Just give me a minute…

Some bloggers plan their breaks and some go silent unexpectedly. Surprisingly, this time I have the foresight to announce my leave. I’ll be back in a week (with a post about what I read in Feb.!). Until then, go dig up an old post here or explore a new blog!

See you in a week! I’ll miss ya!

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The Bachelorette

Welcome to another incredible season of The Bachelorette. If you recall, last time we embarked on a magical journey with Jim Halpert as he navigated the treacherous waters of love to find his 15 minutes of fame wife. Last season ended in heartbreak for our adorable protagonist, but this year Jess Day has returned with high hopes and lots of medication.

Let’s meet the bright-eyed teacher:

Jess Day (New Girl) is looking for a fun-loving man with a solid job and quirky sense of humor. She’s been in the dating field for quite some time and hopes to really settle down with a good guy. She needs someone who’s not prone to jealousy, patient with others, and willing to invest in her crazy ideas and antics.

Jess

Introductions (episode 1):

Jess put in a special request to only meet/date refined, normal men with average testosterone levels that are not subscribers to over-drinking, fist fights, or Penthouse magazine. But that doesn’t make good television… so the first man to exit the limo is Wolverine (X-Men). In an attempt to break the ice Jess compliments him on his metal claws. “Adamantium,” he corrects her curtly before  entering the lavish mansion.

Feeling immediately discouraged, Jess’ hope is restored when an incredibly handsome, smooth Don Draper (Mad Men) exits the car . He shakes her hand firmly but gently and leaves her with a wink. Jess asks for a quick glass of water and a fan. Also riding in the first limo is a collectively cool Christian Grey (50 Shades of Grey). Jess gets a weird, chauvinist-y vibes but he’s cute so that makes it ok.

The second limo sends Jess back to the 90s. The first man to make her acquaintance is Jesse Katsopolis (Full House). ‘Have mercy!’ she thinks to herself. Next Mr. Big (Sex in the City) emerges followed by the incredibly attractive Sam Seaborn (The West Wing).

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Good girl Jess wonders if there will be any “bad boys” this season and is immediately answered when the third limo covered in graffiti and bullet holes pulls up. Out steps Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad) and Sebastian (Reign). She’s a little put off by the marijuana-like smell coming off Jesse’s coat, but welcomes him all the same. Jess realizes she may have found her eye-soulmate as she loses herself in Sebastian’s baby blues. Once the boys enter the house Jess asks the producers how the limo made it to the house without being car-jacked by the passengers. When Detective Elliot Stabler (Law & Order: SVU) steps out she breathes a quick sigh of relief- no law breaking will happen with him around.

The fourth vehicle carrying suitors is not a limo, but rather a Bentley Mulsanne ( … a +$300,000 car). Jess anticipates some incredibly successful beaus and she’s not disappointed. Doctor Derek Shepherd (Grey’s Anatomy) steps out of the heavily tinted car and introduces himself to our bachelorette. ‘Dreamy…’ she thinks to herself. Next up is firefighter Kelly Severide (Chicago Fire) who has a contradictory effect on Jess as her face flushes a fiery red. When a dapper Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother) exits the car- bragging that it actually is his car- Jess asks what he does for a living. He dismisses her with a gentle, “Please” and kisses her on each cheek before entering the house. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) is the last to exit the vehicle and appears quite distressed. He notes what a long car ride it was and Jess apologizes, saying that she hopes he wasn’t too inconvenienced. “I was,” he states bluntly, then excuses himself into the house.

Jess begins her mental list of “No”s but she is interrupted by the final and apocalyptic-like limo.  Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)- who looks as white as a ghost snow- introduces himself and assures Jess that his former oath of celibacy is no more. Jess thanks him awkwardly and tells him she’ll see him inside. She immediately regrets saying goodbye to Jon when she finds herself alone in the company of her last and final guest- Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead). He seems like a good enough guy… she thinks.

. . .

And thus begins Jess’ journey to find true love…

Episode 2: Jess asks the producers if she can eliminate some men right now but they tell her she has to wait until the end of the day. The boys and Jess enjoy a “lazy day” around the house filled with pool time, a patio picnic, and an early evening cocktail hour. Originally Jess intended to nix Wolverine but after a few hours at the pool she decides his abs he can stick around. We say goodbye to creepy Daryl and creepy Jesse P. tonight.

Episode 3: Jess decides to take the boys camping and is hurt and upset when Mr. Big tells her he refuses to sleep in a tent, let alone on the ground. She tearfully sends him packing and enjoys a night around the campfire with the remaining 12 guys. At the rose ceremony Uncle Jesse K. is sent home (due to complaining about his hair on the trip) and Barney is sent home (due to his constant use of pick-up lines during a heart-to-heart with Jess.)

Episode 4: No season is complete without a little drama. Derek has a hard time sharing Jess with the other bachelors and takes a swing at Don when the episode’s “date card” arrives, naming the advertising mogul. The men are warned about fighting but tempers are hot. When Don comes home and brags about his date Sebastian draws a sword and Derek pulls a scalpel. All three men are sent home. (The date wasn’t as great as Don thought…)

Episode 5: Jess asks the men about their perfect date night and she is incredibly overwhelmed (read: disturbed) by Christian Grey and underwhelmed by Sheldon. Both men do not receive a rose in the mid-episode ceremony. When Elliot warns Jess that all date nights will probably be interrupted by a phone call about a murder she gently sends him packing.

Episode 6: The remaining four suitors are whisked away to Fiji with our beautiful bachelorette. She wines and dines with the men, and is reminded that some how Wolverine is still in the competition. She enjoys a few days of sun and sand and his abs before she sends him home.

Episode 7: When Jess makes plans to accompany the boys to their hometowns Jon Snow respectfully declines and tells her she’s better off not visiting his hometown… or dating him. Jess is shaken by his departure.

Finale: In the end Jess decides that it really comes down to Washington D.C. or Chicago- both Sam and Kelly have stable careers and she’s more than willing to follow love wherever it may take her. I mean, she did this show, for heavens sake…

Anyway, Chicago wins and Jess presents the final rose to Kelly who accepts and presents her with a firefighter calendar that only features him.

OMG cutest couple ever.
OMG cutest couple ever.

And by the “after show” Jess is already pregnant with their baby firefighter. The end.

(I spend an embarrassingly long time creating these…. Ha. Here’s the Bachelor one again.)

I’m crazy, right? I entertain myself, at least…

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It’s A Disney Wednesday

I’m going to self-indulge today and do a little get-to-know-me through Disney-related questions. Honestly, who doesn’t love Disney? (If you don’t love Disney, it’s ok… I assume it’s just because you haven’t been introduced properly.)

I’m always so inspired by Rebecca Jo at Knit by God’s Hand. Her posts encourage me to crack open my Bible, lace up my running shoes, or take another trip to Starbucks! This Disney survey comes straight from her post last Wednesday!

| 1 | Favorite Character: Alice
I don’t have a reason… I just love Alice in Wonderland. (The cartoon, not the Burton version.)

 | 2 | Favorite Princess: Cinderella
When I was a kid and we played princesses I was always Cinderella. We were blonde, we both had a dog named Bruno, and I did a lot of chores at home… ha!

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| 3 | Favorite Heroine: Jane
Anyone who shows kindness to animals and to those different than her gains my approval. Plus, she’s sarcastic and so intelligent!

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| 4 | Favorite Prince: Aladdin
By marrying Jasmine he becomes a prince… so he counts. Is it the wit? The rugged good looks? The bad-boy beginnings? I don’t know. But Aladdin always has been and always will be my favorite.

| 5 | Favorite Hero: Robin Hood
First of all, he’s a fox. But I also love his attitude and do-good nature.

Robin
| 6 | Favorite Animal: Sven
Probably my favorite character from Frozen… I actually had a lot of answers for this one, but I had trouble narrowing it down.

7.  Favorite Sidekick: Abu
He’s the ultimate loyal best friend. I also have a cat named Abu (who might be one of my favorites).

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| 8 | Favorite Villain: Hades
While Hades is my favorite, I would say that Hopper (A Bug’s Life) is the scariest.

| 9 | Favorite Original Character: Minnie
I don’t have a reason other than my mom likes her 🙂

| 10 | Favorite Love Song: Love is an Open Door from Frozen

| 11 | Favorite Song: Here’s my top 4…

| 12 | Favorite Villain Song: Be Prepared from The Lion King

| 13 | Least Favorite Song: Reflection from Mulan

| 14 | Favorite Kiss: Kristoff & Anna
Kristoff is so darn cute. Their whole relationship was cute! (Pre-Frozen I’d have said Nala and Simba!)

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| 15 | The First Disney Movie You Saw: The Little Mermaid
I think this is correct? This is the first one I can remember…

| 16 | Favorite Classic: Alice in Wonderland

| 17 | Song that always gets stuck in your head: I Just Can’t Wait to be King from The Lion King

| 18 | Favorite Pixar Film: The Incredibles
There are so many great Pixar films, but I love the relationships that change and strengthen in this film.

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| 19 | Lease Favorite Pixar Film: Wall-E
I can’t emotionally connect to a robot… The whole film annoys me.

| 20 | Favorite Sequel: The Return of Jafar
So many sequel suck, but this one was SO GOOD- if only Robin Williams had voiced Genie.

| 21 | Overrated Movie: Hocus Pocus
I might come under fire for this one…. but I just don’t like this stupid movie.

| 22 | Underrated Movie: Muppet Treasure Island
I love this movie, but no one even knows it exists!

| 23 | Move that Makes you Laugh: Toy Story
First of all, it’s a classic. But more importantly, when you watch this movie as an adult it has SO MANY funny quips and subtle inappropriate insinuations.

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| 24 | Movie that Makes you Cry: UP
I can’t even watch it. It’s too much.

| 25 | The Saddest Best Scene: Mrs. Nesbit
(I changed this one because I already shared what scene makes me cry.) Technically, this is a sad scene, but I love it because A) it’s funny and B) it’s a turning point for Buzz and C) Buzz is totally drunk.

| 26 | Saddest Death: Winnie in Tuck Everlasting
Ugh. This movie gets me right in the feels. (Plus it has Rory Gilmore & the guy from Nashville)
The loss of Ellie in UP is a death that I can’t even talk about right now.

| 27 |  Favorite Quote: …like I could just pick one. Ha.

  • The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. (Mulan)
  • I’m a damsel, I’m in distress, I can handle this. Have a nice day. (Hercules)
  • If you don’t know where you want to go then it doesn’t matter which path you take. (Alice in Wonderland)

Alice_in_Wonderland

| 28 | Favorite Theme Park: Disney World
Honestly, I’ve never been to Disney Land or the parks in other countries. But DW definitely beats Universal- if only The WW of HP was at Disney. *sigh*

| 29 | Favorite Theme Attraction: Slash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World
Plus every other ride at Disney World because there isn’t a bad ride there!

| 30 | Favorite Theme Park Show: Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
This was a last minute “Hey let’s check this out” show that I went to during a band trip to Disney in my senior year of hs. I have such a vivid memory of seeing this for the first time- it’s so hilarious and impressive. They even used a joke I submitted!!

Holy cow… we need to go back to Disney World soon…

Ok, your turn! Who’s your favorite princess? Prince? Character? Ride at Disney World??

On Friday I’m going to share my version of the best season of the Bachelorette. I did this with The Bachelor last year, so if you need to catch up before Friday read it here!

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It’s the little things…

Valentine’s Day has come and gone…

K and I don’t make a big deal out of the holiday. I like getting a card with an “I love you” scrawled inside and he usually gets a pack of Twizzlers or a new coffee mug from me. (And then I steal the mug back…)

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I’m a huge advocate of celebrating special days, but I also take notice when my husband does things through the normal day or week for me.

  • Every morning before he leaves for work he always comes around to my side of the bed and wakes me up and makes me promise that I’m going to get up soon and get ready for work. I HATE waking up. I hit the snooze button 1,841 times in the morning. But every morning my husband wakes me up and reminds me to get moving ❤︎
  • He knows my go-to order at Taco Bell  ❤︎
  • Whenever we’re gifted Starbucks gift cards he lets me have them all for myself ❤︎
  • He won’t watch The West Wing or The Mindy Project without me ❤︎
  • He downloaded Snap Chat when he was in Texas last November, just so I could send him quick photo updates of my day (even though he’s totally against the app and doesn’t use it to talk to anyone else) ❤︎

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My Love Language is quality time, but “acts of service” is K’s first language. Keeping that in mind, when he does things for me, like waking me up every morning even though he hates doing it, I know he’s acting on his own love language to show me affection.

What are little things your significant other does for you that say, “I love you” without actually uttering those words? What actions in your daily routine let your s/o know that you care?

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Ways to Challenge Yourself

As a blogger I am constantly looking for a good challenge. I’ve tried my hand at Ember Grey’s 12 months of bliss challenge and Erin’s reading challenge and Jenn’s movie challenge. I watched Laura and Chelsea torture themselves with the Whole 30 and my friend Kayla brave her way through the 21 Day Fix. It seems like we’re always on the lookout for some way to better ourselves or experience more- especially via challenge.

Right now I’m working on a few challenges- some that last several months, others that span the year, and a few that I attempted for a week. If you’re in the market to challenge yourself, start with one of these:

Water Challenge
I am terrible about drinking water. I go days without it. I love coffee and tea and some pop, but I rarely finish 1 glass of water, let alone 8. So this week I challenged myself to only drink water. No coffee. No wine. No nothing- except water. This is probably dumb, but it’s effective.

Skin Challenge
In the same breathe, this week I decided to skip the make-up. I have been wear foundation and powder forever… my acne and scars are a real b*tch. But this week I decided to skip it and let my face have a break & heal. I’ve felt very self-conscious all week, but my skin has seen some minor improvements. #WorthIt

Book Challenge
I’m always doing a book challenge because it motivates me to turn off the TV and read. Right now I’m doing this challenge until April and I’m tackling this one all through 2016. My goal is to read 42 books this year!

Movie Challenge
I don’t know of any going on right now, but in fall I did this film challenge and under my 30 x 30 tab I have a goal to watch all the Academy Award winning movies from the year I was born (1990).

Eating Challenge
I hate diets. I would rather hit the gym 7 days a week than restrict myself from eating certain foods. (And that’s saying something because I hate working out.) But challenging yourself to forgo pop or give up fast food for a month is definitely do-able and beneficial. Start small if you’re like me and you hate wheat bread.

The Whole 30
Then again, if you really want to throw yourself down the rabbit hole & experience crazyland wonderland, try The Whole 30. I believe the rules are no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no beans, no alcohol, and no cheating. All of that means no Audrey… but maybe it’s something you’d like to try!

Meatless Mondays
Another food challenge… This is something I’d like to try. Honestly, I think K and I wouldn’t even notice one meatless day a week… the only problem is I lose track of the days and forget when Monday comes around. #oops

Exercise Challenge
Let me reiterate: I hate working out. That said, K has been pretty vocal about joining a gym together and waking up early to work out in the mornings. I’m much more successful when I have some challenge or routine to follow, so I guess I’ll be pinning a few new exercise tips and tricks to this board.

Money Challenge
Have you seen those charts that build your savings account by telling you to put back a dollar, then two dollar, than five dollars, etc. every week? I’ve never tried one of these with success, but I’d like to!

Organization Challenge
I love organizing my space, but Stephanie is a BEAST at organization. She’s taking 2016 by storm. From decluttering to minimalism, she’s got you covered. I love the idea of tackling large parts of your house each month- I feel so much better when I wash the couch cushion slips or the window treatments.

What types of challenges are your drawn to? Have you ever participated in any of these? What new challenges would you recommend?

I love doing challenges through my blog- I think it keeps me honest and accountable. What about you?

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The Words That Surround Me.

I rarely talk about my full time job, but I spend a lot of time (at least 40 hours a week) in my little office. Most of the day is spent in front of a computer typing +80 page appraisal reports; I often describe myself as a technical writer. Sometimes the monotony gets to me, but I’m usually pretty content to spend my day in my own space surrounded by my choice of music & my own little trinkets & my post-its of quotes I adore.

And today I’m going to share my quotes with you. These words get me through the hours or the weeks or the months.

Quote 1

Quote 2

Quote 3

Quote 4

Quote 5

Quote 6

Quote 7

Quote 8

Quote 9

What quote(s) do you post around the house or office? Do you have a motto or favorite?

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…I couldn’t resist.

 

My Currentlys and My Favorites

I’ve tried my hand at a coffee break and I’ve shared the occasional “about me” post, but this is my first “Currently”! (Last year I did a “What I’m Obsessed with Wednesday“… and that’s when I picked up Bossypants. Which I just finished this month. My procrastination habits are outta this world. So much for accountability.)

Anyway, right now I am currently:

| Watching… | The West Wing on Netflix and Downton Abbey in real time. I’m not allowed to watch TWW without K and I’m only allowed to watch DA without K. Hahaha.

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| Reading… | a few books that I should’ve finished loooong ago. This month I WILL finish Pride & Prejudice. Also, I want to complete 2 more for the challenge I’m doing and finish The Other Typist, which I started last year!

| Listening to… | my incredibly embarrassing “shower playlist.” It’s my shower playlist because I do weird twisting motions that some might call dancing… and it’s really best I keep all that behind closed doors.  I also sing. Plus, these songs aren’t necessarily the ones that I broadcast loud and proud…  But in all honestly, I secretly love Flo Rida so much.

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| Dreaming of… | opening my dog shelter. Every day I feel the calling getting stronger and stronger. I need to figure this out soon. Any advice from friends who have started a non-profit?

| Eating… | nothing. But I just made eyes at the ramon noodles in my drawer. It’s 10am… is that too early for such things?

| Drinking… | coffee with milk. Nothing fancy or sugary. Just coffee with milk. Yummm.

| Thinking about… | how I respond to the question, “How’s it going?”. My answer is always somewhere between “meh” and “pretty good, I guess.” I hate that. I want to be able to say, “Things are going great!” every. single. time. Quiet honestly, I have a bed to sleep in, a job to put food on the table, and people to love. Do I want more? Yeah, absolutely, but all things considered, life is great and I don’t express that often enough.

| Planning… | a nice vacation with K. I don’t know when and I don’t know where and I don’t even know how… but I need to rekindle that love for travel. I feel like I’m stuck in the doldrums.

| Looking forward to… | dress shopping with my future sister for my brother’s wedding, my grandma’s 80th birthday party at the end of this month, & our annual trip to Bristol, TN for the NASCAR races in April.

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And now for some blogger love:

  • Have you ever gone on a date and been surrounded by complete darkness? Well, Chelsea seems to find herself in those situations more often than most people! Check out her “Love Day” spent in a cave!
  • Amber‘s words are so poetic in this post about Missing. We all have those moments when we feel like a situation could be solved without incident if only that one person was there with us.
  • I am SO pumped about Emily‘s 12 months of bliss challenge for February! She’s encouraging us to stop the gossip and spread the kindness! I will definitely be working on this!

What are you currently up to? I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends!

I’m linking-up with Anne for Blogger Love and Kristen & Gretchen for What’s New with You!

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What's New With You