My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Holidays’

25 Facts About [Wo]Man’s Best Friend I’ll Bet You Never Knew

In honor of National Dog Day (which in my opinion should all day, errr day), I thought I’d share with you guys some crazy awesome and kinda, sorta, really surprising facts about our favorite furry and four-legged friends.

  1. Dogs poop in strict alignment with the Earth’s south-south magnetic field. A 2013 study that examined “70 dogs” and “1,893 defecations” concluded that dogs always align their bodies with the Earth’s north-south axis when taking a poop. Humans don’t defecate with nearly the same amount of geomagnetic precision. *Humans except me of course
  2. Two dogs, 6 years, 66,000 puppies. If you took one male and one female dog and never neutered them or any of their descendants, that pair would be responsible for producing 66,000 puppies in only six years. That is a lot of puppies! And a lot of action!
  3. Dogs can fall in love just like humans do. Oxytocin—known variously as the “love hormone” and the “cuddle hormone”—is released by dog brains too. It enables them to fall in love with both dogs and humans. Aweeee!t4
  4. They can actually smell how you’re feeling. Dogs have millions more scent receptors than humans do, and they are able to detect subtle changes in your perspiration’s chemical composition that reveal your emotional state. If you don’t want them to know how you’re feeling, maybe you should shower every once in a while. Just saying.
  5. Dogs are capable of deception. According to canine-intelligence expert Stanley Coren, “They can also deliberately deceive, which is something that young children only start developing later on in their life. Psh. And you thought only the guys on Tinder were liars!
  6. They can read your motions merely by looking at your face. Besides humans, dogs are the only mammals in the animal kingdom who are able to determine your mood simply by your facial expressions. Cats not only aren’t able to tell—they wouldn’t even care if they could.
  7. They have magical [Harry Potter] powers that enable them to predict the future. Dogs can tell that a storm is coming an hour before you’re standing there soaked in the rain because you forgot to bring your umbrella. Again.
  8. The world’s biggest pet collector owned 5,000 dogs. Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan was said to have owned 5,000 Mastiffs, which would have easily qualified him to be on a modern episode of Hoarders. He was also living out my dream.
  9. The smallest dog ever…According to The Guinness Book of World Records, a two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier in Great Britain weighed only four ounces and stood a mere 2.5 inches tall at the shoulder. What a tiny little monster!
  10. The oldest dog ever…In 2013, a Louisiana beagle/terrier mix named Max died just 83 days short of his 30th birthday. That’s equivalent to 210 human years!
  11. Their paws really do smell like Frito’s. I knew it! The reason for this is that dogs only sweat between their paw pads. The sweat gets mixed up with dirt, which leads to bacteria growth, which in turn makes their paws smell like everyone’s favorite corn chip.
  12. Their owners can be sickeningly sweet and sappy. Four-fifths of dog owners buy their pets presents for holidays and birthdays. Seventy percent of them sign their dog’s name on greeting cards. Sixty percent of them even pose with their dogs for family portraits. And a full third of dog owners “talk” to their dogs on the phone or leave voicemail messages for them while they’re away. I am certain NOT one of these people. *I am the BIGGEST one of these people in the history of ever.t5
  13. All dogs are descended from a 40-million-year-old tree-dwelling weasel. That’s right. I said weasel. All modern dogs can trace their ancestry back to a “weasel-like animal” known as the Miacis. This odd little tree-dwelling creature is the forebearer of the wolf and jackal. All modern dogs share 99.9% of their DNA with wolves, who started intermingling with humans around 12,000 years ago. You may not realize it, but there’s a wild savage beast sleeping in your den right now. The more you know.
  14. They are able to smell prostate cancer with 98% accuracy. Don’t even ask how this is achieved, because I’m already traumatized by the mental images. But not only can dogs sniff out various cancers, they can tell when their owner is going to have a seizure about 45 minutes before the event, which in many cases can be life-saving. Just another reason why dogs are the bestest.
  15. Dogs wag their tails to the left when scared and to the right when happy. And they wag them low when they’re scared and fast when ready to attack.
  16. They are as smart, if not smarter than two-year-old children. The average dog can understand around 150 words. They can also count up to five. And unlike human children, it takes less than two years to potty-train them.
  17. Dogs are born deaf, toothless and blind. All puppies are born without hearing, without sight, and without teeth. What’s miraculous is that despite all this, they choose to go on living. Your biggest source of inspiration is sitting on your lap at this very moment, just waiting for you to drop your sandwich.
  18. They can get super jelly just like humans do. A study at UC San Diego showed that when a dog’s owner showed affection to a stuffed animal, the dogs would get more aggressive and display more attention-seeking behavior toward their owners.
  19. Dogs are able to dream as vividly as humans. When you see your dog twitching and whimpering while asleep and suspect that he’s dreaming, you’re probably right. Brain-wave tests on sleeping dogs are remarkably similar to those of humans. Bet you didn’t know that. What you probably also didn’t know is that your dog also constantly dreams of Chris Hemsworth swooping in on a white horse and asking him/her to run away with him. t2
  20. The smaller the dog, the longer the life. In general, those tiny yippy lapdogs live about twice as long as those massive dinosaur-like Great Danes and Mastiffs. Canine longevity is also correlated to snout length—flat-faced breeds such as pugs and bulldogs tend to die younger than dogs with long noses.
  21. Media still discriminates against female dogs. Call it the “Glass Kennel.” The “male” dog Toto in The Wizard of Oz was played by a female Cairn Terrier named Terry. The “male” Taco Bell dog is a female Chihuhua named Gidget. This reminds me of how guys used to play all the male and female roles in Shakespeare plays. When will this sexist madness end?
  22. The dog days of summer. This term dates back to the Roman Empire, when Sirius—the “dog star,” not the satellite radio channel—typically rose from around July 3 to August 11.t3
  23. Guys with dogs are three times more likely to get a girl’s digits. Fellas, take note. The British Psychological Society published a 2000 study that revealed walking with your dog triples the amount of social interactions you have. It also makes you three times more likely to walk away with a girl’s phone number than if you’d been walking alone. I totally agree. There is something about a guy with a dog that makes me melt. Bonus points if he just happens to be Chris Hemsworth.
  24. Nearly 100,000 Americans visit the hospital every year after tripping on their dog or their dog’s toys. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an average of 86,629 Americans visit the emergency room each year after a fall caused by pets or their pets’ playthings. It was the Kong, with the peanut butter, in the kitchen!
  25. I really do have the best one of them all. 🙂 Dogs can bring so much unconditional joy and love into your every days and every nights. They have this uncanny way of making you feel better by simply just being their zany, crazy selves. If you have had or have a dog like my Thunder in your life, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. My heart has never been so full and my smiles and laughter have never been so great. Thunder balls, I love you buddy!t1

Why it’s OKAY to be single during the holidays


Imagine this.

You’re at a family member’s house. They’re throwing a grand Chrismakwanukkah/New Year’s shindig, and because you don’t want to look completely anti-social, sitting alone in a corner talking to yourself about bills that are due and clothes that need to be washed, you attempt to make small talk. You approach your aunt or second cousin once removed, and after brief introductory conversation, the first thing that comes out of one of their mouth is,

“So…are you seeing anyone?”

There it is.

You knew it was inevitable.

It’s that one question that everyone may not want to ask per say, but it’s the one question that they seem to always want the answer to.

I hate this question. Like, enough-to-spit-out-a-quick-answer-or-circle-around-it-altogether-moving-onto-the-next-forced-question-which-is-most-likely-something-like- “Hasn’t this weather been crazy?”-or-“How about that Aaron Rodgers?”-hate.

Here’s what I’d like to say:

Actually, I’m very happy being single at the moment. I recently started a new job and am living in a new city; it’s been a blast just being able to meet people and make new friends. I’m not on the hunt for a boyfriend right now, but if a guy with the personality of Jimmy Fallon and the looks of Chris Hemsworth walks into my life (or bookstore—there’s nothing more sexy than a guy who reads, am I right, ladies?), I am totally open to seeing where things go.

Here’s what I actually end up saying:

Um…uh..well…the thing is…

Smooth, Wendi. Real smooth.

I hate this question because one, I don’t really have a one-word answer. And two, since when has my singledom, or anyone else’s for that matter, defined who I am? Who anyone is?

I’m turning the big 2-8 in a few months and realize that I am at the age now where a lot most of my friends from grade school, high school and college are getting married or popping out little kiddos. And honestly, I couldn’t be happier for them. I actually cannot wait till I get to that point in my life when I find the man of my dreams, settle down, and start a family.

It’s also a time of year where everywhere you look, couples are sharing cups of hot chocolate, cozzying up by the fireplace, and kissing under the mistletoe. The holidays do bring about an air of romance and love, if not for the super sexy onesie pajamas that are a must-wear, then it’s the beautiful snow landscapes that are reminiscent of any Fabio book cover.

Plus, the with the holidays comes many a party and get-together. And with these parties and get-togethers comes the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet some really great new people. You never know what could happen (especially if you happen to be wearing one of those super cute onesies). I think you should always be open to meeting someone special, to forming a relationship and maybe even falling in the “L” word.

But I also think it’s okay to be a bit selfish.

You need and deserve time to focus on yourself.

To discover your passions and talents and goals and dreams outside of anybody else.

After all, you want to make sure that when you do enter a relationship, you’re the best possible version of yourself that you can be.



So ladies–and gents–this year, I give you full permission to be single and ready to mingle (and jingle all the way)!

But if you happen to run into a Jimmy Fallon/Chris Hemsworth mashup in your local bookstore…give me directions to that bookstore STAT!

To Do…

Because this is how you do Christmas 🙂




I’ve already told you guys how much and why I’m thankful for books (just ALLLLLL of the books), but I wanted to take some time today to shed some light on the other things in my life that make my heart smile.

I’m doing this a bit early seeing as all I plan on doing tomorrow is watching football, playing with my little cousins (one of them  promised me an epic no-holds-bar, fight-to-the-finish game of hide and seek and you better believe I am holding him to it!) and falling into a tryptophan-induced coma.

1. My awesome and crazy family who love me–and put up with me—no matter what (cue the “awwwww”)

2. My awesome and even crazier friends who love me–and put up with me no matter what (cue the double “awwwww”–good golly I’m adorable on Thanksgiving)

3. Harry Potter. Duh.

4. The Milwaukee Brewers. Double duh.

5. My faith, my courage, my strength and my willingness to never, ever, never ever give up.

6. Good hair days.

7. Bad hair days (because it really makes you appreciate the aforementioned good hair days.)

8. Sweat pants.

9. Ben & Jerry’s.

10. Ben & Jerry’s.

11. Ben & Jerry’s.

12. My health (especially after all of the aforementioned Ben & Jerry’s.)

13. And Billy Murray.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!! 🙂

Giving Thanks to Our Favorite Page-Turners

Hey guys!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Can you all believe that Thanksgiving is this Thursday?! Seriously, where has the time gone?! Before you know it, it will be Christmas and then we’ll be ushering in the new year (which is crazy-sauce! I just started getting used to writing/typing/signing the date as 2014!)

But before we (or I) get too ahead of ourselves, let’s go back to Thanksgiving shall we?

I love Thanksgiving.

I really do.

Of course there’s the delicious food (hellllllo stretchy pants!), the football, and the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But what I love most about this holiday is getting together with family and friends, spending time together, and taking a moment (or five) to reflect and celebrate what it is that we’re truly thankful for, the things that give us joy and make our hearts smile.

It goes without saying that we’re all a little quirky on Turkey Day. Or maybe that’s just my family.

Nonetheless, it’s a holiday that while steeped in tradition, can take on many forms.

For example, some of us are Tofurkey enthusiasts, while others are devotees of the deep-fried turducken. Some of us are Turkey Trot running champs and other live for a little pigskin on the flatscreen. Thanksgiving is one of the few traditional holidays that really celebrates our diversity as a cultural melting pot, which basically means you can take the holiday and run with it however you like. Harry Potter-themed Friendsgiving? Go for it! Around the World in 80 Turkey Dishes Potluck? Sure, why not!

However we choose to spend it, our Thanksgiving celebrations are about the same thing–showing gratitude for what we have.

Well, that and pie.

So in honor of this day, I’ve decided to spend this week focusing on what I am most thankful for. Up first, I’m gonna let my book nerd flag fly as I give thanks for all the literary gold in the world. Here are 15 reasons why I am thankful for books:

1. Books keep you sane during your awful rush-hour commute.

2. Books have saved you from going on countless awful, no good, very bad dates. You’ve had many a perfect evening at home cuddled up with Mr. Darcy.

3. Books make soaking in the bathtub all the more fun (as long as you don’t accidentally drop said book in said bathtub. I’ve been there, done that and am still having nightmares over wrinkly pages and smeared ink.)

4. Books don’t care if you can’t pronounce the big words in them or if you don’t even finish them. Books don’t judge you for anything (except for maybe when you accidentally drop them in a bathtub.)

5. Books have the remarkable power to put even the rowdiest of children to sleep.

6. Books have the remarkable power to put you to sleep too, especially when you’re up late worrying if the turkey brine you used was “gluten free.”

7. Books teach you to empathize with people you’ve never met and help you tolerate the people you have, like your cousin’s boyfriend who is a DJ and is also a Cub’s fan.

8. Books remind us that sentences can have more than 140 characters, they don’t have to start with “OMG,” and they don’t always need to be accompanied by photos.

9. Books make you smarter. I have no idea why. I think it has something to do with pheromones in the paper?

10. When you need to put the world on a time out, books are there for you.

11. Books allow us to vicariously experience a range of gif-worthy emotions, from heartbreak, to terror, to despair to jealousy. All while maintaining our effortlessly cool, intellectual composure in public.

12. Reading is one of the few things you can do in sweatpants on the couch that qualifies as “constructive.”

13. Books show you that you are not alone in the world, even if all of your relatives thing you are and keep asking if you’ll ever get married.

14. Books teach you that your parents, your teachers, and your friends aren’t right about everything, but then neither are you.

15. And lastly, books teach you to think for yourself, so you can ponder things like, “pumpkin or pecan pie?”

Why are you thankful for books?

I put up my "Christmas Tree" this weekend and I've got to say, Rockefeller ain't got nothing on my tree! ;)

I put up my “Christmas Tree” this weekend and I’ve got to say, Rockefeller ain’t got nothing on my tree! 😉

This holiday season, consider giving/donating a book to children in need, giving them the gift of literacy and the magic that only a great book can give. For more information, please check out the awesome program Barnes & Noble is currently running!


Happy Thanksgiving


PB&J Day

Hey guys!

And a very happy National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day to ya!

Growing up, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a staple in my daily diet. Oh who am I kidding? They still are. There is nothing better in my opinion than two pieces bread (or a tortilla, or an english muffin, or a bagel, or a pita, or crackers…the vehicle for this creamy, peanut buttery and fruity treat are endless!), slathered this with a little Jif (or my ultimate favorite, White Chocolate Wonderful from the Peanut Butter & Co.), crunchy or creamy depending on how you roll, I mean spread, and some homemade strawberry jam, seeds and all. D-LISH!

Although you might prefer the classic peanut butter and jelly packed in a brown paper bag, there are many ways that you can make an equally, and more inventive, tasty sammy. For example, one of my new favorite go-to snacks, thanks to my sister Lindsay, is a toasted bagel spread with a little peanut butter and jam which is then topped with sliced bananas and granola.  The breakfast of champions, right there! It’s fun to use your noodle (speaking of noodles, I’ve just thought of a possibly great idea! Spaghetti with peanut butter and jelly sauce! Amazeballs!) and think beyond the norm. To give you some ideas on what I am talking about, I have found some updated versions of the sandwich.

Chefs from around the country very often use comfort foods like PB&J, as inspiration for new menu items.  Be brave and try one of the items below, or get creative and recreate your own concoction  in honor of this yummy national holiday:

1.  The Malibu Inn‘s Deep Fried PB&J:  Make this amazing sandwich at home by dipping your sandwich in pancake batter and deep-frying it.  Dust with powdered sugar for a finishing touch. Holy yum, Batman!

2.  Dirty Bird’s PB&J Wings:  These unusual fried wings are tossed in peanut sauce and then drizzle in strawberry sauce. Tres interessant.

3.  Grant Grill’s Peanut Butter Mousse Dessert:  Chef Chris Kurth has created a refined peanut butter dessert for grown-ups.  Strawberry basil ice cream gives a subtle nod to the strawberry jam that I used to help my mom make and jar every summer. Yummo!

4.  PBJ’s Smokin Goat: This Oregon-based cart offers a unique spin on the sacred sandwich, with kalamata olive bread, almond butter, bacon, goat cheese and fig jam. Doesn’t sound too appetizing but I guess I can’t knock it until I try it.

5.  Peanut Butter & Co’s Pregnant Lady:  Filled with peanut butter and pickles, this is totally a sandwich Snooki would love.

So what are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and start making some sandwiches! 🙂

Here’s a little soundtrack for your cooking session (just try not to start dancing…I dare you!)

Hope your night is jam packed with fun!

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist 😉

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