Happy Friday!

Time to jump on the meme bandwagon!
Here is me, as illustrated by three fictional characters. I think I nailed it!

Five Things I Can’t Live Without

Now, I’m not talking about the obvious things – air, water, toothbrush – but the fun things. The little “luxuries” that make the monotony of every day just a little bit more fun. I’m not even going to choose books or coffee as those are both obvious. I’m also not going to say gif. You should know by now that I love those little moving images.

As usual, these are in no particular order.

1) Melted Cheese
Yuuuuuuuummmmmm. You guys, melted cheese is a gift and we should honor it. The ability to melt cheese is the ability to improve on perfection.
Cloudy Cheese Bath
2) Stripes
Not necessarily my favorite pattern in the world, but definitely the one I can’t live without. I’ve got stripes everywhere – I’m wearing some right now, if you must know. A good stripe is classic and striking. Vertical is okay. Horizontal is where it is as. And don’t even try to tell me that fat ladies shouldn’t wear them. Boo, I say. Boo. I need good patterns in my life.

3) Straws
All cold drinks are better through a straw. Except maybe wine. My household starts to feel really deprived if we run out of straws and – even though it is wasteful – I try to keep an extra package on hand at all times. Hard plastic straws are fine, but I prefer disposable so I can bite the end closed and make it square. It is sad to say, but these little tubes are significant in my daily life.

Water? Better through a straw.
Iced tea? Better through a straw.
Soda? Better through a straw.
Chocolate milk? Better though a straw.
Ann Perkins
4) Skip Button
I physically cannot listen to the end of a song or watch the credits of a television show. Just can’t do it (although interestingly, I enjoy watching movie credits). Without a skip button to make my way through a shuffled playlist or to bypass episodes of a television show I just don’t want to watch . . . well, I can’t even imagine how cranky I would be. Somehow I am both picky and undecided; a skip button is imperative to my media consumption.

I’d also like one for real life. Okay? Thanks.

5) Olde Brooklyn Lantern

Scoff all you want, but I’ve gotten more humor mileage out of this as-seen-on-tv gag gift than almost anything. I love this weird, cheap thing. Anytime the lights blink you can hear someone in the family call out, “Better grab the Old Brooklyn Lantern.” Life would be a little worse without it.

The ABCs of Stephanie

Just a bit of fun today. Raise your hand if you are struggling with the time change. Okay, now keep your hand up if you are already tired of spring weather. Now wave it around if you are sitting on the couch catching up on Drag Race in your underwear. What? Just me? Seriously? You are missing out. . .

A – Absolutely
B – Burrito eater
C – Classy
My Big Fat Greek WeddingD – Dresses, preferably patterned
E – Estimated, under
F – Fat
G – Grumble
H – History
I – I’m free!
Mr HumphriesJ – Jingle
K – Knuter valve
L – Lists
M – Mosquito food
N – Nerd
Parks and RecO – Only
P – PlayfullyTacky
Q – Quiet
R – Resting face, bitchy
S – Scars
T – Tripped again
AliceU – Utilize
V – Volunteer
W – Write
Y – Yawn
Z – Z? . . . zzzzoh no she better don’t

More Important Questions

thats-too-much-informationMore questions! Life is a little busy and overwhelming right now, so fun little posts like these are about all I can muster until I find the time to finish some of the half-done drafts waiting in my files. These questions are just some random ones I stumbled upon. Let’s see if you learn anything surprising about me.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Right off the bat this is a hard question, so much depends on the brand of ice cream. If I had to pick just one – like, if I could only eat one for the rest of my life – I’d go with plain-Jane chocolate. I also have a soft spot for any chocolate chip that has shards of chocolate (like Stracciatella style), mint chocolate chip, and Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack.
What was the last thing you ate?
A baked potato with chili and cheese. It was delicious, very filling, and perfect for a cold evening. No beans in the chili because my kid has a thing about beans.
What CD is in your CD player right now?
Obviously a dated question. I do actually still own some cds though. Five to be exact – Taylor Swift 1989, AC/DC Back in Black, AC/DC Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, the soundtrack from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the soundtrack from Hairspray. Taylor Swift and both AC/DCs live in my car, so I would assume one of those is in the player. They often spend time in each other’s cases too which is probably some big music blasphemy.
How many keys are on your key ring?
Seven – two car keys, a house key, an office key, old keys to the junior league house (why?), and what I think is an old key to my parent’s house. Maybe? I should really take that one off.
How much money do you have in your wallet?
$0. I’m constantly surprised by people who carry cash.
List two bad habits that you have.
1. I bite my nails. I try to keep them painted to cut down on this, but it doesn’t always work. This is a habit I’ve had since childhood and it likes to pop back up anytime I’m stressing. Right now the clear coat on my nails is tinted purple from washing my hair for the first time after being freshly dyed. That doesn’t have anything to do with the question though.
2. Crank. That sweet Macon crank. Nah, kidding. That is a Bob’s Burgers reference. Actually I had a hard time thinking of another bad habit. Not that I’m perfect, just that I’m pretty good at owning up to my faults and don’t really consider many of them “habits.” Oh! I’ve got it – trying on clothes and tossing them over the end of my bed instead of hanging them back in the closet.
What’s your birthstone? Would you change it?
My birthstone is sapphire and I’ve always loved it. I’m most fond of the classic blue, but like how it comes in other shades. I don’t know why I’d bother changing it – birthstones are more of a kid thing. It doesn’t really come up a lot as an adult. I don’t even remember the last time I thought about my birthstone.
Do you know what your name means?
No. But I just looked it up. Wikipedia says “Stephanie or Stefanie is a female name that comes from the Greek name Στέφανος (Stefanos) meaning “crown”. The male form is Stephen.” And now that I’ve read that, I think I did know it.
Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
Duh. All of them, even the bad ones. Reading is amazing. It is the third best thing on earth after family and food.
What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Pay off my debt, create trust funds for the kids. . . blah, blah, boring. Even if you assume you have a million after taxes to do whatever you please with, if you are planning for the future it just isn’t exciting. I’ll go with the spirit of the question though and share this recent conversation I had with my kid when the Powerball was insane:
Me: What would you buy if you had a billion dollars?
Daughter: Everything. I wouldn’t have to decide.
Me: What would you buy first?
Daughter: Pizza.
Are you good at Chess?
Regular chess or secret agent laser obstacle chess? No to both.
Would you rather be rich or healthy?
Healthy. Anyone who picks rich is really young (or really old, own that!) or stupid. And don’t give me any of that “if I was rich I could afford the best doctors,” because life doesn’t work that way.  
Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds?
No question, I don’t even have to think about it. . . invisible. Reading minds would be really awful. I mean, think about the things that run through your head every single day. Now think about listening in on those thoughts of the other people in line at the grocery store. No thank you.

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Okay, so I totally have a thing about this. I cannot go to sleep with my closet doors open. It all started with a bad dream when I was a kid with four massive men standing in my closet door. It has been too long for me to remember anything else about the dream or anything else about the guys other than that they filled the entire space. But it stuck with me. I hate getting into bed then looking over to see the closet open. I hate it even more if I wake up in the middle of the night and see the door open. I’m a scaredy-cat.

That Time I Bought Some Bracelets That Turned Out to be a Napkin Ring

The title of this post kinds of gives the whole thing away, but it is funny and makes me feel like an idiot. .. so I’ll share.

Black Friday weekend I hit up Kohls.com to buy a few of their super-soft throws that were on sale for $8.99. Retail price on these is $39.99 and you usually don’t see them in the store under $25 or so. I’m cheap and jumped at the chance to replace some of our couch blankets. Do you have couch blankets? You should get some. By the way, this isn’t a sponsored Kohls post, I just feel like a cuddly marshmallow when I wrap myself up in one of these blankets. It makes me sound a little bit like a commercial.

Anywho, after filling my cart with four blankets and a couple of other things I had my eye on, I reached that magical price point where you can either pay shipping or add about the same amount of merchandise to get free shipping. They were also doing Kohl’s Cash, so I was really motivated to add something else to my cart.

Not needing anything else in particular, I haphazardly grabbed holiday socks for our stockings. Great! Still needed one more thing though. And then I saw it . . . a little set of silver bangles for $2. It was stuck down in the “other things you might like” section just calling to me. Perfect! This will put me at my price point and be a nice addition to my daughter’s stocking. For reference, here is the photo from Kohls.com:
Napkin Bangles
A few days later when I received my shipping email, I noticed a couple of extra words in the product description that hadn’t stood out to me during my shopping trip. I blame it on the leftover turkey.

SONOMA life + style® Bangles Napkin Ring

::sigh:: Yep, I bought a napkin ring. One lonely little napkin ring. I don’t even own cloth napkins. Not quite sure what to do with just one napkin ring, I hung it on the Christmas tree. It works.
Napkin Ring

Randomness, Bullet Points, and Very Important Information

  • Look! It is another post filled with random information and gifs! I’m so original.

  • Over the weekend my husband took our sectional apart then put it back together reversed and rotated. Or something. It is kind of difficult to explain, but the end result is a similarly shaped sectional facing a different direction. Yay for modular furniture! He took on this task to make room for the little man’s recliner. Somehow, even though we added an additional piece of furniture, the room feels larger. It is also about 200% cozier. I am confused by this furniture illusion.

  • It is cool outside and I’m loving it. [Did you say that to the McDonald’s tune? That’s how I typed it.] We’ve also had several drizzly, nasty, overcast, rainy days in a row. I’m loving that too.
    Addams Family Rain

  • On Sunday, I reheated some chicken in the oven. It took a total of twelve minutes. I burned myself.

  • The daughter got braces last Thursday. Her two front teeth already look different. The orthodontist said those particular teeth would move fast, but I didn’t think he meant in a matter of days. Speaking of braces, I’m really ticked off about the price. Unless you are correcting something major, insurance covers next to nothing. But we live in a society where straight teeth are expected. Braces are no longer a luxury product, but they are still priced like one. Just consider the huge number of adults getting braces and products like Invisalign today – we’ve lived through a big teeth change, people! Oh well, nothing to do but make my monthly payments and complain.

  • I am counting down the days until I can put up Christmas decorations. I may have already listened to holiday music . . . multiple times.

  • I tried to make a funny blog post about things I irrationally hate and things I love (in theory). Unfortunately, I am a cranky bitch so my hate list kept growing while the love list was stuck at two. Want some examples from the irrationally hate list? Red colored mulch, long instrumental breaks in songs, people who name their cars, pink colored weapons, iPhones. At one point ranch dressing was on the list, but I decided that one was completely rational and scratched it off.

  • I may have recently said “because I’m adorable” in a serious professional conversation. I’m not sure whether to be embarrassed by this gaffe, amused at my humor, or amazed by my audacity. I’ve decided just to try and ignore it unless it comes back to haunt me.

  • Sometimes I have to say “I need you to stop talking” just to get a word in edgewise with my daughter. She is too extroverted for me.

  • People keep asking me if we’ve figured out what we are going to do with the little man this summer. The short answer is. . . No. The long answer is. . . No and we don’t really have any good options. There just isn’t care out there for someone as disabled as the little man. At least, not that I’ve found yet. So far, I have two options on my list: 1) Hire a nanny (can’t afford that) or 2) One of us quit our job (can’t afford that either). It is kind of terrifying.

A Glimpse of Laundry Day

Me: [holding up a random, unknown t-shirt from the laundry] Who does this belong to?
Husband: The Red Hot Chili Peppers? Well, it didn’t come home with [the little man].
Me: [calls daughter to come identify shirt] Is this one of your friend’s?
Daughter: I don’t know.
Me: . . .
Daughter: What? [tries to reason how shirt might have come into her possession in lengthy explanation that basically = “gym clothes get mixed up, yo”]
Me: [cuts her off] Yeah, I get it. I just want to to put it in your backpack and find its owner.
Daughter: [exits]
Husband: You know what she can do with it?
Me: . . .
Husband: Give it away, Give it away, Give it away now.
Me: [raucous laughter]


Me: I need to pick up birthday gifts for a couple of your cousins. What do you think Hannah would like?
Daughter: I don’t know.
Me: Well, you have to come up with something.
Daughter: Okay. [silence]
Me: What size does she wear?
Daughter: I don’t know.
Me: Does she like jewelry?
Daughter: I don’t know.
Me: Have you ever seen her with a piece of jewelry on?
Daughter: . . . Maybe. I don’t know.
Me: [closes the door and walks away]


Husband: I haven’t planned anything special for our anniversary this year. Don’t want you to expect anything.
Me: How many years will we have been married.
Husband: 13?
Me: Time to call it quits?
Husband: Nah, let’s just let this thing roll.
Me: Awesome.


Daughter: Our first choice is Australia. Then Bulgaria and India.
Me: Bulgaria?
Daughter: Yeah, Bulgaria.
Me: That’s an odd choice.
Daughter: Want to know why we picked it?
Me: [hesitantly] Sure.
Daughter: Nina Dobrev is from there. [Nina Dobrev is from The Vampire Diaries.]
Me: Ugh, good lord.
Daughter: Its a good choice! It gives me an excuse to learn about Bulgaria.
[I made her read the wiki article about Bulgaria. ::insert evil parent laugh here::]


Random Father: Where are your shoes?!
Teenage Girl: I’m so busy. You don’t understand, I have a lot to do.
Random Father: Well, you can do a lot with your shoes on.


Me: [laughing at a video of an adorable dog] Come look at this dog.
Daughter: Ha! So cute.
My Mother: Don’t laugh at that dog! He’s had a stroke or something!
Me: Hey, he is out running errands. My dog never gets to run errands. He has a good life.
My Mother: That is cruel.
Me: Grumpy Cat made a million dollars.
Daughter: Yeah.
My Mother: I don’t know who that is.
Me: Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tarter Sauce. She looks grumpy because of a deformity, but made buttloads of money, even a movie.
My Mother: It is still cruel.

Christmas Parody

Wrecking Ball Parody (Deck the Halls by Dave and Brian)

[Yes, I shared this one last year too. I just really like it.]

Betty White Christmas (White Christmas parody by The Kinsey Sicks)

[FYI: The Kinsey Sicks are super fun and I advise you to check them out on YouTube. A lot of their songs aren’t what you would call family friendly though, don’t say I didn’t warn you.]

Five Things That Make Me Smile

Today I want to share a few of the things that always make me happy. Now, I’m not talking about family, friends . . . any of that sentimental stuff. I mean the kind of things I can see or do that will make me laugh every single time. Make me goofy laugh whenever I need it. Make me feel at ease with the absurdity of life. . . or some other descriptor that isn’t as pretentious.

1. Lois’s appearance on County Law
County Law is a home-grown Cops. It isn’t grown from my home, but I saw this clip with Lois on a world’s blankest blank kind of show and instantly loved her. I know people make fun of her, but she just makes my day. If you watch entire clip instead of the edited version typically shown on television, she comes across much less crazy. We all need some of Lois’s infectious excitement in the face of adversity (in this case, her sister being arrested).

2. Bitches want some pancakes
This one comes from yet another world’s blankest blank kind of show (World’s Dumbest Smartest Inventions, to be specific). Michael Loftus makes the “Bitches want some pancakes? Bitches get some pancakes.” comment in response to the Batter Blaster product. If I’m watching that episode of the show, I start to smile as soon as I see Batter Blaster come on.

3. Hot air balloons
I don’t know why, but I can’t help but feel happy when there is a hot air balloon around. I’ve never actually been in one (honestly, they kind of scare me), so it isn’t thinking about the ride itself. I just love some hot air balloons. I have memories of watching some air-up as a kid and I had a favorite blanket growing up that always reminded me of the balloon patterns. I’ve long contemplated a hot air balloon tattoo.

4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
I don’t watch it very often, so it’s awesomeness never decreases for me. I think I’m actually going to watch it in bed after writing this (the husband is playing a new video game and the kids are in bed).

5. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Sing-Along – Monty Python
Confession: I’m not a huge fan of Monty Python. This sing-along is simply amazing though. I like to listen to it if I’m having a rough day (and maybe sing if it won’t be too embarrassing).

If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle
– that’s the thing.