Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekly Wishes + a selfie blog challenge

Happy Monday!

I got up at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday to drive with Logan and my mom up into the mountains so we could be in time for the sunset. Oh, and it was only 25 degrees outside. But no big deal. We were totally prepared for it to be that cold (no we weren't).

I wish I had pretty photos to show but I'm not really the picture-taking type. So I'll just stop talking about it then and move on to... WEEKLY WISHES.

The Nectar Collective

So let's see, my goals last week were:

--Continue to exercise every other day and bike on the off days. Um, killed it. I'm awesome. Unless we're including the weekend. WHICH WE AREN'T. 

--Show my appreciation for those around me more. I think I did, and I've got more appreciation coming this week. 

--Finish the second season of New Girl on Netflix. Yes, yes, yes. This is done, because of course I finished it.

--Make a practice batch of creme brulee. Not gonna lie, totally forgot this was a goal.
--Be better at showing my support for other blogs. Hopefully I did this, but it's definitely also an ongoing goal.

Onwards and upwards:

--Continue to exercise. The ab routine on the Skinny Bitches DVD isn't very hard so I am going to start doing it twice every workout. 

--Start a novel. I think this was a weekly goal a couple weeks ago, but I definitely didn't do it. I need to start a novel this week. It has to happen. I used to read so much and now I just read articles and blogs.

--Make that damn creme brulee.

On another note, I also wanted to use today's post to highlight a blog challenge created by Jess at The Iris Blog and Annmarie at The Simply Swift Blog. 

The Simply Swift Blog
Cute buttons change everything.

Dun dun dun... it's The #SwiftlyPainted Self-Portrait Challenge!

Read more on their own blogs here 

But basically what you need to know is it's a challenge for the first day of every month for a year. That's right only one day a month. I'm bad at commitment but I'm pretty sure I can handle that.

The prompts (which can be found at the link above) include writing exercises and then a self-portrait challenge. Asking a fashion blogger* to take selfies? Yeah, okay I'm there. You got me.

But, guess what? It starts tomorrow, so you better get out your iphone now and start making your best duckface. 

See you tomorrow!

*Okay I know I haven't been a fashion blogger in forever, just let me have this.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Dear Facebook friends

You know the Blogtember prompt for today was just too good to turn down:

Friday, September 27: An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you'd like. 

Um, did you say snarky? Yeah, I'm in and I'm wearing bells.

Dear Facebook friends,
You know I love you. Or at least liked you enough at one time to either add you or accept your friend request. 

I know some of you better than others, but at least I can say with every one of you that we've had more than a passing interaction and we didn't just see each other on the other side of the room at that one party and then add each other because we have mutual friends or something. 

So the point is, I'm genuinely friends with lots of you and I'm glad that when people make those tired jokes about Facebook--like about how banal status updates are (i.e. "Amy Fakename just made a sandwich")--I can say, eh, don't really have that problem with my Facebook friends. Because I don't. Most of my friends generally have at least semi-entertaining statuses and if they aren't, well then they probably weren't intended for me anyway.
So, uh, thanks for that.  
But you know what needs to go? 
Look, okay, I don't want to sound like a broken record, but those statuses where you say something super dramatic but also super vague are the worst. THE WORST. 
Everyone reading it will want the dirty details, but as if you actually want to give those. Nope, you just want someone to pat your head and tell you you're hot stuff. Sorry, babycakes, that's why you call up your bestie, because she actually will do that. Me on the other hand? Well I'll probably just make a snide comment to someone about how insufferable you are on Facebook. 
But you know, keep on keeping on with the baby and food photos. While some people get all pissy about them, I like looking at pictures of yummy-looking food because I like eating yummy-looking food and cute babies are cute babies. Plus, what better venue is there to show other people your baby is cuter than theirs? (Jokes, okay. JOKES). 
And you know what else you should above all keep doing? Post those wedding photos! I LOVE THEM LIKE MY OWN KIN.
It interests me no end to see what dress you picked, what your cake looks like, where you had your reception and what color you made your bridesmaids wear. Just tell me!

Did you have cupcakes? Get married in a barn? Drink out of mason jars? I HAVE TO KNOW. Maybe I should become a wedding planner. (Sidenote: how does one become a wedding planner?)
Oh, and never stop with the passionate political updates. If anything else I love to hate-read them. 

Let's see, what else... 
Stop liking everything in sight. I don't need my news feed clogged with how many different corporations you like. 
Also, if I don't know you, don't reply sarcastically (playfully?) to me on a mutual friend's post, because I won't know how to take your response and I'm not about to get into a Facebook fight with some fool I've never met.  
Otherwise, friends, you just keep doing you. 
The Dunce


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Grad-itude 101 #5

It's once again Wednesday and that makes it time for Grad-itude 101, a link-up by the wonderfully wise and fabulous Erika at Chimerikal. 

GRAD-ITUDE 101: A Linkup By Chimerikal
I've been thinking about what I wanted to include in this week's link-up and I realized that one of my goals for Monday's Weekly Wishes was to show my appreciation more for those around me.

SO, damnit, that's what I'LL DO.

To my mom: Thank you for, you know, letting Logan and me crash at your place. We're on the cusp of employment, I can just feel it.
And while we're at it, thank you for always teaching me to value my intelligence above anything else and showing me what it means to be a smart, independent career woman who gets it done. (Oh, and also thanks for encouraging me to have a more refined palate. I fight against it sometimes--like, no sorry, no thanks on the rabbit--but you have to admit I'm way better than I used to be).

To my dad: Thanks for paying for a new battery for my car last week. And thanks for the new tires last year. And basically all the maintenance before that.

And also thanks for always thinking I'm brilliant and bragging about my writing/grades/accomplishments to everyone. That's pretty nice. And, you know, thanks for giving me an appreciation for simple ingredients and how good just meat and potatoes can be. 

To my sister: Thanks for being the intelligent, witty person you are who I can talk to about politics and also how annoying Caroline Manzo is. (it's a real Housewives reference, sorry). 

Now that I've moved back to Colorado, I'm glad we can have regular evenings of wine-drinking + reality TV-watching, even though your dog is super annoying and sometimes I want to punch him.
Sister, sister.

To Logan: Look, I just read this article with excerpts from Melissa Gorga's new book (another Housewives reference, sorry again), and her husband sounds awful. Like, horribly, beyond terrible, awful.

So you know what? Thank you for not having antiquated notions about gender roles and for identifying as a feminist. Thank you for not being possessive, overbearing or selfish and recognizing that a relationship is about two people and not just you and your wants.

And, of course, also thank you for your dry sense of humor that always makes me laugh and your thoughtfulness. 

The glasses say hipster, the jacket says hippie.

To Crystal: I'm so glad you're back in the States (selfish, I know, but I wish Rich could be back with you), so that we can have random phone calls anytime. Thank you for all your support (and it's been massive) with this blog and I'm glad you and The Happy Type are getting all the recognition you deserve.

Also, thanks for waiting to see Insidious 2 until we can see it together, even though I'm pretty sure it's killing us both.
This isn't from Halloween. This is how we always dress.
So what are you grateful for this week?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Let's talk about...

Oh and look here at today's Blogtember prompt: Review a book, place, or product. DONE.
Now, let's get a few things straight.

This is no longer the reality of boxed wine:  

At my local liquor store, I can count at least a dozen different brands, and okay, some of them suck. But some are just as good as any of those bottles of wine you like to gulp down after a long day at work.

So, why should you be drinking boxed wine?

1) Uh, hello, endless supply of wine. Well endless compared to one measly bottle. You get four bottles in one box for around $20. Yes, please.

2) Once you uncork a bottle of red, you only have so long to drink it before it starts tasting funky, and you know what? Sometimes I just want one glass one night and then maybe two glasses several nights later. And with a box, I can drink however much or however little I want and I will still have a good supply two weeks down the road.

3) They taste perfectly fine, I PROMISE.

4) Most importantly, why get drunk on one bottle of wine when you can get drunk on one box of wine? (Okay, I don't actually do this... but I appreciate having the option). 

Still don't like the idea of drinking from a box?

Well, I don't really know what to tell you. But you're probably my former coworker who liked to shit on boxed wine any chance she got (no not literally, that's disgusting). Not really sure what the big deal is, but maybe she felt stupid buying it.

But, honestly? I mean, sometimes I feel stupid walking around a store holding a huge thing of toilet paper, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to buy it. And, well also, I don't actually care what cashiers think about my purchases.

So what's the best boxed wine (in my humble and cheap opinion)?

From left to right:

1. Bota Box. My personal favorite. Standard retail prices are about $21 and they've got a full line, though I typically only buy the cab, chardonnay, red zinfandel and their sauvignon blanc. 

2. Black Box. Lots of people act like Black Box is the holy grail of boxed wine, but I think Bota Box's wines are generally more flavorful. Black Box is slightly more expensive at about $23 standard retail. 

3. Fish Eye. Can I admit to really just liking the shape of the box? I'm a sucker for good packaging (hello, Philosophy make-up). Plus, Fish Eye typically sells for about $17.
Forbes has a different idea of the best boxed wines, but honestly, I've never even seen most of those in my local liquor stores. 

But the real point is, you should probably start drinking boxed wines if you don't already. It's pretty much life-changing. 

(Ugh, you know what I just realized? I have a box of Bota Box chardonnay in the fridge and I didn't even have a glass to write this post. Wasted opportunity!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekly Wishes

So I've tried to type out "weekly" three times now and each time I've written "weeky" instead. Ugh, Monday. (Who am I kidding? I'm still between jobs. Everyday's a holiday). 

I've got a thirty minute deadline to write this and that's pretty much next to impossible for me. I mean, at work, when I was reporting, I could do it, easy. But when I'm at my own leisure to write, I take forever. Doesn't matter the length or the subject, I can sometimes mull over a piece of writing for probably 20x longer than it actually takes anyone to read it. But I'm trying to get better, so here goes.

I haven't linked up for Weekly Wishes in a couple weeks, so this week seemed as good as any to make some goals in life.
The Nectar Collective
I know my last post in the link-up had goals related to exercise, and I can happily say I've been pretty consistent at working out.

I'm still doing the Skinny Bitch workout every other day and I continue to learn everytime how terrible my balance is. But I get steadier and steadier with each workout, so one day maybe I'll master standing on one foot.

We'll just ignore my other past goals because who knows if I accomplished them. I'm not Rapunzel from Tangled, I don't always keep my promises. (The only reason I made that reference is because of how much I love Tangled). 

Anyhoo, my goals this week:

--Continue to exercise every other day and bike on the off days. I've so got this. Maybe minus the bike-riding. 

--Show my appreciation for those around me more. My default is more sarcastic than earnest, so I should probably be nicer and more complimentary sometimes. 

--Finish the second season of New Girl on Netflix. Most loveable crew on TV. Minus Parks and Rec. Most important goal? Maybe.

--Make a practice batch of creme brulee. I have been all about creme brulee and flan for the past few weeks after not really liking either for years, and I've decided when Logan and I get an apartment, I want to make creme brulee for our housewarming party. So I should probably practice the recipe at least once. 

--Be better at showing my support for other blogs. I read and love so many blogs, but a lot of times, I'm the type to just lurk and not really comment, and that needs to change. So this week, I'm determined to just spend time letting other bloggers know I'm reading and appreciating their posts.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

That don't impress me much

You know, I've never been a huge Shania fan but there are just some times in life when the only proper reaction to something is, "Hell no, that don't impress me much."

Like yesterday morning when I was trying to find a business casual outfit and all of my a-line skirts were suddenly too tight.


And you know what else doesn't impress me?

1. Burnt Starbucks coffee.

2. Flashbacks in movies. UGH. Stop making me inwardly groan in movie theaters, screenwriters.

3. Animal companions in action movies. I know they're going to die and it stresses me the fuck out waiting for them to bite the dust.

4. When a guy calls a girl a tease. Sorry she didn't like you back, friend. Tough shit and better luck next time.

5. When your Facebook status says something vaguely dramatic and then someone asks you about it and then you say it's a private matter. Ugh, go away.

6. Seeing teens post photos online with drug paraphernalia clearly in the frame. Children, think of your futures! And get off my lawn. 

7. When a woman insults a guy by saying something stupid about how she can see his lady-parts. You know you just insulted yourself, right, lady? Right?

8. Clothes that don't fit anymore. No I'm not over it yet. It's rude.

9. Man-points. No thanks. Do not want. 

10. When cheese platters at restaurants are underwhelming. Biggest disappointment of my life so far.

11. This dumbass quote from Miley Cyrus: "I feel like every girl is trying to have a beauty shot and prove that they’re 'fashion.' But I can be in white leggings and a white sports bra and I’m on a whole other level of shit that those girls don’t even get yet because they don’t know how to do it." EYE fucking ROLL. Sit down, Miley. Blatantly copying popular styles from the 90s does not a fashion icon make.

12. The fact that I still haven't listened to "Work, Bitch." WTF is my problem?

13. When someone holds the door for you and you walk through without even acknowledging said person. The world is not your doorman. 

14. Drivers who don't know how to merge onto a highway. Oh no, it's cool. I'm just going upwards of 65 mph, but you go ahead and do your own thing.

15. Any cooking show that isn't Cutthroat Kitchen. Just quit now, everyone else. 

Sing it, Shania.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Australia in photographs


Today's prompt for Blogtember, a link-up created by Jenni D at Story of My Life, is to post simply photos. All of the following were taken throughout Australia, where I lived for seven months. 


Did I go a little crazy? It's just such a gorgeous country, I couldn't help it! Happy Wednesday everyone!