat…well, you get the idea. I. LOVE. ICE CREAM. Plain and simple. I am a fan of all kinds, I don’t discriminate, but I would have to say my all-time favorite would be the vanilla ice cream with crunch coat (a tasty topping made with sprinkles, oat bites and sugar-coated cereal) from an ice cream store called Briq’s located in Wausau, WI where I grew up. I love it so much in fact that I¬† became a member of the 1 lb. club (Any hint as to how you become a tried and true member? Let’s just say it involves some serious ice cream eating!)

I think my love of¬†America’s favorite¬†frozen treat really was instilled in my genes from birth. My great grandpa Boelter used to always have a bowl of ice cream before going to bed. His favorite was vanilla with a little bit of chocolate syrup drizzled on top. He also was a big fan of putting my great grandma’s homemade strawberry preserves on top with a side of saltines. Yupp…who knew the crackers you normally munch on when you have an upset tummy make an excellent accompaniment to ice cream? I think it is the classic combo of salty and sweet that does it for me ūüôā

Want to hear a funny story? When I was about four years old, I used to live a few blocks from a general store which sold some of the¬† best homemade ice cream that you ever did taste. It was tradition that every Sunday night, the whole fam would pile into the mini van and make a trip to the store for a tasty treat. One such Sunday night, I got more than just ice cream for dessert. In my defense, it was really dark. I mean ‘so dark you can’t see your own hand in front of your face’ dark…or so I tell myself. It makes me feel better¬†and justifies me a bit for what¬†I am about to confess….try no to laugh…too hard.

My embarrassing story goes as follows…¬†my dad ran in to the store to get our ‘usuals’–my dad: a double scooper of chocolate, my mom: a single dish of¬† mint chocolate chip, me: a double scooper of vanilla with extra sprinkles (the¬†proverbial cherry on top!)¬†and my sister: well, she was a¬†bit too young to handle her own so she usually just nabbed¬†a couple of licks from my mom. He came¬† back with ice cream in tow and we¬†started to make our way back home. It was an unusually balmy autumn night and I had a hard time keeping up my lick pace¬†with the rate¬†that my ice cream was melting. I had fallen so behind, ice cream was now cascading down the slide of my cone, over the napkins surrounding my cone, down my arm, and onto my lap and car seat. It was one sweet mess. When we finally got home, my mom took one look at me and just laughed. Apparently I wear my ice cream well. She asked for my napkin so she could clean me up before heading into the house but I returned her request with a look of confusion followed by a look of consternation which proceeded a final look of dread…oh. no. My napkin, the only napkin that I had and was given, was wrapped around my cone, the cone that I had finished off in its entirety just a mere moments before arriving home. It suddenly hit me…¬†I. Ate. My. Napkin. It’s just that it was so hot and the ice cream was melting so fast and it was soaking into the napkin and I was so focused on the deliciousness of my ice cream and overwhelmed yet grateful for the extra scoopage¬†of sprinkles that I, I , I ate my napkin. My mom and dad couldn’t believe it. Of course they found the whole thing¬†hilarious but at four, I was terrified. All sorts of terrible things came into my mind. Would the paper stay in my stomach forever? Would a tree start growing in there (hey, I had a great imagination)? Thank goodness my tummy-tree growing days are past me, but I still to this day cannot live down the napkin debacle and as a safety precaution, I ditch any and all cone-napkinage tut suit…just in case.

Despite that horrific experience, my love of the ‘cream’ remained in tact, thank goodness.

¬†I felt that in honor or it being National Ice Cream Month, it was only fitting and right that I present to you some fun ice cream factoids and trivia to wet your whistle and get you in the mood for a cool and refreshing treat ūüôā

Did you know…

1.The true origin of ice cream is unknown, however reports of frozen desserts have been reported as far back as the second century B.C. The first ice cream cone was produced in 1896 by Italo Marchiony. Marchinoy, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800’s, invented his ice cream cone in New York City. Around the same time a similar creation, the cornucopia, was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

2.In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month (July 17, 2011) as National Ice Cream Day.

3. We Americans slurp up the most ice cream per person than folks in any other nation ‚Äď a whopping 48 pints for each of us per year. Umm, is it bad that its closer to 48 pints per month for this girl?

4. A serving of vanilla ice cream was offered to immigrants at Ellis Island, as part of their ‚ÄúWelcome to America‚ÄĚ meal. No wonder so many immigrants wanted to make the trek to America…word got out that they would get some ice cream included in the deal.

5.Among the wacky flavors of ice cream manufactured are avocado, garlic, jalapeno, azuki bean and pumpkin. Maybe the nuttiest of all is dill pickle ice cream, a huge seller among moms-to-be.

6.The most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is vanilla (27.8%), followed by chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%).

7. The average number of licks to polish off a single scoop ice cream cone is approximately 50. Me thinkst I have to put that figure to the test…like, right now, for the good of science of course.

8. Air is a major ingredient of ice cream. Nope, you’re not being gypped. Without lots of air, ice cream would be just about as hard as concrete.

9. Ever wonder why you sometimes get ¬†‘brain freezes’ while¬†devouring your favorite carton of¬†ice cream? According to the British medical journal, ice cream headaches are caused by the cold sensation on the roof of¬†your mouth which triggers the expansion of the blood vessels in the forehead. Good to know.

10. The biggest ice cream sundae in history was made in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1988 and weighed in at over 24 tons! I bet you can’t order that in an ice cream parlor (quite the shame if you ask me).

Now that you are all ice-cream fact and figured up, go get yourself a bowl, a spoon, a cone or even just a carton and join me in enjoying a lick (or 50) of your favorite ice cream, extra sprinkles ūüôā

 

Question of the day: What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

 

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Zest for the ‘Fest’

It is going to be a grand day, my friends.

Why you ask?

Well, for starters, I woke up this morning to the sun smiling down on the great city of Milwaukee,¬†not a cloud in sight; something that has rarely happened this summer. I have to say, I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to¬†walking¬†into work looking and feeling like a wet dog everyday for the past umpteenth week (or weeks), but I am welcoming this lovely change with open arms for surely! Isn’t Milwaukee pretty in the summa time? I absolutely love it!

 

Secondly, I made¬†a pit-stop at Starbucks for a refreshing smoothie to start my day and walked out with a free cake pop! Cake=awesome. Cake pops=super awesome. FREE cake pops= Super-D-Duper awesome! I had been wanting to give those delicious little bites for some time now so I was pumped when the cute but way-too-hyper-at-8am in the morning-to-not-have-had-20-coffees-already guy behind the counter said they were giving away their free mini desserts for customers who stopped in before 8am (I was just at the cutting point). I had the white cake pop with white chocolate icing and boy¬†was it good. So good in fact, I bought three more for breakfast. Cake is the next Wheaties, after all ūüėČ

And finally, the main reason why ‘I’ve gotta feeling, that today’s gonna be a good day’ (thank you, Black Eyed Peas)…Summerfest starts today!!!

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Summerfest, have never been, or want to know more about it…here’s the 4-1-1 on all things ‘Fest’.

Summerfest, also known as ‘The Big Gig’, is the world’s largest musical festival (Guinness Book approved) held in Milwaukee, WI every year. It usually takes place starting¬†late June and running till early July. It lasts 11 days, is made up of 11 main stages and hosts over 700 bands a year. One of the best things about the ‘Fest’ is that with a paid admission ticket, you can see as many bands as you want during the day/night with the exception of the headliners who perform at the Marcus amphitheater; those tickets are sold separately however if you get there early, you might be lucky enough to grab one of the free lawn seats right outside. Over the years, such famous musicians have performed at Summerfest including but definitely not limited to: Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead, Paul Simon, Sting, Cher, Metalica, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Britney Spears (oops, she’s doing it again,¬†making her second appearance this year that is–I hate to admit it but I would love to see her–rumor has it that girl can put on one heck of a concert). Besides the great music, Summerfest is known for its smorgesboard of food. If fried food is your thing, welcome to paradise. They offer everything from fried Oreos and¬†Snickers bars to¬†pickles¬†and even butter. Yes, I said butter.¬†Paula Deen would be proud.

If you’ve never been to Summerfest and are thinking of going, DO IT. Even if you’re not really into the whole music scene, there is so much more that you will enjoy. Take a relaxing ride on the gondolier overlooking the park, eat a batch of freshly fried cheese curds, so gooey and¬†good you’ll think you’ve died and gone to cheese heaven or simply people watch; Summerfest brings out the crazy, outlandish, and simply¬†fun music fans from all over the world! Last year at a Scorpion concert, I saw a gaggle of grandmas in red leather hot pants and stilettos, tup-thumping their replaced hips to the beat. Now that is something you don’t see everyday.

If you want to know more about Summerfest (the dates, the bands, the cost of tickets, etc.), please check out the official website here:

http://www.summerfest.com/flash2011/1.cfm?codeString=home#app=28&8b6e-selectedIndex=0&71fe-selectedIndex=1

In honor of today being the kick-off to Summerfest,¬†the ultimate¬†celebration of summer music, I thought I would share some of my top summer jams to get you in the beach-bummin’, crowd-surfin’, road-trippin’ mood, plus some honorable mentions and some not so honorable ones¬†ūüôā

My top summer tunes I have on replay:

1. “Wannabe”-Spice Girls”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJLIiF15wjQ

2. All the Small Things” Blink-182″

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ht5RZpzPqw

3. “Baby Got Back” -Sir Mix-A-Lot”Walking on Sunshine”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY84MRnxVzo&feature=fvsr

4. “I Like It”-Enrique Eglesias

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X0QzUdjhIg

5. “Walking on Sunshine” -Katrina and the Waves

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPUmE-tne5U

6. “All Star”-Smashmouth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_jWHffIx5E

7.”All Summer Long” -Kid Rock

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwIGZLjugKA

8. “Summertime”-DJ Jazzy Fresh and The Fresh Prince

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0tTbTbmVA

9. “Have a Nice Day” Bon JoviSummer of ’69”-Bryan Adams

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCg2BoKiuOM

10.”Summer of ’69”-Bryan Adams¬†

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f06QZCVUHg

Honorable mentions: Songs that are too good to pass up…

1.¬† “Time of Your Life”-Green Day

2.”Summer Nights” -Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta

3. “I Gotta Feeling”- Black Eyed Peas

4. “Wipeout” by the Safaris

5. “California Girls” by the Beach Boys

 

Dishonorable Mentions: Jams I wish I didn’t have stuck in my head…

1. “Barbie Girl”-Aqua

2.”Thong Song”-Sisqo

3. “California Gurls-Katy Perry

4. “Summer Girls”- LFO

5. “All I Wanna Do”- Sheryl Crow

¬†Now that you have you’re i-pod list ready, you can start jammin’ your way into summer and some rockin’ festivals like Summerfest. I promise I’ll¬†save a seat for you (not so sure I can say the same for the fried Oreos…those are all mine!)

Have a happy Wednesday everyone!

Question of the day: What are some of your favorite songs to jam to in the summer?

Things That Make Me Go ‘Hmm’ V.2

April showers bring May…apocolyptic earthquakes?

By now you’ve probably heard of Nostradamus and even the Mayan calendar which have contradicting predictions on the end of the world. Forget about the world ending on December 21, 2011. There is a group of people who are foreseeing an apocalypse sooner, much sooner in fact. Led by theologist¬†¬†(aka loony tune) 89-year-old Harold Camping, this group of¬†Christian followers know as The Family Radio Group are waiting for what they call ‘Judgement Day’, putting up billboards and traveling across the country to warn people about the coming end, which according to them, will take place on Saturday, May 21. Yep, that’s right my friends. The world as we know it is shutting its curtains and turning out the lights this weekend. And I was supposed to go to the Brewers game on Sunday! Aww man! Well, what can I say Earth…you had a mighty good run.

But wait just a minute-rice… what makes Camping, along with these so-called ‘Doomsday Ambassadors’ so convinced that the end-all be-all will occur this Saturday. I mean, I don’t know even know what I am going to have for dinner tonight, let alone know when the world is going to come to an end. What proof, if any exists? And how reliable are his predictions?

According to Camping, his over 70-year study of the Bible leads him to believe that God will destroy the Earth with a massive earthquake, starting this very weekend. There¬†is ‘proof’¬†which ties into his prediction of the impending doomsday, and¬†it involves an intense and brain-wracking amount of math, so put your thinking caps on and try to stay with me.¬†¬†You all have probably heard¬†the story of¬†Noah and the Great flood, which if you are unfamiliar, can¬†be found¬†in the book of Genesis in the Bible. According to Camping and his followers, the Great Flood occurred in 4990 B.C., exactly 7000 years ago. Camping states that God told Noah at that time that he had 7 days until the flood would begin, thus leading him to build his arc and gather his family and two of every animal, species and plant in order to make it through the devastating rains. 7 days! I can’t even begin to fathom what must have been going through Noah’s mind at the time. “Okay family. Pack your bags. We are going cruising on my massive wooden boat that I built because God told¬† me there was going to be a world-ending flood. We’ve only got 7 days to pack, and since we will be sharing our floating boat with every form of life that there is, I would try to pack light…there’s not going to be a lot of room. That means it’s probably best you leave your sandal collection behind, honey.” Crazy, right?!¬† But that is what is so awesome about this story. Ever since I was a little girl, I was fascinated by Noah’s Ark. I thought the whole idea of building a giant boat, watching animals walk into said boat two by two, putting total and complete faith and trust in the Lord like Noah had done…it was truly amazing.

But I digress…back to the theory at hand.

Camping goes on…taking a passage from 2 Peter 3:8,¬† it is said a day for God is like a thousand human years. Because of this translation of text,¬†the church, as well as Camping and¬†The Family Radio Group¬†reasoned that seven ‘days’ equals 7000 human years from the time of the flood…which, you got it…makes 2011 the year of the apocalypse.

Because of their steadfast and adamant beliefs that this is the real-deal, The Family Radio Group, members of whom have quit their jobs and¬†given up their families and possessions all to join this final mission, are hitting the streets with t-shirts and banners and billboards, setting out across the country in a convoy of caravans to bring the ‘awesome’ message of impending doom to as many people as possible’. This traveling caravan of ‘doomsday ambassadors’ has visited states across the country, mostly focusing on the south-east¬†and western parts of the US. I recently spoke to my¬†mom who lives in Georgia and she said that she has seen the influx of this group already; billboards have popped up¬†along¬†busy streets and there have been a couple of public demonstrations. And for anyone harbouring doubts over the accuracy of their prediction, the group has a cast iron answer – ‘the Bible guarantees it’.

To every heads, there is a tales. For every yin, there is a yang. The same¬†theory applies to this argument. There are many people who think that this prediction is a bunch of, pardon my french, ¬†bologna. Biblical scholars believe that, best intentions aside, Camping’s prediction is flawed. For one, there is no exact recorded date of the flood; this remains a topic of discussion in colleges and universities everywhere. Secondly, the passage that Camping refers to in 2 Peter was taken out of context. It was meant to remind Christians that God does not work on a human timetable; it was a figure of speech more or less and is not supposed to be taken literally. Thirdly, this is not the first time that Camping has made such a prediction. He previously had stated that the end of the world would take place on March 21, 1981. The last time I checked, the Earth was still spinning and Lady GaGa was still wearing meat and traveling in eggs. Speaking of which, I was thinking…how awesome would it be to¬† have a dress made out of¬†Kit Kats¬†or Skittles? Forget the smelly, nasty meat. Give me a pair of pants made out of Twizzlers any day!

Now, I am not placing any judgement on these aforementioned beliefs that the world is coming to an end this Saturday,¬†nor am I placing judgement on people such as Harold Camping and The Family Radio Group who are holding them to be true. I am not saying that they are wrong or crazy (okay, maybe a little crazy). All I am saying is that I, personally, don’t believe such a prediction, nor do I want to really believe in it. My faith has been such an important part of my life, ever since I was a little girl. I know that God has a plan for each and every one of us, that he is there watching over us, protecting us, guiding us along this amazing and beautiful and sometimes crazy and hectic life. And yes, one day, hopefully a long, long, long time from now, I will no longer be here. But you know what, there is only one person, one, who knows how my future, how everyone’s future, is going to pan out and I am perfectly happy with leaving that up to him.¬† Not knowing how much time you have left in this world gives you a great sense of appreciation and gratitude for your life, what you have, what you want to accomplish and see and do and feel. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to give that up for anything.

Come Saturday, I plan on going on with my life as usual. Maybe go for a run, bake some cookies (and then proceed to eat¬†as many as I can¬†because if it is the end of the world, why not go out with a full and very happy stomach?), talk to my parents and take in an epic Seinfeld marathon. You’ve only got one life…so live it to the fullest, come earthquake or high flood water.

So…does this make me go ‘hmm’? It is definitely something to talk about around the water cooler at work.

Have a great Thursday guys!

Question of the day?¬†Are you buying into the hype of the world ending on Saturday or do you think it’s a bunch of hocus-pocus?

Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th everybody ūüôā

Walking¬†into work today, I fell up the steps (leave it to me to defy gravity) of my building, biffing right in front of the construction crew that was working on the¬†offices across the street.¬†I don’t think I fell because I’m superstitious, ¬†I am just plain old clumsy. Even though I don’t play into the whole “bad luck thing”, this chica is not planning on walking under any ladders, breaking any mirrors,¬†or having any run-ins with¬†BoBo, my neighbor’s super cute but very black kitty cat today…sorry BoBo.

In honor of today’s unlucky date, I thought it would be fun to take a look at just what makes¬†Friday the 13th¬†such a notoriously gloomy day. Here are 13 relatively unknown fun facts about this most superstitious of days.

13. There are many theories as to the origins of this phenomena. One of the most popular of these theories dates back to biblical times. Many Christians have long believed, although it is subject to interpretation, that Friday was unlucky because it was the day of the week when Jesus was crucified. It was also on a Friday, supposedly, when Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit that led to their ejection from paradise, when Cain killed Abel, and when the Great Flood began. There were also 13 people including Jesus at the Last Supper. The 13th person to arrive was Judas who was the infamous Apostle that went on to betray Jesus. Phew! Got all that?

12. Fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia–try saying that five times fast.¬† The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.¬†Approximately 7-9 out of every 100 people around the world, that’s 19-21 million people in the US alone,¬†suffer from this unfortunate phobia. Because of this fear, many will change or alter their behavior on this day, often missing work, school, travel, etc. I wonder what my boss would say if I called in and said I couldn’t come in to work today¬†because I was feeling a bit ‘jasonvoorheesfriggatriskaidekaphobic’–that’s the fear of the Friday the 13th movie franchise. I am guessing he doesn’t get that everyday.

11. The British Navy built a ship named Friday the 13th. On its maiden voyage, the vessel left dock on a Friday the 13th, and was never heard from again. Sounds like an episode of The Twilight Zone.

10. The state lotteries of France and Italy in particular, never sell tickets with that number printed on it. Darn! I guess I’m not winning the Powerball on that ticket I bought last week in Paris.

9. In the U.S., more than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor; cities don’t have a 13th Avenue or 13th Street; many airports skip the 13th gate; airplanes the 13th aisle; hospitals and hotels room number 13. This occurrence always baffles me. It’s not like you can actually skip the 13th floor or gate or aisle.¬†It’s still there people. You can try to mask or hide the 13th floor or gate or aisle behind¬†a ’12’ or ’14’,¬†but we all know what it really is…13! I remember the first time I stayed in a really fancy high-rise hotel. I was just a small lass and was so excited to find out that we were staying all the way up on the 26th floor! I didn’t even know that hotels had rooms that went that high. I got into the elevator with my parents and headed straight for the massive button board…I had an obsession with all things buttons at that age (what kid doesn’t) and always insisted on being the one who pushed the ones in the elevators. As I looked at all of the options however, I saw that there was not a button for 13. This struck me as very odd, even at that age. How were we going to get to our floor if there wasn’t a 13th? Did the elevator just fly to the 14th floor? And how did the hotel stay up with the gigantic hole that was the 13th floor, missing from its location? I have since learned the logistics of it all, thank goodness, but am still not sure why¬†places like hotels and airports and hospitals¬†continue to confuse poor pre-pubescent, button-pushing kids everywhere.

8. According to popular belief, it is very unlucky to have a dinner table set for 13 people (stemming once again from the Last Supper theory). Because of this,¬†superstitious diners in Paris¬†have the option of hiring a quatorzieme, or a professional 14th guest. I wonder how a person goes about applying for that position and what the pay is? If it’s all the crepes and chocolate croissants you can eat, count me in!

7.¬† I guess you could say the number 13 is the black sheep of the number family.¬†It¬†lacks a certain gen-ce-que if you will, that 12 seems to possess. According to numerologists, 12 is¬†a complete number– there are 12 months in a year, 12 hands on a clock, 12 inches in a foot (not to confuse you with 5 toes on a foot), 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen. Aww…I kind of feel bad for the poor fella, always having to follow in 12’s footsteps.

6. ¬†Infamous murderers Charles Manson, Harold Shipman, Frederick West, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack the Ripper each have 13 letters in their names. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.

5. Get ready to show use your mad math skills with this one. You’ve all probably seen the amazing movie Apollo 13 starring the incomparable Tom Hanks and know how that particular trip to the moon had its share of misfortunes. What you may not know however is that Apollo 13 was launched on April 11, 1970 or 11/4/70, which when added together equal 13 (4+11+70=85 8+5=13). Although launched from Florida, the time of launch at Mission Control in Houston, Texas, was 13:13 CST. Failure of the No. 2 oxygen tank occurred on April 13 at 02:08:53.555 UTC, which when converted to the Eastern time zone is 9:08:53.555 and equals 13 (9+8+53+555=625 6+2+5=13). Finally, it was estimated that the bill for repairing the damage from the explosion that happened prior to launch would have been $13 million. Wowsas!

4. Any time a month begins on a Sunday, there will be a Friday the 13th. The most number of occurrences of Friday the 13th–which was 3–¬†recently was in 2009 and will happen again in 2012 ‚ÄĒ the supposed year when the world would end. Hmm..go figure.

3. Despite his skill, former Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino (#13) never won a Super Bowl. Although I wouldn’t entirely blame his choice of jersey numbers on that one.

2. Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen were born on Friday the 13th. You saw the episode of Full House where Michelle falls off her horse, right?

1. Did you know that¬†a baker‚Äôs dozen consists of 13 for a reason? So the story goes, a witch near Albany, NY demanded 13 items every time she came in to a particular bakery, and one day the old baker could not afford her extra biscuit. She sneered some strange words at the man, and he suffered terrible luck from then on, until he brought her another 13 rolls. After that, life was once again easy for the baker and word spread around town. The custom is still sometimes practiced today. I practice it, not so much because I am afraid of getting bad luck from a not so nice witch, but because who wouldn’t want an extra cookie or donut thrown into the mix?

And now in true fashion, I will ensure that this post isn’t too unlucky by including a 14th fact.

I was¬†making my oatmeal this morning in the microwave when it started to overflow (I haven’t figured out how to prevent this from happening yet–if any of you have any tricks you could share, I’d be much appreciative), spilling contents all over the place. The time on the clock when said occurrence happend…6:13.¬†Just saying.

Hope you all have a great Friday!

Question of the day: Do you believe all of the Friday the 13th hype?

Things That Make Me Go ‘Hmm’ V.1

Happy Thursday guys!

The sun finally decided to make a much welcomed appearance today ūüôā

But alas,¬† it is sadly going to be short lived…later on today and all the way through the weekend, the rain and clouds are packing their gloomy bags and moving back in. I’m seriously thinking about investing in a rain poncho–I thought about getting an umbrella but walking around downtown Milwaukee with one is nearly impossible because of the wind. I saw a poor girl just yesterday fighting a battle she was not going to win against an umbrella¬†that kept flipping inside out and all around. I really don’t feel¬†like waging that war–plus, imagine how¬†uber chic¬†I will¬†look strolling down the city streets in my electric-yellow accessory. Cute, right? I’ll look like I just got off the Jurassic Park water ride at Universal Studios. I’m bringing plastic back, baby! But enough about my new fashion venture. Let’s get to the important things…like crazy coupon clipping?¬†

I would like to introduce you to the very first installment of¬†what I would¬†like to call “Things that make me go ‘hmm'”. Do you ever hear about, see, or do something that makes you stop for a second and literally question what in the world people (or things) are thinking and/or doing? I find myself doing this constantly on a daily basis, maybe because I am naturally¬†curious about the world around me and everything in it, but also maybe because the world around me and everything in it is absolutely bonkers sometimes.

To start off this new segment, I would like to talk to you about crazy coupon clippers (or CCC’s for short). Last night while I was waiting for¬† my frozen enchilada dinner to heat in the microwave, I aimlessly started to flip through the¬†channels on my tv (the Brewers had played earlier in the day which left my viewing options open for the evening–which by the way, if anyone did not happen to catch the game, they KILLED the poor Phillies, taking the complete game series!). I¬†heard¬†the timer go off on my food, so I dropped the remote, left the channel on where it was, and went to get my 4-star meal ready. When I came back into the living room, a new episode of¬†‘Extreme Couponing’ was just beginning on¬†TLC. To go off topic here for a second, have you ever watched the programming on TLC? I know it is supposed to stand for The Learning Channel but it should really¬†be called TCC, or The Crazy Channel. It seems like all they show on that network are programs that are (or depict people who¬†are), well, to put it lightly, kind of crazy (Sister Wives,¬†I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant, Little People-Big¬†World, Toddlers and Tiaras, 19 Kids and¬†Counting? I rest my case.)¬†‘Extrememe¬†Couponing’ most definitley fits into TLC’s programming nicely.

Now may I please preface this by saying that I had every intention of turning the channel. I mean, there was SO much more high-quality¬†TV that I could have been entertained by (Survivor–that’s still on?–, American Idol–that’s still on?–, The Real World–that’s still on?–Gosh, I guess people never get tired of the same old hat when it comes to TV). I did have every intention of turning the channel, I promise, but I became sucked in the minute I started watching this captivating (and by captivating, I mean slightly disturbing) show about crazy coupon clippers.

In a somewhat documentary style, the show tells stories of people who go to extreme lengths and measures to save a buck (or thousand) when shopping. Hard-core couponers are in it to win it ‚ÄĒ for free, if at all humanly possible. They plot their grocery-store trips with the precision of military commanders. They load up three or four shopping carts at a time. They test the mettle ‚ÄĒ and the¬†congeniality ‚ÄĒ of cashiers by having them tally dozens of discounts on their behalf. Whatever you do, do NOT get in line behind this kind of shopper at a checkout line unless you have a week to kill.And what do they get in exchange? Hundreds of dollars‚Äô worth of merchandise for as little as $5 to $10, the applause of onlookers ‚ÄĒ and a surge of adrenaline that can be downright addicting. Now I use coupons from time to time, especially now that I am living on¬† my own and have to¬†foot the bill¬†for my own groceries, but I have never and will never go to the unbelievable lengths that the people¬†whose stories were told¬†on this show have done. In many ways, I commend them for being so dedicated and committed to saving money–many started out clipping coupons because they simply¬†needed to in order to survive, having lost a job or a steady means of income. What started out for some as a necessity¬†however, turned into an obsession for most; an obsession that can be really unhealthy. To be an extreme coupon¬†clipper, one must almost devote their entire day, their life to salvaging coupons. Yes you can save hundreds of dollars, but is it worth neglecting your life, your loved ones, your sanity over it?

One woman shared how she and her daughter would spend quality mother-daughter time every weekend dumpster diving for coupons. Dumpster diving! The only thing I might even consider going into garbage for¬†would be Brewers tickets, right behind home plate, first row, close enough that you could feel the wind blow every time the bat was swung. But for coupons?Another lady would walk seven miles every day around her neighborhood, collecting coupons from friends and neighbors. There was also a man featured on the show¬†who had to rearrange¬†his home, garage, vehicle and entire life to make room for the mountains of toilet paper, razors, shampoo, jarred peanuts and canned corn they‚Äôre stockpiling.¬†I have heard of¬†shopping in bulk ‚ÄĒ but this is more like shopping in anticipation of a coming apocalypse. This particular man had a wall in his garage completely devoted to mustard. Personally, I don’t see how anyone could or would ever NEED 400 bottles of mustard. Or diapers for that matter. He wasn’t even married or had any kids, but his whole spare closet was filled to the brim with Huggies…or was it Pampers?¬†I don’t know. All I do know is that he was counting his merchandise eggs before they hatched.¬†I¬†will give it to him though, in all of¬†this madness,¬†he will be prepared if and when¬†the world goes into a panick-stricken depletion of mustard.¬†¬†And as far as the diapers go, he could possibly use them himself one day, but that Depends (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

Like I said¬† before, I commend those who coupon-clip, especially those people who have done so, or are doing so, to support a family or themselves in a time of hardship. In these economic times, you have to be a bit more careful in where and how you spend your dollars. It is important though to not get so focused on money, that you miss out on life around you. Like my mom always said, moderation is key. You can have your chocolate-chip double fudge cookie dough ice cream, but you should also have a veg or two. I guess that same methodology can be applied to coupon clipping as well. Clip if you¬† must,¬†but make sure that you allow yourself an indulgence every once in a while, whether that be eating out one night at a nice restaurant, going¬†to¬†a movie with friends, purchasing a uber cute pair of jeans or simply buying a can of beans, dare I say¬† it, full price! Life is too short to sweat the coupons ūüôā

Case in point: Does this make me go hmmm? You bet your overflowing grocery cart it does!

Question of the day: Do you coupon?

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