Thursday, January 30, 2014

Suddenly Cinderella Bundle

I've kind of been on a romance novel kick, and trilogies to boot. So odd. But, here's another one I finished earlier this week

Suddenly Cinderella bundle - Hope Tarr
Suddenly Cinderella Bundle
So each book is based around different characters and kind of take on different princesses. At least in my opinion. In book one, Operation Cinderella, we meet Macie and Ross. Marcie is kind of a brash magazine editor, very Sex & the City and Ross is very much the morally uptight family man. He has a teenage daughter clearly going through some things, and after finding a copy of a magazine (that Macie edits) he uses his radio show to lambaste the magazine as a whole. Which leads Macie to lead the charge of an expose on Ross in an attempt to dig up dirt. Fast forward and she's almost like a live in nanny for Ross's teenage daughter and she ends up forming a meaningful relationship with her which dun dun dun... leads to a romance between the two of them. It's a fairly short book and for being under 200 pages there is a lot of story to get through, but the author manages to do it. There was some dialogue on Ross's part that seemed a bit hokey pokey, but for the most part it's a good book.

The second book, which I stupidly assumed would be a continuation is not. The Cinderella Makeover is the story of Ross's ex-wife, Francesca and Greg. Not nearly as good as the first one, but it's alright. I actually liked Francesca because she seemed kind of quirky and like she'd be fun to hang out with. She does come off as a snob and a selfish one at that, so seeing her with Greg.... I don't know if I buy it. I'm not sipping that Kool-aid. I have to say my biggest complaint on this book is that the romance scenes are duds. Total duds. And I say that after reading a book about a girl thinking of having sex with a wolf. Like, an actual wolf. Now, if that came off as better than this- we've got problems. So this book could use some real spark.

The third book, The Cinderella Seduction, gives us Nick and Stefanie. And woot woot, thank you for writing better romance scenes. Still not the kind that make you hop into the shower to cool yourself down, but they are certainly better than book two. This one even has a terrible step mother and step sister, so this one has more of the classic fairy tale to it. Basically it's about Stefanie, who was engaged to a complete jerk who ran a Ponzi scheme and lost a bunch of money. Enter Nick, the CEO of the company that loaned jerk fiance money and he is calling in the loan. Stefanie runs to dad for help, and while dad is scrambling, Stefanie is having to hold Nick over. Nick also has a daughter (are you seeing the Cinderella tie in??). Stefanie falls for Nick but is unsure how he feels given the nature of how this relationship started, etc. Honestly? This one was maybe my favorite of the three because it had the best romance scenes of all three and it had more threads of Cinderella in it.

The other nice thing about this bundle is that you don't have to read them in order, they can all be stand alone reads. There is a pair of vintage red heels that tie them all together (kind of like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but prettier) but aside from that? You could read these in any order. If you are in the market for quick reads, this is a bundle you should pick up because I finished all three over two days. Easy peasy!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I wouldn't turn down a romance novel marriage.

I think I speak for a lot of women when I say sometimes, no matter how much you love your spouse, you hit a rut. Sometimes it's because things get busy, and sometimes you just get lazy. My marriage is no different. We hit really awesome days where I think we've finally figured it out and then he does something that reminds me that oh yes, I'm not living in a romance novel.

And is that so hard to ask?

I kind of hate it when guys flat out tell you that they aren't romantic as if that should let you know, nicely, to give up your dream of romance. If a woman flat out told a guy in the beginning that she doesn't cook, end of story- do you think that guy would look at her as an eligible life partner? Probably not, be honest. I don't like to cook either but I know that Matt likes when we eat at home and so I make a real effort to make that happen for him regardless of how tired I am. I'm not asking for flowers and extravagant things. I'm also not saying that spontaneous flowers or a new purse wouldn't be appreciated because they would be. I would like it if my husband planned a date night without me knowing anything about it in advance. Doesn't ask me to arrange a babysitter, just has it all done and tells me to get my jacket because we're going. That would be kind of great.

Another thing in romance novels that I am admittedly jealous of, and yes I realize I'm jealous of fiction, is how much the man adores the woman. I mean, really adores her. You know right from the gate that he would do anything for her. He'd move mountains to make her feel like the best thing that's ever happened to him. He tells her how beautiful she is, tells her what he loves about her and essentially worships her body. I mean, who wouldn't love that? I tell Matt all of the time that when I hear, "you look nice today" it rolls right out the other ear because great, I look nice. I remember days when he would come home, literally sweep me off my feet and tell me I'm the most beautiful girl in the world. It wasn't every day and it always took me by surprise and it made me feel like the sexiest woman ever. Because I really believed he loved me and was attracted to me. I can't even tell you when the last time that was, certainly before I even had Olivia. Which then brings all of these insecurities like, I know I'm a bit squishier since kids so does that mean I'm not the most beautiful girl in the world to him??

I know as a woman, I can't rely on a guy to make me feel attractive. I really need to do my part in making sure I feel good about myself. I feel I do that. I try to keep my diet in check, I've been working out, and anytime I do these things together I do feel good about myself. I feel happier, I feel lighter, and I feel a lot like my old self where I was just this cute bubble of happiness. At the same time, I think husbands/partners/whatevers need to do their part too. You have to be a moron if you don't know the areas that your spouse is self conscious about. You can make her feel like she's the prettiest thing in the world. It wouldn't kill you to spend a little extra time making sure your spouse feels like the luckiest girl in the world to be in bed with you versus an extra on a porn set.

I'm just saying, that's all.

It's kind of frustrating to feel like I'm always putting forth a whole bunch of effort, even though I am exhausted, and I just get back the bare minimum. I know there are marriages with real problems in them, and ours was one of them, but man- I can't help but think a lot of those issues could be fixed if both partners spent some time actually trying to actively woo their spouse.

But then this whole thing led to a conversation about this is why so many people choose open marriages versus conventional marriage- they find partners that meet their needs. Um, no. That seems like far more work than it's worth. The thought of having to manage more than one guy? Are you kidding me? No. This might work better for men who basically want different flavors of sex but this would absolutely not work for me. I just can't even imagine it working and not ruining what I do have with Matt. Or maybe I'm just super naive in that aspect, I don't know.

I just know that at the end of the day, I wouldn't turn down living in a romance novel. Especially if he had bulging arms muscles (I might have a thing about arms) and needs to be emotionally rescued. Bing, bing, bing I'm your girl!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dear Sara (back again!)

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been asked why I don't do the "Dear Sara" posts anymore. And truly? It's because of my laziness. Which sounds hysterical because I'm not a lazy person, but when it comes to this I am. I get questions emailed or messaged to me via Facebook quite often and normally I just reply back and never remember to get it up on here.

But I've been bugged by a certain friend about it and in the same day, I got TWO questions. It's kind of like a sign. Not one that says "buy a Powerball ticket" but one that says "just do it already". So here we go.

1. You should do a dear Sara. B/c my dear sara would consist of me ranting b/c my SIL is pregnant at 18. I have been very supportive. But it is killing. I have been in her life since she was 11. My in-laws were useless and never talked about sex and I was the one that pounded it home in her head over and over.. Take your BC pills, use protection. Don't take chances. I literally talk to her about that at least once a week b/c I figure someone HAS to educate her. But it ended up not mattering. I am super supportive. I ran interference with my in-laws today. Hell i told her she could live with us if she got kicked out. I talked with my FIL for over an hour about everything and got him to a good place. We pretty much hate each other, but I did it, because I love her. I just can't help but be upset. Her future will never be what it could have been. I struggled so much and all I ever wanted for her was to take advantage of her open/free/easy opportunity...

Aw yes, teen parents. Who doesn't love those? But I absolutely understand where you are coming from. I have someone close to me who got pregnant really young and it was upsetting to me. I could not understand why after the brutally honest conversations I had with her about how hard it was for me to be married young and then get pregnant right away and adjusting to that, then I had a career starting, and it's a LOT of changes happening all at once. At 23 I was not ready for any of that. But she went and did it anyways and I can't say that part of me hopes that something awful will happen just so I can say I told you so. Because that makes me sound petty and it is- it's really petty.

But it's also the truth.

Because I know that something could happen. I thought things were great and out of nowhere, Matt lost his job and I'm dealing with infidelity, bankruptcy, and I'm pregnant again. It can happen, no matter how much you love your spouse or how prepared you think you are.

The worst part is that this girl has no idea of the opportunities that just evaporated, which is really tragic. These are the girls who end up marrying some loser because they realize hey- it's hard being a single parent and gosh gee, I'm really lonely. I want to be a 20something kid again! And I really hate women who have children young and then think they can still be a parent and out clubbing. Because you can't. I don't care who you are, but if you are out dating because you're lonely and you're a parent? Irresponsible. There. I said it. I'm being judgmental and I don't care because that's what it is. When you decide to be a parent you give up a LOT.

But what can you do? First and foremost, making her feel terrible isn't going to help. It's the first instinct and it doesn't hurt to give her a good tongue lashing because that was irresponsible and stupid. The fact that she didn't think to protect herself is the first sign she wasn't mature enough to even be having sex in the first place, let alone raise a child. Second, you can give her the options. She doesn't have to keep the baby. I know everyone is like, "We'll help you!" and all of that, but let's face it- that help runs out eventually and if you give an irresponsible, immature child a baby, things could happen. Not always physically harmful ones, but ones that can harm a child just the same. I don't think any 18 year old has the emotionally capacity to be fully selfless towards another human being. They just don't and that's OK because they aren't fully developed. But now we have a baby in the mix. It's not all cute clothes and cuddles. It's work. It's hard. And sometimes? Sometimes all you can do is cry and wonder what the hell were you thinking? Been there, done it all.

Assuming adoption isn't the answer for her, and that's a difficult choice to make, she now has to accept the responsibility of raising this child. And I would be incredibly hard on her as far as being financially responsible. Make her continue to work full time, make her set money aside in preparation for the baby, make her pay all of her bills, make her get to the doctors on her own, make her manage her schedule, make her make all of the tough decisions and quite frankly? Don't let her go out and have fun. That has now ended. I think anytime a parent coddles their now pregnant child and helps them along? You aren't helping them, you're inhibiting their ability to process the consequences of their actions. If you're going to act like a grown up, you need to be a grown up. Tough love, baby.

But all you can do now is be there for her. She made a terrible decision, she has a life long consequence and her live isn't going to be the same. But she still needs support and she still needs guidance. Love her through it. She may not have followed your advice, but maybe she will from this point on now that she has actual consequences to work through.

2. My daughter has taken to putting "selfies" of her and her friends flicking off the camera so to speak. What is this? Is this the new thing now???

I don't know, but it's trashy. Yes, I might swear like a sailor, but you will never see me giving the camera the finger. It's vulgar, it's trashy, and it's not cute. I sometimes wonder if the feminist movement has gone a little too far in the sense that it no longer means anything to act like a lady. Again, I might swear like a sailor three sheets to the wind sometimes, but I know when to curb it. Then it kills me when I see grown ass women doing this. I know people who do this who are my age or older and I'm like, really? First off, act your age. It's not alright pretending you are some bad ass. Second, if you are a mother? Shame on you. Seriously. Shame on you, because what are you teaching your children? Your daughters? I am forever stressing the importance of behavior with my daughter, and son, but more so my daughter because I want her to know it's just never OK to wear a tube top shirt. It's never OK to be giving a camera the finger. It's never OK to act like a brat to her parents, her family, peers, or anyone older than her. It's just not. As parents, we need to do better. 
***

SO. Do you have a question for me? Leave it in the comments, send me an email (sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com), or even a Facebook message. I don't publish names so nobody will know who you are. Swearsies. 

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The World of Nightwalkers (and GIVEAWAY)

Oh lady lambs. LAMBS.

If you are a fan of romance, and you like supernatural/paranormal stuff, you need to just add this series to your Good Reads list and then enter the giveaway. Oh yes, because I am giving away ALL THREE COPIES to one lucky winner.

Forbidden- Jacquelyn Frank
Forbidden
The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.
When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.
Now, I'm a fan of paranormal romance and I feel like it doesn't take much to get me into anything. But I felt like I was on information overload when I read this one. It is so hard to start a series that takes readers on a really fantastic ride with really creative characters and realms, but keeping the story going while developing a romance. It's hard. And I struggled for awhile. But thank god I didn't toss it because this has become one of my recommended series. So stick with it!
It all starts with Docia. She dies, but not really, and she becomes a Bodywalker. And it's not like she has just anyone in her, she has an ancient Egyptian inside of her. Ram is basically supposed to find her, help her through the Blending, and then deliver her to the king, whenever he shows up. Everyone believes she is the Queen reincarnate and so it sets off a chain of events. We have Odjit, a Templar who is really pissed off, and they are in a state of war. 
Except Docia has a sneaking suspicion things aren't what they seem and so she tells Ram her suspicions. Which explains why he is ridiculously attracted to her, but it's also very monumental because they aren't supposed to be together. I can't tell you any more than that because it ruins it, I swear!! 
Forever
After being brought back from death, police officer Jackson Waverly receives the shock of his life: he has become host to a Bodywalker, a spirit that is reborn in flesh and blood, and part of a proud, ancient race that uses its extraordinary gifts to battle dark, evil forces. Jackson’s spirit is a powerful one—none other than the Egyptian pharaoh Menes, who longs to reunite with his eternal love, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut.
While Menes is obsessed with finding the perfect vessel for his queen, Jackson cannot stop thinking about Dr. Marissa Anderson, the gorgeous precinct shrink who keeps pushing him to confront his grief over the loss of his K-9 partner. But what Marissa really arouses most in Jackson is intense desire, which is exactly what Menes is looking for. To fight a great enemy, pharaoh and queen must join; but to host Hatshepsut, Marissa will first have to die. Fate has given Jackson a profound choice: save Marissa from Menes’s plan or keep an entire species from the brink of extinction.
My least favorite of the three I think. I like Jackson, I don't know how much I like Marissa. But Jackson is kind of an ass who only sees things one way. But hey hey- Jackson is now a Bodywalker, just like his sister Docia, except Jackson comes back as Menes, the King. But everyone knows that the King is nothing without his soul mate, Hatshepsut, and they can't do anything without the other. It's like they are tethered, really. But in order for Hatshepsut to come back, someone has to die. So Jackson makes a huge decision and bam- we have our Hatshepsut. 
Meanwhile, poor Leo has been captured by Chatha, who is a Bodywalker as well. Except he is inside of a man who has Down Syndrome so nobody suspects him as the absolute psychopath that he is. Cue really horrific, gross, and cruel torture of human Leo. It gets kind of intense, so make sure you have book three immediately on hand to keep going!! 

Forsaken - Jacquelyn Frank
Forsaken
As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot—but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he’s ever encountered.
But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature—a Night Angel—to save his friend from utter destruction. With skin as black as midnight, hair as white as snow, and a body of pure perfection, the Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power—or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, electrified by sexual temptation, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil.
Seriously, by the time I got to this book I felt like I totally knew what was going on and I'm all in. I was all in before but WOAH. I think... I think Leo is my favorite. Yes, Ram was kind of great as was Jackson, but Leo reminds me very much of a character in Linda Howard's book Cry No More (one of my favorites) who I really loved and so that right away gave this book bonus points. 
Anyways. 
So in this story, this is after Leo survives (barely) his time with Chatha and he's a bitter human. Obviously. Then enters Faith, a Night Angel, and she is a kind and gentle spirit but she's also a spit fire when she needs to be. Leo is attracted to her, but he's also repulsed because he has basically seen his two family members hijacked by Bodywalkers and he's been tortured, so he's not about to get in bed with another "thing". 
Oh but he does and it is glorious. 
Together they go on a journey to find a way to help Jackson, but that means relying on a Djinn for help. And hands down, my most favorite line has something to do with a "flatulent Pegasus". Don't ask because I won't tell, but it was pretty great. We also meet Wraiths in this book (or a really brief introduction of them, I suspect we'll see a LOT more of them in book 4: Forged), and they are kind of terrifying. 
But can I just say? The romantic gesture at the end with the heart box? Swoon. Seriously. He might not be a very emotionally apt guy, but seriously- that would make any girl tear her panties off. Just saying. 
Seriously- I am addicted to these books. Book four needs to come now, and I have to know how they are going to defeat psychopath god Apep, who is all pregnant and that story line freaks me out a little, but we'll see how it goes. 
Jacquelyn Frank can weave a story and give you plot twists that will keep you engaged and entertained. So excited to read more from her!! 
Now, if you want to win a copy of these three books you have to (US only): 
1. Leave a comment on this blog post WITH your email so I can contact you. 
2. Like this blog on Bloglovin: 
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I will draw a winner on Friday, January 31. Good luck!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Children's Literature Themed Baby Shower

To be fair, I'll tell you right upfront that I was on Pinterest almost every day for a week trying to find ideas. I really wanted every aspect of this shower to have literature thrown up on it. My friend Emily, whom I adore to bits, is an English major and she absolutely adores everything about children's literature. Plus we became fast friends over our love of books so it's only fitting that this is the shower I would give her.

Let's start with the Harry Potter themed diaper cake that was the one thing I knew I absolutely HAD to have at the shower.
I got the hat, scarf, booties, bibs and wand from Etsy. All different shops, all had to be on this cake. I found an image of the Hogwarts crest, printed that off to be in the front on the bottom tier. Also tucked in next to the hat is a platform 9 3/4 ticket. I've made diaper cakes before but this one is probably my absolute favorite.

One idea I found on Pinterest was to have literature quotes all over the party area in frames. I found a bunch of cute frames on clearance at Target that I was going to use for my office, but they worked here too.
Another book I pulled from was Alice in Wonderland. I mean, how could you not? I really want to do an Alice themed party sometime.. we'll have to cook something up. But for favors, I found mini bottles of water and put a really great Alice and Cheshire quote on them and made "drink me" tags. Also put Skittles in tulle circles (because Emily is not a chocolate fan) and made an "eat me" tag.
 So when you came in, you saw the diaper cake and the favors, along with some quotes, my Alice in Wonderland book, and the third book in the Harry Potter series opened up to the chapter "Flight of the Fat Lady" which was kind of funny because Emily is the smallest 7 month pregnant person I have ever seen.
I even stayed up the night before to make her lemon cupcakes with American butter cream frosting to go with my If You Give a Cat a Cupcake area. 
 And a few mini cupcakes for good measure.
Each table had a book in the middle with a few things. So this was The Little Engine That Could, but I also had a Knuffle Bunny, The Day the Crayons Quit, and Here We Go, Harry on tables. Instead of using table cloths, I use receiving blankets that the mom to be can take home.
 We didn't have a full lunch, but we had snack things.
 So we had meatballs (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), popcorn (Popcorn Poems), pasta salad (Strega Nona), fruit tray with pickles (The Hungry Caterpillar), cheese/crackers (The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly  Stupid Tales), and we had blue punch and put some rubber ducks in it for Ten Little Rubber Ducks.

 I had asked everyone to bring a book instead of a card, which is far more practical. People throw cards away, they love books for a long time. So then I found one of my very favorite quotes, "Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them" by Lemony Snicket. So clearly, that went on the gift table.
We had a "price is right" themed game where people had to guess the price on a few baby things. I made it with a Doctor Seuss theme to it.
Then I filled the table with our favorites, with some characters we had.
Oh yes, and then I had guests write either a piece of parenting advice for the parents to be or something funny for when they get peed on at 2 a.m. when they aren't fully awake., using the concept of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Also amazes me how many people haven't written that book. It's kind of great and it's a far better lesson than something like The Giving Tree. I fucking hate that book. At least with Harold, he figures life out for himself and takes life by the balls. Whereas in The Giving Tree, the character is incredibly selfish and dependent on everyone else. *end rant*

But you can see the fun urine fact I left her to get people started. She'll know who that came from without question.
We also measured her belly. Which was adorable because she is like the perfect pregnant person.
Overall it was a great party. I am so glad she let me give her a party, I'm so glad she's pregnant because YAY BABIES, and I'm so glad she's my friend. Emily is easily the most carefree, upbeat, positive person I have ever known and it just makes her amazing. She is going to be an amazing mom and I can't wait to snuggle her baby. I may or may not have already offered to spend an entire weekend letting them sleep so I could get my baby fix. Here's hoping that 48 hours of screaming, fussing, very needy infant will cure my uterus down.
Otherwise Matt is basically screwed. :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Almost mid way 30 Day Shred Update

Ok, lambs. This post is going to be progress and a picture that will likely gross most of you out. It may also make some of my male fans leave, but hey- I've had a couple of babies. The truth hurts.

So update.

I just finished day 14 of the 30 Day Shred. I started with level one and did that for nine days, and then I switched to level two on day ten because I felt like level one was getting too easy for me. Level two is absolutely no joke and it really is difficult. Everything about it is difficult, but I grossly underestimated the difficulty in plank twists. And walk out push ups. And basically everything about it. It's really difficult. I am really out of shape.

I hate to say it because I sound like such a Pinterest motivational hypocrite, but at this point? I'm kind of looking forward to it every night. Not because I enjoy physical pain and Jillian's grating voice, but because I feel pain in weird parts of my body. Every morning I wake up and I hurt. A lot. It hurts to go down the stairs. And while that in itself is not enjoyable, it at least feels like my near death experience on my living room floor every night is maybe going to be worth it.

Which is the big question I get- am I seeing progress? Everyone wants to know if I'm losing weight.

Short answer? No. Pounds are not flying off of my body. But I also didn't expect them too. I have a lot of friends who worked out like fiends and while they initially lost fat weight, they ended up gaining muscle weight. So, 182 on one body is different than 182 on another body. I've long given up on checking my scale for progress. I'm at least savvy enough to judge my progress based on what I see, how I feel, and how things fit. So here's our update:

Day one- remember this? Where I looked three months pregnant, but I'm not pregnant? Other things that I had on day one was back fat near my bra (gross), super flappy arms that would make me look like I'm related to a flying squirrel, super jiggly thunder thighs, and then of course, fat pockets on the side of my ass. Basically the beginnings of secretary ass. *shudder*
Day 14- My calves? Hard as rocks. Thighs? Noticeably less jiggly, I can feel those muscles coming back. Arms? No longer flying squirrel like. Stomach? Obviously it's noticeably smaller. I still have a stomach, a big one, but it's not nearly as baby like. But back fat and ass fat pockets? GONE. Those bitches are GONE in 14 days. So, clearly? Progress is being made.
Someone also messaged me and was like, "You just shut your mouth- your stomach is not huge, I think you are faking that." Um, no. No bitch, I'm not. BOOM. Ugh. It's so icky. BUT, you see that line on the side? That line was not there 14 days ago, so I'd like to think all of this ab work is doing something for me. But the issue with my stomach has always been what I call my kangaroo pouch. It's like, literally, a pouch underneath my belly button. I have had that pouch since I was 12 years old and I was not ever a fat kid. I didn't get chunky like until the year after high school when I no longer worried about girls judging me on my lunch choices. And no matter how much exercise I do, that pouch is still there. I hate it. I've even consulted personal trainers who aren't really confident in getting it down and my doctor told me it literally, is something I'm stuck with unless I want to have surgery.

But surgery like that freaks me out and I don't have a couple thousand dollars laying around, and so... no bikinis for me. I'm just hoping that once summer comes and I really start the whole running thing again, the pouch can just get a little less pouchy.

So that's my progress update. I'm trying really hard. I'm more proud of myself that I haven't given up. I've exercised every single day, no skipping. Not even a little bit. I've done it through my period (totally brutal), migraines (not awesome) and absolute exhaustion. I'll keep plugging along. I have another DVD lined up for when I finish this 30 day schedule, so I'll keep going.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

In Bed with Mr. Wrong

Oh, I so needed a really fast romance novel. So, so much this week.

In Bed with Mr. Wrong - Katee Robert
In Bed with Mr. Wrong (Out of Uniform, #1)
The blind date from hell is about to get hotter…

Brianne Nave is never doing her friends a favor again. When they begged her to go on a blind date, she didn’t expect someone so perfectly gorgeous. She’s a mousy librarian—totally not in this man’s league. And judging by his odd reaction when she opens the door, he knows it, too.

Air Force Pararescuer Ryan Flannery avoids his hometown at all costs. He’s not thrilled about the date until he’s shocked silent by the prickly little librarian’s sweet curves and kissable lips…and her smart mouth. But then an argument leads to a kiss that spirals out of control. How can two people have so little chemistry outside the bedroom when they fit together so perfectly in it?

When their friends strand them in a cabin to "work things out," Bri’s not sure whether to kill him or put the industrial-sized box of condoms they find to use. Bottom line—Ryan’s career military and hates the tiny town she loves. He’ll leave, just like everyone else in her life. And if she’s foolish enough to give him her heart, he’ll take it with him.


I have probably mentioned this at least sixty three times, but I really love a romance novel where the lead male is in the military or recently out of the military. Probably because you know they are likely in really great shape, and mostly because you know they probably have a whole laundry list of issues and one thing I know about myself is that I'm a fixer. If you have serious issues, I think I can save the world. 

Absolutely loved this one. Mostly because I see a lot of myself in Brianne. Sure, I'm not a foster child, but a lot of things from her childhood and abandonment issues are things I can identify with. Plus, she is a ridiculous smart ass. To the point where she will unintentionally hurt someone's feelings. Again, I can completely relate to that. She uses her sarcasm and wit to hide things about herself and put up walls to avoid being hurt, and that's exactly what I do. 

It's like we're reading my story, except I didn't end up with a really hot para-rescuer. Sad. 

Another thing I loved about this book is Ryan is not a moron. He may see things through one lens at times, but he knows when to shut up and play along but also when to push. The story goes fast, there isn't unnecessary fluff, and it's funny. You find yourself rooting for them the entire time and LOVE the ending. 

I also love that this is first in a series, can I get a WOOT WOOT. (I hope you all did that in your cubicles at work, just so you know). I'm putting basically everything else of Katee Robert's in my "to read" pile because I love her writing, I love her wit, and she has given us great characters with just enough depth so you get the basics and she doesn't build all of this back story that just makes you want to give up on a book. LOVED this one. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The End & The Long Road

CALM DOWN, I'm not done blogging. I just have two really terrifying books to review for you. If you are a doomsday prepper, you'll love this. If you are not, you're probably going to have horrible nightmares and consider stocking up on tuna. You're warned.

The End & The Long Road - G. Michael Hopf
The endThe Long Road

The End: For Gordon Van Zandt life once was one of duty and loyalty to his country, so when 9/11 happened he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This youthful idealism vanished one fateful day in a war torn city in Iraq. Ten years later, he is still struggling with the ghosts of his past but must now face a new reality thrust on him and his family. North America, Europe and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack that has caused catastrophic damage to the power grids and all electrical devices. With nothing working from cars to phones and with the total collapse of the economic infrastructure, Gordon must fight for the limited and fast dwindling resources. He knows survival requires action and cooperation with his neighbors; but as daily life continues to break down so does all sense of civility within his community. With each passing day Gordon makes choices that would seem extreme in today's world but necessary in this new world.

The Long Road: It has been 6 weeks since the attacks; the United States is a wasteland of starving bands of survivors, mobs and gangs. Millions are dead and millions more are suffering and will die. For Gordon, Samantha, Sebastian, Cruz and Barone, the turmoil and chaos they dealt with before will seem trivial now as the real collapse of society plays out before their eyes.
They all have suffered great loss but what is coming towards them on the journey ahead will test their sanity. Uncertainty abounds as they all travel different paths in search of a safe place to call home. The one thing that is certain, The Long Road will take its toll on all of them.

I am in no way one of those crazies that thinks the world is going to end in some super traumatic way. I won't lie though, books like this freak me the hell out. Because in the back of my mind, I have to admit this really all is possible. And if this were to happen, I would most likely be dead within a week what with my aversion to the outdoors and having to go to the bathroom outside. I also am a fan of warm water, electricity, music, Wendy's french fries and crispy chicken sandwiches, and shopping. 

You can see how I probably wouldn't last long. 

The synopsis of these books is basically a super huge EMP is set off above the United States at the same time a huge nuclear bomb is dropped on Washington, D.C. In a matter of seconds, the country is thrown basically a hundred years back or more. No government, no modern amenities, absolute chaos, and everyone is terrified. Rightfully so. Fortunately for Gordon Van Zandt's friends and family- he's a Marine and he knows how to survive in the worst conditions. He beats himself up for not being more prepared, but when you realize how well he pulls things together in a few short hours essentially beating everyone to the punch, you hope he at least gives himself a little bit of kudos. 

Once the neighborhood, and the rest of the country, figures out what is actually going on- the grim reality of survival kicks in. It really is survival of the fittest. Those with weakened bodies obviously die first- there is no medicine to help them. Anyone who was in the hospital is basically gone because machines that kept them alive are useless. Then those who aren't in that scenario basically become wanderers. Like referenced in the book- look at Hurricane Katrina and the chaos that erupted there- this would be times a million. You don't know who to trust, and while you're raised to help thy neighbor, you also have to be realistic and save your family and yourself first, so it's every man for their own. 

If you are not a fan of post apocalyptic books, you are not going to like these. If you are, and you are really big into military training and government, you are probably going to like these. I'm in the middle. I'll be honest- I didn't really understand a lot of the military aspect of this, but I've never been in the military. I also zoned out a little on the government areas because that is a bit boring for me. What I did pay attention to was the actual scenes with people basically fighting for their lives. It really does make you think about what you would do, hypothetically, if you were in this situation. It really is terrifying to think about. I'm a pretty calm person but you better believe I would lose it. It also makes me think those people on that show Doomsday Preppers maybe aren't crazy after all. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Take You

So, this is book three of a major blog tour for Nikki Gemmell that I have read. I wasn't overly impressed with the other two, but this one... this one was a bit more interesting.

I Take You - Nikki Gemmell
I Take You
From internationally bestselling author Nikki Gemmell comes a tantalizing story of love within marriage—and alongside it.
Under her Chanel suit and designer lingerie, Connie Carven is no longer the typical banker’s wife. When Cliff’s horrible skiing accident shifts the balance of their relationship, Connie becomes a willing submissive to her husband’s every desire. Cliff is eager to explore new, and troubling, avenues of passion. Connie, ever the dutiful wife, follows wherever he leads. While at first she enjoys a perverse sense of freedom within the ever-tightening bonds of her marriage, Cliff’s dark desires soon consume her entirely. She finds herself surrendering to an act that will forever remind her that she belongs to her husband alone—to be unlocked only by him, whenever he pleases.
But it is also this act that awakens Connie from the numbness that has taken over her life. And when she encounters someone new in the communal garden of her Notting Hill home, she discovers the thrill of true intimacy . . . and the price of risking everything for it.
The author of the bestselling phenomenon The Bride Stripped Bare and the exquisite With My Body, Nikki Gemmell brings erotic writing into the twenty-first century. In I Take You she looks to the classic Lady Chatterley’s Lover for inspiration, reimagining D. H. Lawrence’s celebrated tale as a brutally honest and deeply sensual modern love story.
I'm going to call this.. the anti-Fifty Shades of Grey. I also don't even think this can be called erotica because while there is some sex, not nearly as much as you would get in a regular romance novel even, it isn't really even the theme of the book. If I had to come up with a generalized theme it would be how relationships are give and take, compromise, and nobody should ever feel obligated
Full disclosure: this book has a fairly graphic scene in chapter nine. You know by now that there isn't much that will make me squirm in a book. But there are piercings, essentially done against her will, and a padlock acting as a chastity belt almost. Let that sink in- a padlock on your vaginal opening. 
Don't worry, it took a full night to get the chills out of my system and even now, thinking about it makes me want to vomit. Because you know what I had to do, right? I had to search Google images because I haven't even seen something like this and I'm a visual person. And oh lord- the horrors I saw. Folks, you can't un-see anything like that so just take my word for it, it's not natural. 
Anyways. 
So the story is about Connie who is married to Cliff. Cliff and Connie aren't really compatible sexually, never have been, yet she loves him and she aims to please. So when Cliff has a skiing accident that leaves him paralyzed and unable to perform, they "compromise" on other things. What ends up happening is a really odd BDSM relationship Connie doesn't really want, but it's the only way she ends up being sexually satisfied so she complies. Until the piercing. The piercing is basically the straw that broke the camel's back. 
Connie begins to drift away and contemplate a life without Cliff. He's rich and she is not, so she's stuck in the predicament that people judge her for being selfish and divorcing her poor, disabled husband, even though he's a bit of an asshole. 
But in walks hunky gardener Mel with a lifetime of baggage. And hot sex, complicated feelings, drama, and angst. Because you see, I really don't think Mel likes Connie. He sees her as a stuck up, kept woman even though he has no issues banging her in the garden. It's like he's trying to devalue her almost while at the same time she's falling in lust with him. I also don't think she really loves him either, she sees him as a ticket out of her personal hell. You're left hoping she gets the hell out, but at the same time you just want to say, do it on your own- stop depending on a damn man you loser. 
If you are looking for a really fast read, I really do recommend this only because you'll whip through it and it is a pretty good read. Her chapters are short so you could easily pop this in your purse and read a chapter or two while waiting around somewhere.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thunder, bitches.

Dudes. I can't even tell you how incredibly sore I am. I forget how athletically incapable I am until I start trying to do any kind of physical activity. I'm just not good at any of it. Never have, never will be.

The terrible part about that is that unless I do something, I get super fat. I've never reached my fat potential, but inner fat girl really wants me to. She's really angry that I'm doing anything at all other than lifting the ice cream spoon to my mouth. Which, mini rant, but when I see skinny girls bitching about a work out? I really want to punch them. Because it's like, your stomach and boobs are practically non existent- you aren't fighting against the laws of gravity to not look pregnant when your uterus is clearly vacant. When both boobs are going in the opposite direction of your ass and your stomach is going on its own from side to side? Come talk to me about wanting to die.

If you don't follow me on Instagram then you are missing my daily progress as I work through Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. Which is just really horrible and it's like willingly letting yourself be bullied.  I feel like Anita should be paid more because Jillian obviously hates her and her phoning it in because she doesn't go as low as Natalie.

But if you've never done this workout, that entire last paragraph means nothing to you.

So I am on day 10, and I decided that today, despite having the beginnings of a migraine and being on the verge of falling asleep while standing, was the best time to start level two. And full disclosure- since starting this, everyone has warned me about level two. Level two was going to be brutal, and I was scared.

As it turns out, I had every right to be scared.

First of all, I can't do a regular push up. I have to do the pussy girl push up's, and that? That doesn't fly in level two. Second, planks? Are you fucking kidding me? Then you add plank twists? Oh hell fucking now. Clearly, this work out is not meant for people with 36D boobs, kangaroo pouches, and Kardashian asses. None of that is conducive to the level two work out. I finished the workout, which seemed to go by a LOT faster than level one, but I admittedly phoned it in. Not because I'm being a fat ass, but because I've never done ANY of these exercises before and it took me a few seconds to figure out what the hell I'm supposed to be doing.So by the time I felt like I got it, she was moving onto the next one.

I can see now why everyone basically quits this workout by the time they get to level two. I really hope that tomorrow it goes a bit better? We'll see what the next ten days brings.

The most important part though is that I really do feel like I have hit some weird break through. I don't enjoy working out, but at this point, I feel a certain level of commitment. I have gotten a lot of really encouraging comments, emails and messages that me sticking to this even when I think maybe being a fat girl isn't so bad is motivational for them. Anyone who knows me knows that I am like, the least motivational person there can be when it comes to fitness and healthy living. I still refer to french fries and ketchup as two vegetable servings, folks.

So I'm going to keep going. Even though after tonight's work out I did vomit. I haven't thrown up after a workout since that one time I was chased by a big dog and ran for my life only to fall and have the dog lick me. And that wasn't even done on purpose. I really hope it gets easier over time because today was brutal. I can't even sugar coat it.

If you don't hear from me ever again, assume day 11 killed me.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Santa Monica

Do remember awhile back I was talking about doing posts about songs that for whatever reason, remain near and dear to me? And then I kind of forgot about it? Well today I was listening to my iPod on shuffle and this song came on and every single time- I'm forced to sing out loud.

Everclear: Santa Monica



When I hear this song, it brings me back to the summer before high school started. My best friend in the whole world at the time, Allena, and I were so into MTV's Alternative Nation, that she figured out a way to record the episodes onto VHS tapes, then record the audio onto cassette tapes. Which clearly dates me as far as age and I realize this sounds confusing to those of you under the age of 23. But trust me when I say, doing this resulted in the most amazing mix tapes, even if they sounded far away.

But this song was easily one of our favorites. We really thought this band was great, and we'd sing the entire album this came off verbatim, a capella. Because we were amazing 15 year olds.

This particular day I had spent the night at her house the night before so we could get ready for Spartan Camp, get our freshman year information and do picture day. After all of that, we were supposed to go to my house. Neither of our parents were around to give us a ride and we obviously couldn't drive, so we decided to walk the five miles to my house from hers in 100 degree heat. Somehow, we were wearing jackets and carrying a boat load of shit, decided to take the longer route past the oil refinery, and I'm pretty sure heat induced delirium happened. Because we sang this song repeatedly, all while picking up a random 2x4 chunk of wood, a hubcap, and a bunch of cat tails.

For no damn reason.

I had that chunk of wood for years. She actually still has the hubcap.

In hindsight, we were kind of odd.

But we were damn cool to us.

So every time I hear this song, it reminds me of hanging out with her and having her as my friend during some real formative years. She moved away in tenth grade and I never really recovered from that. But ninth grade was our year. We thought for sure we'd meet really hot rocker boyfriends in an AOL chat room and they would totally let us run away from them, and then we could become groupies and just go to concerts all of the time.

That didn't happen for either of us, but we could have been the real life Banger Sisters. (And if you don't know the greatness of that movie? We can't be friends.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

That? Oh, that's not thunder. That's just me exercising.

Real talk, lambs.

I've gotten ridiculously lazy over the last year. I had done so well losing a ton of weight and being all physically fit and shit, and then I figured a couple of lazy days wouldn't hurt. But then a couple of days turned into almost 400.

You know how that happens.

So I'm back at it. The only thing that has spurred this on is that my pants are too snug and I refuse to buy a bigger size again because I purposely rid myself of those. So I've decided that enough is enough. I need to get back onto the exercise band wagon no matter how much I absolutely hate it. I hated gym class my entire life and felt absolute joy my senior year of high school because it was no longer required. It was about then I gave the fingers to gym and said see ya.

Then I got chunky.

I'm just going to say it's probably a coincidence.

But here I am. Chunkalump. That's my new nickname- Chunkalump.

To get myself on track, I've signed up for a bunch of 5K's. I've only got fun ones in my calendar so far, but I'll put some for real ones where I have to actually run versus skip through electric lands and colored paint.

I also decided I am going to do the 30 Day Shred. It took about two weeks to find my DVD and I literally just finished day six of it. I'll be honest- I hate it. I hate the program, I hate Jillian Michaels, I hate Anita who clearly doesn't care Jillian basically makes her sound like an invalid for not doing full movements, and I hate Natalie who gets all of this praise for really getting down deep when, if you watch closely, she's absolutely phoning it in when Jillian and the cameras aren't totally focused on her.

Yeah- I see you sucking it up you lazy ass. I see you.

Here are the most annoying issues I'm currently dealing with:


  • Stamina, obviously. Holy fucking shit- how out of shape am I?? God. I'm not kidding you, I'm sure if you were in the basement listening to me jumping around, it probably sounds like the house is collapsing. Matt and Twinky hunker down there and I'm sure it's scary. 
  • Dear Kegels: You don't work. Here's something they don't mention in the "What to Expect: The First Years" books post baby bursting from vagina- pee will come out whether you do Kegels all day every day or not. It does not matter. I do Kegels like you wouldn't believe. Sure, Matt assures me things are a tight ship down there, but still- pee bursts forth once I start jumping jacks. I can do three jumping jacks before I have to pause, run to pee, come back. 
  • And during this- it feels like I am going to have a pee emergency, but then it's like two drops. What the fuck is that??? 
  • Why is it that I can do regular squats, but you give me a side lunge and I'm practically falling over? 
  • My boobs hurt. I clearly need a new sports bra. I have a really nice Nike one, and nothing will move in it, but to get it off you essentially have to dislocate your shoulder and hope for the best. So I need to get myself one that zips in the front or something. Probably something more like a harness. 
So we'll see. The fact I've done six consecutive days so far is kind of huge. This is already more than I ever had done before. I think my record was twice. In a month. So, clearly- if you look at it in percentages, I'm already kicking ass and taking names. 

At the end of 30 days we'll do another picture, but on day one I was 184 pounds and looked like this. For the record, I am not pregnant.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Copied

Guess what? I got to read a book you wasn't even available for sale at the time. That's because I'm kind of awesome. Just kidding. HA!

Copied - S. M. Anderson
perf6.000x9.000.indd
Adopted off the black market, Alexander Mitchell, has no idea his DNA is copyrighted and property of military weapons giant Texacom Defense. Nor that his DNA is being used to develop an army of clones. When the company discovers he was not properly disposed of 17 years ago, they send an assassin copy, BETA23, to terminate Xan and cover it up
After he narrowly escapes BETA23’s first attempt, Xan teams up with Lacey, a genetically engineered genius he’s surprised to find common ground with— only they’re awkward together. Half of the time she stares at Xan like the science project he is and the other half…let’s just say Xan can’t keep his eyes off her lips.
When they manage to capture a company copy by luck and sheer stupidity on Xan’s part, Lacey is determined to see the good in their prisoner to the point she believes BETA23 can be persuade to give them the intelligence they need to keep the company forever off Xan’s back. Xan’s not sure if he can trust the darker version of himself, not when it means gambling with the lives of his family and the possibility of losing Lacey.

When I started this, I was super intrigued. During the middle I got a little bored. At the end? Loved it. So overall, I'm going to give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. A pretty solid rating for a book I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to finish, but I am glad that I did. And I'll tell you right now, it feels like this is first in a series? I could be wrong, but there is enough questions left at the end that the author could easily keep going with the story. And I want to talk about those.. but it would ruin major plot points for you and that's no fun. 

Basically, this is the story of Xan, who finds out that essentially he is a clone. He has no idea about this until BETA23 comes around trying to kill him. In walks Lacey, the ubber smart class mate of Xan's, that is helping him figure out just what the heck is going on. Xan is kind of falling for Lacey but she isn't and you never really know why. That's not a spoiler, FYI. Lacey feels some kind of a connection with BETA23 because after they miraculously capture him, he's held captive in Lacey's storage room and she is determined to see the good in BETA23. (He has no name, and he's Xan's clone. It's creepy.)

But the best part of the story is feeling it all unravel. The limited information Xan is able to get from BETA23 about the clones, the mystery about Lacey, and the general ramifications of clones. The whole genetic altering aspect of it is also kind of creepy when you think about it. BETA23 basically tells Xan the purpose of his clone was for organ harvesting- Xan was never meant to survive. He's supposed to just incubate parts until another clone needs them. Creepy. I admittedly got a little bored in the middle of the book because I felt like it wasn't moving fast enough for my liking. But the ending more than made up for it. Can I just say that the clone recycling tank? Creeped me out. Do not read this before bed because you will have terrible dreams about yellow fluid tanks. Just sayin. Except I was left with a lot of questions. So instead of taking points from the book based on that, I remain hopeful there is a sequel which will answer those questions. 

It's definitely a young adult novel that I think is more geared toward 17-19 year olds? I did enjoy it and if there is a sequel, I would definitely be interested in reading it! You can purchase it on Amazon HERE

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Eyrie

It's book review time! And buckle up, because over the next few weeks I'll have a bunch of them for you.

Eyrie (Society of Feathers #2) - Emma Michaels
Eyrie (Society of Feathers, #2)
The truth is being unveiled and Iris’ past is unlike anything she ever could have guessed. For Stryx, finding your missing half doesn’t always mean finding your mate. Iris has been missing a part of herself for so long that no one is sure she will be able to put the pieces back together and her ever reliable dreams may be forcing her astray. Coping with the death of someone she loved, she is forced to face the truth and break free from the lies that have caged her.

So if you have read book one, I highly recommend you re-read it before you read this one. Otherwise you'll end up like me who read it awhile ago and some of the details are a wee bit foggy and I have no fracking clue what is going on. 

I didn't have time to re-read Owlet fully, but I skimmed it and it helped. Kind of. 

But I really liked Owlet. This is a young adult series and it's about Stryx (which is like,  half human/half bird) and they aren't really shifters because they don't turn into the bird, but instead they have bird like qualities? It's really strange. I thought I understood it during Owlet, but during Eyrie I far more confused. And "Eyrie" is the name of the governing group of the Stryx. I think. So by that definition I really thought we would learn more about the Eyrie and basically learn more about what is going to happen to Iris. 

But no. You only learn a little bit about it, and this book feels like it's even more back story. Sure, Iris is trying to figure out what the heck is going on. She has Falcon (her boyfriend/soul mate type guy) and he's nice. She has a group of people willing to help and she basically becomes lead for a sea of change. She befriends people tradition says she shouldn't, and she's learning more about the society she is a part of, good and bad, and I feel like this book sets the tone for the third. In fact, I almost think half of this book could have been part of book one, and the other half would merge with the third book. Yes, it's building information and more back story, but at this point.. it feels too much. 

Though of course it leaves you with a sad and terrifying cliff hanger. It really started getting good in the final 50 pages when she starts having nightmares that are possibly premonitions, she learns some really helpful but confusing information about Ravens, and then you find out the stupid Osprey lives. But of course you don't know who the Osprey is until literally, the last page. I really hope the third book comes out soon otherwise I feel like I'll lose interest by the time it comes out. 

I do suggest that you read book one then book two back to back otherwise you will get lost as I did. You can purchase this book for your Kindle HERE or your Nook HERE. The author is also doing a giveaway for a $10 Amazon card that you can enter here for: 
"http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2bf067102/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, January 10, 2014

Who would hide your sex toys?

I don't know what page it was on yesterday, but that was the sentence that jumped out at me. And it could have been in the context of a lot of things, but for me- I took it as if hypothetically I were to die today, who would  hide my sex toys? Maybe sex toys can be used as a metaphor for just your clothes and other random vanilla things if you're too prudish to admit to having an entire drawer full.

And maybe a second box.

And that third box you hide in your closet to rotate through things.

Hypothetically, of course.

It wasn't always easy, for years I had huge groups of friends. I had all sorts of people I could hang out with. But it really does take one really shit hole of a situation to weed people out. And it happens so fast that sometimes you wonder what's worse- the original betrayal or finding that most of your friends disappear?

So when I think of this, it takes me no time to think of who would do this for me:

Tammy. My friend Tammy and I have been friends for ten years. Which doesn't seem like it's been that long but at the same time, how is it not longer? Her and I totally get each other and she has always been my go to friend when I have had major problems with Matt or just life in general. I know that no matter what happens, I can call Tammy at any time and she'll bail me out. Like the time I ripped my own nose ring out of my nose and had to go to her to help. And she made her husband basically re-pierce my nose. Or the time we drove to Hinckley for donuts in the middle of the night for no reason just so we could complain about our husbands. She is always my friend who is game for just about anything. She's easy going, laid back, I could trust her with any thing. Which is why, if it came down to it? Tammy would be my first choice to hide my sex toys.

Emily. Emily and I have been friends for a relatively short time, but she is hands down, the most positive, optimistic, easy going, carefree person I have ever known. No matter how bad things are, she always sees the positive, and you can't help absolutely loving life when you are around Emily. We met at work and I'm so glad we've stayed friends. She also is a fellow book slut and I know that if it came down to it, she would chip in wherever I needed her.

Amy. Amy is one of my longest running blog friends. I haven't actually met that many in real life, but she was the second, and she's been with me the longest. For all of the things we don't have in common, we both like adventure so I know that if I ever wanted to go on a crazy ass trip? I could probably count her in. And despite living a few hours apart, I talk to her the most often with almost daily emails. It's nice to always have someone I can email a raging email to!
Amy, Tammy, me, and Emily. Rochester, Minnesota for Amy's birthday way back in 2011. 

And I cannot friend my far away friends Shirley (Arizona), Shannon (Nebraska), Kimberly (Tennessee) Gini (Nebraska), and Jennifer (Michigan). All of them are blogger friends, all of them I adore for different reasons. Shannon just gets my humor and my love of book boyfriends, Gini is just hysterical and I want to be her when I grow up, Kimberly is also amazing and hilarious, Jennifer is a god damn riot and I just love her, and Shirley? Well I love Shirley. Shirley is my pretend lesbian lover friend. Shirley is the one I'll message when ben wa balls get very stuck. If I had to hide a body, I bet you anything Tammy and Shirley would help me dig a hole. Of all of my friends, I bet you Tammy and Shirley would get along the best because without even knowing each other, they have the most in common with me. We'd be a dangerous trio. 

And if you aren't mentioned? It doesn't mean I don't love you. I love you long time. It just means that you probably wouldn't know where my toys were (all of them) and would probably respond with a "oh hell no" if I had left it in my will for you to take care of it. And it's totally understandable, which is why I love you. I have to have the yangs to my yings.  

I'm just really thankful that I have such great friends that would hide my sex toys. I could trust all of them implicitly with anything. They don't judge me, they accept me and my crazy for what we are, and they love me despite it. They wouldn't even judge the things they found in the closet because they would just know it's something clearly I would do. Because I'm nuts and that's just how I am. 

But the lesson in this is that it's taken me all of these years to find this group of friends. I see kids on Facebook have all of this damn drama with their "friends" and yet.. continue to be friends. And then I look at my group and I'm lucky. I haven't ever fought with my friends. None of my friends would ever do anything to intentionally hurt my feelings or "get back at me" for anything. Maybe I just got lucky or maybe that's just what happens as you get older. But it's worth asking- who would hide your sex toys? 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Proof I've got the crazy.

Have I ever mentioned how incredibly fun my friends are? I know I have. Anyways. I also love the great chats we have, and then it always ends up with them telling me I'm nuts. Like officially odd.

The other night I was chatting on Facebook with a friend about dating (she's single and looking to mingle) and I said I had a list of must have's when I was dating. It obviously included being employed and showering on the regular, but there were a few others that are important, for me, in a mate. They include:

1. Feet. Dude, you have to have nice feet. You can ask Matt and he'll tell you that on our very first date I made him take off his socks. If you have jacked up feet, it's going nowhere. I will check out right there and just have a nice life. Fortunately for him, his toes are not weird shaped, they were clean, nails trimmed, not too much hair and they weren't all veiny. I don't like a guy with a lot of sticking out veins in his feet. It's just weird.

2. Bathroom Cleanliness. I feel like if a guy can't clean his bathroom, what else isn't he cleaning? If you catch my drift. AHEM. So when Matt and I were on our second date (more on why I didn't inspect this on date night #1), I had to inspect the bathroom. Granted, he lived in a shared house with a bunch of guys so obviously some leeway needs to be given. And thank god for that because that was gross. It wasn't the porn everywhere that set me off it was the fact the floor was sticky and there was an odor. And not the smell of actual shit, but something else. I never did figure it out but it wasn't worth thinking that hard about it. Matt's room was super neat and tidy, so I gave him the benefit of doubt.

3. The way you fold a towel. Friends, there is a right way and a wrong way. If your edges aren't lined up and your towels are wrinkle free? I'm going to break up with you. I also like my towels on the shelf so the rounded side is showing, not where you can see the folds.

4. First date. One thing you'll know about me when you meet me is that I am not a pretentious person. I get uncomfortable at fancy restaurants, I don't know what to do when someone takes my coat or pours my drink, it's just not who I am. I like mom and pop places, I like doing nothing, and I like adventure. So first dates are important. You can really fuck it all up on that one date which seems like a lot of pressure. It also sets the tone of the relationship. If you go all out, you better not get lazy. I mean, you can start lazy and do nice things as a bonus, but to go backwards is not cool.

5. Teeth. DUDES. Teeth are important. It might not make a difference to you, but it does to people you plan to kiss. I've kissed guys with missing teeth (not ideal), and those with teeth so turned it's really hard to navigate. Matt had nice teeth. He has one tooth a little crooked but it's doable. It doesn't feel weird.

So anyways. There is obviously a lot more. But I also have to tell you why I saw the bathroom on the day after and you'll be impressed that I did not slut it up! I didn't! I really didn't!

Matt and I knew each other, kind of, because he worked at the same place my mom did. I would visit my mom in between jobs/school and if Matt was there I'd give doe eyes and laugh like a maniac because he was kind of gorgeous. And of the guys I had dated, he had the most going for him. I was single, ready to mingle, mostly wanted a make out partner, and he seemed interested. So out of the blue, he asks me if I want to hang out on a Sunday.

I practically screamed yes. It was embarrassing. My face turned red, my mom looked at me like I was a mess and he just was like, "Cool. I'll pick you up or something." All no big deal, we exchange numbers, and I'm fairly certain I squealed like a pig after he left.

Let's be honest, he probably heard me squeal.

So fast forward to that Sunday. It was January 14, 2002. It was freezing. I don't even remember what I wore, but he said we weren't doing much. So I'm pretty sure I wore a sweater with some jeans. Who knows. We go to his house that he lived in with other guys. At the time, we were alone. We start watching Pearl Harbor. TERRIBLE movie plot wise. TERRIFIC movie to make out to. So after like an hour on this couch with our jackets on, because I was informed they weren't turning the heat on to save money so to keep my jacket on, he totally made a move. After an hour. I was dying. Like legitimately dying but I was not going to be a slut. He still had to work with my mom, it could have been awkward.

We then make out for the rest of the movie which was literally two hours, I'm sure. I make note that he is a really great kisser. He apparently likes my boobs and is just helping himself and I honestly don't care at this point.

Then roommates came home and BUZZ KILL.

I then end up watching The Fast & The Furious with a bunch of guys. No making out happens. After that movie, Matt says we can go upstairs. Oh! No! We went to Subway. He orders a sandwich, I get nothing. Mostly because I had gotten all nervous and didn't want to throw up later. I mean, you can't throw up pretty on a first date.

So after that, we go back to his house, and as he's taking his shoes off- I explain that I have to see his feet. Clearly, he looked at me like I was a loon. BUT, he totally did it. He looked relieved when I said they would do. He proceeds to turn on Star Wars. I immediately fell asleep because LAME. I then sleep the entire night. I knew he was a keeper when I woke up, absolutely mortified and without a clear understanding of what had happened, and I saw a note that said,

"I'm on the couch. Not a fan of Star Wars? Wake me up when you get up and I'll make sure you get home. PS- I went to bed with a hard on. Date 2?"

Win.

Win on everything.

You god damn right, date 2.

That note made up for the horror smell in the bathroom.

And that? That was history. So next week we will have been together 12 years. That is insane to me.