Sunday, April 27, 2014

Books to Give You Goosebumps!

I am not a huge fan of scary movies.  The ones about mass murderers, the gory ones - those, I can handle.  But show me a ghost, a demon, a possessed human...and I'll probably pee in my pants a little bit.  There's something about a movie that just makes it all seem too real; plus, whoever adds the eerie music and jump scene sound effects is an a-hole.  After watching Paranormal Activity or The Exorcist, I need to watch a cartoon immediately afterward and will probably still end up sleeping with the lights on.

Give me a scary book, however, and I can totally handle it.  When I'm in the right mood, I love reading a book that gives me the chills and makes me listen for spooky sounds around the house.  And, like Joey from Friends, if I get too scared, I can just close the book and hide it in the freezer.  Here are a few of my favorites (all images from Goodreads):

Gerald's Game - Stephen King
Stephen King is, I think, not given enough credit.  Literary snobs scoff at his work, thinking him long-winded, cliched, and unoriginal.  But I think he is really great at what he does.  I love most of his novels:  Needful Things, Misery, The Green Mile.  But while most people think that It or The Shining are his most terrifying, I was much more terrified by the psychological twistedness of Gerald's Game.  In this thriller, Jessie and her husband Gerald have gone to their lake house for a getaway of sorts; Gerald handcuffs his wife (with real, legitimate handcuffs) to the bed to enjoy a little BDSM fun...and then proceeds to have a heart attack and die on top of her.  It all sounds like very dark, slapstick comedy at this point, right?  But Jessie's struggle to find some means of escape is pretty brutal, especially when there is literally no one around this time of year except for a very hungry stray dog.  Her helplessness and fear is described in painful detail, and the anxiety I felt while reading it was pretty intense.  This is just great storytelling from King.

If you like King's books, you should also try The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon.  It is in the same vein of psychological thriller as Gerald's game, only it's directed more towards a YA audience.  It's about a young girl who, during a hike with her family, becomes lost in the woods for days on end, and she doesn't seem to be alone...  Gave me the chills!

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
I know, I know, I know.  This book is overrated and everywhere.  But I have to write about it because it was the book of 2012, and it was also pretty damn good.  Again, this is definitely more of a psychological thriller about how much one can actually trust their spouse.  It is the day of Amy and Nick's 5th wedding anniversary, and Amy has disappeared.  All evidence points to Nick being involved somehow, but we have no idea what is going on.  The narrators (Nick and Amy, in diary entries) are unreliable, evasive, and secretive, making the reader trust them only to throw it back in their faces.  I can't talk about the plot too much without giving it away, but the main characters were pretty sick, and there were some crazy twists going on in this novel.  It was definitely a fun (if vaguely disturbing) ride, and I hope the movie does the book justice.

What Comes Next - John Katzenbach
This book was disturbing, I'll just say that right of the bat.  It is not a book that I enjoyed, necessarily, but it is definitely one that stuck with me.  The main character is a retired professor who has just been told by a doctor that he is slowly losing himself to a degenerative disease.  On his way back from the doctor's office, he witnesses what he thinks is a girl being abducted.  The police believe she has run away, but the professor takes it on himself to investigate the girl's disappearance.  Meanwhile, there's "What Comes Next," which is a website run by a perverted, money-hungry couple - a live site on which viewers can watch videos of young girls being tortured in various, often pornographic, ways.  Though the premise is definitely disturbing and vile, there were no explicit, graphic sex scenes or scenes with violence.  It was well-written and had very strong characters.  Expect to be disgusted by this book, though it was a good read.

The Woman in Black - Susan Hill
The Woman in Black is a traditional ghost story, written in an old-fashioned way that threw me at first but I got used to it very quickly.  Old-fashioned and spooky, this story relies more on the environment to scare you, and when it's combined with the anticipation and dread you feel while reading it, it is without a doubt the scariest book I have ever read.  I'm not sure why, as there was no out-and-out horror was the quiet, understated chilling-ness of it that got me.  Arthur Kipps, the narrator and main character, is a lawyer assigned to tie up loose ends at the estate of a recently deceased woman.  The estate is, of course, located on an English moor, and though Arthur is not a man to be drawn in by ghost stories, he soon finds himself curious about the mystery of the "woman in black."  Ugh.  This was just terrifying.  I enjoyed the movie as well, but it didn't scare me halfway as much as the book did...though I do love me some Daniel Radcliffe.

Escape From Camp 14 - Blaine Harden
This book was terrifying in a much different way than the others - it was terrifying because it's true.  Escape From Camp 14 is a true account of one man's escape from a political prison camp in North Korea.  These camps are basically like Nazi concentration camps, in which Shin's family was executed and he was forced to compete with his own parents for food.  I had no idea there were such places in the world - does this make me naive?  Probably.  These prison camps have existed twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps, and it is rare for someone to escape.  But Shin did, and this is his story of bravery and survival, as well as his struggle to adjust to life outside the camp.  This was horrifying, shocking, and incredibly sobering.

NOS4A2 - Joe Hill
On a lighter note, NOS4A2 is a fun ride of a horror novel, written by Stephen King's son!  This novel could rival some of King's best works, in my opinion.  While riding her bike, Victoria (our young main character) can magically "find" things that have been lost by going through a supernatural tunnel of sorts.  She has found a missing bracelet, a photograph, and answers to questions that have been on her mind.  But what she finds one Charles Manx and his town of "Christmasland".  Charles Manx is a super-villain who takes children and steals away their innocence, and he will never forget Victoria after she manages to escape his clutches...  Really scary and impossible to put down!

Blood Harvest - S. J. Bolton
This novel has the creepy, something's-not-right-here feel of stories like The Lottery or Children of the Corn.  The small town in which it's set has some odd traditions, and the people like to stick to them.  Even after a new family and a new pastor come to town and shake things up.  Weird things keep happening:  voices in the graveyard, a feeling of being watched, a young boy having an invisible playmate, little girls going missing...  It's all very chilling and eerie.  Just the right amount of horror and goosebumps in this thrilling novel!  I loved it.

It's supposed to thunderstorm tonight...why not grab one of these books to keep you company?  :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Small Town Living

"I wish I could show you the little village where I was born.  It's so lovely there...I used to think it too small to spend a life in, but now I'm not so sure." - Mary Kelly

"Who you lookin' for
What is his name
you can prob'ly find him
at the football game
it's a small town
you know what I mean
it's a small town, son
and we all support the team."
- James McMurtry

The streets are quieter here.  There are no stoplights, only a handful of stop signs.  You can walk two blocks and be at the public library, one more and you're at the bank.  You can leave your house unlocked, garage door wide open, and not have to worry.  Your landlord is your brother's best friend from high school, and the guy cashing your check at the bank also taught you how to use a computer when you were in middle school.  The town revolves mostly around farming, basketball, and the annual Christmas get-together at the fire station uptown - nothing too exciting really happens here.  But you wouldn't live anywhere else.

Sometimes, when it's winter and it's snowing, you go outside to grab something from your car and are struck by the silence of the street - you think you can almost hear the snow falling, it's that quiet.  You go back inside feeling a little bit luckier than you had when you left the house.  The same is true during nights in the summer, when the only sound you can hear is the sizzle of your own grill and some faint voices from the neighbors' screened-in porch.

You can walk down the middle of Main Street, and...

even bust a move...

if that's something you're into.

Everyone knows your name, and though your husband is new to the area, they know his name, too.  You go into the bank, the post office, the gas station, the library - everyone personally greets you, asks after your family, your dog.  Maybe you wish sometimes you didn't know absolutely everyone (you're usually wearing sweats and your hair is always a mess), but you're always thankful.

When someone dies, the entire town (and probably the next town over, too) shows up for the funeral, armed with casseroles and pies.  If a storm is on its way, neighbors warn each other, offering extra flashlights or batteries; your heater broke last winter, and your neighbors invited you and your husband over to their place, where it was warm and they had hot chocolate.  Kids here grow up running a little wild, coming and going as they please.  Everyone eats at a diner called the Chit Chat Cafe every Sunday after church, where the Double Burger Platter has tasted exactly the same since the early 90s.  You graduated from a class of 40; you knew everyone's first and last name, and you even remember most of their birthdays.

I <3 my backyard!

The cost of living is dirt-cheap, even when compared to cities only 30 minutes away.   A neighbor across the street has an old, beat-up Eames chair sitting in his driveway - you've thought about asking for it several times; he probably doesn't even know what it is he's got.  You see a gorgeous antique bureau being loaded onto a Goodwill truck, and when you stop to ask about it, it's your best friend's sister's old boyfriend that's moving it - not only does he let you have it for free, but he drives it over to your dad's house for you and unloads it.

Main Street is always empty, or nearly so; you can walk right down the middle of the road most days and never see anyone driving.  Many of the businesses have closed, but when the hardware store was still thriving, you and your friends would go in and pick out candy, putting it on your dad's "tab", which he'd have to pay off later.  The librarian tells you not to worry about the fee for checking out movies; you'd get it next time.  There are no cops here, and when the cop from the next town makes a weekly visit, he knows your name and waves at you when you drive by.  The closest movie theater shows new movies every night for two bucks; you go every week.

You didn't used to love it here.  You curled your lip at the sleepiness of the town, dreamed of days when you'd leave for somewhere bigger and better.  But you've grown up, and you've decided that a small town suits you so much better than a big city.  You couldn't trade the silent streets and friendly people for big buildings and busy traffic.  This is where you belong.

Beautiful weather on a walk with Riley!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Best and Worst of Television Boyfriends

I had a lot of crushes on characters in TV shows when I was younger.  Some of them were strange.  I can't even tell you how many post-adolescent dreams I had about Zack Morris back in the day, not to mention the elaborate conversations I would have with Shawn Hunter and his big brother Jack in my head.  I also recall a fan-fiction-esque story scrawled in a speckled composition book that starred Harvey Kinkle of Sabrina the Teenage Witch fame.  Like with most other things, I look back on some of those crushes and wonder what the hell I was thinking.  Their shenanigans were all good and well when they were safe inside a television sitcom, but in real life?  Most of those guys would make awful boyfriends.  Let's take a closer look at the best and worst boyfriends on TV!

Best:  Aidan Shaw (photo from here)

1.  Seriously?  Look at this beautiful, beautiful man.
2.  Is manly (builds furniture out of wood...and brawn)
3.  Smells good (has many Speed Sticks, all in different scents)
4.  Loves dogs (and doesn't even get angry at She-Who-Must-Not-be-Named when she lets Petey run away!)
5.  Wants to eat fried chicken in bed with you.
6.  Forgives you for basically anything, as long as you keep repeating, "You have to forgive me.  You have to forgive me!" over and over again really annoyingly.
7.  Gets along with your friends (and will even pick them up off of the bathroom floor when they strain their neck!)
8.  Will buy you a cute, trendy, new laptop (which hopefully you will appreciate, since, unlike She-Who-Must-Not-be-Named, you are probably not evil incarnate)

Worst:  Big (photo from here)

Reasons:  Will pop up every time you have finally gotten over him to ruin your life, will abandon you at the altar (although, honestly, I would have tried to get away from that hot mess too), and will send "love letters" written by someone else to you via email in order to win you back.  Also, is not Aidan - and that is a flaw in and of itself.

Best:  Albert Clifford - but you can call him A.C. - Slater (photo from here)

1.  Will call you "Mama" (and will make puns; i.e.:  "Do you like your milkshake, Slater?"  "I like it when you shake, Mama."  Cue the whoooo!)  (Jessie would say this is sexist and call him a pig.  I, however, would just go with it.)
2.  The dimples
3.  Can dance in many different styles (ballet, as seen above; jazzy fist-pumping at The Max; Buddy Bands advertising; sock-sliding to Barbara Ann; even a secret kicky dance cheer thing when he's really excited!)
4.  Loves animals (remember his lizard named Artie?  Oh, Artie boy.)
5.  Will care for you if you're addicted to caffeine pills

Worst:  Zack Morris (photo from here)

1.  Will always be trying to manipulate you using various tactics (subliminal messaging, making all your friends think you have a terminal illness, making his "best friend" dress like a woman and record you in the locker room for his own financial gain, etc.)
2.  HUGE cell phone (compensating...?)
3.  Will kiss the person you are madly in love with just because he's Zack Morris and he can
4.  Pity-dates girls who are overweight and then never mentions them or sees them ever again (I like to think that in some alternate universe, the overweight girl, the girl in the wheelchair, and the female wrestler are all together, gossiping about how shitty Zack is)
5.  Won't let you go to Paris for a modeling gig because he's jealous and selfish and awful
6.  Has inappropriate relationship with principal
7.  Also has cardboard cutout of you in his room

Best:  Chandler Bing (photo from here)

Reasons:  Could he be a better life partner?  Chandler is always ready to break an awkward silence with a sarcastic quip; he is a great friend (even if you let all your furniture get stolen) and might pay for your acting classes.  Never afraid to embrace his more feminine qualities (bubble baths and the Annie soundtrack, baby), Ms. Chanandler Bong would be the ultimate husband.

Worst:  Ross Geller (photo from here)

1.  Nobody likes Ross.  Nobody.  He is the worst.
2.  He will weirdly obsess over you from afar for years.  Years.
3.  There is a specific kind of nerd I like.  Video game nerd, yes please.  Dinosaurs, no.
4.  Three divorces!  Three divorces!
5.  Ross always has something to complain about.  
6.  Doesn't know how to count Mississippi-less-ly.
7.  Is unusually jealous of your coworkers and will do everything in his power to keep you away from them (even start a fire in your office!)
8.  Owned a monkey illegally.  Monkeys don't belong in captivity, jerk!
9.  They were not on a break.  We all know it.

Best:  Andy Dwyer (photo from here)

Reasons:  Andy Dwyer is joy in human form.  He will eat cereal out of Frisbees with you and encourage you when you want to adopt all the dogs!  He rescued a three-legged pit bull named Champion, and sometimes he publicly pretends he is an FBI agent.  I am pretty sure I married a bespectacled Andy Dwyer.

Worst:  Tom Haverford (photo from here)

Reasons:  I hate his stupid opening-credits face.  I hate his stupid nasal voice.  I hate how he shortens words.  It's stupid.  I hate his stupid laugh.  I hate his stupid friend Jean-Ralphio and his stupid ex-girlfriend Mona Lisa.  He would be the worst boyfriend because he would always be on his stupid phone, thinking of stupid ideas to make money, and saying stupid things like how he wants to "snuggle little buuuunies."

Best:  Cory Matthews (photo from here)

1.  Cory says things like this ^^ un-ironically and without shame.  (He also had this little exchange:  "This is just a painting."  "This painting is a masterpiece!"  "We're a masterpiece!"  But I'm going to ignore that one.)
2.  Is easy to please (is nearly overcome with joy when Topanga gives him a peek of her butt)
3.  Besides his ski chalet slip-up with that homewrecker Lauren, he is the best boyfriend EVER.
I would, however, worry that he would eventually end up dating Shawn on the side.


Worst:  Shawn Hunter (photo from here)

Reasons:  Okay.  I will admit, I still love this boy.  All of the charm and the angst and oh my god, that hair.  But truth is...he'd be a really sketchy boyfriend.  Shawn Hunter is all sorts of trouble.  He is a dramatic poet who carries around all of this dad-guilt and sometimes gets drunk and/or blows up mailboxes.  But oh so beautiful.  I'm pretty sure that Shawn Hunter is to blame for all of my bad dating choices from 2008-2011-ish.  

Other Bests:

Eric Northman AND Hoyt from True Blood:  Eric might end up eating you in the end, but it also might end up being worth it.  And Hoyt (we miss you!) is such an adorable puppy dog of a man.

Pacey Witter from Dawson's Creek:  So sarcastic, so witty, such a great vocabulary, so there for Andie even when she is a schizophrenic cheating ho-bag, so not Dawson Leery.  And that's A-okay with me.

Steve Hale from Full House:  He was Aladdin.  He liked to eat food a lot.  DJ was a lucky girl.

Harvey Kinkle from Sabrina the Teenage Witch:  The sideburns...and the way he overlooks a lot of crazy shit because he loves Sabrina so much (like when she is whisked away to a castle to marry a dwarf, for instance)

Other Worsts:

Dylan McKay from Beverly Hills 90210:  Wears really awful Mexican ponchos that probably reek of marijuana and depression.  Emotionally explosive and unpredictable.  Will (probably) cheat on you while you're in Paris.  Will scare you by throwing tantrums and also flower pots.

Jim Halpert from The Office: Remember the good old days when we all thought Jim was amazing?  He put Dwight's stuff in Jell-O, and I laughed right along with him.  He made adorable faces at the camera, and my heart skipped a beat.  He pined after Pam and told her he was in love with her at poker night, and I won't lie, I cried a little.  But then something happened.  Soon after Jim married Pam, I slowly started to hate him.  When he got bombarded with Dwight's snowballs and crumbled onto the ground like a little bitch, I cringed inside.  And the last season?  Where he became obsessed with his stupid sports job in stupid Philly?  That was the final nail in the coffin of my love for Jim.  May you rest in peace, Jim Halpert seasons 2-5.  I really loved you.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Guess Today is National Siblings Day...

And instead of getting all sappy about how much I loooove my brother and sister (because that's not the Tudor way) (that used to be my last name), I am going to share with you some anecdotes that perfectly sum up our relationship.  If you're lucky, there will also be some super-flattering photos of all of us.  Here's a guide to my siblings:

Angie:  The Smart and Successful One with Great Taste
Fletcher:  The Generous and Selfless One with an Awesome Sense of Humor
Chelsea (that's me!):  The Lazy, Nerdy One who Hangs out at her Parents' House Way More Often than she Should (I have a bad feeling that I am the black sheep of the family)
Here we are at my wedding, where we are inwardly cringing because the photographer kept telling us to "get closer"...Tudors don't like to show physical affection :)

I also have some in-laws:
Miaka:  The Hard-Working and Super Friendly One who is also a Great Mom
Derek:  The Independent College Kid who is Very Sweet but Honestly Kind of a Mama's Boy (JK, Derek, you're not) (You are, though.  Love you!)
Here are these two, the in-laws, skipping arm in arm at my wedding reception!

Okay.  All caught up?  Now you'll know who is who in the photos and stories :)  Here we go.

*Angie and Fletcher thought it was hilarious when they rolled me up in a blanket, burrito-style, arms pinned to my side...and placed me in a bowl-shaped chair that is difficult to get up out of even when you have full motion of all four limbs.  They then left the room, closing the door and turning off the lights on their way out, and giggled their way down the stairs.  I stayed there in the dark until someone eventually took pity on me, and then I didn't talk for like three hours.  Pretty sure they traumatized me.

*They also thought it was hilarious to talk me into letting them put those "fresh breath" drops (you know, that little bottle of blue liquid that was invented by Satan) on my tongue.  I think I recall Fletcher holding my arms back while Angie dripped some of it onto my tongue, and my God, does that stuff burn.  I screamed and ran to the bathroom to stick my mouth under the faucet while they laughed and laughed.  I'm pretty sure I let them do it at least a couple more times after that, so I kind of had it coming if I was that stupid.

I often wore bib overalls and clogs.  Like, all the time.  And you'll be seeing several photos featuring this locale - the basement door is always the backdrop for family pictures, for whatever reason.  Also, nice jeans, Angie.

*I had this borderline obsessive-compulsive thing when I was little, and I would ask my mom every night if I would have any bad dreams.  Literally every night: "Will I have any bad dreams?"  She would, of course, respond no, and then I could go to sleep, no problem.  And then came the night my brother and sister were told to watch me while Mom and Dad were gone.  I laid down on the couch and asked hopefully, "Will I have any bad dreams?"  Angie replied, "Yes."  "Now go to sleep," Fletcher chimed in.

*My friend and I had just discovered South Park, even though we were only in early elementary school, and we thought Mr. Hankey was absolutely hilarious.  We would repeat the "Christmas Poo's" quotes to each other again and again, thinking we were super-cool and eons ahead of our classmates, maturity-wise.  I was reading a book aloud to myself at home one day (as most people do in their spare time) and decided it would be really funny to repeat a Mr. Hankey line before each page turn, like the little chime noise in the book and tape sets.  The line was, "Hoooowdy ho, boys and girls!  You smell an awful lot like flowers!"  Said, of course, in that high-pitched voice.  Over and over I said it.  Eventually, Fletcher emerged from his room, calmly and silently took the book out of my hands, and smacked me over the head with it.  Then he gave the book back.  

A rare moment of affection between siblings.  Take a moment, if you will, to appreciate my ombre jeans (which were also absolutely covered in glitter) and the chain - THE CHAIN! - hanging from my pocket.

This is Fletcher in his hardcore-sideburn stage.

*Angie regularly babysat me on Friday nights when Mom and Dad went out.  We would watch TGIF (may it rest in peace), and she would sit and enjoy Sabrina the Teenage Witch with me...up until the last few minutes.  This was when she would begin to pretend she had "something wrong with her brain."  She would repeat it over and over, while I pretended to roll my eyes but secretly got more and more nervous.  Finally, I would go by myself into her room and watch 90210 reruns and cry.  

*I distinctly remember trying to put a pair of pants on in my room when I was about 4.  Fletcher walked through (my room served as a hallway between his bedroom and the stairs) and pushed me while I still had one leg up, trying to find the leg-hole.  Totally caught off guard, I fell all the way over onto the floor with my legs in the air.  "HAHAHAHAHAHA," he laughed loudly and kept walking down the stairs.

This is Miaka's favorite photo of her husband.  She thinks it is hilarious and wants it made into a poster.  So this photo is for her.

You're welcome.

*We go on a sibling trip to Adventureland every year, and even though each year we are able to go on fewer and fewer rides (why does getting older mean feeling more nauseous on spinny rides?), it is always fun.  A few years ago, we were all on the Raging River and talking about how disgusting the seatbelts always make your hands smell - like wet snowpants and the trays at Taco Tico.  I leaned forward to adjust my ass on the slick vinyl seats, and the seatbelt sliced my leg open.  For real!  Cut right into my leg!  "What the hell?!" I yelled as blood started to leak out of the shallow cut, "Can I get AIDS from this seatbelt?!"  Miaka, a nurse, burst out laughing, and Fletcher shook his head and said, "Maybe if you wore shorts that were longer than your crotch..."  It all sounds very crass and immature, but oh, it was hilarious.  An Adventureland ride cut my leg open.  We went to the main office to get a bandage - I was honestly hoping for free park tickets or something, but I got nothin'.  

I am loving the variety of emotions in this picture.  Fletcher is unusually happy (probably due to the Nerf gun he is terrorizing me with), I am unusually sad and sniffly-looking, and Angie is appropriately annoyed with all of it.

*Bachelorette parties are usually all about alcohol, partying, strippers, and penises.  Mine was not.  My bachelorette party consisted of myself, Angie, and Miaka, and we went to Carlos O'Kelly's (where Angie bought me a daiquiri that I drank approximately 1/4 of) and then to a movie.  The movie was Magic Mike, and Angie giggled her way through it like a little schoolgirl, particularly in the scene where Channing dances to "Pony."  We ended up going to my house and playing a version of Pin the Tail on the donkey where we had to try to put kiss-shaped stickers on a man's boxer-briefed nether regions...while watching Saved by the Bell: Zack and Kelly's Wedding.  It was all very classy.

*I know I have made it sound like my siblings and I kind of hate each other, but that is not at all the case.  They were just much older than me and took advantage of that by picking on older siblings tend to do.  But we are very close, as far as siblings go.  We share the same sense of humor (much of it poop- and fart-related), a hatred of the words "sack" and "stain", a weird avoidance of brown or yellow towels, and a love for many of the same movies and movie quotes - except, Fletcher, I will never enjoy Shawshank.  Sorry.  They are all pretty awesome.

(Angie, Fletcher and my adorable niece Audrey, Miaka, Jared, and me) Yes, Angie and I are wearing the same shirt.  I tend to blatantly rip off many of her style choices.  She hates it.  This roller-skating party is also an annual thing, since Angie is nostalgically obsessed with Roller City.  All the One-Direction-listening little kids looked around in confusion when we requested Marky Mark's Good Vibrations.  Fletcher, in particular, enjoyed his time roller-skating, even refusing to leave until the place closed.  It was weird, as he is not really the skating type.  

Happy National Siblings Day!  :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Candy + Pastel Pinspiration

I have been cruising Pinterest lately for some springy inspiration, and my Lord, did I find it.  I mean, there is seriously no end to the prettiness that Pinterest is always able to offer up!  It's ridiculous!  If left unchecked, I could easily waste away hours on there.  Most of the things that ended up catching my eye were candy-colored pastels, which have always appealed to me and I would love to wear all the time...unfortunately, pastels aren't exactly designed to look good on ghostly-pale people.  Here are my prettiest finds!

Pastel candy canes + chevron and periwinkle capris + Easter egg hued jeans

Some beautiful spring eye candy to help get you through the week!  :)

Also, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE hop on over to my animal blog, where there is a homeless, abused, senior chihuahua who needs your help.  If you know of anyone in California who would give Baby a home in which to spend her remaining years, please contact these people...her story is heartbreaking, and she deserves a second chance.  Thank you so much for reading.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cyber Saturday!

This was a week that passed surprisingly fast for me.  The work days seemed to fly by, as they tend to do when you're chasing madly after children, and the nights (besides one, in which I went on a three-hour cleaning/laundry spree) were spent relaxing with my puppy, popcorn, and Parks and Rec on Netflix - it's like my third time rewatching the series, and it gets better every time.  These lazy nights are enjoyable for sure, but I'd much rather be spending them with my husband, whose work schedule this month is the complete opposite of mine.  We tend to overlap for about fifteen minutes - I get home from work just as he is getting ready to leave, and we say goodbye in passing.  When Jared gets home around 1 AM, I am obviously asleep, and I can barely acknowledge his presence when he gets into bed.  It sucks, but that's why I'm so glad this week passed quickly - the sooner April is over, the sooner I get to hang out with him!  Anyway!  Here are some fun things I found from around the web this week:

These mustached and striped eggs are just one of the many great egg-decorating ideas Style Me Pretty Living had this week.  I always bookmark tons of ideas for dying eggs every Easter, and I never end up using any of them - my eggs always turn out a soggy brown mess.  Here's hoping I can turn out some cute ones this year!

I just discovered 6pm, which is this huge clearance-priced haven for shoes and bags and other wonderful things I don't need.  I am kind of wishing I hadn't found PayPal account is going to hate me after I buy these neon Sperry sandals.

I just became aware of the website Forever Young Adult, which is meant for adult fans of "young adult" things, including television shows, movies, and books.  The writers provide hilarious and snarky commentary on things like The Hunger Games, Flowers in the Attic, and Vampire Diaries.  I LOL'd at their review at Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic movie!

Oh Joy shared this recipe for chocolate chip cookies with CAP'N CRUNCH CEREAL!!!  I am loving this idea, and Cap'n Crunch is the friggin' bee's knees.  Only thing is?  I can't eat things like flour and wheat.  :(  Boo.  Maybe I'll try to recreate a gluten-free version!

Thought Catalog did an EXTREMELY accurate post on assumptions people have about introverts.  People tend to assume introverts (like myself) are rude, when really we are just very socially awkward - at least, that's why I usually stay quiet.  "One day we feel like hanging out with a lot of people, and other times, we feel like staying home.  Going outside to meet friends seems like a monstrous task.  We text - because calling makes us nervous..."  SO TRUE!

DIY-ers Emma and Elsie at A Beautiful Mess made this cute ice cream print using colored transparency sheets!  This would be perfect for a kid's room.  So many great DIY ideas in this one photo!

Don't forget to check out my other blog:  this week, I posted a book review, a "photo shoot" with me and my dog, and a plea for help with a sweet tubby kitty!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

We're Rough!: Which Boy Band Member Would Win in a Fight?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Spice Girls got in a fistfight?  Or, like, if the entire cast of Glee went at it, which one would win?  Well, I have, and the answers are as follows:  Ginger Spice would bail, because that's apparently what she does when things get rough.  Posh would break a nail and go nurse her wounds in the corner, and Baby would get her lollipop jammed too far down her throat.  The last two standing would obviously be Scary and Sporty, and I wouldn't place any bets on either of them - they're equally as fierce.  And as for the Glee cast?  Santana would win, obvs.

As fun as those scenarios are to envision, the showdown to end all showdowns would be boy band fights:  both inter- and intra-band...if that makes sense to anyone.  Would Nick Carter lay the smackdown on Howie D.?  Would Lance Bass be able to whup Drew Lachey's ass?  And can the boy bands of today really compete with the boy bands of yesteryear?  (That answer is obviously no.)  These are important things to think about, people.  Let's take a look.

NSYNC (photo from here)

Imagine, if you will, the following scenario:  Four of the soulful and talented members of NSYNC are nostalgic; they miss the days of synchronized fist pumping and falsetto harmonizing.  Hopeful, they turn to the fifth member for guidance - maybe he will return from his temporary solo career and stage a reunion?  The fifth member agrees, but on his terms:  NSYNC will perform once more for approximately 50 seconds, then they will be quickly silenced, though JC clearly wants to continue singing.  A fight breaks out.

Justin (who was, surprise!, the fifth member in question - you had no idea, did you?) insists that his swag and close friendship with Jay-Z makes him a clear winner of any fight.  Chris Kirkpatrick was still upset that his stage lift at the VMAs didn't work, so he had to jump down into a hole instead of being lowered theatrically into the floor - he was too depressed to throw down.  Lance can bitch-slap with the best of 'em, but he was no match for Joey's crazy, wild-eyed tactics.  But JC wants it the most - all he ever wanted was a reunion.  But not this way.  Not.  This.  Way.  Look at him!  He's even doing the same "praying-hands" pose as Justin in this photo; it's like he knows he could have been the true lead member of this group, if only his hair was a little lighter and his gaze a little more piercing.
Winner:  JC Chasez

Color Me Badd (photo from here)

Wait, what?  Who are these guys again?  Wow.  They all lose.  Especially that guy on the bottom.  (If I had to choose, the guy on the left would win.  Racial differences aside.)  But still.  They all lose.  They're disqualified.

98 Degrees (photos from here)

Justin, I think, is angry.  He is angry that he has glasses and the others don't.  He is angry that he has bleached blonde hair and no one else does.  The other members have rock-hard abs that they often are allowed to show off in photos, while Justin is a bit soft around the middle and is forced to remain in a tank top.  Justin is consistently given the worst outfit to wear - even worse than Nick's overalls and wife-beater combo.  Look at all that pent-up aggression behind those lavender-tinted sunglasses.  And because of all of this suppressed rage, Justin would be the clear winner.  Every punch to a tanned face - especially those Lachey brothers - would make him feel that much better.
Winner:  Justin

New Kids on the Block (photo from here)

Sigh.  I can't even put a name to a face.  Definitely not the guy on the far right...who even is that, Jordan?  I guess...Surly Guy with a Bandanna and a Skull Patch.  Because of reasons.  (Technically, all of these guys should lose because of lyrics like, "We gonna put you in a trance with a funky song!" but I'll let it slide.)
Winner:  Surly Guy with a Bandanna and a Skull Patch

LFO (photo from here)

You remember these guys, right?  They like girls that wear Abercrombie & Fitch?  And you never knew any of their names?  Or what LFO stood for?  Well, it stands for "Lyte Funky Ones."  Yeah.  They all lose (except the one in the middle, who died of leukemia, and is a winner in my heart!)

Hanson (photo from here)

Apparently, having "Hanson hair" is all the rage right now (see the link above), and it's great because these three were probably just smelly little hooligans that ran outside in the streets whenever their mom tried to cut their hair.  And now women are asking for this in salons!  Anyway.  Zac is too precious and wee to win a fight over his big brothers, so that leaves Isac and Taylor.  Taylor (who I thiiiink is the oldest one) would probably come out on top because he looks slightly more rugged and manly.  I don't even know, the only thing I can think about right now is how sad it is that I know their names.
Winner:  Taylor

O-Town (photo from here)

This diverse group of hotties was formed in the first season of the show Making the Band.  If you don't recall, let me give you a little refresher:  "I dream about a girl who's a mix of Destiny's Child, just a little touch of Madonna's wild style, with Janet Jackson's smile...throw in a body like Jennifer (?), you got the star of my liquid dreams (my liquid dreams)."  Yes.  Yes.  All things yes.  One of their hit singles was about having wet dreams.  What a band.  (If you're still not familiar with them, their most popular song was 'All or Nothing.'  The song I insisted to myself was mine and my 7th-grade boyfriend's song even though I had never mentioned it to him, we just slow-danced to it once.)  O-Town has apparently made a recent announcement of an upcoming reunion...minus Ashley Angel (the Justin Timberlake backstabber of the group).  I think that Dreadlocks Jacob would win, mostly because he is now a super-stud who writes country songs under the name "Jacob-Loc."  So, yeah.
Winner:  Jacob

Backstreet Boys (photo from here)

First, let's eliminate Howie D. (and this is how WE do it).  He would be the first one down.  Next goes Nick; he talks a tough game but can't back it up ("Am I sexual?  Yeeeeah."  Please.)  Brian kicks a fair amount of ass but is eventually put to shame by Kevin's height and AJ's street cred.  I like to think that Kevin is the dark horse of the Backstreet Boys; however, the fact that Kevin is like the Ginger Spice of BSB makes me like him less.  Plus, I think that AJ might carry weapons.
Winner:  AJ

One Direction (photo from here)

I am confident that none of these boys would win a fight (especially the one in the hat), but I would probably choose Harry.  The reasons are threefold:  1.) Because Harry is the only one whose name I know.  2.)  The hair.  And 3.)  He seems to have a way of going through the ladies, and also Taylor Swift knew he was trouble when he walked in.  So he must have some sort of swagger going on.
Winner:  Harry

So let's put them all together in the ring:  Harry vs AJ vs Jacob vs Taylor vs The New Kid vs Justin vs JC.  Surly Guy with Bandanna and Skull Patch is the first to fall, because he's a New Kid on the Block.  Harry puts up a pretty good fight for a preteen but is ultimately curb-stomped by AJ.  Jacob and Taylor stick it out for a surprisingly long time, but eventually give up the fight because it lasted too long and, well, the years haven't been too kind on them.  So that leaves AJ, Justin, and JC.  My money's on AJ, simply because he looks and sounds like he's done some hard time.  But I am surprised when AJ leaves the fight for a breather, and Justin and JC are the last two standing.  Justin is angrier and has the weight advantage, but JC wants it more, plus there is the added motivation, since Justin shares the name of his frenemy.  In the end...Justin is "too the end ya know it's gonna be" JC.  Though he wished it was JT's face he beat in instead.

All we wanted was a reunion, Justin. (photo from here)

Why couldn't you give it to us, Justin?  Look how happy Joey is!  </3
All-Time Boy Band Winner:  JC

That was fun :)  (Sorry no Boys II Men, Angie.  Hee!)  What do you think?  Who should really have kicked some boy band ass??