random

The Last Thing on My Phone (Part 2)

By now you probably know that I am a very curious person who loves gathering information. You also probably know that I’m a little nosey—because what curious person isn’t? So when I found this series on YouTube, I could hardly resist.

It’s been almost a year since we did our first deep dive into our phones, so I figured it was about time we checked back in.

Here were the results:

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1) What is the last photo you took?

Rachel: Mine is of this color coordinated clothing rack:IMG_5236

Natalee: Mine is of this creature on my plant. Look at this creepy crawly:

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Me: Mine is of this clock from our friend Taylor’s house. I just really liked it…

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2) What is the last thing you Googled?

Natalee: “Hitchhiker’s to the galaxy plot.” I need to know it for work so I cheated.

Rachel: “Aladdin.” I was looking at showtimes.

*collective pause to discuss the new Aladdin movie*

Kim: “Rompers for men.” I couldn’t remember what they were called. (They are called “Romp-hims” by the way.)

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3) What is your last text?

Rachel: Oh, this was funny. It was texted to me to describe the way I talk about things. It says, “I didn’t hate it, so there’s that. ‘The Rachel Liner Story.'”

Natalee: It was to the family group chat talking about all the things we are looking forward to on our trip and I said, “Amen to all of that!”

Kim: Mine is also about our trip. I said to dad, “Beer is on the agenda!”

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4) How many alarms do you have set?

Rachel: I only have three but I just reset them.

Me: Oh, I have a lot. I think even more than last time. I have eight.

Natalee: I have six. They range from 5:45 a.m. to 6:20 p.m. Not sure what that 6:20 p.m. one is from but I’m guessing it was probably a nap.

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5) What are your most frequently used emojis?

Rachel: These are my top used: heavy-black-heart_2764face-throwing-a-kiss_1f618thumbs-up-sign_emoji-modifier-fitzpatrick-type-1-2_1f44d-1f3fb_1f3fbsmiling-face-with-smiling-eyes_1f60a but I also really love this one: woman-shrugging-type-3_1f937-1f3fc-200d-2640-fe0f

Me: thumbs-up-sign_1f44dheavy-black-heart_2764face-with-tears-of-joy_1f602smiling-face-with-heart-shaped-eyes_1f60dsmiling-face-with-smiling-eyes_1f60a Yeah, that’s me in a nutshell.

Natalee: face-with-tears-of-joy_1f602white-smiling-face_263ayellow-heart_1f49bflushed-face_1f633woman-facepalming-type-3_1f926-1f3fc-200d-2640-fe0f This is my favorite though: face-with-rolling-eyes_1f644 It’s the best one ever made.

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6) What is your last voicemail?

Me: Mine is from [my best friend] Allison. She was just calling to chat but spent a good portion of the message complimenting my voice on the voicemail so that was sweet.

Natalee: See if you can guess mine.

*plays message*

“Hey noodlepop!—

Me: —Kristine [Natalee’s best friend.] Not a lot of other people -are out there calling you noodlepop. (For reference, Kristine calls me “Kim-age” so it’s safe to say her nicknames are supreme.)

Rachel: Oh wait, I have a really good one. It’s from this guy offering to lower the payment on my student loans. I mean, what kind of scam does Jonathan think I’m gonna fall for?

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7) What is the last selfie you took?

Me: The last picture I took with me actually holding the phone and volunteering for my photo to be taken was this one of Mel and I. Aren’t we pretty?

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Natalee: Mine is with Amanda. We were a little day drunk and so we thought, “hey, let’s day a picture of us being day drunk” and, well, we look pretty day drunk.

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Rachel: I’m not really in this one but I did take it and it’s when Dylan and I were with the rhinos.

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8) What is the last app you downloaded?

Natalee: Mine is a little basic, but it’s Instastories because for a minute there I was considering making my Instagram stories a little fancier but I haven’t used it yet.

Rachel: The McDonald’s app. I got it to try and collect on those chicken nuggets we won at the Dodger game [at every home game fans in attendance win free chicken nuggets if the Dodgers score six runs or more] Also pro-tip, I don’t think you even have to be at the game to get those nuggets. They just show up in the app… It’s a big deal and no one’s talking about.

Me: Happify. I downloaded it yesterday because I saw it mentioned in an article online, but I don’t really know what it does yet.

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9) What is the last podcast you listened to?

Rachel: Blackout. It’s with Rami Malek. I’ve only listened to the first couple but it’s pretty good.

Natalee: SLP’s Wine and Cheese. It’s where I listen to SLP’s (speech language pathologist—my sister’s future job title) talk about their caseload and drink wine at the end of a long week.

Me: Case Closed. It’s that podcast about solved murder cases that I got into. The second season has been way better than the first. The first season was just about a bad criminal. I mean, if you’re going to murder someone and try to cover it up, at least do a good job.

Rachel: Amen.

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10) What is the last note you made?

Natalee: “Angelina’s across from the Louvre known for drinking chocolate.” It’s a suggestion I got from a friend about something we should do while we’re in Paris.

Me: Mine is a suggested packing list for dad—with witty commentary.

Rachel: Mine was my target list and the best part about looking at it again right now is that I totally forgot I bought these chai teas, but they are definitely in the fridge downstairs and I’m very excited about it.

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So in case you’re ever wondering if these posts are important, or if you’re curious about taking a little dive into your own phone, remember, there might be a chai tea in your fridge that you totally forgot about, so take the dive. It’s worth it.

5 More Things I Do Incorrectly

Coming up on a year ago now I posted this blog, listing 10 things that I do (at least seemingly) incorrectly. Since then, I have (not surprisingly) discovered a few more things that I do, if we want to put it nicer this time, differently.

Anyone with me out there?

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1) Chewing Gum

One of the best features a stick of gum can have is long lasting flavor, right? Isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that why there are undoubtedly people who are working as gum scientists, trying to make the dream of the everlasting gobstopper come true? Well if it is and if there are, it’s a wasted effort on me. I’d say on average, the max time I chew gum is about 10 minutes. If I chew it longer, it’s either because I’m on a plane and I’m trying to make my ears pop, or I’m falling asleep at my desk or in the waiting room at the DMV and I’m desperately trying to keep myself awake by chewing—which only works moderately well, by the way. For the most part, I really don’t like gum. It’s weird and I hate the sound it makes when you chew it and after I’ve used it to freshen my breath, I’m done with it and want to spit it out as fast as possible.

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2) Make Pancakes

I’m sorry but I simply don’t have the patience for flipping. The mixing and the whisking and the ladling onto the griddle? Great. But the waiting for the top to bubble or the edges to brown or the pancake gods to send a sign, only to flip the pancake over and have it either still completely raw or burned to a crisp? THE WORST.

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3) Posing for Pictures

What do I do with my arms? Or my legs for the matter? Why does my face keep doing that? And why does one of my eyebrows jump higher than the other one when I smile too big? Wait, why are we taking more than one photo? I only had the one pose in mind and it was mediocre at best. How does everyone else have backup poses?! Annnnd great, I look like a moron.

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4) Hitting Snooze

This one is phrased wrong in that I’m actually superb at hitting snooze. I could have a graduate degree in snoozing. It’s not hitting snooze that I’m bad at. And even though I’d like to get up on time and not have to run around my house like a crazy person for once, and even though I’ve read all the articles on how bad pressing snooze it for you, I CAN’T STOP. This past week I’ve made an effort to only press snooze twice (per day) and I’ve considered that a success.

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5) Taking Pills

I really truly thought at some point I would graduate into a full blown adult that could swallow pills without any issue, but no. I still to this day have to cut pills in half and take them with Gatorade or juice or pudding and I still sometimes have to throw them away and start over. Thank heaven for gummy vitamins.

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So there they are, red strikes on my life report card. I’d like to think that admitting them gives me a green check in the bigger picture, but I’m not sure if life runs on the same grading scale as a kindergarten class.

Just please, give me a gold star and let me be on my way.

My Google Search History (Part 4)

So you know how I have that tendency to keep Internet windows open? Well I have officially reached a new level of insane. When I scrolled through and looked this past week, I had over 80 windows open. EIGHTY.

I must be stopped.

OR

I must continue. Because continuing means more of these posts, which, while giving you mild concern for my attachment to internet windows, also provide you with at least mildly interesting facts you might not have otherwise learned, right?

Maybe?

I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m probably going to keep doing it, and I hope you’ll mildly benefit in the process. So, diving right in, over the past few months, my Google search history can be broken down into four main categories:

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1) Recipes

Because I’m always propping my phone at perilous angles while I cook.

Here are some of the recipes I’ve recently Googled:

  1. Italian Spaghetti Squash
  2. Persimmon Pudding Cake
  3. Jalapeno-Goat Cheese Grilled Stuffed Mini Peppers
  4. Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese
  5. Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Delicata Squash
  6. Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Red Onions with Feta

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2) Questions About Food

Because while food is delicious, it’s also…kind of mysterious?

Here are some of the questions I’ve Googled, the answers (if you’re wondering) are in italics.

  • How long are chips good after their expiration date?
    • 2-3 months.
  • Is there gluten in tortilla chips?
    • If they are made from corn tortillas, no. 
  • Iron rich foods to add to your diet?
  • Do you refrigerate brussel sprouts?
    • Yes, in the vegetable drawer. 
  • How long are chopped onions good in the refrigerator?
    • 7 to 10 days.
  • When are peaches in season?
    • May – late September.
  • What is a good snack to have before bed?
    • According to this article, some good options are a cup of almond milk, seasonal fresh fruit, dark chocolate covered popcorn, whole wheat bread with peanut butter, greek yogurt or cottage cheese. 
  • What foods trigger breakouts?
  • How can you tell if your eggs are bad?
    • This article gives this suggestion for a Fresh Egg Water Test: “Fill a bowl with water, and carefully place an egg on top. If the egg sinks like a stone, laying down on its side — it’s still very fresh! If it sinks but doesn’t lay flat — and instead it kind of stands up, wobbling — your egg is OK and probably just right for hard-boiling. If the egg floats on the top, that’s an indication that your egg is possibly past its prime.” 

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3) General Questions

I feel like these need at least a little explanation.

  • How often should you water a succulent?
    • Why I Googled this: I was gifted a succulent and I was afraid I was going to kill it. (Which I eventually did.)
    • The answer: At least once a week.
  • Can pets get altitude sickness?
    • Why I Googled this: We took our dogs to the mountains and our huskie did not fare well, especially for the first few days. Poor baby.
    • The answer: Yes, here are the symptoms and what to do. 
  • How long can you use toothpaste after the expiration date?
    • Why I Googled this: I found a little tube of travel toothpaste under my sink and I was wondering if it was safe to pack or if I’d start my vacation by rotting my teeth.
    • The answer: 12 to 18 months.
  • Can you dye your hair with easter egg dye?
    • Why I Googled this: I mean, it was Easter, we were dying eggs, our creative juices were flowing and we were wondering if we’d discovered a life hack.
    • The short answer: No.
  • How do you take care of a Tamagotchi?
    • Why I Googled this: One night my roommate came home with a shopping bag and asked us to close our eyes and hold out our hands. She then placed a Tamagotchi in my “adult” hands and I squealed in excitement.
    • The answer: This is the article I read, also I just heard there is now a Tamagotchi app—if you’re looking to adopt a virtual child.
  • What does Gayla Peevey look like?
    • Why I Googled this: It was Christmas time and “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” came on the radio and, you know, I was just curious what the singer looked like. She looks like this:

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4) Rihanna

Someone on Twitter recommended typing “Rihanna” + your birthday into Google images to see what outfit she has worn in the past on that particular day and it did not disappoint. Here is the top result for my birthday (September 5th):

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And so concludes another deep dive into my search history. I’ve once again closed all of my windows, giving my phone some room to breathe…for a little while at least.


 

You can read the part 3 of this series here. 

So Much “Back”

You know those trains of thought that you come across on long drives that take on a life of their own?

The ones that, when you get to where you’re going and start to tell whoever your with about them, they tend to lose steam, but since you’ve been ruminating on them for so long you have to tell someone, if only to get the damn things out of your head?

That’s where I’m at with this.

So bear with me. And maybe join me if you feel so inclined.

Here it is: Have you ever noticed how many English phrases use the word “back”?

I’m sorry, what? – You, probably.

Allow me to elaborate:

1) Throwback – as in “throwback Thursday” or any basic caption for old photos or memories.

2) Out back – as in “Where’s dad?” “Out back.” Or, “do you have anymore ice cream out back?” “No, you ate it all.” (Not to mention “the Outback” which refers to the western region of Australia)

3) Step back – as in the literal, physical motion of moving backward or the figurative action of regrouping and retracing.

4) Kick back – as in kick back and relax, or I’m having a kickback at my house.

5) Jump back – as in, hold on, rewind, say whatever you just said again. (Note: I’ve only ever heard this used in the movie Footloose, but I’m still counting it.)

6) Circle back – as in, “I forgot my wallet at home, circle back so I can grab it.” Or, “I think I saw a parking spot around the corner, let’s circle back.”

7) Call back – as in, “I got a call back!” (mostly used the acting/casting world)

So…yeah.

I just…

Isn’t that funny?

Weird?

The tiniest bit interesting maybe?

*smiles politely* – you, undoubtedly.

I’ll go now.

March/April Favorites

Y’all, my senses are overwhelmed.

I’ve found so many good things lately!

So much so that I don’t even have time for one of these strange/slightly awkward/overall pointless introductions.

Although I guess I just did one.

Tricked you.

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Podcasts

As you might suspect, My Dad Wrote a Porno is somewhat of a scandalous podcast, but it is absolutely hilarious. It follows a man—alongside his two friends—reading his dad’s erotic novel aloud. It is as funny as it is mortifying and the secondhand cringe is real, but if you are looking for something to listen to that will make you laugh out loud, I highly recommend this one. (find it here)

On an ENTIRELY different level. Homecoming is a fiction podcast that was recently made into a series on Amazon Prime. It follows the story of a woman who has lost her memory, but seems to have ties to a very private/sketchy organization known as “Homecoming”. I was hooked through both seasons and can’t wait for the next one. (find it here)

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Books

I could probably just list “Mitch Albom” as one of my favorites for the past few months because I’ve been reading his books like crazy, but The Next Person You Meet in Heaven was especially good because it continued on the story of The Five People You Meet in Heaven which I’ve loved for a long time. As with most of his books, it’s a quick but powerful read and I absolutely loved it. (find it here)

Salt to the Sea was the second book I read from Ruta Sepetys (the first being Between the Shades of Grey) and I was once again taken by her ability to make historical fiction so captivating, heartbreaking and moving. (find it here)

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Movies

Set in the 1970’s, following the movement of Martin Luther King Jr., The Best of Enemies is such a good and important story to be told, and I’m so glad it is being told now, in a time when so many people are divided.

Breakthrough is an absolutely wild story of a boy who falls through an iced over lake and is pronounced dead, only to have him spontaneously generate a pulse after his mother arrives at the hospital and prays over him. It is true account of a real life miracle and it was absolutely moving. (find it in theaters now!)

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TV Shows

Game of Thrones. OBVIOUSLY. (find it on HBO)

I feel like On My Block doesn’t get as much recognition as it should, but I’ve loved both of the first two seasons and hope it continues to generate attention and appreciation for the genuine, funny and real life stories it tells in every episode. (find it on Netflix)

Whether or not you know the story behind The Act, you need to watch it. (find it on Hulu)

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Music

As always, I’m just going to list what I’ve been listening to, but let the iTunes writers describe it to you because they have fun adjectives and big words.

Maren Morris, GIRL: “Her free spirited sophomore effort continues to push the limits of contemporary country-pop, infusing it with energy and texture from hip hop, R&B and psychedelic rock.”

Billie Eilish, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO: “a melancholy investigation of all the dark and mysterious places that linger in the back of our minds.”

Gone West, Tides-EP: This country band is still kind of under the radar so they don’t have a fancy write up on iTunes, but I genuinely love this EP and highly recommend it if you are looking for an easy listen.

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Skin Food

My skin has been having a bit of a hissy fit lately and so I’ve gone into full mother-of-a-screaming-toddler-in-a-mall mode, desperately trying to find something, anything to calm it down. With some research, I came across these two products, both of which have very high reviews. As of today, I’m about a week into using both and I have definitely seen improvements. Both products promise the long lasting benefits, so it is still a wait and see type of game, but I do feel like a bit more of an adult having a more defined nightly skin routine. (find the Rosehip Oil here, and Keeva Organic Face Cream here)

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Fig Jam

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To finish us off for today, I’d like to bring up one of the more obscure loves of my life: fig jam! This elusive little guy is hard to find, so hard that I only got my hands on two jars because my aunt snagged them for me at her local health food store. But trust me when I say that it is worth it because it is delicious. (my aunt found it at Sprouts 🙂

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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.

If I Had a Nickel…

So I know it’s usually a joke or a cliché or whatever you want to call it, but the other day I sat down and really considered how rich I could be if I ever did get a nickel or a quarter or, can you imagine, a dollar for every time I did or said and saw _______.

As I thought about it, these were the real moneymakers I came up with:

  1. Cursed in the car
  2. Ate a sandwich
  3. Said, “it’s freezing in here.”
  4. Made a pun
  5. Cried during a commercial
  6. Went to a dodger game
  7. Pressed snooze on my alarm
  8. Watched an episode of Friends
  9. Went to Target
  10. Made myself laugh
  11. Said, “you scared me.”
  12. Cringed at something I said years ago
  13. Cooked macaroni and cheese for dinner
  14. Did a crossword puzzle
  15. Went for a run
  16. Said, “Dude.”
  17. Talked to my dogs
  18. Googled something I was curious about mid-conversation
  19. Wore converse tennis shoes
  20. Rewatched a movie I’ve already seen rather than watch something new—especially something that I’ve been telling people “I don’t have time to watch.” (Sorry)

While there’s no way to know how much money I’d have if I could actually translate all of these into cold hard cash, I can only assume that if I did, I’d be writing this from a huge recliner with a built in refrigerator, wearing a robe made of clouds, while calling my personal driver to pick me up to take me to the airport to board a first class flight to an exotic destination with my family.

Or maybe I just wouldn’t have a credit card bill and I’d totally buy the brand name cotton balls instead of the knockoffs.

Honestly either future looks great.

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What are some things that would make you fictional nickel rich?

And what would you do with all that money if you could somehow get your hands on it?

I’d totally give the number of my cloud robe maker.

A Poem for All My Friends Still in Grad School

This one goes out to all the friends

Who feel like their time in school will never end

This one goes out to all the fighters

Who still find themselves pulling weekly all-nighters

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I know things are hectic and tiring and crazy

I know weekdays are long and weeknights are hazy

The end seems close, but not close enough

And the days until then look chaotic and rough

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But one day all of this will finally be over

And all this hard work will payoff and spillover

You’ll be out there in the world, changing it for the better

With a degree in your hand you’ll be running, unfettered

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So hold on today, and hang tight tomorrow

You will cross that finish line, and you will feel your light glow

The hard work won’t be over, new adventures will find you

But the highs and lows of this one will all be behind you

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Until then, YOU CAN DO THIS

YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU CAN DO THIS

Does “this” rhyme with “this”? I don’t know, but YOU CAN DO THIS

Hot Guy March Madness (Part 2)

It’s that time of year again, folks! A time when you have to tie your hair back, sharpen your pencils, and make some tough choices. Yes, it is officially March Madness season—though not the kind you might be used to.

Last year I came across this bracket created by comedian Matt Bellassai, and it quickly took my friends and I by storm. (Which you can read about here)

This year, as March approached and talks of the actual March Madness started circulating, we began to wonder if we’d once again get to shamelessly and shallowly pit men against each other, and to our luck, a new bracket was released this past week!

hot guy march madness

If I’m being totally honest, I have an easier time filing out a basketball bracket than I do with one like this. I like to think I live a pretty “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” kind of life, and so I find it hard (and mean?) “eliminating” people based on their looks.

I don’t say this sound noble, I say this to introduce you to my mind, which assumes that the choices I make in this bracket will have some sort of ripple effect on those associated with it. As if my choosing Michael B. Jordan over Joe Jonas in the first round will get back to Joe Jonas, causing him to feel such shame he cancels the Jonas Brothers’ Reunion. Or if my eliminating of Timothee Chalamet in the first round will prevent us from ever becoming best friends—though the sadness associated with that fact may help him finally win that Oscar (so you’re welcome, Timmy.)

Another obstacle I come across in these brackets is that I have to constantly remind myself that the whole point is to figure out who the hottest guy is. Going through each round, I’ll get hung up on, “but he’s so cute!” or “but he was so good in that one movie!” or “but he’s hilarious and that’s attractive” or “I’m being unfair, he’s a really nice guy!”

Now that I think about it, this really isn’t that different from how I fill out brackets for the actual basketball tournament. One year I chose teams based solely on their school mascots and how friendly the team seemed in interviews. (Which by the way, I almost won that year.)

So as you can imagine, with all of the ethical standards and uninvited emotional attachment to the men included on this year’s bracket, it took me a good chunk of time to fill it out. I put one guy through farther than any of my friends solely because he has a hand tattoo. Another guy made it through because “he can just pull off sweatpants and that matters for some reason.” And one guy was eliminated because, “I just can’t picture, you know, casually going to Target with him.”

Again, I’m really not cut out for these things.

At the end of the day, my winner was Noah Centineo, who I am unashamedly cougar-ing it up for. The dude is 22, I am 28. *shrugs* Sorry.

(No, really, I am sorry to everyone I eliminated.)

Among my friends, there were three back to back wins for Jason Momoa. So congrats, Aquaman, it sounds like there are plenty of fish in your sea.

Yikes.

I apologize for that one.

The Spicy Chip Chronicles (Which Ones Stand Out Among the Rest?)

Have you ever had a craving for Hot Cheetos (or their spicy chip counterparts)?

Have you ever had this craving late at night?

Have you ever had this craving and made the trip to the grocery store, only to get there and be completely overwhelmed with options?

Unless you are like me—who only likes regular Cheetos so none of this is an issue—or you hate Cheetos all together—in which case, how dare you—you probably answered yes to at least one of these questions.

Don’t worry, we are here to help you. And by “we”, I mostly mean my roommates, Natalee and Rachel, who have “sacrificed” their time, energy and tastebuds to help you make one of life’s toughest choices.

They have taken this task seriously. Approaching each bag with as little bias as possible, and soaking in not only the taste, but the experience each chip provides its eater. For they know that the spice inclined snacker is not the average snacker.  They are a specific brand of snacking prowess, strict with their expectations and frank with their opinions.

So, without further ado, here are some opinions on the spicy chips of the world, to give you an idea of what you can expect from them, and whether or not they can cure your hangry helplessness on those late night (or early morning or whenever) snack runs.

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Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Puffs

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Rachel: I don’t think the spicyness is meant for this kind of chip. Do you know what I mean?

Natalee: *crunches and nods*

Rachel: Although they do take a little more work. It’s a crunch you can kind of…shovel.

Natalee: I agree. Not the best but puffs = portion control. So there’s that.

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flaminhotlimonCrunchy Flamin’ Hot Limon Cheetos

Rachel: I’ve tried these before and they are are probably my favorite, but they definitely make me feel the worst.

Natalee: Yeah, but the lime elevates it.

Rachel: It gives it depth.

Natalee: It’s not your average spice or crunch.

*both nod and crunch, satisfied*

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Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos

Natalee: *embodying the heart eye emoji* We all know how I feel about jalapeño.

cheetos-crunchy-jalapeno-cheddar

Rachel: *takes a bite* Mmm! I like these better than regular Cheetos.

Natalee: They’re not all that spicy though. Kind of misleading.

Rachel: It kind of tastes like Lawry’s Seasoning Salt on Cheetos. I like them!

Natalee: I would consistently choose Hot Cheetos over these, but in a time of need I could still pound this bag.

Rachel: And always these over regular.

Natalee: Puffs or these?

Rachel: These.

Natalee: Yeah, crunch is really an important factor. So yeah, those weren’t bad.

Rachel: I enjoyed those.

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Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

Note: the bag we purchased featured a promotion for the Cheetos “Win What You See” competition which encouraged customers to send in pictures and descriptions of their oddest shaped Cheetos in order to win prizes inspired by what they see.cheetos-crunchy-flamin-hot

Natalee: Ah, old faithful.

*both grab large handfuls and begin holding individual Cheetos up at eye level to examine their shape*

Natalee: I just love hot Cheetos. Oh! I found a bird.

Rachel: Would you really want to win a vacation based on the shape of your Cheeto?

Natalee: Absolutely not. Honestly, just give me a free bag of Cheetos. *eats bird*

Rachel: I don’t think we really said anything about these but these are just my favorite.

Natalee: Yup.

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Lays Chile Limonimage

Rachel: Ew. I don’t like the taste. It’s acidic but not in a good, vinegary way. It tastes like it’s sour.

*Natalee twists her face, nodding.*

Rachel: It tastes like the smell of something bad in fridge

Natalee: Yeah, it’s the flavor of staleness. Just plain bottom of the barrel.

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XXXTRA flamin Hot

cheetos-crunchy-xxtra-flamin-hot

Note: Our friend Will, a fellow spicy snack connoisseur, was in attendance for this tasting.

Rachel: Oh, these definitely smell much hotter than the original.

*walks into kitchen to grab bag of original Flamin’ Hot Cheetos*

*Natalee, Rachel, and Will each take turns smelling the different bags*

Will: They do smell hotter.

*collectively agree to taste the original to remember the “spice level.”*

Natalee: *crunching* You have to eat at least 10 regular hot Cheetos before they start to live up to their name.

*everyone nods in agreement*

Rachel: Okay, now for these ones. Grab a real chunky one.

Natalee: Let’s all take two.

Rachel: Oh, it’s spicy at the end!

Will: I think it’s more flavorful.

Natalee: Yeah, it’s more flavorful than it is spicy. *exhales* Woah, it is spicy at the end though.

*group applauds*

Natalee: Can you imagine these with lime?

Will: Holy shit, yeah, with lime. Talk about bang for your buck.

Natalee: It’s also another good one for portion control. If I needed something spicy I’d probably eat only, like, seven of these instead of 25 original ones.

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Since there is no shortage of spicy chips hitting shelves these days, you can consider this episode one of an ongoing snack series. If you have any suggestions for the tasters, please pass them along, their taste buds are always willing and ready!

10 Instagram Accounts that Brighten My Day

Social media can be a scary place. Mean things are said, misunderstandings are had, and entire concerts are documented with scratchy, unpleasing footage.

Sometimes we compare ourselves to those we see online and sink into wormholes of frustration, shame, and disappointment. And other times we laugh at pictures of dogs wearing hats.

For me, it’s all about finding a balance. Some days I need to see that person striving higher because it makes me want to do the same. Some days I want to read posts that make me cry because it reminds me there is goodness and hope in the world. And some days I just like to spy on people and look at pictures of food and crafts.

Over the years I’ve gone through phases of following and unfollowing different accounts trying to find this balance, and as of right now, I think I’m really nailing it.

So you if you’re looking for new accounts to make you smile, or if you’re just curious/nosy (I am both) here are ten Instagram accounts that brighten my day.

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1) @foodnetwork

I mean, pictures of beautiful, delectable food throughout the day? Is there a downside**?

**Possible downside: hanger (anger induced by hunger)

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2) @jennifer.garner

I’ll be honest, I’m not always up to sitting still and watching videos when I’m scrolling through Instagram. Sometimes I just want to take a quick trip, you know? But whenever Jennifer Garner posts a video, I. Strap. In. She is so adorable and hilarious and real, and I wish she would invite me over to make brownies on a Saturday morning.

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3) @alexameadeart

I LOVE this girl’s art. She paints onto her subjects and the setting around them to create the illusion of a painting on an easel.  I think it is absolutely amazing and every time she posts a new photo I just stare at it in amazement. Fun fact: she did the artwork for the ~pool~ scene in Ariana Grande’s “God is a Woman” music video.

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Life turned art @rosaacosta

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4) @tanksgoodnews

In my opinion, this is a must follow. It is an account dedicated entirely sharing good news, some of which I’ve highlighted in my All the Good Things posts, and it never fails to makes me smile/openly sob in the middle of the day.

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5) @junkbanter

Is this the second account I’m recommending that focuses on food? Yes. But this one is all about junk food, so it’s different and still very important. I will often screenshot pictures of the newest treats hitting the shelves and send them to my roommates so that we can keep an eye out the next time we’re at the grocery store.

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6) @historyphotographed

I’ve always been a bit of a history buff and this account constantly provides me with doses of nostalgia…even though many of the pictures were taken before I was born. Does that make sense?

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7) @kristinmadeinc

This is a company run by Kristin Johns, a YouTuber I’ve long loved and admired. She is so upbeat and inspiring and is honestly what the social media world needs more of. On this account she posts recipes, lifestyle tips, and a plethora of photos that make me sigh the man I wish I could do that sigh. But in a positive way…you know?

PS- I made these cookies and they are INCREDIBLE. Highly recommend.

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8) @ashlynsailsbury

Similar to Jennifer Garner, I always sit back and absorb whatever Ashlyn (who is Kristin Johns’ sister) has to say because she and her family—which includes Owen the Baby, a three year old who will melt your heart—are incredibly adorable and charming, but also because they live in Copenhagen and I just genuinely love learning about their life there.

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9) @alpacasofinstagram

Need. I. Say. More?!?!

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10) @unspirational

I love me a good inspirational quote, but these anti-quotes just make me laugh. And sometimes sarcasm and dark humor does more for me than uplifting words after a long day of work, you know?

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SHRUG EMOJI

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Have any Instagram accounts you love and would recommend?