Thursday, August 30, 2012

Travel Dreaming: Africa

My goal in life is to just continually travel the globe, so if anyone has any amazing ideas on how to make that a possibility, let me know.
Until then, I'll just keep compiling "dream lists" so that I know where to go when a ton of money falls into my lap.

I've been obsessed with Egypt since I was a small child. I would pour over my mom's old National Geographic magazines and look for anything Egypt related. It's also a dream of mine to come face to face with a lion in the wild. And since it's a dream, the lion would curl up at my feet and pur while I pet its mane.
Look at his face. He wouldn't hurt anyone.

Without further ado, here are the places that I would most like to visit in Africa:

The Pyramids at Giza
Tombs, tunnels, ancient everything. Sign me up.

Victoria Falls
Gorgeous, right? However, I will neverevereverever swim in the pool area on top of the falls. Who was the first person that was like, "hey, let's see if there's a spot on top of this gigantic waterfall where we don't plunge to our death?" How much trouble shooting went into that? "Well, that obviously wasn't the spot..."

Mount Kilimanjaro
Stunning. And how awesome would it be at a mountain that has giraffes around it?

The colors. The markets. The architecture.
I just want to spend a month there and soak in everything.

Cape Town
I'd be lying if I said that one of the main reasons I want to visit this city is so that I can go on a Great White shark tour.
Oh, and it's gorgeous.

I'm sure there are countless places in Africa that are incredible and breathtaking, so that is why you should tell me what places I need to add to my list. Have any of you visited Africa?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy Things

There are a few things that always make me happy. Like, when they happen, I just want to freeze time and soak in the moment.
Well, two of those things happened on the same day for me,
and it was almost too much to handle.

First came the car wash.
It had been a long day. A very long day. It was 10:00 at night (still 105 outside), and I still had to go to the house where I was staying, feed a dog, water a bunch of plants, and respond to some messages. Not the worst thing in the world, but for some reason, I just wanted to collapse on the couch and watch one of my guilty pleasures (read: The Real Housewives of NJ). But as I was pumping gas, I thought, "Duh." (OK, I think that a lot, but this time it was more of a "eureka!" type of duh).
A car wash.
That's what I/my car needed.

Aren't they just the best? They're so refreshing.

OK, so after I left the car wash and was pleasantly singing along to the radio with my new found zest for the evening, I remembered that I still had to bake cookies for something that was taking place the next day.
I love baking cookies, but I still just wanted to collapse on a couch and watch The Real Housewives of NJ. (I know, I know. Feel free to judge. I know it's ridiculous)

I finally snapped out of my inner pity party and got down to business.
This might sound really stupid, but I love the form of packed brown sugar. It always just looks happy, and it means that wonderful things are being created.
Also, when you get to smash it up, well, that's fun, too.

Like I said, it might sound really stupid, but it's a small joys.

What are your small joys?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm a Sucker for a Theme Party

Anyone who has spent more than one hour with me knows that I love theme parties.
I mean, what's not to love? You get to dress up, bake food, eat food, and hang out with awesome people with a theme.
It's just the best.
My friends and I have had some incredible parties, if I do say so myself.

Michael Jackson Day, Harry Potter Day, 80's Night, Waiting For Guffman Night, 90's Night, Back to School, Mardi Gras, Oscar parties, Zelda Day, 30 Rock Day, and Ron Swanson Night just to name a few.

Jo and I used to host X-Files Marathons, but unfortunately those took place before the day I got a digital camera. But, the names speak for themselves: X-Mas Files (at Christmas), HeX-Files (at Halloween), ThanX-Files (at Thanksgiving), MeX-Files (for Cinco de Mayo), Eggs-Files (at Easter). I feel like there were more, but my memory is already fading.

I am currently dying to have a Mad Men night. Who doesn't want to dress up like Joan and have a bunch of Don Drapers walking around?

So, who's coming to Mad Men night?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stupid Movies

I've briefly mentioned that my friend Sally and I love watching stupid movies. We love good movies, too, but it's a ton of fun to watch a stupid movie and make fun of it the entire time. Have you tried it before?
You should.

The same questions always seem to come up whenever we watch a stupid movie.
Why did someone pay to make the movie? How did people agree to "act" in the movie? Did the actors/actresses see the script before they signed on? Are there people out there who legitimately liked the movie?
The list goes on and on.

At the beginning of the year, Sally and I decided to compile all of the movies we watched throughout 2012; the good, the bad, the horrible, and the hilarious.
I don't want to give anything away, but the list is kind of incredible.

Is there a stupid movie that you think we need to add to our list? Is there a stupid movie that is your all-time favorite stupid movie?

FYI: We give ourselves bonus points if the movies include Brendan Fraser, Nicolas Cage, or if they being with the word "the."

Thanks in advance for the recommendations.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Travel Dreaming: Europe

I am currently craving a trip to Europe.

Let me rephrase that. I am always craving a trip to Europe.

It has been 5 years since my last trip over there, and while my fear of flying across the Atlantic is OK with me staying in the US, my constant day dreaming about adventure is not.

Until I win the lottery, discover that I have an aunt who is a Vanderbilt (which would make Anderson Cooper a cousin, which would just make all my dreams come true), and/or I inherit loads of money, I will just have to keep daydreaming.

Here are the places to which my mind wanders the most:

Moscow / St. Petersburg

OK. I'm a little obsessed with Russia. Those Russians are just crazy geniuses. Am I right? If you're ever like, "Hey, I am dying to chat about the ups and downs, the highs and the lows, the music lineage, and/or the insane dictators and religious men of Russia," call me. I'm saving a bottle of Stolichnaya for such an occasion.


Yeah. I've already talked about my desire to visit Salzburg at one point on this blog. I now want to visit Salzburg if for no other reason than to get Igor back for dashing my dreams into the Austrian ground.


Basically, I want to move to Germany so I can spend time in all areas of the country. I also want to become fluent in German. Wer mochte mit mer lernen?


It might be a cliche, and if the stories I've heard are correct, the people might be the rudest, but I don't care. I want to walk along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, and take typical pictures of the Eiffel tower, and stroll across the many bridges, and sit at a cafe and feel smarter than I really am. I can't help it. While I've been in dream-love with Paris since I was a child, I blame the 1995 version of Sabrina for making me long to snap candid photos along the Seine.


OK, another cliche place, but honestly, I don't care. I want to go there. And, yeah. I'll probably be one of the stupid American tourists who has to take a picture at platform 9 and 3/4. Again, I don't care. The locals can make fun of me all they want.


I've heard it's a dirty and smelly city with skeezy dudes that prowl around. I will just have to try my hardest not to focus on any of those things. I'll clutch my street map and walk with purpose. That works, right?


I'm always surprised that more people don't visit Prague. Maybe they do, and they just aren't impressed with it enough to talk about it. Who has been before? Is it worth it?

What are your favorite places to visit in Europe? What European location are you just dying to visit? Let's start planning a trip.

Who's in?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Oklahoma City,
I think you're great. I really do.
But, I've been thinking about it, and I think you need an efficient mode of public transportation. I realize that will be a tall order because you're spread all over the place, but you have to start somewhere, right? I mean, we have the Thunder now, and we need to keep up with the growth, so it makes sense, right OKC? Just think, one day you could have a system that looks like this:

Dear Rex and Gypsy,
It's really fun getting to watch you while your parents are out of town. You're some of the cutest pups ever, and I'm not just saying that because you're my doggy siblings.
I know that you love sleeping on the bed, but sometimes you make it really difficult to move during the night. Maybe you could just scoot over a bit? Think about it.

Dear New Glasses,
I'm kind of still obsessed with you. I still feel like I'm betraying my old pair, but we've reached a mutual understanding, and it's time to move on. Even if my co-workers don't like you, you're still my favorite.

Dear Pools,
I don't know where I'd be without you. You're kind of my favorite. Thanks for being you.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Highs / Lows

High: I've been house sitting a lot lately. This is always fun, because basically it means that I get to live vicariously through another family that has a bigger house than I do. It also helps if they have a pool.

Low: Since I pack as sparingly as possible when I house sit, I have basically been cycling through the same 2 necklaces, 2 pairs of earrings, and 5 dresses since July 6th. (Don't worry, I wash the dresses). However, I am looking forward to the end of August when I can move back home and start incorporating more into my wardrobe.

High: The Olympics took place. It was an exciting time that included, but was not limited to, the Fab Five's win, Team USA's gold in Basketball, Lochte's tweets, Missy Franklin's all-american-ness, and Mustafina's face. She will cut you.

Low: The Olympics ended. It's true. All good things must come to an end, I suppose. However, the silver lining in this is that in two years they will be back again. And they'll be in Russia!

High: It's SHARK WEEK. An entire week that is devoted to one of my favorite apex predators. Now we just need a saltwater crocodile week (hello, death roll), and a komodo dragon week. (I would also accept a Big Cat Week, which I think might already exist, and a Snake Week, even though I'd have to close my eyes a lot for that)

Low: I didn't go cage diving with Great Whites this year. Maybe next year.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Apparently I'm Predictable

Either I’m the most predictable person in the world or my friends just know me very, very well. Or maybe I just have very specific interests. Or maybe I talk too much?It’s probably a combination of all of those things.

If Anne of Green Gables (or Gone With the Wind. Or You’ve Got Mail) is on TV, at least one person will text me which channel it’s on.

If something happened with Jay-Z, Beyonce, or Kanye, I will inevitably receive a handful of tweets/Facebook posts/texts about whatever happened.
I’m always notified if there have been more shark attacks than usual, or there was a crocodile attack, or they found a man-eating lion (basically, anything apex predator related).

If a documentary about a serial killer is on TV, I’ll get at least one text telling me to turn on the TV.
It’s kind of the best thing ever. I suppose I do the same thing to my friends when something reminds me of them. It all works out.
What pop culture/newsworthy items do you get texts and alerts from friends about?

Update: I literally just received some picture texts from my parents of some sharks they just saw get reeled in off the coast of St. Simon’s Island, GA. They know me well.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Love My Hair. I Hate My Hair.

I’ve never had long hair. That’s a fact that has put me in much turmoil in my short time on this earth.

When I was really young, my parents kept my hair extremely short. Apparently I did not like getting my hair brushed, and I would speak my mind quite loudly about the subject. That doesn’t sound like me…

But because of this, I look like a boy in every picture (all 6 of them) from when I was little.

As my body grew, my hair for the most part stayed the same length. There would be some years where I would decide to grow it out, but then it would reach shoulder level and I’d think, “how do people have long hair?!” And then I’d grab a pair of scissors and chop off all of my hair a la Edward Scissorhands.

OK, not really. But I wanted to do that quite a few times.

(Honestly, what’s your secret, long-hair ladies? How do you all look so effortlessly put together and cool all the time? I keep telling myself that when the weather starts to cool down things will be better. I’ll probably think the exact opposite when the cool weather finally arrives)

For several reasons 2011 was another year when I decided to grow my hair out. So far I think I’ve done OK. I haven’t made any desperate phone calls to my hair lady. I haven’t shed any tears while fixing my hair (well, maybe a few). It’s a little past my shoulders, and I’m pushing onward and upward. Well, technically downward.

But in the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming that my hair will look like this:

When in reality it will most likely look something along the lines of this:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dreaming of Fall-ish Things

It never fails. It’s always around this time of year that I start craving the beginning of school and all that comes with it.

Summer is grand, it’s true. But the beginning of the school year / entrance to autumn is just, in my opinion, the best time of year.

School supplies, schedules, books, football, tights (!), boots (!!), scarves (!!!), baking (the exclamation points are endless). The list goes on.

Granted, the weather won’t start cooling down until November, but I’ll take what I can get.

Let's all dream about keeping sipping coffee with the windows open.

Also, I'm a huge sucker for elbow pads.

If it was acceptable to have them on every sweater, I would.

And, this is totally on my fall "to-bake" list. Snickerdoodle cake.

What is your favorite part of fall? Or, what isn't your favorite part of fall?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Awesomeness

Happy August, everyone!

What better way to celebrate the arrival of August than to highlight a moment in July?

Yes, I realize that it has nearly been a month since the Fourth of July, but there's no statute of limitations on uploading photos from a fantastic holiday celebration, right? That's what I thought.

Sometimes the stars align, and all of your best friends are in the same spot, you don't have to go to work, and food, dancing, and fireworks are all nearby.

Oh, and there are babies. Adorable babies.

(top to bottom: sparkler-dancing, adorable babies, cute babies, hysterical babies, wonderful babies, swim pic, sparkler intensity)

I hope your Fourth of July (slash entire month of July) was delightful!