I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day but here is a list of acceptable gifts…JUST IN CASE.

I think Valentine’s Day is bull shit. If you care deeply or love someone shouldn’t you show that love all year round? Seems insane to me that we dedicate one day to buy overpriced roses, go out to eat with a bazillion other people and declare our undying affections for one another. On the off-chance my spouse is reading this: Hi Mikey! I love you 365 days and like you most days. xoxo

However, inevitably social pressures get the best of us and we cave, scrambling last-minute to find a box of chocolates and a reservation somewhere before 10PM. Despite my disdain for this Hallmark holiday, here is a list of Valentine’s Day gifts I find acceptable.

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Unicorn Light Up Slippers – Amazon

Fluffy unicorn slippers that light up – essentially every girls dream.

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Drivemocion LED Car Sign – ThinkGeek

Sixteen messages or faces to help express my road rage?! What more could a girl ask for?

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Whiskey and Rum Making Kit – uncommongoods

No explanation needed.

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Emergency Clown Nose – uncommongoods

Because honestly – life is too much sometimes or we just take shit way to seriously. We ALL need Emergency Clown Noses. Everyone. Frankly, I think the world would be a better place

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Pokemon Inspired Earring Gift Set – CloudNineDreams

Stud earrings are a must and these cuties are a necessity. I would ROCK those little Squirtles!

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Taco Magnetic Bookmark – craftedvan

Books are amazing. They take you to an entirely new place. But what good is a book if you can’t remember where you left off? This etsy vendor makes the coolest bookmarks! However, I am partial to the jumbo taco because duh. Books + tacos = HEAVEN.

There you have it – a list acceptable Valentine’s Day gifts that any totally awesome person would graciously accept. AND most of them are completely affordable. There is no need to get into a financial conundrum over a stupid holiday.

So, what do you want for Valentine’s Day?

Successful Food Finds

Raise your hand if you’ve been scrolling Facebook and stubble across a food video and start drooling? You think oh I could soooo make that. Naturally, you like/share it or even save it for later use. Well, my food obsessed husband tags me in these finds all of the time! So instead of asking what should I make for dinner I started picking from the list of videos and while there were some duds (there always are, aren’t there?) there were also some big successes!

We all kind of get into a food rut in the Fall/Winter. It’s sometimes hard to find things you really want to make when you can’t just throw things on the grill. That being said – I’m sharing with you a few of the most recent food videos (and recipes) that were a hit at our house.

  • Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken Piccata
  • Easy Beef Burrito Skillet
    • Found on Facebook at Cooking Panda
    • NOTE: Need cast iron skillet.
  • Oven Baked Chicken Tacos
    • Found on Facebook at The Cookie Rookie
    • Full printable recipe found here
      • NOTE: Used 1 packet Old El Paso Mild instead of Hot & Spicy Taco Seasoning to make more kid friendly.
  • Flammin’ Hot Cheetos Pizza
  • Cider Glazed Pork
    • Found on Facebook at Delish
    • Full printable recipe found here

 

Have any new recipes you want to share? Link in the comments!

 

 

 

Confessions – 6th ed.

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Happy 2017! If you’re like me – this is your first week back to work and if you’ve made it to Friday then CONGRATS on surviving your first week back in hell. If you accomplish nothing else this year then you’ve done that! I essentially took the month of December off so  you can imagine how I felt going to the office on Tuesday. YIKES!

If you are just joining the shenanigans – I like to confess shit. My husband, Mike, probably says I do this too much {I sense his eyes rolling right now}. I just put it out there. Kind of takes the weight off my shoulders and makes me feel just a little lighter. If you know me, I need to drop some serious weight so shedding even a little is a big help. Everyone likes to loose weight, am I right? So to start my 2017 blogging year – I wanted to get some things off my chest. What better way to do that than confess.

  • I’m a sucky gift giver. I never know what to get. It’s just really not my strength.
  • In my next home I will have a room with floor to ceiling shelves for books. I have dreamt of this since I was a kid. Most people dream of castles – I dream of libraries.
  • I hate the Kardashians. Everything about the. WITH A PASSION. There, I said it. Shun me.
  • My name is Sarah and I have a wrapping paper addiction. I LOVE to buy wrapping paper. Mainly Christmas (because it’s my favorite holiday) but if it’s a deal – I’ll likely buy it. I have problem and I might need help.
  • Don’t go into my office closet. It’s a scary place where I’m unorganized. I hide things there and shove things I don’t want to deal with or don’t know where to put. Beware.
  • For the first time in 5 years I am using my EC Life Planner differently and I have low-key anxiety about it. Because while I welcome change, it’s still super hard shit.
  • I don’t set resolutions. I set goals.
  • Personally, I think LuLaRoe is a fugly. Why are grown ass women trying to dress like Miss Frizzle? I don’t understand it? Riddle me this – $35 for leggings that you have to hand wash? And they have pizzas on them? No.
    • {Side note: I know people are going to hate for this confession. But it’s my confession so it’s okay. Also – I don’t care what people think.}
  • I started a new journal for 2017 without finishing my previous one. This goes against my journaling code of ethics but sometimes rules need to be broken.
  • Raw broccoli >>> raw cauliflower.
  • We watched Elf about 76 times this Christmas and it was glorious! Sadly, I didn’t get in one Home Alone marathon and I’m sad about it.
  • I don’t have a TV in my bedroom.
  • I’m over Bey.
  • I totally slacked on the Elf on the Shelf this year. Oops! Oh well. Simon the Elf will return to his ridiculous pranks Decemeber 2017.
  • There are people in the world who don’t like FRIENDS. This baffles me. Iconic 90’s television!
  • The ASPCA commercials with the cold puppies that get you to donate money piss me off.
  • I only take selfies in Snapchat.

These are my confessions.

Feeling accomplished!

Every year a set a reading goal because I love books and this is what we readers do. And reading for fun is just something I need to do for my mental health. Escaping reality into James Patterson’s mysteries and solving who done it or swooning over some hunk in one of Corinne Michaels’ latest or even laughing and crying my way through one of Jenny Lawson’s truthful stories on mental health is a must for me. I need it between all the bull shit at work, the chores at home that I’m casually neglecting and the overwhelming stress I feel 24/7/365. So books. I love them. They are my therapy. My escape.

This year I told myself 12 books was more than reasonable. I mean I’m friends with people who read 12 books a month so 12 in the course of a YEAR is more than feasible. Right? Well I did it. In fact – I’ve read 14 (that’s 117% for those keeping score at home!) and I’m in the middle of two more because the year isn’t over yet. Am I right or am I right?

SOOOO as the holidays approach and you find that you have some extra time on your hands – I encourage you to pick up a book. I thought I would share with you the books I’ve read this year so far to help if you need some suggestions. Of course you can keep up to date on what I’m reading, dying to read and have read on goodreads. I’m constantly adding books to my shelves.

Books I’ve read thus far in 2016:

Not on goodreads? YOU SHOULD BE! It’s a book lover’s dream!*

 

*Note: This is not an ad nor was I paid or compensated in any fashion for saying this. I just really like books. 

 

Reasons to be Happy

What are your reasons to be happy? Like REALLY think about it. What fills you to the brim with unadulterated joy? What gives you butterflies of glee? What makes you warm and tingly and just full of peace?

Well. I’ve decided to keep a running list of my Reasons to be Happy. I used to randomly blog a reason to be  happy but I think the running list approach is so much more satisfying. I find myself eager to add to it and way the list grow. And it’s here to share with all of you (assuming there is actually an all).

But I want you to really think about what I asked. What are your reasons to be  happy? It could be anything. The way the light touches glass just right and casts a rainbow in the room. The smell of fresh-baked cookies. Black coffee. But figure it out. Note it somewhere and hold on to it. It’s important to reference this list when you find that you aren’t happy. To read through it and even do some of the things on it. Because at the end of the day – we are only given one life to live. Let’s not completely fuck it up with things that don’t make us happy.

Haunted

Recently, I heard Katrina Kittle – another favorite of mine – speak about her reasons to be happy and how we can’t function when our life cup is perpetually empty. That it’s our responsibility to take time to fill that cup. Writing fills my cup. I love to write – both on my blog and journal. I used to journal ALL THE TIME. But when I was younger that was ruined for me…

I have foreign parents. And as if the language and cultural barrier weren’t enough – they had me a little later than planned so they are 40+ years my senior. My mother and I particularly didn’t get a long. It’s as if we were on different planets all together. During my teenage years especially she just assumed she knew everything. However, that’s neither here nor there. The past makes us who we are. Right?

One faithful day I came home from school – I believe I was a sophomore in high school at the time – and walked in to see bags and bags full of shredded paper. For a moment – I didn’t really think much of it. It wasn’t until I noticed the cover of my favorite butterfly journal that I realized what I was looking at. They were my journals!!! Seven years worth of journals – twelve complete journals to be exact – all shredded up into nothing. From that day on journaling was hard for me. It didn’t feel safe anymore. Since then I’ve tried to get back into the habit but there is this constant underlying fear that I will lose it all over again. Since then – I’ve managed to write sporadically. But it dawned on me today that enough is enough. I have to stop letting the past haunt me and lay it to rest. My past is full of other horrible things that I have managed to overcome but this… this is still hanging around.

Not anymore.

Sidebar: This also might be why I have subconsciously broken nearly every paper shredder I have ever owned.

She saves me.

Two weeks ago I was casually browsing the inter webs and thought I would peak on some of my favorite people on the world. We all have those people we like to follow and see what they are doing. Yours are like Kim Kardashian or Kanye. Mine are a little different. Mine are Chrissy Teigen (because who doesn’t love Chrissy?), a few cooks (because who doesn’t love food?) and Jennifer Lawson (aka the author of TheBloggess). I stumbled across a post where Jenny said she was coming to Ohio!!! The woman I essentially idolize, IN OHIO. I immediately took to Facebook to find out where. And other Jenny fans told me she was going to be at Books by the Banks in Cincinnati. That’s like spitting distance from me…if you can spit 40 miles away. Nonetheless – completely doable. I told Mikey. He was all like you have to go and see her. Well DUH! So we made plans to leave first thing in the morning, get my books signed, maybe see her speak….everything was falling into place.

I went to bed that night planning to see my hero in the morning. I day dreamed of use becoming BFFs. But I woke up early in the morning… completely panic-stricken. I wanted to go and meet this amazing woman who speaks to me in the darkest times in my life, who reminds me to keep going when my brain wants me to do stupid things, who lets me know that it’s okay to hurt, who lets the world know that there are other people out there fighting depression, anxiety and all kinds of fucked up shit….but I was terrified. What if I went and didn’t get to see her? What if we missed her speak or didn’t get my books signed? What if she was like you’re a fucking disaster, GET IT TOGETHER? What if I couldn’t remember my name? So I just laid in bed and didn’t say anything.

At about 10:30AM – Mike woke up and questioned why we were still at home. I made up some bull shit about not wanting to screw up everyone’s plans for the day. He clearly read through my weak ass excuse. These were our plans. He told me I was being stupid and to get my ass up and get ready to go meet Jenny Lawson. So I did.

We got to Books By the Banks just in enough time to listen to Jenny speak. She read from her book – Furiously Happy – and then answered questions. I got to ask the first one and she complimented by Harry Potter shirt! Potter Weasley 2016!! I could have died at that moment. Then we waited in line and she signed my books. We chatted like we were the best of friends. And in my head we totally are. 🙂

Easily goes down as one of the most memorable days of my life.

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Today I am furiously happy I met @thebloggess! And she liked my tee shirt!

Confessions – 5th ed.

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If you are just joining the shenanigans – I like to confess shit. Just put it out there. Kind of takes the weight off my shoulders and makes me feel just a little lighter. I’m a big girl so shedding even a little is a big help. You know? I strongly recommend it. What are your confessions?

  • I am officially one of those people who has an Instagram for their dogs. Yes – judge the shit of me because I don’t give a damn. It’s so much fun connecting with other pet accounts, pet brands, advocates and lovers. It’s an epic community and I am not ashamed to say I am part of it. Also – Alvin and Ollivander are wicked cute. So there’s that.
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE FALL! I’m ready for sweaters, hoodies, scarves, Birkenstocks, fires and all the yummy comfort food that comes with it.
  • Fifth boss in ten months now at work. I am SO OVER IT. Keeping my head down and working but it’s hard. Moral is generally down. I’m doing my best to focus. We still have so much to execute on. Just because things aren’t going well doesn’t mean the work stops. I tend to welcome change because it’s a sign of progress but this much is difficult to keep my feet under me.

“Times is hard. And things are a changin’. I pray to God…” – John Legend, It Don’t Have to Change

  • I talk to myself. But frankly, sometimes I need the company.
  • Books have always been bae. However, as of late I am crushing it. I killed my goodreads reading challenge for 2016! And am still reading several more books because why not?! The Dayton Metro Library lets you check out a bazillion books at a time – both physical copies and digital. It’s amazing! If you’re a local Daytonian and avid reader – make sure to join this library if you haven’t already. They have so many locations and their digital library is impressive.
  • I think I might wear my Potter/Weasley shirt everyday until this election is over. Because that’s how I feel about it.
  • We have a neighbor who thinks its okay to park their cars in front of our house even though they have plenty of room at theirs. This is not a smart way to make friends with me. You will be unsuccessful.
  • I like to play Pokémon. Yes I’m grown. No I don’t care what you think. Major Poké goals. MAJOR.
  • I am going to start Christmas shopping this weekend. There are only TEN weekends until Christmas. And four of those weekends we will be traveling. I am starting to PANIC!
  • I’m in this perpetual cycle of messy desk, clean desk, disaster desk, clean desk. It never ends.
  • Settling on an EC Life Planner is easily one of the biggest decisions of my year. It dictates how I plan for 365 days! And every time I think I have my mind made up, the woman comes out with another edition that only messes up everything I’ve concluded. So…I’m struggling. This is my vise. Also – if you don’t use an EC Life Planner – you are running your life wrong. I’m not sponsored or anything, I’m just right. Check them out!

 

These are my confessions.

s t r e s s e d

Stressed doesn’t begin to explain what I am feeling but it’s a start. And overwhelmed is a gross understatement. Burnt out, exhausted….just don’t do it justice. I’m confident there is not a word for the magnitude of pressure that is building in my head, the migraine that I’ve had for what seems like forever, the never-ending list of things I need to do/clean/cook/pay/review, the nagging ear ringing, or the agony I am in when someone says Sarah/mom (or any other variations of those) because I’m afraid I won’t be able to deliver. So. Much. Pressure. I can’t answer any more questions. I can’t read any more emails. I can’t solve any more problems.

I HAVE OFFICIALLY EXCEED MAXIMUM CAPACITY.

I know. I’m a mom. We aren’t supposed to have a maximum. We have super powers. Well I’m all super-ed out. There I said it.

This mom is all super-ed out.

 

Broken

I feel broken.

Mentally, emotionally, physically. It’s exhausting keeping up with the day-to-day but I have to and so I do. But I want to curl up in the dark with my puppies and sleep. Everything seems off, nothing is right. I try, I fail. Every effort unnoticed or unappreciated. All I want to do is sleep and when I do it’s never enough.

Crying. Unexplained pain. Migraines.

I feel broken.

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But there’s tomorrow. I will try tomorrow.