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As of 3:22 this morning (that’s right 3:22 on 3/22), I am 31 years old! Though I am warming to the idea of being securely in my 30’s, most days I still don’t feel like this new age group fits quite right. Today however, I am taking a break from the hand wringing and soul searching to simply enjoy all of the love and well wishes that have been coming my way; and to celebrate the journey to this point I am going to share some of my more interesting life moments with you.
- My role as “Mother Pig” in my preschool production of The Three Little Pigs. That’s what happens when you’re taller than all of the other kids in your class. My job was to kiss my piglets fondly on the cheek and send them off into the world. This much to the dismay of one of my cast mates younger sisters. As I gave her the farewell peck, her little sister angrily shouted from the audience “Julie kissed my Amanda!” Pretty much the highlight of the play.
- The tattoos and piercings that I decided on later in life should have been no surprise for my mother. When I was three, I desperately wanted my ears pierced. They figured I’d wimp out after the first earring went in, but (as my mom has told me countless times) though my eyes welled up and my little lower lip trembled, I defiantly turned my head to that they could pierce the other side. Also a foreshadowing of my tendency to dig in my heels when I want something.
- I went through a phase during middle school where I was obsessed with the Babysitters Club series. Specifically I was a huge fan of the artsy Claudia Kishi who, like me, favored funky accessories and had trouble with spelling. I had to wear a uniform to school, but I stockpiled quirky thrift store accessories and wore as many of them as I could at a time.
- I’d always loved fashion and I’d been sketching princess dresses for as long as I can remember, but it was my very first sewing class that I took in 10th grade that really solidified things for me. I made my homecoming dress that semester, and I knew from then on that I was destined for design school.
- One of the reasons my hair color changes so frequently is that I’ve had to dye it since I was 13. You see, the women in my family start going gray early, and that’s when my class mates started noticing so my mom let me (finally) do something about it. Trust me; you’d get bored with brown and blond after a few years, too.
- My senior year of high school I participated in a fashion show in which all the garments were constructed from toilet paper. It was sort of like the Project Runway “Unconventional Challenge”, but before Project Runway even existed.
- When Andy and I started planning our wedding, he was the one who insisted on the big 200 person affair. I wanted to elope or go to one of those all inclusive BnBs in Savannah that only accommodates 30 people total. Ultimately, we had the big ceremony because he told me I would have to be the one who told his mother if we went with my option. Andy was also the one who wanted to have the big cake (I’d suggested cupcakes), but he wanted something at least three tiers tall. And yes, I still mock him for every single bit of this 🙂
- My friends affectionately refer to my style as “sparkle fairy hippie”, and though most days I am completely confident in my choice of glitter sneakers and flower crown, occasionally I worry that other people just think that I am straight up weird. I mean, they’re not wrong, but still. When I was in Savannah last month, I had a hostess give me what was probably one of the nicest complements I’ve ever received. She told me she loved my flower crown and that I looked like a walking SnapChat filter. Completely made my day.
Obviously, there are many many more stories, some of them you guys have been around for, but I’ll stop here and just say that you guys mean the world to me and I am so grateful that I have gotten to share another year of my life’s journey with you. Happy Wednesday!!!
January wasn’t the bright shiny hopeful month we’d all been wishing for after the black cloud of 2016, but that’s behind us now and I am keeping my fingers crossed that February will be different.
Here’s what I’m “Currently” loving…
packing: Nothing….yet. I will be heading to Savannah later this month, but I still have a couple of weeks before any tangible prep work has to happen.
jonesing: For something new. Clothes, house stuff, you name it. I am in a big “out with the old and in with the new” kind of feeling. Fortunately, our budget is keeping my impulses in check, but man, am I ready for a change of view.
texting: With a lot of my local girlfriends. One of the things I have been trying to be better about in the last couple of months is spending more face time with the people I have the option of enjoying face time with. I’ve been lucky, and most of my group has been meeting me half way, and we’ve been trying to grab dinner or something at least every other week. It’s nice to have “girl time”, and Andy doesn’t mind having a quiet evening to stomp zombies. It’s a win-win.
wearing: Yoga pants and tank tops like it’s my job. Obviously this doesn’t include work, but as soon as I get home, it’s stretchy pants all the way, baby. There is even a stack of them on my dresser. If I have to actually leave the house, I’ll add a kimono and a pair of sunglasses, you know, so it looks like I actually tried.
hearting: As sappy as this sounds, my husband. January is always a rough time for me, things start getting crazy at the office, and I tick off another year past since I lost my younger brother, but Andy always has my back. There to offer support, cupcakes, and “just because” hugs (which is a big deal since he isn’t a touchy-feely guy). I don’t need a pink and white holiday to remind me that he is pretty freaking awesome. I try to make sure he hears it, heartfelt, at least once a day.
Image from here.
I’ve been a bit under the weather this week, thus the lack of posts, but I’ve been spending plenty of time aimlessly surfing the internet. While I was doing so, I got caught up on Pugs & Pearls, which is written by a fellow north Florida blogger, and she had this great post called 73 Questions. It was a lot of fun to read, so I decide to do my very own post for you guys. I also threw in a few old photos for funsies 😉
1.What’s the best thing that happened to you this month? Finished my very first painting outside of class.
2. What is something you’re tired of? Hate. All of this hate fueled violence that has been destroying families and sparking more political posturing. Can’t we all just agree that no two people are going to be completely alike and celebrate the differences that make us all unique individuals?
3. What is something that recently moved you? Finding out that a group of my brother’s friends released lanterns in memory of him. Losing him killed a part of me, and not at day goes by without me missing him. It’s nice to know that he hasn’t been forgotten.
4. If you could teach one subject in school what would it be? Art!
5. What’s your favorite beverage? Blood Orange Lemonade #pretentioussummerbeverages
6. What’s your favorite cocktail? I’m strictly a mock-tail girl these days, but I recently had a Blackberry Sage Lemonade that was life changing.
7. What is your favorite cake? This is a tough one. We’ll go with a tie between Tuxedo Cake and Carrot Cake.
8.What is one thing you still have from your childhood? A bunch of little things. I have a keepsake box that is full of photos and trinkets.
9. What is your favorite movie? Under the Tuscan Sun or Chocolate.
10. What is something you can’t do? Crinkle my tongue. I spent most of 3rd grade trying, and I still can’t make it happen.
11. What is one habit you wish you could break? Overthinking. I can’t just deal with something; I have to agonize over the decision both before and after it’s made.
12. What makes you laugh no matter what? My cats. They are supposed to be these mysterious regal beings, but mine are mostly heaping helpings of flopsy hot mess.
13. What does creativity mean to you? It means looking at things and seeing what they can be vs. what they are.
14. What are your favorite lyrics of all time? “When you’re in black slacks with accentuating off white pinstripes, whoa-o, everything goes according to plan.” Random and fashion based, pretty much tailor made for a girl like me 🙂
15. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do? Strike out on my own. I’ve had opportunities to leave my 9-5 in favor of working for myself or with other creatives, and I just couldn’t bring myself to give up the steady paycheck.
16. Best advice for your 19 year old self? Stay away from the burgers and the liquor. Your liver is jacked up, and you’ll end up being a vegetarian anyway!
17. If you could raid one woman’s closet, who would it be? Shiva Rose
18. Must have purse item? Cellphone.
19. What did you want to do with your life at age 12? Be a world famous fashion designer.
20. What is something you will not be doing in ten years? Weekly treatments to fix my chronic migraines. Hopefully we’ll have everything under control by then.
21. What is an important life lesson for someone to learn? You’ll spend your life regretting the things that you don’t do more so than the things that you do.
22. What is one goal you are determined to achieve in your lifetime? Make my husband a kept man 🙂
23. Would you ever live anywhere besides where you live now? Absolutely!
24. What is your favorite dessert? I honestly don’t have a favorite; it completely depends on what I am feeling that day.
25. Is there a dessert you don’t like? Pumpkin pie. *shudder*
26. It’s brunch! What do you eat? Vegetarian Sausage and Gravy over Biscuits.
27. Who is your favorite painter? I couldn’t possibly choose only one.
28. Favorite Disney animal? Jack and Gus Gus from Cinderella.
29. What is a book you are planning on reading? I’m currently re-reading several of the Kelly Armstrong books I already own.
30. What did you read most recently? Quite Contrary by Richard Roberts
31. Favorite solo artist? Lana Del Rey.
32. What’s your Favorite board game? I strongly dislike ALL board games.
33. What’s a city you wish to visit? London.
34. Heels or flats? Flats.
35. Where does one go on a perfect road trip? Up the East Coast and back again.
36. What do you do on a rainy day? Curl up in a large comfy chair, with a book, a fluffy blanket, a mug of tea, and a cat.
37. What’s your favorite exercise? Belly dancing. I wasn’t brilliant at it, but I had a blast.
38. What was your worst subject in school? Toss up between Physics and Calculus. I just couldn’t bring myself to care.
39. What is your spirit animal? I didn’t know how to answer this, so I asked Andy what he thought, he said “I dunno – may be a red panda, I’d say a Pollie (our neurotic orange cat), but it’s nearly the same thing.”
40. What do you usually eat for breakfast? Oatmeal and a veggie breakfast scramble. Gotta at least start my day off by obeying the doctors dietary orders.
41. What do you usually eat for dinner? No clue. Andy and I rarely plan because there are so many unpredictable variables involved.
42. Cooking or Baking? Pffft, baking all the way.
43. Favorite baked good? I make a pretty kick-ass chocolate chip banana bread. It’s comforting and homey. Andy has been known to inadvertently consume an entire loaf over the course of an afternoon.
44. What is something you wish you could be good at? Exercising. I wasn’t good at it even before I got sick.
45. Skiing or Surfing? I’ve never done either, but probably skiing, you get hot chocolate afterwards, right? Plus there are no sharks.
46. First celebrity crush? Taylor Hanson.
47. Most recent celebrity crush? Ryan Reynolds.
48. What color was your prom dress? Blue with black lace.
49. How do you manage stress? Reading, baking, shopping, and eating (although we’ve thankfully almost phased that last one out).
50. What do you do to relax? Lush bath bombs, a foot rub, and a good book.
51. Age when you were first kissed? 3. I kissed my very best friend (at the time) Andrew, my mom has the pictures.
52. Place you were first kissed? Andrew’s family’s house (I think).
53. Favorite fashion trend of all time? Flower crowns, always and forever.
54. Best fashion advice you’ve ever received? “Dress for yourself, screw what other people think.”
55. Trend you would like to see disappear forever? Super short shorts. I don’t need to see anyone butt cheeks.
56. Shoes or Bags? Shoes, I can’t believe this is even a question.
57. How do you know if you’re in love? With Andy, I knew when we’d seen each other everyday for a week, and I didn’t feel a need for “me” time.
58. Television show you’ve binged on recently? Orange is the New Black. Because you have to.
59. Who do you turn to when you’re sad? Andy.
60. Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way? You can kill yourself trying to please someone and it won’t change anything.
61. If you could make a documentary about anything what would it be? People that don’t have human babies but have fur babies instead. You know, crazy cat couples.
62. What is your Kryptonite? A fur baby in need. There is a reason Andy and I had six cats.
63. What are you most enchanted by? The quiet, painfully rich lushness of the mountains.
64. What is your biggest strength? Being able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes I have to work for it, but I almost always can find common ground with someone.
65. What is your biggest weakness? Self doubt. Nobody has ever been as hard on me as I am on myself.
66. What are 3 words to describe living in Florida? Muggy, Buggy, & Hot. Clearly I don’t write the tourist brochures.
67. Cutest thing on planet earth? Baby red pandas.
68. Most important advice you’d give your future children? Celebrate and respect the things that make us all “different”.
69. Best first date idea? Coffee with set plans with friends afterward. You meet, talk and have an excuse to leave if things don’t go well. If they do, you can always call your friends and cancel.
70. Favorite type of flower? Peonies and Irises
71. What do you first notice about someone when you meet them? The scientific answer would be “gender”, it’s something we all do subconsciously, but consciously, I immediately find myself gauging someone’s body language.
72. What’s your guilty pleasure? Young adult novels. I am way to old to still be reading them, but I can’t stop myself.
73. Plans for the weekend? Finding Dory, and baking cupcakes.
If social media has taught us anything, it would be that people often have very strong feelings about things. Sometimes it’s the “big” things like politics or religion, and sometimes it’s something incredibly inane. One of the funniest rants I ever heard actually came from my husband about how he hates Tuesdays. So on my husbands least favorite day, I have decided to share with you a few of the ridiculous things that I “hate”.
- The word moist, unless it is being used to describe a piece of cake (and even then), has no positive connotations for me. It brings to mind images of sweaty palms and damp moldy places (shudder).
- The girly simpering shit storm that is going on about the movie Me Before You. (Spoiler Alert). I have heard all of the “pro” arguments for this movie, and for me, it comes down to this: he loves her, but not enough to set aside his epic self pity party. He doesn’t want to live life the “way” he is; he doesn’t want to “burden” her with his existence? Seriously, guy? What about the thousands of disabled people in this world? Do they not deserve a full life? To find love and be with someone “normal”? Plus, he is crazy rich; he could have a fleet of care givers giving him piggy back rides down hiking trails or mountain climbing or whatever adventure the two of them want. Just saying.
- Leggings. For the love of cupcakes, people, leggings are NOT pants. Yes, they cover your legs, but anything thin enough to show your butt dimples or the color of your panties should be worn with another article of clothing that can cover, at the very least, your butt. Also, just because you can wear something doesn’t mean you should. I can fit my thunder thighs into a pair of XS leggings with obscene amount of wiggling and some heavy breathing, but when a garment is stretched to the point of being translucent, you should go ahead and give it a pass.
- On the subject of clothing, I have recently discovered a deep and abiding hatred for short shorts. I think women should be able to wear whatever they want, but I don’t want to see someones ass checks hanging out the back of their shorts. Plus, I live in Florida where 95% of the population is always sweating and I don’t want to have to sit on a chair that recently played host to someones sweaty bare bottom and sometimes more than that. It seems that while it is okay having the bottom inch and a half of your bottom exposed, having your panties peaking out is absolutely mortifying. Short shorts + no underwear = far more than I wanted to see while enjoying lunch in the mall food court.
- Cilantro. The downside to my love of ethnic dining, since it inevitably shows up in most Latin and Indian dishes. I’ve tried, I really have, but to me, it tastes like lawn clippings and soap. We had to stop going to one of the Indian restaurants in town because I made the grave misstep of politely asking our waiter if he would please ask the chef to skip the large handful of cilantro they topped their dishes with. He gleefully topped off our plates with a double dose and then proceeded to lose the ability to speak the English he had so competently used for the last year and a half of our visits. Turns out we weren’t the only patrons he had issues with and last time we went in he had been reassigned to the hostess stand.
Image from here.
It’s that time again, here are 5 random facts that you might not know about me. A couple of months ago, it occurred to me that as my readership grows, a lot of you haven’t had a chance to meet me, so I decided to put a little more of myself into the blog. Now its time for round two; as a bonus I dug up some old photos from college. Enjoy!
- I was born at 3:22 am on March 22. If that isn’t cool enough, my mom’s watch stopped at the exact moment I was born. She still has it in her jewelry box, and it still reads 3:22. I feel like such an auspicious beginning should have come with special powers or magic of some sort, but almost 30 years in and I still can’t levitate a pencil or fly. Lame.
- I am terrified of spiders. I can’t stand to see them or be near them or their webs. I was driving home from college one summer, and I felt something tickle my arm. I thought it was a mosquito or something, so I slapped my arm and squashed this HUGE spider. It was dead, but I had arachnid guts on my arm and gross twitching spider legs in my cup holder. I managed to keep it somewhat together, but I sobbed hysterically the remaining 20 minutes of the trip and made my mom meet me outside our house with paper towel in hand so she could wipe my arm and remove the spider remains. Completely irrational, but I can’t seem to do anything about it.
- I have a brown thumb. I love plants, and I dream of having a kitchen windowsill bursting with luscious stalks of fresh herbs, but the only plants that I manage to keep alive are the ones that you only water once every few months. I am still a lot better than Andy though; he can kill a plant just by holding it or looking at it too long.
- When my mom was pregnant with me, she thought I was going to be a boy. The doctor, nurses and ultra sound pictures all said “girl”, but she was positive the they were wrong. Her first born was going to be a boy. She got over it pretty quickly once I was born, and there was without a doubt I was a girl. I mean, tons of frilly baby clothes, does it get any better?
- I was a very prissy girl when I was younger. I loved gloves and hats and shoes and pretty flouncy dresses. I wanted wear all of the pretty things and look like a princess every single day. It was so bad that I would cry if my parents made me wear jeans or overalls. There was even one occasion, when I was supposed to go to work with my dad who is an airplane mechanic, where my denim induced temper-tantrum was so bad I was threatened with jeans for a week if I didn’t stop crying and get dressed. Now days 80% of the time, I am in jeans or yoga pants.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post, or at the very least found it amusing. If you missed the first installment of this series, you can find it here.