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31 Good Things that Happened in August

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) Hope the miniature horse paid a visit

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2) This boy made sure his dad knew he loved him

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3) This girl posted notes on bridges to help prevent suicide

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4) This Gilmore Girls fan got proposed to in Stars Hollow

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5) This family made an impossible choice that turned their late baby girl into a superhero

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6) This list of incredible cat pictures was created

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7) This little boy saved his grandmother’s life

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8) This father showed up when his sons needed him—and in a dress no less.

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9) This boy tried to help wash the car

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10) These artists and writers came together to share their rejections

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11) This couple got engaged

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12) This dad came home

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13) Camilla Cabello gave some great news to her younger self

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14) This list of mesmerizing things was made

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15) This couple poked fun at a new security camera the girl’s dad installed on his front porch

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16) These people united over their problematic last names

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17) This little girl got adopted

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18) Arnold Schwarzenegger gave some kindhearted advice to a fan

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19) The NYPD surprised this boy for his birthday

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20) This dog wanted to swing

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21) Alanis Morisette modernized her classic song “Ironic”

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22) This man spread an important message

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23) This dog saw itself on TV

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24) This waitress gave a customer a name tag

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25) This YouTuber made a video about what rappers would be like as school teachers

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26) This UPS driver gave a hilarious reason as to why he couldn’t deliver a package

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27) This little guy learned to walk with his crutches

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28) After seeing students getting bullied over dirty clothes, this school installed a free laundromat

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29) Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds geeked out when they heard Taylor Swift sing her song that features their daughter’s voice in the intro

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30) This on duty police officer breastfed a malnourished baby

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31) And finally, this:

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what September brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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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

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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.

31 Good Things that Happened in July

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) After being trapped in a flooded cave for three weeks, all 12 boys and their coach were rescued.

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2) This dog got a brain freeze

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3) This man had a BBQ open to all

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4) Maya walked on her own

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5) This bear had a spa day

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6) These T-Rexs raced

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7) This woman got more than she bargained for after making a purchase at the Goodwill

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8) This fox was rescued and reunited with its mother

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9) Buzzfeed gathered this collection of happy moments people shared with strangers

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10) These cities were built entirely out of Legos

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11) Jennifer Garner read to her dog

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12) This person made hilarious use of an odd gift they were given

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13) This police officer joined the lip sync craze

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14) Starbucks announced its plans to open their first Signing Store in the US

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15) This family endured a lot of hardship to experience a joy they never expected

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16) This girl explained dog breeds

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17) Lin Manuel Miranda announced that he’s releasing a book of all of his encouraging tweets (which I LOVE!)

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18) This woman received a generous gift on her flight home

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19) This dog was rescued

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20) This letter was written to Demi Lovato

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21) And these Demi Lovato fans got together for an impromptu concert after her beach performance was cancelled

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22) This guy turned his book collection into art

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23) This water park was designed to be wheel chair friendly

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24) These golden retrievers got together to break a record

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25) The Rock gave his longtime stunt double a surprise

View this post on Instagram

SURPRISE! I love handing over keys🔑🎁 I love you brother and enjoy your new truck! Over the course of my career, my stunt double (and cousin) Tanoai Reed @samoanstuntman has broken multiple bones, severed tendons, torn ligaments & just been an overall dominating bad ass achieving several “Stuntman of the Year” honors. All done with one goal in mind – deliver the best movie possible to the world. I had this custom pick up truck delivered just in time to surprise him (he’s still recovering from a stunt injury) while we give what he thought was going to be an interview about our careers together. As you’ll see the moment I put my hands on my hips, that’s the drivers cue to pull away and reveal the big surprise. Not only does Tanoai represent our family and my career with relentless commitment and passion. He also represents an entire Hollywood stunt community that is truly the backbone of our business. Love you uso and thank you for the blood, sweat, tears and years. We’re just getting started. Enjoy your new truck! #LetsRoll 🤟🏾

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

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26) This man’s tweet saved 26 girls from human trafficking

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27) After walking 20 miles to work because his car broke down, this man got an amazing surprise from his boss.

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28) This town threw an ice cream party for a boy who finished his last radiation treatment

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29) Wonder Woman paid a visit to this hospital

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30) These kids returned a wallet

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31) And finally, to celebrate National Avocado Day, Netflix turned Queer Eye’s Fab Five into the Fabocados

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what August brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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The Last Thing on My Phone

While scrolling around the black hole of YouTube, I found a series from both WIRED and Glamour that asks celebrities to answer questions based on the “last ____ on their phone.” It’s an alternative interview to give actors and actresses that are on press tours for whatever new movie/television show/etc. they are starring in.

For the average YouTube consumer, these may be relatively boring interviews, but for whatever reason I can’t get enough of them. I like to think it gives me a more realistic picture of the person being interviewed and provides them with a new set of questions to answer rather than the same old spiel they’ve been toting around. I’m also just plan nosey, so there’s that.

The other night, I was sitting at the table with my roommates and I decided we should answer the same set of questions, just to see what we came up with. Here were the results:

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1) What is the last photo you took?

Rachel: This is the last photo I personally took rather than screenshotted, and it’s pretty great. It’s from just outside a dive bar right near Dodger Stadium and I just thought I needed to…well look: IMG_7104

Natalee: I have this one of the two of us (meaning her and I) celebrating [our friend] Nicollette’s birthday this past weekend.

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Me: Mine was also from Nicollette’s birthday, but it’s of this cool window.

Natalee: Yeah, that sounds like you.

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(Note: if you’re ever in the Ventura area, check out The Tavern. It’s a really cool bar made up of a series of different rooms/outside areas, one of which is a speakeasy type room where I took this photo, right before we started dancing to swing music.)

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2) What is the last thing you Googled?

Natalee: “Paprika spinners chips.” Rachel and I were talking about types of Cheetos and then I found these and I wanted to order them on Amazon but they aren’t on Amazon so I Googled them and it turns out they’re only sold in the Netherlands. So…

Rachel: I have two that I made right around the same time. First is Natalie Imbruglia who sings “Torn”, that song that came out when we were kids. And then the other is Heaven’s Gate, a cult I was recently researching. I’m big into cults right now.

Kim: I was trying to look up which skateboarding competitions Shaun White was going to be in to see if we could go watch any.

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3) What is your last text?

Rachel: I mean, technically my last one is just, “oh yeah.”

Natalee: I sent one to our roomie group message asking Rach what kind of ice cream/donuts/Hot Cheetos we should get on our snack run.

Kim: Yeah the last one I sent was in response to Rachel’s response to that, which is this Bitmoji of me casually skateboarding with a raccoon.

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4) How many alarms do you have set?

Rachel: Oh gosh. Oh, actually I only have two right now. One is for 3:00 a.m. and another is 11:15 a.m.

Me: I don’t think I have very many. Nope, just four. One for work, one for church, one for naps, and one to take my pill at night.

Natalee: I must have some kind of record. I have 15 different alarms and they range from 3:55 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. They’re not all set at once, some are set for just Wednesdays, some Tuesdays and Sundays, some just for Saturday, you know? My favorite one is for 7:01 a.m. because I’m usually supposed to be up by 7 o’clock for work and that one extra minute makes me feel like I’m being risky.

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5) What are your most frequently used emojis?

Rachel: My phone says these: face-throwing-a-kiss_1f618heavy-black-heart_2764expressionless-face_1f611thumbs-up-sign_emoji-modifier-fitzpatrick-type-1-2_1f44d-1f3fb_1f3fbsmiling-face-with-smiling-eyes_1f60a  But if I were going to go with my most frequent I would definitely say this one: i-love-you-hand-sign_emoji-modifier-fitzpatrick-type-1-2_1f91f-1f3fb_1f3fb I’m not sure why it’s not in the top ones, though. Actually, now that I look at it, I have a train on my frequently used that I’ve definitely never used before. I also have a motorcycle and a gondola? I don’t even know where these came from.

Natalee: Mine also seem kind of messed up, so I’m just going to give you the ones I know I use the most: face-with-tears-of-joy_1f602sign-of-the-horns_emoji-modifier-fitzpatrick-type-1-2_1f918-1f3fb_1f3fbwoman-shrugging-type-3_1f937-1f3fc-200d-2640-fe0fyellow-heart_1f49bface-with-rolling-eyes_1f644

Me: I think mine are pretty accurate: face-with-tears-of-joy_1f602smiling-face-with-heart-shaped-eyes_1f60dnerd-face_1f913thumbs-up-sign_1f44dsmiling-face-with-smiling-eyes_1f60a

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6) What is your last voicemail?

Me: Mine is from my dad. It’s from a couple of weeks ago when my car started making this bad grinding noise and I called him to come check what it was. We decided to take it to the shop the next morning but he followed me home just in case and then left a voicemail telling me that in following me it didn’t appear as though my car was going to blow up before morning. So that was nice to hear.

Natalee: Mine is from some random company saying that it’s “very important” that they speak with me, I didn’t call them back.

Rachel: Mine is from CVS and they’re practically threatening me to pick up a prescription I don’t even want.

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7) What is the last selfie you took?

Me: Mine is with our sunflowers that I took for one of the Plant Aunt videos. (For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, I’ve recently been documenting the growth of the sunflowers we planted in the backyard. It’s essentially me rambling/trying to stay involved because Natalee does all the work in watering them. Also, I’m pretty sure the neighbors think I’m crazy.)

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Natalee: Mine is too! I had a full on sunflower photo shoot the other day.

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Rachel: Oh no. You guys…

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8) What is the last app you downloaded?

Natalee: Ballpark. It was from when I was at the Dodger game getting to sit in the fancy seats for a day and this app let you order beer to be delivered to you!

Rachel: Mine is probably Game Time, that app that lets you download tickets on the day of a concert or sporting event.

Me: I don’t know which one was last. It was either Runtastic, which is a running app that is partnered with Run for the Oceans, or The ASL App which I got because I want to learn sign language, but I haven’t opened that one yet.

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9) What is the last podcast you listened to?

Rachel: Ooh! Dr. Laura, Call of the Day.

Natalee: S-Town.

Me: Modern Love.

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10) What is the last note you made?

Natalee: Mine is boring, it’s just work notes that I typed up and then sent in an email.

Me: Five minutes ago, when you guys were discussing your opinions on Cheetos, that’s a blog post waiting to happen. (Natalee picked up a few different bags of Hot Cheetos during our aforementioned snack run and then she and Rachel sat at the table and had a very professional opinion on which Hot Cheeto flavor reigns supreme, stay tuned for those results.)

Rachel: It’s notes for a calendar that I’m working on full of daily quotes that sound like they should be inspirational, but they really aren’t… (Also stay tuned for this, y’all, it sounds hilarious.)

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All in all, I’d say it was both an educational and overall enjoyable experience. It’s interesting to check in on where you’re at with your phone, especially since we spend so many mindless hours staring at it. Plus, it’s always fun to be a little nosey.

30 Good Things that Happened in June

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) This sheep had a great day

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2) This dad jumped in to dance with his daughter after she had a meltdown on stage

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3) This woman answered honestly when a friend asked her what it was like to be a mom

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4) After the Washington Capital’s won their first ever Stanley Cup, this father and son shared a special moment

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5) Also after the win, Washington Capital, TJ Oshie, shared this sweet sentiment about his dad suffering from Alzheimer’s

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6) This teacher didn’t wake his student who had fallen asleep

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7) This woman caught a foul ball in her beer

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8) This boy took the school picture for both him and his twin brother

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9) Two years after being badly burned, this runner made her way to the NCAA National Track Championship

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10) This raccoon made an inspiring climb

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11) This high school pitcher consoled his childhood friend after striking him out

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12) This woman received a wedding gift from her father…nine years after he passed away

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13) Jimmy Fallon and Lin Manuel-Miranda wrote an ode to goatees

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14) This woman’s friends came to her side without her having to ask.

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15) These cats cuddled

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16) This girl met her bone marrow donor

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17) These teachers finally got to be a little honest

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18) This high school graduate made creative use of her cap and gown

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19) This dog stayed with its family’s three year old daughter for 12 hours while she was missing

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20) Minnie Mouse used sign language to make sure this little fan could feel special

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21) And this girl used sign language to help out her fellow airplane passenger

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22) This grandma got a new pet

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23) This boy ensured his girlfriend’s skin care routine was completed

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24) This pup learned CPR

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25) Singer Andy Grammar was reminded that we’re all connected

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26) This mom wrote a letter to other mom’s of boys

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27) This dad made it to his son’s graduation

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28) After hoping for 100 cards on his 100th birthday, this war veteran received 50,000

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29) This boy gave a powerful speech

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30) And finally, this dog played the piano

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what July brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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Does Someone Have A Second to Invent These Things?

When I was younger I thought it would be cool to be an inventor. I pictured myself creating the next big thing the world never knew it needed, becoming a millionaire and living in a mansion with my family and a pet elephant. The only thing that stood in the way of that dream was actually having the idea for the next big thing in the first place.

These days, while I still don’t necessarily have the idea, I like to think I have some pretty good ones, though I’m still nowhere close to having the skills to turn them into anything tangible. That being said, if there are any inventors out there with some extra time, do you mind spending a little on these guys? They would make my life better, which has to mean they would provide a similar benefit to someone else’s.

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1) A blinker that indicates U-turns

You know when you’re in the left hand turn lane and the person in front of you is blinking their blinker and you think you’re on the same page and are ready to follow the leader across the intersection, only to have them flip a U and turn your whole world upside down? Okay, maybe not you’re whole world. But it’s definitely a I took a sip of a drink I expected to be soda but it was milk and now my life is a mess type of moments, you know? I just think there should be some kind of secondary blinker that says, “Hey, I’m not doing what you think I’m doing and I just wanted you to know.”

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2) To-go/delivery services for breakfast foods

You can get pizza delivered to your door in twenty minutes, you can get McDonald’s delivered to your door at 1 o’clock in the morning, heck, you can even get more wine delivered to your door before an episode of The Bachelor is over. If we’ve come this far, why can’t I order a waffle yet? It’s 2018, people, the world needs a pancake delivery service.

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3) Solar powered lane markers

The other day I was driving on the freeway at night and having trouble seeing the lane dividers. It had just stopped raining so the cement was wet, and the brake lights of my neighboring cars were making the reflectors on the lane dividers almost a non-factor. This got me thinking, if someone like me, who has 20/20 vision is having trouble seeing these markers, how would my sister, who requires a special prescription and especially struggles with night driving, have faired? So my thought here is, let’s Disneyland Electric Light Parade those bad boys! Stick some solar panels on the tops of them so they charge all day and glow all night. Not only would they make our freeways more exciting, they’d undoubtedly cut down on late night collisions.

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4) Something that can control CAPS LOCK

Have you ever been typing something and accidentally hit the caps lock when you didn’t intend to and then you typed an entire sentence in the wrong format and the only way to correct it was to delete the entire thing and start over? This happens to me more than I’d like to admit and it is endlessly frustrating. I just wish there was a way to highlight and either apply or remove caps lock in one fell swoop.

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5) An app that actually calculates the odds when you say, “what are the odds of that?”

Can you imagine having this power? Would it be too much? Would it be useful at all? It’s hard to say. But you can’t deny the fact that it would be fun to be able to pull out your phone while you are walking down the aisle of a grocery store in a city you are only in because you are on vacation, and yet you somehow find yourself running into an old high school acquaintance you never thought you’d have to see again and they say, “it’s so great to see you!” and the only non-controversial thing you can think to say is, “yeah, WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT?” and your phone would say “approximately 1 in 1,000,000,000” and you would feel validated in how utterly ridiculous the whole thing is. You know that, and other, less complicated curiosities.

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All I ask in your quest to bring these ideas to life is to give me a shout out. I have no idea how patents work, but if there is a section where you provide influences, inspirations, muses, etc., just leave a link to this blog. I suppose a cut of the profit also might be nice. Just include a check with a doorstep waffle. Thanks in advance!

If You’re Going to Post, Post What’s True

As a creature of habit, my routine in the morning is almost identical every single day of the workweek. Among pressing snooze a few times, listening to a podcast, and making a (usually empty) promise to myself that we’ll nap later, checking Timehop—an app that connects to your social media accounts and shows you posts you made on that day in years past—is a staple.

Even though the Facebook posts, Instagram pictures and tweets can sometimes be unbearably cringy, I like to check in on the person I was however many years ago, and observe how much I’ve grown since then.

But among the goofy, the melodramatic, and the sometimes indecipherable posts, I sometimes find ones that make me downright frown. Because even now, after all these years, I can still feel the inauthenticity. It only takes a second to read the words or scan the picture to remember that the only reason I posted that was to impress/amuse/appease someone else.

On the one hand, I don’t want to be too hard on myself. We all go through periods of growth. Seasons when we’re trying on different versions of ourselves to see which one fits. Thus, reading those posts that definitely aren’t me could be viewed as little more than skimming digital records of that growing process. But it also makes me sad to see how much I valued the opinions and acceptance of others over presenting a truthful version of myself.

These days, I do my best to present nothing but the truth. Not only for the benefit of my present self (and anyone who might view what I post) but also for my future self, who, upon skimming Timehop one or two or five years from now can look back and be proud that I was confident enough to be my true self. After all, as much fun as it is to receive love and praise and “likes” for something we post, none of that will mean much if you know that what you posted is an ingenuine representation of who you are and what you’re feeling.

Think of social media like a scrapbook or a journal, minus the fear of it getting lost or worn with time. Once you put something on the Internet, it’s there forever. Which is kind of scary, but also kind of cool if you use it to your advantage. Technology is scrapbooking our memories for us, storing them for future “awww’s” and “eww’s” and “OH MY GOSH’s.”

Don’t get me wrong; posting to social media is a choice. The world will only see what you want it to see, but with that being said, why choose to only show the world a lie? What good does that do anyone, especially your future self who might want to look back and connect.

At the end of the day, I’m not here to judge you or anything you do or do not want to post to social media, and I expect you’d give me the same courtesy. But over the years, I’ve found that if you are going to post something, it’s always better to post what’s true. It’s better for you, it’s better for those around you, and it’s better for the world as a whole. We don’t get anywhere when we lie to each other, and we only go backwards when we lie to ourselves.

March/April 2018 Favorites

It’s beginning to feel a lot like…spring? Summer? Winter again? Honestly I have no idea with the highs and lows going on in Southern California right now. Last week my thermometer read both 49 and 96. This is why we Californians have trust issues, and why we never acclimate to anything. Anyways, let’s jump right into the favorites, shall we?

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Getting Curious w/ Jonathan Van Ness

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As if watching Queer Eye on Netflix wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with Jonathan Van Ness & Co. his podcast is equally as wonderful. Not only does it feature his trademark charm and sass, it covers genuinely interesting topics that I love hearing about and am quite honestly very curious about. For example, one episode talked all about bees. And while I’ve never considered myself to be much of a bee enthusiast, after listening I found myself completely fascinated by them and totally equipped to inform others of ways they can help save the dwindling population. (find it here)

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Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle

I’ve never considered myself any sort of expert in the makeup/beauty world, but a couple months ago I signed up for Birchbox to add some new products in my life and have been loving it so far! In my first box, I received this detangling spray that you put in your hair before brushing when you get out of the show and WOW. It completely detangled my hair, it made it smell good, and it left it super smooth. I just recently ran out so I will definitely be ordering the full size version! (find it here)

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Quinoa Fried Rice

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As you may have read in my cooking series, Strain then Stir, I’ve been making a conscious effort to better my cooking skills over the last year. In doing so, I’ve forced myself to branch out and try things I’ve long convinced myself I don’t like, one example being quinoa. I have always assumed I wouldn’t like the texture of quinoa and would always hold a grudge against it because, well, it’s just not rice. But then I found this recipe and everything changed. Not only is it easy, but it’s absolutely delicious and healthy and OH MY GOSH I’M A COOK. (find recipe here) (image credit: Gimme Some Oven blog)

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Caramel Cookie Fix

Speaking of delicious. I picked up a pint of this ice cream at Target while my sister and I were stress packing for Stagecoach last month and WOW. Just wow. I’m still proud of myself for not eating the entire pint in one sitting even though 1) I definitely could have and 2) it’s lower in calories thus lower in guilt. If you are in the market for a new ice cream flavor, this is the winner.

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You’re Not that Great

I’m not going to lie, I initially only bought this book because it popped up in the sale section of the Kindle store. That being said however, since I finished it I’ve been recommending it to everyone and would gladly go back in time and pay full price for it. It’s such a new take on self-help books, essentially asking you to embrace all the reasons you suck. And as much as that sounds insulting, it’s actually strangely inspirational. I laughed through the entire book and could not recommend it more. (find it here)

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The Office

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After years of receiving the “what do you mean you HAVEN’T see The Office” looks, I decided it was about time I joined society, and let me tell you, I’M SO GLAD I DID! I totally get it now. Every look I’ve received in the past is totally validated because yes, my life was worse before I started watching this show and continues to get better as I make my way though it. (I’m currently on Season 5!) So thank you, judgy people, really, truly, thank you. (find it on Netflix)

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Sons of Anarchy

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On a completely different end of the Netflix spectrum, I’ve also gotten into Sons of Anarchy, making my brain a very chaotic place. Not to mention my heart is now torn between two incredibly different men in Jim Halpert and Jax Teller. I think if there is a human out there that is a combination of the two he might be my soulmate. So if you find him, let me know. (find it on Netflix)

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A Quiet Place

If you are among the few that have heard all the hype about this movie but haven’t seen it, let me be the one to tell you that you need to go see it. I have never been a fan of horror movies, nor have I ever seen one in theaters, but the talk around this movie (and my new love for John Krasinski) convinced me to face my fears and I’m so glad I did! This movie is so fantastic and different than anything I’ve seen before. I felt every emotion on the spectrum and would easily say it is the best movie I’ve seen all year. Go see it! In theaters if you can. It adds to the whole experience.

 

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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.

30 Good Things that Happened in April

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) Officer Oliver reported for duty

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2) This Humboldt hockey player showed incredible bravery in the wake of a tragedy

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3) These dog nannies took care of their kids

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4) This 108 year old man met his great-great grandchild and namesake

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5) This incredible joke was made

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6) This girl’s video about bullying received a big response from the Yankees

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7) This boy got the photoshoot of a lifetime

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8) This woman tried to water her plants

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9) This man’s picture ended up being worth more than 1000 words

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10) This photographer went the extra mile to get the perfect shot

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11) The co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge got his voice back

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12) The police identified this missing dog by singing its favorite song

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13) This boy saw color for the first time

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14) Chuck E Cheese made this announcement

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Considerate Chuck E. Cheese

A post shared by Tank.Sinatra (@tanksgoodnews) on

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15) This woman made geode art

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16) Google honored Maya Angelou for her 90th birthday

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17) This woman gave us an important reminder

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18) This family found their daughter after a 24-year search

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19) This girl tried her hand at captioning New Yorker cartoons

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20) The Rock surprised this girl over her school’s PA system

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21) This man got a nearly drowned prairie dog back on its feet

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22) Melissa McCarthy gave some inspirational words about finding success

“When you spend 20 years working your butt off, you know yourself better. If you’re handed everything you want at 19 or 20, you may actually believe all of the people who are like, ‘You’re amazing.’ I think I would have been probably cuckoo [if I’d been successful] at 18. I think the best thing I could have done was struggle until I was 30. I always assume every job is my last. Twenty years of desperately trying to get a single job gets deep in your DNA.”

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23) This dog taught his brother how to “sit”

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24) Model Nyles DeMarco politely called out this woman for creeping pictures of him

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25) The royal baby was born

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26) And so were a bunch of others whose parents didn’t expect to find paparazzi waiting for them outside the hospital.

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27) These truck drivers joined together to save a man’s life

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28) This girl surprised her prom date

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29) This woman drank alcohol for the first time since giving birth

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30) This boy ran home

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what May brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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