fun

September/October 2018 Favorites

So it’s a little sad actually, because I finished this post over a week ago and was set to post it the Monday before what would have been Game 6 of the World Series. I was feeling optimistic and clever and I even wrote a cute intro that talked about how relieved I was to take a break from screaming at the television to tell you about some of my favorite things. But then the Dodgers lost and I was heartbroken and I wrote this blog instead.

Now it’s been a week since baseball ended and I’m still bummed and slightly disoriented and already counting down the days until it’s back. In the meantime here is a list of some of my favorite things from the last couple months:

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Dirty John Podcast

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I’m about a year behind listening to this podcast, but I can finally say that I have listened, I have gasped, I have had heated discussions with my sister in our living room, and I completely understand why everyone made such a big deal about this podcast last year. For those of you who haven’t heard it: LISTEN! It is such a crazy, frustrating and mind blowing true story that you simply have to hear it to believe it. (find it here)

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Computer Glasses

glasses

On the nerdier side of things: these glasses! As someone who spends eight hours—at work, plus a few more each night while writing/blogging at home—a day behind a computer, I was starting to get constant headaches from looking at the screen. So, I did some research and came across these glasses that are supposed to cut out the blue light from the computer screen and prevent those headaches. I’ve been wearing them for a few weeks now and I’m happy to report they are helping! I have far fewer headaches and wholeheartedly believe they were worth the (totally inexpensive) investment. (find them here)

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Movies

 

Since the Dodgers were in the playoffs for most of October, most of my evenings were spent on the couch screaming at the television. Thus, I didn’t have a lot of time to put aside to go to the movies. That being said however, these two managed to both steal me away and put a smile (and/or tears) on my face. A Star is Born is one of the biggest showcases of Lady Gaga’s talent you will ever see and I highly recommend it for that exact reason. The story, music and acting by other players—including Bradley Cooper who gives an amazing performance—is as good as everyone says it is, but Lady Gaga is just beyond. On the completely other end of the scale, Crazy Rich Asians delivers one of the most heartwarming romcoms I’ve seen in a long time. I laughed, I cried, I AWW-ed, and I was ecstatic to learn there is an upcoming sequel because it means I get to spend more time in that wonderful world with that wonderful cast.

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A Million Little Things

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This fall TV season made me mad because it presented a bunch of promising shows that I was interested in watching, even though I definitely don’t have time to watch them. I usually like to pick one or two to try out and then eventually drop one (or both), but my DVR is currently taping about six new shows, almost all of which I am behind on. The exception being A Million Little Things. At first I was skeptical about this show because I thought it was trying to be the new This is Us and I didn’t feel like I had the emotional capacity to watch both. But, I have been pleasantly surprised by its unique storyline and characters. It is without a doubt my favorite new show on TV right now.

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Books

 

I have been practically overdosing on books lately, so choosing only a few favorites was incredibly hard, but these are the ones that really got me.

I listened to Wildflower on audiobook and essentially fell in love with Drew Barrymore in the process. Not only did I love her stories, but listening to her tell them and actually hear how much they meant to her made the book all the more enjoyable. (find it here)

After listening to Wildflower, I immediately started looking up memoirs by other people I admire that I could also listen to on audiobook, which led me to Bryan Cranston’s book, Life in Parts. It was a book I always thought sounded like it would be good but never knew if I’d get around to it, but I’m so glad I did. Cranston has lived such an interesting life and worked so many unique jobs and I loved hearing stories about all of them. One story in particular even inspired this blog post I wrote a few weeks ago. Thanks for that one, Bryan! (find it here)

And last but certainly not least: Girl, Wash Your Face. I practically inhaled this book, reading it every chance I could get just so I could absorb more of the inspirational advice it’s dripping with. It felt like one of those books I was meant to read, you know? The kind I might bring up some time down the road, noting it as an important book that I read and reread and then pursued my dreams like crazy. (find it here)

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Music

Similar to books, I’ve been making a point to listen to all kinds of music lately and I’ve been so excited with what I’ve found. These are a few of my favorite, with iTunes’ adjectives as always.

Swimming by Mac Miller: “He’s riding ultra funky baselines…and an altogether jazzy and danceable set.”

Desperate Man by Eric Church: “Church’s life-affirming relief over successful emergency surgery to remove a deadly blood clot can be heart in the joyous survivor’s boogie of “Hangin’ Around,” the opposites-attract waltz “Heart Like a Wheel,” and the Sympathy for the Devil”-nudging title track.

Expectations by Magic: So there’s no review on iTunes for this one, but if I were to award it descriptive adjectives I would say funky and smooth and close your eyes and bob your head kind of groovy.

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Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know! My Amazon cart is always open…

See my previous favorites post here.

 

Some Suggestions for Netflix

You know that weird thing we all do? The thing where we sit down to watch a movie on Netflix and then spend 45 minutes scrolling and sighing and shaking our heads.

“No.”

“I’m not in the mood.”

“Maybe next time.” 

Then we look through the list of movies we’ve previously saved with the intention of making this scrolling process easier, only to hate every suggestion from our past selves, which in turn leads us to turn on a movie we’ve already seen far too many times.

Then, we wake up the next day wondering why we’re not more cultured and can’t keep up with conversations about all the great movies Netflix has to offer.

I have lived this life for a long time. It’s the reason why I have to set goals that require me to broaden my horizons. Otherwise I’d just watch The Fundamentals of Caring over and over and over again, all the while making the excuse that I would watch something else, even something I’ve seen before, if only Netflix added ______ to their catalog.

All that being said, I recently found out that you can submit suggestions to Netflix for what movies and TV shows they should add to their catalog.

Can you imagine?! Such power! At our fingertips!

You better believe I took advantage of it. Here were some of my suggestions:

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1) The Mary Kate & Ashley Movies

I see you, Netflix. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. New York Minute. You’re not completely depriving me of Olsen twin goodness. But can we get some Billboard Dad up in here? Switching Goals, maybe? Or how about a few (or all, let’s be real) of the You’re Invited episodes? I haven’t been invited anywhere by the Olsen twins since VHS’s were in fashion and it’s depressing.

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2) Spice World

I’ve actually never seen Spice World, which I realize is a crime of sorts. And with the girls going back on tour next year, this movie could very well become a common topic of conversation again, and I’ll just be standing there, shrugging, with no idea how to contribute. Save me from the shrugging, Netflix! I want to fit in!

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3) Legends of the Hidden Temple

There has never been a game show that has infuriated me more than Legends of the Hidden Temple. It just never seemed like any of the kids on the show were trying. I mean, they were walking from obstacle to obstacle. WALKING. As if it wasn’t a COMPETITION. Actually, now that I think about it, it might be healthy for me not to rewatch this series…but I’m still suggesting it, just because I feel like it might be a good way to get out some aggression after a long day.

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4) Say Anything…

I looked it up, and apparently this was on Netflix and taken off in November of 2014, but I think it should come back. Sure, I’m a little biased because it’s my favorite movie of all time and includes one of the most iconic scenes—John Cusack holding a boombox over his head—in cinematic history and I want everyone to watch it so we can all sit around talking about it for hours, but this isn’t just for me. It’s for everyone.

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5) Rescue 911

This show went off the air when I was 6, but I still remember it vividly. Each episode showcased real life 911 calls. The corresponding situations were simulated to demonstrate when/why the calls were made and sometimes actual tape from the call was played to give you the full experience. I loved this show because it was essentially all about people helping people and in every episode the paramedics would come to the rescue. In another life, I might have taken my passion for this show and turned it into a career, but instead I’m just writing about it while I sit on the couch eating macaroni and cheese…

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I’m sure there are a lot more—too many more—that I’d also like to request, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. However, now that I know I have the power to request, I’ll make sure to start writing them down the minute I can’t find them and the disappointment sets in and I click play on The Fundamentals of Caring again. Consider me a soon-to-be frequent requester, Netflix. I look forward to our time together.

2018 Goals Check-In #3

Dear Fall,

Where are you? It’s October, which means we’re starting the last quarter of the year, but I’m still kind of sweating so…what’s the deal? I mean, I’m just ready for some sweater weather, you know?

Speaking of none of that, let’s check in on some goals.

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1) Do a handstand in yoga

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 33.33%

Current Progress: 33.33%

I’ve been a bit up and down with this goal, especially in these last few months because things got so insanely busy. But as stated before, my biggest obstacle here is myself. I’ve just got to start trying. Wish me luck!

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2) Take a kickboxing class

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

I really didn’t expect for this goal to be one I put off for so long, but here I am in the (almost) middle of October and I’ve yet to throw a punch (or kick) at anything. (Or anyone) (Anyone in a kickboxing class that is.) (Not that I’ve punched or kicked anyone outside of a class) (How many side conversation parentheses is too many?)

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3) Visit (at least) 20 museums in Los Angeles

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 4/20 (5%)

Current Progress: 7/20 (35%)

While I haven’t made as much progress as I’d like on this one, I’ve loved every single museum I’ve gone to so far. These past few months I went to the Annenberg Space for Photography, the La Brea Tar Pits and LACMA, which had ACTUAL PICASSO PAINTINGS, Y’ALL. *heavy art nerd breathing*

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4) Get CPR certified

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Things fell through on this one a little bit, as the class I planned on taking ended up being on a day that was packed with too many other things. But I’m getting myself signed up for a new one, and before you know it, I’ll be ready to save your life at the drop of hat.

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5) Shoot (at least) 1 roll of film per month

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 6/12 (50%)

Current Progress: 9/12 (75%)

Seeing as I majored in photography, it shouldn’t come as a surprise for me to love this goal, but it kind of does. After I graduated, taking pictures became more stressful and robotic than it was fun, which kind of made it lose its spark for me. But having my film camera back in my hand has made me feel like I’m back in college again, shooting too many rolls of film and spending too many hours in the darkroom getting them developed.

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6) Complete the 104 things to Photograph book

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 23/104 (22.12%)

Current Progress: 52/104 (50%)

I think this one is going to end up being somewhat of a big reveal at the end of the year because I still haven’t gotten my film developed or gone through the book to really study what I have and haven’t taken a picture of yet. I think we can safely estimate that I’m (at least) half way through, but I really have no idea. #lessthanidealupdate

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7) Visit the sea glass beach in Fort Bragg, CA

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

I’ve done my research on the what’s and how’s of getting to this glass beach and it is my hope to get a weekend getaway with my roommates on the calendar before the end of the year. But I’m also going to count is as a win if I can get it officially on the calendar for next year, as long as it’s on there by the end of this year…you know?

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8) Go to the dentist

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 100%

Yes, I went to the dentist. No, it was not fun.

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9) Watch 20 documentaries on Netflix

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 4/20 (20%)

Current Progress: 10/20 (50%)

I honestly wish I would have set this goal a long time ago. There are so many good/crazy/emotional/incredible stories being told out there and I’m happy I’m finally getting around to hearing them! Some of my favorites that I’ve watched recently are Icarus and The White Helmets. (Both are on Netflix!)

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10) Perfect an omelet

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

An omelet? No. A fried egg? A hard boiled egg? Yes! I’m moving up in the egg world, guys, I just don’t have a pan non-sticky enough to make an omelet yet. But I have heard something about making an omelet in a bag? Stay tuned.

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11) See (at least) one movie in theaters per month

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 6/12 (50%)

Current Progress: 9/12 (75%)

There’s been a few last minute (i.e. September 30th) movie watching over the last few months, but I still have yet to miss one! Here’s a list of all the ones I’ve seen so far:

  1. I, Tonya
  2. Call Me By Your Name
  3. Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  4. 50 Shades Freed
  5. Red Sparrow
  6. I Can Only Imagine
  7. A Quiet Place
  8. Book Club
  9. Incredibles 2
  10. Won’t You Be My Neighbor
  11. Three Identical Strangers
  12. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
  13. Eighth Grade
  14. Skate Kitchen
  15. Crazy Rich Asians
  16. A Star is Born

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12) Read 20 books off the Time’s 100 List

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 6/20 (30%)

Current Progress: 12/20 (60%)

PSA: If you ever plan on setting a goal like this, invest some time in audiobooks! I’ve gotten through a good handful of books in the last few months because I’ve been listening to them. It’s made the stories more engaging and really helped me appreciate/understand them more than I would have just trying to sit down and read them on my own. My favorite one I’ve listened to so far is To Kill a Mockingbird.

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13) Pay off credit card

Current Progress: Progress

Yeah so, let’s just say progress has slowed on this one. It hasn’t stopped, which is what counts. But these past few months have held *expenses* and I’ve had to crutch a little. I’m not worried about it though, I’ll get there.

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14) See 3 WRLA’s – COMPLETED!

While on a trip to Seattle and Canada this past March, I was unexpectedly able to complete this goal, seeing the World’s Largest Cowboy Hat & Boots in Seattle, WA, the World’s Largest Paper Airplane in Mukilteo, WA, and the World’s Largest Tin Solider in New Westminster, BC, Canada!

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15) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 2/5 (40%)

Current Progress: 4/5 (80%)

Gonna give myself a pat on the back for not putting this one off until the last minute like last year! I’ve got my fifth volunteer slot lined up for this month, so I might even get in a few extra dates before the end of the year. *pats back to the tune of the Cha Cha Slide*

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16) Donate Blood

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 100% (not really)

Current Progress: 100% (for real!)

After getting a no go due to low iron the first time I tried to donate blood I made an effort to add iron rich foods to my diet (for example: spinach, which I put in breakfast smoothies) and I decided to try again. This time, I did it! Was it my favorite thing ever? No. But will I do it again because it’s an easy way to help out? Definitely!

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17) Do the 1 second/day video challenge

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 185/365 (50.68%)

Current Progress: 283/365 (77.53%)

Every time I update my collection of one-second clips, I get so excited to see the final product! But while I’ve peeped the progress, I won’t be giving any spoilers until the year’s over. Stay tuned! 🙂

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When we add that all together, my total progress is about 52%. Again, I’m a little behind, but I’m ready to give these last few months all I’ve got!

If you set goals this year, I hope things are going well for you, and if you didn’t, it’s never too late to start! 🙂

Why My Roommate Should be the Next Host of Jeopardy

Greetings people of the Internet, I’m here to discuss something incredibly important.

It has recently been brought to my attention that Alex Trebek is on his (be it, long and slow) way out from the Jeopardy hosting position. Word on the street is that he will abdicate his all knowing thrown in the year 2020. And while I’m sure there are ideas in circulation and contracts in negotiation, none could possibly measure up to this forthcoming submission: my roommate, Rachel.

How? You might ask. How could I possibly know she could cut it, especially in comparison to other candidates, the caliber of which I am yet to know?

To put it simply, and to emulate the words of so many bended knee proposal speeches, regretful gut feelings, and completed newlywed house hunts, sometimes you just know. And in this case, I just know.

Having watched hours of Jeopardy with Rachel by my side, I can first and foremost verify her genuine interest in the show. She enjoys the creatively phrased questions and would undoubtedly deliver them in that familiar, engaged and excited, while completely controlled manner.

She would challenge the contestants, willing them to dig deep into their studies as she delivered riddles and word problems with a confidence that dared them to answer no matter the cost.

On a Daily Double, when the competition teetered between nail biting and cake taking, she’d encourage risk. Listing the facts of the contestant’s fate, while simultaneously (and inconspicuously) teasing them to tempt it.

Are you worried about the key pronunciation of a book, movie, television show or other pop culture reference? Well, worry no more. Rachel is well versed in many genres, giving her a solid foundation of valuable knowledge, the likes of which she could utilize both as quizmaster and friendly interviewer.

Rachel is witty, clever and unique, sure to make contestants and audiences alike laugh, think, and double-take, all while creating an encouraging and welcoming environment capable of fostering healthy and compelling competition.

Not to mention, she’s got an incredible sense of style. The kind that would inspire conversations not only regarding her presence and professionalism, but her cute ass shoes as well. She would become a strong and powerful female figure in the media—that can rock a warm pallet like no other; a go-to, “I love it!” Halloween costume; an obvious choice for an elementary worksheet “who do you want to be when you grow up” fill in.

So, ABC, while I imagine the search for this replacement (understandably) seems like an impossible task, I hope you’ll now realize that it’s not. Because when it comes down to it, there’s only one right choice, and she’s currently sitting next to me eating pulled pork.

A Kim Pop Quiz for My Family

As a way to continue my birthday week festivities, I decided to put together a series of questions about myself to quiz my family on how well they know my newly 28 year old self.

Going into the quiz, my brother, Troy (who is 7 ½ years younger than me) was feeling extremely confident. He was the one sitting on the couch and rounding everybody up so we could start.

“I got this,” he said.

“Oh gosh,” said most everyone else.

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1) When listening to music in my car, what volume do I like it set at?

The correct answer: 30

*entire living room is silent*

Me: Would it help if told you the maximum volume of my car is 45?

My family, collectively: Yeah, okay, that helps a little, I guess.

Troy (smiling): 17 (my favorite number)

Me: Very cute guess, but no.

Natalee (my sister): 30

Mom: I put 14, but I don’t really pay attention where I set it.

Me: Where you set it?

Mom: Yeah.

Me: Mom, this is a quiz about me. (Lol)

Mom: Oh, that’s right! Yeah, I have no idea.

Dad: I was going to say 17 as well, but I thought that would be too low so I went with my favorite number at 28.

Score

Dad: 0

Mom: 0

Natalee: 1

Troy: 0

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2) At age 14, which celebrity crush did I print out pictures of and tape to my wall?

The correct answer: Chad Michael Murray

Troy: How is this question fair, I was barely cognizant!

Dad: Let’s see, 14…hmm

Troy: I mean, come on, I was four! Or six. Or something! I need an extra second on this one.

*gives him a few more seconds*

Troy: Leonardo DiCaprio

Mom: I wrote down Lance Bass but now I think I’m wrong…

Dad: Aaron Carter?

Mom (whispering): Is it that boy from One Tree Hill?

Natalee: Sean Faris?

Me (nodding to my mom): Chad Michael Murray

Mom: DANG IT! I want to change my answer. Can I change my answer? I knew it. Do I get a point for that one?

Troy: I’m standing by the fact that I was six.

Score

Dad: 0

Mom: 1 (judges ruled she got the point)

Natalee: 1

Troy: 0

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3) Besides my wallet and my phone, name four items I always have in my purse.

The correct answer: various

Troy: I have two that I’m very confident in, one that I’m 50/50, and then I need one more.

Mom: I nailed this one

Natalee : Me too. Woah, dad, you are focusing so hard.

Dad: I’m trying to think.

Troy: Okay, chapstick, sunglasses, birth control, and, I’m not confident in this one, but, like, makeup stuff.

Me: No makeup stuff, but everything else is correct.

Dad: A flashlight, sunglasses, hair tie/clip, chapstick

Me: No flashlight, and I only ever keep a hair tie on my wrist but…

Dad: Well, you should carry a flashlight.

Mom: Keys, chapstick, writing notebook, and a pen

Me: Correct!

Natalee: Sunglasses, chapstick, keys, notebook

Me: Also correct!

Score

Dad: 2

Mom: 4

Natalee: 5

Troy: 3

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4) Which side dish will I often order at a new restaurant, just to see what it tastes like?

The correct answer: Mac n’ cheese.

Natalee: Easy.

Dad: Yeah, I think we’re all gonna nail this one.

Troy: If I’m wrong I’m going to be surprised.

Mom: Again, I’m stuck between two…but this time I’m going to go with my second guess…so, sweet potato fries.

*I shake my head*

Mom: NO!!

Dad, Troy, & Natalee: Mac n’ cheese.

Mom: I wrote that down too. Look! Look at my notepad, I wrote that down too. Darnit!

Score

Dad: 3

Mom: 4

Natalee: 6

Troy: 4

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5) What was my biggest fear growing up?

The correct answer: Being kidnapped

Natalee: Again, easy.

Dad: Okay, I have a strange answer, but then I think I had something similar, so I’m going to say falling in the toilet?

Troy: The dark?

Mom & Natalee (confident): Getting kidnapped.

Mom: Although falling in the toilet is a common fear for kids that are potty training…

Score

Dad: 3

Mom: 5

Natalee: 7

Troy: 4

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6) Up until recently, what was my go-to Subway order?

The correct answer: Footlong oven roasted chicken on flatbread with tomatoes & honey mustard

Troy: Okay, none of these questions have fallen into the Troy sweet zone. I don’t even remember going to Subway with you in the past three years.

Mom: I can’t remember the name of the chicken, but I wrote down chicken footlong with wheat flatbread, toasted, with American cheese.

Me: Is that it?

Mom: Um, and then that mustard you like. Not hone—WAIT NO: HONEY! Honey mustard! And then you don’t like lettuce, so…that’s all.

Natalee: All of that, and then add tomatoes.

Dad: Oven roasted chicken on flatbread with no cilantro

Troy (quietly): I put meatball marinara.

Score

Dad: 5

Mom: 10

Natalee: 13

Troy: 4

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7) I wear the same necklace every day, what shape is the pendant on it?

The correct answer: a “V”

Dad: An angel

Natalee: V

Mom: Lightning bolt

Troy: Oval

Score

Dad: 5

Mom: 10

Natalee: 14

Troy: 4

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8) What word do I use to describe a beer that would otherwise be described as “hoppy”?

The correct answer: “sticky”

Natalee (to my dad): You know this one!!

Troy: Wait, this isn’t fair! I can’t even drink beer yet.

Me: You’ve sat next to me while I’ve drank a beer so many times. And I say this about so many beers.

Troy: I tune out when you talk about beer!

Mom, Dad, & Natalee: Sticky.

Troy: Yeah, no. I put dirt or like…grass.

Me (being a brat): Mmm, I love this beer. Tastes like grass.

*Troy stays quiet*

Score

Dad: 6

Mom: 11

Natalee: 15

Troy: 4

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9) Where is my birthmark?

The correct answer: My left middle finger

Troy: Do we really have to write this one down?

Me: No, go ahead and just show me.

*everyone waves their left hand at me*

Score

Dad: 6

Mom: 11

Natalee: 15

Troy: 4

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10) What do I buy from every new place I visit?

The correct answer: a postcard

Mom: I got it.

Troy: This feels very generic answer but, postcard?

Natalee: Postcard.

Dad: Postcard.

Mom: Postcard.

Score

Dad: 7

Mom: 12

Natalee: 16

Troy: 5

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11) What is my favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink?

The correct answer: Dirty Shirley & chocolate milk

Troy: Yeah, I don’t know about alcoholic, but for non alcoholic, I’m gonna say lemonade.

Mom: Dirty Shirley and chocolate milk.

Natalee: Dangit, she’s right, but I put chocolate milk and Shocktop because we were just talking about beer.

Dad: Yeah, I put Shocktop and water.

Me: To be fair, I do love all of those things.

Score

Dad: 7

Mom: 14

Natalee: 17

Troy: 5

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12) What is the first blog post I ever got published?

The correct answer: The Juice Cleanse

Troy: OH! Wait, no, I don’t think that’s right.

Dad: Was your first one on that mommy site?

Natalee: The 40 Penises of Freshman Year.

Mom: Was it the one about Mr. Day?

Troy: The one with the girl from Jane the Virgin?

Me: *shakes my head politely while soaking in a brief moment of pride*

Score

Dad: 7

Mom: 14

Natalee: 17

Troy: 5

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13) Growing up, I was obsessed with a specific musical instrument. However, upon reaching middle school, taking a band class and getting the chance to play it, I quickly realized that I hated it. What instrument was this?

The correct answer: The flute

Troy: I know this! Yes! I know this one!

Mom, Dad, Natalee and Troy: the flute.

Me: Yeah, the flute SUCKED.

Score

Dad: 8

Mom: 15

Natalee: 18

Troy: 6

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15) Which physical feature of mine was I not born with?

The correct answer: My dimple

My family, collectively (laughing): your “dimple”.

*Note: It’s actually a dent. I was dancing in socks on hardwood floor and I slammed my cheek into the corner of my family’s living room hutch. 

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BONUS QUESTION

Name three phrases I say all the time

(This one was based on curiosity more than anything)

Natalee: Barnacles

Mom: Wonky, shitty, barnacles

Natalee: The word “incorrect”

Dad: Oh snap.

Me: Do I say, “oh snap?”

Natalee: I think you did in like 9th and 10th grade. Oh and you said, “that’s provocative.”

Dad (in a 14 year old Kim voice): Scandalousssss!

Me (cringing): Oh my gosh, 14 year old me was awful.

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Final Score

Dad: 9

Mom: 16

Natalee: 19

Troy: 7

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Troy: Okay, I’m just realizing this has been unfair. They (pointing at my parents) see you at work and you live with her (points at my sister).

Me: Bub…

Troy: Okay, okay, no. have a question. What’s the correct way to turn off the volume of the TV when you and Kim want to play video games and listen to music?

(my family starts to answer but Troy interrupts)

Troy: You turn the television volume down to zero. You DO NOT push mute because then the word “mute” shows up in the bottom right corner of the screen and that bugs her.

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Don’t worry, Bub, I know you know me. ❤

A Few Challenges for My Birthday (Update!)

Remember a month ago when I wanted to start my 28th year off with a bang, so I decided to set a bunch of 30 Day Challenges for myself, causing most everyone (including myself) to worry that I’d gone too far and might possibly start my 28th year off feeling like a failure?

Well, I have great news: I actually did it! I checked off every single item on every single challenge, and I come to you today, newly 28, feeling like a freaking badass.

To be honest, I loved the challenges. I loved having something new to challenge myself with every day, even though some days it felt like a little too much of a challenge. And though it would have been easy to fall behind, I always took time out of my day to sit down, open my notebook and write, draw, and journal my way through each challenge I did that day.

One of the most important things I learned throughout the process is to let the challenges challenge me but not own me. There have been so many times in the past when I’ve tried to do similar 30 Day challenges and I started off strong, but then fell so far behind that I gave up. I was so determined to follow the challenges exactly to the letter that it wasn’t motivating me as much as it was discouraging me. So, for these past 30 days, I made sure to work the challenges into my life, rather than completely alter my life and turn the challenges into work.

Here are a few highlights:

Happiness Challenge


Do you collect anything?

Come to think of it, I collect a lot of things. I’m very sentimental to begin with, so I don’t like to throw things away and I often upcycle them into new DIY projects. In terms of consistent collecting however, I would say: postcards, sand, t-shirts, ticket stubs, and old cameras.


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What is something you wish you were good at?

Singing. I love singing so much, especially in my car. I think it’s such a freeing feeling and I can understand why people who are talented singers fight so hard to make it their career. 


 

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What is your favorite quote or a quote that means a lot to you?

I’m a big lover of quotes and words in general. I love the way people can spin them in a way that can change your perspective on things. If I were to choose a quote that sticks out in my mind it would be this one from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said , people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It’s a good reminder that you don’t have to say the perfect thing or do the perfect thing all the time. As long as you lead with kindness and love, that is what will leave a lasting impression.


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Why did you start blogging and what is the origin behind your blog’s name?

I started blogging mostly because I had no other choice. I’d always loved writing and then when I went to Australia I started a travel blog where I mostly just rambled my way through my study abroad term. Once I got back, I missed writing and posting blogs, so I started a new blog, only this time it would be about anything and everything that came to mind. As for my blog name, it’s pretty simple, as it’s just my name minus the hard to pronounce part of my last name:

KimberleeKoehn


FitBit Challenge

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If you ever find yourself looking for a challenge, I’d recommend any of these. (You can find blank copies of all of the challenges on my original blog post here)

Overall, I think the challenges served exactly the purpose I hoped they would, as I feel both accomplished and excited about the year to come. I also got to know a little more about myself (and my lack of ability to draw a dog, the result of which I didn’t include here, for everyone’s sake) which I think is important. It’s always good to check in with who the heck you are every once in a while. And as of now, I’m really liking that person.

200 Day Time Capsule Blog #2

Greetings, past selves, we’ve once again made it to the future!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this post, which talks about the first time capsule blog I did, and if you’re interested, join in on the fun below!

This is the second time capsule blog, and I’m happy to report that it is still just as exciting. The minute I received my email I was desperate to know what was on past Kim’s mind.

Let’s dive right in.

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1) What day is it?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Sunday July 9th, 2017

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Friday February 9th, 2018

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2) What’s the weather like outside?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): HOT. AS. HELL. Well, at least it was earlier. It’s actually not bad now. There’s a nice breeze happening and I’m here for it.

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): It’s about 50 degrees outside right now, but it’s going to get up to 80 degrees later because apparently we’re not having a winter this year.

Note for past Kim: You do realize you live in Southern California, right? Is “no winter” really a new concept for you or…?

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3) What did you do today?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Taught the elementary class at church, went to Quiznos with my mom, then spent the entirety of the afternoon battling the swarm of ants that have taken over our house. #ant-pocalypse2017

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Since it’s only 7:00 am, I haven’t done much yet. However, after work I’m going over to a friend’s house for a game night and hopefully watching opening ceremonies! I’ve got my Team USA hat on already!

Note for past Kim: Great news from the future, those friends you went to visit get engaged and it’s extremely exciting and adorable!

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4) What’s your favorite song right now?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Thunder by Imagine Dragons

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Sober by James Arthur

Note for past Kim: Still waiting for the day when we don’t love both of this songs, to be honest. We’re still rocking out to both. 

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5) What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): I think The Broadway Melody, though if we really want to get into the meat of my television/movie watching ways, LET’S TALK ABOUT GAME OF THRONES. How did Season 7 end? How are we doing with the way it ended? Oh my gosh I’m overwhelmed by all the questions I have.

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Note for past Kim: Ah, yes. The baby stages of both your MoviePass using adventures, and your see at least one movie in theaters per month goal for 2018. There are so many good movies on the horizons for you, girl. Seriously, you make some great cinematic choices that get your brain stirring in all kinds of directions.

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6) Who did you text last and what did you say?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): A text to Natalee & Rachel in our Roomie text string, in regards to #ant-pocalypse: “they were slowing down pretty good earlier, we found some minor survivors, but applied the appropriate force. I’d hold off on calling for now. Let’s see how the next couple days go.” Follow up question: how DID the next couple days go? Did we win the war of the ants? Did we have to call the Terminix guys and let them take our money?

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): To my roommate Rachel:

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Shout out to my fellow This is Us fans who know what’s up.

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7) What is your biggest goal right now?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Publish a book

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Take steps forward in my career, wherever those steps may be. I mean YES, I want to publish a book, but I’m trying to focus my thoughts on just finding my place in the writing world. Hopefully I’m still working hard to do that!

Note for past Kim: You are definitely still doing that! In fact,you recently published a guest post on a Sammiches & Psych Meds and your blog just passed 400 followers! Woohoo! 

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8) What are you most excited about?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): At this exact moment, this time capsule blog, but in general I’m excited about the possibility of getting a book out there in the world, I’m excited (and nervous) about my brother leaving for college, and I’m excited about all of the possibilities the future holds if I work hard enough!

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): THE OLYMPICS. Like I said, I already have my Team USA hat on. I will now spend the next few weeks almost completely cutoff from society. #sorrynotsorry. Note: how did we do?!

Note for past Kim: We did pretty good! As usual the Olympics were full of inspiration and magic and yes, you essentially did nothing besides work, eat, and watch NBC. One particular highlight that comes to mind is a night when you were panic stirring together ingredients for banana bread, afraid you might miss a minute of the US Women’s Hockey team’s gold medal match. You stuck that recipe in the oven, then proceeded to run and scream around the living room with your roommates, watching the team win the gold just as the smell of banana bread came drifting in from the kitchen. It was fun. 🙂

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9) What are you most worried about?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Not accomplishing anything I want to. Being sad, alone, and covered in left over ice cream. The ants coming back. The Dodgers never winning a World Series in my lifetime.

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): It’s hard to really pin it down into words, but I think I’d say I’m most worried that I’m not accomplishing enough or that I’m not going in the direction I should be. Or something along those lines. For the most part I think I could sum up most of my worries to being in my 20’s though. It may be fun and all, but it’s borderline terrifying.

Note for past Kim: Honestly, same, girl. But don’t worry, we’re figuring it out. It might be slower than we might like, but we’re figuring it out. 

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10) Tell yourself a really bad joke.

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): You know you still like the “outstanding invoice” joke from your book. Just admit it.

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): This is not so much a joke as it is a pickup line I heard during an interview the other day that made me laugh. “My parents always told me to follow my dreams…so do you mind if I follow you home?”

Note for past Kim: I’m not going to lie, that one still made me smile. Though this time around I also got a little bit of a creepy vibe… 

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Call me crazy but this is incredibly cool. It’s so interesting to see how my thoughts have shifted since the first time capsule and to think about how they’ve changed again as I sit here reading through them. It’s also weirdly soothing to talk to my past self in the third person. I highly recommend it.

Speaking of, if you would like to jump on the time capsule blog bandwagon, here’s how:

1) Go to FutureMe.org

2) Fill in your email address & put “200 Day Time Capsule Blog” (or whatever you want) as the subject line.

3) Copy and paste the questions below into “Your Letter”

  • What day is it?
  • What’s the weather like outside?
  • What did you do today?
  • What’s your favorite song right now?
  • What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?
  • Who did you last text and what did you say?
  • What is your biggest goal right now?
  • What are you most excited about?
  • What are you most worried about?
  • Tell yourself a really bad joke.

4) Answer each question

5) Set your “Deliver on” date to 200 days from now, so: March 19th, 2019

6) Click “Send to the Future!”

Note: It will ask you to verify your email before it “officially” sends, so after you click “Send to the Future!” go to your email and click the verification link to make sure your letter officially enters the internet machine!

Note #2: After you click that link, it will take you to a page that tries to get you to donate money. You do not have to donate money. If you want to, you can, I’m sure the lovely people at FutureMe would appreciate your generosity, but otherwise you can just close the window. 

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Come March (of next year!!), we’ll check in on how we’re doing, which I hope is fabulous!

Until then, have a wonderful day and I’ll see you in the future!


 

Check out the previous 200 Day Time Capsule Blog here.

July/August 2018 Favorites

I feel like I’ve fallen in love with a million things since my last favorites post, so it’s hard to choose only a handful to share with you rather than write a five-page, thesis driven report on everything you should be checking out.

In lieu of that however, I’ve tried to narrow it down to some of my tippity top favorites—which is a thing, right?

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The Mortified Podcast

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This is a continuation of the “Mortified” series of both books and live events where people share their embarrassing childhood journals.  Each week, the podcast takes on a theme and stories that fit into that theme are shared. For example, this past week’s episode was called “International Affairs” which featured stories about experiences overseas. No matter which episode you watch or listen to, or which format you find them on, they are guaranteed to make you laugh and/or cringe and more than anything relate. (find it here)

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M-W Word of the Day

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While I like to consider myself as someone with a relatively high vocabulary, I’m always anxious to improve. The way I see it, the more words I know, the more easily I’ll be able to convey exactly what I’m trying to say. So, every day, as part of my morning routine, I check my email and read the word of the day, its definition and its usage in a sentence. Is this a little nerdy? Yes, and I love it.  (find it here)

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Movies

Eighth Grade

As far as I’m concerned, absolutely everyone should see this movie. It is so honest and beautiful and hilarious and sad. It’s about a time in all of our lives that was so awkward and important, and it offers a rare look back to see how far we’ve come since then. (find it here)

Three Identical Strangers

This movie had a pretty limited release which is absolutely heartbreaking because it is one of the most mind-blowing things I’ve ever seen. And while I’d like to tell you all about it, it is truly one of those films that you have to watch without any prior information. So please, do yourself a favor and don’t do any research on this film other than how you can get your eyes on it as soon as possible! (find it here)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

This movie is absolutely adorable. It’s the romcom we’ve all needed for a long time. I watched it one night when I was feeling a little down and it gave me so many warm fuzzies,  I watched it again the very next night without even an ounce of shame. (find it on Netflix)

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TV

The Sinner71HSFu3M7zL._RI_

Before watching last year’s award show circuit and seeing Jessica Biel nominated left and right for her performance on this show, I hadn’t really heard anything about it. Needless to say, the minute it was released on Netflix, I went into full blown FOMO mode and made myself sit down and watch the first season. Being the scaredy cat that I have always been, I only watched one or two episodes at a time because I was so nervous about what was going to happen, but when I got close to the end I gave into the binge and let me tell you, it was worth it! I haven’t got a chance to watch any of the second season yet, but it’s definitely on my list! (find it Netflix)

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Red Oaks

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Taking the hardest of left turns, I bring you Red Oaks, a show I found completely by accident on Amazon Prime. It follows a cast of characters that work at a tennis club in the 80’s. One thing that particularly drew me to this show was Craig Roberts, who I loved in The Fundamentals of Caring. While set in a completely different pair of shoes, you again find yourself rooting for him, which is kind of the theme of the show in my opinion. Over the course of the three seasons, there’s never really any cliffhangers or monumental events that make you gasp, but you still find yourself gripped to the characters who are easily tangible and relatable people who you just want to succeed and be happy. (find it on Amazon Prime)

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Making It

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This show is honestly my dream come true. A DIY competition show—which alone would’ve stolen my heart—that is hosted by Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler!! It is the greatest gift my DVR could have ever been given. (find it on Hulu, or Tuesdays at 10 p.m. PST on NBC)

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Books

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This was released as a movie in March, but I waited to read the book first and I was so glad I did. Not only do you get a lot more detail, but in many ways (in my opinion) you get a better story.  While I enjoyed both adaptations, the movie and the book are drastically different in terms of minor plot points. I feel like the movie focuses more on video game references while the book’s major focus is the 80’s generation as a whole. (find it here)

Strange Fire by Tommy Wallach

In a recent conversation with my sister I made a comment that I thought Tommy Wallach might be my favorite author, which made me wonder why he hadn’t released any new books lately. This sent me on a Google hunt which informed me that not only had he released this book last October, but that it was the first in a trilogy, the second of which is coming out this November. Cue the happy dancing. This book was much more sci-fi than his first two (both of which you should read, by the way, they are: We All Looked Up and Thanks for the Trouble) but the characters were just as rich and the story was equally gripping. I can’t wait for book #2! (find it here)

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Seeing as it won a Pulitzer Prize and all, I realize it wouldn’t be new information for me to say, “hey, this is a great book!” But I never read this book in school and really only did so now because it’s on the list of Time’s Best 100 Books that I’m working my way through, and I’m SO glad I did! I listened to the audiobook read by Sissy Spacek and she was fantastic. Highly recommend! (find it here)

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Music

As always, here’s a few iTunes adjectives to peak your interest

Don’t Smile at Me by Billie Eilish: “nudges things along nicely with its minimalist beats and lifting-yet-sinister lyricism.”

Greetings from the Neon Frontier by The Wild Feathers: “full of wistful highway anthems built on breezy three part harmonies.”

Sweetner by Ariana Grande: “a gorgeous pastel album about love, happiness, strength and womanhood.”

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Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know! My Amazon cart is always open…

See my previous favorites post here.

 

10 Things I Do Incorrectly

Ever since the day we were born, we’ve been taught to do things a certain way—or at least the way our family (and those around us) deem acceptable. Then, as we make our way out into the world and see other people doing things in completely different ways, we have one of two reactions:

  1. We are intrigued and overall impressed, thus we adopt this new method.
  2. We are horrified.

I’m not afraid to admit I have habits that (I guess) might horrify people. Not in a clinical way or one that would warrant an arrest or anything. But some that would definitely provoke a dirty look or at the very least a pity nod and a side glance to someone equally as upset.

Don’t get me wrong, this post is not a promise to change any of them. It’s also not an apology. I’m just pointing them out to let you know that I know, and also to let you know what I know in case you’re wondering if anyone else does what you do, you know?

For example:

1) Tie My Shoes

I was never able to figure out how to work the loop, swoop and pull method, so I’m still rocking the bunny ears. Honestly, I prefer this method. I think it allows a tighter (a.k.a more efficient) tie.

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2) Follow Washing Instructions

As a persistent rule follower this is a little out of character for me, but I get so aggravated that some clothes require this and some require that. I do stick to the basics: colors vs. whites, but when it comes to machine wash vs. hand wash, I’m more than likely to go survival of the fittest on you and cross my fingers you make it out of the washer and drier. If you do, I dub thee worthy of my closet.

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3) I Cut the Crusts off My Sandwiches

I’m sorry but crusts are gross and I will never apologize for this. The only thing I’ll admit is a little weird is that crusts don’t bother me when the bread is toasted. But I feel like that’s because it’s a more consistent texture…or something.

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4) Handwriting

My handwriting is an absolute disaster. It’s a strange combination of cursive, chicken scratch and both lower and upper case letters. It’s a shame too, because I actually love writing and receiving letters. But when I look at the way I write, it’s not a big mystery why I’ve never been able to keep a consistent pen pal.

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5) I’m Right-Handed and Left-Handed

(Not really) speaking of hands, mine are moody. While my right is dominant in most everything in my daily life, I’ve always batted left-handed. As a result, I also golfed left-handed, however, I recently learned that I have a better right-handed golf swing. So basically my body is having a constant identity crisis.

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6) I Hate Peanut Butter & Coffee

I feel as though both of these preferences have been regarded as sins at some point during my life, and while I’d like to apologize (I guess) for being unable to relate/obsess/meme with you, there’s really not a whole lot I can do about this.

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7) Dream

This is one of those things where I know I don’t really have any control over it, but I still feel like I’m doing something wrong. I just have weird dreams. And not the “haha how funny” kind of dreams, I’m talking mouth agape, friends concerned and inquiring about professional opinions type of weird. I’ve written about some of them (which you can read here and here) but they just seem to keep on coming. Just the other night I had a dream about peeling the top layer of skin off of my face. Mind you I had this dream after a relaxing evening of watching a romantic comedy and coloring.

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8) I Occasionally Misuse “Literally”

I understand this is a terrible (literary) crime, especially since I like to consider myself someone with a relatively good handle on the English language. But I can’t help it! Sometimes I find myself in the middle of a story where the punch line feels so unbelievable that the person I’m talking to couldn’t possibly believe how serious I am. So I’ll say, “LITERALLY,” before the big reveal, that way they know I’m not screwing around. And even though it doesn’t make sense, and there are people who would say, “oh yeah, and what would it have been like figuratively,” the way I see it, it’s their choice to be a jerk. All I was trying to do was get them as excited about hearing my story as I was telling it, and I wanted the ending to literally blow their mind. Into a million pieces. Yes, I wanted my story to be so good it murdered them.

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9) Tanning

I understand that I have pale skin. I also understand that tanning is terrible for your skin, which is why I don’t often do it. But can someone explain to me why, when we spend a few hours in the sun, I come home 98% pale, with blotchy sunburns on my knees and a tan line from my FitBit, and my sister comes back a golden brown sun goddess? Something about that just doesn’t seem right.

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10) I Scrunch

This is more of a shrugged acceptance rather than a confident statement, as I don’t know if there is actually a designated “right way.” The other day I was watching a video on YouTube where someone mentioned they “scrunch” their toilet paper rather than “fold” it when they wipe, and there was an uproar among the adjacent parties. Words like “monster” and “animal” were used. Meanwhile, there I am, knowing full well I’ve scrunched my whole life, wondering if I’m some sort of deranged psychopath and don’t even know it? To settle this, please feel free to add your two cents here:

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In the end, some of these things are biological and some could be addressed in a nature vs. nurture argument, but most of these things are just because…me. I don’t want to apologize because I don’t think I should have to change, but I also don’t want to say I don’t want to change because my analytical side likes to weigh the pros and cons of both sides.

Except on crusts that is. You ain’t changin’ my mind on crusts.

A Few Challenges for My Birthday

As of yesterday, my 28th birthday is officially one month away!

This is both alarming and exciting. I’m not necessarily intimidated by the prospect of being 28, but then again it’s like, woah, I’m going to be 28?! You know?

Anyways, in order to welcome in age 28, I’ve decided to do a few challenges.

I did some deep diving in the Pinterest universe—and made it out alive, so 28 is already looking good—and I’ve found a few that look both fun and doable. Plus, they’re lists, which if you know anything about me, you know I love the hell out of some lists.

Some people might say giving yourself a hefty amount of tasks to check off in the month before your birthday would be stressful, but I have never been one of those people. Thus, let the lists commence!

I got one for exercise:

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I got one for drawing—which should really be a challenge since I don’t/can’t draw, but hey, maybe 28 year old me draws. Who knows?

30 Day Drawing Challenge

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I got this one that will give me something to write about each day

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And this one for happiness, because it just seems like a logical way to welcome in another year of life.

30 Day Happiness Challenge

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Is this a bad idea? Will these challenges end up stressing me out more than building me up? Have I made a grave mistake by committing to them on the internet rather than just keeping them to myself?

Maybe.

But all I can do is my best. The whole point is to get 28 started with a bang.

Not bangs though, I don’t think I (or my sister) could do those again.

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