The best things about being a grown up

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So yesterday, I got a text from the hub’s saying to make sure I picked up the package that was delivered today.  When I got home, picked up the package and opened it up, I found, not one, not two, but THREE boxes of Rice Krispies Treats cereal.  I haven’t had this stuff since being a kid.  So naturally, the two of us ate GIANT bowls of cereal for dinner last night.   Becoming a grown up is quite possibly the best thing that every happened to my inner kid.  As much as we complain about money, responsibility, and grown up problems,  I want to remind you guys to think about how awesome your kid self thinks your life is right now. Here is a list of things that I love about being a grown up.

1.) I can eat really sugary delicious cereal for dinner for an entire week if I want to

2.) I can go to bed whenever I feel like it and I STILL don’t have to get up as early as I did when I was a kid

3.) I understand grown up jokes (I had a really hard time with this as a kid, I always laughed at jokes when I knew I should but I wasn’t old enough to understand them usually so I just felt dumb)

4.) Building a tent in the living room is allowed….

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5.)  I can go to R rated movies

6.) I can get a puppy if I want to

7.) I can make a joke that involves a well-timed curse word and I no longer get interrupted by my mom to “watch my language”

8.) I can eat chocolate, pizza, waffles, candy, mac and cheese all day with no punishment (other than getting fat, but I’m trying to look at the bright side here!)

9.)I can drink wine beer and alcohol and actually enjoy the taste of it

10.) I can wear costumes in public if I feel like it. This is why sororities always have theme parties.  It is in DIRECT defiance of their parents refusal to allow them to wear their princess dresses

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So now, when life gets hard and complicated, you can try to think about the stuff that your 9-year-old self would think is awesome.  If that doesn’t work, you can take a chill pill, literally, because you are old enough to have a prescription for them.

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Let me google that for you…. and other awesome websites

I love browsing the internet however, the internet is a huge place. I found this huge list of useful websites and I picked out my favorites for you.

1.)  Have you ever had a friend text you and be like….”What year did the Wonder Years end?” or “How many cups are in a quart?” I mean, we all do it but honestly, sometimes I feel like my friends or clients think I am like this all the time:

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Instead of having to research and get back to them, try texting this site.  Translation “Let Me Google That For You”:

lmgtfy.com

2.) What about that time when you really just wanted to know “What is quinoa” or “Who is “Abraham Lincoln” and not get a mumbled jumbled mess of a million websites with info. Next time, try:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/

It is a mathematical site that only provides the most useful data, for more info on a topic….lmgtfy.com.

3.) If you are remodeling or moving to a new place and want to see what everything would look like before you lift a finger to move furniture… Try this instead of exhausting yourself for no reason:

http://www.homestyler.com/

It lets you do a 3D model of your home or apartment

4.) I don’t know about you but when I open a new email address and then see 20 spam emails in a row, I feel like this:

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Don’t let that happen anymore! Just go to this site and get a shortened and safer link to use instead of your email address that you can share on Twitter, forums, Craigslist, etc.

http://scr.im/

5.) So, for this next one I need you to stay with me.  It is complicated and kinda tech-nerdy but there are a ZILLION uses for it. There is a website that will organize all of your online data but only in ways that you tell it to.  For example, you can set it up so that every time you take a photo in Instagram it will automatically send it to your Dropbox account.  Or every time you “star” an email in Gmail, it will copy it to Evernote.  The point is that it only does what you tell it to do so unless you want to be like Karen from mean girls….

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Just go to If This Than That’s site and set it up so that you can get a text every time the weatherman says it is going to rain.

https://ifttt.com/wtf

6.) How many times have we thought “I would give AT LEAST $5 for someone to…”

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Well now you can put your money where your mouth is.  There is a site called Fiverr where you can find anything from a hand carved coconut monkey to getting a guy to send you a post card from wherever he is in the world  What would you pay $5 for?

http://fiverr.com/

7.) I have had a few people ask me about how I make my collages.  I am currently having a love affair with a certain website (don’t tell my husband)…

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I fell in love with Picmonkey several months ago.  It is the only site that you can make collages, write on your images, and do editing without getting all cozy with Photoshop.  Don’t get me wrong I love Photoshop, but there are times where I want to just throw it together and call it a day.  You can use it for free or you can upgrade your package for $33 a year. This is awesome for blogging, scrapbooking, Facebooking, or just putting stuff together.  Find it here:

http://www.picmonkey.com/

8.)  I thought this next one was pretty interesting, especially if you like to entertain.  There is a site that is basically Pandora for youtube.  Not only can you make a playlist of songs, its a video playlist.   If you have apple tv or can connect your computer to your TV this would be AWESOME for parties.

http://www.youtube.com/disco

9.) So this next one is helpful if you want to make a pie chart or report that doesn’t look like the most boring person in your office made it…

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They let you add and customize how your data is presented…for free!  Go to

http://infogr.am/

10.  Last but not least, ever wanted to be James Bond?

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Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could send self destructing messages online? Well, now you can.  This site will creat a message and when you send the link, it will self destruct after the message has been read….

https://privnote.com/

If you need EVEN MORE that this list that I gave you, go here.  There are 101 useful websites that are pretty interesting to browse

Bad Case of the Mondays…

rainbootsHappy Monday!  Today has already been a really weird day, beginning with a call from one of my girlfriends who is currently on Safari in Tanzania.  It’s not every day that you start with a voicemail saying “I am calling you while in the middle of the Serengeti Desert.  You should answer your phone”  THEN I was in the twilight zone when I got on a bus that was mislabeled as my everyday but that took me on a very strange ride to work.  Not to mention the 5 voicemails and 15 work emails I had to sort through the second I finally got to work today.  So here it is, a case of the Mondays, I know I am not the first person to get this kind of feeling.  However, I have put together 5 things that are helping me through this Monday Madness….

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Let’s start with these rain boots.   I had an amazing pair for the last 5 years until one fateful day, the entire lining ripped from the heel to the top of the boot.  It was time for new ones.  I found these babies at Macy’s.  They were part of the Presidents Day sale so I got a pretty sweet deal…  Either way, these are a good way to turn that frown upside down.

Buy them here for $90: Bootsi Tootsi, Buckle Riding Rain Boots

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Then after work, go home and watch this.  Beyonce’s documentary: Life Is But A Dream.  In case you have been living under a rock, this puppy was finally released out into the world on Saturday night.  It has gotten some serious praise and I think it is going to be interesting to get a glimpse into her life.  She has always been so intensely private and I think this was a brilliant move on her part.

Watch the trailer here: Life Is But A Dream

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After you watch Beyonce, then you can watch tonight’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to see all of the drama unfold at Kyle’s annual White Party.  Apparently Taylor gets extremely intoxicated and Adrienne Maloof makes herself look like an even bigger bully.    There really is nothing better than getting snuggled in to watch some trashy TV.

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While watching all of this fun stuff, I am going to have this Broccoli chicken and rice casserole cooking in the oven.  Today is a comfort food kind of day, and since I can’t have pasta, I had to think outside the box.  This recipe from Cooking Light seems to fit the bill.

Get the recipe here: Broccoli and rice casserole

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Finally to wrap things up, I am going to have a glass of wine.  I don’t know if you know this, but today is National Wine Day.  It’s true just Google it!  I got some good advice at a party this weekend.  I met Tanya and Flavio Gentile, the owners of the Printers Row Wine Shop. They were sort of the most fun couple ever, they had supplied all of the alcohol at a fabulous party that my cousin was throwing.  One of the girls asked me if I needed a drink and I said “sure any white wine that is NOT Chardonnay”  Of course she brought me a glass of Chardonnay.  Let me tell you now…. IT. WAS. AMAZING.  Flavio over heard me saying that I hated Chardonnay but loved the one at this party and he told me it was Rombauer Chardonnay.  HE called it “Cougar Juice” and that it is my friends.  It usually retails for about $35 a bottle (which is pretty steep in my book) however, I found it on Amazon for $25.

Get it here: Rombaurer Chardonnay

 

Give me Liberty or Give Me Lent!

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The most amazing pasta that I ate last night.

Just look at that.  The love of my life. Pasta.  It’s too bad that I can’t eat it for the next 1117 hours.  That’s right, I gave it up for lent.  I am not normally someone who gives things up for lent.  I try but fail miserably every single time.  Listen, there is a reason why I was the only human on the planet who didn’t have a new years resolution.  I have to save up all of my abstinence energy for lent.  ‘Cause over one thousand hours, is a lot of hours to not be eating pasta.  Especially since it is probably the biggest food group that makes up my diet.  Any one who knows me, knows that I can whip up a pasta dish in my sleep.  It’s my favorite, EVER.  Pasta cold, pasta hot, pasta with vodka sauce, with butter and seasoning, with soup, with chicken, with cheese, you name it, I’ll eat it.  This is not going to be an easy journey.

The problem is that I am over 25 now, I have to stop eating so much pasta.  Unless I want to be 400 pounds and single, I have to stop. I am considering this my 46 day program.  There are other options that I need to try, that I need to teach myself to like.  Rice, quinoa, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, couscous, potatoes.  There are other fish in the sea.  So here it goes……. Wish me luck!

 

Throw me somethin’ mister!

Fun fact: I grew up in Mobile, Alabama and we celebrate Mardi Gras every single year.  

There is actually a lot that people don’t really know about this holiday.   When I moved up here I would talk about how I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to go to Mardi Gras.  I didn’t realize that the only thing people thought of when I talked about it was New Orleans, Bourbon Street, Parades, and appearances of many body parts that are supposed to stay covered most of the time.  In an effort to try to clear the air I wanted to throw out some fun facts for you.  Feel free to insert them into any conversation today since it is officially Mardi Gras today.

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1.)  “In 1703 French settlers in Mobile, Alabama established the first organized Mardi Gras celebration tradition in what was to become the United States.” – Wikipedia

So, you see, it all started in Mobile, NOT New Orleans like most people think.  Not to knock on New Orleans celebrations at all, I’m just stating a fact; they didn’t start all of these shenanigans

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2.) Alot of people think these are parades just happen one day.  Not many people stop to wonder, “who pays for all of this”?  “What is the reason behind doing this?” “Where are all of these crazy looking people going?  Are they just driving in a circle?”

Well, each of these parades is funded, organized and executed by mystic societies or krewes.  Many of them are still considered secret societies, which explains the goofy masks the riders wear.  You see, all of these men on the floats are parading too their society or krewe’s formal ball.  Their identities must be kept hidden until they can get to the location of the soiree so they must wear masks.  To even further the secrecy of the members identities, a strict dress code is enforced for guests.  All men who are not riding in the parade must wear a tuxedo with tails and a white bow tie or Costume de Rigueur.  This way one would not be able to distinguish between a guest and an actual member.

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3,) Beyond just the parades and the balls, is an intense network of society rigmarole that determines who will be king and queen and the courts.  Mardi Gras season actually starts in November, with exclusive parties held by some secret mystic societies and has become closely entwined with the social debutante season. The official start of the season in Mobile is the Camellia Ball which is held during Thanksgiving weekend, then the debutantes and their escorts attend parties from that time forward until they are presented in elaborate court dress on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday to the King and Queen. The king and queen as well as the court are picked from the debutante “class” of that year.

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4.) King cake parties are another festivity that is often occurring during the Carnival/Mardi Gras season.  A king cake is like a huge cinnamon roll that is smothered with white icing and sprinkled with yellow, green, and purple sugar.  There is also a little plastic baby hidden inside of it. The person who gets the piece of cake with the baby inside of it is Queen or King for the day and they are bestowed with an obligation to host the next king cake party.  I have to say, king cake is probably one of my favorite parts of Mardi Gras that is in very close competition to my next favorite thing….

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5.) Moonpies! The Moon Pie became a traditional “throw” (an item thrown from a parade float into the crowd) of Mardi Gras parades in Mobile, Alabama during 1956.  These babies have everything you need on a cold winter night, two cookies, stuffed with marshmallow, dipped in chocolate.  What. More. Could. One. Want… Seriously. Mobile also went a little over board in its display of moonpie affection in 2008.  They raised a 12-foot-tall lighted mechanical moon pie to celebrate the coming of the new year. The giant banana colored MoonPie is raised by a crane to a height of 200 feet as the clock strikes midnight.  Also, the city had for the 2008 New Year’s celebration the world’s largest moon pie baked for the occasion. It weighed 55 pounds and contained 45,000 calories.  Gimme dat moonpie!