My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

How to pack a serious punch out of your lunch break

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When I think back to my elementary school years, one of the best parts of my day (besides recess and Ms. Zamzow’s epic story time) was lunch. When that noon-time bell rang, we would all make a bee-line for the cafeteria, anxiously awaiting the *5-star gourmet food that beckoned us from behind the lunch ladies aprons.

*When you’re eight years old, chicken nuggets, frozen pizza squares and chocolate milk cartons were the best of the best.

Not only was lunch time a chance for us to stuff our faces with said chicken nuggets, frozen pizza squares, and chocolate milk off of fancy plastic trays, but it gave us a solid half an hour to recharge our little batteries; laughing with our friends, bartering cupcakes for pudding cups, and hitting the playground for a no-holds-bar game of kick ball. Often times that hour of each day was just what we needed to mentally and physically prepare for whatever was ahead of us: a math test, a book report, soccer practice, watching a marathon of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. etc.

As I grew older, I began to value my lunch breaks even more. As a full-time student turned working professional, these moments of relief beckoned to me the second I walked into the door of my classroom/office (and not just because my stomach was already growling, hungry from breakfast earlier). I love my job, I really do. But no matter how amazing that all is, a girl needs to take a break, a breather; to regroup, recharge and relax. That necessary break is even more necessary if you have a stressful or harried of a job.

As someone who has admittedly forgone many a lunch break, scarfing down instead a Lean Cuisine at my desk rather than stepping away for 20 minutes in order to respond to an email box flooding with messages from clients and coworkers, or to meet those looming deadlines, I understand the temptation. I really do.

But guess what? You and I aren’t doing ourselves any favors. We may think we’re saving time and energy, when in reality, dissing our lunch break and staying plopped in our cubicles is not only unsanitary (you don’t even want to know the food that’s been collected in my keyboard), but it’s denying you an opportunity to stretch your legs, get some fresh air and go out and mingle with other human beings. Of course, there will be certain times when your day is just too strawberry jam-packed to go out for lunch, but on those other days when your work load is lighter and you have a bit more time, try these tips to really pack a punch our of your lunch break:

1. Pack a punch-worth lunch.

For the most part, I’m a huge fan of packing my own lunch. Not only does it save on the moolah, but it’s often times a bit more healthier and it great for when you don’t have a lot of time. I’d like to consider myself the sandwich queen, however even I can get bored of that day in and day out. That’s why I try to spice things up a bit every once in a while. Instead of having the usual PB&J, try a PP&P Sammy (peanut butter, pickle and potato chip). WHAT?! Or how about a wheatberry salad or chicken salad with apricots and almonds? Num.ers. I love me a good chicken nugget, but I think these ideas make them seem just so elementary.

2. Try out a new restaurant.

I try not to eat out for lunch too often, but every once in a while, it’s nice to grab a few coworkers and check out that new sushi place around the corner. You’ll have an excuse to leave your desk and see your fellow coworkers outside of their cubicles. Taking in a new change of scenery and some delicious grub will not only help to refresh your mind (and taste buds) but it can help to take your mind off of that demanding client or looming deadline.

3. Get in a quick sweat sesh.

I’m generally a rise-and-shine exerciser, knocking out a few miles or hitting up the weights right away in the morning pre-work, but every so often it’s nice to grab my running shoes and hit the pavement in the middle of the day (especially if I’m having an particularly stressful day). If you don’t feel like working up a sweat outside or at a nearby gym, don’t worry. Sneaking in a midday walk around the block or through a park close by can even better. You’ll not only get to unleash some of the positive endorphins, but you’ll also be able to get some vitamin D, returning to your desk relaxed and refreshed, ready to tackle the afternoon ahead. Consider it an adult recess.

4. Read a good book.

Being a librarian, it’s kind of my prerogative to carry around a book (s) everywhere I go. I never leave the house without at least one two three in my car and purse. Lately I’ve been taking one of these great page-turners and my lunch box and grabbing a picnic table outside, diving into not only a tasty midday meal but a delicious story as well. It’s another excellent way to take your mind off of the stresses of the day for at least a little while. Just make sure you don’t loose track of time–I may or may not have gotten pulled into a book and nearly forgot I was supposed to go back to work. Oops.

5. Call a friend (or your mom) you haven’t talked to in a while.

Life gets busy as well all know, and it can be hard to find the time to catch up with friends or family. Take your lunch break as an opportunity to give your bestie or your mom a call. Nothing brightens my day more than getting a life update from my nearest and dearest. It might be a good idea however to schedule a time and day when your phone date will take place, just to ensure that the other person will be available to chat.

It can be hard sometimes to allow ourselves the time to relax and recharge during the busy and hectic work day, but in those times, I want you to channel your inner elementary school self; remember how excited you got, how beneficial that 45-minutes to an hour was for not only your productivity, but for your health (and sanity) as well.

And with these great ideas, you’ll never want to miss out on your lunch break again!

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2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas: A Book Review

catWell hello, there friends.

And happy hump day! To celebrate only two-ish more days until the weekend graces our presence, I have another book review for you.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest review and honest I will be.

2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino is set in one day—Philadelphia on Christmas Eve—and follows several different characters, including Madeleine, a nine-year-old aspiring jazz singer who recently lost her mother to cancer; Madeleine’s teacher Sarina; The Cat’s Pajamas club owner Lorca and his son Alex, and several others. Madeleine and Sarina are the most engaging by far, and Madeleine’s feisty independence (she could give Johnny Depp a run for his money for her mouth-of-a-sailor antics) made her a fun character to get to know and spend time with. As the book gradually winds all the characters closer and closer together, they all benefit, becoming more important and interesting to the reader. The intertwining and sprawling of the characters coupled with the fact that it took place on Christmas Eve kind of reminded a bit of Love Actually, actually. Unfortunately, I feel like the massive cast works better on film, where you can put a face with a name.

It’s kind of a strange book to describe—the story itself is very literal at first, but it becomes fantastical, almost fairy tale-like at unexpected times. This to me felt a little off-putting while I was reading it however now, 12 hours after having finished the book, I think the fantastical elements were a good idea. The entire book feels a little magical, so what’s one more magical thing among the rest?

If you’re looking for a new book club read, this would be a fun option. (It’s short and fast enough to not be a burden to club members who drag their toes.) It has plenty to talk about in terms of plot and characterization and there are a few passages in the book that are really, really, delightful and worth marking to come back later and dissect.

The best way that I can describe this book is to tell you how I felt after reading it. Did you ever have a childhood movie or book that you would watch or read often? For me, that list was and is very, very, VERY long, ranging in everything from books like A Wrinkle in Time and Harry Potter (naturally) to movies like Field of Dreams and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I literally watched everyone’s favorite crime-fighting and pizza loving amphibians so much that I wore out all three of my VHS tapes. Speaking of TMNT, I may or may not be a going to see the new live-action movie which hits theaters this Friday. And I may or may not be way too excited to see it. And I may or may not be embarrassed to admit that, seeing as I am a 27-year-old woman.

We went/go back to these books and movies over and over again because of the way they made us feel afterwards, leaving us with a warming in our hearts and stomachs, making us believe and feel like everything in the world could be as fun and magical as what we just saw or read. After turning the last page of 2 A.M at the Cat’s Pajamas, I recognized that happy, contented feeling as one I’d had before: It was like the childishly optimistic, happy afterglow that would stick around after a favorite movie or book.

I didn’t think 2 A.M was the perfect book; it was kind of hard to get in to at first, the back and forth between characters was confusing at times, and I wish that the concept of how whenever Madeleine would sing, strange and peculiar things would happen would have been explored a bit more.

That being said, however, this book did make me smile.

And that counts for a lot.

On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I would give this book a solid 3.5.

I guess you could say that this book was, indeed, the cat’s pajamas 😉

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Happy Wednesday!

Since we’re almost over the hump of the week, I thought I would do something a little bit different today. This is one of those super-random blog posts that I figured might be fun and also spark some great comments from you guys since I always love learning more about you!

The questionnaire provides 25 prompts to reveal “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me,” and while longtime readers probably already do know some of these things, there are a few random nuggets thrown in that may reveal some new stuff. Feel free to play along in the comments section of this post and have fun with it!

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. I’m happiest when…1.) I’m hanging out with my family and friends 2.) I’m reading a great book 3.) I’ve made someone laugh or smile
  2. …Especially if it involves…1.) The Milwaukee Brewers, 2.) Great food 3.) Doing absolutely nothing together10367122_10100433488439342_1590496733671690307_n
  3. I’ve always wanted to…visit Italy. It’s at the tippy-top of my bucket list which will hopefully (hopefully) be crossed off very soon. Mi amore 🙂
  4. My family and I…are some pretty crazy characters who support and love each other unconditionally. And always, always have a lot of belly laughs and fun together.
  5. I was a terrible…go-kart driver. When I was 13, my family took a trip to Estes Park and one day, we all decided to go go-karting. I decided to be little miss speed demon and while on my last run of the track, I slammed (SLAMMED!) into the side barricade, sending the protective tires and hay bales in every which way. The go-kart track attendant was more than a little PO’d at yours truly, but in my defense, I was only trying to turn around so that I wouldn’t get yelled at for going around the track one last time. And that’s what those tires and hay bales are there for any way, right?
  6. My first job was…working at a shoe warehouse. It was hot. It was sticky. And it was A LOT of work. But I still tried to put my best foot forward (I mean, you didn’t think I would let that pun-derful opportunity slip me by, did you?)
  7. I could probably eat ice cream every day. There should not be a “probably” in this equation.10329189_10100403469467602_7814414441383554681_n
  8. I stole…candy once from the grocery store. I was five and didn’t quite grasp the concept of the “fill your bag with candy from these large bins, weigh and then pay later.” I still feel guilty every time I eat a gummy worm.
  9. I was born on the same say as…Melissa Joan Hart (aka Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and Siri Cruise.
  10. My all-time favorite film is…a toss-up between Field of Dreams and Father of the Bride.
  11. I do a mean…Kermit the Frog impression.
  12. I’m still mad…that the Brewers didn’t make it to the World Series back in 2011. But this year is THE year. I can feel it.
  13. I met my husband…in college. Actually, I’m single as a Pringle, but just between you and me (it’s in the vault?), there is someone who I have secretly crushed on ever since college, someone who I love dearly and is my best friend. Someone who I could definitely see as my husband one day.
  14. I always knew I wanted…to become a librarian (or work with books in some capacity). Bookworm to the nth degree.
  15. I’m not afraid to…jump out of a perfectly good airplane.1461043_10100295367444922_1481298755_n
  16. I make the best…Chocolate-chip cookies. Ask anyone. I’ve got references.
  17. I have almost…no dance ability whatsoever. I mean, I can dance. If this is what you call dancing.
  18. I always cry when…I see those holiday Hallmark commercials. The family all coming together over turkey and pie…just bring me the tissues already!
  19. I’m (now) a…Coloradan, but I will always be a Wisconsonite at heart. mountains
  20. I’ve lived in…Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and now Colorado.
  21. I wish my folks…didn’t live half-way across the country.
  22. At 5, I was deeply in love with…The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and jelly shoes.
  23. I believe that if everyone exercised a little bit more kindness, the world would be a better place.bekindtoothers
  24. I can’t stand…the smell of tuna. Or the taste. Blech.
  25. Whenever Seinfeld is on, I’ll watch it. Best. Show. Everrrrrrr.

Okay, friends. Your turn.

Answer one or all of the following prompts from the survey (or choose your own!)

I’m happiest when…

I was born the same day as…

At five, I was deeply in love with…

I could eat_ _ _ _ every day

I make the best…

Shtuff Wendi Says

In the words of Jerry Seinfeld (and the most amazing voice ever)…”Hhheeelllloooooo! La la la!”

How is everybody’s Thursday going? Well, I hope! I don’t know what the weather is like where you live but down here in Georgia, it is an absotively-posatutely GORGEOUS 79 degrees and sunny day. It is a tad on the wendy, I mean windy side, but other than that, an all-around perfect day. I took my Thunder baby for a long walk earlier this afternoon, and I say long not because of the distance we went, but more so because of how many times we had to stop. I swear, that dog has to literally pee every couple of feet, marking his territory on every bush, tree, mailbox and driveway that we come across. I guess when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. And go and go and go and go and go.

As we were making our way back up the Mt. Everest of a hill that is our cul-de-sac, we stumbled across this little guy trying to do the same.

Tuurrtle! Tuurrtle! Tuurrtle!

There is a very small lake just across the way from our neighborhood and I think that is where Leonardo (I decided to name him after my favorite turtle of the Teenage Mutant Ninja variety) was either heading to or coming back from. I felt bad for the fella and wanted to at least stick him back in the woods closer to the water…and was just about to do so when I saw that Leo was a snapper. Because I value my fingers, I decided I best leave him do his own thang and hope he makes it safely to his destination. Leo isn’t the first awkward turtle that I have seen around here; every summer there always seems to be a Michelangelo, Donatello or a Raphael that makes their way onto the sidewalks and streets of my neighborhood. And yes, I may just have had/have a slight obsession of the TMNT! But can you blame me?! They’re, like, SO COOL, DUDE! I mean, crime-fighting, butt-kicking, pizza-eating, sewer-dwelling, and talking turtles?! Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Turtle Power!

Speaking of talking turtles (yeah, I have no idea how to smoothly segway into this next topic so just roll with me), have you seen all of those absolutely hilarious and epic videos going around that depict people at the, well, most basicness of themselves? You know the ones I’m talking about, “shtuff girls say”, “shtuff monks say”, “shtuff begans say” and so on? If you haven’t, check out just a sampling of these funny clips here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/shit-girls-say-parodies-video_n_1187158.html#s592195&title=Shit_Yogis_Say

I think a big reason why I find these parodies to be so pee-your-pants, fall-off-your-chair funny is because they are so bluntanly honest and true.

In almost every way.

Belly-laughing my way through these clips got me to thinking…if I could make a parody clip of myself, what would be some of the things included on my viral You Tube clip?

So, I present to you….

Shtuff Wendi Says

“Ooohh, I knooww!”*

“Yah, ferr sure.”*

( *Heavy on the Wisconsin accent, of course)

“Oh my stars…”

“Are you blind ump?! That was a terrible call!”

“You want your nugget? Here’s your nugget!”

“I! Put the screw! In the tuna!!!!”

“…Yes, nice to mole you… MEET you! Nice to meet your mole! Don’t say mole… I said mole. Mole…… Mole…… MOLEY, MOLEY, MOLEY, MOLEY, MOLEY!!! MOLE!! BLOODY MOLE!! We’re not supposed to talk about the bloody mole, but there’s a bloody mole WINKING ME IN THE FACE!! I’m gonna cut it off, chop it up, and make some guacaMOLE!!

 “Is this milk or cottage cheese?”

 “Let’s go Brewers, let’s go!”

“Baaadddd milk….but pretty good cottage cheese.”

“Heavens to Betsy…”

“Why do I have a spoon in my purse?”

“Thunder NO! Bad dog! You DO NOT eat my underwear!!”

“I’m not saying, I’m just saying…”

“The five second rule applies to ice cream, right?”

“If I had a Skittle for every time *** this happened…”

“Yuppers/Yup/YupYup”

Wow.

I never knew I was such a linguist 😉

I don’t care what you say, I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your Thursday night!

Question of the day:

What are some of the silly things you find yourself saying?

Never too old

You’re never too old to….

1. Go back to school.

I was just accepted into the Post-Bachelor’s Teacher Program with Western Govenor’s University!!! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to head on back to school (with my trusty Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, pencils and pens, loose-leaf paper and calculator in hand of course), hit the books, and become a bonified certified teacher! The road to get here has been long. I have taken a couple of detours along the way and have had more than my fair share of potholes, but I am finally on the right course and couldn’t be more happy 🙂

2. Sport an uber chic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sweater.

Cowabunga Dude!

Did anyone else have a crush on Donotello?

Growing up, I was absolutely in love with these pizza-eating, sewer-dwelling, butt-kicking reptiles. I remember begging my mom to take me to Blockbuster every Saturday to rent the VHS tapes of the live-action movies, over and over and over and over and, well, you get the idea. My favorite one was the third in the series, you know the one…but just in case you forgot…it was the one where they get transported back in time and go to Japan and train as ancient Samurai Warriors and assist a small village there who where being held captive by the evil emporor in an uprising and…you’ll just have to check it out for yourself because it is AWESOME! Anywhoo, I was at Goodwill the other day and saw this little gem of a sweater and thought to myself, “You know, I am in need of some gaudy but fashionable TMNT wear to adorn my closet.” So, I did what any former (and still) fan of the turtle would do…I plunkered down the $4 and bought myself a sweater. Best $4 I have spent in a long time.

3. Sleep with a baby’s blanket.

Yes I am 24 years old. And yes I still sleep, nay, HAVE to sleep, with a blanket that was given to me when I was just a babe in Pampers. Me and my blanket are tight like Spandex. We go way back and have been through so much together. It was a constant source of comfort and safety growing up–it has shielded my eyes from many a scary movie, kept me warm on those cold winter nights snuggling up on the couch with a good book, was a chew toy for all three of my pups and was, in a way, a friend. It’s because of the memories that it possesses that it remains that same source of comfort and safety to this day. My whole family makes fun of me for still hanging on to the raggedy old thing but I think they’re just jealous.

4. Go to a pumpkin patch

One of the best things about fall is heading out to your local pumpkin farm, taking a hay ride, making your way through a corn maze (I swear I wasn’t lost, I was just taking the scenic route), and of course picking out your favorite orange gourd to take home and carve. I also want to add on to this trick-or-treating. Whoever came up with the idea of going door to door, getting candy from complete strangers was either a) a total genius or b) crazy out of his gourd. I’d like to think he was the former. Any excuse to go out and get a bag loaded with Snickers (king sized if you know which houses to hit), Skittles and Candy Corn is an excuse good enough for me!

5. Watching hours upon hours of Doug and Recess (DVR’d, naturally).

You can learn so much from watching cartoons. I prefer to think of it as educational entertainment.

6. Eating Peanut Butter straight from the jar.

MMMMM 🙂

Who needs bread when you’ve got a spoon? Or your hand? Need I say more.

Happy Columbus day guys!

Question of the day: What things do you do or enjoy to ‘stay young’ at heart?

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